Pharmacists get pandemic prepared at APP

Country: Australia
Title: Pharmacists Get Pandemic Prepared …
Date: 2010/03/24
Media Release: Pharmacists get pandemic prepared at APP

(News released by The Pharmacy Guild of Australia)

More than 70 pharmacists are about to take part in an inaugural workshop aimed at ensuring their businesses are properly prepared for any looming pandemic. This is the first of many workshops that will be conducted before July across Australia.

The Business Continuity Planning (BCP) workshop is a key session of the opening day of the Australian Pharmacy Professional (APP) conference on the Gold Coast tomorrow.

Several business planning and risk management experts, including David Roddis from Guild Group, will be training pharmacists on why their pharmacies need a business continuity plan (BCP), not only to plan for the next pandemic, but for any event that may impact their business.

The workshop will be interactive, with breakout sessions and computers for each participant to enable them to generate their own BCP using unique software at the workshop with the support of the BCP experts.

The world learnt many lessons from the swine flu pandemic of 2009, and community pharmacy responded well, adapting to many service demands not originally proposed in State and Territory pandemic management plans. It is considered ‘more likely than not’ that another pandemic will occur in the future.

Australia is still in the PROTECT phase of the pandemic, and the pandemic influenza (H1N1) 2009 virus continues to be the predominant influenza virus circulating worldwide. It is the influenza strain that will most probably cause flu infection in winter 2010.

The workshop is the first in a series of 10 around Australia that form one element of the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Program, funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing as part of the Fourth Community Pharmacy Agreement.

The Program’s overall theme encourages pharmacy staff to become ‘Kung FLU fighters’ in the battle against flu and potential pandemics.