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Pharmacists to administer RSV vaccines in QLD

1 May 2024

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) encourages Queensland residents over the age of 60 years to book a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine appointment with their local pharmacist, following the addition of the vaccine to the Extended Practice Authority – Pharmacists V5 (EPA) today.

Queensland now joins New South Wales and Victoria as the only jurisdictions in Australia to allow pharmacists to initiate and administer RSV vaccines.

PSA Queensland President Shane MacDonald welcomed the move, saying it was important people protected themselves against infectious diseases ahead of winter.

“We know that older adults with chronic medical conditions including asthma, COPD and diabetes are at an even higher risk of hospitalisation or death because of RSV,” Mr MacDonald said.

“It just makes sense to make the vaccine as accessible as possible, to as many eligible people as possible.

“PSA has been advocating for this vaccine to be added the Extended Practice Authority for some time, and we’re really encouraged see the Queensland Government taking action.”

PSA National President, Associate Professor Fei Sim FPS, called on other Australian jurisdictions to follow lead.

“ATAGI has issued three significant statements about vaccination – for COVID-19, influenza and, for the first time, RSV. Now we have a vaccine that is recommended, it’s important to make sure people can access it from all their regular vaccine providers, including pharmacists.”

RSV vaccines are currently not funded by the National Immunisation Program.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation recommends people over the age of 75 years receive RSV vaccination as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over 60 years and those aged over 60 with medical conditions that increase the risk of severe disease due to RSV. All other people over the age of 60 years are also eligible for RSV vaccination.

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

Unlocking pharmacist’s potential in the QLD Scope of Practice Pilot

24 April 2024 

 

Queenslanders are set to have greater access to high-quality, primary healthcare services from today (24 April 2024) under the state government’s Community Pharmacy Scope of Practice Pilot.

Under the Pilot, trained pharmacists will be able to prescribe for a range of common conditions and better support patients with medication management through therapeutic adaptation and substitution and continued dispensing.

PSA Queensland President Shane MacDonald welcomed Health Minister Shannon Fentiman’s announcement today in Cairns.

“The 2020 election commitment to work with PSA, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, and other stakeholders to implement this Pilot is finally being realised.  It has been a long journey, and we thank the Government for the collaborating with the profession to execute this important work.”

“We must also acknowledge the pioneering pharmacists who, amidst their professional workload and family responsibilities, have dedicated themselves to undertake the extensive education program required to participate.

“Better utilising the skills and accessibility of pharmacists is a great outcome for all Queenslanders,” Mr MacDonald said.

“Queensland is already leading the nation on pharmacist vaccination scope, delivering more vaccines to more patients, and improving vaccine coverage across our state. This is a vote of confidence from the Queensland Government in the skills and expertise of our pharmacists to continue delivering safe and accessible primary health care to Queenslanders.

“On the ten-year anniversary of the Queensland Pharmacist Immunisation Pilot, which led the way on using the pharmacist workforce to vaccinate Australians, the Queensland Government once again is the trail blazer in exploring the benefits of using all health professions to their full scope.

“Empowering pharmacists to manage common acute conditions and better support chronic disease management in community pharmacies is a progressive step towards enhancing healthcare accessibility. Piloting this initiative in Queensland will pave the way for nation-wide impact,” Mr MacDonald concluded.

Queensland PSA Branch Committee member and Pharmacy Partner at LiveLife Pharmacy Macrossan Street (Port Douglas), James Buckley is one of the first pharmacists to complete the training and be authorised to participate.

“I am really excited to be able to support my local community to have better access to care. Pharmacists are so accessible and our pharmacies are open late and on weekends.  It just makes sense to use us to the top of our scope.”

 

PSA is currently working with the government to become an approved training provider to support the state-wide roll out of the Pilot.

 

Pilot services

Pharmacists who are approved participate in the Pilot are able to provide additional services that can be grouped into three categories:

 

Medication management services including therapeutic adaptation, therapeutic substitution and continued dispensing.

 

Autonomous prescribing for specified acute common conditions and health and wellbeing services: 

  • Gastro-oesophageal reflux and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
  • Acute nausea and vomiting
  • Allergic and nonallergic rhinitis
  • Impetigo
  • Herpes zoster (shingles)
  • Mild to moderate atopic dermatitis
  • Acute exacerbations of mild plaque psoriasis
  • Mild to moderate acne
  • Acute wound management
  • Acute diffuse otitis externa
  • Acute otitis media
  • Acute mild musculoskeletal pain and inflammation
  • Smoking cessation
  • Hormonal contraception
  • Oral health screening and fluoride application
  • Travel health
  • Management of overweight and obesity

 

Protocol/structured prescribing as part of a chronic disease management program: 

  • Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction Program for type 2 diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidaemia
  • Improved Asthma (and exercise-induced bronchoconstriction) Symptom Program
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Monitoring Program

 

Consumers interested in learning more can visit Queensland Community Pharmacy Scope of Practice Pilot | Health and wellbeing | Queensland Government (www.qld.gov.au) to find participating pharmacies.

