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SA expands pharmacy services to UTI treatment, 24/7 pharmacy opens

6 February 2024

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes the opening of the first 24/7 community pharmacy in Adelaide over the weekend by SA Health Minister Chris Picton.

At the opening, Minister Picton also announced that pharmacists who undergo additional training will be able to supply treatment for uncomplicated Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) from March 2024.

PSA South Australia and Northern Territory President Dr Manya Angley FPS said that the round-the-clock access to medicines and health advice – including treatment for uncomfortable UTIs – gives consumers confidence in accessibility to health care.

“With support from the State Government, consumers in Adelaide now have 24-hour access to pharmacists, providing peace of mind that if they get sick or need after hours health advice, they will be able to access expert care from a trusted health professional,” Dr Angley said.

“Health care needs can change unpredictably at all hours of the day or night. People who require medicines for pain management or other palliative care medicines can be assured they can access them around-the-clock, along with the advice and expertise of pharmacists ready to help.

“Pharmacists are critical to improving the accessibility of care and reducing unnecessary stress on our hospital systems, helping to triage, manage and consult on acute common ailments like uncomplicated UTIs.

“Giving consumers an option for acute care outside of visiting an emergency department is key, especially out of hours where there are fewer options for care.

“PSA is looking forward to continuing our work with the South Australian Government and Minister Picton to further improve access to quality healthcare, utilising South Australia’s excellent pharmacists.”

PSA’s Managing uncomplicated cystitis training program is now available to all South Australian pharmacists. Successful completion allows the pharmacist to provide an assessment and treatment, if deemed appropriate, for uncomplicated UTIs in women aged 18 to 65, once the program commences in March 2024.

National Pharmacies in Norwood, South Australia is now open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Chemist Warehouse at the Saints Shopping Centre in Salisbury Plain and Chemist Warehouse at Clovelly Park will begin operating 24/7 in coming weeks.

 

 

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

Unleashing the potential of pharmacists: Scope of practice review

31 January 2024

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes the release of the first issue paper from the Unleashing the Potential of our Health Workforce Scope of Practice Review (the Cormack Review) last week.

The issues paper recognises the existing barriers that are preventing Australia’s healthcare professionals, including pharmacists, from practising to their full and top of scope.

PSA National President A/Prof Fei Sim FPS said that the paper highlights both the urgent and the long-term need for pharmacists to contribute to improving access to care and medicine safety through working to their full and top of scope.

“The Cormack Review’s first issues paper confirms that inconsistent regulations, unnecessary restrictions on practice, and siloed workforces are having a detrimental impact on patients,” A/Prof Sim said.

“As pharmacists, we welcome the paper as the first step in the review process, however we need to now look towards solutions.

“PSA is making the case for solutions that recognise the potential of pharmacists as vital members of the healthcare team.

“PSA sees a future where community pharmacies are supported and funded to fulfill their primary care role as urgent care clinics where pharmacists can triage, manage and consult on a range of acute common ailments.

“This includes the ability to prescribe PBS medicines, harnessing the accessibility of pharmacists to deliver timely, cost-effective care – dramatically reducing patients’ out-of-pocket costs.

“We see a future where pharmacists are embedded in multidisciplinary health care teams wherever medicines are prescribed, supplied, administered, or reviewed, and where pharmacists are utilised to support patients in managing chronic health conditions – whether that is a medicine or a referral to another healthcare provider.

“To achieve these aims, regulatory, financial and systems barriers must be recognised and removed, and only until then, we can see the full potential of pharmacists unleashed.

“As the next phase of consultation begins, we are continuing to advocate directly to government for the future of our profession and importantly, the future of our patients.”

A/Prof Fei Sim currently sits on the Cormack Review’s Expert Advisory Committee, representing the pharmacy profession.

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

Launch of new PPS Quality Improvement and Self-Assessment Implementation Program

14 October 2023

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has today officially launched the Professional Practice Standards Quality Improvement and Self-Assessment Implementation Program to help pharmacists better understand and implement the standards into their practice.

 

The Implementation Program enables pharmacists to identify their individual scope of practice and the Standards relevant to them, as well as self-assess against these.
Upon completing the program, pharmacists are provided with a tailored action plan to help them improve their practice.

