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PSA22: Intern of the Year and Locum of the Year awards

30 July 2022

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) is proud to announce the 2022 Intern Pharmacist of the Year and Locum Pharmacist of the Year, which were awarded at PSA22’s plenary session this morning.

 

Shaylee Mills has been awarded the 2022 PSA MIMS Intern Pharmacist of the Year.

 

Sean Richardson has been awarded the 2022 PSA Locumate Locum Pharmacist of the Year.

 

The PSA MIMS Intern Pharmacist of the Year Award recognises intern pharmacists who show outstanding performance in their development as professional pharmacists.

 

“Shaylee Mills has demonstrated her enthusiasm and innovation as an intern pharmacist, and the importance of team work when delivering health services in rural and remote parts of Western Australia,” PSA National President Dr Fei Sim said.

 

“Shaylee has made positive contribution to the health and wellbeing of her local community in the Kimberley region, especially in response to COVID-19, when she worked alongside a team of dedicated senior pharmacists and mentors.”

 

“Shaylee’s passion to improve rural healthcare is evident, as she advocates for more students and interns to consider undertaking a rural placement/internship, contributing to rural workforce capacity.”

 

MIMS CEO Robert Best also congratulated Shaylee, reaffirming MIMS commitment to supporting the next generation of pharmacists.

 

“MIMS acknowledges that pharmacists are the cornerstone of advising, educating and dispensing medicines across Australia, and view the pharmacy profession as the most important and pivotal part of our medicines ecosystem when dealing with consumers and patients,” he said.

 

“For nearly six decades, MIMS has been the most trusted provider of drug and medicines information across the Australian healthcare industry.

 

“It’s this longevity of use that compels MIMS to ensure that Interns who are driving the future of Pharmacy can trust MIMS to stand side-by-side with them as a resource partner.”

 

The PSA Locumate Locum Pharmacist of the Year Award recognises the incredible impact locum pharmacists make all over Australia.

 

“I’m proud to award Sean Richardson with PSA’s first ever Locum Pharmacist of the Year Award, acknowledging the vital work of locum pharmacists especially during the pandemic,” Dr Sim said.

 

“Sean has helped countless pharmacies across Australia and is always encouraging students and pharmacists to make the move to rural and locum pharmacy.”

 

Locumate co-founder Kavita Nadan also extended her congratulations to the winner.

 

“Locumate’s vision is to create a community for locums to feel supported and recognised for their ongoing efforts in helping our profession and being an integral part in delivering the vital healthcare services that pharmacy offers our communities.

 

“Through innovation and technology, Locumate is determined to change the experience for pharmacists and pharmacies in our industry.

 

PSA extends thanks to award sponsors, MIMS and Locumate, and looks forward to working with them again in 2023.

 

 

 

Media contact: Georgia Clarke 0487 922 176

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is the professional organisation of Australian pharmacists. PSA is the only government-recognised peak national body for pharmacists, representing all of the pharmacy profession in Australia.

 

 

PSA22: Viatris Pharmacy Student of the Year Announced

30 July 2022

 

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) is proud to congratulate Haylee Shaw from the University of Tasmania for taking out the 2022 PSA Viatris Pharmacy Student of the Year (PSOTY) award.

 

PSOTY awards recognise and celebrate outstanding pharmacy students by showcasing their counselling skills to the pharmacy profession and is a highlight of PSA’s annual flagship conference.

 

PSA National President Dr Fei Sim congratulated the winner.

 

“Congratulations to Haylee Shaw for successfully taking out the Pharmacy Student of the Year award,” Dr Sim said.

 

“This competition provides students the opportunity to demonstrate important skills such as gaining patient insights and patient understanding, active listening and skills that support positive patient outcomes.

 

“PSA is dedicated to making pharmacy an attractive career path for young people and celebrating success regardless of where you are in your career.

 

“Each of the students who participated in the PSOTY competition has demonstrated impressive professionalism, skill, and dedication. PSA wishes them the best in what I’m sure will be successful careers as pharmacists.”

