As the sector waits for the 7CPA to be signed, GPs have complained about pharmacy and flu jabs, one stakeholder called for ‘sweeping change’ to pharmacy and there are new rules around prescription opioids
The RACGP was upset about the way the flu vaccine was rolled out this year, and has called for GP surgeries to get priority when it comes to distribution, as well as complaining that pharmacy advertising of the service is “misleading” patients. And Health Minister Greg Hunt and Seqirus reassured the public that more doses of vaccine are on their way, and the Pharmacy Guild‘s David Heffernan again called for more jurisdictions to be able to offer pharmacist-administered flu vaccines on the National Immunisation Program.
The Grattan Institute‘s Stephen Duckett called for a ‘new normal’ for pharmacy following the COVID-19 pandemic, with changes to ownership and location rules towards the one-stop primary care model; meanwhile for those pinning their hopes on hydroxychloroquine to treat the novel coronavirus, there was bad news, as the World Health Organization temporarily paused the hydroxychloroquine arm within its SOLIDARITY trial while the safety data is reviewed.
We heard from Monash University‘s Safeera Hussainy and other stakeholders that COVID-19 is likely having an impact on women’s health, with reproductive coercion on the rise. We took a look at the April PBS data and the spike in demand for scripts that month; and GSK and Novartis were ordered to pay $4.5 million in penalties over Voltaren Osteo Gel and Voltaren Emulgel marketing.
And pharmacists need to get ready for some scheduling changes: all modified release paracetamol products are set to go from Schedule 2 to Schedule 3, from 1 June, at the same time as restrictions on prescription opioids are tightened.