The week in review

Health Minister Greg Hunt speaks at the APP2021 opening plenary
Health Minister Greg Hunt speaks at the APP2021 opening plenary

All eyes turned to the Gold Coast this week as the Guild hosts APP2021, in a bumper week for pharmacy news

We heard the latest on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout from Health Minister Greg Hunt himself, who told APP2021 that while the main community pharmacy component would now be held back to at least September due to supply issues, 56 fast-tracked Queensland rural pharmacies would be vaccinating within weeks. Mr Hunt also launched a Young Pharmacist Global Exchange Scholarship.

Doug Hoey, CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association in the US, told delegates that “it would be like throwing away microwaves and the internet” to turn back some of the ways pharmacists have been able to support public health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Panellists urged change to empower pharmacists to help improve medicine supply through therapeutic substitutions and continued dispensing. And we heard the story of Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM, who became the first quadriplegic medical graduate and medical intern in Queensland following a car crash, who presented the Alan Russell Oration.

And if you missed any of it, our host Miranda Deakin caught up with AJP editor Chris Brooker here for the rundown on the events of Thursday at APP.

Greg Hunt launched the 2021 Flu Vaccination Program, and we heard how he received his flu vaccine from Terry Bateman Pharmacy at Mt Martha, Victoria. The Australian Government secured 25 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Pfizer Australia told us it was ending its experiment with direct supply and signing back up with the CSO Wholesalers (DHL will remain a pre-wholesaler activity partner). Fred IT introduced a new ability to order scripts via WhatsApp.

University of Tasmania Associate Professor Juanita Breen told the National Medicines Symposium about her research findings on medication complaints in aged care; at the same event, Leanne Wells, CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, called for more pharmacists in general practice.

Professional Pharmacists Australia said employers are illegally forcing pharmacists to pay for their own COVID-19 vaccine training.

And congratulations to Narrabri Pharmacy in NSW, the first prize winner for Best Video in the Pharmacy Guild’s 2021 ‘Why I Love Rural Pharmacy’ video competition; to Angus Koerstz, who was named 2020 MIMS/Guild Intern of the Year; to Brad Smithson, who took out the TerryWhite Chemmart Rhonda White Leadership Award, and all the TerryWhite Chemmart winners; and to Erin Long, who was named Blooms The Chemist 2021 Retail Manager of the Year, and a number of Blooms winners.

Don’t forget to keep checking back for all the latest in APP2021 news!

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