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PSA News Releases

Peter Waterman
The Latest from the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia

Issue 74: August 2008
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PSA News - the latest from the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. Keep in touch with activities of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and their professional support for Australian pharmacists.
This Month:

Get your nominations in for the PSA Excellence Awards

  * Asthma study reinforces pharmacists' role in primary health care

  * Attendance Boom at Sydney Pharmacy Expo


Get your nominations in for the PSA Excellence Awards

Nominations for the 2008 PSA Excellence Awards close on Monday, 1 September.

The PSA Excellence Awards are the pharmacy profession’s most prestigious awards, recognising outstanding pharmacists who have achieved professional excellence.

PSA National President Brian Grogan has encouraged the pharmacy community to put outstanding pharmacists forward for these awards.

Mr Grogan said: “The PSA Excellence Awards are a great opportunity to provide national recognition to outstanding pharmacists. The first step is to be nominated. If you know a pharmacist who is doing exceptional work I encourage you to put that person forward.”

The Awards aim to raise awareness of the role and range of professional services provided by pharmacists who strive to make a difference in the communities they serve. Pharmacists from all areas of practice – community, hospital, consultancy, industry, education, academia, defence, government and research – are eligible for an award.

Nominations are invited for three award categories: Lifetime Achievement, Pharmacist of the Year and Young Pharmacist of the Year.

Again in 2008, nominations are invited for the new Lifetime Achievement Award. The introduction of this award allows for the recognition of pharmacists who have dedicated themselves over a long period of exemplary service to the profession.

Nominees must be members of PSA, and all nominations are considered by a judging panel which includes senior representatives from key pharmacy organisations, along with the current PSA National President and the most recent past National President.

Nominations should be made on the official nomination form which is available at www.psa.au/excellenceawards or by calling your State PSA Branch on 1300 369 772.

The Awards are announced at the official Opening Ceremony of Pharmacy Australia Congress (PAC), which will be held this year on Saturday 25 October, in Perth. Each winner will receive a Symbion Pharmacy Services Education Grant to the value of $8,000. These grants have been generously provided by Symbion to allow winners the opportunity to advance their knowledge by supporting their participation at a pharmacy-specific education event such as an international conference or course.

Make sure you support professional excellence by nominating a pharmacist for an Excellence Award in 2008.

Asthma study reinforces pharmacists’ role in primary health care

An asthma-management study published in today's edition of the Medical Journal of Australia highlights the valuable role pharmacists can play in primary health care and chronic disease self-management, according to the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).

An abstract of the study Data-mining of medication records to improve asthma management, conducted by the University of Tasmania's School of Pharmacy, can be found here.

PSA Board Member Debbie Rigby said the study involved pharmacists who had been actively involved in identifying patients whose asthma may have needed review, and then referring them to their GP.

"The study highlights an innovative use of existing resources – dispensing histories – and the interventions that were made greatly benefited patients," Ms Rigby said. "The innovative software application developed by the research team provided the pharmacists with the ability to use their dispensing histories to identify patients who may have been too reliant on reliever medications

"Pharmacists provided educational resources such as the Asthma Foundations' asthma fact brochure to inform patients who may not have thought their symptoms of asthma required review. The information provided by the pharmacists to patients suggested that they go to their GP to discuss their current asthma management.

"The interventions resulted in fewer patients being reliant solely on reliever medication and encouraged more appropriate use of preventers.

"The outcomes support the education and outreach approach advocated by the National Asthma Council in its Asthma Management Handbook because optimal asthma control brings many benefits for consumers, not least in reducing the number of hospitalisations and other adverse events including deaths.

"Pharmacists frequently have the opportunity to interact with consumers and have an important role in reinforcing important messages received from medical practitioners and asthma educators.

"It is interesting that the study in the Medical Journal of Australia builds on the Woolcock Institute evidence issued last week that showed the benefits of pharmacist interventions in the use of inhalers."

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is the organisation that represents the professional interests of Australia's 18,000 pharmacists. It provides standards of practice, education, training and practice support for pharmacists and helps members of the profession to deliver quality health care to consumers.

Attendance Boom at Sydney Pharmacy Expo

The popularity of the annual Pharmacy Expo in Sydney continues to grow, with attendance this year up 37% from 2007.

Nearly 2500 delegates attended Expo at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre in June to take part in the education program as well as to speak with trade exhibitors and find out about the latest products and services on offer within the industry.

With valuable CPD points available, the five education theatres were near full capacity over the three days.  Friday featured full day workshops covering topics including diabetes, Therapeutic Update, clinical case studies, business management, and gut and liver.  The sessions were interactive to ensure delegates gained in-depth knowledge on the subject.

Later the focus shifted to short style presentations looking at New Drugs/New Indications, Pathology & Medication Management, Lifestyle Management, Smart Pharmacy Business, and Counter Prescribing. With the flexibility to switch between streams, delegates were able to attend every session that interested them because each session was presented twice throughout the day.

In between education sessions delegates explored the exhibition hall and exhibitor stands. An awards ceremony at the Expo Cocktail Party honoured exhibitors who especially impressed. Billie Goat Soap won the Best Shell Scheme Display award, Abbott Nutritional International won Best Stand Promotion, and ADT Security was awarded Best Custom Designed Display.

Expo also hosted the NSW state final of the Pharmacy Student of the Year Award.  Competing for a place at the national final were Lisa Wallace, Charles Sturt University, Charina Thompson, University of Newcastle, and Natalie Tasker, University of Sydney.  It was a very close competition but Ms Tasker’s impressive effort won out. She proceeds to PAC in Perth, October 24-26.

Expo is organised by PSA and the Pharmacy Guild.




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