 

Speaking at the Western Australia Annual Therapeutic Update in Perth, PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS strongly encouraged pharmacists to take advantage of the Quality Improvement and Implementation Program to improve their practice.

 

“When we launched the new Professional Practice Standards earlier this year, we knew that it would fundamentally change the way pharmacists interact with and apply professional standards to their own practice,” Dr Sim said.

 

“Our Implementation Program allows each pharmacist to take an individual approach to applying the Standards in practice, no matter what our area of practice or specialisation.
“Self-assessing performance against these standards allows all of us to better our practice, and to deliver better care to all Australians.

 

“As pharmacists’ scope of practice continues to evolve, it is vital we continually assess our own performance and whether we are consistently enabling the delivery of safe, high-quality, reliable, and clinically effective healthcare services.

 

“I encourage all pharmacists, in all areas of practice and in all career stages to make the most of the Professional Practice Standards Quality Improvement and Self-assessment Implementation Program as a contemporary, evidence-based resource to guide their quality professional practice.

 

“By incorporating these standards into daily practice, pharmacists will ensure safe, effective and person-centred care for all Australians,” Dr Sim concluded.

 

The launch of this interactive program reaffirms PSA’s dedication to supporting pharmacists to provide top-quality healthcare services to the community. PSA remains committed to equipping pharmacists with the knowledge and tools they need to excel in their roles and improve patient outcomes.

 

The Professional Practice Standards, the implementation program, and more are available at https://www.psa.org.au/practice-support-industry/pps/

 

 

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

Toward Pharmacists in 2030: Launch of Consultation Paper

25 September 2023

 

 

This World Pharmacists Day, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has launched consultation for its primary future vision report Pharmacists in 2030 due for release next year.

Pharmacists in 2030 will follow on from PSA’s Pharmacists in 2023 report to set the agenda for the next 6 years, empowering pharmacists to meet the changing needs of Australians and our health system.

 

PSA invites pharmacists, industry stakeholders, and the broader Australian community to provide invaluable feedback on the future of pharmacy through the Pharmacists in 2030 consultation process. It is an opportunity to participate in the creation of a plan that will not only guide the future of the profession, but also contribute to a healthier, more accessible healthcare system for all.

 

Alongside the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) President Mr Paul Sinclair MPS and other pharmacy leaders in addressing the opening plenary of the International FIP World Congress this morning, PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS said Australia’s healthcare system is under unprecedented pressures, exacerbated by the evolving health needs of our aging population.

 

“Building on the success and momentum of Pharmacists in 2023, now is the time to look forward to 2030 and set an even more ambitious plan for the profession,” Dr Sim said.

 

“Too many Australians are being left behind in a health system which increasingly disadvantages those who live in rural and remote areas and those who cannot afford to fund their own health care.

 

“The future we see is one where access to care safe and equitable for all Australians by utilising the expertise of pharmacists.

 

“Pharmacists are the solution to a stronger health system.

 

Pharmacists in 2030 will look at the roles pharmacists of the future can play to support patients at all stages of care. To ensure sustainability, these roles must be supported with recognition and remuneration.

 

“Our vision for Pharmacists in 2030 involves all pharmacists, in all specialist areas of practice from community to hospital to credentialed to general practice and beyond, to be empowered to work to their top and full scope of practice. This is the foundation of our pharmacists’ future.

 

“Building this vision requires the collective input and wisdom of all stakeholders, from pharmacists to government, peak bodies, private industry, and, most importantly, the patients and consumers we serve.

 

“Together, we can continue to shape the future of pharmacy and make a meaningful difference to the health of our communities.”

 

To join the conversation and share your insights, visit www.psa.org.au/pharmacistsin2030

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

Pharmacists key to stronger primary care

18 September 2023

 

As the first phase of consultation opens for the Federal Government’s Unleashing the Potential of our Health Workforce Review (previously known as the “Scope of Practice Review), the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) is reaffirming its commitment to supporting pharmacists’ roles across the health system.

 

PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS said that all pharmacists in all specialty areas of practice must be empowered to work to their top of scope.

 

“Pharmacists practising to their top of scope is the key to stronger primary care,” Dr Sim said.

 

“We know that complex medicine use is on the rise, that more Australians are hospitalised due to medication misadventure, and that these trends will continue as our population ages. Allowing all pharmacists to work to our top of scope is critical to reducing medicine harm across the health system.

