Practice standards, ethics review begins


Two happy pharmacists

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has commenced a review of its Professional Practice Standards and Code of Ethics for Pharmacists two key publications which outline required standards and expectations of professional and ethical practice for all registered pharmacists.

Compliance with the PPS and CoE is also a requirement under national legislative provisions for pharmacists to dispense and supply medicines on the PBS, and is relevant to the delivery of professional services, says Grant Kardachi, Chair, Project Advisory Group Professional Practice Standards and Code of Ethics Review Project.

This work is part of a regular cycle of reviews undertaken to ensure these documents reflect contemporary pharmacist practice, and support the quality use of medicines and delivery of consistent, high quality standards of pharmacist care to Australian health consumers.

A Project Advisory Group of key stakeholders (pharmacy, government and consumers) has been established.

The PAG held its first meeting last week to determine the strategic direction for the review. The PAG had robust discussions and agreement on issues including the following:

  • The PPS and CoE must maintain a focus on patient centred care and clearly articulate the contribution of the pharmacist in the broader context of the health system.
  • The structure of the documents will be revised with a view to incorporating guidance on the application of, and compliance with, expected standards and obligations.
  • The review will cover content of existing standards and consider appropriate inclusion of emerging areas of pharmacist practice or health care issues (e.g. immunisation, minor ailments and triage services, collaborative care arrangements including pharmacists in general practice, biosimilar medicines, dispensing of cannabis, digital health, social media, genetic health information, equality of gender and culture).
  • There needs to be a strong focus on supporting the integration of the revised PPS and CoE into every day professional and ethical pharmacist practice, through the development of implementation tools and by ensuring the revised documents complement other standards and guidelines (e.g. Competency Standards for Pharmacists, Pharmacy Board guidelines).

The project is scheduled to run over the next 12 months. Public consultation on draft documents is anticipated to occur around September 2016.

Funding for this work has been provided by the Australian Government Department of Health as part of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Access and Sustainability Package including the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement.

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