The week in review

Quiet Melbourne streets during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s been a busy week in community pharmacy and the health sector more broadly, as restrictions tighten to help limit the spread of COVID-19

This week we looked at how pharmacies will operate in Victoria‘s Stage Four restrictions in Melbourne and Stage Three in regional areas. The Pharmacy Guild‘s Anthony Tassone says that pharmacists have had “very mixed experiences” when it comes to priority testing for COVID-19, with many being told they’re not prioritised as an essential worker. And we learned that most AJP readers believe pharmacy workers should have access to paid pandemic leave where appropriate.

South Australian Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade announced a $200,000 emergency fund for critical pharmacy services when the impact of COVID on a pharmacy at short notice threatens its closure; and the PSA launched a social media campaign highlighting the need for pharmacists to access PPE.

Uber Eats has partnered with Ampol (formerly Caltex Australia) to home-deliver OTC pharmaceuticals from petrol stations. A dose counter has been added to Ventolin (salbutamol sulfate) metered dose inhalers. The Australian Pharmacy Council released new advice about upcoming pharmacy examinations.

We looked at research led by Dr Marie Bismark, from the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne, who examined notifications regarding sexual misconduct by health professionals. And University of Western Australia PhD scholar Dr Alex Park told us about how dentists’ prescribing habits are changing, particularly around opioids, benzodiazepines and antibiotics… and why.

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