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Evidence-based screening services in pharmacies help consumers

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June 30, 2017

Screening and risk assessment services in community pharmacies must be evidence-based, meet unmet needs in the community, be appropriate for a pharmacy setting and provided by an appropriately-trained pharmacist, the peak national body for pharmacists, PSA said today.

With this in mind, PSA has developed a new position statement on screening and risk assessment to assist pharmacists and pharmacy organisations delivering services (including banner groups), of the principles that should underpin decisions to offer pharmacy-based screening and risk assessment services.

These principles are informed by the World Health Organization’s Principles of early disease detection and include:

  • Principle 1: Screening and risk assessment services should target conditions associated with a significant burden of disease, and populations where interventions provide greatest value.
  • Principle 2: Interventions must be evidence-based and appropriate for the pharmacy setting.
  • Principle 3: Pharmacists need to obtain and document informed consent.
  • Principle 4: Pharmacists must facilitate appropriate follow up, including referral for patients with a positive screening test.
  • Principle 5: Pharmacists must be appropriately trained and equipped to provide screening and risk assessment services.

Screening and risk assessment – which is within the scope of all pharmacists’ practice in Australia – is a key component of Australia’s strategy to reduce the burden of preventable disease.

PSA National President-elect Dr Shane Jackson said: “The opportunity for consumers is obvious as it represents a highly accessible avenue into the healthcare system through community pharmacies, just as we see consumers getting flu vaccinations in a pharmacy when they would otherwise have not been vaccinated.

“However pharmacy organisations – including banner groups – are reminded that such tests must be based on meeting an unmet need and PSA does not want to see duplication. In response to comments from the AMA, we also highlight the need for comments from organisations in healthcare to be constructive, respectful and to not diminish the existing standing of healthcare professionals in the eyes of the public.”

Dr Jackson said: “Screening and risk assessment activities in community pharmacy must not only be evidence-based and appropriate for the pharmacy setting, they must only be provided by an appropriately trained and equipped pharmacist using validated screening and risk assessment tools.

“We suggest pharmacists and pharmacy groups utilise this new screening and risk assessment guideline to review the programs they are offering to the public to ensure these programs are appropriate for our healthcare system.”


Media contact: Brad Watts
Executive Director, Communications
0487 922 176

This item is listed in the following categories: • 2017 media releasesMedia releases


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