Stop lead poisoning in children

Reference :

Oct , 18  2013

On the occasion of International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, WHO urges countries to address lead paint as a first step.

Note for media

Lead poisoning has devastating health consequences, in particular for children, with childhood lead exposure estimated to contribute to 600 000 new cases of children with intellectual disabilities every year. Overall, 99% of children affected by high exposure to lead live in low- and middle-income countries, says WHO on the occasion of International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action, and calls on countries to strengthen national actions to eliminate lead paint.

Lead a major source of poisoning

Lead paint is a major source of potential lead poisoning for young children. It may be found in the home, on toys, furniture and on other objects. Decaying lead paint on walls, furniture and other interior surfaces creates lead-contaminated dust in the home that young children easily ingest. Mouthing lead-painted toys and other objects also exposes young children to lead. The sweet taste of lead paint means that some children even pick off and swallow small chips of paint.

“Lead poisoning remains one of the most important environmental health concerns for children globally, and lead paint is a major flashpoint for children’s potential lead poisoning,” says Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director for Public Health and Environment. “The good news is that exposure to lead paint can be entirely stopped through a range of measures to restrict the production and use of lead paint.”

It is estimated that 143 000 deaths per year result from lead poisoning and lead paint is a major contributor to this. Its use creates a health problem for many years into the future. Even in countries that have banned leaded paint decades previously, such paint continues to be a source of exposure until it is finally stripped and replaced. The cost of replacing lead paint means that people living in older, poorly-maintained housing are particularly at risk, and this disproportionately affects economically-deprived communities.

Phasing out lead in paint

WHO has identified lead as one of ten chemicals of major public health concern, and lead requires action by Member States in order to protect the health of workers, children and women of reproductive age. Such actions include adopting regulations and procedures to eliminate the use of lead decorative paints and provide information to the public on renovation of homes where lead paint may have already been applied.

“Paints with extremely high levels of lead are still available in most of the developing countries where paint testing has been conducted as part of the efforts of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint. In most of the countries with lead paint, equivalent paint with no added lead is also available, suggesting that alternatives to lead are readily available to manufacturers,” says David Piper, Deputy Director, UNEP DTIE Chemicals Branch. The International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action, provides an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of the widespread availability of lead paint.

Worldwide, 30 countries have already phased out the use of lead paint. The Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint, co-led by WHO and UNEP, has set a target of 70 countries by 2015.

At high levels of exposure, lead damages the brain and central nervous system to cause coma, convulsions and even death. Children who survive such poisoning are often left with intellectual impairment and behavioural disorders.

At lower levels of exposure, which cause no obvious symptoms and that previously were considered safe, lead is now known to produce a spectrum of injury across multiple body systems. In particular, lead affects brain development in children, resulting in reduced IQ, behavioural changes such as shortening of attention span and increased antisocial behaviour, and reduced educational attainment. These effects are believed to be irreversible. Adults are at increased risk of kidney disease and raised blood pressure.

International Lead Poisoning Awareness Prevention Week of Action

The International Lead Poisoning Awareness Prevention Week of Action runs from 20-26 October 2013. This year’s theme – Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future – underscores the importance of avoiding the use of lead paint and using safe alternatives in order to prevent children coming to harm from lead poisoning.

PSA to sponsor overseas students

Oct , 01  2013

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The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia today announced it will in future nominate and sponsor international pharmacy students who are PSA members and who are seeking to continue and complete their studies in Australia in 2014 and 2015.

Under the scheme, the PSA will seek to nominate and sponsor students under the occupational trainee stream (Subclass 402 Visa).

It will mean that current international students now have options to complete their training and register as pharmacists.

The National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said the decision highlighted PSA’s leadership role in helping to further the careers of PSA member pharmacy students.

“PSA introduced free membership for students and the decision to sponsor foreign students is a further example of our commitment to our members and to the profession,” Mr Kardachi said.

Mr Kardachi said that with the removal of pharmacists from the Skilled Occupation List from 1 July 2013, a number of international pharmacy students were no longer able to access a Subclass 485 Visa which enabled them to complete their studies and register as pharmacists in Australia.

