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PSA News Releases

Peter Waterman
The Latest from the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia

Issue 77: November 2008
Page: 1 of 1 Author's Profile | Send to a Friend | Printer Version

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:

 * Natalie Tasker named Pharmacy Student of the Year

 * Australia's top pharmacists awarded

  * NPS campaign represents a fruitful collaboration

  *
Pharmacy profession supports calls for publicly funded weight-loss programs†

Natalie Tasker named Pharmacy Student of the Year

Natalie Tasker, of the University of Sydney, won the PSA Alphapharm Pharmacy Student of the Year Award after competing in the challenging National Counselling Event during the annual Pharmacy Australia Congress in Perth at the weekend.

Ms Tasker won both the Pharmacy Student of the Year and the Pharmacists’ Choice award.

PSA President Warwick Plunkett said, “I was so impressed with the quality of all the students in this year’s National Counselling event and for Natalie to stand out in a field of this quality is a real testament to her skills.”

The eight finalists were:

• NSW – Natalie Tasker, University of Sydney

• ACT – Clancy Pamment, University of Canberra

• QLD – Sophie Ribcak, Griffith University

• SA & NT – Aaron Wong, University of South Australia

• TAS – Angela Goodwin, University of Tasmania

• VIC – Arbella Diprose, La Trobe University

• WA – Nicholas Sullivan, Curtin University

• National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association – James Grant, University of Queensland.

“Since the PSA Alphapharm Pharmacy Student of the Year Awards were launched at PAC in 2004, the National Counselling Event final has become a highlight on the Congress program,” Mr Plunkett said.

“It continues to grow in popularity each year and has expanded to draw upon the best talent from pharmacy schools across Australia.

“This year the event includes a separate ACT Branch finalist for the first time, adding even more competition.

“Another innovation in 2008 has been the addition of audience voting with the institution of the additional Pharmacists’ Choice Student of the Year award.

“It was great to see eight outstanding final-year students competing. It’s a real credit to them and a considerable honour to have been selected as finalists for such a prominent award, and I congratulate each of them.

“I must thank Alphapharm for making the event possible though its primary sponsorship.

“This valuable support from one of Australia’s leading pharmaceutical companies allows PSA to provide Pharmacy Student of the Year Finalists with Alphapharm Travel Prizes with a total value of $20,000.

“And of course the Pharmacy Student of the Year will also receive the Alphapharm National Travel Prize valued at $6,500.

“I would also like to thank NAPSA and Pharmacy Self Care for their ongoing support of the Pharmacy Student of the Year Awards.”

 

Australia’s top pharmacists awarded

Two Australian pharmacists shared their profession’s top award when they were named joint winners of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) Pharmacist of the Year Awards at the weekend.

Angelo Pricolo, of Victoria, and Dr Lisa Nissen, of Queensland, accepted their awards during the opening ceremony of the annual Pharmacy Australia Congress in Perth. The two represent different areas of pharmacy practice, but the judges believed each was equally deserving of the award.

PSA President Warwick Plunkett said Mr Pricolo, of Melbourne, was a leader in many areas of community pharmacy practice.

“He is most prominent in delivering excellence in opioid replacement therapy, an area in which his passion, outspokenness and creativity have triggered broad changes to the way Australia is helping recovering drug users,” Mr Plunkett said.

He said Dr Nissen had inspired an entire generation of pharmacists with passionate dedication to the progression of the profession through research and innovative education.

“She is a champion of multi-professional and interprofessional learning and is heavily involved in lecturing to diverse health professional groups,” Mr Plunkett said.

It was not the first time Dr Nissen had been selected for a PSA Excellence Award, having been named as Young Pharmacist of the Year in 2002.

Dr Luke Bereznicki, of Tasmania, was named as the 2008 Young Pharmacist of the Year.

Mr Plunkett said Dr Bereznicki was awarded for outstanding leadership qualities and for being an excellent role model for both undergraduate students and practising community pharmacists looking to implement more active clinical roles in the community setting.

“I particularly note that Luke’s innovative research in anticoagulation management has become internationally recognised and is currently being implemented to provide a unique, community-based, pharmacist-led service for all Australians,” Mr Plunkett said.

