The week in review

COVID-19, vaccination and downscheduling all made the headlines in pharmacy this week

COVID-19 continues to dominate the news, with two more Victorian pharmacists diagnosed with the illness… bringing the total number of pharmacists struck down with coronavirus in the state to 65, while in Queensland, Professional Pharmacists Australia continued to oppose testing in pharmacies.

A South Australian pharmacy was questioned over a display of “tester” face masks, while in NSW more pharmacies were listed as potential points of contact with the virus; after the Morrison Government signed a deal for a potential COVID-19 vaccine with CSL and AstraZeneca, the PSA again called for such a vaccine to be administered in pharmacies (the AZ trial has been paused to investigate a suspected adverse reaction).

On the subject of vaccines, Sydney pharmacist Adele Tahan talked us through a NSW vaccination audit.

The TGA’s Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling decided to downschedule eletriptan to S3 and some ibuprofen down to S2, but sildenafil is set to stay at S4. The TGA also released a notice of an interim decision to amend the Poisons Standard for certain low-dose cannabidiol products, in a move welcomed by the sector, while the PSA’s Chris Freeman had a few words of caution.

We listed the world’s ten biggest selling medicines in 2019. We learned that Chemist Warehouse has reportedly taken on a stake in the Buy Now, Pay Later newcomer Fu.

We spoke to addiction medicine pharmacist Angelo Pricolo about ORT, stigma and naloxone. We learned about WA intern pharmacist Tahlia Parisella‘s pen pal program between elderly patients and local primary school children.

And congratulations to Angela Boyatzis, who received the PSA WA’s Pharmacist of the Year Award, Karis Butler, Early Career Pharmacist of the Year, and Pascale Ng Cheong Tin, to whom the branch awarded its Lifetime Achievement Award. Congratulations also to Eva Tu, who on this year’s RU OK? Day on Thursday raised awareness of mental health and funds for the Andrew Tu Scholarship in Pharmacy, which will create a legacy in her late husband’s name and further research in mental health. Readers can donate to the scholarship here.

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