“There are more than 600 international pharmacy students affected by this change,” Mr Kardachi said.

“As the peak professional body for pharmacists, the PSA will provide support to affected students to enable them to remain and complete their pharmacy internship and gain registration as a pharmacist in Australia.

“They can then to return to their country of origin to use these skills to pursue their careers.”

PSA has been approved as a Training and Research sponsor with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Waterman 0487 922 176

latest Community Pharmacy Services Update No 16.

Oct 14 , 2013

Reference :


If you are interested in providing an Anticoagulation Management Service from your Pharmacy, please click here for an expression of interest document and here for the information sheet on CPAMS Resources – Advice to new applicants (Appendix of the Overview document).

Robyn Blue, Project Manager, National Services, DHB Shared Serivces, has also provided a link to the following documents on the TAS website – please click here:

  • Suggestions for getting started on CPAMS
  • A powerpoint presentation on the CPAM Service
  • Information for General Practice
  • Information for patients
  • Current Service Specification, Community Pharmacy Anti-Coagulation Management Service, CPSA 2012
  • CPAM Service Referral Form
  • CPAM Service Registration/Consent form
  • CPAM Service Standing Orders
  • Requirements and pre-requisites for undertaking CPAM Services, including health and safety requirements (prepared by the Pharmaceutical Society of NZ)
  • List of pharmacies currently offering CPAM Services.

Please click here to read the latest Community Pharmacy Services Update No 16.

Please note that deadline to receive EOIs for provision of CPAMS is Wednesday 16 October 2013.

Please click on this link to read the interim review on CPAMS from DHB Shared Services.

[Publication]: Forefront Volume 3 Number 35-40


Forefront is a regular e-newsletter from the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.

Subscription is free and – while content is produced with Guild members in mind as the primary audience – open to anyone interested in news and current events relating to community pharmacy in Australia.

Just as community pharmacists are at the forefront of primary health care in the Australian community, Forefront aims to provide up-to-date, relevant and valuable content to subscribers.

Subscribers will receive regular (typically weekly) email summaries that link to more in-depth content on the Guild website. These summaries aim to provide a quick and convenient snapshot of news, which provides value to the reader even if they do not have time to view the expanded content.

Click here to subscribe and see below for links to recent editions.

Forefront issues



Pharmacy Under Threat petition delivered

Oct , 22  2013

Reference :—petition-delivered.pdf?sfvrsn=0

Pharmacy Under Threat petition delivered

The Pharmacy Under Threat petition has been delivered to the House of Representatives in Canberra – 1.1 million signatures reaffirming the value patients put on their local community pharmacy.
It took a sizable utility to do it – but 22 boxes of petition forms were transported up the hill from the Guild national secretariat in Canberra. The mammoth petition response will reinforce to politicians the importance placed by patients all over Australia on community pharmacies.
The petition, launched in early August, is believed to be the largest number of signatures ever presented to the Australian House of Representatives. This followed an amazing effort by pharmacists and pharmacy staff all over Australia.

The petition calls on the House to take whatever action is needed to ensure that community pharmacy receives the funding support it needs to stay in business, serve patients, employ staff and remain open. This follows the decision of the former Labor Government, without consultation, to accelerate the Price Disclosure mechanism for PBS medicines without adjusting pharmacy remuneration.

The Guild would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to all pharmacists, pharmacy assistants, pharmacy students, wholesalers, banner groups and pharmacy media who supported this significant project.
The petition will now be a key plank of the Guild’s campaign as we continue to work constructively with the new Coalition Government.
The petition was a voice for patients. Every signature shows the new government how much patients value their community pharmacy.
Photos available.

The Guild salutes Mr Bill Scott

Oct 09, 2013

Reference :—the-guild-salutes-mr-bill-scott

Media Release – The Guild salutes Mr Bill Scott

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia acknowledges the tremendous contribution to community pharmacy of Mr Bill Scott, who has today stepped down as Chairman of GuildLink Proprietary Limited.

Under Bill Scott, GuildLink has grown to become an industry leader in IT facilitated health programs delivered through community pharmacy.

