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The 2024 PSA events not to miss

1 December 2023

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has released its full 2024 events and conferences calendar, highlighting the many opportunities for pharmacists in all practice settings and specialisations to earn CPD, develop their practice, and network with colleagues and suppliers.

The 2024 program sees the annual PSA Credentialed Pharmacist Conference (CPC24) head to Cairns from 3-5 May, closely followed by the 48th Offshore Refresher Conference in Spain from 7-15 May.

PSA’s series of Annual Therapeutic Updates also travels around the country throughout 2024, with dates in New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia, and Queensland providing pharmacists with education tailored to the regulatory environment of their practice.

In 2024 PSA’s National Conference is expanding to a bigger venue than ever before, with PSA24 taking place at Sydney’s International Convention Centre (ICC) for the first time. Under the theme Pathways to Progress, conference delegates are invited to discover the opportunities of pharmacy careers into the future.

PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS said that the upcoming PSA conferences gave members the opportunity to access a range of education tailored to their scope and areas of practice.

“Our 2024 program is our biggest yet, with more opportunities for pharmacists to access high-quality education from Australia’s leading pharmacists,” Dr Sim said.

“PSA is proud to give pharmacists the opportunity to build their own education, whether through national conferences like PSA24, or closer to home though our series of ATUs.

“As pharmacy scope of practice continues to evolve, PSA conferences give all pharmacists the chance to develop their skills and expertise to deliver nation-leading care to patients.

“I strongly encourage all pharmacists, regardless of your area of practice, to join us at PSA’s leading education conferences in 2024,” Dr Sim concluded.

 

2024 PSA Conference Calendar

  • NSW Annual Therapeutic Update – Pullman Magenta Shores, 16-18 February 2024
  • SA/NT Annual Therapeutic Update – Adelaide Pavilion, 12-13 April 2024
  • Credentialed Pharmacist Conference – Pullman International Cairns, 3-5 May 2024
  • Vic/Tas Annual Therapeutic Update – Hobart Function and Conference Centre, 31 May – 2 June 2024
  • PSA24 – International Convention Centre (Sydney), 2-4 August 2024
  • WA Annual Therapeutic Update – Venue TBC, 11-12 October 2024
  • QLD Annual Therapeutic Update – Brisbane Rydges Southbank, 18-20 October 2024

Visit https://www.psa.org.au/networking-events/information-on-major-events-and-conferences/ for more information on PSA conferences.

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

National access to vaccines must be a priority

30 November 2023

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) is again calling for vaccines to be made accessible to more Australians by fully utilising pharmacists as part of the immunisation workforce, following a new report from Australian think tank Grattan Institute.

The Grattan Institute report A fair shot: How to close the vaccination gap specifically recommends action on a National Vaccines Partnership Agreement and harmonisation of the state-based regulations that determine pharmacists’ authority to deliver certain vaccines.

The report also calls for new funding for Primary Health Networks (PHNs) to support general practice, pharmacists, and aged care providers to promote vaccination in mainstream primary care.

PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS welcomes the Grattan Institute’s recommendations, which echo PSA’s calls for nationally consistent vaccination authorities.

“The Grattan Institute’s report is a stark look at how far we still have to go to make vaccination equitable for all Australians,” Dr Sim says.

“We know that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to improving vaccine uptake, with the report rightly highlighting the need for a tailored approach to ensuring vulnerable cohorts don’t fall through the cracks.

“The Federal Government’s move to open up National Immunisation Program funding for pharmacist-administered vaccines is a welcome first step, but there is more work to be done to allow pharmacists to deliver all vaccines to patients of all ages.

“At the moment, every jurisdiction in Australia has different regulations around which vaccinations can be administered by pharmacists.

“A nationally consistent schedule of pharmacist-administered vaccines is key to achieve equitable access to government-funded vaccines by all Australians.

“Pharmacists can and should be utilised as trusted health care professionals, working hand in glove with the rest of the primary care team to break down the barriers to vaccination, from improving equity and access, to amplifying public health messages.

