Guild, PSA to collaborate on comprehensive package.
The Pharmacy Guild and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia this morning announced they would develop a joint training package, with the support of the Federal Government, to assist community pharmacies with the transition of codeine products to prescription-only on 01 February 2018.
Health minister Greg Hunt has signed off on the funding which will provide training for pharmacists and pharmacy assistants, including continuing professional development accredited online modules and videos using subject-matter experts.
Further funds will be available for communication materials and resources for consumers, pharmacists and other health professionals.
Hunt said the up-scheduling of codeine will be a significant change that will have an impact on consumers, with communication challenges requiring a “concerted effort by all stakeholders”.
There is now a short time frame to support a very large number of patients in this transition, the organisations said, with a proportion of affected consumers likely to have broader health issues necessitating individual support and referral to other health professionals including GPs and pain management specialists.
“It is vitally important that community pharmacies have the resources to communicate directly with patients, ensuring that they are following the most appropriate clinical pathways to meet their pain management needs and minimising the number of unnecessary GP, emergency department and after-hours home doctor visits,” said Guild President George Tambassis.
PSA national president Shane Jackson said the funding for the training was a positive and welcome contribution by the government. “The package will enable community pharmacists and other pharmacy staff across Australia to support patients in this significant transition in the coming months”.
More details in Monday’s issue of Pharmacy Daily.