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Over 6000 delegates descended on the Gold Coast for the 2019 Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference & Trade Exhibition. Joined by over 100 speakers and political leaders from both major parties, the conference was yet again a resounding success and a must-attend event on the Australian community pharmacy calendar.In a jam-packed opening plenary, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt announced a commitment to an additional $200 million investment to the AHI fee through to 2023 as well as a $5 million pharmacy mental health trial program. This was followed by an address by Shadow Health Minister Catherine King, who said Labor supports pharmacists working to full scope of practice and outlined Labor’s plans to improve the affordability of medication.Congratulations to the team from Flannery’s Pharmacy in Forbes NSW, who were named as the 2019 Guild Pharmacy of the Year for their commitment to supporting their local community and maintaining a viable business model with integrated professional services within the pharmacy. Congratulations also to David Paulmert from LiveLife Pharmacy Macrossen Street, Port Douglas who was named the Guild Intern of the Year.A key theme of the 60-plus education sessions was opportunities for the future, with futurists Shara Evans and Dr Keith Suter highlighting the potential changes in healthcare and how pharmacy can prepare. The 13 international speakers provided lessons from their own countries and highlighted opportunities for Australia to replicate, particularly in regard to pharmacists practicing at full scope, including appropriate remuneration.APP2019 once again provided a networking focal point for community pharmacy with the opportunity to meet suppliers and colleagues on Thursday night’s Welcome Reception, as well as during the three day trade exhibition featuring over 450 trade stands. Delegates also celebrated International Women’s Day on Friday 8 March with a networking lunch.The APP Street Party delivered on its reputation as pharmacy’s biggest party. The Studio 54 themed event saw attendees entertained by Bob Downe and disco dancing to the sounds of Lisa Hunt’s Forever Soul Band and 100% Kylie.Full and Day Delegates, please keep an eye out for the conference video wrap and link to online session recordings that will be sent out at the end of this week. Also, don’t forget to check out all the conference photos on the APP Facebook page.APP2019 SponsorsThe Pharmacy Guild of Australia would like to acknowledge the APP sponsors as without their support, this event would not be possible – click here to view all the APP2019 sponsors.APP2020Planning is now underway for APP2020, which will be held from 19 – 22 March 2020 at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.
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MEDIA RELEASEFriday 13 March 2020APP2020 Postponed Organisers of the Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference (APP) today announced that the 2020 event, scheduled to commence on Wednesday 18 March, will be postponed. APP Chairman Kos Sclavos AM said the difficult decision was made based on a number of health and safety concerns. With over 6000 people due at APP, our number one priority is the health and safety of our community pharmacy workforce given they continue to be on the front line of the Nation’s response to Coronavirus. “The ongoing disruption caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in global company travel restriction policies which are impacting upon speakers and the trade exhibition. In addition, the recently announced cases of Coronavirus on the Gold Coast, and the need to preserve the health and wellbeing of our frontline pharmacy workforce has resulted in the postponement of APP2020. “The APP organising committee, The Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the Gold Coast Convention Centre have relied on expert health advice and information from state and federal health Departments and public health warnings. As recently as yesterday, the Committee received briefings from both the State and Commonwealth Governments and are acting in accordance with their general advice. “APP has a large footprint, not only within the community pharmacy sector, but throughout the entire Gold Coast community. The health and safety of delegates, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, conference centre staff, suppliers and the general public is of the utmost importance for us. “We understand the impact this decision will have on the community pharmacy sector and the local Gold Coast economy. After hosting the event for the last 30 years, it saddens us deeply to take this action. “The encouragement and dedication of our sponsors and exhibitors has delivered a proud history of APP and we thank all our supporters for their vision, commitment and dedication to the community pharmacy sector,” Kos said.Kos added that a reduced program, called APP Online, is currently being developed for registered delegates to view streamed content and recorded sessions, online. “While we work to confirm new dates for APP, ‘APP Online’ will offer as many of the APP face-to-face sessions, in a digital format, as possible. “This means that delegates will still be able to hear the latest industry, business and clinical updates and record the CPD credits that they would have gained at APP. “I would like to take the opportunity to apologise for any inconvenience caused to delegates, speakers sponsors, conference staff and exhibitors and welcome everyone to participate in ‘APP Online’,” Kos said. A full program for ‘APP Online’ will be made available soon via www.appconference.com. Given the significant costs incurred in preparing the event and the costs incurred by delegates, sponsors and exhibitors a partial rebate will be put in place and communicated to delegates, sponsors and exhibitors as soon as possible. While no obligation exists, the partial rebates are a clear sign of good faith by The Guild in Queensland and the APP Committee. We value our relationships and ongoing support before financial considerations. Given that COVID-19 is a communicable disease, no insurance claim is possible for the event. Following public health notices and Governmental advice, conferences scheduled for later in the year are being actively reviewed. Once again, we thank all our supporters and apologises for the inconvenience.ENDSMedia enquiries: Caroline Wallace 0400 092 697