A conference hosted jointly by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) and the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association (CPA) was held in Sydney, Australia from 28 to 30 July 2017. Over 1,200 pharmacists from the Commonwealth and other countries met to discuss a range of professional issues relating to current and future roles of pharmacists.
Following the theme of the conference, Leading Pharmacy Innovation, delegates heard local and international speakers share their experience and insights about evolving pharmacist practice and how the profession must plan strategically for the future.
CPA and PSA are strongly committed to ensuring pharmacists in all countries are registered to acceptable standards and are accountable in professional practice, in the interests of the public. We also recognise the
need to have career and professional development frameworks in place to support the development of pharmacists to maximise their contribution to patient care.
Pharmacists are skilled and highly trained health professionals with a broad range of medicines and medication management-related expertise and experience.
Global action in combating the spread of antimicrobial resistance continues to be a core focus for all pharmacists throughout the Commonwealth. CPA and PSA are committed to promoting and enhancing the important role of pharmacists.
The overuse and misuse of codeine-containing medicines, other opiates and drugs of dependence are recognised as an increasing worldwide health problem. Pharmacists have a vital role in helping to minimise harm and facilitating appropriate care. Conference delegates also learnt about new arrangements currently being trialled in Australia regarding the medicinal use of cannabis.
Pharmacists around the world are continuing to demonstrate their contribution to better health through the delivery of innovative and evidence-based professional services, for the benefit of patients.
Pharmacists’ skills and training
- Pharmacists should continue to have solid foundation training in pharmaceutical sciences and patient-
- Action should be taken to promote education about antimicrobial resistance and infection to healthcare professionals and the wider community, including the involvement of pharmacists in antimicrobial stewardship training.
- Governments should be lobbied to establish national strategies, including community-based stewardship of antimicrobial resistance programmes, and enhanced regulation of medicines to invest in surveillance and research.
- Active preservation of existing antibiotics should be supported through appropriate prescribing, pharmacists’ supply and optimisation of use.
- Research and development of new antibiotics should be encouraged both nationally and internationally.
- Appropriate regulatory control of veterinary medicines should be in place, especially with regard to the use of antibiotics and steroids for food-producing animals.
Regulation for safety and optimal use of medicines
- People throughout the Commonwealth should have uniform and equitable access to trained pharmacists to help optimise their medicines across all healthcare sectors.
- In order to ensure the best possible public health, medication safety and delivery of optimal pharmaceutical care, all pharmacies must have an appropriately trained pharmacist present at all times to provide direct oversight and professional input and advice.
- Medication-related adverse events contribute to significant unnecessary costs to the health system and negative health outcomes to individuals, and pharmacists must have a key role in advising on maximising the benefits of medicines use and preventing or minimising medication-related harm.
- Pharmacists have expertise on medicines and medication management and therefore must have a role in the regulation of medicines. Pharmacists in the Commonwealth must be involved in the development of or revision of regulations relating to the availability and utilisation of medicines, including lobbying government bodies.
Counterfeit or falsification of medicines
- The existence of counterfeit medicines (or falsification of medicines) is a global problem that impacts on the reliability and confidence in the regulation and safety of medicines and compromises people’s
- Pharmacists must be involved in policy making and regulatory functions in the Commonwealth to help prevent activities regarding the falsification of medicines.
Supporting appropriate use of opiates and other drugs of dependence
- PSA and CPA strongly support the implementation of a national real time monitoring system to assist prescribers and pharmacists to identify patients who are at risk of harm due to dependence, misuse or abuse of medicines within their respective countries.
- Such a system should have the capacity to include, not just prescription medicines, but all medicines with potential for harm through misuse or dependence.
- In addition to monitoring for quality use of high-risk medicines, pharmacists have a vital role in facilitating appropriate referral and continuity of care for those requiring addiction care.
Managing global security threats
- Appropriate regulatory arrangements and pharmacist input is essential in order to minimise the potential for negative health outcomes.
- Arrangements should be made for pharmacist input into providing suitable medicines support for refugees and other displaced people within the Commonwealth.
- CPA and PSA will progress work to update its respective positions on health care for refugees and asylum seekers.
- CPA and PSA will work towards giving support to providing standards for disaster management.
Appropriate support to provide pharmacist-delivered professional services
- Appropriately trained pharmacists are delivering vaccination services in Australia, and in other countries. It was shown that pharmacists are able to provide these services especially in medically underserviced areas.
- Arrangements should be made to support pharmacist vaccination services as part of the increased development of expanded pharmacist roles.
Policy plans for the future of pharmacists
- Pharmacists should contribute to the planning, development and implementation of innovative health services which would be tailored to the specific needs of patients or patient groups in their countries.
- Pharmacists globally must be prepared for and trained in optimising medicine management especially in the area of non-communicable diseases and antimicrobial resistance.
- PSA and CPA firmly recognise that culturally responsive services tailored for vulnerable population groups are needed to ensure equitable and accessible high quality health care services in all countries around the Commonwealth.
- CPA and PSA jointly advocate a greater investment in the development of greater service provision by pharmacists in their countries. Such plans must involve meaningful consultation with all stakeholders in their countries to take into account views of patients and carers, policy makers, government, pharmacists and other health professionals.
Media contact: Andrew Daniels PSA Communications Manager +61 487 922 175
Roger Odd CPA Honorary Secretary +44 7961 436154