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Federal Budget has the opportunity to strengthen healthcare access – will the Government take it?

2 February 2023

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has used its pre-Budget submission to urge the Albanese Government to invest in national vaccination programs and strengthen access to health care for all Australians.

 

PSA has urged the government introduce a Medicare Benefits Schedule payment for pharmacist immunisations modelled on the Level B payment available to GPs.  The MBS fee would be available in all primary care locations pharmacists vaccinate, including community pharmacies and general practice.

 

PSA’s 2023-24 Pre-Budget Submission also highlights the need for nationally consistent vaccination standards that allow all patients to receive all vaccinations from their local pharmacist, regardless of their age or type of vaccination.

 

PSA National President Dr Fei Sim said that the Federal Government has the opportunity to ensure that every Australian has equitable access to vaccination, regardless of where they live.

 

“Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective interventions against preventable disease,” Dr Sim said.

 

“We need to be doing everything we can to remove barriers and encourage more Australians to get vaccinated and be protected against preventable diseases like influenza, Meningococcal and HPV.

 

“For many Australians pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare providers, with extended opening hours and short wait times. We could be taking advantage of this, but instead governments have restricted the vaccinations we can provide in a pharmacy or general practice.

 

“Each state and territory has its own set of rules in place about which patients can be vaccinated by pharmacists, depending on age and the vaccination itself.

 

“In NSW, a pharmacists can provide a catch-up vaccination for a HPV shot missed during COVID lockdowns, but not in the ACT.

 

“A five-year-old can be vaccinated against influenza by a pharmacist in Victoria, while they would have to wait up to six weeks for a GP appointment in the Northern Territory or Tasmania – some of the jurisdictions with the worst wait times for GP appointments.

 

“These differences make no sense, and place people’s health at risk.

 

“It is not fair that children in one state might have greater access to a vital vaccination than children in another state.

 

“Pharmacists have already administered more than 10 million COVID-19 vaccines over the last two years, on top of millions more influenza vaccines. This shows that the pharmacist profession is ready, and that Australians want to be able to access pharmacist-led vaccination.

 

“Empowering pharmacists to deliver vaccines has been proven, time and time again, to boost vaccination rates.

 

“Expanding access to life-saving vaccinations is a common sense move that will improve the health and wellbeing of Australians, while also freeing up GP appointments for more complex health needs.

 

“Harmonising vaccination standards across the country, allowing pharmacists to play a greater role in vaccination programs, will reduce confusion across states, among the public and healthcare professionals.

 

“Above all else it’s about improving access to healthcare,” Dr Sim concluded.

 

PSA’s 2023-24 Budget Submission is available here.

 

More information on pharmacy numbers, state regulations and other data is available on request.

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

Page announced as new PSA Victoria President

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) is proud to announce the election of Dr Amy Page FPS as President of PSA’s Victorian branch.

 

Dr Page is a consultant pharmacist and has served on the PSA Victoria branch since 2017 including as Vice-President. In 2015 she was also awarded a Fellowship of the PSA.

 

Page is recognised as a national expert in the quality use of medicines, with her research and clinical practice focusing on older people with multimorbidity, polypharmacy and dementia. She was one of Australia’s first pharmacists to practice in a GP clinic, championing non-traditional practice settings and interprofessional collaboration.

 

As a clinical pharmacist and researcher, she leads the development of innovative projects that engage multidisciplinary teams and bridge the gaps between clinical practice, research and education to improve outcomes for patients. Her current work is building capacity and support for pharmacists as they transition in to new roles on-site in residential aged care facility.

 

“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to lead Victorian pharmacists,” Dr Page said.

 

“It’s an exciting time to be in pharmacy.  Pharmacists have opportunities to work in a range of different practice settings and play a greater role in the health and wellbeing of our communities.

 

“The Victorian Government announced a trial allowing pharmacists to prescribe antibiotics for urinary tract infections (UTIs) and medicines for other conditions, giving our profession the opportunity to take the first steps in practising to top of scope.

