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PSA launches contemporary community pharmacy practice white paper

27 June 2022

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) is today launching its first contemporary community pharmacy practice White Paper, which highlights three key elements of consideration which form the foundation of a viable and sustainable contemporary community pharmacy practice

 

  1. Community pharmacy workforce capacity and capability;
  2. Recognition and remuneration for community pharmacists; and
  3. Innovative and sustainable community pharmacy practice model.

 

The paper was developed by the PSA Contemporary Community Pharmacy Practice – Community of Specialty Interest (CSI-CCPP) Group, which seeks to identify, debate and articulate the complexities, opportunities and challenges facing community pharmacy within contemporary practice environments. It highlights two key roles of community pharmacists as primary healthcare providers and medicine experts.

 

The group aims to guide advocacy efforts of the PSA, which ultimately supports our profession toward achieving a patient-centred, viable and sustainable practice model in the Australian community pharmacy sector – one that meets contemporary needs of the community and the Australian health system.

 

CSI-CCPP Chair and PSA National President-elect Dr Fei Sim says that CSI-CCPP’s first white paper presents a consolidated view of the issues facing community pharmacy practice in Australia and proposes direction to achieve viability and sustainability in contemporary practice.

 

“This White Paper will set the direction for the next five years and drive community pharmacist practice toward a sustainable and effective practice model,” Dr Sim said.

 

“We have seen significant shifts in the roles of community pharmacists in the last few years, and there’s no doubt they will continue to change. It is important that we look at what is working and where we can improve.

 

“The COVID-19 pandemic and increasingly frequent natural disasters have highlighted the critical role community pharmacists play in primary health care. Community pharmacists and general practitioners together can strengthen our primary health care system, alleviating the pressure on our emergency departments and hospitals.

 

“Every contact a patient has with a pharmacist is an opportunity to impart a health message, deliver primary health care, and improve the health of the community.

 

“However, as pharmacists adapt to increasing community needs, the remuneration of community pharmacists has continued to lag, pegged to an outdated supply model. This continues to put excessive pressure on the workforce.

 

“This White Paper adds to existing discussions, including PSAs call to improve pharmacist remuneration. It seeks to recognise, restructure, and remunerate the contribution of community pharmacists within the Australian health system and is intended to set the direction for the next five years and drive community pharmacy toward a sustainable and effective practice model.”

 

The full CSI-CCPP White Paper can be read here:  https://my.psa.org.au/s/article/CSI-CCPP-white-paper

 

 

Media contact: Georgia Clarke 0487 922 176

Pharmacist’s expertise overlooked by NSW Budget

22 June 2022

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes yesterday’s NSW state budget, which committed $33 billion in health funding to increase capacity after more than two years of crisis.

 

However, PSA NSW President Chelsea Felkai says the 2022-23 Budget has missed the opportunity to recognise pharmacists for being on the front line during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

“The pandemic clearly showed how workforce shortages impact healthcare delivery, and pharmacy is not immune to this,” Ms Felkai said.

 

“All NSW healthcare workers were on the front lines of the pandemic response, yet pharmacists have missed out on critical support from the state government.

 

“Doctors, nurses and ambos are entitled to a $3000 cash ‘thank-you’ for their work during the pandemic yet there is no support for pharmacists despite being on the front line of the health response and facing similar challenges to other health services.

 

“Cash handouts are great, but what the NSW health sector needs is more support from the state government to innovate the way we deliver healthcare.

 

“The health sector’s response to the challenges of the pandemic has highlighted the skill and dedication of pharmacists, and has proven how much more we can contribute when supported by government.

 

“PSA has been consistently pushing for the NSW Government to facilitate non-urgent care in community pharmacies, reducing pressure on emergency department resources.

 

“NSW hospitals have been under significant pressure for far too long. Our pharmacists have the skills and expertise to treat non-urgent conditions like minor wounds, aches and pains, gastrointestinal conditions, skin conditions, and other low urgency conditions.

 

“Between 3 and 11.5 per cent of all emergency department services in Australia could be safely transferred to a community pharmacists or GP. Not only would this reduce to costs of NSW hospitals, but it would also reduce pressure on wait times for those who need urgent emergency care the most.

