In March each year, The Pharmacy Guild of Australia stages the Australian Pharmacy Professional (APP) Conference on the Gold Coast. This is an exciting opportunity for pharmacists, pharmacy staff, pharmacy students and suppliers to the pharmacy industry to get together. While there, we can share ideas, discover new products and make new and refresh old contacts. This year, there were over 6500 people at the Conference.
There are so many learning sessions, it is impossible to get to them all. However, you can select the ones that are most interesting and important to you and your pharmacy.
The Pharmacy of the Year awards are announced, and the finalists all provide an outline of how their winning pharmacies offer outstanding service to their local communities. It is very inspiring, and there are always some ideas to bring back to try at High Wycombe Pharmacy.
There were many ideas, suggestions and products worthy of bringing home and trying at High Wycombe Pharmacy. Some of these are:
- Ways of involving everyone in the pharmacy in bringing forward their own ideas to help keep the pharmacy improving all the time
- Working with other health professionals to enhance the awareness and treatment of Glaucoma
- Medicine packs are not just for “old” people. Anyone taking regular medication can benefit from the simplicity of having your medication made into weekly packs. It improves safety and is much more convenient than selecting from multiple boxes and bottles
- “Electroceuticals” can help with chronic pain. These are electronic devices worn on the body to reduce pain that is suitable for long term use. We already have these in the pharmacy, but the latest evidence was provided to show how useful they are
- New skin patches and creams that are already available to help treat nerve pain (neuralgia)
- Osteoporosis is a chronic disease that affects 900 people who visit our pharmacy. The problem is that not every one of those people knows they have osteoporosis. We were shown ways of raising awareness and improving the treatment of osteoporosis
- In general, only half of all people take their medication as prescribed and so do not get the improved health outcomes that are possible. Our pharmacy can play a vital role in improving the quality use of medicines in the community
- Pharmacists are able to write plans to help patients with hay fever to get the best results from their treatment
- New studies in medicinal cannabis were also presented, showing the benefits available to some people
- Hepatitis C treatments have improved vastly, and it will now be possible to eradicate hepatitis C from Australia with these treatments. They are expensive, but they work so well, anyone who thinks they may be at risk of hepatitis C or have a family member or friend who may be at risk, should see their GP and get tested
These are just a selection of the topics discussed. Now the fun begins in turning these ideas into practical solutions for both us in the pharmacy and everyone that call us “their pharmacy”.