 

“I’m excited to have a greater role in supporting PSA to be the home of accreditation, giving accredited pharmacists the opportunity to achieve the best results for our patients. The 2023 Consultant Pharmacists Conference (CPC23) in May will be a fantastic opportunity to connect with accredited pharmacists from around Australia and learn from one another.”

 

PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS congratulated Dr Page on her election, and acknowledged John Jackson for his service as Victorian President.

 

“I’m very proud to have Dr Page stepping up to lead Victorian pharmacists,” Dr Sim said.

 

“Dr Page has been heavily involved in PSA for many years, and brings a wealth of experience to role especially during such an exciting time for pharmacy.

 

“PSA is very thankful to outgoing Victorian President John Jackson MPS for his dedication and service to Victoria’s pharmacists. He has been an integral part of the PSA team for ”

 

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

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is the only national peak body that represents all of Australia’s pharmacists across all practice settings. We want every Australian to have access to the best healthcare, and this must include optimising access to pharmacists’ knowledge and medicines expertise at the forefront of our healthcare system.

 

2023 Australia Day Honours recognises extraordinary pharmacists

26 January 2023

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) congratulates the pharmacists honoured in today’s Australia Day Honours.

 

Four pharmacists were recognised for their outstanding service to their communities and to the pharmacy profession, as well as a former PSA General Manager.

 

The following Australians received Honours from the Governor General:

  • Mr Richard John French MPS (NSW) – Medal of Order of Australia (OAM)
  • Mr Phillip Andrew Greenwood (ACT) – Medal of Order of Australia (OAM)
  • The late Mr Nazminali Hudda MPS (QLD) – Medal of Order of Australia (OAM)
  • Mr Graham Edward Reed MPS (NSW) – Medal of Order of Australia (OAM)
  • Mr Donald Charles Lawie (QLD) – Medal of Order of Australia (OAM)

 

PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS acknowledged their tireless work and thanked them for their commitment to the pharmacy profession.

 

“The pharmacists recognised today have dedicated their lives to the health of their communities,” Dr Sim said.

 

“On behalf of PSA and the pharmacy profession, I congratulate all the pharmacists who have been recognised today.”

 

Richard French MPS is recognised for his service to the community of Muswellbrook, NSW, including his professional service as a community pharmacist for 35 years. Mr French also served as the local co-ordinator of the Guardian Pharmacy Angel Knitting Program between 2000 and 2016.

 

Phillip Greenwood is recognised for his service to the not-for-profit sector, including his service as a General Manager with PSA.

 

The late Nazminali Hudda MPS is recognised for his service to the Nizari Ismaili Muslim community of Queensland, as well as his 38 years as a community pharmacist in both the United Kingdom and Australia.

 

Graham Reed MPS is recognised for his service to Australian cricket, and is a life member of the Pharmaceutical Society of New South Wales.

 

Donald Lawie is recognised for his service to the community of the Cairns region as a pharmacist and compounding chemist in Babinda over 60 years.

 

 

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

 

Pharmacy Student of the Year wildcard announced

18 January 2023

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has proudly awarded Ingrid Stroud from the University of Canberra with the 2023 Pharmacy Student of the Year wildcard as part of the National Australian Pharmacy Students Association (NAPSA) Congress.

 

The PSOTY award recognises and celebrates Australia’s outstanding pharmacy students. The award showcases the knowledge, skills and abilities of select students to the broader pharmacy profession, whilst giving them the opportunity to apply, and be judged on, their counselling skills.

 

The PSOTY wildcard is awarded to an outstanding student to compete alongside state finalists in the national PSOTY competition held at PSA23.

 

The 2023 competition was judged by PSA Chief Executive Officer Mark Kinsela, Early Career Pharmacist Erin Cooper and NAPSA representative Emma O’Donnell.

 

The judges congratulated Ingrid Stroud and commended all finalists on their skills as the next generation of pharmacists.