 

Haylee says she has always had an interest in pharmacy and is excited to network and learn from other pharmacists.

 

“I have always admired the accessible nature of the pharmacy profession. The ability to provide evidence-based advice and quality use of medicines to any member of the community without cost that is something that really attracted me to this career path.

 

“I entered this competition as I wanted to push myself and further my practical experience. I was also excited to be a part of the national conference and hear from likeminded peers and professional.”

 

Viatris Head of Business Development, Strategic Partnerships, Portfolio and Sourcing, Charbel Azzi, also reiterated their continued support for the next generation of Australian pharmacists.

 

“At Viatris, we see pharmacists as the custodians of medicine safety and efficacy. We’re delighted to renew our sponsorship of the Pharmacy Student of the Year Award this year to support the pharmacy professionals of the future.

 

“They play a vital role in empowering Australians to live healthier at every stage of life, a mission we share. I was heartened by the drive and dedication of all the winners. I was particularly inspired by Haylee’s exemplary patient counselling skills, and congratulate her for winning this year.”

 

The People’s Choice Award was presented to Chloe Woodward from Newcastle University. 


PSA extends thanks to the PSOTY award sponsor, Viatris, for their ongoing support of the event, and looks forward to working with them again in 2023.

PSA22: Guideline for pharmacists supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples launched

30 July 2022

 

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has today launched guidelines for pharmacists supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with medicines management, as part of PSA22.

 

The guidelines mark PSA’s ongoing commitment to improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health by enhancing medicines management. The principles included in the guideline are relevant to all current and future pharmacists, from those just starting their professional journey to those with years of experience working in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector.

 

PSA National President Dr Fei Sim said that the guidelines were a vital part of the pharmacy profession’s effort to improve the health and wellbeing of all Australians.

 

“PSA is proud to have worked with the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) to develop these guidelines, which will help pharmacists around Australia, in all practice settings, deliver the best care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients,” she said.

 

“The guidance can be used as a tool to support balanced and professional decision making, and ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients’ needs, beliefs and preferences are met in a culturally safe way.

 

“The guidance can be used as an educational resource to inform quality assurance processes, support better practice, and provide support when resolving disputes and ethical dilemmas.

 

“I thank everyone involved in developing the guidelines, in particular the writing group consisting of exceptional pharmacists A/Prof Faye McMillan, Hannah Mann, and Naomi Weier.”

 

Deputy CEO of NACCHO, Dr Dawn Casey, says that the guidelines offer practical and detailed information, as well as some challenging ideas.

 

“All pharmacists have Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander patients as well as colleagues, business partners or family who we interact with, know and work alongside,” she said.

 

“We hope you enjoy the journey as you work through the guideline and appreciate the relationships and learning that takes place along the way. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ rich and diverse cultures are part of Australia’s identity. There is so much knowledge and power in this cultural capital.”

 

A/Prof Faye McMillan launched the report this morning at PSA22.

 

“In your journey as a pharmacist, this guideline offers you an opportunity to develop professionally, expand your organisation or business’s impact, build relationships and grow professionally,” A/Prof McMillan said.

 

“This is an exciting opportunity for pharmacists around Australia to move toward a strength-based approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health care.

 

“The last guide to providing pharmacy services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was released in 2014, and I’m proud to have worked with PSA to update these to reflect today’s best practice.

 

The development of the Guideline for pharmacists supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with medicines management was supported by the Australian Government Department of Health.

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia thanks all those who have contributed to the development of the guidelines.

 

The guidelines for pharmacists supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with medicines management can be read here.

 

 

 

Media contact: Georgia Clarke   M: 0410 505 315     E: georgia.clarke@psa.org.au

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is the professional organisation of Australian pharmacists. PSA is the only government-recognised peak national body for pharmacists, representing all of the pharmacy profession in Australia.

