The week in review

All eyes were on the Gold Coast this week, as more than 6,000 pharmacists and industry players headed to the Australian Pharmacy Professional conference

The biggest news of the week was the announcement of the 2019 Pharmacy of the Year: Flannery’s Pharmacy Forbes, which has been serving its small rural NSW community for more than 60 years, and which was also the recipient of the Business Management category. Congratulations to Michael Flannery, Sarah Hazell and the entire team at Flannery’s; and also to all the Pharmacy of the Year finalists, including category winners Pharmacy 777 Glengarry, Wilkinson’s Pharmacy Burnie, and Harding’s 24 Hour Pharmacy Annerley.

The conference also heard from Health Minister Greg Hunt, who announced a new $5 million mental health trial program, reduced PBS payment times and guaranteed AHI rates; and Shadow Health Minister Catherine King, who said Labor supports pharmacists working to full scope of practice and outlined Labor’s plans to improve medicines affordability.

Meanwhile around the country, TerryWhite Chemmart and Bupa announced a strategic partnership, which didn’t impress the AMA; NSW Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame outlined 26 recommendations to help address problems with opioids, licit and illicit, in that state; and Chemist Warehouse workers at three key distribution centres voted to take strike action.

The week also saw two traditional opponents agree on one thing: the optional $1 copayment discount didn’t work. Professional Pharmacists Australia has come out on the side of the Guild and the King Report when it comes to ditching the controversial measure.

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