 

“We also know that we have a GP access crisis. Pharmacists, if fully supported, can go a long way to add to health system capacity, significantly improve timely access to primary health care by 26 million people who live in Australia.

 

“It is essential that we bring to light the full potential and worth of a pharmacist. The review should reveal the barriers impeding pharmacists practising to top of scope and remove the unnecessary and inequitable red tape hindering Australians from receiving pharmacists’ care.

 

“PSA is continuing to support pharmacists practising in specialised roles, including comprehensive medication management reviews like Home Medicines Review undertaken by credentialed pharmacists. As our scope of practice continues to evolve, we need to see pharmacists contributing to quality use of medicines and medicines safety wherever medicines are used.”

 

Chair of PSA’s Community of Speciality Interest – Interdisciplinary Team-Based Care Debbie Rigby FPS is particularly encouraging credentialed pharmacists to contribute to PSA’s submissions to the review.

 

“The Federal Government’s workforce review is an opportunity to highlight how credentialed pharmacists can better help optimise medication management to the full extent of their skills and training,” Ms Rigby said.

 

“There are many opportunities and hopes for the future including current and emerging models of care.

 

“Home Medicines Reviews and Residential Medication Management Reviews now have more than 25 years of practice and are entrenched in general practice, as well as clinical guidelines and resources.

 

“A growing number of pharmacists are working collaboratively in aged care, general practice and disability services. The Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) supports funding pharmacists in First Nations Primary Health Services, and we are eagerly awaiting the implementation of the aged care on-site pharmacists program.

 

“However, there are still problems with access and equity across all communities, including regional, rural and remote areas and disadvantaged populations. The evolution of medication reviews requires some blue sky thinking and strong advocacy.

 

“Many credentialed pharmacists have a wealth of experience and have built strong and trusted relationships with GPs on the ground. I’m pleased PSA is supporting credentialed pharmacists, listening to their views and strongly advocating for their interests.

 

Ms Rigby encourages all credentialed pharmacists to join the Interdisciplinary Team-Based Care CSI group on Facebook, and share their views and experiences to inform PSA’s advocacy.

 

Dr Sim further urges all pharmacists to remain united during critical times of change in the profession.

 

Join the ITBC CSI group here.

 

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

Nation-leading partnered prescribing pilot to support Tasmanian aged care residents

14 September 2023

 

Joining pharmacists on R U OK? Day, Tasmanian Health Minister Guy Barnett MP announced that Tasmanian pharmacists will soon be able to prescribe medicines for aged care patients under a new pilot program following the release of recommendations from the Review of Tasmanian Pharmacists’ Scope of Practice, which have been accepted by the state government in full.

 

The Tasmanian Health Minister also announced that patients will soon be able to access treatment for urinary tract infections (UTIs).

 

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) Tasmanian President David Peachey MPS said the move demonstrated a commitment to improving accessible care for Tasmanians.

 

“I am proud to see the Tasmanian Government leading the nation on reform to best support aged care patients and our broader health system,” Mr Peachey said.

 

“It’s clear that we need to do more for our older Australians living in residential aged care. Allowing pharmacists to write repeat prescriptions or change the dose of an existing drug will free up hundreds of GP hours for complex and emerging needs.

 

“Pharmacists in many parts of Australia are already initiating treatment for uncomplicated UTIs, supporting safe, timely access to care for thousands of patients,” Mr Peachey said.

 

“Today’s announcement brings Tasmania in line with programs around the country.

 

“Pharmacists have shown that we can and should be doing more to improve patients’ access to care and strengthen the health system.”

 

Mr Peachey has also reaffirmed PSA’s support for expanding pharmacist scope of practice to better support Tasmanians.

 

“The recommendations from the Scope of Practice review are a positive step toward a health system that works for patients.

 

“Recommendations from the review will make care more accessible for many Tasmanians, from structured prescribing to medication charting.

 

“This is recognition that pharmacists can and should do more as our most accessible health care professionals. This is particularly important as we mark R U OK? Day and the role that pharmacists can play in supporting patient’s mental health.

 

“PSA is committed to working collaboratively with the Health Minister and the Tasmanian Government to progress all recommendations as soon as possible.”

