The week in review

NAPSA Congress Organising Chair Caela Crane (left) presents the cheque to PSS Secretary Kay Dunkley (right).

The last week of January was a busy one in the pharmacy sector…

Two key reports came out this week with significance for pharmacists. The PSA‘s Medicine Safety: Take Care report showed that around 250,000 Australians are hospitalised each year due to medicine-related issues, half of which could have been prevented. This prompted PSA national president Dr Chris Freeman to point out that “If medicine harm was a chronic disease it would already be a national health priority”. 

Meanwhile a Productivity Commission report found there were nearly 3 million avoidable emergency presentations in 2017-18. The Guild and PSA welcomed the report and highlighted that pharmacists want to do their bit to help prevent such presentations.

Pharmacy students raised more than $16,000 for the Pharmacists’ Support Service; and talking of students, we learned that they’re worried about salaries and discounters. We also met Alyssa Murray, the winner of the Wildcard for the 2019 PSA Pharmacy Student of the Year (PSOTY) Award… congratulations!

We spoke to Dr Alex Wodak about his suggestion that MDMA be sold over-the-counter in pharmacies; and Anthony Tassone wrote about his thoughts on longer-length prescriptions, sparking a spirited discussion.

We looked at how pharmacists embedded in residential aged care homes can help influence flu vaccination rates; and PDL had some advice on spotting, and handling, forged scripts.

And on Friday, we saw administration, processing and payment claims for 6CPA professional programs moved to the Pharmacy Programs Administrator—as well as the end of the opt-out period for My Health Record. For those who didn’t opt out, records are now being created… and 84% of pharmacies are now connected.

Lastly, we also spoke to two Tasmanian pharmacists, Ian Magill and Fred Helquvist, who, faced with bushfires raging nearby, have well and truly gone above and beyond to help their patients retain access to their medicines. From all of us at AJP, best wishes to pharmacists and their staff affected by these fires… as well as the floods in Queensland. We hope everybody has a safe weekend.

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