 

“Each of the competitors should be very proud of the knowledge and skills they presented,” Erin Cooper said on behalf of the judging panel.

 

“The Pharmacy Student of the Year competition requires students to communicate with their patient, take patient history and make a clinical recommendation for treatment.

 

“It is heartening to see the future of our profession on show, demonstrating a high level of clinical knowledge, capability and passion – it’s clear that the future of pharmacy is incredibly bright.

 

“Congratulations to Ingrid on taking out this year’s wildcard competition. We look forward to seeing you at PSA23 for the national finals.”

 

 

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

PSA welcomes refreshed National Medicines Policy

20 December 2022

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes the updated National Medicines Policy, announced today by Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Mark Butler MP.

 

The National Medicines Policy is a framework for ensuring Australians have timely access to affordable, quality medicines that are used appropriately.

 

The refreshed plan elevates the need to address access challenges, particularly equity and equality for all Australians, and is consistent with PSA’s plan for the future, Pharmacists in 2023, placing patients at the centre of care supported by pharmacists as medicine experts wherever medicines are prescribed, supplied or administered.

 

Dr Fei Sim, National President of PSA, congratulated Professor Michael Kidd AM on delivering an improved policy which meets the contemporary needs of Australians.

 

“Medicines are our most common intervention in health care. It is essential that Australians have access to quality and affordable medicines when they need them.” said Dr Sim.

 

“PSA has long advocated for the NMP to be reviewed, so we are very pleased to see the Minister deliver on this today. We welcome support for national pharmacovigilance systems, however it is crucial that these systems be nationally coordinated and real-time in order to significantly reduce harms which can be caused by medicines.

 

“We also welcome the recognition that clinical indicators will need to be used to evaluate policy, as this is something else PSA has been fighting for over many years. It is great to see Minister Butler commit to regular 5-yearly reviews to ensure the NMP remains up to date.

 

“PSA has long been concerned about the preventable harm caused by medicines and has driven the conversation on medicine safety in Australia. We are excited to see changes in policy which should help drive solutions and improve medicine safety for all Australians and look forward to partnering with the government and other organisations to deliver on the goals of this policy.

 

PSA would like to thank the Expert Advisory Committee members including Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom AO, Dr Sarah Dineen-Griffin MPS, Mr David Herd, and Mrs Jan Donovan for their contributions.

 

Media contact:   Candice Burch M: 0403 973 097     E: Candice.burch@psa.org.au

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is the only national peak body that represents all of Australia’s pharmacists across all practice settings. We want every Australian to have access to the best healthcare, and this must include optimising access to pharmacists’ knowledge and medicines expertise at the forefront of our healthcare system.

SA Health Minister launches PSA Museum

Friday 16 December 2022

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) is proud to open the new pharmaceutical museum in South Australia.

 

The collection, which is housed at the PSA offices in Adelaide, showcases the history of pharmacy practice, including compounding from botanical sources: opium poppies, lavender, coca, and cannabis through to the emergence of propriety products like asthma cigarettes and various other products like chocolate coated Blaud, strychnine and arsenic pills.

 

The South Australian Health Minister Chris Picton MP formally opened the museum today. The Minister commended PSA for its work on curating the museum.

 

“It is wonderful to see such an important and interesting part of our health history on display for South Australians to enjoy. This museum demonstrates just how far pharmacy has come, while showcasing its fascinating origins” the Minister said.

 

PSA South Australia and Northern Territory Vice President Dr Manya Angley thanked the Health Minister for opening the museum, saying that it demonstrates just how far pharmacy has come.

 

“We are very lucky to have medicines and tools from pharmacists dating back to the 1800s,” Dr Angley said.

 

“Many of them we now consider dangerous, with regulations and testing increasing safety in use of medicines and medical devices.

 

“The collection also contains the beautiful gold leaf carboys which are used as decoration with no other function. There is a significant collection of items from the Runges Pharmacies that were acquired by PSA in the 1980s.

