The week in review

The media is still having a go at community pharmacy, while politicians have discussed the PBS in a busy week for the sector

We discovered new data on the value of pharmacists conducting medicines charting on hospital admission. And doctors remain unconvinced of the value of professional services in community pharmacy, with the RACGP‘s Dr Harry Nespolon listing the organisation’s opposition to pharmacist vaccination among its achievements.

There was yet more drama in the mainstream media with former ACCC head Graeme Samuel again making claims of anti-competitive behaviour and price gouging in community pharmacy, refuted by Victorian Guild president Anthony Tassone; meanwhile NSW Guild president David Heffernan said it was “disgusting to witnesses in terms of the complete untruths and distortions by some very high-profile people”. The media also took aim at Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt over medicines which have not been subsidised.

Paediatrician and politician Dr Mike Freelander told Parliament that a PBS “arms race” could develop as the pharmaceutical industry lobbied the government; meanwhile pharmacist politician Emma McBride said that the “underspend” on medicines  is helping prop up Australia’s budget surplus.

We got the latest on the ranitidine shortage. The PSA warned that prescription rates for antimicrobials in aged care facilities are on the rise. We learned that the Guild would be expected to pay full costs after the loss of its case against Ramsay Health Care. And yet another coroner called for better monitoring of certain medicines.

The Queensland branch of the Pharmacy Guild has been busy, appointing Gerard Benedet as its new branch director, as well as hosting its Parliamentary Dinner, at which state Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and the Leader of the Opposition Deb Frecklington reiterated their support for pharmacy.

And also in Queensland Gary West, Vivien Hsu, Nicolette Ellis and Emma Dall’Alba were honored with awards by the Queensland PSA. Congratulations to all!

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