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PSA News

Paul O'Neill
The Latest from the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia

Issue 47: April 2006
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Keep in touch with activities of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and their professional support for Australian pharmacists.
This month:
* New education resource supports pharmacists in their role in Osteoporosis
* PAC for the Tropics
* Pharmacists Give Thumbs Up To PSA's CPD Services

Media Release:

New education resource supports pharmacists in their role in Osteoporosis

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has just released its latest module in the Essential CPE series on osteoporosis for pharmacists.
It delivers a comprehensive clinical update about the skeletal disease, its diagnosis, and the risk factors for osteoporosis and fractures.
It also addresses prevention, screening techniques and ongoing management of the disease. Osteoporosis is associated with high morbidity and mortality in the elderly as a result of the increase in fractures that result from increased bone fragility.
It continues to present a significant public health burden in light of our ageing population. Pharmacists are in a pivotal position to assist in the prevention, early detection and management of osteoporosis.
PSA National President, Brian Grogan said:
"With there being a number of medications and lifestyle interventions that can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fracture, pharmacists are ideally placed to provide information and advice to those at high risk."
Recent media attention, which may have been potentially misleading, reported of a US study that concluded that taking calcium and vitamin D supplements only slightly decreases the risk of hip fractures and does not protect bones elsewhere in the body.
PSA's latest module helps to clarify this issue.
It states that these are essential nutrients important for optimal bone health, however current calcium intake or serum vitamin D levels need to be considered to establish a deficiency before recommending supplementation.

The Essential CPE module, Osteoporosis, was distributed to members with the March issue of Australian Pharmacist.
Non-members are able to purchase the module for $49 from the PSA Book Shop: (02) 6283 4783 or books@psa.org.au.

ENDS Date: 14 March 2006

Media Release:

PAC for the Tropics

Australia's leading national continuing professional development conference, Pharmacy Australia Congress (PAC), will be held 6 to 8 October 2006, at the Cairns Convention Centre. This 12th annual PAC has the theme "Living Longer - Living Better", drawing on the relaxed Queensland lifestyle and the conference's healthcare focus.

PAC2006 Congress Committee Chairman Peter Mayne, encourages early planning for this year's congress.
"This PAC will be the best one yet. It is breaking new ground by being the first PAC in the tropics, the first away from a capital city, and also, the first in Queensland."
"To get the best choices and prices for airfares and accommodation I encourage you to plan and book early" said Mr Mayne.

Conference Program PAC is designed for pharmacists from all areas of practice.
The program will offer high quality professional development opportunities on a broad range of topics and will feature leading presenters.
All sessions will earn credit points which are recognised by PSA's CPD&PI program.
As always, PAC will also have a significant social program with a highlight being the Gala Dinner.

Delegates will also want to consider taking a break in the region to coincide with their visit to Cairns.
PAC will offer opportunities for pre- and post-conference tours as well as web links to recommended tour organisers.

Opportunities for Industry Industry involvement with the conference is welcome.
There are a number of opportunities available and exhibition or sponsorship can be packaged to fit industry requirements.

PAC Winners Pharmacists who complete the Expression of Interest form on the PAC2006 website can win valuable prizes.
The first winner was David Ryan from Donvale in Victoria. David won a return airfare, three nights' accommodation and a PAC registration.
Future draws are planned so register now to be in to win a range of PAC related prizes.

More information on PAC is available at www.psa.org.au/pac or by calling 07 5577 3397, or email pac6@astmanagement.com.au.

ENDS Date: 14 March 2006


Pharmacists Give Thumbs Up To PSA's CPD Services

PSA member pharmacists gave very positive ratings to PSA Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities in a recent survey which investigated how members go about planning their CPD, the range of CPD they complete, and how well PSA is performing in meeting their needs.
Activities which were regarded particularly well were Branch lectures & seminars, the CPD section within Australian Pharmacist, and Essential CPE booklets.
All received high ratings for both the quality of the resources, as well as their useability.

The charts above indicate that Branch lectures & seminars, CPD section of Australian Pharmacist and Essential CPE booklets all received high usefulness and quality ratings. PSA National President commented that professional development is a core activity and it's important that PSA leads the way in Australia.
"PSA offers a comprehensive range of CPD services for pharmacists, as well as the pharmacy team.
As well as the three services highlighted above PSA also provides conferences such as Pharmacy Australia Congress, Pharmacy Refresher and Adventure Education, PriMeD Pharmacy, the Pharmacy Self Care program, the Annual Gold Questionnaire, Affiliate membership, and the list goes on."
"While quantity is important it's just as important that CPD services are of a high quality.

The survey reinforced PSA's services as being well regarded by pharmacists."
"As well as providing a positive view of PSA's CPD activities the research also identified areas for improvement."
"For instance some of our members in rural and remote locations felt that PSA needs to do more to provide opportunities for them.
We have recognised this for some time and have undertaken some action."
"For instance in late 2004 we partnered with Med-E-Serv to introduce PriMeD Pharmacy, which offers a comprehensive professional education accessible via the internet.
We need to continue to place focus on this group and aim to meet and exceed their expectations."
"For me the surprise of the research was the rating given to Essential CPE booklets.
These resources have been provided to members for several years.
While we knew that they were well received, we were surprised at the positive ratings they received.
They are regarded by many as valuable resources and a significant benefit of membership."

The survey was carried out late in 2005, with 500 members selected at random.
It's aim was to provide direction to PSA's CPD activities.

ENDS Date: 8 March 2006

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