From the President: Mark calendars: big year ahead

PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS

As 2022 draws to a close, I want to thank every single one of you – in all corners of Australia – for your hard work and dedication over what has been another very challenging year.

As a profession, you have stood up in some of the most challenging times in memory: medicine shortages, floods, workforce challenges, and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As we move into 2023, we put the emergency phase of the pandemic firmly behind us and look forward to the future. A future where you are practising at the top of your scope, and a future where pharmacists, as custodians of medicine safety, make positive impact across practice settings. Three key projects which will launch next year will support this future. 

Firstly, we are currently undertaking a rewrite of the Professional Practice Standards for Pharmacists. To be launched at PSA23, the new standards more clearly describe minimum standards of how pharmacists practise. 

These new standards will reflect the contemporary role and value of pharmacists’ medicines expertise in supporting the safe and effective use of medicines, wherever you practise. 

Secondly, as Pharmacists in 2023 reaches its endpoint, we are working hard on PSA’s next strategic vision for the profession. Building on the success of Pharmacists in 2023, this plan for the profession will describe what is needed for pharmacists to practise at top of scope, and ensure our skills are actively utilised to address the biggest health challenges facing Australians. 

We will be seeking your views, expertise and priorities for these important projects for consultation early in the new year. I strongly encourage you to provide your feedback and help PSA craft the future for the profession you want to see. 

Finally, PSA has joined forces with the Pharmaceutical Defence Limited (PDL) in a new partnership to enhance collaboration between our organisations on medicine safety and pharmacist practice support. This agreement allows us to explore new medicine safety initiatives and enhance support for pharmacists and scope of practice across all areas of pharmacy practice. 

In 2023 we will also see the commencement of the third major career path for pharmacists: on-site pharmacists in residential aged care. The PSA has been the primary driver of this important initiative and is working closely with the Department of Health to ensure it delivers on its imperative to improve medicine safety in residential aged care facilities. The end-of-year break is also a good time to plan your CPD for the year using PSA’s CPD planning tool. 

The PSA is proud to have a full CPD catalogue and a program of conferences planned over the next 12 months, including the launch of our PSA Consultant Pharmacists Conference, the PSA23 national flagship conference and all Annual Therapeutic Updates. We’ve included a calendar to help you keep track of these dates and encourage you to put it up in your workplace. 

I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the work of the PSA Board, Branch Presidents, Branch Committee members, and the amazing PSA staff who have been working tirelessly in the background to serve our members and our profession. On behalf of the PSA team, have a safe and enjoyable holiday season!