“Our health system needs all immunisers to play a role in delivering vaccines wherever there is a patient need, whether a GP, nurse practitioner or pharmacist,” Dr Sim concluded.

The Grattan Institute’s A fair shot: How to close the vaccination gap report is available here.

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

PSA welcomes CPS President-elect Prof Kevin Batty FPS

28 November 2023

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes the newly elected President of the Council of Pharmacy Schools (CPS), Professor Kevin Batty FPS of Curtin University.

 

Professor Kevin Batty has a 40-year career in pharmacy, including 10 years as a hospital pharmacist and 25 years as a university academic. Professor Batty is a Fellow of the PSA and was awarded PSA’s Western Australia Lifetime Achievement Award in 2023.

 

Alongside Prof. Batty, PSA also welcomes Professor Andrew McLachlan AM FPS who will continue in his role as CPS Vice-President, and Treasurer-elect A/Prof David Newby FPS.

 

PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS shared her congratulations with CPS’ incoming leadership.

 

“CPS and PSA have a long-established working and collaborative relationship, sharing the vision and commitment to education and training,” Dr Sim said.

 

“Professor Batty brings a wealth of experience to CPS, across a range of roles including pharmacy practice and academia.

 

“As pharmacy practice continues to evolve to meet the growing needs of our ageing population, there has never been a more important time to ensure that Australia’s pharmacy programs are fit for the future.

 

“I look forward to continuing our work alongside CPS and its team of Councillors, under the leadership of Prof Batty, to ensure that our profession is supported by world-class education, starting with our universities.”

 

Dr Sim also acknowledged the work of outgoing CPS President, Professor Debra Rowett PSM, FPS.

 

“I have been privileged to work alongside Prof. Rowett as part of the Australian Pharmacy Leaders Forum (APLF) and have seen firsthand the profound impact she has had on the pharmacy profession.

 

“I sincerely thank Prof. Rowett for her unwavering commitment to preparing Australian graduates for a fulfilling career in pharmacy, her wisdom and leadership over a significant period of time.

 

“I also wish to acknowledge PSA’s National Board Member and outgoing CPS Treasurer Professor Mark Naunton FPS for his contribution to CPS.” Dr Sim concluded.

 

Additional quotes attributable to CPS President-elect, Prof. Kevin Batty FPS:

 

“It’s a great privilege to be elected President of CPS and succeed Prof. Debra Rowett PSM, who has been a tireless and inspirational leader of CPS. I’d also like to thank Prof. Mark Naunton for his contribution as CPS Treasurer and Prof. Andrew McLachlan AM, who will be continuing as CPS Vice President, and I welcome A/Prof. David Newby, the incoming Treasurer.

 

“Along with our Public Officer & Secretary, Ms Anne Pike, we look forward to continued growth in the relationship between CPS and PSA. As CPS Councillors represent all of the Pharmacy degree programs in Australia and New Zealand, our collective focus is on ensuring our graduates have the contemporary skills, knowledge and professional attributes for their careers.”

 

 

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

Improve Quality Use of Medicines to improve mental health care: report

22 November 2023

 

Pharmacists can play a greater role in helping patients manage their mental health through the quality use of medicines, a new report from the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has found.  

 

The sixth edition of PSA’s flagship Medicine Safety series, Medicine Safety: Mental Health Care report highlights opportunities for pharmacists to better support Australians using medicines to treat mental health conditions, including improving access to care and investing in quality use of medicines services at critical points of care.  

 

Key report stats: 

 

  • People with severe mental health conditions have poorer physical health than the general community and have a 12–16 year shorter life expectancy. 
  • 18% of Australians use medicines to treat a mental health condition. 
  • Antidepressants were involved in 31% of medicine-related deaths due to overdose, and antipsychotics in 17% of medicine-related deaths due to overdose.
  • 1 in 4 Australians are taking a medicine that would not be recommended for them based on the individual genetic variation of their drug metabolising enzymes.
  • Medicine changes are frequent in mental health facilities, with an average of 10 changes per admission. 
  • Over 40% of mental health facilities do not have any pharmaceutical handover at discharge.

