Improved Code of Ethics for Pharmacists released 8 February, 2017

Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA), the national not for profit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health organisation, welcomes the release of the revised Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) Code of Ethics for Pharmacists (the Code) on 8 February 2017.

The Code articulates the values of the pharmacy profession and expected standards of ethical behaviour of pharmacists towards individuals, the community and society and underpins the professional practice of all pharmacists in Australia.

In November 2016, IAHA submitted a response into the public consultation on the draft Code. The assertions and recommendations within this submission were consistent with the previous IAHA submission into the review of the National Competency Framework for Pharmacists Consultation, by the Pharmacy Practitioner Development Committee in May 2016 (PPS). 

Significant changes were subsequently made to ensure the Code better reflects the ethical obligation of pharmacists to provide care in a culturally safe and responsive manner.

In addition to embedding more requirements for culturally safe and responsive pharmacy practice across the Code, there is also a standalone statement in the Purpose and scope of the Code under the heading ‘Cultural competence’ that states “This Code recognises the ethical obligation of pharmacists to provide care in a culturally safe and responsive manner. PSA is committed to supporting pharmacists in a way that acknowledges and incorporates the importance of culture, the assessment of cross cultural relations, vigilance towards the dynamics that result in cultural differences, the expansion of cultural knowledge, and the adaptation of services to meet culturally unique needs. Culturally safe, appropriate and competent care is a key strategy for improving access to services and health outcomes for all individuals, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

“We consider the changes to the new Code a significant improvement and congratulate the PSA for raising the standards of ethical, safe and effective pharmacy practice to be more inclusive of cultural considerations that will better meet the needs of all Australians, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” said Donna Murray, IAHA CEO. “We acknowledge the important contribution that culturally responsive pharmacists can make in improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing.”

The Code can be accessed on the PSA website here 

Public Consultation on revised Professional Practice Standards Now Open

Consultation has commenced on the revised draft of PSA’s Professional Practice Standards (PPS). The consultation paper, including the revised PPS, can be accessed here and consultation on this revised PSA PPS will be open until 1 March 2017. PSA is undertaking this review to ensure the Standards are consistent with the professional requirements of contemporary pharmacist practice, and reflect the expectations of Australian healthcare consumers.

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