The Pharmacy Board of Australia has released the first quarterly performance report and series of jurisdiction-specific reports which feature the data released by AHPRA late last year.
“The process of annual reporting constantly evolves with the publication of the full annual report for AHPRA and the National Boards kicking off a gradual release of data summaries for each state and territory and for each profession including pharmacy,” he says.
“Great improvements have been made this year with more data being made available publically than ever before.
“Only this week quarterly information about the performance in each state and territory has been released for the first time to improve transparency and accountability.
“This supports our efforts to help the community and pharmacists to better understand what we do and how we do it.”
The Board’s 2014/5 report covers its finalised guidelines on compounding medicines, the number of notifications and actions against pharmacists and a snapshot of the workforce among many other highlights.
The Board revised several registration standards over the year, including those covering professional indemnity insurance arrangements, CPD and related guidelines, recency of practice, supervised practice arrangements and examinations for general registration.
Guidelines on compounding have changed significantly.
“In 2014/15, the Board reviewed a number of registration standards and consulted on and finalised guidelines on compounding of medicines and professional practice profile for pharmacists undertaking complex compounding,” says Kelly.
“The guidelines on compounding have gone from being ‘fairly brief’ to a much more complex and thorough set of guidelines, expanded greatly in the area of compounding.
“This is a good thing because there we listened to pharmacists round Australia who flagged a number of issues which indicated that stronger guidance was required.
“We did have to subsequently carry out additional consultation on one aspect—the guidance on expiry of compounded parenteral medicines—after the Board received feedback from stakeholders that the guidance provided was likely to impact access to some compounded medicines.
“Public consultation on draft revised guidance has now closed and we are assessing the submissions received.”
More highlights from the report include:
- There were 29,014 registered pharmacists in Australia on 30 June 2015.
- This represents a 2.59% increase in their number compared to 2013/4.
- 61.6% of registered pharmacists are aged under 40.
- 31% of registered pharmacists are based in NSW, and 25% in Victoria.
As for notifications, these dropped by 5% from the previous year; of the 323 notifications closed in 2014/5 (excluding NSW) 45% were concluded following an assessment and 37% following an investigation.
In 43% of notifications closed (excluding NSW) no further action was required.
There were 11 immediate actions cases, compared to 19 in 2013/4.
“It’s important to remember that while there was a slight reduction in the number of notifications from the previous year, with such a small sample size of notifications and immediate actions cases in 2014/15, this does not necessarily constitute a downward trend,” Kelly told the AJP.
“The Board encourages (and expects) pharmacists to be familiar and comply with the Board’s various standards, codes and guidelines.”
There were 238 pharmacy registrants under active monitoring on 30 June 2015 including 38% due to suitability/eligibility and 27% due to conduct issues.
The full report can be accessed here.