The week in review

COVID-19 once again dominated the headlines this week, though it was also a time to look back at past tragedies, recent and more distant

Pharmacists are being urged to download the COVIDSafe app, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed significant takeup by the general population. Professional Pharmacists Australia, the Australian Council of Trade Unions and other health unions have filed an application to have paid pandemic leave entitlements inserted into federal awards for health workers – including the Pharmacy Industry Award.

The Pharmacy Guild queried the way in which electronic scripts are being handled, saying that the “token” model is likely to cause strife. The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia reported a significant shortage of key medicines, including propofol and cisatracurium, which it says would be a much more significant issue than ventilator access itself in the event of a COVID-19 surge. And the TGA issued guidance on therapeutic substitution, but that’s not without its issues.

The Pharmacy Board issued new guidance for interns about the requirements for registration during the pandemic, including the Australian Pharmacy Council‘s announcement that written exams will be postponed due to closure of the venues.

There was an update from NPS MedicineWise about the evidence to support hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19… that is, there’s not a lot. The TGA’s been cracking down on COVID-19-related advertising breaches. And here’s five things pharmacists need to know about telehealth, thanks to PSA national president Chris Freeman, lead 7CPA negotiator Shane Jackson and pharmacist Nicolette Ellis.

Chemist Warehouse and News Corp teamed up to sell newspapers. A coroner has made AHPRA notifications about two health practitioners after a woman died the day after her methadone dose was increased. And the Guild called for pharmacists to be recognised as highly involved in efforts to manage the fallout from disasters such as this year’s bushfires.

We found that the TGA Joint Scheduling Committee is set to hear a delegate-initiated proposal to allow pharmacist-only supply of low dose cannabidiol products.

And during this difficult time, Monash University has issued a documentary about the lives of five pharmacy students who lost their lives as a result of another tragedy: the First World War.

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