Happy World Pharmacists’ Day!

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Australian pharmacy organisations have celebrated World Pharmacists’ Day by pointing out that pharmacists could take on more

Pharmacists and their organisations took to Twitter to celebrate their global day, which this year has a theme of “Pharmacists are your medicines experts”.

According to outgoing FIP President Dr Carmen Peña, said the day on September 25 celebrates “the extensive expertise that pharmacists have and put to use every day to ensure better patient health”.

“This expertise is applied through science and research, through educating the next generation, and through transforming patient needs into services,” she says.

PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson says Australia is missing out on the opportunity for pharmacists to do more with medicines by confining them largely to the dispensing of medicines.

Pharmacists, especially those in community pharmacy, want to have a suite of services available to them to be able to assist the patient in medication management, he says.

“PSA wants to see pharmacists applying all of the knowledge and skills from their years of training in contemporary and innovative ways,” Dr Jackson says.

“That’s why PSA is working on the Pharmacists in 2023 Action Plan – to empower pharmacists to apply their unique medicines expertise for the greater benefit of their patients.”

PSA General Manager, Policy and Advocacy Belinda Wood says, “We know better health outcomes result from embedding pharmacists wherever medicines are used”.

“But if we think in addition to dispensing medicines, we can unlock opportunities for better healthcare by equipping pharmacists to enhance community access to health services.”

PSA is hosting a range of events across Australia, inviting consumers to talk with their pharmacist about medication management, vaccinations, health services and screening.

In particular, given the recent publication by hearts4heart of new AF guidelines, PSA and hearts4heart have organised for more than 20 sites across NSW, Victoria and Queensland to provide blood pressure and AF screenings to start conversations with people about their medications and refer them to their GP where appropriate.

Meanwhile, chief executive of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia Kristin Michaels said that this year’s theme is a reminder of the core value of pharmacists’ essential, accessible expertise.

“On World Pharmacists’ Day we celebrate the vital role medicines experts play across all care settings, from multidisciplinary medical teams in large hospitals to remote outreach and international aid,” she says.

“Importantly, we also recognise many of these roles are new and emerging, reflecting the growing importance of pharmacists, technicians and assistants in helping keep Australians healthier as they live longer with more complex medical needs.”

Ms Michaels says demographic change, record high usage of antibiotics and growing understanding of mental health are just some of the healthcare challenges demanding a future workforce that includes more advanced practice pharmacists.

The Pharmacy Board also spoke out about pharmacists’ expertise.

‘As medicines experts, pharmacists perform an important function in a variety of healthcare environments and this year’s theme is a chance to highlight that,’ Board Chair William Kelly said.

Patients and other healthcare professionals rely on pharmacists as a valuable source of knowledge and advice on medicines, the Board said.

And some doctors were sharing the love, too.


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