 

PSA’s recommendations from the Medicine Safety: Mental Health Care report support better medicine management and wrap-around mental health care to improve quality of life for Australians living with a mental health condition. 

 

Quotes attributable to PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS:

 

“The evidence presented in this report shows that, as a nation, we need to do better.

 

“Wherever medicines are used there is a risk of medicine misadventure, which is exactly what this report has found.   

 

“We know that the prevalence of mental ill health is on the rise, and more people are using medicines to manage a mental health condition.  

 

“Too often we hear of people stopping treatment altogether because of the effects of these medicines, because they make them unwell. This is where we believe there is significant opportunity for investment in pharmacist services to help support the safe and effective use of medicines.

 

“People using medicines in their mental health care need better access to the expertise of pharmacists at all stages of management – in hospitals, in community pharmacies, in private clinics and across the whole spectrum of care.  

 

“Our recommendations focus on addressing specific gaps in the provision of comprehensive health care and challenge the ‘set-and-forget’ paradigm that people using mental health medicines too often experience.  

 

“From implementing a mental health screening program in community pharmacies, to formalising transition of care pharmacist services to reduce the risk of medicine-related harm when transferring from hospital to home, pharmacists can and should be part of a collaborative, multidisciplinary and person-centred approach to mental health care. 

 

“This is about ensuring patients have the support they need to get the most out of their medicines safely and effectively.

 

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention and Assistant Minister for Rural and Regional Health, Emma McBride MP:

 

“The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) should be commended on the launch of their most recent medicine safety report, Medicine Safety: Mental Health Care.

 

“This is a timely report on the importance of medication safety in mental health given the prevalence of common mental health disorders and the medications often prescribed as part of treatment and care.

 

“The report also highlights the vital role pharmacists play – across settings – to improve safety and importantly reduce harm.

 

“As a pharmacist who worked in acute adult inpatient services I know this report will be influential as we work together to improve patient care.”

 

The Medicine Safety: Mental Health Care report and PSA’s recommendations are available at https://www.psa.org.au/advocacy/working-for-our-profession/medicine-safety/mental_health/  

 

 

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

South Australian women to have greater access to health care

20 November 2023

 

South Australian women will soon be able to access medication for a urinary tract infection (UTI) and a resupply of their oral contraceptive pill from their local pharmacist.

From March 2024, women aged 18 to 65 experiencing symptoms consistent with an uncomplicated UTI will be able to speak to trained community pharmacists for assessment and access to a one-off course of antibiotics, if they meet specific clinical criteria.

From May 2024, women will also be able to obtain a resupply of their oral contraceptive from trained community pharmacies without a prescription.

Every community pharmacist in South Australia will be able to take part in additional training to offer both programs which are modelled on services already operating in other states.

These measures were key recommendations made by a South Australian parliamentary committee, chaired by Jayne Stinson MP, which investigated UTIs and access to treatment for women in SA.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) South Australia President Dr Manya Angley welcomed the move.

“PSA welcomes Minister Picton’s move to give South Australians greater access to safe health care when and where they need it,” Dr Angley said.

“We know that around half of women will experience a UTI in their lifetime, and that timely access to treatment is key to alleviating discomfort and preventing further complications or hospitalisation.

“Pharmacists in South Australia will be able to better support contraceptive adherence as well as saving patients time and money.

“Pharmacists are key to strengthening the health care system. Regional and rural communities across South Australia will benefit enormously from being able to access treatment from their local pharmacist, freeing up our hardworking rural GPs for more complex patient needs.

“I join pharmacists across South Australia in saying that we look forward to working with the Minister and SA Health to ensure that these programs are implemented with the health needs of women at the core,” Dr Angley concluded.

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

Early CPC24 registrations open now

17 November 2023

 

Early bird registrations are now open for next year’s Credentialed Pharmacist Conference (CPC24) taking place in Cairns from 3-5 May 2024.

Delegates who register before 24 February save up to $145 on conference registration, which includes access to all education sessions, conference catering, and supplier exhibition, as well as tickets to the Welcome Reception and Supper Club social functions.

