Vaccination Webinar Series

PSA vaccination webinar series 2024

Throughout the unprecedented health challenges faced on a global scale in recent years, pharmacists have been increasingly recognised as essential frontline healthcare providers, playing an essential role in safeguarding public health. Starting in January 2024, the expansion of National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccine delivery by pharmacists will increase their role in vaccine uptake and accessibility in Australia. To further equip and empower pharmacists with the knowledge and skills required to excel in their expansion of vaccination scope of practice, PSA will deliver a series of vaccination webinars.


1. National Immunisation Program (NIP) – 31 January 2024, 7.30pm – 8.30pm AEDT

2. Shingles – 21 February 2024, 7.00pm – 8.30pm AEDT.

3. Respiratory Syncytial Virus – 20 March 2024, 7.30pm – 8.30pm AEDT

4. Influenza – 17 April 2024, 7.30pm – 8.30pm AEST – webinar registration details coming soon

5. Childhood vaccination (date & time to be confirmed) – webinar registration details coming soon

6. Pneumococcal disease (date & time to be confirmed) – webinar registration details coming soon


Thank you to our participating partners


GSK-Seqirus-Sanofi logos image

Overdose report shows more needs to be done

28 August 2023


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) is calling for governments, health workers and support organisations to work together to do more to tackle the ongoing challenge of deaths caused by intentional and unintentional drug overdose. 


The Penington Institute’s Annual Overdose Report, released today, found there were 2,231 unintentional drug-induced deaths in Australia in 2021. Opioids and benzodiazepines were among the most common drugs involved in accidental overdose deaths.  


The report showed more than two-thirds of all unintentional drug-induced deaths involved two or more drug types (72.5%), with presence of benzodiazepines (such as diazepam, lorazepam and alprazolam) increasingly implicated in unintentional drug-induced deaths.  Anti-depressants (38%), stimulants (35%), and alcohol (25%) were also observed in unintentional deaths with two or more drug types.  


PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS said the report was a sobering reminder of the work still to be done to prevent avoidable harm from drug, including prescription medicines.  


“More Australians are using more medicines than ever before, and prescribing of multiple medicines to manage health conditions is increasingly common,” Dr Sim said. “However, some drug-drug combinations dramatically increase risk of unintentional drug-related death or hospitalisation, as this data tragically shows. 


“Real Time Prescription Monitoring is now available and must be used by health professionals to have non-judgemental conversations with people about the potential risks associated with medicines – and particularly when multiple medicines are being used at the same time. RTPM is making an impact but is not the whole answer. More solutions are needed. 


“As health professionals, we need to expand the way we assess risk. We need to recognise that medicine sharing happens and should form a routine part of all patient conversations about risk.  


“We need to offer Take Home Naloxone routinely and repeatedly to any person at-risk of experiencing or witnessing opioid overdose, and to people taking other medicines in combination with prescribed or illicit opioids.” 


Dr Sim called for more support for our health workforce to have conversations with potentially at-risk individuals in a meaningful, non-judgemental and supportive way, including by increasing access to training, guidelines, peer support and fostering collaboration of health teams. 


“Pharmacists work with at-risk individuals every day, but need better funding and support to be able to make a meaningful impact in reducing death and injury which drug overdose can cause. This includes building workforce capacity to be more active in deprescribing roles, particularly in primary care,” she said. 


“Pharmacists are the custodians of safe use of medicines, we are the key to reducing medicine-related harm. Pharmacists should be empowered and supported to do more to prevent medicine-related harm.   


“Every unintentional medicine-related harm is a failure of our health system. There is clearly more work to be done. I commend the Pennington Institute for producing this annual report, and for its impact over the previous eight years.” 


Media contact:   Georgia Clarke   M: 0480 099 798  E: georgia.clarke@psa.org.au

60-day dispensing

To inform our ongoing advocacy and feedback to the Department about this policy, PSA has also established a dedicated contact for members to raise concerns and issues directly with our team.


If you have any examples of unintended consequences or issues as a result of the 60-day prescription policy,  please send an email to 60daydispensing@psa.org.au. This will help gather evidence on the impact on the ground.


If you are concerned about the clinical appropriateness of 60-day prescriptions – contact the prescriber in the first instance.


If you need professional advice – please call the PSA Pharmacist-to-Pharmacist advice line where one of our expert senior pharmacists will be able to help.


The Pharmacist-to-Pharmacist advice line is available exclusively to PSA members, providing confidential, independent and specialised advice to support and guide your practice, referencing the most up-to-date standards, guidelines and resources developed by PSA and regulatory bodies.