 

There is an extensive collection of historic books including one pharmacological text dating back to 1704! Among other texts on display are a number of handwritten prescription books – still in use in the 1970s – pharmacists’ own formularies, a collection of pharmacopeias from South Australian hospitals and some versions of the Australian War Pharmacopeia. The museum also houses one of the only collections containing every edition of the ‘bible of pharmacy’, PSA’s Australian Pharmaceutical Handbook and Formulary (APH).

 

“The museum is a special place for pharmacists to better connect with the profession and will be a central part of future PSA events in Adelaide.

 

“We sincerely thank Runge family, Trevor Lockett, Trevor Craig and Brian Edwards for their generous donations to the museum.

 

The Minister also announced the naming of the Lloyd Sansom training room and Grant Kardachi boardroom in recognition of both Lloyd and Grant’s significant and enduring leadership in pharmacy.

 

The museum will be open to the public by appointment with the PSA SA Office on (08) 8272 1211.

 

Media contact:   Candice Burch M: 0403 973 097     E: candice.burch@psa.org.au

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is the only national peak body that represents all of Australia’s pharmacists across all practice settings. We want every Australian to have access to the best healthcare, and this must include optimising access to pharmacists’ knowledge and medicines expertise at the forefront of our healthcare system.

SA Health Sector must work together to improve patient access

19 December 2022

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) strongly rejects recent comments made by Australian Medical Association South Australia (AMA(SA)) that pharmacist prescribing pilots put patients at risk and calls on the AMA(SA) to work collaboratively with South Australian pharmacists to improve patient access to health care.

 

PSA SA/NT Branch President Veronika Seda MPS welcomed the Parliament of South Australia Select Committee inquiry on Access to Urinary Tract Infection Treatment.

 

“The Queensland Urinary Tract Infection Pharmacy Pilot (UTIPP-Q) has been undeniably successful, improving patient access to timely care.

 

“Pharmacists are registered health professionals with the same ethical and moral obligations as doctors. Pharmacists undergo a minimum of five-years’ training, as well as additional education and training so that they can provide the best possible care to their patients.

 

“Prescribing and dispensing are separate clinical activities. However, there are many examples where it is widely accepted that they can both be undertaken by the same clinician – whether this be vaccination, supply of Schedule 2 or Schedule 3 medicines – such as thrush treatments or medicines for migraines – or supply of a month’s prescription medicine in an emergency.’

 

“The common factor in all of these is strong clinical governance oversight, including professional standards, regulation, and program rules. A UTI program in South Australia would be no different.”

 

“Pharmacist prescribing trials conducted in other jurisdictions have shown pharmacists adhere to these strict protocols based on antimicrobial stewardship and best practice guidelines. Referral to a GP, where appropriate, is embedded into the protocol.

 

“Measures such as pharmacist vaccinations and pharmacist prescribing improve safe access to care. There is incredible demand on doctors, especially for complex presentations and chronic disease management. 

 

“It is time for doctors’ groups to put aside turf wars and work with other healthcare professionals to find better ways to support patients, because patients deserve timely access to care – they should not be disadvantaged based on their location, health or social status.

 

PSA remains committed to working collaboratively with the entire health sector to deliver best outcomes for patients.

 

 

Media contact:   Candice Burch M: 0403 973 097     E: candice.burch@psa.org.au

Victoria’s top pharmacists honoured

8 December 2022

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has tonight presented its 2022 Victorian Pharmacist Awards to pharmacists who are making impressive contributions to the pharmacist profession and the health of their communities.

 

Intern of the Year – Heba Ali, Mickleham

 

Intern of the Year from Chemist Warehouse Merrifield City Pharmacy in Mickleham, Heba Ali has demonstrated a commitment to patient-centred care and professional practice and earned consistently high grades in her PSA Intern Training Program assessments. She also contributed to a public health awareness campaign on blood pressure, highlighting the role of pharmacists in the community, which was instituted at her pharmacy this year.

