The week in review


This week we’ve been looking through the newly signed Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement, which was released in full on Thursday night

The new 7CPA includes a “modest” increase in dispensing remuneration, and a “goodbye” to the risk-sharing arrangement, as “The Government has decided to guarantee our funds this time around,” says Guild national president George Tambassis. Doctors are already disappointed at the demise of 60-day dispensing, which is “gone” in the new Agreement.

We also looked at how the $1.2 billion of funding for community pharmacy programs has been distributed, CSO wholesalers welcomed increased funding, and moves for all jurisdictions to have pharmacist access to the NIP have been accelerated.

Talking of vaccines, we learned that pharmacies have been substantially under-reporting the jabs they give to the Australian Immunisation Register, via a National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance report. And Guild Queensland president Trent Twomey wants the state government to start planning for pharmacist vaccination for COVID-19 now, so that it’s in place when a vaccine is developed.

Another report, from Roy Morgan, showed huge support for community pharmacy, particularly following 2020’s challenges such as COVID-19 and the disastrous 2019-20 bushfire season… prompting the Guild’s Anthony Tassone to note that the sector must be recognised in emergency and disaster response planning.

Ahpra accepted all recommendations from a review into the safety of notifiers, following the November 2018 attack on a pharmacist by a GP she had reported to the watchdog, concerned over his prescribing of diazepam, oxazepam and panadeine forte.

Low-dose dexamethasone was found to be potentially useful in treating severe COVID-19. Coroners raised concerns about takeaway methadone doses. We learned that there’d be big changes to the Pharmacy of the Year Award for 2021. And Chemist Warehouse was accused of “undermining” local GPs by advertising a telehealth partner to patients.

And congratulations to Associate Professor Chris Freeman, who has just been re-elected as national president of the PSA, as well as vice presidents Michelle Lynch and Renae Beardmore; and to Associate Professor Sue Kirsa, re-elected as Chair of the Australian Pharmacy Council, and Professor Sarah Roberts-Thomson, elected as Deputy Chair.

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