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Patrick Davies, CEO of Symbion Pharmacy
Services, sponsors of the awards for
the eighth consecutive year, said the
pharmacists at all levels of the profession
were inspired and motivated by the
'The awards act as an inspiration for all
sectors of the profession to continue to
lift standards even higher so that the
quality of health care provided through
all pharmacies in Australia is second to
none. These awards highlight what is
great about our profession and how those
in it never cease to strive for excellence,'
Mr Davies said.
Nomination forms are available at
www.psa.org.au or from ben.graham@
Dispensing generic medicines
All generic medicines
comply with the
PSA guidelines on
PSA National President, Grant Kardachi,
'These guidelines were set up to protect
the best interests of consumers when
non-brand medicines are dispensed,'
Mr Kardachi was commenting on reports
that pharmacists may possibly be
dispensing a 'pharmacy-preferred brand' of
generic drugs without proper consultation
with the patient.
'The guidelines include two very important
elements which are especially relevant
to the current situation concerning a
pharmacy-preferred brand. First, they state:
Brand substitution may only occur after
consultation with and agreement of the
patient (or the carer), and if the prescriber
has not indicated on the prescription, "no
substitution or equivalent"
'This means that pharmacists cannot just
dispense a generic or "pharmacy-preferred
brand" without discussion with the
consumer. And that discussion on possibly
dispensing a non-brand medicine can
only begin if the doctor has not indicated
otherwise on the prescription.'
Mr Kardachi said the second element of
the guidelines which was particularly
relevant to the current situation stated:
'Where substitution is allowed and the
patient is o ered or enquires about
alternate brands, the pharmacist and
the patient should discuss the safety
and suitability of alternate brands for
'Quite clearly the role of the pharmacist is
to help the patient and to ensure the best
outcomes for the patient,' he said.
'The pharmacist will discuss if the generic
brand is suitable, including taking into
account colour, shape, size and cost.'
Pharmacists work hard to ensure patient
adherence which is still a signi cant
problem in our community, and are
vigilant about ensuring that medicines are
'The pharmacist is there to help the
patient, guide them, and clear up any
confusion or issue they may have. They are
committed to ensuring the best possible
health outcomes for the patient. The PSA
Guidelines help to ensure the dispensing
of generics is undertaken ethically and
responsibly,' Mr Kardachi said.
The pharmacist's role in
The crucial role pharmacists play in
helping men deal with health issues has
been highlighted in the latest edition of
the magazine Men's Health.
The feature, titled Good chemistry says:
'Your pharmacist could be the most
underused player on your health team'
and suggests ways men can better utilise
the services of their pharmacist.
One area it suggests is with minor ailments
and points out 'your pharmacist should
be your rst point of contact for minor
ailments'. It also explains that pharmacists
'can help with compliance by advising you
on how to t a medicine into your routine'.
PSA National President, Grant Kardachi,
said the article was a valuable guide and
explained to males the services available
through their pharmacists.
'A Nielsen study released last year shows
that 71% of Australians are willing to use
the pharmacist as rst point of contact for
health concerns,' Mr Kardachi said.
'Men's Health touches on a few of these and
is very valuable in helping to explain the
wider role of pharmacists in the healthcare
sector. The National Male Health Policy
highlights a number of priority areas
including improved health for males
at di erence life stages and a focus on
preventive health for males, particularly
regarding chronic disease and injury.
'Pharmacists are the medicines experts
as well as being the most accessible
of health professionals and so are well
placed to help meet these Male Health
'Men may be more reluctant initially to
talk about health issues, but the pharmacy
setting with its accessibility and informality
encourages the public to readily use the
services of pharmacists.
'This article is an excellent guide which
highlights the many health services
available to everyone through their
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