March 20, 2015
Nominate now for 2015 PSA Excellence Awards
Nominations for the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia prestigious Awards for Excellence – acknowledged as the pharmacy profession’s most sought-after awards are now open.
National President of PSA, Grant Kardachi, said the PSA Excellence Awards acknowledged and recognised some of the profession’s great achievers.
“I encourage pharmacists to nominate or put forward their peers for an award,” he said.
“The awards are in three categories – the PSA’s Pharmacist of the Year, Young Pharmacist of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Awards.
“These represent the profession’s pinnacles of achievement with a particular focus on pharmacists involved in innovative practice; those striving to raise practice standards; and those who, through their professionalism, provide a model of practice for others to emulate.”
The Pharmacist of the Year, Young Pharmacist of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient each receive prizes including a Symbion Education Grant to the value of $9,000.
Mr Kardachi said the awards honoured those who achieved and maintained the highest standards of commitment and professionalism in pharmacy.
Brett Barons, General Manager Symbion Pharmacy, sponsor of the awards for the 11th consecutive year, said the Excellence Awards recognised those exceptional individuals in pharmacy who contributed so much to the profession.
“Pharmacists at all levels of the profession are inspired and motivated by the Excellence Awards,” Mr Barons said.
“Having the recognition of their expertise and achievements by their peers is one of the reasons these awards are so sought after and respected.
“These awards are an inspiration for all sectors of the profession to continue to lift standards even higher and this recognition reflects the exceptional quality of healthcare provided by pharmacists throughout Australia. These awards highlight what is great about our profession and how those in it never cease to strive for excellence,” Mr Barons said.
Nominations close on Friday 26 June 2015, and the winners will be announced at the PSA15 conference in Sydney on July 31, 2015
Nomination forms are available at http://www.psa.org.au/about/excellence-awards or from Michelle.Mabille@psa.org.au
March 19, 2015
PSA committed to closing the gap in health delivery
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is committed to closing the gap in health delivery to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across all areas in Australia.
National President of PSA, Grant Kardachi, said rural and remote areas of Australia still suffered from a disproportionately low number of health services being available to meet the needs of patients.
“Attempts to address this situation have generally failed to make a significant impact and this is evidenced by feedback provided to PSAshowing many rural and remote communities cannot sustain a viable community pharmacy,” he said.
“Pharmacies in these areas often have a higher cost-to-income ratio than their counterparts in urban areas, due in part to the higher wages needed to attract pharmacists. They also generally have higher stock levels because of fewer deliveries and greater transport costs while the lower socio-economic status of rural populations is also a factor.
“In addition, it is also clear that existing rural pharmacy workforce programs do not fully take into account the shortage of pharmacists in rural areas and regional towns.
“Nevertheless, we see community pharmacies as being ideally placed to play a more significant role in managing these conditions within the community and to identify those most at risk.”
Mr Kardachi said the PSA’s Community Pharmacy Agreement discussion paper, Better health outcomes through improved primary care: Optimising pharmacy’s contribution listed some possible starting points:
- Comprehensive evaluation of rural and remote pharmacy services;
- Investigation of provisions for pharmacist dispensing at rural outposts;
- Reimbursement of rural pharmacists for a range of clinical services and telehealth, as per other health professionals; and
- Funding for salaried rural clinical pharmacy positions in areas of identified need.
“The problem of remote and rural areas has been put in the too-hard basket for far too long. Clearly the Community Pharmacy Agreement offers us the opportunity to make a difference and we must seize this opportunity,” Mr Kardachi said.
“PSA’s commitment to ensuring the best possible medicines access and information for rural and remote communities is evidenced by the Society hosting its second Medicines in the Bush workshop on May 24 in Darwin.”
Details can be found on PSA’s website at http://www.psa.org.au/event/medicines-in-the-bush-symposium
March 18, 2015
Newspaper report offensive to all of Australia’s 27,000 pharmacists
A newspaper report published today refers disparagingly to pharmacists as “a union of men and women in white coats” who will “who will get to gouge the public purse for another five years”.
The National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Grant Kardachi, said such comments were offensive to the 27,000 pharmacists in Australia who belonged to the proud profession of pharmacy.
“The author of the article seems to have taken it upon herself to try to undermine and defame the integrity of the profession and all those in it simply because she quite demonstrably does not understand this area of the health sector,” Mr Kardachi said.
“She also clearly does not understand, or has simply chosen to ignore, the difference between two of the pharmacy profession’s representative bodies – the PSA and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.
“Her article is about the Community Pharmacy Agreement which is negotiated between the Guild, representing pharmacy owners, and the Government. The PSA represents pharmacists cross all sectors of the profession and across all locations but clearly grouping all pharmacists together as ‘a union of men and women in white coats’ adheres to the tenet that you shouldn’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.
“But she misses the good story. The good story is about pharmacists and the work they do in improving the health outcomes of consumers. The good story is about the trust and respect that consumers have in pharmacists. The good story is about the accessibility of pharmacists which allows consumers to walk in off the street and receive health advice and counselling.”
Mr Kardachi said pharmacists were consistently placed among the most highly trusted and respected of all health professionals in the highly regarded Readers Digest Most Trusted Profession survey.
