Acknowledging all pharmacists on World Pharmacists Day

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Friday 25 September is World Pharmacists Day and a time to reflect on the great work pharmacists do to ensure the communities they serve have access to the best possible medications and care.

The National President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, George Tambassis, said celebrating the work of pharmacists was especially relevant this year.

“Communities throughout Australia have relied heavily on their pharmacists to help them get through some of the challenges we have all faced this year,” he said.

“These challenges have included the bushfires, floods, drought and of course COVID-19.

“But I am immensely proud to say that regardless of the emergency or crisis, community pharmacists have been there for their patients.

“They have been there providing mental health support for drought victims, finding ways to get medicines to patients isolated by bushfires or flood, and establishing COVID-safe protocols to keep their pharmacies open.

“Community pharmacists have lost their homes or faced the danger of losing them but still have ensured their community pharmacies are operating.

“They have worked by torchlight when power has been cut by fires and developed innovative ways – including jet-skis and helicopters – to get medicines to where they are needed.

“This is a commitment that is a hallmark of the profession, but one which at times can be taken for granted.”

Mr Tambassis said World Pharmacists Day provided an opportunity for everyone to recognise these efforts.

“This year’s theme for World Pharmacists Day is Transforming global health and I think the example set by pharmacists across Australia in 2020 will in no small measure set the benchmark globally for how our profession can adapt in the face of great adversity,” Mr Tambassis said.

Health Minister Greg Hunt expressed the same sentiment while speaking to the World Pharmacy Council (WPC) on 17 September thanking pharmacists not only in Australia but around the world for their work during Covid-19. “A challenge like no other we have seen,” he said. “Pharmacists have been truly heroic.  {In Australia} We have had 5000+ community pharmacies that kept their doors open throughout COVID-19 despite the risk of infection and the abuse that some copped in the early days.  Pharmacists and pharmacies have been an incredible community support not only in Australia but also around the world,” he said.