 

“When working collaboratively with GPs and emergency departments, pharmacists can triage and manage patients with non-urgent conditions to ensure that they receive the right level of care, at the right cost, at the right time.

 

“PSA again urges the NSW Government to invest in the health of our communities by ensuring that pharmacists can practice to their full potential.”

 

 

Media contact: Georgia Clarke 0487 922 176

PSA Board elects first female National President

16 June 2022

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s (PSA) National Board met today and unanimously elected WA pharmacist Dr Fei Sim as PSA’s next National President. Dr Sim will become the first female to lead PSA since its Federation in 1977.

 

Outgoing PSA National President, A/Prof Chris Freeman, congratulated Dr Sim on her election.

 

“PSA has worked incredibly hard to achieve greater diversity within the organisation over the last five years and to reflect the diversity of members we serve. I am proud to be handing the torch to PSA’s very first female National President.

 

“Fei has been a great asset to the Society, and we are very excited that she has been elected to lead the profession – continuing to support the important work of pharmacists around Australia.

 

“She has demonstrated her passion and talent over many years, as PSA WA President, and more recently as Chair of PSA’s Contemporary Community Pharmacy Practice Community of Speciality Interest.

 

“I wish Fei every success in the role and encourage all members to support her in her leadership at this critical time for the profession.

 

Michelle Lynch has been returned as National Vice President and Dr Shane Jackson has also been elected as a National Vice President, creating an experienced and enthusiastic leadership team to take PSA into its next phase of leading the profession. Renae Beardmore and Anne Todd will be departing the National Board after impactful tenures.

 

“I thank both Renae, who has served as PSA National Vice President, and Anne for their incredible service to the Society and the profession, and I am thankful we are able to retain their skills and experience on their respective Branch Committees.

 

“Over the three and a half years as National President I am incredibly proud of what PSA has achieved but most of all I am so thankful to all of Australia’s pharmacists and the critical role we play in all sectors of practice,” A/Prof Freeman said.

 

PSA Chief Executive Officer Mark Kinsela also highlighted A/Prof Freeman’s achievements since his appointment in 2018.

 

“Chris has been a fierce advocate for pharmacists around Australia. It was his advocacy that led to the Federal Government recognising medicine safety and quality use of medicines as a National Health Priority Area,” he said.

 

“Chris secured a $25 million Federal Government investment to improve medicine safety and quality use of medicine research through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), as well as a $345.7 million commitment to embed pharmacists in residential aged care facilities, improving medicine safety for older Australians.

 

“He was also instrumental in PSA’s inclusion as a signatory in the Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement (7CPA) for the first time, ensuring positive outcomes for pharmacists, enabling them to practise to full scope and deliver better health outcomes for their patients.

 

“I thank Chris for his dedication to PSA’s mission to embed, equip, and enable pharmacists to be at the forefront of healthcare in Australia,” he said.

 

The new appointments will commence on 1 July 2022.

 

 

 

Background on Dr Fei Sim

 

Dr Fei Sim is a Senior Lecturer and the Coordinator of International Engagement in the Curtin Medical School at Curtin University, Western Australia (WA).

 

In 2020 she was also made a Fellow of the Society before being appointed as a Director on the PSA National Board in 2021.

 

Dr Sim has over 14 years of clinical practice experience, and is currently a practising community pharmacist and a community pharmacy proprietor.

 

Dr Sim also served as PSA’s WA President from 2017 to 2021.

 

Dr Sim holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Pharmacy and a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree with First Class Honours and is a qualified pharmacist immuniser and an Accredited Mental Health First Aid Instructor. She is a Fellow of the PSA and the Higher Education Academy, and a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Dr Sim serves on a number of professional and academic committees.

 

Dr Sim was awarded the Excellence and Innovation in Teaching Award in 2014, the PSA WA Early Career Pharmacist Award in 2018 and the National Early Career Pharmacist of The Year Award in 2019, all of which are testament to her commitment to patient care, learning and teaching, leadership in pharmacy, innovation and initiative in pharmacy service delivery, as well as peer and professional engagement.

