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Asthma research award
The Australian Asthma Research Award
was presented at the contributed
papers (respiratory) session on Saturday
1 August during PSA15 in Sydney.
Amy Crow, Professional Services
Pharmacist of the Advantage Pharmacy
group, presented the group’s experience
in implementation of patient-funded
professional services and increase of
engagement between pharmacists and
patients. The group introduced COPD
screening with the support of the Lung
Foundation Australia which had a training
module and procedure specifically
designed for community pharmacists.
After giving all pharmacists a hands-on
training session and support materials
from the Lung Foundation and Guildcare,
they invited at risk-patients to a 15-minute
consultation to screen them for COPD and
check any current inhaler techniques.
Across 18 pharmacies, 255 patients
were happy to pay for the screening
and 69 were identified as moderate or
high risk and referred to their local GP.
Feedback from patients was excellent.
Several commented how this was
the motivation they needed to quit
smoking and how nice it was to spend
one-on-one time with the pharmacist.
One patient had driven 150km to
attend. The group now offers the
program as an ongoing service and is
seeking to expand other patient-funded
elida Zairina from Monash University
reported on a randomised controlled
trial of a telehealth program to improve
asthma control in pregnant women.
Pregnant women with asthma were
provided with a telehealth program
[Management of Asthma with
Supportive Telehealth of Respiratory
function in Pregnancy (MASTeRY)] and
written asthma action plan (WAAP)
supported by a handheld respiratory
device and a smart phone application
(Breathe-easy). The Breathe-easy
application encourages patients to
do their own asthma management by
monitoring their symptoms and lung
Top intern announced
Laura Norman is the inaugural
PSA-MIMS Intern of the Year.
The PSA-MIMS Intern Pharmacist of
the Year Award recognises an intern
pharmacist who is showing outstanding
performance in their development as a
professional pharmacist in community
or hospital practice and is a role model
amongst early career pharmacists.
MIMS Australia sponsored the award at a
state/territory and national level.
PSA National President Joe Demarte said
the finalists in the award were judged
on their achievement in leadership in
pharmacy, commitment to patient care
and the safe use of medicines, initiative
in pharmacy service delivery, and peer
and professional engagement.
‘Laura displayed outstanding skills and
achievements and is a worthy recipient,’
‘ This is a significant award and great
recognition for young pharmacists
displaying outstanding ability. PSA is
proud of this award which also
underscores our commitment to young
pharmacists just starting out on their
‘ The $4,000 for continuing education
and career development helps the
winner to further build on their skills
and knowledge and give them an edge
when entering the workforce.’
The state and territory finalists were:
Brendon Wheatley, ACT; Laura Norman,
NSW; Neslihan (Nes) Kartal, Victoria;
Alexandra Pitiris, Queensland; Philip
Spyrou, SA/NT; Monica Sajogo, WA;
and Caitlyn Duff, Tasmania.
Siobhan Murphy, Country Manager
from MIMS, said: ‘Being able to support
young innovative pharmacists in this
way was something the team at MIMS
welcomed as we are all working toward
the safe use of medicines. I congratulate
Laura and wish her every success in her
function regularly and provides them
with instant messages regarding their
asthma control. The study found that
telehealth interventions supporting
self-management were feasible and
efficacious to improve asthma control
and asthma-related quality of life during
The National Asthma Council Australia
Asthma Research Award recipient, Prof
Sinthia Bosnic-Anticevich from Sydney’s
Woolcock Institute of Medical Research,
examined opportunities for pharmacy
in respiratory health. Through a
convenient sample of GP practices,
people with asthma were identified
and underwent a comprehensive
asthma review. The study found that
asthma was poorly controlled and
allergic rhinitis under-diagnosed and
sub-optimally managed in primary care.
However, 60% of patients perceived
their asthma to be well controlled while
89% reported symptoms of allergic
rhinitis; 48% were diagnosed and only
25% were on optimal treatment. Within
the past 12 months only 6% of patients
had their inhaler technique assessed and
only 13% of patients had received an
asthma review by a respiratory specialist
or nurse outside their general practice.
The-study concluded that there are
extensive opportunities for pharmacists
to engage in the management of
asthma and allergic rhinitis.
The award was presented by Siobhan
Brophy from the National Asthma Council.
laura norman, psa-mims intern of the year,
with president Joe demarte.
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