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PSA Press Releases

Spokesperson PSA

Issue 78: December 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:

 * PSA supports frontline role for pharmacists

PSA supports frontline role for pharmacists

PSA supports the call for pharmacy to play a more prominent role as the first port of call for people seeking assistance for minor ailments.

PSA National President Warwick Plunkett said today that pharmacists are uniquely placed to provide primary health care delivery.

‘Community Pharmacies are already the first place many people go when the have a minor ailments such as a cough or cold.

‘Pharmacists expertise in managing and treating minor ailments has always been a central theme for PSA. The Society’s Pharmacy Self Care Program was launched more than 20 years ago to highlight and support that role and is now delivered nationally by almost 2000 pharmacies across Australia.

‘It focuses on providing advice for people about many ailments and conditions. The ongoing success of this PSA program is a tangible demonstration of pharmacists’ involvement, through the Pharmacy Self Care Program, in delivering accurate, user friendly information to help people resolve minor health problems,’ he said.

Mr Plunkett was commenting on a study released on Wednesday by the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) indicating that 15% of all GP consultations involve the treatment of minor ailments, and 7% involve the treatment of minor ailments alone. The research into the impact of minor ailments on GP workload found that significant health resources are being devoted to coughs, colds and other conditions that could be effectively managed by a pharmacist or through responsible self care.

‘I would, however, sound a word of warning regarding the current lack of professional resources available to deliver these increased services in a large proportion of pharmacies. Changing the current model of community pharmacy so it can participate effectively in front line management of minor ailments must become a major priority for all pharmacy organisations.

‘As recently as last week at the Pharmacy Guild annual dinner held in Canberra the Federal Minister for Health, Nicola Roxon, indicated that she believes pharmacy has an important role to play in preventative health care in the community. She indicated that pharmacy and pharmacists are very relevant to two essential elements in the Government’s longer-term health care reforms – preventative health care and primary care.’

‘The opportunity is there to be grasped for pharmacists to play a more prominent front line role, but we must be properly resourced and prepared.’ Mr Plunkett said.


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 National President Warwick Plunkett on 0412 304 450




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