The National President of the Guild, Kos Sclavos, said: “Bill Scott has made an outstanding contribution to the Guild and Guild family companies. Not only did Bill lead the negotiations on two Guild-Government Agreements, he also played a key role in the growth and development both GuildLink and the pharmacy software company Fred IT Group.

Mr Scott will also step down from the chairmanship of Fred IT Group, but will continue to represent the Guild on the board of Fred as the company moves forward following the recent significant investment in the company by Telstra Health.

Bill Scott chaired GuildLink, formerly known as, from the time of the Guild’s purchase of the company in October 2004. He has overseen the transition of the company from a facilitator of Consumer Medicines Information (CMI) leaflets, to a developer and distributor of national systemised patient support programs via its GuildCare platform.

The CEO of GuildLink, Ross Gallagher, said: “In a very real way, these GuildCare programs are making a contribution every day towards better patient health outcomes delivered by community pharmacies all over Australia. This is a tribute to Bill’s foresight and leadership of the company.”

Mr Scott said: “GuildLink has managed to improve and expand CMIs, making them available in large print format, as well as synthetic audio and Braille. This was a world leading development. I have enjoyed my time with both GuildLink and Fred IT, both of which have provided a phenomenal opportunity to be part of the development of innovations that have enhanced the delivery of health care for consumers.”

Kos Sclavos said: “Bill has been a contributor to the Guild for decades at a senior level, showing extraordinary commitment and generosity with his time. A measure of the depth of his strategic knowledge and expertise in the industry has been his absolute determination to ensure pharmacists adopt essential IT systems to record their clinical work.”

PSA President honoured

Oct 02, 2013

Reference :—psa-president-honoured

Media Release – PSA President honoured

Congratulations to the National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Grant Kardachi, on being awarded the South Australian Branch of the Pharmacy Guild’s highest honour for his work in pharmacy.

Mr Kardachi was last night presented the Barry Schultz Medal for Excellence in Pharmacy by the Guild’s National President, Kos Sclavos.

Mr Sclavos said: “Grant Kardachi is widely respected across the profession and looked up to by many pharmacists as a role model and leader committed to high standards and professionalism.

“My thanks to the South Australian branch of the Guild and to the Schultz family for being the custodians of this important award.”

The award honours the late Barry Schultz, a former Guild leader in South Australia and nationally. The medal is awarded to a pharmacist trained or working in South Australia who epitomises Mr Schultz’s passion and commitment, including through a contribution to mentoring and supporting others.

Si Banks signs off

1 October 2013

Reference :—si-banks-signs-off.pdf?sfvrsn=0

Si Banks signs off

Congratulations to the outgoing NSW Branch President of the Guild, Mr Si Banks, on completing a remarkable and significant term as President of the Guild’s largest Branch.
Mr Banks has stepped down today after serving an incredible 19 years in the role.
Si Banks is a pharmacist who first worked in community pharmacy in Ingleburn, NSW. His unceasing objective has been to see his much-loved profession successfully take additional steps towards delivering enhanced patient care at community pharmacy level.

He strongly believes that pharmacy must maintain a strong presence in the political arena, lest our political representatives lose sight of pharmacy’s worth to the community.
Si has had a long and continuing association with Charles Sturt University at Wagga since its early days and was one of those who lobbied to get State Government support and funding for the establishment of the Chair of Rural Pharmacy at CSU. He has spent considerable time and effort lobbying to have CSU develop the Vaccination Training Course and to have it incorporated in their pharmacy curriculum.

Si was closely involved in the development of the Pharmacy Cold Chain, which subsequently was incorporated into the QCPP standards, reinforcing community pharmacy’s commitment to quality and excellence.
The National President of the Guild, Kos Sclavos, said: “It is an indication of the enormity of Si’s contribution to the Guild that he has figured in most of the Guild’s significant wins over the last two decades.

