The week in review

COVID vaccination was a key issue this week, as well as the future of pharmacy, as NAPSA held its annual congress

There was big news from the Morrison Government this week, as the TGA provisionally approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in Australia.

While community pharmacy won’t be part of the initial stage, the PSA‘s national president, Associate Professor Chris Freeman, said that pharmacist vaccinators may form a vital part of the vaccination workforce at the public health vaccination clinics. The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia‘s chief executive Kristin Michaels said the scope of practice of Australia’s hospital pharmacists and technicians is critical to the vaccination roll-out.

Pharmacy Guild national president George Tambassis and executive director Suzanne Greenwood appeared before the Senate Select Committee on COVID-19 to argue the case for COVID vaccination in community pharmacy.

Pay rates remain the biggest concern for Australian pharmacy students upon entering the profession, according to findings from the National Pharmacy Students Survey, presented at the National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association congress this week. PDL Professional Officer Georgina Woods was one of a number of speakers at the event, noting that PDL has seen interns being reported to Ahpra for several reasons: including fraudulent activity, drug use and supply, prior criminal history and dispensing errors.

At the congress, PSA Queensland branch president Shane MacDonald said pharmacists have more to offer than they currently are able to; and Lauren Burton, a national ECP Board Member with the PSA,  spoke about the importance of getting connected with peers for support.

And congratulations to the pharmacists named in the Australia Day honours list: Dr Peter Carroll, Colonel Bill Kelly, Professor Bill Charman, Rodney Whyte and Judith Ingham; as well as Karen Brown, who was honoured with a Small Business Person of the Year award, presented by her local MP Peter Dutton.

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