Why Australian pharmacy supports World Pharmacists Day

Gilbert Yeates takes a look at why the profession is celebrating today, World Pharmacists Day

“Safe and effective medicines for all” is the theme of this year’s World Pharmacists Day, being held on Wednesday, 25th September 2019. 

It is an initiative of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), the global body representing pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences and pharmaceutical education.

Locally, the Australian Pharmacy Leaders Forum (APLF) represents all pharmacists and pharmacies in Australia and is comprised of 10 national organisations advocating on behalf of the pharmacy profession.

The APLF encourages pharmacists to use World Pharmacists Day to organise activities that promote and advocate for the role of the pharmacist in improving health.

Australian pharmacists are highly trained and highly regulated professionals who are experts in managing medicines. They should be, and usually are, available wherever medicines are used, practicing in a wide range of roles across the pharmacy profession—including community, hospital, aged care, compounding, research, clinical and academic settings, to name a few.

Community pharmacists, for example, are readily available to assist consumers with the best advice for their over-the-counter and prescription medicines, while also ensuring safe use of medicines through programs such as government funded Home Medicines Reviews and MedsChecks in collaboration with accredited pharmacists. 

The integration of innovative digital health systems such as My Health Record and Real Time Prescription Monitoring increases the opportunity for pharmacists to make a positive impact.

Hospital pharmacists see the most acutely unwell Australians, and their leadership in medicines expertise, in partnership with colleagues in the community, is crucial to ensuring all people are empowered and supported to manage their medicines across the continuum of care.

In the aged care setting, pharmacist medication reviews help optimise medication therapy for our most vulnerable Australians, and pharmacists stand ready to take a more active role in aged care facilities when findings of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety are released.

Health Minister Greg Hunt recently announced medication safety as a national health priority.  Promoting and advocating for advancing pharmacy practice around medication safety continues to help in delivering safe and effective medicines. 

Pharmacists are trained, available and ready to take up the challenge of “Safe and effective medicines for all” on World Pharmacists Day.

Gilbert Yeates is Chair of the Australian Pharmacy Leaders Forum.

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