National Board members from left to right: Mr William Kelly – practitioner member from the Australian Capital Territory; Dr Rodney Wellard – community member from Victoria; Mrs Rachel Carr – practitioner member from Western Australia; Mr John Finlay – community member from Western Australia; Ms Karen O’Keefe – community member from South Australia; Mr Gerard McInerney – practitioner member from New South Wales; Mr Stephen Marty – Chair and practitioner member from Victoria; Dr Katherine Sloper – community member from Queensland; Mr Trevor Draysey – practitioner member from South Australia; Mr Ian Huett – practitioner member from Tasmania; Mr Brett Simmonds – practitioner member from Queensland; Ms Bhavini Patel – practitioner member from the Northern Territory.
Amendments to the Privacy Act 1988 took effect on 12 March 2014. Pharmacists are obliged to ensure that information they collect and maintain is done so in accordance with the requirements of the Act and the amended Australian Privacy Principles. Further information is available on the website of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia have jointly prepared resources to assist their members to meet the new privacy obligations.
back to top
The Board congratulates Dr Rodney Wellard on his reappointment to the Board for a second term as a community member. The appointment was made by the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council and announced in the recent communiqué.
The Board held a meeting with local pharmacists and stakeholders to coincide with its Board meeting in Darwin. This gave Board members an opportunity to discuss issues related to the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (National Scheme) and local practice.
Board members were invited to a presentation at the Royal Darwin Hospital on its electronic medication management system. Members gained valuable insight into the benefits of the system and how hospital staff – including members of the pharmacy department – are managing patient medication records effectively.
Board members were welcomed by Dr Nicholas Coatsworth, Director Disaster Preparedness and Response at the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC). The NCCTRC is focused on enhancing Australia’s capacity to provide clinical and academic leadership in disaster and trauma care. Its location in northern Australia ensures that it is prepared to respond to major onshore and offshore incidents in Australia and South East Asia.
In 2013, Dr Coatsworth led the second Australian Medical Assistance Team that responded to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, which included the provision of pharmacy services. Dr Coatsworth and Mr Arrulan Naidoo (pharmacist, NT Department of Health) gave presentations on the recent delivery of services in the Philippines. Pharmacists who are interested in the services delivered by the NCCTRC can access further information on the NCCTRC website.
Audits of random samples of practitioners from all health professions within the National Scheme are continuing.
Audits are an important part of the way National Boards and AHPRA can better protect the public. They help to ensure that practitioners are meeting the mandatory registration standards and provide important assurance to the community and the Boards.
Audits have been uncoupled from the registration renewal cycle, meaning that pharmacists can receive an audit notice at any time of the year.
If you receive a notice letting you know you have been selected for audit, make sure you respond to it by the deadline and include all of the required supporting information.
The audit page on the website provides more information.
Public consultation is now open on the Guidelines on compounding of medicines for pharmacists. You can access the consultation paper and response form on the Current Consultations page on the Board’s website.
The guidelines will provide guidance to pharmacists who extemporaneously prepare medicines, including ‘simple compounding’ and ‘complex compounding’ (as defined in the draft guidelines).
Consultation on the guidelines will close on 30 June 2014 and the community, stakeholders, pharmacists and other health practitioners are welcome to make a submission.
The Board is also conducting a separate consultation on a draft Professional practice profile for pharmacists undertaking complex compounding (practice profile). The practice profile is referenced in the compounding guidelines. The practice profile is a tool intended to assist pharmacists to understand the performance expected of them when undertaking complex compounding.
The consultation paper is also published on the Board’s Current Consultations page. Consultation on the practice profile will close on 30 June 2014.
The Board is consulting on a review of the following registration standards:
The Board began its review of these documents within three years of implementation of the current registration standards and related guidelines in 2010. The consultation process to date has included research and preliminary consultation with stakeholders.
You can access the public consultation paper and response form on the Current Consultations page on the Board’s website. Consultation will close on 30 June 2014 and the community, stakeholders, pharmacists and other health practitioners are welcome to make a submission.
back to top
The Pharmacy Board and the other National Boards have acted on the feedback they received about the Guidelines for advertising regulated health services (Advertising guidelines) that were released in March 2014 and have published an update.
Anyone who advertises a regulated health service must meet the requirements of the National Law. This includes registered health practitioners, individuals who are not health practitioners and businesses.
No requirements have been added from the previous version, and the update came into effect on 20 May.
The updated Advertising guidelines were edited to make them clearer, particularly that:
We would like to thank everyone who provided feedback on the guidelines. Whenever possible, this feedback was taken into account and used to update the guidelines.
The Board publishes quarterly data profiling Australia’s pharmacy workforce, including a number of statistical breakdowns about registrants.
The Board’s March 2014 data update, published in April, shows there are 28,188 registered pharmacists in Australia, an increase of 628 practitioners since December 2013 (data published in our previous newsletter). Of these, 25,306 have general registration and 1,912 have provisional registration.
A total of 953 pharmacists are non-practising and 17 have some form of limited registration. See Table 1 for further details.
Table 1 – Pharmacists: state and territory by registration type and subtype (March 2014)
*No principal place of practice
The largest number of pharmacists is in NSW: 8,735 (30.99%); followed by Victoria with 6,955 (24.67%) and Queensland with 5,514 (19.56%). For further details, see the table below.
Table 2 – Pharmacy practitioners by principal place of practice (March 2014)
The current percentage of pharmacists by gender across Australia is 60.14 per cent female, 39.86 per cent male, with a state-by-state breakdown shown in Table 2 below.
Table 3 – Pharmacists: percentage by gender (March 2014)
Visit the Statistics page on the Board’s website for further workforce details.