Code of Ethics

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The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s Code of
Professional Conduct (from 1998) has been revised
to reflect:
›› changes in legislation, changes to the health care
landscape and evolution of professional pharmacy
practice;
›› the implementation of national registration for
pharmacists including the overarching Code of
Conduct for Registered Health Practitioners;
›› the reviews and subsequent release of PSA’s
Professional Practice Standards and the pharmacy
profession’s National Competency Standards
Framework for Pharmacists in Australia 2010; and
›› consistency with contemporary pharmacy practice
in Australia.
The review and revision of the previous Code
was conducted through a rigorous, multi-stage
process involving: the PSA Board and Branches; a
Code Review Working Group and panel of Expert
Pharmacists nominated by PSA Branches; PSA
members; and external stakeholders including
pharmacy, consumer and other health professional
organisations and government bodies. The revised
code will be known as the PSA Code of Ethics for
Pharmacists (the ‘PSA Code’).
Status of this Code
All pharmacists registered with the Pharmacy Board
of Australia (PBA) under the National Registration
and Accreditation Scheme need to comply with
a common code of conduct that applies to all
registered health practitioners. The Code of Conduct
for Registered Health Practitioners provides guidance
on the ethical framework through which effective
health services should be delivered. It contains
important standards for practitioner behaviour
on: working professionally with all members
of the health care team and system; sharing
decision-making and providing good care in a
professional and ethical manner; minimising risk;
Code of Ethics for Pharmacists
Code of Ethics for Pharmacists 2011 I © Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd. 3 ensuring healthy and competent professionals; and
contributing to the development of other health
practitioners.
The PBA has indicated that the PSA Code would
be implemented as the pharmacy professionspecific
code in addition to the overarching code
for registered health practitioners. The PSA Code
will, most likely, form an appendix to the health
practitioners’ code. The PBA, in its role of public
protection, may use or refer to the PSA Code in cases
involving the conduct or behaviour of pharmacists.
Purpose and scope of this Code
The PSA Code must be read in conjunction with
other relevant documents such as: Federal and state/
territory legislation; standards, codes and guidelines
issued by the PBA; and guidelines and standards
issued by professional organisations. Nothing in the
PSA Code is to be construed as permitting breach
of any law, or interpreted in any way which would
discourage any pharmacist from complying with any
legal obligation.
The PSA Code articulates the values of the pharmacy
profession and expected standards of behaviour
of pharmacists to consumers and society. It is
designed to guide and support professional practice
of all pharmacists. Note that the PBA’s definition of
“practice” (adapted below) applies here.
To practise as a pharmacist means undertaking
any role, whether remunerated or not, in which
the individual uses their skills and knowledge as a
pharmacist. Practice is not restricted to the provision
of direct clinical care. It also includes working in
a direct nonclinical relationship with consumers;
working in management, administration,
education, research, advisory, regulatory or policy
development roles; and any other roles that
impact on safe, effective delivery of services in the
profession and/or use their professional skills.
Structure and content of this Code
The PSA Code consists of nine principles covering
five main areas of focus which are core to
pharmacists and pharmacy practice. The principles
capture philosophical concepts and form the
foundation of the Code.
The Summary of Principles (p. 4)...
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