 

PSA22: Federal Health Minister announces Onsite Aged Care Pharmacist Consultation Paper

29 July 2022

 

 

The Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon. Mark Butler MP, has used his opening address at PSA22 to officially launch the Federal Government’s consultation paper on the Onsite Aged Care Pharmacist Program. He was joined by Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, and Rural and Regional Health, Emma McBride MP MPS.

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) National President Dr Fei Sim welcomes the announcement and thanks the Minister for his ongoing dedication to embedding pharmacists in residential aged care facilities.

 

“The Health Minister has this morning officially launched the Aged Care Engagement Hub, which will be used for consultation with the health sector on a variety of aged care programs, including the $345.7 million commitment to embed pharmacists in residential aged care facilities.

 

“The $345.7 million commitment is the largest spend in pharmacy outside of the Community Pharmacy Agreement, and will create up to 1500 opportunities for pharmacists over the next four years.

 

Minister Butler also acknowledged that PSA’s inclusion as a signatory in the 7th Community Pharmacy Agreement (CPA) was a positive step forward, and committed to PSA remaining a signatory in 8CPA, which is set to begin negotiations next year.

 

“PSA is the only professional body for pharmacists in all practice settings, and it is vital that we continue to be a signatory to the Community Pharmacy Agreements and ensure that the interests of the profession are recognised.

 

The Minister also spoke to his commitment to seeing health professionals, including pharmacists,  practising to top of scope, and entrenching the role of pharmacist immunisers.

 

The Minister also thanked PSA for working with the government on the trial and roll out the Take Home Naloxone (THN) program

 

“PSA is proud to have worked collaboratively with the Federal Government to roll out the THN program nationally, and ensure we can continue to save lives from severe opioid reactions.”

 

“Assistant Minister McBride, who has been a long time PSA member, also gave a passionate speech to the opening plenary, speaking to the hugely significant role of pharmacists and the importance of allowing us to practice to top of scope. We thank for her dedication to our profession.

 

“PSA is very grateful to Minister Butler and Assistant Minister McBride for taking the time to attend PSA22 and meet hundreds of pharmacists from around the country.

 

“We’re excited to give Australian pharmacists the opportunity to hear directly from the new Minister for Health on his government’s priorities for health and for the pharmacy sector.

 

“PSA sincerely thanks Minister Butler and Assistant Minister McBride for progressing the government’s commitment to embedding pharmacists in residential aged care facilities and looks forward to working with the government to ensure the program is successfully rolled out,” Dr Sim concluded.

 

 

Media contact: Georgia Clarke 0410 505 315

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is the professional organisation of Australian pharmacists. PSA is the only government-recognised peak national body for pharmacists, representing all of the pharmacy profession in Australia.

 

PSA22: PSA President’s Opening Address

Transcript, check against delivery. 

 

 

Good Morning PSA!

 

I’d like to extend a very warm welcome to each and every one for you. It’s great to see so many of you here today, in real life! Thank you, Raymond Weatherall, for that beautiful acknowledgement of country.

 

I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land we meet on, the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation. I also acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we all live and practise.

 

As we share our knowledge and learn from each other this weekend, may we also pay respect to Elders, past, present and emerging.

 

I’d like to welcome our Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care, The Honourable Mark Butler and our Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, and Rural and Regional Health, and pharmacist, the Honourable Emma McBride. I’d also like to welcome you our PSA members, PSA Board members, sponsors, award nominees, branch committees and our valued staff.

 

I’m thrilled to be here addressing you as your new PSA National President. The last two and a half years have been an incredibly tough time for our profession, and our community. But pharmacists, as a profession, stood up when it mattered. We showed agility, tenacity and reliability. We adapted and innovated our practice to meet the challenges of the pandemic and serve our health system.

 

The pandemic has highlighted community pharmacists role as essential primary healthcare providers, and we became the first point of contact for many in our communities. No matter what the circumstance, pharmacists continued to show up, serve and make a positive impact.

 

I am so proud to call myself a pharmacist, and I thank each and every one of my pharmacist colleagues for your work.

 

The work that we do day-in-day-out does not always get recognised, so today, could I please ask that you take two seconds now: turn to the person sitting on both sides of you, and say “thank you, you are amazing.”