“I will always respect his passion and fierce determination carried throughout his tenure. Few could have maintained such passion for community pharmacy, for the Guild and for its companies over such a long time. I know Guild Members will join me in wishing Si all the best, and we also thank his wife Barbara for her support,” Mr Sclavos said.
The new President of the NSW Branch of the Guild is Mr Paul Sinclair, a Sydney community pharmacist and National Councillor of the Guild, having been elected to that position in 2007. In 2010, he was elected to the Community Pharmacy Section Executive Committee of FIP (Federation International Pharmaceutical). He is the chair of the Guild’s Quality Assurance and Standards committee, and also a member of the Health Economics committee which is involved in negotiating the Community Pharmacy Agreements.
Media inquiries: Greg Turnbull 0412 910261

Media Release – Telstra Health invests in Fred

Oct 01, 2013

Reference :—telstra-health-invests-in-fred

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia welcomes the investment by Telstra Health in Fred IT Group, which will see it take a significant investment in Australia’s leading provider of IT services and dispensing software to pharmacies.

This strategic partnership between Fred and Telstra Health reinforces Fred’s commitment to providing IT innovation and leadership for pharmacy and pharmacy customers long term.

The investment will position Fred to continue to invest strongly in eHealth and IT solutions which are vital in improving patient health and safety, creating new ways for community pharmacy to service customers and manage businesses.

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s investment over two decades has been invaluable in positioning Fred to take a leadership role for pharmacy, and in the achievement of industry milestones. For example, eRx Script Exchange, developed by Fred, is Australia’s first and largest national electronic prescriptions exchange and connects more than 15,500 doctors and 3,900 pharmacies to improve patient safety and dispensing efficiency.

The Guild retains a significant investment in Fred and sees this new partnership with Telstra as opening further opportunities for exploring national eHealth initiatives that can improve access to care.

Fred’s commitment to community pharmacy remains as important as ever and it will be business as usual with the same management team leading the company headed by Guild Member and pharmacy owner Paul Naismith. Pharmacies will continue to have access to high quality products and support. Service delivery and pricing commitments will remain focused on finding the most efficient and competitive solutions for pharmacy. In time, this new partnership will increase Fred’s ability to offer new products and services.

The National President of the Guild, Kos Sclavos said: “Fred IT Group’s partnership with Telstra reflects the health system adapting to meet the needs of a modern connected society. We can now explore best practice opportunities where pharmacists have a clinical role, with other health professionals, in improving health throughout the community. This partnership will enhance the role of the community pharmacy as part of the team care continuum.”

“The partnership acknowledges the importance of pharmacists in the future of health, across the spectrum of medicine management and compliance and full health records, including the cornerstone of effective health records, the medication history. With pharmacists as Australia’s most accessible health care professionals, IT enabled solutions will become more critical. I see Fred IT Group expanding health services into the future,” he said.

The Guild has also signed a separate MoU with Telstra committing the parties to work together on mutually beneficial innovative e-health solutions that provide Australians with enhanced access to health care products, services, support, advice and information that utilises the established national infrastructure of community pharmacies.

[13th ACCP]: Report on 13th Asian Conference on Clinical Pharmacy

To Download the Full Report in PDF file 

The 13th Asian Conference on Clinical Pharmacy

Haiphong City Convention Center, Vietnam

13-15 September 2013

The Clinical Pharmacist and Patient Care:

Opportunities and Challenges


As the major event in Asian Pharmacy circles, Asian Conference on Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) has been held continuously since 1997. Departments of clinical pharmacy have gradually been set up in hospitals around Asian countries. The concept of “patient-centered care” has been widely accepted by hospital members and great progress has been made. Levels of practice, education and research on clinical pharmacy have also been greatly improved.

Starting in America in 1997 under the sponsorship of the McWhorter School of Pharmacy, Stamford University, the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) and the Korean College of Clinical Pharmacy, the first ACCP attracted only 36 representatives from the China, Korea, Japan and the US. With increasing number of participants from Asian countries attending ACCP, as well as the rapid developement of clinical pharmacy in Asia, every country was enthusiastic in attending and holding the conference.  The decision has also been made among the representatives of the member countries to hold the conference annually instead of biannually starting the 5th conference in the year 2005. 