 

Early Career Pharmacist of the Year – Lauren Haworth MPS, Maddingley

 

With a reputation as a passionate community pharmacist in rural practice and a commitment to ECP and PSA activities, Lauren Haworth, Pharmacist in Charge at TerryWhite Chemmart Maddingley, is the Victorian ECP of the Year. She opened a pharmacy as the COVID-19 pandemic began, and thrived due to her hard work, commitment and leadership.

 

Pharmacist Medal – Paul Gysslink, MPS, Balwyn

 

The Pharmacist Medal recognises the quiet achievement of Paul Gysslink who has consistently contributed to PSA’s Intern Training Program through workshop facilitation, assessment, marking and content advice. Throughout his long career he has worked for the pharmacist profession through union representation, PSA branch committee membership and delivered a strong voice for pharmacists, technicians and assistants.

 

Pharmacist of the Year – Yvette Anderson MPS, Bendigo

 

The Victorian Pharmacist of the Year Yvette Anderson is a rural pharmacist in Bendigo who launched the Spectrum Pharmacist service, an online consultation and telehealth clinic tailored to patients with neurodevelopmental conditions. Through the Spectrum Pharmacist service, Yvette helps individuals, families and carers with Autism Spectrum Disorder, dyslexia and co-occurring conditions such as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder understand their conditions and treatment options and everyday life with expert support.

 

Yvette won the PSA22 Pharmacy Shark Tank competition and the People’s Choice Award for the Spectrum Pharmacist service.

 

Lifetime Achievement Award – Professor Geoff Sussman OAM JP FPS, Melbourne

 

Associate Professor of Wound Care at Monash University Professor Geoff Sussman OAM JP FPS – Olympian, cantor at his local synagogue, TV writer, director and performer, researcher and sports administrator – has made a significant contribution to the profession. As a Clinical Lecturer in Medical Education at the University of Melbourne, he lectures in pharmacology, sports medicine, and wound care. His Lifetime Achievement Award recognises an extensive international career and reputation in wound care including 4 decades in clinical research and practice and more than 100 publications.

 

PSA Victorian President John Jackson congratulated the award winners and thanked them for their dedication to improving Australian healthcare.

 

“Each and every pharmacist recognised last night has made a significant contribution to the profession over the last year and throughout their careers and I congratulate them all on this worthy recognition.

 

“Congratulations to the award winners and all the nominees for your commitment to better health.”

 

Media contact:   Peter Guthrey   M: 0487 922 176     E: peter.guthrey@psa.org.au

 

PSA launches Accreditation Credentialing Program

7 December 2022

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has today launched the PSA Accreditation Credentialing Program for Comprehensive Medication Management Reviews (MMRs), ahead of the closure of the Australian Association of Consultant Pharmacy (AACP) later this month.

 

The PSA has engaged an Accreditation Expert Advisory Group, chaired by Debbie Rigby FPS and supported by experts A/Prof Chris Freeman FPS, Deborah Hawthorne MPS, Dr Andrew Stafford MPS, Dr Manya Angley FPS, and Tim Perry FPS.  This expert group has advised on the Accreditation Credentialing Program which will be developed by PSA for launch mid-2023.

 

To accommodate learners already engaged in the credentialling process and those wanting to complete Stage 2 early next year, we have implemented a program that reflects the current structure of AACP.

 

PSA National President Dr Fei Sim says that PSA is the natural home for accredited pharmacists, as the only organisation with a track record of supporting and advocating for accredited pharmacists in all practice settings.

 

“We are incredibly proud to offer a complete package of high-quality learning, training and ongoing career support for accredited pharmacists and those looking to become accredited,” Dr Sim said.

 

“PSA’s Accreditation Credentialing Program will give pharmacists the knowledge, communication skills, and counselling to provide high quality, complex medication review services through collaborative care models with other health care providers.

 

“Accreditation provides opportunity for career pathways and progression, a key pillar of PSA’s ongoing advocacy for roles, remuneration and recognition of pharmacists.

