The week in review

The TGA’s been busy this week, and pharmacists report stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic

We saw stakeholders react to the Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement, with the Consumers Health Forum’s Leanne Wells expressing disappointment at the lack of consumer input; and we looked at funding for clinical interventions, which no longer appear to be written into the Agreement.

The TGA‘s analysis of codeine trends has found that there was no lasting increase in low-dose codeine use following upscheduling in 2018. It also announced changes to how Australians can access nicotine for use in e-cigarettes, which prompted a certain amount of controversy.

The TGA is supporting pharmacist in discouraging the general public from stockpiling dexamethasone, after preliminary research findings out of the University of Oxford found to have potential in treating severe COVID-19. PDL had some advice stemming from the pandemic, given the increased possibility that pharmacists might have to decline supply of some medicines, either to avoid stockpiling or due to shortage: some strategies while declining are here.

And the Pharmacists’ Support Service gave us an update on the amount of stress experienced by members of the profession during the pandemic… stress that’s ongoing, given how many readers are concerned about a second wave of infection.

We found out which groups of pharmacists are most likely to receive a complaint, as well as which pharmaceutical companies are in the top 20 worldwide.

The Australian Medical Association reacted with outrage to the commencement of the Urinary Tract Infection Pharmacy Pilot – Queensland (UTIPP-Q) trial, prompting the Pharmacy Guild‘s Trent Twomey to ask the doctors to work together with other health professionals. Still in Queensland, new legislation means improved access to oral contraceptives and medicinal cannabis in a move welcomed by the Pharmaceutical Society‘s new Branch President Shane MacDonald.

Pharmacist politician Emma McBride told the House of Representatives that she welcomed the recent passage of legislation to establish a new National Rural Health Commissioner position, but mental health should not be forgotten.

And congratulations to Veronica Nou, who was named the winner in the Refugee Supporter category of this year’s NSW Humanitarian Awards, for outstanding achievement in supporting and assisting refugees.

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