The week in review

The pharmacy at the Qudos Bank Arena Vaccination Centre where WSLHD is working in partnership with Baxter Healthcare. Source: Supplied.

With a new vaccine on its way to pharmacy next week and the Health Department announcing changes, it’s been another busy week in pharmacy

PSA NSW Branch President Chelsea Felkai called for rapid antigen testing for COVID-19, to allow pharmacies to remain open. AHPRA and the Pharmacy Board made changes to the temporary pandemic response sub-register which will see temporary registration expanded to allow for “practice for the COVID-19 response”.

The TGA provisionally approved Moderna Australia‘s COVID-19 vaccine SPIKEVAX (elasomeran) in individuals 12 years and older; and in news welcomed by the Pharmacy Guild, it was confirmed that Moderna vaccines should begin arriving in participating pharmacies next week.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt announced the Medicines Supply Security Guarantee, whereby generic medicines suppliers will hold at least four to six months of onshore stocks of critical medicines. And the Health Department made one final extension of the image-based prescribing arrangements until 31 December 2021.

The lockdowns aren’t just affecting the movement of Blackmores products in pharmacy: we spoke to Swisse Wellness Australia New Zealand managing director Nick Mann who confirmed that the issue is affecting the sector more widely.

The Review of the Health Care Complaints Commission 2019-20 annual report was tabled in NSW’s Parliament, outlining an increase in complaints against pharmacists and pharmacies. And we looked at University of Sydney and the University of Notre Dame Sydney research on GPs‘ and GP nurses‘ concerns about pharmacist vaccination.

Researchers from the University of Alberta in Canada offered insights into pharmacists’ roles in sexual and reproductive health.

Congratulations to Chris Owen, who was confirmed as the Pharmacy Guild, Queensland Branch state president; and to pharmacists at the Qudos Bank Arena Vaccination Centre, who were singled out for their hard work in the mass vaccination effort.

And this week, R U OK? Day took place, for many, in lockdown. Pharmacist Jenny Kirschner wrote for us on the subject of loneliness, and how pharmacists can help.

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