Now is the time for investment

Medicines misuse and misadventure in Australia results in 250,000 hospital admissions and 400,000 emergency department presentations, at an alarming cost of $1.4 billion annually

“This does not include the costs of GP and community pharmacy presentations related to medicines problems – it is only the tip of the iceberg,” PSA interim CEO Dr Shane Jackson told delegates at the opening session of the PSA Offshore Refresher Conference.

“Importantly, it is considered that 50% of this harm is preventable – that is $700 million could be saved if we better managed medicines in Australia. This doesn’t include other benefits such as improved quality of life and better management of chronic conditions.”

These alarming data and the opportunity they present for pharmacy were outlined in PSA’s Medicine Satefy: Take Care Report, publisher earlier this year.

“This report provides our approach going forward.”

“Instead of pharmacy being seen as a cost centre, we have the opportunity for pharmacy to be seen as an investment, because essentially we have $700 million that we can contribute back into the healthcare system.”

“Therefore, the opportunity is ours to grasp,” he said. “Now is the time for investment in services by pharmacists.”

“Pharmacists are best placed, across all the healthcare professionals, to deal with quality use of medicines and medicines safety. So if there’s investment, pharmacists can capitalise on those opportunities going forward.”

“Following on from this report, we released our vision for the pharmacy profession out to 2023, our Pharmacists in 2023 report. It marks out the tangible, practical and necessary changes to be able to unlock the potential for pharmacists to contribute to the health of Australians in a more meaningful way.

“This is about releasing the shackles of restrictive legislation, it is about investing in pharmacy and pharmacists and for the Government to use Pharmacists in 2023 as a vision for the future.”

Dr Jackson was outlining PSA’s vision for the future of pharmacy at the opening of the 44th PSA Offshore Refresher Conference in Montreux, Switzerland on 6 May, where he explained that this was “not about the viability of community pharmacy, but actually about its prosperity, not only in a financial sense, but in the health of the industry, including wages, wellbeing, and ensuring that pharmacists are able to practice to their full scope. Let’s not talk about viability, but let’s talk about the prosperity of community pharmacy.”

Dr Jackson welcomed delegates to the conference on behalf of PSA national president Dr Chris Freemen.

Delegates were also welcomed to Switzerland by Luke Besancon from Pharma Suisse, representing the 1800 community pharmacies in Switzerland; Australia’s Ambassador to Switzerland and Germany, HE Lynette Wood; and FIP president Dominique Jordan.

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