Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist July 2013 Contents Australian Pharmacist July 2013 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd. 25
EARLY CAREER PHARMACIST FOCUS
Early career pharmacist
By Laura Wilson
The Early Career Pharmacist Working Group (ECPWG) is participating in
two important new projects this year -- the development of the PSA Pain
Management Pharmacy Support Kit and expansion of the Family Tree Mentoring
Program into other states.
Pain Management Pharmacy
Misuse of opioids and over-the-counter
(OTC) analgesics is a major public health
issue. Opioid-related crime in Australia is
estimated to cost the community around
$550m--$1.6b annually.1 Other harms to the
community can include1:
• increased mental health issues
• increased dental issues
• blood-borne infections
• concealment of abuse
• delayed diagnosis
PSA has identified the need for pharmacists
to better engage with consumers seeking
assistance with pain issues to achieve
optimal health outcomes and quality
use of medicines. Recent findings have
• A disconnect exists between pharmacists
and consumers seeking pain relief.
• Consumers want greater engagement
• Consumers feel stigmatised when
seeking pain relief.
• Pharmacists lack consistent engagement
and empathy with these consumers.
Given the increasing number of coronial
inquests with opioid and OTC analgesics
implicated in the deaths of people, there is
an obvious need to do something. The PSA
Victorian Branch held an OTC codeine
analgesic summit with key stakeholders in
late 2012 to discuss the issues facing health
professionals and the community and to
agree on areas of action.
PSA recognises the need for pharmacists to
be better skilled in managing these patients
and contributing to the solution. One of these
agreed outcomes was to better educate
pharmacists and provide them with the
necessary tools and resources to manage
patients with pain.
There is a need to address the topic from
many directions as treating pain is not simply
about medication. Therefore the pharmacy
support kit will include information and
support for both pharmacists and pharmacy
assistants to support and care for their
patients, with a focus on:
• lifestyle choices
• referral to specialist services.
In addition, pharmacists require support
in many different scenarios so the pain
management support kit will include
information relating to pain relief for:
• OTC products
• prescription products
• controlled drug products
• addiction products.
The ECPWG has been engaged to develop
this important resource for PSA and is excited
to be part of the team developing this tool for
Family Tree Mentoring Program
Early career pharmacist Benjamin Marchant
and the Victorian ECPWG established
the Family Tree Mentoring Program in
The program currently operates in three
areas of Victoria, including Parkville,
Bendigo and Bundoora, with approximately
150 participants. At present, the program
includes pharmacy students, interns and
early career pharmacists.
Participants enter the program as a student
or intern and are assigned an early career
pharmacist who is their mentor. This group
of early career pharmacists each have
a mentor who is a more experienced
pharmacist further along in their career.
The final level is made up of more
experienced pharmacists, who are in turn
assigned a mentor who is a pharmacist
well known in the profession -- possibly
someone from the PSA branch committee.
As part of the ignite Pharmacist Leadership
Program, Ben will be piloting expansion
of the Family Tree Mentoring Program
into other states, in conjunction with the
state ECPWG. The benefits of this program
for student and early career pharmacists
include access to support from pharmacists
who have walked the same path,
networking opportunities and the ability
to provide input into the direction of the
To be involved in either of these projects
1. Victorian Government Department of Health. Policy for
maintenance pharmacotherapy for opioid dependence. Drugs
and Poisons Regulations Group, Melbourne: VGDoH; 2006.
Laura Wilson is a Project Manager,
Professional Practice based at the PSA NSW
office. She is also coordinator of the ECPWG.
New national Chair
The PSA Board has appointed Michelle
Lynch, PSA Victorian Branch President,
as Chair of the national ECPWG. She
follows Claire O'Reilly, PSA National Vice-
President, who was Chair for five years.
Michelle has been involved with PSA for
many years, including with the former
Victorian Young Pharmacists Group.
'I am honoured to take on the role of
chair of the national ECPWG which
has been expertly guided by Claire.
I am excited to work with and lead
this enthusiastic group of early career
pharmacists who show passion and a
desire to be involved in the profession
and represent pharmacists and, most
importantly, PSA members.'
The ECPWG acknowledges and
appreciates Claire's dedication and hard
work over the past five years.
Links Archive Australian Pharmacist June 2013 Australian Pharmacist August 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page