The week in review


Greg Hunt receives his flu vaccine at Chemist Warehouse Mornington.
Greg Hunt receives his flu vaccine at Chemist Warehouse Mornington.

A legal scandal, new codeine stats, bullying allegations and more pollie vaccinations… it’s been a surprisingly busy week in pharmacy

This week we found out that a man had been working as a pharmacist at a family-owned pharmacy in the Sydney suburb of Randwick for a decade, despite not being a registered pharmacist.

The man, who had reportedly earned a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy in Ireland but never completed the course required for him to register and practice in Australia, was fined $10,000.

New statistics released by the TGA revealed the total number of codeine-containing products supplied in Australia during 2018 was around 50% lower than the average total supplied in the previous four years.

Recently analysed PBS data also found no evidence of increased opioid prescribing in the year after the codeine reschedule, with overall opioid use trending down.

However a Pharmacy Guild spokesperson said: “it is still early to determine whether it has been a success given we’re not fully aware whether there has been a reduction in codeine-related overdose deaths”.

The Guild also responded to the Pharmacy Board’s consultation on pharmacist prescribing by stating that this would be the “only effective method” to fulfil public need as described in the Board’s discussion paper.

A pharmacist who levelled allegations of bullying at his managers was criticised by the Fair Work Commission for his own treatment of an intern.

Several Victorian pharmacy owners were cautioned – and one reprimanded – over a failure to maintain standards in their pharmacies.

And we found out that the Health Minister got his annual flu vaccination at Chemist Warehouse Mornington this year.

See our round-up of politicians who got vaccinated in community pharmacy this year here.

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