 

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

Pharmacists can deliver on current and future challenges

25 August 2023

 

Following the release of the Australian Government’s Intergenerational Report 2023, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has called for pharmacists to be able to do more to support the country’s increased healthcare needs as our population ages.

 

The report, released yesterday, highlights five major factors affecting public policy moving forward. In particular, the report acknowledges that Australia’s ageing population and rising demand for care and support services will add further pressure on our already strained health system, hospital emergency departments, and further exacerbate wait times in General Practice.

 

PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS said the report highlighted both the urgent and the long-term need for pharmacists in all practice areas to work to their top of scope.

 

“The Federal Government’s Intergenerational Report confirmed that our gaining population will continue to have a significant impact on the Australian economy,” she said.

 

“Combined with the rising demand for quality health care services, we must be able to ensure the long-term sustainability of our health system.

 

“Access to care is a growing issue in Australia, and the situation is exacerbated in rural and remote communities.

 

“Australians need all health professionals working to their top of scope – including pharmacists.”

 

The Federal Government also announced yesterday that ANU’s Professor Mark Cormack will lead the Unleashing the Potential of our Health Workforce Review, to be delivered in 2024.

 

“The government’s scope of practice review needs to heed the warnings of the Intergenerational report and unlock the potential of our health workforce using pharmacists,” Dr Sim said.

 

“Pharmacists are highly trained health professionals and should be supported to practise to full scope, contributing to sustainability of our health system to enable equitable access to healthcare by all Australians.

 

“There are a range of common ailments which can be safely and effectively managed by pharmacists, supported by international evidence, facilitating safe and timely care.

 

“This can only be achieved with meaningful investment and funding to empower pharmacists to deliver important health care to Australians.

 

“Pharmacists can, and should, play a significant role to improve Australian’s access to care, and contribute towards quality, safe and effective use of medicines in all parts of the healthcare system.

 

“On behalf of Australian pharmacists, I look forward to working with Professor Cormack and his team on the Unleashing the Potential of our Health Workforce Review,” Dr Sim concluded.

 

The Federal Government’s Intergenerational Report is available here.

 

 

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

8CPA negotiations to begin a year ahead of schedule

8 August 2023

 

The PSA welcomes the Federal Government’s announcement that early negotiations for the 8th Community Pharmacy Agreement (CPA) will begin as soon as possible, whilst highlighting the need to secure the short-term viability of the community pharmacy sector.

 

Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler MP has said the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia will continue to be signatories to any new agreement, with negotiations set to conclude by the end of the 2023-24 financial year.

 

PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS said that negotiations for 8CPA must harness community pharmacists as the solution to Australia’s primary care crisis – but emphasised immediate and long-term viability risks could make this difficult to achieve.

 

“PSA looks forward to working with the government and the Pharmacy Guild to drive better and safer access to medicines for Australians,” Dr Sim said.

 

“We need to do more to reduce the preventable harm medicines are causing in Australia. Up to half of the 250,000 medicine-related hospital admissions per year in Australia are preventable.

 

“More Australians are finding it more difficult to access their essential medicines due to waiting times to access their regular prescribers. These are real problems PSA will seek solutions for during the 8CPA negotiations.

 

“The new agreement should enable pharmacists to practice to full scope. This agreement should deliver better access to care for all Australians by cementing the core role of pharmacists as the stewards for safe and effective use of medicines.”

 

“As the peak body representing pharmacists in Australia, and as steward of professional standards, PSA is committed to working constructively and collaboratively during this process of negotiation to deliver the outcome which includes better ways for pharmacists to show the impact of the care they provide.

 

“PSA has championed embedding of quality and safety measures in pharmacy programs for many years, and will seek to drive evaluation measures in CPA programs to help demonstrate the role pharmacists play every day in supporting safer and more effective use of medicines.

 

“While there is up to 11 months before negotiations are proposed to conclude, the real impact of 60-day dispensing will be felt immediately by community pharmacists as the measure commences on 1 September. We must ensure close alignment between the commencement of 60-day dispensing and the commencement of a new community pharmacy agreement.

 

“Pharmacists need certainty now that the care they provide will remain viable in the short term.

 

“As a profession, pharmacists can do more and want to do more. But we can’t keep doing more with less.”

 

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