Big changes to pharmacist code of ethics


Following a comprehensive review, the revised code has a renewed focus on patient-centred collaborative care

The PSA has released its revised Code of Ethics for Pharmacists, which it says has been endorsed by the Pharmacy Board of Australia.

Described as “a key document that underpins the professional practice of all pharmacists in Australia”, the revised code has been issued following a comprehensive review process to ensure it reflected contemporary pharmacist practice.

Grant Kardachi, Chair of the Project Advisory Group, says the review has led to a number of significant changes to the code.

“A significant outcome of the review has been the alignment of the code’s seven principles to three ethical values pertinent to professionalism – Care, Integrity and Competency,” says Mr Kardachi.

“The revised code clearly articulates the behaviours and values expected in our profession.”

code
Structure of the code. Source: Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

It also has a renewed focus on patient-centred collaborative care to “further enhance public trust in pharmacists”, says the PSA.

The pharmacist organisation is releasing a number of practice support tools to assist pharmacists with implementing the revised code in March this year.

It also encourages all pharmacies to “prominently display” a summary of the code in the workplace.

See the new code here.

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15 Comments

  1. pagophilus
    09/02/2017

    Some people have a fetish for big words and charts. How much time and money was spent in this and how many will actually read it slowly enough to digest it? So we’re supposed to display this code somewhere? And which patient/customer wants to read it?

    Most pharmacists are professional and take their work seriously. You know things are overregulated when so much effort is spent on telling people what they already do.

    • Ronky
      09/02/2017

      This is not a regulation. It’s a voluntary code written by a voluntary association. No pharmacist is obliged to join it or to take any notice of what it says.

      • Ian Carr
        09/02/2017

        Exactly wrong. The AHPRA Pharmacist Code of Conduct states:
        “The Pharmacy Board of Australia advises pharmacists

        to also be guided by a code of ethics relevant to their

        practice. The Board endorses the Code of ethics for

        pharmacists 2011 published by the Pharmaceutical

        Society of Australia Ltd and the Code of ethics – February

        2012 published by the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of

        Australia.”
        —- Now presumably updated to 2017 Version

        • Ronky
          09/02/2017

          Exactly. “advises”. “guided”. “endorses”. There is no legal compulsion as pagophilus implied.

          • Ian Carr
            09/02/2017

            I would suggest there is indeed legal compulsion. What is absent is the willingness of the authorities to enforce their standards. And therein lies on of the profession’s tragedies, where our our well trained pharmacy students emerge as excellent clinicians and are required to either sell OR turn a blind eye to the selling of rubbish.

          • Ronky
            09/02/2017

            Yes that’s what I said. If the government wanted to enforce these voluntary standards they would write them into law, with prescribed penalties for non-compliance. As they have not done so, there is NO legal compulsion, no matter how much you or I might wish that there were.

          • Ian Carr
            09/02/2017

            A good argument for raising the profile of these Codes.

          • Anna Ezzy
            10/02/2017

            The National Health (Pharmaceutical Benefits) (Conditions of approval for approved pharmacists) Determination 2007 state that compliance with the Professional Practice Standards and Code of Ethics is a requirement for pharmacists to be able to dispense and supply medicines on the PBS. So while not a regulatory requirement for all pharmacists, as not everyone is dispensing PBS medicines, it certainly is for the very many who do.

          • Ronky
            10/02/2017

            And can you imagine the government ever having the cojones to withdraw, or even threaten to withdraw, a pharmacy’s PBS approval number because the pharmacist didn’t comply with the PSA Code? No, neither can I. It’s not a regulatory requirement.

          • anon
            10/02/2017

            You need better legal advice. A determination is tabled in parliament and is on the Federal Register of Legislation. This is called delegated legislation. The height of hubris.

          • Ronky
            10/02/2017

            “hubris”, oh dear. Funnily enough being on the FRL doesn’t make it legislation, and breaching Medicare’s rules is not an offence and you can’t be fined or gaoled for it. The worst Medicare can do to you for not complying with the PSA Code is to withdraw your right to collect money on its behalf. And as I said it never has and never will do so. If it ever does, I will donate $1000 to your favourite charity.

          • anon
            10/02/2017

            its a wonder that there is such criticism of the pharmacy profession with views like this around.

          • Ronky
            10/02/2017

            It’s not a “view”, it’s a fact. If it offends you, ask your MP to do something about it.

  2. Ian Carr
    09/02/2017

    As one who has been disappointed with the reluctance of pharmacy to distance itself from vitamin and supplement hype and hucksterism, I am pleased to see that Integrity Principle 1 h. is quite specific that “credible evidence” is necessary before a pharmacist may “purchase, supply or promote” a health product. As it is, the claim is often made that the stocking of rubbish product gives a pharmacist the opportunity to counsel — an opportunity I suspect is rarely taken in practice where supplements are sold by the discounted pallet.

    • Anna Ezzy
      10/02/2017

      The application of the Code to the sale and supply of medicines where there is a lack of credible evidence of efficacy will be further explored in an up coming webinar to be released by PSA to all pharmacists in March… stay tuned.

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