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Pharmacists can help to Close the Gap

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January 9, 2018

Having a national approach for integrating non-dispensing pharmacists into Aboriginal Health Services (AHS) will help to Close the Gap for Indigenous Australians, the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) said today.

The call follows the release of a major report card on Indigenous health in Canberra yesterday, called Close the Gap 2018, highlighting “Australian governments have not yet succeeded in closing the health gap to date, and why they will not succeed by 2030 if the current course continues.”

PSA is developing an evidenced-based primary care and funding model for the integration of practice pharmacists to boost health outcomes to achieve health equality between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.

PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson said having a culturally-responsive practice pharmacist integrated within an AHS builds better relationships between patients and staff, leading to improved results in chronic disease management and Quality Use of Medicines (QUM).

“The integration of a non-dispensing pharmacist in an AHS has the potential to improve medication adherence, reduce chronic disease, reduce medication misadventure and decrease preventable medication-related hospital admissions to help to Close the Gap,” Dr Jackson said.

In July last year, the Federal Government announced an innovative new trial to support Aboriginal health organisations to integrate pharmacists into their services.

In partnership with the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and James Cook University (JCU), PSA has developed a trial that aims to improve culturally appropriate services specifically of access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and further demonstrate the fundamental role that pharmacists play in primary health care, strengthening the future for all pharmacists and contributing to better health outcomes.

A national ACCHO Pharmacist Leadership Group has also been established by PSA and NACCHO to foster collaboration, inform relevant policy and strengthen the relationships between these organisations with a shared commitment to embedding pharmacists in ACCHOs nationally.

The leadership group has been developed to engage with and support pharmacists working in Indigenous health and to inform PSA’s education and policy agenda.  To find out more, contact


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

This item is listed in the following categories: • 2018 media releasesMedia releases


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