The week in review

anthony tassone and jenny mikakos among others at westgarth pharmacy

Doctors are still having a go at pharmacy, health ministers have made important announcements and complaints have been under the spotlight this week…

Doctors continue to take aim at pharmacy, with AMA national president Dr Tony Bartone responding to a call by Guild national president George Tambassis, to make better use of pharmacists, by saying again that if pharmacists want to be doctors, they should get medical qualifications. He also said elsewhere that “chemist visits” made up a significant amount of health costs incurred by patients and called for bigger pack sizes and less repeats, following a PBAC move towards banning repeats for several common antibiotics.

Victoria’s Health Minister Jenny Mikakos announced that pharmacists in that state will now be able to offer flu vaccines to children as young as 10. And Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt announced that the Morrison Government is investing $3 million from the Medical Research Future Fund to examine the benefits of medicinal cannabis for pain, symptom and side effect management for cancer patients.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner launched a new guide for health service providers to help ensure their patients’ privacy, given health workers account for such a large percentage of privacy complaints. Talking of complaints, are Australians becoming increasingly litigious? We took a look at the issue here, while a Queensland mum complained to mainstream media that her pharmacy had “broken her trust” with a dispensing error.

New research on e-cigarettes published in the BMJ found concerning results including higher rates of acute respiratory illness, acute injury to the small airways and immunosuppression. Chemist Warehouse strengthened its presence in the Chinese market. And the PBAC deferred a decision on whether to allow twice daily dosing of PPIs for approved patients.

And we’d like to know your thoughts on whether there’s currently a crisis in pharmacy recruitment – tell us what you think here.

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