The first 100 registrations will also go into the draw to win back their ticket cost.

CPC24 Conference Chair Debbie Rigby AACP-FPS invited credentialed pharmacists to immerse themselves in a weekend of advanced clinical education.

“CPC24 is a must-attend conference for credentialed pharmacists and those undergoing accreditation,” Ms Rigby said.

“I have the pleasure of chairing the program committee and we have a great mix of speakers and topics, all relevant to what we do for medication reviews in various settings. We have some sessions that will provide updates on programs, as well as therapeutic topics and workshops.

“Whether you are a PSA member or not, CPC is an opportunity to immerse yourself in advanced clinical education and share time with friends of colleagues. I can’t wait to see you there,” Ms Rigby concluded.

PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS reaffirmed PSA’s commitment to supporting credentialed pharmacists, highlighting the high calibre of education expected at CPC.

“The CPC24 program is curated by credentialed pharmacists, for credentialed pharmacists,” Dr Sim said.

“CPC brings together hundreds of pharmacists from around Australia to connect and engage with high-quality education, practical knowledge and skills that can be immediately applied to practice.

“Each session is led by renowned experts and industry leaders who share their insights, experiences and knowledge, providing delegates the chance to learn from the best.”

Early bird registrations are now open for PSA’s Credentialed Pharmacist Conference (CPC24).  The full program and registrations are available here.

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

Supporting pharmacists, supporting patients: PSA releases annual report

16 November 2023

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) continues to support pharmacists in all areas of practice and in all corners of the country, with the release of its 2022-23 Annual Report highlighting PSA’s impact on a rapidly changing pharmacy profession.

 

The Annual Report details PSA’s activity throughout the 2022-23 financial year to support its mission to embed, equip, and enable pharmacists to be at the forefront of healthcare in Australia.

 

Releasing the report, Chief Executive Officer Adj A/Prof Steve Morris said that the report demonstrates the breadth of PSA’s work and focus on supporting members to further their practice.

 

“PSA exists only because of our members, who are at the heart of everything we do from advocacy and policy development, to practice guidelines and education,” Adj A/Prof Morris said.

 

“As an organisation PSA has listened to members and invested heavily in our capacity to support members both at an individual practice level and as a profession.

 

“We are proud to be supporting members around Australia every day.

 

“PSA remains focused on delivering value for our members through nation leading education, ensuring that pharmacists are at the forefront of contemporary practice as scope continues to evolve to meet patient needs.

 

“In the last 12 months we have had over 100,000 enrolments in online CPD, solidifying our place as leaders in delivering high quality education to Australian pharmacists.

 

“We continue to lead the conversation on medicine safety through ongoing advocacy, our flagship Medicine Safety report series, and over 40 projects and partnerships that support the Quality Use of Medicines.”

 

Adj A/Prof Morris specifically pointed to PSA’s significant work leading the profession with quality standards and guidelines fit for the future of pharmacy practice.

 

“We are proud to have launched reimagined Professional Practice Standards, uniting every Australian pharmacist in consistent, quality pharmacy practice and demonstrating the importance of pharmacists wherever medicines are used.

 

“Not only does this change the way that pharmacists engage the standards, but it also supports the continuing development of pharmacy scope of practice.”

 

PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS reflected what has been a challenging year for pharmacists.

 

“This is a critical period for our profession, which requires unity and strength across diverse practice areas,” Dr Sim said.

 

“Over the next year and beyond, we must continue to fight for the future of the pharmacy profession, ensuring opportunities for positive career progression in all areas of practice. We must ensure that all pharmacists are supported and remunerated to continue providing the advice and services our communities rely on.

 

“I urge all pharmacists, from students through to experienced and advanced practice pharmacists to join us in building the future of our profession.”

 

 

Read the PSA Annual Report 2022-23 here.

 

 

 

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

Checking the pulse in turbulent times

13 November 2023

 

Following a turbulent year for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has this week launched an end-of-year survey to check the pulse of members.

