Transformed profession deserves greater pay


pharmacist holding piggy bank

The union for employee pharmacists is preparing detailed submissions and evidence of changes to the way pharmacy is practised, for the Fair Work Commission.

PPA has already submitted an outline of why it believes the FWC should grant increases to the pharmacist rates of pay.

“In our submission, we argued that the work pharmacists do has changed and increased so significantly since the value of pharmacists’ work was last considered that the FWC should award significant increases in the pharmacist award rates of pay,” PPA says.

The areas it is arguing have resulted in increases are:

  • increased responsibilities through introduction of new initiatives such as Medschecks, down-scheduling of medicines, diabetes and asthma management programs, inoculations, absence from work certificates etc;
  • increased academic and registration requirements such as introduction of oral and written examinations for interns, CPD, changes in the undergraduate degree that reflect changes in the work done by pharmacists; and,
  • a more complex and difficult working environment with changes such as new pharmacy models of practice, increasingly complex diseases/illnesses and options for treating them.

“We have argued that these and other changes have come about predominately because of changes in government policy such as the introduction of QUM; new and more complex medicines and the ageing of the population amongst other things.

“These changes have transformed the role of a pharmacist to someone who still safely stores and dispenses medicines but they are now also required to educate and counsel patients on the safe use of medicines as well as using their expertise to optimise health outcomes and to minimise medicine misadventure. 

“Education and counselling, and even a requirement to diagnose illnesses and diseases and decide on the best way to treat them has been added to pharmacists’ roles.”

PPA is encouraging employee pharmacists to get in touch and provide their stories to support its case.

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