“In addition we are the most accessible of health professions with some 300 million visits to community pharmacies by consumers every year,” Mr Kardachi said.
“Quite often these visits see consumers seeking advice from their pharmacist on health issues, advice which is freely given and often does not result in any medicine sale or financial gain for the pharmacy.
“Far from being a ‘union of men and women in white coats’ the profession is a grouping of committed professionals who are determined to help improve the health outcomes of all Australians.”
COMMUNIQUÉ FROM THE PHARMACY PRACTITIONER DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
The Pharmacy Practitioner Development Committee (PPDC) met in March 2015 and is pleased to report on the following outcomes:
Review of the competency standards
The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) has been working as a consultant to the PPDC to inform the review of the National competency standards framework for pharmacists in Australia.
The PPDC was pleased to receive a draft final report from the AHHA on the findings of the background research, literature review and stakeholder consultation.
The PPDC considered the consultant’s recommendations on the structure, type and format of competencies required to reflect contemporary practice and likely future changes to pharmacy practice in Australia.
The PPDC discussed plans for the next stage of the review which will involve detailed consideration of the structure, format and wording of the competency standards and revision taking into account the AHHA recommendations informed by future consultations with PPDC member organisations and the broader profession.
The PPDC is committed to communicating the work it undertakes on behalf of the pharmacy profession. The Committee was pleased to note that two manuscripts have been accepted for publication in pharmacy journals. A third manuscript is under consideration by another journal.
Advanced pharmacy practice
The PPDC has an ongoing role to assist in the implementation of an advanced pharmacy practice recognition model. Progress on the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) pilot program to credential advanced practice pharmacists was noted. The Committee was pleased to learn of the greater than expected level of interest shown by pharmacists and the breadth of professional practice areas. The PPDC acknowledged the important contributions of the pilot participants in advancing the pharmacy profession.
The PPDC will continue to work closely with the APC on issues which require profession-wide consideration, input and support.
17 March 2015
March 17, 2015
Attacks on pharmacy profession unfounded and irresponsible
Recent media attacks on pharmacists and their integrity are both unfounded and unwarranted, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia says.
National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said the attacks contained erroneous, inaccurate and malicious implications which were hurtful to Australia’s 27,000 pharmacists who are committed to improving the health outcomes of all Australians.
“It is concerning to see an article published that could be perceived as an attack on the profession,” Mr Kardachi said.
“Apart from factual errors and misinterpretation of facts, the article goes further and questions the ethics and commitment of pharmacists.”
Mr Kardachi said pharmacy was a proud profession which had long-served the health needs of consumers.
“Pharmacists are the most accessible of all health professionals and in the highly regarded Readers Digest Most Trusted Profession survey pharmacists are consistently among the most highly trusted and respected of all health professionals,” Mr Kardachi said.
“The profession has a well-documented commitment to the wellbeing of consumers and this is underscored in the PSA Code of Ethics which code applies to every pharmacist irrespective of their role, scope, level or location of practice.
“Among the principles contained in the code is that pharmacists recognise the health and wellbeing of the consumer as their first priority and that pharmacists will utilise expert knowledge and provide care in a compassionate and professional manner. It also stresses that a pharmacist pays due respect for the autonomy and rights of consumers and encourages consumers to actively participate in decision-making.
“Pharmacists are members of a proud and highly respected profession and are righty offended by these attacks.
“But perhaps more importantly they fear that it may serve to undermine the strong relationship between consumers and their pharmacists and pharmacy staff. This is unacceptable.”
March 16, 2015
Pharmacists misrepresented in newsletter articles over homeopathy report
A recent headline in medical newsletters stating ‘Pharmacists reluctant to give up on homeopathy’ misrepresents the public position of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, the peak professional organisation representing pharmacists across Australia.
The newsletter reports made no reference to the publicly stated position of the Society following the release last week of a review by the National Health and Medical Research Council which found there were no health conditions for which there was reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective.
National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said PSA welcomed the release of the review which clearly highlighted the need for pharmacists to advise consumers of the dangers of choosing homeopathy over evidence-based medicine.
“On release of this report we stated clearly and publicly that we are of the view consumers may put their health at risk if they reject or delay treatments for which there is good evidence for safety and effectiveness,” Mr Kardachi said.
“The NHMRC report underscores the need for consumers to consult their pharmacists when seeking appropriate treatments for their conditions.
“I reiterate what we said publicly on release of the report that pharmacists are obliged to advise such people that there are treatments and therapies they can choose which are based on the best available evidence.
“PSA’s Code of Ethics, which is endorsed by the Pharmacy Board of Australia, states the health and wellbeing of the consumer is a pharmacist’s first priority.”
Mr Kardachi said he was confident any pharmacies stocking homeopathic products would reassess their position following the release of the NHMRC report.
“Pharmacists are skilled medicine experts and the NHMRC report will help to reinforce their clinical expertise in regard to decisions over homeopathy products.
“PSA is not a regulatory body and cannot force pharmacists to remove products from sale however the NHMRC report provides unequivocal evidence that when dealing with homeopathy products pharmacists must consider not only their interaction with patients but also what stock is to be held within the pharmacy.”