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Code of Ethics

This is a summary of the Code of Ethics endorsed by the PSA Board in September 2011.  Some minor textual updates were incorporated in June 2014 but did not affect the fundamental content of the Code.

If you would like to download the full Code, you can do so below.

Application

The code applies to every pharmacist irrespective of the role, scope, level or location of practice.  Intern pharmacists and pharmacy students are expected to comply with the code during periods of supervised practice (clinical placements).

All non-pharmacist personnel engaged in the pharmacy profession are strongly encouraged to comply with the code.  Employers are encouraged to include the code as part of the employee induction process.

The Pharmacy Board of Australia has endorsed the PSA code and advises pharmacists to be guided by the code(s) of ethics relevant to their practice in addition to the Board’s code.  The Board, in its role of public protection, may use or refer to the PSA code in cases involving the conduct or behaviour of pharmacists.

Background

The PSA’s Code of Professional Conduct from 1998 was revised to reflect:

  • changes in legislation, changes to the health care landscape and evolution of professional pharmacy practice
  • the implementation of national registration for pharmacists
  • the reviews and subsequent release of PSA’s Professional Practice Standards and the pharmacy profession’s National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia 2010 and
  • consistency with contemporary pharmacy practice in Australia.

Principles

The consumer

1.   A pharmacist recognises the health and wellbeing of the consumer as their first priority. A pharmacist will utilise expert knowledge and provide care in a compassionate and professional manner.

2.    A pharmacist pays due respect for the autonomy and rights of consumers and encourages consumers to actively participate in decision-making. A pharmacist will, through informed consent, pay due respect to the dignity and privacy of the consumer including: respecting the consumer’s individuality; respecting their right to refuse advice or treatment; and ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of the consumer and information provided.

The community

3.    A pharmacist upholds the reputation and public trust of the profession. A pharmacist will not abuse the trust and respect of individuals and society.

4.  A pharmacist acknowledges the professional roles in and responsibilities to the wider community. A pharmacist will ensure responsible and accountable control and supply of therapeutic goods and contribute to public health and enhancing the quality use of medicines.

The pharmacy profession

5.    A pharmacist demonstrates a commitment to the development and enhancement of the profession. A pharmacist will commit to advancing the profession through involvement in activities including: training staff; engaging in teaching; acting as a preceptor; mentoring students, interns and colleagues; engaging in discussions and participating in initiatives to develop the profession; and showing professional leadership.

6.    A pharmacist maintains a contemporary knowledge of pharmacy practice and ensures health and competence to practise. A pharmacist will recognise the importance of lifelong learning and self-development and their impact on professional competence.  Further, a pharmacist is responsible for ensuring personal health to practise and supporting health professional colleagues in this regard.

7.    A pharmacist agrees to practise only under conditions which uphold the professional independence, judgement and integrity of themselves or others. A pharmacist will exercise professional autonomy, objectivity and independence and manage actual and potential situations of conflict of interest.

Business practices

8.    A pharmacist conducts the business of pharmacy in an ethical and professional manner. A pharmacist will ensure business practices are conducted primarily in the best interest of the consumer, paying due respect to colleagues, while upholding the reputation of the profession.

Other health care professionals

9.    A pharmacist works collaboratively with other health professionals to optimise the health outcomes of consumers. A pharmacist will consult and work cooperatively with other health care professionals to achieve expected or optimal health outcomes for the consumer.

Further information

Download the full Code

PSA Code of Ethics September 2011  – updated June 2014

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