 

One of my mentors once said to me, “if you don’t know what to say, just say it from your heart.” So today, I am going to speak to you all, from my heart – with three stories I’d like to share – the first is about The Triple Whammy, the second is about The Sleeping Beast, and the third is about The Starfish, Little Boy and the Old man.

 

Now The “triple whammy” is not what you think – it’s not about the concurrent use of ACE or ARB, a diuretic and a NSAID.

 

The triple whammy I am referring to is the triple whammy of my life – it’s age, gender and cultural background. At 36, I am young, relatively speaking, and am often told I look younger than I am. I am a woman. And I’m from a diverse cultural background – English was my second language. These are all things, disappointingly, that I have had to “overcome” in my life – professionally and socially.

 

If you share one of more of these whammies, my message to you is to focus on the things we can control – developing our professional skills, cultivating a growth mindset, and building our resilience.

 

I feel deeply humbled and grateful that our PSA Board has a progressive and contemporary outlook, and we work as a team.

 

The triple whammy we should be known by is our capability, courage, and compassion. It is up to all of us to embody these qualities every day.  So, next time when we look at someone, put their age, gender and diversity to a side, and focus on their qualities – their capability, courage and compassion.

 

Now, onto the Sleeping Beast story. Our immediate past President A/Prof Chris Freeman once told me that PSA was like a giant “sleeping beast”, and it was his job to awaken the beast.

 

Chris has led our profession through an incredibly tumultuous time, a time in which we have seen rapid and drastic changes to our practice, and to how we connect with our colleagues and communities.

 

Despite these challenges, we have seen some huge developments for the pharmacy profession under Chris’ leadership:

 

  • Medicine Safety was recognised as a National Health Priority Area by the Federal Government – bringing it to the forefront of national health policy.
  • PSA launched our Medicine Safety series, with four reports published so far, and our fifth to be launched today.
  • We secured the largest spend on pharmacy outside of the Community Pharmacy Agreement, with the Federal Government committing $345.7 million to fund onsite pharmacists in residential aged care facilities – thank you Minister for honouring this commitment .
  • And we’ve seen governments continue to expand access to vaccinations administered by pharmacists – with over 8 million COVID-19 vaccinations and 2.5 million influenza vaccinations this year – an 88% increase on this time last year! No wonder we are all exhausted!

 

Well Chris, we all agree you have well and truly woken the beast! The last three and a half years with you at the helm of PSA have been marked with wisdom, decorum and determination. And for that, we thank you.

 

Now it is my job to feed the beast dexamphetamine, so that we may hear the beast ROAR. By focusing on our core purpose, and the needs of you, our members – and by involving you in our core advocacy – together, we can take our profession to even greater heights!

 

This brings me to my third story – The Starfish, The Little Boy and The Old Man. This is one of my favourite childhood stories, adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley.

 

An old man was walking on the beach one morning. On this particular morning the beach was littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, as a big storm had passed through the night before.

 

Up ahead he could see someone moving, like a dancer. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young boy, picking up starfish and gently throwing them back into the ocean.

 

“Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” he asked as he approached.

 

“The sun is up, and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in they will die.” The child replied.

 

“But, do you not realise there are many miles of beach and thousands of starfish? I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much difference.”

 

The young boy listened politely, then bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it into the ocean.

 

He turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference for that one!”

 

I am sure you can see where I am going with this story! We are all that little boy, and our patients are the thousands of starfish. It can often feel overwhelming when we are trying to do so much, for so many.

 

Often, a key element that determines success, is the ability to see the positive in every situation and capitalise on that as your opportunity to make an impact. In the same situation, one person might see obstacles, another will see opportunity.

 

Be the one that sees the opportunity! And remember, we are making a huge difference in each and every one of our patients lives, every single day!

 

We need to come together as pharmacists, and work collaboratively with the healthcare sector more broadly, so that we, as a profession, can make an even greater impact on the health and wellbeing of Australians.

