Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist March 2014 Contents Australian Pharmacist March 2014 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd. 29
The international experience is
important in allaying concerns over the
delivery of PAVs.
The Secretary General of the
Pharmaceutical Group of the European
Union, John Chave, has said that
involving pharmacists in vaccination is
a win-win health policy as it increases
overall immunisation rates without
affecting the doctor-patient relationship.
In an interview with Vaccines Today,
Dr Chave said: 'In fact, because of
the increased awareness within
communities, other providers are
likely to see an increase in the number
of vaccines they provide. Thus,
when pharmacists provide vaccines,
everybody benefits -- the pharmacist,
other healthcare providers and most of
all, the patients and the community.'
He added: 'There is a very strong case
for making even better use of this
interface. Research in the USA has
found that when pharmacists provide
immunisations, they add to the overall
number of patients being immunised,
rather than take patients away from
other immunisation channels.'
So why has Australia lagged in having
pharmacists deliver immunisations?
Professor Nissen said there was no
doubt the availability of the NIP for
at-risk members of the community
and immunisation programs in many
workplaces had enabled a great number
of the wider community to access
'However, there are clear opportunities
to improve the rates of immunisation
through better utilisation of the highly
skilled and underutilised pharmacy
workforce,' she said.
Chief Executive Officer of the PSA, Liesel
Wett, believes doctors' concerns are
'PSA has driven the introduction of pilot
immunisation services in Tasmania and
now Queensland and we are doing this
because there is a demonstrated gap
Peter Waterman is the Director of Public Affairs at
PSA National Office and a regular contributor to
in people being immunised with at-risk
populations being of particular concern,'
Ms Wett said.
'The AMA has raised concerns about the
training and ability of pharmacists to
undertake the delivery of vaccinations.
'Unfortunately they have not understood
that this pilot involves training of the
pharmacists as well as the use of robust
protocols developed by PSA.
'In fact the pilot steering committee
included doctors who addressed these
issues so it is disappointing that the
AMA has decided to oppose something
that has been so thoroughly researched.'
Ms Wett said Australia was behind
the rest of the world in not allowing
pharmacists to deliver vaccinations.
'In those many countries across the
globe where pharmacists perform
vaccinations there has been no
empirical evidence of a spike in
problems from this practice,' she said.
'In fact what is seen is that a much larger
proportion of the population receive
vaccinations because those who enter
pharmacies for immunisations have
been found to be categories of people
who would not go to the doctor for such
'The result is that a greater proportion
of population is receiving potentially
'I can't see why the AMA would object
Australia falling behind
Chair of the Chair of Advanced Practice
Framework Steering Committee, Dr Shane
Jackson, said despite long-term efforts at
achieving targets for vaccination rates in
a number of communicable diseases such
as influenza, Australia was falling behind
in these areas.
'There are a number of reasons for not
reaching targets, such as cost, lack of
convenience, lack of accessibility for
vaccinations and a general ambivalence
towards vaccination,' Dr Jackson said.
'Pharmacists are trusted, accessible,
highly trained health professionals who
can play a role in helping reach the
targets for vaccination rates, especially
for the influenza vaccine.
'Unfortunately, the hard decisions have
never been made to allow pharmacists
the ability to vaccinate. Despite a
plethora of good scientific evidence
internationally that pharmacists
don't reduce the overall number of
patients vaccinated by their primary
care doctor, but instead increase
vaccine rates overall, we have had a
number of powerful lobby groups and
vested interests focus on the business
of vaccination instead of the public
"THERE ARE CLEAR OPPORTUNITIES TO IMPROVE THE RATES
OF IMMUNISATION THROUGH BETTER UTILISATION OF THE HIGHLY
SKILLED AND UNDERUTILISED PHARMACY WORKFORCE"
Links Archive Australian Pharmacist February 2014 Australian Pharmacist April 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page