More than 1300 pharmacy owners, pharmacists, pharmacy assistants, students and industry representatives gathered at Hyatt Regency Sydney last week to discuss the future of pharmacy and to embrace the Pharmacy Connect conference theme ‘make every connection matter’.
The national conference was officially opened by the Premier of New South Wales, the Honourable Chris Minns, at Thursday evening’s Welcome Reception.
The Premier welcomed delegates to New South Wales and used the opportunity to formally announce the New South Wales Government’s commitment to implement a Full Scope of Practice Pilot mirroring the Queensland Government’s North Queensland Community Pharmacy Scope of Practice Pilot.
This was followed by Friday morning’s announcement by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s National President, Professor Trent Twomey, that 8CPA negotiations will commence immediately with an expected conclusion date of 1 March 2024.
Professor Twomey also discussed the current and arising challenges and opportunities for community pharmacy, including full scope of practice and 60-day dispensing, and provided a strategic overview of the need for community pharmacy to plan for the future and make adjustments to ensure pharmacy viability and job protection.
Hosted by the Pharmacy Guild’s New South Wales Branch, this year’s Pharmacy Connect combined with the Pharmacy Assistant National Conference, providing valuable and timely updates and education for both pharmacists and pharmacy assistants.
The combined events shared a 55-plus stand trade exhibition with hundreds of delegates making their way through the exhibition to speak with suppliers and exhibitors.
One of the major highlights of the event was the announcement of the national winner of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia/Maxigesic Pharmacy Assistant of the Year (PATY) award at the cocktail function on Friday evening.
With eight state and territory finalists all vying for the prestigious award, it was Colby Diek from Craignish Pharmacy Queensland who took out the award.
Colby was also awarded with the $5,000 cash prize plus flights, travel and accommodation packages to attend Guild conferences to support her career and professional development.
As Pharmacy Connect wraps up for 2023, next year’s conference will be held between 5-7 September 2024 in Sydney.