 

Dr Sim is an active pharmacy practice researcher, and is also the recipient of a number of research grants and projects focusing on advancing the practice of pharmacy and the implementation of professional pharmacy services in community pharmacy, including the noteworthy JM O’Hara Research Fund grant from the Pharmaceutical Society of West Australia (PSWA) in 2018. Through this grant, Dr Sim and her team conducted and published on a feasibility study on point-of-care C-reactive protein testing in community pharmacy. It is hoped this project will contribute towards facilitating antimicrobial stewardship and advancing evidence-based community pharmacy practice to improve recognition of pharmacists’ roles and remuneration.

 

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

 

 

Media contacts:

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

Quality Use of Medicines Advocates Recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours

14 June 2022

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) congratulates the recipients of the 2022 Queens Birthday Honours, including Victorian pharmacist, George Greenberg, and former PSA Chief Executive Officer Liesel Wett.

 

PSA President A/Prof Chris Freeman welcomes the recognition of George Greenberg’s contributions to aged care and medical safety both as a pharmacist and as a member of numerous medical advisory boards.

 

“Mr Greenberg has been an active member of our health community for many years, making significant contributions to the health sector across community and hospital pharmacy, as well as offering his expertise to further the pharmacy profession.

 

Mr Greenberg was a member of PSA’s Ethics and Legislation Committee (Victorian Branch) from 1997 to 2000, and the Self-Care Advisory Committee from 1994 to 1996.

 

“I thank him for his dedication to advancing the pharmacy profession and for his years of service as a consumer and patient advocate.

 

“I also acknowledge Liesel for her service to PSA and the pharmacy profession and congratulate her on her award.

 

PSA extends its warmest congratulations former Queensland Chief Health Officer Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young of Queensland, NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant and, and former Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer and Secretary of the Department of Health Dr Brendan Murphy on their awards.

 

“I thank Dr Young, Dr Chant, and Dr Murphy for their service and leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and their ongoing support of health professionals.

 

PSA also extends congratulations to Professor Sarah Hilmer, Conjoint Professor of Geriatric Pharmacology Medicine at the University of Sydney. Professor Hilmer has trained and educated countless pharmacy students and continues to provide training and education to pharmacists through conferences and educational programs.

 

“I congratulate all the health professionals recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours and thank them for their dedication to the health their local communities.”

 

 

Media contact: PSA media 0487 922 176

No more AACP re-accreditation fees from 1 July

3 June 2022

 

The Chair of the Australian Association of Consultant Pharmacy (AACP), George Tambassis, has announced the organisation will no longer charge re-accreditation fees from 1 July this year.

 

The AACP is the credentialing organisation for professional pharmacy cognitive services. Its primary role is to develop and administer the assessment process leading to the accreditation of registered pharmacists.

 

It is jointly owned by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (the Guild).

 

The National President of the Pharmacy Guild, Trent Twomey, welcomed the decision and said the move would help to encourage more pharmacists to broaden their practice.

 

“This is a very positive development and one which I am confident will lead to more pharmacists being able to work to their full scope of practice,” Professor Twomey said.

 

“All pharmacists should be able to prescribe, dispense, administer and review as an integral part of their everyday practice and the removal of the fees is an incentive towards this aim.

 

“The re-accreditation fee removal will be an incentive which will no doubt encourage pharmacists to work to their full scope.

 

“I encourage all pharmacists to become accredited and take advantage of this proactive decision by AACP.

 

“This is an important step in achieving full scope of practice for the profession.”

 

The National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Chris Freeman, outlined the need to increase the accredited pharmacist workforce.

 

“There is no doubt that the removal of reaccreditation fees will reduce barriers to pharmacists remaining accredited,” A/Prof Freeman said.

 

“We know there will be increased demand for accredited pharmacists especially with the recent aged care funding announcement and now is the time to expand the workforce.

 

“Accredited pharmacists make up an important part of the pharmacy professions ecosystem, and medication management reviews are an evidence-based clinical service proven to enhance the safe and effective use of medicines.

 

“Quite simply, we need more accredited pharmacists and more medication reviews being done.”

