The future of pharmacy is in the primary health care sector and the pharmacy profession needs to shift from its ‘dispensing’ mentality to one of community care, according to retiring Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) Councillor Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom AO.

Following over 35 years serving the APC, Professor Sansom is stepping down from the APC Council having completed the maximum terms allowable.

APC President Professor Debra Rowett reflected on the contribution and extraordinary dedication that Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom has made to APC and the key role he has played in overseeing the quality of pharmacy education in Australia during his distinguished career as an educator, policy advisor and researcher.

“Lloyd’s strategic vision laid the foundation for the establishment of the Australian Pharmacy Examining Council and the subsequent integration with the Council of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities which would become the Australian Pharmacy Council. His wisdom, enthusiasm and passion for what pharmacists can contribute to patient care has assisted APC to flourish and become a leading international pharmacy accreditation and assessment organization.”

Reflecting upon his pharmacy career, Professor Sansom says it’s time the profession’s culture moved on from the dispensing model of care and instead embraced the community health opportunities that primary health care in particular, can offer the pharmacy sector.

“I look at 5,600 pharmacies as being primary health care centres but to do that we’re going to have to change our model and we must be accepting of being a part of a medical model of health,” Professor Sansom said.

“Fundamental to that is ensuring that the pharmacy profession maintains its autonomy over setting its standards, so long as that’s within a clinical governance framework and in consultation with relevant stakeholders.

“I’m a strong believer in the profession being responsible for monitoring and maintaining the standards and quality of Australia’s pharmacy education sector and that of our overseas-trained colleagues.

“However, the future of pharmacy and its role in the health care system has to evolve and our integration and acceptance of the medical model of health is what will give us the pathway to make a difference for the generations of pharmacists to come and for the community as a whole,” Professor Sansom said.

A valuable and rich pharmacy journey – APC podcast with Prof. Lloyd Sansom AO.

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Bronwyn Clark
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