PSA Media Releases – 1. Vic Government backs pharmacists 2. Victorian Intern of the Year

November 26, 2015
PSA welcomes Government’s backing of pharmacists to improve health of Victorians

New policies to be introduced by the Andrews’ Government are a welcome move to improve the health of Victorians by enabling better utilisation of the skills and expertise of pharmacists and the existing community pharmacy infrastructure, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia says.

Separate initiatives announced by the Government today include changes to legislation allowing pharmacists to administer flu and whooping cough vaccines, a trial of extended roles of pharmacists in chronic disease management, and the roll out of the state’s first 24-hour, 7-day-a-week pharmacies.

PSA National President, Joe Demarte, said the policy announcements recognised the contribution of pharmacists to positive health outcomes for consumers across the continuum of care.

The initiatives announced today are a sensible policy response to growing healthcare problems, including falling vaccination rates and the increasing burden of chronic disease, and make use of a highly skilled and accessible pharmacist workforce’

Both Australian and international experience demonstrates that pharmacists can safely administer vaccines as part of their existing scope of practice, and that offering immunisations in pharmacies is effective at increasing vaccination rates, Mr Demarte said.

As a partner in the Queensland Government’s trial Pharmacy Immunisation Program, PSA has been a strong advocate for involving pharmacists in immunisation. We welcome the news that Victorian regulations will be brought into line with other states, where pharmacist vaccination programs have proven successful’

The announcement of the Pharmacist Chronic Disease Management pilot program would bring Australia into line with other countries such as New Zealand and Canada, where pharmacists play a greater role in collaborative models for managing chronic disease, something PSA has been advocating strongly for, Mr Demarte said.

Medicines are such a significant part of chronic disease management and it just makes sense to involve pharmacists more, for the benefit of consumers. What is proposed is well within pharmacists’ current scope of practice, and the pilot provides the opportunity for the development of collaborative protocols for pharmacists and GPs to work together to improve chronic disease management.’

PSA has previously welcomed the creation of 24/7 pharmacies to address access gaps in after-hours health care in Victoria.

PSA successfully piloted an after-hours pharmacy service project in partnership with the ACT Medicare Local last year, with pharmacists triaging, treating where appropriate and referring patients to their GP or a hospital’

The experience and lessons learned from the Canberra service offer invaluable insights for the rollout of the Government’s “Super Pharmacies”, and PSA welcomes the opportunity to work with other partners to support the implementation of this initiative.
By Alison Roberts

November 24, 2015
Xavier Agostino named MIMS PSA Victorian Intern of the Year

Xavier Agostino from the MyChemist Northland is the 2015 MIMS PSA Victorian Intern of the Year.

He was presented with is award by Dinah Graham from MIMS at the Victorian Pharmacists Dinner on Friday evening, 20 November.

Xavier’s nomination said that: “Xavier’s leadership skills and previous experience working in community pharmacy were a welcome addition to the team.

It has been a pleasure to be able to watch Xavier flourish in his intern year. His success throughout the year can be attributed to his determination to always get the best out of himself and the people around him.

“He understands the synergy between the professional and retail aspects of community pharmacy. On numerous occasions Xavier has implemented positive change in both sides of the business.”

The nomination said that Xavier is a true professional. “He is not content with simply meeting acceptable industry standards. He always goes above and beyond to exceed the standard.”

Xavier has been proactively identifying patients with poor medicine adherence and contacting their treating doctors to discuss options in their medicine regime to ensure safe use, better compliance and overall improved health outcome for them.

As an intern, he established a fall prevention promotional program at the pharmacy. It was such a success that a number of elderly patients were taken off their benzodiazepines by their doctors as a result.”

Dinah Graham from MIMS Australia said: “Being able to provide an award for excellence such as the MIMS PSA Intern of the Year Award is something the team from MIMS relishes. We are all passionate about the safe use of medicines and pharmacists are in the forefront of this area of patient care each every day.

To see the enthusiasm and appetite for patient centred care displayed by these young interns shows a vital and successful future for community pharmacy.”

MIMS is the sponsor of this award and contributes the major prize of $2,000 to each State winner to be used to attend PSA16, the PSA national conference in Sydney.

By Andrew Daniels


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