 

Media enquiries:

  • PSA Media: 0487 922 176
  • Guild: Peter Waterman 0419 260 827 Dee Zegarac 0400 493 071
  • AACP: George Tambassis 0412 000 552

SA Budget supports pharmacists to provide best care

3 June 2022

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA)’s South Australian branch congratulates the Malinauskas Government and Health Minister Chris Picton on yesterday’s state budget, and increasing support for South Australian pharmacists.

 

The 2022-23 SA Budget delivers on SA Labor’s election commitments to trialling 24-hour pharmacies, as well as investing in medicine safety and mental health training for pharmacists.

 

With this new funding, pharmacists will be able to conduct medication reviews, better help patients with mental ill-health warning signs, and assist patients with respiratory illnesses.

 

“This Budget will allow pharmacists to continue using their expertise to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities,” says PSA SA President, Robyn Johns

 

“These measures will improve health outcomes for South Australians, better utilising the skills and experience of our pharmacists, while also reducing pressure on other sectors of the health system.

 

“The $1.75 million pharmacist package is a great investment in SA’s most accessible healthcare workforces.

 

“There is still work to be done to improve the health and wellbeing of South Australians, including expanding vaccinations pharmacists can administer, embedding pharmacists in state-run aged care facilities, funding pharmacists in Aboriginal Health Clinics, and employing transition of care pharmacists in all South Australian hospitals.

 

“PSA is looking forward to continuing our work with the South Australian Government to improve access to quality healthcare.”

 

 

Media contact: PSA media 0424 777 463

Tasmanian pharmacists ready to deliver influenza vaccinations

2 June 2022

 

Today’s announcement that Tasmanian pharmacists will be able to deliver free influenza vaccinations to Tasmanians ages 10 and over has been welcomed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s (PSA) Tasmanian branch.

 

PSA Tasmania President David Peachey says the move will improve accessibility of flu vaccines for all Tasmanians, but said pharmacists can be doing more to help vaccinate children.

 

“Pharmacists have already delivered 30 per cent of Tasmania’s influenza vaccinations compared to 17 per cent nationally, and this funding will allow us to administer even more, now that every Tasmanian can get their flu shot at a local pharmacy for free.

 

“We appreciate that the Tasmanian Government is making a critical investment, by remunerating pharmacists for providing this service.

 

“PSA believes that pharmacists can be playing a greater role in vaccinating five to ten year old’s just as they have in other states this flu season.

 

“Pharmacists have demonstrated the crucial role they continue to play in protecting the health of Australians. Pharmacists are trained and ready to vaccinate children from five years old as they did during the pandemic.

 

Mr Peachey also highlighted the need for a national approach to influenza vaccination programs.

 

“PSA has long championed a consistent approach in all states and territories for pharmacists to administer vaccines.

 

“These state-based time-limited programs are only a band-aid for the bigger problem of funding arrangements which have not kept pace with population health needs.

 

“We urge the Federal Government to introduce an MBS service payment to pharmacists for administering vaccines, so that we can ensure more consumers have free access to potentially life-saving vaccinations.

 

“We need to make it easier for all Australians to be protected against influenza every year by consistently removing the cost barriers currently faaced by many Australians” he concluded.

 

Media contact: PSA media 0487 922 176

Incoming Health Minister should champion safe and quality use of medicines

Tuesday 31 May 2022

 

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes the announcement of the Hon. Mark Butler MP as Minister for Health and Aged Care, and Emma McBride MP MPS as Assistant Minister for Regional and Rural Health under the Albanese Labor Government.

 

PSA National President, A/Prof Chris Freeman, says he looks forward to working with the new Federal Government to ensure pharmacists’ voices are being heard.

 

“We look forward to continuing our productive relationship with the Australian Labor Party, in particular with incoming Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon. Mark Butler MP,” he said.

 

“I would also like to congratulate fellow pharmacist and PSA member, Emma McBride MP MPS on her appointment as Assistant Minister for Regional and Rural Health.

 

“As one of Australia’s key frontline health professionals, pharmacists share the drive to deliver world-class healthcare to all Australians.

 

“PSA is ready to work with the Minister to progress the funding of onsite aged care pharmacists and ensuring all Australians have access to fully funded National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccines, including influenza vaccinations.