Contact the Pharmacist-to-Pharmacist Advice Line on 1300 369 772 – Option 5, between 8.30am and 5.00pm AEST Monday to Friday, or via P2Padvice@psa.org.au.

Stage 1 includes 92 medicines (256 PBS items) and represents roughly one third of all the medicines proposed to be made eligible for 60-day prescriptions. The 256 PBS items include different dosage forms and strengths of Stage 1 medicines.


The list of the Stage 1 medicines is available here.


Australian Pharmacist has published a thorough practice update.


Members who require further support to transition to 60-day dispensing have access to PSA’s dedicated Pharmacist-to-Pharmacist Advice Line for professional and practice support.


1300 369 772






PSA is also continuing our efforts on ensuring there is meaningful reinvestment into our profession to enable pharmacists to continue to deliver high quality healthcare to Australians.


This is no doubt a challenging and emotional time for many of us. Please continue to look after yourself and others around you.  If you require support, the Pharmacists’ Support Service is also available on 1300 244 910.

Previous updates

Securing pharmacy’s future

14 July 2023


We have so far met with around 30 MPs and senators, as well as the Department of Health. In these meetings, we raised our concerns about the 60-day dispensing policy and aged care program, and put forward recommendations on away forward and how meaningful reinvestment can be undertaken to maintain viability of the community pharmacy network.


The way forward must acknowledge the:

  1. real impact of this policy on our profession, patients and health system
  2. essential role that community pharmacies and pharmacists play in primary care


Our message and conversations are clear, that the reinvestment should support pharmacy programs with a focus on accessible care and safe and effective use of medicines. This can include services such as triage and referral/minor ailments programs, removing caps on medication reviews and DAAs, and allowing pharmacists to have greater autonomy to utilise our clinical judgements.


The proposed reinvestment can only be considered meaningful if the needs of the vulnerable and specific patient groups are addressed. These include older Australians on multiple medications, patients on dose administration aids, people living in rural and remote communities, First Nations people, clients receiving Home Care Packages and people living with disability and chronic debilitating health conditions.


The implementation or uptake of any new programs may take time, and therefore safeguards must be in place to maintain viability of the community pharmacy network and ensure good patient care through optimising the role of pharmacists in primary healthcare delivery. As such, there may be a need to review and increase dispensing and AHI fees, or the acceleration of new service implementation.


On aged care, we continue to advocate for flexibility in service administration and delivery, and maximising pharmacists’ time on ground to deliver resident-level and facility-level duties to meet the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.


We have also raised our strong concern that the current proposal (through community pharmacy however without any remuneration for pharmacy engagement) will see significant implementation challenge in terms of uptake and equity. We are continuing our conversations with the Department, with more meetings to come.


Dr Fei Sim FPS

PSA National President

Support us to support you – Update on Senate Estimates

2 June 2023


Last week, the Senate’s Community Affairs Committee held hearings to discuss the Federal Budget measures impacting our profession. I wanted to provide you with an update on these proceedings and highlight the important role that the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) plays in advocating for pharmacists like you.


Alongside our members, PSA has been working tirelessly, in collaboration with other pharmacy organisations who share similar concerns, to represent your interests and to ensure your voice is heard. It was clear that our concerns are being heard.


Recent policy developments highlight the importance of unity and strong representation for all pharmacists. In crucial times like this, it is vital that our profession stays united in solidarity. As PSA’s National President, I am absolutely committed to advocating for your interests. I invite you to join me, our PSA elected officials, members and team, in our shared mission to enable pharmacists to be at the forefront of healthcare in Australia.


During the hearings, the committee questioned officials from the Department of Health regarding various policy measures, including the proposed 60-day dispensing, on-site aged care pharmacist program, and community pharmacy reinvestment.


Senate Estimates highlighted the impact of these proposed policies, with Senators referencing conversations with pharmacists. The discussions covered a wide range of topics, such as medicine shortages, pharmacy viability (especially in regional areas), aged care services, medicines wastage, safety considerations, and policy implementation approaches.


Department heads were asked to respond to a number of questions on topics ranging from medicine shortages, the viability of pharmacies – particularly in regional areas – aged care, medicines wastage, impact on safety, “reinvestment” and policy implementation approach. Senator Anne Ruston questioned the consultation and decision-making process, and the $1.6 billion loss in co-payments.


