Healthcare Tips

Pharmacists Help Consumers To Quit, Australia

April 17, 2017

The availability of nicotine patches on the PBS from today highlights the critical role pharmacists play in preventive health care and in guiding and advising consumers on their health needs.

Pharmacists have conducted successful smoking cessation programs for some time and with nicotine patches now being made available on the PBS, their role in helping people quit smoking will be all the more important.

Acting National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Grant Kardachi, said pharmacists were pivotal to the successful implementation of the Government's preventive care programs which underpinned much of the entire health-care reform agenda.

"Pharmacists provide advice on preventive health issues like obesity, smoking cessation, diabetes and a range of other conditions where a pharmacist's advice can have a significant impact on the success of the program for the consumer undertaking it," Mr Kardachi said.

"PSA has been very supportive of the decision to put nicotine patches on the PBS but consumers should be aware that when they need extra advice on how to quit they should speak to their pharmacist.

"Smoking is the cause of a vast number of preventable diseases and pharmacists are skilled and experienced in helping consumers trying to kick the habit. Pharmacists see patients more often than other health professionals so have the opportunity to work more closely with them.

"It has been shown that in programs like smoking cessation ongoing advice and support gives better health outcomes.

"In addition, pharmacists are the most accessible health-care professionals and appointments are usually not needed when seeking counselling." Mr Kardachi said PSA was pleased the preventive health agenda was gathering pace.

"The establishment of the Preventive Health Agency marks a significant milestone in this commitment to improving the health of Australians, a commitment which pharmacists can contribute to and indeed ensure produces positive outcomes," Mr Kardachi said.

"Working in collaboration with other health-care professional, pharmacists can help drive this very positive approach to improving the wellbeing of Australians."

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia