The week in review

With ever more of Australia locked down, it’s no surprise that COVID-19 dominated news again this week…

Professional Pharmacists Australia, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia teamed up to make a statement on how pharmacists, despite being on the frontline, are having a hard time accessing COVID tests and should be prioritised. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that community pharmacies are to be among the first to receive the Moderna vaccine when it starts arriving next month, after the jab was green-lighted by the TGA.

We heard the latest statistics on thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), and found out what symptoms pharmacists should be on the alert for. Sydney pharmacy assistant Eleanor Turnbull wrote to Labor politicians to highlight inadequacies in remuneration for pharmacies administering COVID vaccines.

Martin Pakula, Victoria‘s Minister for Industry Support and Recovery, singled out pharmacies to acknowledge when announcing the $180 million Small Business COVID Hardship Fund, which was welcomed by the Pharmacy Guild. We learned from Health Minister Greg Hunt that a COVID vaccine booster program is likely, and will involve pharmacy. And we discovered that Tasmanian community pharmacists will be able to get vaccinating in-store from Monday.

PDL‘s Curtis Ruhnau talked about the courage being shown by pharmacists throughout the deepening COVID-19 crisis in Australia.

In other news, pharmacists raised concerns about Actemra substitution issues impacting affordability and equity of access, after substitution due to shortage was permitted.

And congratulations to the 50 pharmacy assistants who have been named as finalists in this year’s Pharmacy Assistant of the Year award!

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