From the President: Pharmacists’ support valued during 2021

Quinn On MPS vaccinating a patient

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your valued support during 2021.

Throughout the second year of a once-in-a-generation pandemic, Australia’s pharmacists have once again gone over and above for Australians.

Because of how you have stood up, it has become easier for PSA to campaign for change – change which supports your patients, change which supports the community, and change which recognises you and your contribution. And we are starting to see the benefits.

The PSA faced an uphill battle, to see all pharmacists included in the vaccine rollout. As most pharmacists sat on the sidelines for months, trained and ready to vaccinate Australians against this deadly disease, PSA was working tirelessly to get the rollout moving.

And we got there, eventually.

After one of the hardest-fought victories in PSA’s history, pharmacists in 3,447 community pharmacies are now vaccinating – in addition to those of you in hospitals, hubs, general practice clinics and ACCHOs.

And already, you have demonstrated your impact – administering over 2.3 million vaccines to eligible Australians.

The PSA has been with you every step of the way, ensuring that you were equipped with the training, knowledge and resources to deliver these vaccines safely and effectively to your patients.

The PSA has also kept the momentum on medicine safety, releasing the fourth report in our Medicine Safety series and also the report Medicine Safety Forum: Informing Australia’s 10th National Health Priority Area. Containing consensus recommendations from leading medicine safety experts, this report provided governments with a ready-to-go action plan on delivering on their medicine safety commitments.

In June, the first round of funding for the MRFF Quality Use of Medicines and Medicine Safety National Health Priority grant opportunity was announced. These grants, only made possible though PSA’s influence, will help us learn more about the medicine safety problems in Australia so that we can do something to improve them.

And as I mentioned last month, PSA has also delivered several improvements to your membership, including PSA’s Member Insurance, the Communities of Specialty Interest (CSIs) and a new tiered membership model.

The contribution that each and every one of you has made to the health and wellbeing of Australians over the past 12 months has been inspiring – and the way in which you have adapted, innovated and provided inspiration to your colleagues fills me with pride.

None of this would have been possible without the support of our trusted partners and, most importantly, all of you – our members.

So after another character-building year marred by COVID-19, never has there been a more important time to connect, or reconnect, with your loved ones. Over this festive season, be sure to make some time for yourselves and enjoy a long- overdue break.

Once again, thank you for your support throughout 2021 and I wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!