While welcoming the return of the Berejiklian government in NSW this week, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) asked for a commitment to supporting the role of pharmacists in the state’s healthcare system.
PSA NSW President Professor Peter Carroll said pharmacists’ unique expertise in the safe and effective use of medicines meant their role should be expanded to deliver care wherever medicines were used.
“The entire pharmacy workforce should be invested in, to deliver safer, more effective and accessible care across NSW,” he said.
“PSA welcomes the re-election of the [Coalition] and congratulates them on the effective health policies they have already implemented in relation to vaccinations.
“PSA recently released our ‘Pharmacists in 2023’ report to highlight that pharmacists must be empowered to do more than the current healthcare system allows them to do.
“This is about the health of the public in NSW. We simply must be able to use more effectively the workforce that we have in pharmacists, across hospitals, in community pharmacy and in other areas.
Professor Carroll said giving consumers in NSW access to the influenza vaccine through community pharmacies had been a huge success.
“Pharmacist-administered flu vaccination has led to greater uptake among the community, increasing NSW’s overall herd immunity for these preventable diseases,” he said.
A 2018 nationwide YouGov Galaxy poll showed that two in three Australians surveyed believe pharmacists should be able to administer common vaccines, with greater convenience cited as a benefit.
“Pharmacists in NSW have also been protecting people 16 years and over from whooping cough and measles since January,” Professor Carroll said.
“PSA urges the government to take full advantage of the pharmacist workforce by expanding pharmacist-administered vaccinations to make it easier for people to access adult pneumococcal and other vaccines.”
PSA also believes there are opportunities to provide the community with better access to specific prescription medicines for acute conditions by utilising the skills and expertise of trained pharmacists.
“Pharmacists can ease the burden on the health system,” Professor Carroll said. “Now is the time to commit to new reforms that allow them to provide better health outcomes for NSW.”