A harm minimisation forum is to take place at the upcoming Pharmacy Connect conference

Pharmacy Connect will feature a session with a unique set of presenters on the issue of harm minimisation and addiction services, including the screening of a documentary.

There are 50 allocated places for what Brunswick pharmacist and harm minimisation campaigner Angelo Pricolo calls a “unique way to earn CPD points and learn about addiction from the people that work with hazardous drug use every day”.

Mr Pricolo says that speakers will include:

  • Hester Wilson, “an energetic GP whose forward thinking approach inspires audiences. She vehemently believes that addiction medicine should be seen as mainstream and that all GPs should see patients struggling with hazardous drug use;”
  • Susie Nielsen, a pharmacist/researcher originally based at Turning Point in Melbourne. “She moved to Sydney where she has influenced a generation of pharmacists in the addiction arena. Her research has helped us better understand the phenomena of codeine use both prescription and OTC and she will share some of these results with us which may leave some quite surprised;”
  • Marianne Jauncey, a “tireless crusader who has taken charge of the only safe injecting facility in the country and made it a beacon for other hopeful states and territories attempting to achieve the same outcome as NSW and establish a facility. The data she can share with us will leave no doubt of the impact the room has had on the Kings Cross area and reinforce why so much interest around the country is focused on her injecting room and its progress;”
  • Fabian Viola, who “was the Victorian Heavyweight boxing champion with a career at his feet”. Mr Viola’s story of heroin addiction is recounted in a documentary to be screened at the session, where he will also discuss and answer questions about his life before and after drugs; and
  • Angelo Pricolo, a pharmacist and film producer.

This year marks 10 years since Mr Pricolo’s documentary, Fighting the Dragon with Luck, was conceived, “and yet so many of the reforms it called for are still unresolved,” he says.

Mr Pricolo was also the pharmacist who successfully made a submission to the TGA to have the schedule of naloxone changed from S4 to a drug pharmacists can sell over the counter.

NSW Guild branch president Rick Samimi says he is excited to have such distinguished harm minimisation experts presenting at Pharmacy Connect, “in what is undoubtedly a first in terms of the topics and presenters”.

“In a pharmacy first, we will be presenting a documentary on harm minimisation services through Angelo Pricolo’s Pharmacy in Melbourne.”

Pharmacy Connect will be held from 1-3 September 2017 at the Hilton Sydney, and the harm minimisation event will take place on Friday, 1 September.