Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Assoc Professor Simon Bell (Parkville); Dr Vivienne Mak (Malaysia)



  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


This unit puts the practice of pharmacy and delivery of pharmacy services in a public health context. It emphasises a population perspective for health policy as well as clinical decision-making.

Students will develop an understanding of:

  • Definitions and issues in public health including the socio-environmental determinants of health
  • The role of pharmacy in a public health context
  • The Australian National Medicines Policy and the Quality Use of Medicines Strategy
  • The nature, role and development of health policy.

Students will develop abilities in:

  • Applying population-based evidence to improve clinical decision-making
  • Performing and interpreting the results of statistical tests that are relevant to evidence based practice
  • Applying health economic principles to medicines use
  • Dispensing, including clinical problem-solving
  • Performing pharmaceutical calculations building on previous knowledge.

Students will develop an appreciation of:

  • The roles of other health professionals and their relationship to pharmacy
  • Key issues around medicines promotion and international health.


At the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Describe the broad public health perspectives and framework for providing; therapeutic services and care to patients, and for working with other health care professionals, in both developed and advanced countries;
  2. Describe the role of the expatriate pharmacist including the public health issues that they are likely to address;
  3. Discuss the process for formulating health policy and the impact of various health policies;
  4. Have a working knowledge of harm minimisation/pharmacotherapy substitution services in pharmacy;
  5. Discuss the principles and application of the Quality Use of Medicine Strategy of the National Medicines Policy as well as the development and application of essential medicines lists in general;
  6. Systematically conduct a literature review and a subsequent critical appraisal to answer a clinical enquiry;
  7. Interpret the results of statistical tests when critically appraising the literature to answer a clinical enquiry;
  8. Perform statistical and pharmacoeconomic tests that are frequently used in the reporting of health care research and that underpin evidence based practice;
  9. Define, recognise and using evidence-based principles, deal with medicines promotion;
  10. Apply knowledge of evidence based principles to complementary and alternative medicines;
  11. Dispense medicines and solve clinical problems;
  12. Perform pharmaceutical calculations relevant to the practice of pharmacy.


Final exam (3 hour): 50%; evidence-based practice assignment: 20%; Extemporaneous dispensing exam: 10%; Online calculations test: 10%; Mid-semester test: 10%.

Workload requirements

Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • Nineteen 1-hour lectures
  • Two 2.5-hour workshops
  • Six 2-hour practical laboratories

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


PAC1311 Pharmacy, Health and Society I
PAC1322 Pharmacy, Health and Society II

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: