Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist October 2014 Contents Australian Pharmacist October 2014 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
By Andrew Daniels
PSA ACT Branch President Patrick Reid last month pulled the tail of
what in the pharmaceutical industry many see as the elephant in the
In an open letter
to the profession
he called for
a dialogue 'on
into a Pharmacy General Assembly' in
September each year.
Pharmaceutical Defence Limited (PDL)
expressed support for the concept,
calling it 'a positive proposition'.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia
also welcomed Mr Reid's comments as
an opportunity to discuss proposals to
explore consolidation of many of the
current pharmacy conferences.
PSA CEO Dr Lance Emerson said the
Society was open to future collaboration
between all the pharmacy and
pharmacist representative organisations
and he had contacted Mr Reid and other
organisations seeking a meeting to
discuss this issue.
Reckitt Benckiser's Marketing Manager
-- Health Care Professionals, Vanessa
McCutcheon, told Australian Pharmacist
that from an industry perspective the
number of conferences pharmaceutical
companies were called on to support
through some form of sponsorship was
The money just wasn't there any more to
support so many conferences.
National conferences on the annual
pharmacy calendar include: from PSA:
PAC, the Offshore Refresher Course and
CPExpo; from the Pharmacy Guild APP,
the Pharmacy Business Network and its
Other conferences include ConPharm,
the SHPA conference, the Pharmacy
Management conference and the ACP
conference. Then there are the many
state-based weekend conferences held
by pharmacy organisations.
In his open letter Patrick Reid
emphasised that the changing
environment in the pharmacy profession
was dictating changes in the way
pharmacists practice and in many of the
profession's business operations. 'Yet in
some areas we are blind to the change
and seemingly oblivious that the old
ways are not working anymore,' he said
'I propose we de-clutter the
calendar and provide breathing
space for all -- elevating the quality
of conference content, delivering a
return-on-investment for attendees
and sponsors while maintaining a unity
of purpose that transcends politics.
Our collective members don't get the
arbitrary demarcations that we have
-- they just want conferences that are
meaningful, cost effective, enjoyable
and aid their practice'.
Dr Emerson said PSA's concern was to
provide the highest-quality education
for pharmacists and ensure their
educational needs were met.
'PSA naturally benchmarks its
conferences to run at a profit but the
main emphasis and focus for PSA is to
ensure our members receive the best-
quality and most relevant professional
education available,' Dr Emerson said.
'PSA has a valued reputation for
delivering the best conferences
in Australia and abroad but we
also recognise that the market is
becoming crowded and the dynamics
of the pharmacy environment are
changing. Any move to a consolidation
of conferences will need careful
consideration and planning.
'We have to acknowledge that each
organisation has its own strengths in
education provision, and now may
be an opportune time to take a step
back, consider the education needs of
pharmacists and collaborate to ensure
these needs are better met.'
In a statement, PDL said that the
opportunity to 'engage in dialogue
for meaningful change in relation
to national conference structuring.
Improved calendar planning and
event scheduling could benefit the
'The notion is supported with the aim
of shaping positive outcomes for the
overall delegate experience, also to
enable sponsors and stakeholders to
engage with pharmacists, students and
interns in an efficient and valuable way,'
the statement said.
Ms McCutcheon said that when it came
to sponsorship it should be remembered
that pharmaceutical companies also
received sponsorship requests from
medical and other health organisations
including peak consumer health
'Budgets are not open ended, we can't
sponsor every conference,' she said.
"...IN SOME AREAS WE ARE BLIND TO THE CHANGE AND SEEMINGLY
OBLIVIOUS THAT THE OLD WAYS ARE NOT WORKING ANYMORE."
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