 

I look forward to working with our government and the Department so that pharmacists can play an even greater role in our health system. My immediate advocacy priorities are:

 

  • Furthering our medicine safety agenda;
  • Implementing the Onsite Aged Care Pharmacist Program;
  • Integrating community pharmacists into primary healthcare;
  • Improving pharmacist remuneration and driving workforce capability;
  • And leading PSA to have a global impact and fulfil our social responsibility to our region.

 

Now, it is my great privilege to officially launch the fifth report in PSA’s Medicine Safety series, Medicine Safety: Disability Care.

 

Approximately 4.4 million Australians live with a disability, and many of these Australians require complex medical care. Our report highlights the barriers to safe medicine use, ranging from prescribing and dispensing, to administration, and medication management.

 

The result is a health system that is failing Australians with a disability.

 

We need to place a greater focus on medicine safety to help address the health and life expectancy gap in this vulnerable population – as we have been working to achieve for our aged care population.

 

This report makes a number of recommendations to improve safety across the disability sector and demonstrates the clear and pressing need for pharmacists to be engaged in medicine safety for people with a disability.

 

It is absolutely crucial that pharmacists be recognised as an essential service provider for people with special medicine needs, and that pharmacists be embedded wherever medicines are used.

 

I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this important piece of work.

 

I look forward to working with governments, the disability sector, patients, and their families to improve the provision of care for Australians with a disability.

 

That brings me to the end of my address today. I hope that you find this weekend informative and thought-provoking, and you enjoy the opportunity to reconnect with your colleagues face to face!

 

I’d now like to introduce our new Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Mark Butler. Minister Butler has been a member of parliament since 2007. He served as Minister for Ageing and Minister for Mental Health in the Gillard Government.

 

He has just wrapped up the Albanese Government’s first parliamentary sitting week in Canberra this week, so we are incredibly grateful to have him join us here today.

 

Please welcome – Minister Butler.

 

PSA22: PSA Symbion Excellence Award Winners Announced

29 July 2022

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) is proud to announce the winners of the 2022 PSA Excellence Awards, who were recognised today during the PSA22 conference in Sydney. This year’s Excellence Awards are proudly sponsored by Symbion.

 

The PSA Excellence Awards acknowledge the achievers of the profession: those involved in innovative practice, those who are striving to raise practice standards, and those who, through their professionalism, provide a model of practice which others strive to emulate.

 

The winners of the 2022 PSA Symbion Excellence Awards are:

     Pharmacist of the Year – Faye McMillan, Coolamon, New South Wales.
Early Career Pharmacist of the Year
– Deborah Hawthorne, Wangaratta, Victoria.
     Lifetime Achievement Award – Terence White and Rhonda White, Brisbane, Queensland.

 

PSA National President Dr Fei Sim celebrated the winners and their outstanding contributions to pharmacy and their communities.

 

“I congratulate the award winners for their dedication to the pharmacist profession and their commitment to community health and wellbeing,” she said.

 

“Each of this year’s winners has a unique background, from passion for rural health, to a lifetime of service to accessible community health care.

 

“I am incredibly proud to announce Associate Professor Faye McMillan as the 2022 PSA Pharmacist of the Year for her remarkable career as a pharmacist, and in particular her work within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

 

“Faye has had a great impact on the health of Indigenous Australians, as well as the pharmacy profession more broadly. I cannot think of a pharmacist more deserving of this award.

 

“The 2022 Early Career Pharmacist of the Year Deborah Hawthorne has done fantastic work as a General Practice Pharmacist, ensuring that pharmacist expertise is available where medicines are.

 

“Deborah is demonstrating the innovation, energy, and best practice we love seeing from our early career pharmacists, and we are excited to continue to support her throughout the rest of her promising career.

 

“This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Queensland powerhouses Terry White AO and Rhonda White AO. Their contributions to pharmacy are too great to list, with thousands of Australian pharmacists knowing them as mentors, confidants, friends and advocates of our profession.

