Pharmacists in 2023: Unlocking the opportunity


It’s time for PSA to reveal our vision of the future of pharmacy in Australia.

I am pleased to announce our Pharmacists in 2023 Action Plan will be released in February 2019, featuring the key actions to unlock opportunities for pharmacists by 2023. This plan will optimise the role of pharmacists as healthcare professionals and embed them as leaders wherever medicines are used.

PSA is firmly committed to ensuring pharmacists’ unique skills are put to full use, their key role in healthcare is recognised, and their remuneration appropriately reflects their training and expertise. All of the actions for Pharmacists in 2023 are directed at achieving these objectives.

For example, pharmacists have a major role to play in combating the signi­ficant issues with medicines safety in Australia and around the world. The last available data, published in 2013, indicated that 230,000 people are admitted to hospital each year at a cost of $1.2 billion. It is time now, ­ five years on from that report, to understand whether the impacts of medication safety are the same, worse or better, and PSA has commissioned Dr Libby Roughead to look at the impact in 2018. This report will be released in early 2019, and will quantify the impact of medication safety in today’s environment.

The Pharmacists in 2023 Action Plan will set an agenda for pharmacist roles, now and in the future. It will identify the system changes that need to occur for pharmacists to have greater responsibility and accountability for medication safety. This is about change in our health system to better utilise pharmacists wherever they may be working to deliver better health for all Australians.

The Action Plan will set the scene for healthcare evolution to provide better access to care, safer and higher quality use of medicines, and better utilisation of pharmacists. It is about integrating pharmacists into healthcare settings where they are the stewards of quality use of medicines.

Ultimately, this is about improving healthcare and ensuring patients receive the timely, accessible, high-quality care they expect from our healthcare system. Patients want pharmacists to be able to do more to help them with their health – the Pharmacists in 2023 Action Plan will enable that.

PSA has an ambitious agenda in 2019 to reposition the role of pharmacists. Our goal is to ensure they are integral in the system improvements needed for Australia’s healthcare system to remain world class. This agenda, leading up to the 7th Community Pharmacy Agreement, will ensure the services delivered by pharmacists meet the needs of the Australian community, are integrated into the healthcare system, and have a robust evidence base behind them.

We look forward to working with the leaders of the pharmacy profession, other healthcare groups, consumers and government in progressing the role of pharmacists to 2023.