PSA19: Minister Hunt reaffirms commitment to addressing medicine safety

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s (PSA) flagship conference PSA19 opened today with Federal
Health Minister Greg Hunt reaffirming the government’s commitment to addressing medicine
safety.

Minister Health said the government stood by its earlier commitment to PSA and will work with the
Society to address the issue of medicine-related harm in Australia.

“The Australian Government will now move, through the Council of Australian Governments
arrangements, to make the quality and safe use of medicines a national health priority,” he said.

Minister Hunt also highlighted the government’s commitment to ensuring pharmacists are able to
practice to their full scope.

“I get what you do and we’re going to back what you do,” he said.

“It makes absolute sense that if we have a group of highly trained medical and health professionals that
we should use the full range of those skills.

“This really is a moment where pharmacy has the greatest potential to impact on national health
outcomes of any time in the last century.”

Minister Hunt also discussed PSA’s role as a signatory to the upcoming 7th Community Pharmacy
Agreement (7CPA).

He said PSA would not just be a co-signatory but a critical part of the design in relation to the code of
ethics, practice standards and pharmacy services.

In his speech, PSA National President Dr Chris Freeman detailed PSA’s ongoing commitment to
medicine safety.

“650,000 emergency department presentations and hospital admissions are related to medicines
misadventure every year, at an alarming cost of $1.4 billion dollars annually,” he said.

“Importantly, it is considered that 50% of this harm is preventable – that is $700 million Australian dollars
could be saved if we better managed medicines in Australia.”

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