 

“We are pleased to award Terry and Rhonda a joint Lifetime Achievement Award, recognising their lifetime together as advocates for Queensland pharmacy and leaders to pharmacists around Australia.”

 

Symbion CEO Brett Barons also congratulated the award winners.

 

“In this, the eighteenth year Symbion has sponsored the PSA Excellence Awards, we remain as proud as ever with our association,” he said.

 

“The PSA Excellence Awards are the pre-eminent individual awards in our industry and this year’s winners are inspirational. Their contribution to our industry and the lives of so many has been enormous.

 

“I would like to acknowledge Deborah Hawthorne as Early Career Pharmacist, Faye MacMillan as Pharmacist of the Year and Terry and Rhonda White, the trail blazing team we have admired so closely, as worthy recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award.”

 

PSA extends thanks to award sponsor, Symbion, for their ongoing support of the event, and looks forward to working with them again in 2023.

 

For media notes on the award winners, please contact Georgia Clarke on 0410 505 315 or email georgia.clarke@psa.org.au

PSA launches disability care report at PSA22

29 July 2022

 

Today the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has launched the fifth report in the Medicine Safety Series, Medicine Safety: Disability Care at their flagship national conference, PSA22.

 

The report outlines significant challenges to safe medicine use within the disability sector, including inappropriate prescribing, problems taking medicines, inadequate access to medication management review services, and difficulty accessing health professionals.

 

PSA’s first medicine safety report, Medicine Safety: Take Care estimated that medicine-related problems cause 250,000 hospital admissions each year, with an annual cost of approximately $1.4 billion, and at least half of these hospital admissions being preventable.

 

This latest report highlights the significant difference in life expectancy in Australia, with people with intellectual disability experiencing a 20-32 year shorter lifespan.

 

PSA National President Dr Fei Sim, who launched the report at PSA22, said that more needs to be done to ensure medicine safety for Australians living with disability.

 

“Approximately 4.4 million Australians live with disability, many requiring complex medical care,” she said.

 

“PSA’s Medicine Safety: Disability Care report highlights the many barriers to safe medicine use, ranging from prescribing and dispensing, to administration, and medication management.

 

“The result is a health system that is failing Australians with disability.

 

“This report is an important step in identifying the real and significant issues patients with disability face. It is our duty, as healthcare professionals, to keep working to make care accessible and appropriate for everyone.

 

“A greater focus on medicine safety is key to addressing the health and life expectancy gap for people with disability.

 

“Pharmacists are the key, and we look forward to working with state, territory and federal governments, the disability sector, patients, and their families to improve the provision of care to Australians with disability,” Dr Sim concluded.

 

PSA’s Medicine Safety: Disability Care report is available here.

 

Pharmacists delivering record COVID-19 vaccinations

13 July 2022

 

Australian pharmacists are delivering following surging demand for COVID-19 vaccinations, with figures released by the Department of Health today show that pharmacists have delivered more than 52,000 COVID-19 vaccinations in the last day and over 7.7 million since the start of the rollout.

 

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) National President Dr Fei Sim says these vaccination numbers highlight the accessibility of community pharmacists, as well as the trust the public has in Australian pharmacists.

 

“I thank our community pharmacists who have stepped up and been on the front line of the COVID-19 vaccination effort for the last twelve months,” she said.

 

“These vaccination figures show just how critical community pharmacists are in providing timely, accessible healthcare. Nearly 50 per cent of yesterday’s COVID-19 vaccinations were delivered by a pharmacist, in a community pharmacy.

 

“This is on top of administering record numbers of influenza vaccinations, increase in oral antivirals and supporting their own staff being furloughed with COVID or influenza.

 

“Pharmacists around Australia have stepped up when it mattered most, and now that state and territory governments all but closed their vaccination hubs – it is on primary care, led by pharmacists and GPs to do the heavy lifting.

 

“It’s clear that Australians trust the expertise of pharmacists, now it’s time that pharmacists are adequately remunerated for the critical role they play.”

 

Dr Sim also said that growing reliance on community pharmacists indicated a shift in how Australians access primary care, with many heading to their local pharmacy more regularly.

