The week in review

Mr Graham Catt

Inter-professional collaboration, inadequate management of S8s and the movement of key industry figures all made the news this week…

Another stakeholder body lost a key figure this week as Graham Catt stepped down from his role as CEO of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia after less than a year in the job… only days after the resignation last week of David Quilty, the Pharmacy Guild‘s national executive director. This prompted the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia to reaffirm its commitment to strategic partnerships with both the Guild and PSA.

Both the Pharmacy Council of NSW and the Victorian Pharmacy Authority looked at issues around how owners manage S8s; we looked at developments in telehealth; and one mainstream media journalist raised the issue of privacy in community pharmacy.

The TGA issued a statement saying it’s looking into possible contamination of blood pressure medicines. The Guild kept raising the issue of cost of living, saying its suggestion that PBS copays be dropped $1 across the board could help. A new group has been formed to address the “critical” issues facing rural pharmacy. And we examined the impact Chemist Warehouse has had on competitor pharmacies following its move into the New Zealand market.

Stakeholders including the Guild’s Anthony Tassone, the PSA’s Chris Freeman and Amcal/Guardian‘s Marc Clavin all discussed the importance of collaboration between different health professionals, following a couple of weeks of disagreement between GPs and some pharmacists.

Mandatory reporting legislation passed in Queensland, though doctor groups expressed concern that it fell short of the Western Australian model. We revisited the issue of pharmacist pay, with PPA‘s Geoff March clarifying the union’s position on industry-wide bargaining, and looking at what you said on how much you earn.

And Parliament heard about the benefit that My Health Record is having already, following its use by health practitioners helping out people affected by the Townsville flood: it’s “shining”.

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