When a house may not be a home

Disenfranchised owners and staff can find a home at the College of Pharmacy in wake of PSA/CWH deal, its President says

The PSA has underestimated the backlash it would face from pharmacy owners and staff over its education deal with Chemist Warehouse, says Georgina Twomey, President of the Australian College of Pharmacy.

Announced last week, the arrangement will see Chemist Warehouse Group implement PSA’s new tailored workforce program.

“Providing ongoing professional development and practice support is a crucial part of PSA’s role as the national peak body for pharmacists in Australia,” said PSA National President Shane Jackson.

“The training that we will deliver for Chemist Warehouse Group will support the ongoing professional development of its 14,000 pharmacy assistants and pharmacists nationwide”.

Pharmacy opinion forums have been divided on the move, but Ms Twomey says she “believes that PSA may have underestimated the depth of feeling pharmacy owners will have” towards the partnership with CWH.

“PSA has always prided itself on its non-partisan support for pharmacists,” she said in a statement issued late on Friday. “Is this a change in their approach?”

“Given the history the College has with pharmacy owners via the AIPM, if owners feel disenfranchised by the PSA/Chemist Warehouse partnership, they and their staff will always be welcomed as valued members by the College,” she added. 

“Our members want to belong to the College because of the quality of our education and the personalised service we provide to them. The College will always place the needs of our members at the very top of our reasons for doing what we do”.

Dr Jackson responded to the comments saying: “Unfortunately, this is a cheap shot by the College, in an attempt to increase their relevance, and is discriminatory to sectors of the profession. They see this as an opportunity to display fake moral outrage about a training arrangement between CWH and PSA largely for QCPP training for S2 and S3 medicines for pharmacy assistants and diploma level training for pharmacists.

“The PSA will provide will not discriminate against any individual or group in the delivery of training. This training is independent of any membership offer for our members and what we do on behalf of the profession. We will continue to raise the bar for the profession across the board and will continue to advocate for best practice in pharmacy practice, and this will always be independent of any training arrangements we may have.”

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