A unified front?

PSA national president Joe Demarte with Australian Ambassador to Italy HE Greg French, Australian Ambassador to the Holy See HE Melissa Hitchman and Deputy Head of Mission Alison Edye, and Conference chair Warwick Plunkett at the opening session of the 42nd PSA Offshore Refresher Conference in Rome

PSA president calls for professional unity if pharmacy is to seize opportunity for growth, writes David Weston

“There has never been a greater need for unity in the profession”, PSA national president Joe Demarte told delegates when opening the 42nd PSA Offshore Refresher Conference in Rome on Tuesday, 2 May.

“Not because we are under threat,” he explained, “but we risk failing to take advantage of the opportunities.”

Demarte said that there was a “growing literacy” within government and among consumers around the growing healthcare role that pharmacists should be and in offering professional services, such as screening and risk assessment services.

Clinical interventions such as home medicines reviews and health checks are already funded, he told delegates, “but how do we get the profession to follow and jump on board?”

Demarte said the next three years would be pivotal to the profession, citing the “number one problem for PSA members for the past two years running” was low remuneration. “Wages are too low,” he said, citing a recent AJP survey in which 27% of pharmacists were thinking of leaving the profession. “The issue must be solved, inside or outside the Agreement, urgently”.

The other two major issues continuing to impact the profession were price disclosure and the need to discount, he added. We haven’t moved forward—[it’s been] stagnant for the past three years.

The growing healthcare role for pharmacists offered a way forward, he said. “We need to grow the size of the pie”, he said.

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  1. Greg Kyle

    The question Joe asks is “Clinical interventions such as home medicines reviews and health checks
    are already funded, he told delegates, “but how do we get the profession
    to follow and jump on board?”” – there is a very simple answer … remove the caps that are stifling these services!
    Pharmacists (myself included) had previously based their practice around these extremely fulfilling professional services. As soon as the caps came in, there was no incentive to have this as your sole practice …QED. It’s not rocket science!
    Organisations like PSA need to look for opportunities for pharmacists to develop as health practitioners and develop practice opportunities where pharmacists are not employed, but can be fee for service practitioners (just like all the other health practitioners). This is the challenge for the organisations – deliver meaningful professional practice change!

  2. Mina M

    You can get the professionals Jump on board by focusing education on Public “tell people about pharmacy services” very simple.

    Instead of inside out marketing – Turn it to an outside in. Because if we removed capping we will end up in situations like what happened with one of the discount groups “unjustified over use of services”

    It is simple, this pharmacy model is out of date. A business that is based on remuneration (for services) to survive is a business that will close down, eventually.

    Continuous PBS price cuts will not stop, we will reach prices that are less than the actual product value (less than market value), some companies will close down lines (restriction of supply, less access to medicines).

    Pharmacies will then need more remunerated services to survive. Are there any out of box solutions? or we will unite for the same of on out of date system?

    So, yes the whole profession is under threat. We need to rethink the whole industry rather than thinking pharmacy business owners.

    Think solutions, innovative business models. Think future. Typically, this model life cycle has come to an end, even profession life cycle is degrading. hence, if you advertise a pharmacist job, not many will be interested. It is time for every related organisation to think Global Picture (Old model vs New innovative model) modeling is not about how pharmacies operate but how the whole system operates.

    Then we can talk unity.

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