PSA summit to unite pharmacists and doctors for patient safety

August 17, 2018

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia will host an inter-professional collaboration summit to explore how doctors and pharmacists can work together more effectively to support patient care through the safe use of medicines.


Prompted by a recent Coroner’s report into the death of a Melbourne man following complications of methotrexate toxicity, the summit will bring together leaders from key pharmacy, medical and consumer organisations at Pharmacy House in Canberra on 21 August 2018.


In handing down her findings, Coroner Rosemary Carlin said the patient’s unnecessary death resulted from key failings of the pharmacist and prescribing doctor to work collaboratively to effectively resolve a prescribing error. In particular, the coroner noted “Doctors and pharmacists should trust and respect each other, whilst retaining their independence. In dismissing her concerns, it appears that Dr Lim did not afford the respect she deserved. In dispensing the methotrexate despite her concerns, it appears that afforded too much respect, or at least lost sight of her role as an independent safeguard against inappropriate prescribing.”


PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson said the Coroner’s report highlights the need for a more collaborative relationship between pharmacists and doctors that recognises their respective roles and responsibilities while also acknowledging their independence.


“The summit will seek to develop a set of principles to support respectful and collaborative practice between pharmacists and doctors,” Dr Jackson said.


“It is time to work together on key principles that underpin the collaborative relationship between pharmacists and doctors, particularly regarding the safe use of medicines, for the benefit of our patients.


“We have invited other professional bodies to join the summit so together, we can empower pharmacists and doctors to meet their duty of care in regards to patient safety.”



Media contact: 
Jarryd Luke
Communications Officer
0487 922 176