 

“PSA, as a co-founder of AACP, has supported accreditation in the Australian healthcare system for over 20 years.

 

“As an organisation we have a long history of advocating for accredited pharmacists, from introducing RMMRs introduced under 2CPA, to expanding roles for accredited pharmacists in GP clinics.

 

“We are very proud of how far accredited pharmacists have come, but we are now focussed on how we can continue improving and growing this workforce.

 

“It is vital that accredited pharmacists are fairly remunerated and able to earn a full-time salary from their qualifications.

 

“PSA will continue advocating for the removal of the cap on HMRs and RMMRs, and for onsite accredited pharmacist roles in aged care, general practice, and disability care. We are focussed on advocating for pharmacists to be able to prescribe, deprescribe, administer and review medicines, regardless of location.

 

“We have a strong vision for the future of accreditation and wants to see accreditation become another major career pathway for pharmacists.”

 

“Accreditation will continue to evolve as we expand the scope of practice of pharmacists and enable pharmacists across practice settings to practice to top-of-scope. Whilst the role of accredited pharmacists may evolve in the immediate future, accreditation provides an infrastructure for scope expansion. It preserves pharmacists’ independence in practice, commensurate with remuneration.”

 

PSA’s Consultant Pharmacist Conference (CPC) will be held in Adelaide from 2-5 May 2023 as part of ongoing education for accredited pharmacists.  PSA members will receive a 50% discount on conference registration.

 

Accreditation application fees are in line with AACP’s offering, but PSA will not charge an accreditation fee for PSA members and will not charge ongoing reaccreditation fees to members. More information on the PSA Accreditation Credentialing Program is available here.

 

For enquiries about accreditation with PSA, please contact the PSA Member Services team on membership@psa.org.au or 1300 369 772.

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is the only national peak body that represents all of Australia’s pharmacists across all practice settings. We want every Australian to have access to the best healthcare, and this must include optimising access to pharmacists’ knowledge and medicines expertise at the forefront of our healthcare system.

 

PSA and PDL join forces in new partnership

24 November 2022

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has entered into a new partnership with Pharmaceutical Defence Limited (PDL), to enhance collaboration between the two organisations on medicine safety and pharmacist practice support.

 

Both organisations agreed to explore new medicine safety initiatives, including support for a future nationally coordinated pharmacovigilance system, and medicine incident and near-miss reporting systems, to provide feedback on the safe and effective use of medicines.

 

Under the agreement, PSA will commence work on the sixth report in PSA’s flagship Medicine Safety report series. A Practice Support Liaison Group will also be established between the two organisations to enhance support for pharmacists and scope of practice across all areas of pharmacy practice.

 

PSA National President Dr Fei Sim says that it puts both organisations in a stronger position to make medicines safer for all Australians through excellence in pharmacist practice.

 

“We are stronger when we work together, and this will allow our organisations to collaborate on future medicine safety reports, and to progress medicine safety initiatives such as a nationally coordinated pharmacovigilance system.

 

“PDL is incredibly well trusted by the profession, and has supported pharmacists for generations, through investment in pharmacist education and scholarships as well as practice support. PSA is excited to see that practice support expand for pharmacists across all practice settings.

 

“I’d like to thank PDL for their support and collaboration, and for their ongoing commitment to the pharmacy profession and to improving medicine safety for all Australians.”

 

PDL Board Chair Paul Naismith said that the agreement will unite PDL and PSA members, who share the common goal of improving medicine safety in Australia.

 

“As the peak body representing all pharmacists, PSA has demonstrated it is a leader in medicine safety by driving excellence in pharmacist practice. At PDL, we’re excited to be working together with PSA to help tailor practice support across the profession in areas it will have the biggest impact on improving medicine safety.

 

“We look forward to supporting and working with PSA to further strengthen our great profession as it strives to deliver on Australia’s growing health needs.

 

 

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

PDL media contact: Alice Faull P: 03 9958 0504 E: alice.faull@pdl.org.au