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

Queenslanders to have greater access to hormonal contraception through community pharmacists

15 March 2024

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes today’s announcement from the Queensland Government, allowing trained pharmacists to prescribe hormonal contraception to women across the state as part of a pilot program from July 2024.

The pilot will mean women and girls aged 16 and older across Queensland can access a range of hormonal contraceptives through their local pharmacist, including:

  • oral medications – the combined oral contraceptive pill (excluding those with high estrogen dose) and the progesterone-only pill.
  • injected medication – Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate.
  • contraceptive device – the combined hormonal contraceptive vaginal ring.

 

PSA Queensland President Shane MacDonald MPS said that improving timely access to contemporary options for reproductive care is a welcome move.

“PSA’s vision is that every Queenslander has access to safe, quality, and effective healthcare through optimising the role of pharmacists. This is certainly a positive step towards achieving this,” Mr MacDonald says.

“PSA welcomes the announcement today and we look forward to continuing to work with Minister Fentiman and the Queensland Government on the education and implementation of this Pilot, as we currently do for the Queensland Community Pharmacy Scope of Practice Pilot.

“Appropriately trained pharmacists can do more to support the healthcare needs of Queenslanders, including improving access to safe and effective hormonal contraceptives.

“By leveraging the accessibility and credibility of pharmacists, this pilot will go a long way to improve equitable and timely access to reproductive healthcare, including women living in rural and remote areas where access to care is increasingly challenging.

“On the 10-year anniversary of the nation-leading Queensland Pharmacist Immunisation Pilot, the Queensland Government has shown once again its commitment to improving access to quality healthcare for Queenslanders.”

PSA National President Associate Professor Fei Sim FPS, who is presenting at the Women’s Health Summit in Canberra this week, calls on governments around Australia to consider how they can improve access to care.

“83 per cent of Australian women have used contraception at some point in their lives, and yet there are still significant barriers to access that need to be addressed,” A/Prof Sim said.

“We congratulate and commend the Queensland Government for their leadership and commitment to improve women’s access to contraception. Access to contraception is not a luxury, but a basic healthcare need.

“Our healthcare crisis requires all health professionals to practise to their full scope, and collaboratively, we can improve our health system’s capacity.

“I call on all governments across the country to consider measures to improve women’s access to reproductive healthcare,” she concluded.

 

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

Thank You Premier Palaszczuk

11 December 2023

 

QUOTES ATTRIBUTABLE TO PSA QLD PRESIDENT SHANE MACDONALD MPS

 

Following the announcement of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s retirement, I want to acknowledge and thank her for the unwavering support and leadership of her government over the last 9 years. Palaszczuk’s commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of our state has undoubtedly improved the lives of all Queenslanders.

 

Premier Palaszczuk has supported pharmacists and the health care system through some of our most difficult challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic. During a period of immense pressure, the outgoing Premier led with conviction and steadfast commitment to her state.

 

Under Premier Palaszczuk’s leadership the potential of our profession has been unlocked, with pharmacists able to contribute more to the health of our communities. PSA is proud to have supported the Palaszczuk Government’s pharmacist scope of practice pilots, leading the country in the accessible and timely treatment of urinary tract infections, contraception, and other common conditions.

 

Under Palaszczuk’s leadership, Queensland’s pharmacists can administer more vaccines to more patients, improving immunisation coverage across our state.

It is important to acknowledge that Premier Palaszczuk’s Government was the first in Australia to pilot pharmacist administration of vaccinations in 2014. This proactive approach meant that an entire workforce could be mobilised and administer vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

On behalf of pharmacists across Queensland, I thank Premier Palaszczuk for her leadership, and wish her the best for what comes next.

 

I look forward to continuing to work constructively with the Government and the next Premier, on behalf of pharmacists, to support the health of all Queenslanders.

 

ENDS

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

Pharmacist scope pilot to expand, improving access to care for all Queenslanders

25 September 2023

 

This World Pharmacists Day, Queensland Health Minister Shannon Fentiman MP has announced that the North Queensland Pharmacy Scope of Practice Pilot will be expanded statewide, allowing pharmacists to administer a wider range of vaccines and prescribe medicines for common health conditions.

Speaking at FIP World Congress in Brisbane this afternoon, Minister Fentiman confirmed that participating pharmacists will be able to administer more types of vaccines, and prescribe treatments such as:

  • The oral contraceptive pill
  • Asthma medication
  • Nausea and vomiting medication
  • Nasal congestion and runny nose medication
  • Mild skin condition treatments
  • Some heart disease risk reduction
  • Support to quit smoking

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s (PSA’s) Queensland President Shane MacDonald MPS welcomed the announcement.

“Pharmacists in Queensland are an integral part of the primary healthcare system, providing a range of services and access to care for all communities.

“The Minister’s announcement is a welcome step toward improving access to care for patients around the state and allowing for a greater number of Queensland pharmacists to practise to their top of scope.

“All Queenslanders will benefit from being able to access timely, quality care from their local pharmacist.

“Queensland has often led the nation on pharmacist scope of practice. Other jurisdictions are watching the results of trials here in Queensland and following suit.

“This is a vote of confidence from the Queensland Government in the skills and expertise of our pharmacists, which PSA looks forward to supporting during its implementation.”

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