Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist May 2012 Contents 342 Australian Pharmacist May 2012 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
the PSA Awards
as the pharmacy
are now open.
The PSA's Pharmacist of the Year, Young
Pharmacist of the Year and Lifetime
Achievement Awards are the most highly
regarded awards in the profession and
represent the profession's pinnacles
The awards acknowledge the achievers
of the profession: those involved in
innovative practice; those who are
striving to raise practice standards;
and pharmacists who, through their
professionalism, provide a model of
practice which others strive to emulate.
The award winners will be announced
at PAC12 in Melbourne in October.
Nominations close on Thursday, 30
The awards are divided into three
• Lifetime Achievement Award
• Pharmacist of the Year
• Young Pharmacist of the Year.
The Pharmacist of the Year and Young
Pharmacist of the Year each receives the
PSA Excellence Awards medal and the
Lifetime Achievement Award recipient
receives a commemorative glass plaque.
Each winner also receives a Symbion
Pharmacy Services Education Grant to the
value of $9,000.
PSA National President, Grant Kardachi,
said the awards were a recognition of
those who achieved and maintained the
highest standards of commitment and
professionalism in pharmacy.
'The Excellence Awards recognise those
exceptional individuals in pharmacy who
contribute so much to the profession.
The recognition of their expertise and
achievements by their peers is what
makes these awards so sought after
Why should pharmacists
Pharmacist prescribing as a practice reality
still seems light years away in Australia. With
so many outstanding questions remaining
regarding legislation, competency
frameworks, indemnity, con ict of interest,
and dissention within the profession itself,
it appears that we are no more prepared for
this next phase of pharmacy practice than
we were 10 years ago.
No matter what amount of work has been
done, there are mountains more to do --
government and policy makers are still not
convinced. So why go forward? Perhaps
pharmacists' contribution to the health care
system is as good as it's going to get?
We think that most would agree in saying
that pharmacists can contribute more.
So why go forward? The primary, and most
important, reason pharmacists should
pursue prescribing is for their patients --
to have accessible, safe and e ective health
care. With the health care system in peril due
to doctor shortages, especially in rural areas,
and an ever-aging population, pharmacists,
as the most accessible health care
professionals, are truly well placed to take on
a more active role in providing primary care.
While there is presently no research
evidence speaking to the value of
pharmacists prescribing to patients,
legislation has been changed in several
jurisdictions already to allow this to
happen.1--3 Furthermore, very promising
research is being conducted in Alberta,
Canada to de nitively assess this issue.4
But, it must also be recognised that it is
highly unlikely that any amount of research
will be enough to de nitively silence
all reasons why pharmacists shouldn't
be prescribing. Rather we propose a
'tipping point'5 must be reached, wherein
enough pharmacists take on these high
level clinical tasks and actively demonstrate
that they are sustainable and bene cial to
patients. However, the question becomes
can the pharmacy profession do this?
In a paper we recently published on the
experiences of pharmacists in Alberta
in obtaining independent prescribing
authority, we were especially surprised by
reports of some prescribing pharmacists
being harassed by pharmacist colleagues.6
Apparently some colleagues thought
that by prescribing these pharmacists,
who practiced in the community setting,
were stepping out of their scope. This seems
similar to the issues raised by pharmacists in
Australia regarding the pecuniary interests
of community pharmacists.7,8 The scepticism
and moral arguments truly, in our opinion,
go against the belief that pharmacists are
health care professionals, who can behave
and act as professionals. That is not to say
that these issues are easily solved. However,
the complete disregard for prescribing by
community pharmacists as a solution, seems
Pharmacist prescribing is frequently
justi ed by the argument that community
pharmacists are the most accessible
health care provider. Unlike hospital
pharmacists or pharmacist consultants,
community pharmacists are the most
accessible members of their profession. In
fact highly trained pharmacists working in
tertiary care centres and specialised clinics
are really no more accessible than their
We suggest that before other health
care professionals and government
legislators can take pharmacist prescribing
seriously, we within the profession must
speak with a uni ed voice. If pharmacist
prescribing, active management and
taking responsibility for health outcomes
of our patients is what the profession
wants, that message must be heard from
all members of the profession. Not just
those who have the privilege of working
within rare ed environments, outside of
the day-to-day reality of the bulk of our
Theresa L. Charrois BScPharm, MSca,
Meagen Rosenthal BA, MA, PhD candidateb
aLecturer, School of Pharmacy, Curtin
University; bResearch Associate, EPICORE
Centre, University of Alberta
1. Emmerton L, Marriott J, Bessell T, et al. Pharmacists and
prescribing rights: review of international developments. J Pharm
Pharm Sci 2005;8:217--25.
2. Law MR, Ma T, Fisher J, et al. Independent pharmacist prescribing
in Canada. Can Pharm J 2012;145:17--23.
3. Tonna AP, Stewart D, West B, et al. Pharmacist prescribing in the
UK: a literature review of current practice and research. J Clin
Pharm Ther 2007;32:545--56.
4. Charrois TL, McAlister FA, Cooney D, et al. Improving hypertension
management through pharmacist prescribing; the rural Alberta
clinical trial in optimizing hypertension (Rural RxACTION) trial
design and methods. Implementation Science 2011;6:94.
5. Gladwell M. The tipping point. Back Bay Books, 2002.
6. Charrois TL, Rosenthal M, Tsuyuki RT. Stories from the trenches:
Experiences of Alberta pharmacists in obtaining additional
prescribing authority. Can Pharm J 2012;145:30--34.
7. Nissen L. Pharmacist prescribing: what are the next steps? Am J
Health-syst Pharm 2011;68:2357-61.
8. Kyle G, Nissen L. Pharmacist prescribing in Australia -- reality or
pipedream? Aust Pharm 2010;29:291--5.
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