Grant Kardachi has outlined several exciting opportunities for pharmacy, in opening the Offshore Conference in Berlin: the Health Destination Pharmacy initiative, pharmacists in GP settings, pharmacy vaccination and the PSA-RPS antimicrobial resistance initiative.
“An exciting development for PSA is the recently announced unprecedented partnership between PSA and industry to transform community pharmacy,” he said.
Eight companies with a strong commitment to the future of pharmacy, along with the PSA, have announced a significant partnership to help transform pharmacies into healthcare destinations.
“Building on the successful first stage of PSA’s Health Destination Pharmacy initiative, the implementation stage of HDP will be launched later this year. HDP enables pharmacists to shift their practice to provide a stronger focus on consumer self-care, with improved pharmacist–consumer engagement and provision of a range of evidence-based minor ailment and professional pharmacy services.
“The successful HDP pilot, the move into the implementation stage of the project was significant for the profession. He said the HDP initiative provided a tailored, evidence-based practice change platform for pharmacy to assist in delivering a sustainable, reinvigorated model of healthcare to the Australian community.
“This flexible model of pharmacy practice positions the pharmacist as a primary healthcare provider and the pharmacy as a healthcare destination.
“This is a game changer for the profession and gives consumers a unique pharmacy and healthcare experience. We are working with each partner to ensure the implementation phase of the project proceeds as quickly as possible.”
Another area that is exciting is the further development of a model where a pharmacist works in a GP setting, which Kardachi said has gained momentum in recent months with PSA and the Australian Medical Association working collaboratively on a way forward.
“Support for this model from groups such as the AMA encouraged PSA to seek to work with our medical colleagues to further develop this concept.
“One of the first steps was to find out what our members wanted and a detailed survey produced some very encouraging and interesting findings.
“When asked: ‘What do you think are potential roles for a non-dispensing “general practice pharmacist”?’ 573 out of 700 respondents (or more than 81%) replied that the role would be advising patients on medication use.
“Other envisaged roles included medication management reviews, supporting GP prescribing, updating GPs on new drugs, quality assurance activities within the practice, patient education sessions and participation in interdisciplinary student supervision.
“The AMA has also conducted a survey and unofficial reports to date indicate a high level of support for this model among doctors. Previous AMA National President Steve Hambleton has said that having a pharmacist in a GP clinic amounts to convenience – convenience for doctors and patients.”
Nearly all states and territories have now legislated, or have indicated intent to legislate, to enable pharmacists to vaccinate, Kardachi said.
“This is being facilitated by PSA’s training which is based on the training used internationally by more than 150,000 pharmacists and also in the highly successful Queensland Pharmacy Immunisation Pilot.
“The Queensland pilot proved that pharmacists can deliver vaccinations in a safe and effective manner which brings significant benefits to the community. Some 11,000 people were immunised and about 14% reported they had not been vaccinated before.
“The accessibility of the pharmacist-delivered vaccinations and the ease of access through pharmacies mean that more people are getting vaccinated. This is great for all of Australia and all our communities.
“I have to say I fail to see why some small special interest groups continue to oppose such a demonstrably beneficial public health initiative.
“FIP will be developing a briefing document on the role of pharmacists in AMR, ready for FIP Annual congress in Düsseldorf starting on 29 September 2015.
“The document will aim to prompt action on the issue of antibiotics and AMR, and to serve as a foundation for future work within FIP on this topic, including a revision of the FIP statement on AMR.
“Furthermore, the topic of AMR and responsible use of antimicrobials will also be discussed at a stakeholder roundtable held prior to the 2016 FIP Congress in Buenos Aires.
“Both PSA and RPS believe that AMR continues to be a very serious public health risk and needs to be treated as a high priority within national and international strategies – governmental, health and professional.
“The PSA and RPS are encouraging strong AMR stewardship amongst FIP membership, assistance in sharing current evidence, and raising the profile of pharmacists’ role in antimicrobial stewardship.”