Much of the testimony explored details already on the public record, however additional insight was provided in some areas. For example, on aged care, the Department was asked to reflect on concerns that pharmacies have been providing DAAs to residential aged care facilities cross-subsidised by dispensing remuneration and that this may no longer be sustainable. Department of Health Deputy Secretary Penny Shakespeare noted that it is not an expectation that pharmacies provide free services to aged care facilities and that there is a willingness to consider ways to manage this impact.


In relation to 60-day dispensing, the Department has also:

  • Confirmed a substantial component of the “reinvestment” in community pharmacy will be used to top-up budgeted funds for professional services within the 7CPA.
  • Recognised there may be an increase in medicines wastage, but have described the likely impact as small in the context of the scale of the PBS and that they intend to monitor this via the RUM program.


In response to questions from ACT independent Senator David Pocock, the Department of Health described some of the remuneration and transition arrangements for opioid dependence program:

  • Patients will pay a PBS co-payment for the medicine (i.e., methadone or buprenorphine), but be subject to no additional charges.
  • Like other S100 HSD medicines, community pharmacies will be paid a markup, dispensing fee, and Dangerous Drug fee for the dispensing of this item.
  • A staged supply fee of $5.66 (including a $0.97 consumables allowance) will be provided for each dose provided by a pharmacist.
  • The Department is exploring transition arrangements so that existing prescriptions can be used for a period following the program’s start date.
  • The Department is exploring some transition arrangements for availability of OTP medicines for private clinics, but reaffirmed the policy intention is to reduce out-of-pocket patient costs.


On other measures discussed:

  • Following Minister Butler’s announcement of a scope of practice review for all health professionals, Department of Health Deputy Secretary Penny Shakespeare provided the committee with an update on preparation for the review. The Department is currently preparing the Terms of Reference for the review which will take 12-18 months to complete.
  • In response to questions regarding vaping reforms, Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy indicated that non-prescription supply of nicotine-vapes for smoking cessation by pharmacists is a policy option the TGA is considering.


Please let me emphasise that the momentum of our advocacy efforts must continue if we want to ensure there is meaningful reinvestment into our profession as a pathway forward, to maintain the career prospects of our pharmacists and the viability of the community pharmacy network. Pharmacists can do more, the health system and our patients need pharmacists to do more, but pharmacists can’t do more for less.


As a valued member of our esteemed FB ECP group, I thank you for being part of our dynamic community that is shaping the future of pharmacy. Your dedication and passion are instrumental in driving the progress of our profession.


For those who are already PSA members, I appreciate your continued support and commitment to your professional growth. Your membership enables PSA to provide you with exclusive resources, networking opportunities, and tailored support to help you thrive as an early career pharmacist.


To those who haven’t yet joined us, I invite you to embark on this exciting journey with the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA). Renew your membership today or join us for the first time by visiting PSA Membership or emailing membership@psa.org.au. Together, lets forge a better future for our profession.


If you have any questions or any feedback, feel free to reach out to our team on 1300 369 772.


Best wishes,


Dr Fei Sim FPS

PSA National President

Your future and 60-day dispensing

PSA is offering you a FREE exclusive briefing on recent policies and measures announced in the Federal Budget.


Join PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS for an exclusive member briefing on what Budget policies mean for you, and how you can help shape your practice future.


Your future and 60-day dispensing

7pm AEST

Thursday 25 May, 2023

via Microsoft Teams


No registration, app or account needed to join the Microsoft Teams webinar –  just click on the button to join the webinar.

Open consultation for guidelines

Open consultation of the draft Guideline for pharmacists supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with medicines management

After an extensive development and review process, The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia invites pharmacists to provide feedback on the draft Guideline for pharmacists supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with medicines management.


This project is an update to the previous guideline, Guide to providing pharmacy services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The updated guideline is designed to apply to pharmacists working in all practice settings and feedback is particularly invited from pharmacists who may not actively work in this space.


 To provide your feedback


  1. Review the document
  2. Use the following survey to provide commentary


The consultation will close at 5pm AEST on Friday 10 June.

Returning to Spirit

It is widely acknowledged that culturally appropriate and holistic health delivery systems improve health outcomes.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities are diverse. This diversity includes distinct language, kinship and cultural traditions, religious beliefs, family responsibilities and personal histories and experiences. Importantly, this diversity also extends to the health needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and community.1

Evidence shows that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are more likely to access health services where service providers communicate respectfully, build good relationships, have an awareness of the underlying social issues, as well as some understanding of culture, and where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are part of the health care team.2

Given the cultural sensitivities surrounding death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, it is important that cultural beliefs and practices are acknowledged and accommodated during the palliative and end-of-life care journey.


When Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, or are approaching the end of their life, they should be able to access quality palliative and supportive care that is consistent with their wishes. By engaging in culturally appropriate, safe and sensitive palliative care communication with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members of your community, you can provide support in a way that meets the needs of each individual.


Cultural safety is everyone’s business!

A range of materials exists to assist you in your lifelong cultural learning, including education opportunities, resources and reports.

Gwandalan National Palliative Care:

The Gwandalan Project does not address clinical palliative care content but rather, supports the provision of culturally safe and responsive palliative care by upskilling frontline staff to contextualise care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and deliver services in a way which supports a good ‘finishing up’.


Education and training materials for the Gwandalan Project aim to support relationships between service providers, frontline staff and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities through cross-cultural education and the sharing of knowledge. This will be achieved through the provision of education and training to support increased capacity in those who care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples during their palliative and end-of-life journey.


Access to all Gwandalan education and training materials is free of charge, thanks to funding by the Australian Government under the Public Health and Chronic Disease Care Grant, National Palliative Care Projects.


Final Footprints: My Culture, My Kinship, My Country:

(approximately 12 minutes). Said in their own words, four (4) interviews are held with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people representing their communities outlining different perspectives on ‘palliative care’ and death and dying’. Nations represented are Torres Strait Islands, Kaurna Narungga, Yawuru, and Narungga. This video resource was developed in collaboration with Palliative Care South Australia.


Having a Yarn – Final Footprints: My Culture, My Kinship, My Country:

(approximately 60 minutes). ABC presenter Dan Bourchier launches the video Final Footprints: My Culture, My Kinship, My Country (included in this video) and hosts a discussion with three highly esteemed Aboriginal people who have both ‘lived experience’ and work professionally within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to explore the importance of palliative care to our First Nations’ peoples.


Indigenous Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (IPEPA)

IPEPA is a grassroots approach to breaking down the barriers to palliative care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia. The program seeks to build the capacity of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce to deliver palliative care, and also to support the culturally-responsive capabilities of mainstream service providers to provide holistic and safe palliative care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Click for link


New IPEPA palliative care videos:


Indigenous Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (IPEPA) have five new videos which explore understanding around palliative care, and what happens when diagnosed with a life-limiting illness. These include:


Palliative Care Curriculum for Undergraduates PCC4U (new toolkit):

Topic 2 (Australian Indigenous Peoples) and Topic 4 (Culture-centred Care) may be especially useful. Click for link


Also the newly-released Focus Topic 2 (Caring for Australian Indigenous peoples affected by life-limiting illness), which will help learners to develop the skills needed to provide quality care, across various settings, to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people with life-limiting illness, and their families and communities. Click for link


caring@home for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Families

The aim of this project is to support the provision of palliative care at home for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. When care at home is preferred, it can be provided to help connect family, culture, community, country and the spiritual wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.


Includes resources to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who choose to be cared for and remain at home for the final stage of their life-course. Click for link


Palliative Care Australia (PCA):

Palliative Care Australia (PCA) aims to improve the quality of life of all Australians living with a life-limiting illness/condition and their families, and represents all who work in palliative care services. They have developed resources to assist the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, their communities, and health professionals working within communities to ensure approaches and practises are culturally safe and respectful. Click for link


‘Into the Dreaming’: A Palliative Care Guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through ‘Sorry Business’

This resource kit was developed in NSW to provide culturally sensitive, respectful, responsive and appropriate methods of communication when dealing with health care and Sorry Business with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people. Intended to help local Aboriginal communities feel more welcome in palliative care settings and start inclusive and culturally appropriate conversations about end of life planning. Click for link


IPEPA Resource Directory: IPEPA Culturally-Responsive Palliative Care Workshop

Resources include reading materials, videos and activities Click for link


Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet Palliative care and end-of-life portal is designed to assist the health workforce who provide care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their families and communities. It seeks to support both clinicians and policy-makers in accessing resources, research and projects on palliative and end-of-life care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Click for link


CareSearch (Flinders Uni SA)

This site brings together a range of resources and information to help the health care workforce and carers in providing palliative care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, acknowledging that culturally safe and responsive care is an essential part of good care. Click for link


Queensland Centre for Palliative Care Research & Education (CPCRE)

CPCRE aims to increase health professionals’ understanding of the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and families, and increase knowledge about palliative care amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers, Liaison Officers and other health professionals. Click for link


