Pharmacist Immunisation Research Program Piloted in Queensland

By Petrina Smith
Monday, 13 January, 2014

The Queensland Branches of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia have announced the launch of a pilot pharmacist immunisation research program to be conducted across a number of community pharmacies the state.

This pilot program comes following consultation with the Department of Health to obtain the appropriate legal approval for the trial. The Queensland Pharmacist Immunisation Pilot (QPIP) will begin in the 2014 influenza season and will target consumers not currently covered by the National Immunisation Program.

President of the PSA Qld Branch, Professor Lisa Nissen, said the Guild and PSA would be working with the Queensland University of Technology and James Cook University to ensure the pilot’s research outcomes were of the highest standard and robustness.

“We are pleased to be working with the universities on the implementation of this important pilot program,” Professor Nissen said. Queensland Branch President of the Pharmacy Guild, Tim Logan, said the pilot could lay the groundwork for the delivery of more professional services through community pharmacy.

“Community pharmacies are the most accessible healthcare professionals and so we are a natural destination for the delivery of vital immunisation services,” Mr Logan said. “Through our collaboration with the universities we will be able to collect the essential evidence to enable us to evaluate the role of pharmacist immunisation services. The Pharmacy Board of Australia and PDL will monitor the trial to ensure that regulatory and risk management issues are managed with their cooperation.

“This is an academically-designed trial so participants will be targeted to fit certain criteria to ensure the scientific robustness of the analysis of results.  “In the early stages pharmacists seeking involvement are advised to begin planning to engage once government has considered the trial and made any necessary regulatory amendments needed to introduce the full program.”

Professor Beverley Glass, Chair in Pharmacy James Cook University, said she saw the pilot as a fantastic opportunity for the profession to demonstrate the ability to offer this expanded service.

“Importantly this will be research informing practice to achieve positive consumer outcomes,” she said.

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