The week in review

Greg Hunt speaks at the launch of Pharmacists in 2023
Greg Hunt speaks at the launch of Pharmacists in 2023

Relations have been tense between GPs and pharmacists this week, and there was a big win for the PSA

In major news this week, Health Minister Greg Hunt spoke at the launch of the Pharmaceutical Society‘s new report, Pharmacists in 2023: and made the announcement that for the first time, the PSA would be co-signatory to the next Community Pharmacy Agreement. Now the Consumers Health Forum also wants a voice… and the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia says all pharmacists should be represented in negotiations… not just those who work in the community setting.

Meanwhile on the other side of politics, the Guild and a number of health stakeholders have welcomed the announcement by Shadow Health Minister Catherine King that if Labor is elected this year, it will establish a permanent Australian Health Reform Commission.

After Pharmacy Guild NSW president David Heffernan‘s comments last week on “five minute medicine,” a doctor’s publication picked up the story and there was a significant backlash from angry GPs. RACGP president Dr Harry Nespolon responded by writing a piece in newsGP titled “Do they teach perfume dispensing in pharmacy school?” Commenters mostly called for an end to the turf war, with one dismissing the debate as “playground nonsense”.

The Small Pharmacies Group widened its eligibility criteria; Anthony Tassone gave us a run-down on the performance of Victoria’s real time monitoring system to date, and called for an end to the use of loaded terms like “doctor shopper;” Sigma spoke of its “strong future” and we took at whether the EpiPen shortage was really over.

Congratulations go to Olivia Rofe, who has joined the SHPA’s Board of Directors; and also to community pharmacist Veronica Nou, who told us her story of coming to Australia as a refugee, and who was instrumental in the recent Kids off Nauru campaign.

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