The week in review


PSA CEO Dr Shane Jackson, Symbion General Manager Strategic Groups Mr David Beaton; Pharmacist of the Year Mr Peter Crothers; Lifetime Achievement Award winner Col. (Rtd) Bill Kelly; Early Career Pharmacist of the Year Dr Fei Sim; and PSA National President Dr Chris Freeman
PSA CEO Dr Shane Jackson, Symbion General Manager Strategic Groups Mr David Beaton; Pharmacist of the Year Mr Peter Crothers; Lifetime Achievement Award winner Col. (Rtd) Bill Kelly; Early Career Pharmacist of the Year Dr Fei Sim; and PSA National President Dr Chris Freeman.

With many of Australia’s pharmacists descending on Sydney to attend the PSA19 conference, it’s been a very busy week in the world of pharmacy…

At the conference, Health Minister Greg Hunt confirmed that PSA would be a co-signatory to the 7CPA, but added that due to the agreement legislative framework, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia will remain the only pharmacy signatory on remunerative matters.

Department of Health responses to Senate Estimates questions without notice appeared to indicate that two-month scripts could still be on the Federal Government’s agenda… and at the conference, Mr Hunt said that the Government was indeed still consulting on the matter.

And plans to align PBS wholesale mark-up arrangements between hospital and community pharmacy have been pushed back for three months.

Doctors continue to condemn moves towards pharmacist prescribing, with the AMA‘s Dr Andrew Miller taking to the radio to slam them and the RACGP‘s Dr Bruce Willett declaring the Queensland pharmacist prescribing trial redundant before it starts… and the turf war is brewing in New Zealand, too.

Meanwhile, we looked at whether Australia is lagging behind other English-speaking countries in the introduction of pharmacist prescribing models… and it turns out that we are.

The Guild’s Pam Price explained why pharmacists should be recognised as a health discipline in their own right.  We examined whether there’s a need to update Australia’s 20-year-old National Medicines Policy. Professor Johanna Westbrook outlined the need for better systems and greater coordination between pharmacists, GPs and nurses to improve medication safety.

Sunday is World Hepatitis Day, and ahead of the day there was good news and bad: new data showed that the disease has declined by 60% among people who inject drugs since new cures for the disease were made available on the PBS, while Hepatitis NSW observed that while 22,000 people have started treatment or been cured, another 58,000 across the state have not.

Pharmacy groups got stuck into fundraising: Chemist Warehouse has raised a million dollars for men’s health initiatives with partners Gotcha4Life, while a group of pharmacists, staff and the CEO from TerryWhite Chemmart are heading to Kokoda to raise money for patients with ovarian cancer.

Congratulations go to Brad Butt, who was named the Australian Patients Association’s inaugural Most Outstanding Community Pharmacist of the Year; and back at the PSA19 conference, to three pharmacists singled out for PSA honours. Peter Crothers was named 2019 PSA Pharmacist of the Year, Dr Fei Sim was awarded the title of 2019 Young Pharmacist of the Year, and retired Colonel Bill Kelly received the PSA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. From all of us at AJP, congratulations.

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