World Pharmacists Day 2019

"Safe and effective medicines for all” is the theme of this year’s World Pharmacists Day (25 September 2019).

The theme for 2019 aims to promote pharmacists’ crucial role in safeguarding patient safety through improving medicines use and reducing medication errors.

To celebrate the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand asked pharmacists, as the medicines experts, to share what this year’s theme “safe and effective medicines for all” means to them.

“It means prescribers and pharmacists working collaboratively to provide the right pharmaceuticals to improve our patient’s health.”
Andy Chen, Pharmacist, Masterton

“It means the right medication for the right person in the right dose and the right treatment duration, with the right advice.”
Bee Hwan Leow, Locum Pharmacist, Wairoa

“It means having a positive outcome every day. It means patient empowerment. It means early education, early intervention, to enable informed decision-making within a non-judgmental relationship.”
Estelle Lang, Clinical Pharmacist, Whangarei Hospital Pharmacy Department

“It means pharmacists are the best point of contact for the patient for free advice on medicines use right when they need it most. We are problem solvers with prescriptions queries, with doctor queries to make sure patients are safe and their medicines are effective.”
Midla Choudary, Pharmacist, New Plymouth

“It means patients are entitled to equitable access to health care that delivers above and beyond their basic health care needs. It is the pharmacist’s role to ensure they deliver an adequate level of service to patients to make sure that they use their medicines safely and effectively and collaborate with other health care providers to achieve optimum health outcomes for their patients.”
Katrina Azer, Community Pharmacist Manager, Christchurch and Pharmacy Council of New Zealand Board Member.

“The key to safe and effective medicines is communication and as pharmacists that is what we do all day long. It means having the courage to call doctors to question the immensely high dose we just saw on the prescription. Discussing with the technicians what to do next when a patient needs a medicine earlier than expected. Informing the patient that their prescription will take another 10 minutes because there is an interaction we need to check. Distractions and pressure are inevitable. But it doesn’t have to be hard if we just communicate.”
Cindy Wang, Pharmacist, Danniverke

“It means every component of the health system from the frontline health professional to the governing body supports, empowers, and/or enables our patients and carers/whanau to utilise medicines for the best level of improvement in their healthcare; with all risks of harm minimised, but also with known possible side effects explained to the patient and carers/whanau to ensure the right action can be taken should side effects occur, thus minimising the impact of healthcare harm on patient outcomes.”
Dr Daniel Bernal, Associate Director of Allied Health: Patient Safety and Quality, Capital Coast District Health Board

Thank you to all those pharmacists that took the time to share what this year’s theme meant to them. Congratulations to Bee Hwan Leow from Wairoa who has won a $100 credit from the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand towards undertaking any College Education and Training course of her choice.