Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist June 2016 Contents PHARMACY PRACTICE IN
AUSTRALIA CHANGED FOR
EVER ON 10 MAY WHEN THE
TO ADMINISTER INFLUENZA
VACCINES IN APPROVED
Victoria was the final state jurisdiction
to approve pharmacist-delivered
immunisations in a national process that has
taken close to two and a half years.
Dr Lisa Nissen, Head of the
Queensland University of
Technology School of
Clinical Sciences and who
was instrumental in the
Immunisation Pilot (QPIP) which provided
the evidence behind the case for
pharmacist-delivered immunisations told
Australian Pharmacist that pharmacists
giving influenza vaccines is ‘just the tip of
However, she warned that community
pharmacies should not fall into the trap
of treating vaccinations as a loss leader.
‘It isn’t a race to the bottom. Vaccination
is a service that must not be devalued
and given away for $5. People value
pharmacists as health care providers.
More than 35,000 people were prepared
to pay $20–$25 for an influenza
vaccination in the QPIP trials, yet some
pharmacies only charge $9. What
message does that send?’
As in other states, pharmacists will
be required to undergo an approved
training program to administer
vaccinations in Victoria.
Tip of the iceberg
Dr Nissen said: ‘We are at the tip of the
iceberg on what is potentially possible
for pharmacists in the vaccination space
and it is a matter already being explored
in Queensland – and potentially an
opportunity to expand across other
She said in Queensland they were
exploring ways to use immunisation skills in
other ways including for travel vaccinations,
follow-up vaccinations for Gardasil and for
other communicable diseases that might
affect the adult population.
‘ These competencies aren’t for
vaccination per se. The competency
expansion [for immunisation] addressed
administration of medicines and
management of adverse events.
‘ The first test of that was vaccinations.
If we look at that with a more future
view it is really about the potential
for pharmacists to address other
administration issues. And if you
look at injectable medicines we are
talking about vitamin B and depot
contraceptives. We could be talking
about testosterone and some things
that patients self-administer with
difficulty and may need some assistance.
‘I think where we’ve trained pharmacists
to administer intramuscular injections
there is no reason, with appropriate
application of the competencies that we
couldn’t look at other things.
Andrew Daniels is the Managing Editor of Australian
Pharmacist, based in Canberra.
The response from pharmacists to the
opportunity to expand their practice
skills to include immunisations has been
immediate and enthusiastic.
The PSA has trained more than 1,850
pharmacists to date with many more
enrolled in PSA courses across the
nation. In states where PSA has provided
training, waiting lists have ensured
courses were overflowing with extra
courses being scheduled to meet
demand. Numbers will be boosted even
more once Victorian pharmacists start
completing their training with more
than 400 on the PSA Victorian branch
waiting list. The Victorian Government
has provided the Victorian Branch with
funding to deliver subsidised training for
pharmacists before to 30 June.
The regulations in Victoria will enable
pharmacists to administer influenza
and pertussis-containing vaccines to
adults at approved pharmacy premises,
including those who qualify for the
National Immunisation program and
the Victorian Government Parent’s
Whooping Cough Vaccination program
(more details on all states see Table 1).
PSA Victorian Branch President Ben
Marchant said pharmacist-delivered
vaccinations would provide important
healthcare benefits to local communities
is a positive public health service
and helps to vaccinate members of
the community, including those with
chronic conditions, who previously
would not have been vaccinated,’
Mr Marchant said.
Australian Pharmacist June 2016 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
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