The week in review

Striking Chemist Warehouse workers
Chemist Warehouse distribution workers were on strike for 16 days. Image courtesy National Union of Workers via Facebook.

It’s been a busy week for the Pharmacy Guild, as it battled a proposal to let patients get double quantities of some PBS medicines per script, and encouraged Aussies to get their flu vaccine

After the PBAC’s proposal came to the Pharmacy Guild‘s attention, national president George Tambassis penned a piece in pharmacy media asking the Government not to “wreck” the current system… and wrote to Guild members, telling them that the Guild and Government were in “dispute” about the measure. The Guild took out an ad in The Australian to demand the Government support community pharmacy in next week’s Budget… and Health Minister Greg Hunt rejected on the proposal… at least, in the short term. Of course, not everybody was happy, with the AMA accusing the Guild of putting “profits ahead of patients”.

Doctors also had a go at pharmacies over flu vaccination, after the Pharmacy Guild highlighted the seriousness of the disease, with RACGP national president Dr Harry Nespolon saying that “You might be confronted with, ‘do you want a bottle of perfume with your flu vax,” in pharmacy.

Industrial relations also hit the headlines this week, with PPA releasing its latest data on employee pharmacist pay, conditions and attitudes to the profession… revealing low morale, with more than 80% saying they would not recommend it as a career.

And there was a big win for Chemist Warehouse distribution centre staff, who will enjoy better terms and conditions under the new deal negotiated between the National Union of Workers and the discounter.

Meanwhile the Grattan Institute released its submission to the Pharmacy Board on pharmacist prescribing; FIP told us the theme of World Pharmacists’ Day 2019; and a deputy coroner recommended pharmacists be involved in the chemotherapy protocol alteration and promulgation system in South Australia, after they were instrumental in picking up a protocol error which saw chemo patients underdosed.

And the PSA and SHPA welcomed the re-elected Berejiklian Government in NSW, calling for more support for pharmacy and more hospital pharmacists respectively.

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