The week in review

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Horror asthma events triggered by thunderstorms and top speakers at the Guild parliamentary dinner…

This week, three Victorians died after they suffered respiratory problems in the “thunderstorm asthma” emergency, and more than 2,000 triple 0 calls were made for ambulances that night. AJP spoke with pharmacy owners about their experiences on the night.

Addressing the Pharmacy Guild’s annual Parliament House dinner in Canberra on Tuesday night, PM Malcolm Turnbull said he was confident agreement would be reached over risk sharing arrangements, relating to a shortfall in estimated PBS expenditure in 2016.

He also announced that remuneration for dispensing medicines under the Remote Area Aboriginal Health Service Program will be adjusted to be equivalent to the PBS dispensing fee when not a bulk supply.

At the same event, Opposition leader Bill Shorten highlighted pharmacists’ roles beyond the dispensary, praising them for branching out into professional services. “You and your businesses represented here are not simply and certainly not prescription-administering factories,” he said.

And Senator Richard Di Natale warned that the current Health Care Homes trial risks failing to capture the full skills and knowledge of Australia’s pharmacists.

We heard from two Chemmart owners who took part in a ‘pharmacist switch’: taking time out to work in each other’s pharmacies with “phenomenal” results.

Sigma Pharmaceuticals announced Australia’s largest pharmacy IT partnership with the Fred IT Group to deliver Sigma’s next generation retail platform that will support over 700 pharmacies across Australia.

And MedsASSIST clocked up more than four million transactions.

Award winners

Debbie Rigby was this week presented with the SHPA Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award 2016.

Community pharmacist Beatrix Zielonka-Perry won the Victorian Pharmacist Medal for 2016, presented by PSA.

And Adjunct Associate Professor Debra Rowett was presented with the SHPA’s prestigious Fred J Boyd Award.

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