In an email to members, PSA’s General Manager of Membership Jen Steer said significant changes to the industry, such as 60-day dispensing and expanding scope of practice, meant it was a critical time to check in on members and their needs.

“When there is significant change in the profession, it’s vital PSA stay on top of changing priorities to ensure that members get what they need and want most,” Ms Steer said.

“As we plan for next year and beyond, we are keen to ensure our work is informed by those who stand at the heart of PSA – our members.

“That’s how we can deliver the maximum value for members today while shaping the pharmacy profession of tomorrow.

“Ensuring PSA is delivering benefits for members at every stage of their career, whether they are a recent graduate, an established pharmacist, or nearing retirement, is critical.

“This is an opportunity for members to provide their thoughts and maintain the focus on what they need the most.”

Members and non-members can have their say on the survey here.

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

NSW Annual Therapeutic Update program now live

22 November 2023

 

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has launched the full program of sessions for the New South Wales Annual Therapeutic Update to be held in Magenta Shores from 17-19 February 2024, with early registrations now open.

PSA’s series of Annual Therapeutic Updates provide pharmacists with clinical and practical information on the latest practice developments in their state or territory. Through three days of education, pharmacists will engage with content specifically designed to be relevant within the regulatory environment in New South Wales, including recent changes to pharmacist authorities and upcoming pilot programs.

PSA New South Wales President Luke Kelly FPS urged pharmacists from around the state to take the opportunity to develop their practice as part of their continued professional development.

“The PSA Annual Therapeutic Update is the premier opportunity for pharmacists in all practice settings to stay on top of their clinical knowledge,” Mr Kelly said.

“With the New South Wales Pharmacy Trial set to expand into the treatment of skin conditions in 2024, there has never been a more important time for pharmacists to learn from leaders and continue delivering quality care to our patients.

“I’m confident that all pharmacists, from all corners of our state and from all practice settings will develop new skills and expand their knowledge on topics relevant to daily practice,” Mr Kelly said.

The full program for the 2024 NSW ATU is available here.

PSA has also invited nominations for the NSW Pharmacist of the Year Awards, to be presented during the conference.

Awards are presented to recognise outstanding achievements, innovations, or contributions to the community and pharmacy profession.

“Recognising the skill and dedication of pharmacists is an important part of our role in promoting excellence in pharmacy practice,” Mr Kelly said.

“There are many examples of pharmacists who continue to go above and beyond for patients and for our profession and it is great to be able to recognise some of them in this way.

“I encourage all New South Wales members to recognise the achievements of our fellow pharmacists by making a nomination for the 2024 awards,” Mr Kelly concluded.

Nominations are available here, and close on 19 November 2023.

Event details

  • 17-19 February 2024
  • Pullman Magenta Shores, New South Wales
  • Super early bird registrations open until 22 November 2023 (Professional Plus members save up to 50% on registration price)
  • Register here

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

Vaccine certainty protects Queenslanders

2 November 2023

 

Queensland Health Minister Shannon Fentiman MP has today announced that the Queensland Government will invest $40 million to ensure every Queenslander will have access free influenza vaccinations in 2024.

Under the National Immunisation Program (NIP) children aged six months to five years, pregnant women, people aged 65 and over, First Nations people and those with certain medical conditions can access no-cost vaccinations, while Australians outside of these groups pay a private fee to receive an influenza vaccination.

PSA Queensland President Shane MacDonald MPS welcomed the announcement.

“Removing cost barriers and giving Queenslanders greater access to vaccines is a great first step to improving vaccine uptake,” Mr MacDonald said.

“Queensland still falls behind national influenza coverage in almost every age group, an ongoing challenge that needs action from the whole health system, including government and all healthcare professionals.

“This is a common-sense approach to improving vaccination coverage.

“Funding certainty ahead of the 2024 flu season will mean that pharmacists can adequately prepare and meet increased demand.

“Knowing that every patient will have access to a vaccination at no cost, pharmacists can start having conversations now to encourage our patients to get their vaccine before the start of flu season.”

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