The Lifetime Achievement Award winner was Peter Brand, of Queensland.

“He has made an enormous contribution to the development of the practice of pharmacy over many years, not just in his home state of Queensland, but also to Australia and the region,” Mr Plunkett said. “While his achievements are too numerous to list succinctly, I will point to his decades of service in leadership positions at PSA – including a term serving as national president – his work for the Pharmacy Board of Queensland and the Australian Pharmacy Council and his four-year term as President of the Federation of Asian Pharmaceutical Associations.”

Each of the award winners received an $8,000 education grant from the Excellence Awards’ exclusive sponsor, Symbion Pharmacy Services.

“Congratulations to all this year’s winners. They truly show how excellence can be achieved in all aspects of our diverse profession,” Mr Plunkett said.

“I must also offer deepest thanks to our exclusive sponsor, Symbion Pharmacy Services, who help us to reward each winner through the $8,000 education grant.”

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is the organisation that represents the professional interests of pharmacists across the nation. 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.

NPS campaign represents a fruitful collaboration

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has welcomed today’s launch of the National Prescribing Service’s Generic medicines are an equal choice campaign.

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Vice-President Shane Jackson said, “The campaign is an excellent demonstration of collaboration between key pharmacy organisations and PSA has been pleased to have played a part in its development.

“As the publisher of the Australian Pharmaceutical Formulary, PSA will be interested to receive feedback on the new alternative version of Cautionary Label 15.

“We fully support the NPS campaign as we believe such education will bring definite benefits for health consumers.

“PSA expects that the campaign will reduce the potential for confusion and raise awareness of what generics are and what it all means for consumers.

“We also hope it dispels some of the myths associated with generic medicines, and reinforces the key message that generic medicines are an equal choice.”

The consumer awareness campaign is scheduled to begin later this month with a multi-faceted campaign including a series of television commercials, an online marketing campaign, in-pharmacy advertising, and a tool kit for pharmacy staff.  The resource kit aims to provide pharmacy staff with support for best practice when discussing generic medicines with consumers.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is the organisation that represents the professional interests of pharmacists across the nation. 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.

Pharmacy profession supports calls for publicly funded weight-loss programs     

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has supported calls for publicly funded weight-loss programs to be made available to all Australians.

The Federal Parliament’s House Standing Committee on Health and Ageing has been conducting its Inquiry into Obesity in Australia since March this year. (See http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/haa/obesity/index.htm)

Linda Selvey from Queensland Health told an inquiry hearing yesterday that Medicare rebates should be made available for accredited weight control programs.

PSA Vice-President Shane Jackson supported the overall concept of the Federal Government funding accredited weight-loss programs as part of its focus on preventive-health policies.

“Models involving government funding could provide consumers with better access to evidence-based weight-loss services,” Dr Jackson said.

“Unfortunately, we know that the cost of participating in weight-loss programs can provide a disincentive for consumers and a Federal Government-funded program may go some way to making these programs more available to those at need.

“A requirement for accreditation would also ensure that the programs being offered are evidence-based and of the highest standards.

“There are several high-quality, evidence-based weight-loss programs already being offered through community pharmacies and they are proving popular with consumers.

“We’ve seen that consumers are already turning to community pharmacies to provide weight-loss services, a nationally coordinated and funded scheme would further improve access and lock in the highest quality standards.

“The community pharmacy sector offers a cost effective vehicle for the dissemination of key public health messages because it combines local accessibility, access to a health professional’s advice, availability of therapeutic products and professional service.

“The distribution of obesity related information and the identification and enrolment of target group consumers into weight-management programs already work well in the community pharmacy setting.

“Pharmacists are well equipped to participate in the dissemination of important messages about obesity to the community and to follow-up with individual consumer-level interventions to complement the role of medical practitioners and other health professionals.

“The Pharmaceutical Society also has well established programs and resources which could be used to deliver obesity related initiatives and messages and we would be keen to work with Government to meet the objective of reducing obesity and overweight in the community.”

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is the organisation that represents the professional interests of pharmacists across the nation. 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.

For further information contact:

 Pharmaceutical Society of Australia

Vice-President Shane Jackson (0408 485 430)

 


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