Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist March 2014 Contents Australian Pharmacist March 2014 I © Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
The AMA’s Steve Hambleton was
unequivocal in his opposition to PAVs in
an interview with Australian Pharmacist.
‘ We (the AMA) are absolutely opposed
to it. What is happening is there is a trial
for pharmacists to directly immunise.
We are not talking about specialist
expert nurses immunising – this is
about pharmacists immunising a
patient or customer or consumer or
whatever pharmacists call their clients,’
Dr Hambleton said.
‘ There are no pharmacists who are
trained right now. Immunisation is not
part of the pharmacist training program
and there is no training program that has
been accredited by the Pharmacy Board.
‘Here’s the board that’s there to protect
the public, like any other board, but
it has deemed that pharmacists can
immunise but there’s no course that
they have accredited and there are no
pharmacists who have been trained.’
Dr Hambleton went on to say:
‘Pharmacists are good at cold chain.
I have lots of condescending comments
but not that one. They are good at cold
chain. You were better at cold chain but
we have done a lot in this area.’ (This is
totally at odds with his fellow AMA board
member Dr Brian Morton, chair of the
AMA’s Council of General Practice, who
has constantly maintained that pharmacy
fridges are not suitable for vaccines).
Dr Hambleton also rejected references
to the international experience.
‘It’s not good enough to say “but they do
it in Canada but no one has died lately”. I
don’t know if they are trained differently
but I do know there are no pharmacists
trained in Australia. The justification that
some far‐off land is doing it is not good
enough,’ he said.
‘It’s about patient safety and working
together as a primary healthcare team
and we should do what we do and
pharmacists should do what they do
and we should work together and
be complementary for the benefit of
‘If there was proper training as part of
pharmacy courses and which are taught
over a period of time we would be
more supportive but the question is do
pharmacists really want to do that.’
Professor Nissen said Dr Hambleton’s
concerns were misplaced.
‘Pharmacists are society’s medicines
experts; we are the ones most trained
to understand the complexities and
consequences of medicines use and
particularly the impact of adverse
effects,’ she said.
‘Pharmacists participating in the pilot
study will be trained to administer
an injection. This is not a complex
competency to learn. They will also be
required to have current first aid and CPR
certificates and anaphylaxis training.
‘ There are defined management
protocols for anaphylaxis, for any health
provider. Pharmacies will need to have
a private counselling space and be
QCPP accredited amongst other criteria.
The whole notion that this activity
would happen amongst the “toilet
paper and toothpaste” is ridiculous and
disparaging towards the professional
nature of community pharmacy practice.
If pharmacies and pharmacists cannot
meet the pilot criteria they cannot
Professor Patrick Ball, co‐author of
the Case for Pharmacist Administered
Vaccinations in Australia report and
Professor of Pharmacy at Charles Darwin
University, is also confident the AMA’s
concerns have been addressed.
Professor Ball told Australian Pharmacist
he believed that pharmacists in
Australia could achieve the skills to
deliver immunisation properly and that
the current training offered brought
pharmacists to the required standard.
He was more circumspect on whether
pharmacists as a profession were ready
to take the challenge.
‘Are they ready? As with all other
professional developments, clearly some
are, some are not. However, it works very
well in every state in the USA, parts of
the UK and New Zealand and a number
of other countries. Are Australian
pharmacists inferior?’ Professor Ball said.
‘I believe it is natural for organisations
such as the AMA to wish to ensure that
standards are maintained, but surely
the way to do that is to define standards
and recommend to government that
these are standards that should be
reached, not to decry the abilities of
I BELIEVE IT IS NATURAL FOR
ORGANISATIONS SUCH AS THE
AMA TO WISH TO ENSURE THAT
STANDARDS ARE MAINTAINED,
BUT SURELY THE WAY TO DO
THAT IS TO DEFINE STANDARDS
AND RECOMMEND TO GOVERNMENT
THAT THESE ARE STANDARDS
THAT SHOULD BE REACHED,
Responding to queries as to where
pharmacists delivering vaccinations
would be covered by current
insurance arrangements, the CEO of
PDL, Marie Ritchie, said pharmacists
involved in the Queensland pilot
were covered under their PDL
professional indemnity insurance.
‘Once this program has been
completed successfully by
pharmacists within pharmacies
it will no doubt be implemented
throughout Australia if legislation
permits,’ she said.
‘It is strongly believed that on the
successful conclusion of this study
all pharmacists with the required
influenza vaccinations will be
Links Archive Australian Pharmacist February 2014 Australian Pharmacist April 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page