Palliative Care Queensland

Click for link

Includes Queensland Health’s ‘Sad News, Sorry Business: Guidelines for caring for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through death and dying’, researched and developed by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Capability Team. Click for link


Also includes a toolkit aimed at providing quality and user-friendly resources to support appropriate palliative care provision for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


The Yarning about Sad News and Sorry Business – An Engagement and Consultation Toolkit was developed in collaboration with Health Consumers Queensland, gathered insights and perspectives from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in Queensland on engagement and consultation processes in relation to palliative care. Click for link


palliAGED Palliative Care Aged Care Evidence – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Includes resources which may be useful to those providing care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, noting that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are a diverse group of peoples, made up of many different nations and language groups. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture is a living culture, made up of both contemporary and traditional practices. Click for link


Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of New South Wales (AH&MRC)

Click for link

The AH&MRC Resource Centre contains the downloadable My Journey to Dreaming Diary, which can be used by patients to keep personal and medical information in one place. Click for link


And also the Journey to Dreaming Toolkit, which to provide high quality information to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and their healthcare workers provide family-centred palliative and end-of-life care for a loved one. It also contains some important information that might be useful for individuals needing end-of-life care. Click for link

Australian Government Department of Health Report (2019) on barriers and enablers to palliative care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Click for link


Australian Institute of Health and Wellness (AIHW) Regional insights for Indigenous Communities, with statistics available by community/region

Click for link


AIHW data (Sept 2021) by Primary Health Network (PHN) on Practice Incentive Program Quality Improvement (PIP QI) data for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people attending general practices

Click for link


  1. National Cultural Respect Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health 2016-2026
  2. Australian Government, Department of Health 2014, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Curriculum Framework, Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia

Actioncentre_Social media

Below are some social media tile for you to download and use. There is some sample text below you may wish to use on social media. You can include the website link https://www.psa.org.au/remuneration and don’t forget to tag PSA National and your local politician.

How can I get involved?

You can get involved by sharing these tiles on your social media (below) and either using your own text or the sample text supplied below.

Below is some sample text you may wish to use on social media. You can include the website link https://www.psa.org.au/remuneration and don’t forget to tag PSA National and your local politician.



Working Conditions and Remuneration
  1. Pharmacists must be recognised as frontline health professionals, and deserve to be remunerated accordingly.
  2. Pharmacists, like many healthcare workers, have had no reprieve throughout the pandemic. We’ve stayed open when many primary healthcare providers closed their doors. Yet, unfair and inequitable pay discrepancies continue to exist. This needs to be corrected.
  3. It’s simple, pharmacists must be paid at the same rate as any other professional for providing the same service!
Case Conferencing
  1. Pharmacists are the only allied health provider who is not remunerated for case conferencing – this is ludicrous when you consider the essential role we play as medicine safety experts.
  2. The government must address medicine safety concerns and the unfair and inequitable pay disparity faced by pharmacists, by introducing an MBS rebate for pharmacists who participate in case conferencing.
  3. Pharmacists are medicine experts and custodians of medicine safety, yet we are expected to participate in case conferencing without being paid for doing so.
COVID Vaccines
  1. The pandemic has pushed many in the profession to the brink – RAT shortages, long hours, staff shortages, abuse from patients, the risk of bring the disease home to family. At the very least, we deserve equal remuneration for administering COVID-19 vaccines.
  2. Many friends and colleagues have gone above and beyond, extending hours to open up more COVID-19 vaccination appointments. It’s not fair that we’re being paid less than half that of other vaccinators.
  3. Pharmacists have now delivered over 6 million COVID-19 vaccines – going above and beyond to help protect our communities. By paying other providers more, the government has short-changed us by more than $156 million. How is that fair?
  4. The Federal Government’s refusal to fairly remunerate pharmacists for administering COVID-19 booster vaccines is putting the entire booster program in jeopardy. The service is barely sustainable for us on the frontline!

PSA Face-to-face events policy

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) is committed to taking a proactive approach in managing and providing a safe and healthy environment for all members and visitors, so far as reasonably practicable.


While we have moved beyond the toughest measures during the Covid-19 pandemic, PSA will ensure that face-to-face events support safe environments and COVIDSafe best practice.


Attendees are encouraged to refer to the latest advice from the Australian federal, state and/or territory governments on public health orders.


All on-site event attendees need to be aware of their own responsibilities and use common sense. If you are unwell, please do not attend face-to-face events. A medical certificate will be required if you need to cancel an event registration if you are not well enough to attend.


Should you have any questions, please contact events@psa.org.au