Happy World Pharmacists’ Day!


PSA NSW reaches out on COPD. Image courtesy Simone Diamandis via Twitter.

It’s World Pharmacists’ Day, and Australia’s pharmacy organisations are celebrating

Marked worldwide on Monday 25 September 2017, the theme of this year’s day is “From research to healthcare: Your pharmacist is at your service.

The Pharmacy Board of Australia says that it’s recognising the varied contributions of pharmacists, from research to providing direct patient healthcare, as part of the day.

“Community access to a pharmacist at a local or hospital pharmacy is commonplace today, but not many people are aware of the other important roles that pharmacists perform. This year’s theme is a chance to highlight that,” Board Chair William Kelly says.

“Pharmacists involved in research and evaluation contribute significantly to health policy and services while focusing on topics such as advancements in pharmacy practice, drug discovery or clinical services,” Mr Kelly says.

A spokesperson for the Pharmacy Guild says that “World Pharmacists Day is an opportunity to reflect on the vital work performed by pharmacists all over the world, and especially in Australia’s highly-regarded network of community pharmacies”.

“It’s a time to celebrate that work and those services to patients, and the benefits achieved for our national health system. 

“Pharmacists are trusted medicine experts and among the most accessible of all health professionals.”

The Guild put out a range of graphics for members to use on social media to raise awareness among patients.

One of the Guild’s social media banners.

SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels says there are exciting times ahead in hospital pharmacy.

“As more medicines are used by more Australians than ever before, the importance and complexity of hospital pharmacists’ work continues to grow. Hospital pharmacists are increasingly taking on new responsibilities and establishing new roles as we ensure patients benefit from evidence-based clinical expertise,” she says.

“World Pharmacists Day is a timely moment to reflect on hospital pharmacists’ growing scope of practice, and SHPA is proud to foster the hospital pharmacist journey from crucial study and internships through to supporting residents and advanced practitioners, and enabling nationwide pharmacy research.”

In a new video message, PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson said pharmacists were highly trusted professionals – along with doctors and nurses – and were a pivotal part of Australia’s healthcare system.

“I believe all pharmacists deserve strong recognition for their vital healthcare role, and the services they provide to consumers,” Dr Jackson said.

“So I wish every pharmacist a happy World Pharmacists Day – and I wish every pharmacist every success in helping to improve the health of the communities they serve.”

PSA is using the day to encourage NSW residents to have their lungs checked for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

PSA NSW has partnered with the Lung Foundation Australia and several community pharmacists in Sydney and Newcastle to provide free health checks to screen people for COPD.

PSA NSW President Professor Peter Carroll says: “Early detection can help reduce the impact of COPD, and screening by a pharmacist can help identify COPD risk. Working collaboratively with GPs and other healthcare professionals, pharmacists can assist in organising further testing and management if required.”

And internationally, FIP President Dr Carmen Peña outlined the reasoning behind this year’s theme.

“This theme was chosen to reflect the numerous contributions the pharmacy profession makes to health,” she says.

“From research and development of medicines, to educating future pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists, and providing direct care, we do all this in the service of our patients and communities,” says Dr Peña.

“We want to emphasise that pharmacists are the backbone of health care in many different settings. But providing care does not begin in community or hospital pharmacies.

“Taking care of patients starts with recognising the health issues of populations and developing medicines, policies and education to tackle them.

“We pharmacists are often there at the very beginning of the process — when the first molecule that effectively treats a disease is identified,” Dr Peña added.

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