 

“Patients still face out of pocket costs to receive an influenza vaccination under the NIP if delivered by a pharmacist, whilst this same service is subsidised if done at a general practice.

 

“It must also be a priority for the incoming Minister for Health and Aged Care to ensure that there is a consistent approach to the NIP vaccines and that all Australians can access fully funded vaccinations from their local pharmacist.”

 

A/Prof Freeman pointed to workforce shortages and pharmacist retention as one of the major challenges facing the sector.

 

“There are consistent challenges in recruiting and retaining pharmacists across all sectors, with many choosing to leave pharmacy because of low base rates of pay,” he said.

 

“We need investment in a whole of profession workforce strategy so that we can sustainably meet all the exciting opportunities in front of the profession, while provide rewarding careers, both professionally and financially.

 

“PSA has a long history of working with governments at all levels to achieve better outcomes for Australian pharmacists and their communities, and we look forward to continuing that work with the incoming ALP Health team,” A/Prof Freeman concluded.

 

Media contact: PSA media 0424 777 463

NSW pharmacists now eligible to vaccinate children under School Vaccination Program

Monday 9 May 2022

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s (PSA) New South Wales Branch welcomes the announcement that pharmacist immunisers in NSW can now administer vaccines under the NSW School Vaccination Program.

 

On Saturday, the NSW Health Minister, Brad Hazard, confirmed changes to allow trained pharmacist immunisers to supply and administer National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccines to NSW children who are eligible for vaccination in the NSW School Vaccination Program.

 

Pharmacist immunisers can now administer human papillomavirus (HPV) and diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (dTpa) vaccines to people 12 years and over, and the meningococcal ACWY (MenACWY) vaccine to people over 14 years.

 

PSA NSW Branch President, Chelsea Felkai, said this move will significantly improve vaccine access for young people across NSW.

 

“This is very welcome news for New South Wales pharmacist immunisers. Pharmacists have proven themselves time and time again through the COVID-19 pandemic as one of our most accessible healthcare workforces. They are trained and experienced in vaccinating younger age groups.

 

“We are delighted that pharmacists will now be able to contribute to increasing vaccine accessibility and immunisation rates across our school population.

 

“It is essential that all NSW children have timely access to HPV, dTpa and MenACWY vaccines. Vaccination is the best way to ensure these susceptible populations and their families are protected against vaccine-preventable diseases – they will now have the convenient option of protecting themselves through local pharmacies.

 

“PSA has been advocating for this for some time, as highlighted in our most recent budget submission. We must continue to remove barriers to vaccination and ensure that pharmacists are properly remunerated for the vaccination services they provide,” Ms Felkai said.

 

PSA will continue to work closely with the New South Wales Government to improve vaccine accessibility for all New South Wales residents.

 

Media contact: PSA media 0403 973 097

SA pharmacists now eligible to vaccinate children from 5 years against influenza

Monday 16 May 2022

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s (PSA) South Australian Branch welcomes the announcement that pharmacist immunisers in SA can now administer influenza vaccines to children from 5 years of age.

 

On Friday, the SA Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Chris Picton, confirmed changes to allow trained pharmacist immunisers to supply and administer National Immunisation Program (NIP) influenza vaccines to Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander people from five years, and private market influenza vaccines from five years of age.

 

PSA SA Branch President, Robyn Johns, welcomed the announcement, which will significantly improve vaccine access for young people across SA.

 

“This is great news for both South Australians and our pharmacist immunisers. Influenza vaccinations are as important as ever this year, and we are pleased that SA’s pharmacists can help increase vaccine accessibility and protect our vulnerable populations.

 

“Our pharmacists continue to go over and above for their communities. They are one of our most accessible healthcare workforces and are trained and experienced in vaccinating younger age groups.

 

“This announcement partially delivers on one of PSA’s SA election recommendations – that pharmacist be enabled to administer medicines by injection, with an expanded range of vaccines,” Ms Johns said.

 

PSA will continue to work closely with the South Australian Government to improve vaccine accessibility for all South Australian residents.

 

Media contact: PSA media 0403 973 097