The week in review

Connie Arronis. Source: Supplied.

Pharmacy was in the media spotlight this week, with concerns aired about its role in COVID-19 testing and News Corp attacking it over medicines prices

The Palaszczuk Government announced on Wednesday that it would trial COVID-19 testing in pharmacies to increase testing capability in Queensland, in a move that has received considerable criticism from doctors, pharmacists and patients alike. The PSA‘s Chris Freeman, for example, said people with COVID-19 symptoms should be encouraged to self-isolate instead of interacting with pharmacy staff and other patients.

The Guild also urged pharmacies to enact a COVID Safe plan, as the number of Victorian health workers testing positive to the novel coronavirus hit 1000.

In more controversy, News Corp published a series of articles including several written by national health reporter Sue Dunlevy, attacking non-discount pharmacies over the price of prescription medicines… some of which, according to the Pharmacy Guild, the media organisation got wrong.

The Tasmanian Branch of the Pharmacy Guild called for the trial of free take-home naloxone to be expanded to community pharmacies, with branch president John Dowling pointing out that, “Pharmacists are in a unique position to recommend naloxone to people who may be at risk of overdose, including people who are users of the community pharmacy Needle and Syringe Program, and people taking prescribed opiate medications”.

Speculation continued about the future of Chemist Warehouse. The RACGP reissued its warning about hydroxychloroquine, after after Sky News host Rowan Dean said doctors and patients should be free to make their own decisions about the medicine in relation to COVID-19. The Pharmacy Board brought us the latest snapshot of the profession.

Congratulations to Connie Arronis, pharmacist manager at Illawong Discount Drug Store, who received recognition in News Corp’s ‘Thanks a Million’ campaign.

And to those pharmacy workers who have tested positive to COVID-19 in Sydney and in regional Victoria, their colleagues who are self-isolating and their families, we at AJP extend our best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.

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