Every conference brings together myriad of experiences from both the East and the West which did not only guide the direction of development in this field, but also inspired practitioners to think and explore how clinical pharmacy could be implemented. Every year, hundreds of Vietnamese pharmacists participated in this great forum for learning and sharing experiences and networking with colleagues in Asia and other countries.


                       ACCP 2013 in Haiphong Vietnam

The 12th ACCP was held successfully in Hong Kong in July 6-9, 2012.Because the Department Chair for Pharmacy of Haiphong Medical University was invited to participate in Indonesia’s ACCP-2008 Board meeting as representative for Vietnam at ACCP, so in this time,Vietnam was approved to be the next destination for ACCP. The Pharmacy Dean of Haiphong Medical University, Dr Nguyen Van Hung, was chosen to be the chair person for ACCP 2013.

(picture1, see in the PDF full report)

ACCP Board Members (in the first line). Haiphong September 13-15, 2013


For its 13th Conference, Haiphong Medical University has received great support from Vietnamese Ministry of Health and the cooperation of Vietnamese Pharmaceutical Association. This ACCP focused its effort on opportunities and challenges in the clinical practice setting. The conference is also a suitable venue for pharmacists and educators in Asia to share best practices and advances in patient-oriented care while building linkages and friendship.

The 13th Asian Conference on Clinical Pharmacy was held successfully at Haiphong City Convention Center, September 13-15, 2013 with more than 1000 participants from 24 countries and regions in Asia, US, Canada, Australia and France. The biggest group comes from Vietnam with around 500 pharmacists working at central and provincial hospitals, health management and pharmacy schools in the country.

Four pre-conference training workshops have been conducted on September 12 on Optimum Health Outcomes through Medication Safety, Advanced competency for pharmacist; Updates in the Management of Cancer, and Being a Clinical Pharmacist: Applying Knowledge and Skills to Team-Based Patient Care. In particular, the training course on ‘Being a Clinical Pharmacist: Applying Knowledge and Skills to Team-Based Patient Care” was facilitated by the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, providing valuable knowledge and skills for Asian colleagues to start clinical pharmacy practice in their countries.

      More than 1000 participants from 24 countries in Asia, the US, Canada, Australia, France attended the Conference with 269 scientific reports covering most of topics on clinical pharmacy education and practice.

      The 13th ACCP was very honoured to have two keynotes speakers, professor Barry L.Carter from the University of Iowa and Dr Micheal Maddux, Executive  Director of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy on the important roles of pharmacists working with the team in patient care.    

         (picture2, see in the PDF full report)

Difference topics on clinical pharmacy education and practice, such as physician pharmacist collaboration in patient care, drug use studies, drug reconciliation, clinical pharmacy practice development …have been discussed in symposia during the Conference. A lot of networking and sharing between colleagues in Asia and other countries have been promoted. Many senior pharmacists in Asia have been presenting their research results and experiences with colleagues around the world.

In addition to the scientific program, Gala Diner attracted about 700 participants from 24 countries to perform their traditional songs or cultures which were relaxed and friendly. In September 14, 2013, hundreds of participants also participated in Student Night at Haiphong Medical University to talk with medical and pharmacy students there regarding their future career working in team…

After the Conference, on September 16, 2013, participants also visited Viet Tiep General Hospital, the major teaching hospital for Haiphong Medical University. The team discussed the aspects of clinical pharmacy and pharmacy practice with Vietnamese colleagues in clinical environment, with both physicians and pharmacists at this hospital. More insights gained from the direct observations and visit to different places in Haiphong City Vietnam.

Most feedback from participants around the world was positive with the program and the organization of ACCP-13. With a strong medical, clinical and behaviour sciences combined in one campus, the Faculty of Pharmacy at Haiphong Medical University, the host of 13th ACCP, is expected to pioneer the application of clinical pharmacy-oriented curriculum to develop and train pharmacists who will be competent to work as members of the health care team in a clinical environment. Moreover, ACCP-13 hosted in Vietnam, Vietnamese pharmacists are encouraged to start their networking with colleagues around the world to advance clinical pharmacy in the country.

        Prepared by Nguyen Van Hung, MD PhD, Associate professor and Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy,Haiphong Medical University, Vietnam