Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist September 2015 Contents Australian Pharmacist September 2015 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
From the moment Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette
young, laid down the gauntlet to Queensland pharmacists kicking off the
Queensland Pharmacists immunisation Pilot (QPiP) for the 2014 influenza
season, community pharmacy in Australia was never going to be the same.
QPIP is a key collaboration between
the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia
(Qeenslandd branch) and the Pharmacy
Guild Australia (Qld branch) in partnership
with Queensland University of Technology
and James Cook University.
This move in Qld has not only been a
catalyst for the other states and territories
to enact change to allow vaccination for
pharmacists, but has been a move some
would argue, that is changing the way
customers interact with their pharmacist.
Pharmacists vaccinations in Australia
required multiple strategies to align for it
to move forward including; the Pharmacy
Board announcing vaccination was an in
scope activity, the Australian Pharmacy
Council providing training accreditation
standards and Pharmaceutical Defence
Ltd offering indemnity for pharmacists
providing the vaccination service.
The tireless engagement with State and
Federal Governments by the PSA, Guild
and other pharmacy advocates has
definitely begun to pay off.
Current state of play
Influenza vaccinations for eligible ‘adults’
are now offered in community pharmacy
by a number of jurisdictions, without
prescription, under various changes to
health acts and through state health
• Northern Territory
• Western Australia
• South Australia**
• New South Wales
*under section 18 of the health (drugs and
poisons) regulation 1996.
**sa can vaccinate from 16 years of age, all other
states 18 and above.
Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT are still to
enact legislation allowing pharmacists
to provide vaccination, however we are
confident that this will be the case in
the near future. Our Victorian colleagues
should be optimistic with the State
Government’s enquiry into community
pharmacy supporting pharmacist’s
expansion of its scope of practice,
particularly in the realm of pharmacists
Whilst the practice of pharmacists
led immunisation may appear novel
in Australia, we can draw on decades
of experience in this space from our
colleagues in Canada, US, UK and
Portugal. More recently New Zealand also
introduced this scope of practice with a
broad range of available vaccinations.
While we may be frustrated by delays in
Australian pharmacists gaining the rights
to vaccinate, the one benefit of the delay
is being able to learn from the experiences
of our overseas colleagues. examples
of this are the multiple funding models
across Canadian provinces, the inclusion
of childhood immunisations from the
age of nine in Pennsylvania (USA) and the
expansion of NHS funding for community
pharmacy in the UK to provide influenza
immunisation for patients over 18.
Vaccination status of
by PROFeSSOR LISA NISSeN & CHRIS CAMPBeLL, LeAD ReSeARCHeRS IN THe QUeeNSLAND PHARMACISTS
» be our guest
The NHS funding has drawn some criticism
from general practice, despite low
vaccinations rates in pregnant women,
health care workers and under 65’s ‘at risk’
groups in the UK. Similar criticism has
occurred in Australia particularly from GPs
and nurse practitioners. However this seems
to be more about jostling for turf than
looking for better patient outcomes.
As with all service implementation in
pharmacy, health outcomes data is vital
to the continuation and relevance of
the service. This is even more potent
given the announcement of the review
into 6CPA program delivery and cost
effectiveness. Decisions to support
community pharmacy in terms of
legislation, remuneration and ultimately
patient demand are made possible when
backed by strong, clinically relevant data.
The importance of timely data is no better
demonstrated than that provided by QPIP
pilot data which has assisted government
legislation change. Had it not been for the
extensive data collection by the research
teams and pharmacists participating we
may not have been in the position to see
the nationwide adoption of pharmacist-
led immunisation in such a short period.
Where to next?
The future is here: pharmacists in phase 2
of the QPIP pilot are already vaccinating
against pertussis and measles. With the
demonstration of safety, efficacy, patient
satisfaction and cost effectiveness, we hope
to see legislation expand to more vaccines
across ALL states and territories in the future.
International examples prove that injection
fees paid privately, through health funds
and even Medicare are possible and
the expansion to support the National
Immunisation Program in pharmacy is a
logical step, where benefits to patients and
the community can be demonstrated.
To support this we must continue to offer
the best patient experience possible and
collect great data. As the pharmacist-
patient relationship changes, vaccination
is thin edge of the wedge and offers us an
opportunity to move towards many other
paid professional pharmacy services.
opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily
those of the pharmaceutical society, its board or staff.
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