World news wrapup: 21 January 2021

Pharmacy allegedly bought 61 times the state average of fentanyl; actor asked to leave LA pharmacy for going maskless; customer queued at pharmacy and said they had COVID

Cleveland, Ohio: A pharmacy in Toledo, Ohio has been told to stop dispensing opioids and other controlled medicines while it is under investigation over its dispensing practices. reports that the Shaffer Pharmacy is alleged to have dispensed opioids that pharmacists there “knew or should have known had no legitimate medical purpose,” over a five-year period.

Federal prosecutors allege that the pharmacists either failed to identify, or ignored, danger signs such as early refills, suspicious combinations of medicines, and long distances between the store and the places of residence of some patients.

They say that the pharmacy bought 8.4 times Ohio’s average of oxycodone, and 61 times the state average of fentanyl – during the first three quarters of 2019 alone.

Prosecutors say that one of the pharmacy’s distributors became concerned enough to stop dealing with the store in November 2019.

The pharmacy’s owner declined to speak to media.

Isle of Wight, England: Residents of the town of Ventnor on the Isle of Wight have been reminded to stay home if they have COVID-19 symptoms, after a person with the coronavirus allegedly queued at a pharmacy.

According to On the Wight, Councillor Gary Peace told members of the Local Outbreak Emergency Board of examples of people ignoring Government directions intended to help manage the pandemic.

He said that a person in his local town of Ventnor had gone to the pharmacy and queued with others, then told fellow customers in the queue that he had the novel coronavirus.

“It’s verging on stupidity, you’re putting people’s lives at risk if you knowingly have Covid are going out and about,” he said.

“If you know you have it you do not go outside.”

Los Angeles, California: Actor Bruce Willis has reportedly been asked to leave a pharmacy, after customers reported him to its management for not wearing a mask.

According to E Online, Mr Willis went to a Rite Aid in Los Angeles on January 11, and was shopping when other customers became “upset” and reported him.

An employee approached the actor and asked him to use a green bandanna he was wearing to cover his mouth and nose.

However, Mr Willis reportedly simply looked “disgruntled” and left.

Other celebrities have criticised him on social media as photographs of the event went viral, E reports.

Ireland: Pharmacists and GPs will be eligible for payments of €25 (AUD$39) when they administer the COVID-19 vaccine, plus an additional €10 (AUD$16) processing fee per patient, the Irish Times reports.

The payment is part of a €91 million (AUD$143 million) scheme to involve GPs and pharmacists into the government’s vaccination program.

Where vaccinations take place at larger mass vaccination centres, pharmacists will be eligible for a €70 (AUD$110) hourly payment – while GPs will get €120 (AUD$189) for the same shift.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said that the plan will be integral to the mass vaccination effort.

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