 

“Pharmacists are seeing more patients coming through the doors with minor ailments, and in particular respiratory symptoms. Our pharmacists are doing a fantastic job at supporting patients, including referral to a GP or hospital where appropriate.

 

“PSA is committed to ensuring that pharmacists are remunerated fairly for their time and expertise, so that they can provide the best care to our communities.”

 

 

Media contact: Georgia Clarke 0487 922 176

End of free RAT program puts vulnerable people at risk

12 July 2022

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) National President Dr Fei Sim is critical of the Federal Government’s announcement that the COVID-19 Rapid Test Concessional Access Program would not be extended beyond July 2022.

 

Dr Sim says that this move not only puts vulnerable Australians at risk, but also sends the wrong message to the public.

 

“PSA is very concerned about the Federal Government’s plan to cease concessional access to Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) at the end of the month. It sends the wrong message to the public,” she said.

 

“The pandemic is not over, and the threat of serious illness is still there for many vulnerable people in our communities. Testing remains a vital part of our COVID-19 response.

 

“While recognising that our approach to test-trace-isolate has changed since the program was launched in January, testing with even mild symptoms remains an expectation of everyone in the community.

 

“With most states and territories adopting advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) to move from a 3-month to a 28-day immunity period, access to testing will be vital, especially for vulnerable groups who’ve relied on the concessional program.

 

“Let’s not forget that case numbers and hospitalisations are still rising every single day. Governments should be encouraging more testing, not less.

 

Dr Sim also pointed out a positive RAT or PCR test was necessary for people to access antiviral medicines.

 

“A patient needs a positive COVID-19 test in order to access antiviral medicines, and for many concession card holders RATs are the only way testing is accessible.

 

“We cannot simply remove the main method of testing that’s accessible to these vulnerable groups. The result will be a lot of people not testing at all.

 

“PSA fully supports an extension of the concessional RAT program to make sure that our most vulnerable have continued access to testing when it’s needed.

 

“We also call on the Federal Government to restore funding to the COVID-19 Home Medicines Service, allowing COVID-positive patients to safely access the medicines they need from home.”

 

PSA strongly supports other important messages to help Australians stay safe, including staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccination, staying home when sick and wearing face masks in indoor public environments

 

 

Media contact: Georgia Clarke 0487 922 176

 

UTI Pharmacy Pilot requires health sector co-operation, not turf wars

8 July 2022

 

Today Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) Queensland President Shane MacDonald has welcomed the Queensland Government’s announcement that the Urinary Tract Infection Pharmacy Pilot – Queensland (UTIPP-Q) has been extended permanently.

 

Mr MacDonald said that Queensland pharmacists are dedicated to ensuring the best outcomes for patients, and reiterated PSA’s support for the pilot and its extension.

 

“Pharmacists are following a strict protocol based on antimicrobial stewardship and best practice guidelines,” he said. “They cannot supply treatment unless the guidelines are closely followed.”

 

“Anything outside of the protocol is referred to another physician, which is in most cases a GP.

 

“The Queensland University of Technology’s final report on the pilot found that pharmacists have the appropriate skills, competencies, and training to manage the empiric treatment of uncomplicated UTIs in the community pharmacy.”

 

PSA strongly rejects comments made today by the Australian Medical Association (AMA).

 

“Pharmacists are registered health professionals with the same ethical and moral obligations as doctors.

 

“We have a health system that is approaching breaking point. The health profession needs to work together to support patients as their health needs become more complex. This includes reducing duplication and empowering patients with self-care.

 

“Measures like pharmacist vaccination and the treatment of uncomplicated UTI help free up precious doctor’s time for complex chronic disease management and more complex presentations.

 

“PSA has worked with Queensland Health to ensure appropriate clinical governance measures in the trial to support safe and effective patient care. The outcomes described in the evaluation report show these worked and serve as a model for broader rollout in the future.”

 

 

Media contact: Georgia Clarke 0487 922 176