Vale Professor Andrew Gilbert AM

A legacy remembered: Pharmacy farewells one of Australia’s most influential pharmacists

Emeritus Professor Andrew Gilbert AM peacefully passed away on 20 August 2021 surrounded by his family.

Professor Gilbert, from the University of South Australia, was remembered by colleagues this week for his significant achievements within the pharmacy profession.

In 2014, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to pharmacy and professional organisations as an educator, researcher, and administrator.

Professor Gilbert was awarded the Pharmacist of the Year Award in 2005 and the South Australian Pharmacist of the Year in 2004.

He founded the Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre in 1995, which became a University-recognised research centre in 1999 and for which he served as Director until his retirement in 2013.

Professor Libby Roughead, Director of the Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre, said the centre’s fraternity and colleagues from around the world mourned the death of Professor Gilbert “and with gratitude celebrate his life”.

“Andy was a pioneering researcher who brought together his expertise in pharmacy practice and behavioural psychology to leave a lasting legacy on the Australian healthcare system and inform health care programs across the globe,” said Professor Roughead.

“Andy was a foundation member of the Australian Government’s expert advisory committee – the Pharmaceutical Health and Rational Use of Medicines Committee – developing Australia’s National Strategy for Quality Use of Medicines.

“He was the inaugural director of the Drug and Therapeutics Information Service, establishing the first academic detailing trials in Australia – academic detailing services are now provided nationally,” she said.

“Andy conducted the first trials for collaborative medicine review services in Australia.  The model of practice he developed informed the model funded nationally – more than one million Australians have now benefited from his vision.

“He ran the first trials to establish and test standards of practice for pharmacy and pharmacist-only medicines – the standards were adopted nationally.

“He pioneered the use of medication advisory committees in aged care services – now recommended nationally.

“Andy led the establishment of the Veterans’ Medicines Advice and Therapeutics Education Services program, which has reached all veterans, general practitioners, pharmacists and directors of care in aged care facilities across the country and has resulted in measurable improvements in the health of veterans.

“He founded the Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre, which is now a thriving, vibrant, collegiate, inclusive, generous, and creative centre, emulating the values of leadership he represented.”

PSA National President, Associate Professor Chris Freeman, said he was deeply saddened by the passing of his mentor and friend.

“The loss of Professor Gilbert, Andy, affects me deeply. He had such a big influence on my career,” said A/Professor Freeman.

“Andy was a mentor who took me under his wing, provided me with many opportunities, and offered a voice of reason when I felt uncertain. I know he played a similar role for many in the pharmacy profession. I am lucky to have called him a friend.

“Andy was instrumental in securing federal funding of Home Medication Reviews for at-risk people in the community, and further research on medication management issues in the veteran community.

“In recognition of his lifelong contribution to the pharmacy profession, PSA awarded Andy with Life Fellowship in 2019, at a ceremony in Adelaide attended by his family, friends and colleagues,” said A/Professor Freeman.

“PSA extends its condolences Andy’s wife Marg, his daughters Kate and Alice, and the rest of his family. His legacy and impact on pharmacy practice will not be forgotten.”

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  1. (Mary) Kay Dunkley

    He leaves an impressive legacy in pharmacy and the quality use of medicine through the programs he was involved with and the many pharmacists he influenced, taught and mentored.

  2. David George

    He was inspiring as a University lecturer. If it were not for the outstanding lecturers that I had in Ross McKinnon, Roger Nation, Lloyd Sansom and Andy Gilbert, I would have walked away from my studies and in turn a career that I have now enjoyed for 20 years. Rest in peace.

  3. Juliet Seifert

    Such a great contributor in so many ways, and someone who understood and practised real teamwork.
    May he be at peace and may his loved ones be blessed with long and healthy lives.

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