Once again the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic dominated the news for pharmacy (and indeed the world in general) over the last week, although the announcing of the Pharmacy of the Year provided a ray of light for the profession
Reports came in of pharmacy workers in Adelaide being forced into isolation after a colleague recorded a positive coronavirus test.
This news came as pharmacies around the country continued to deal with an extremely heavy workload amidst increased reports of staff having to deal with irate, abusive and, in some cases, violent patients.
To help keep pharmacies operational, a call went out for those currently working outside the profession, or in retirement, to return to practice
The federal government moved to ensure temporary changes to medicines legislation, such as continued dispensing arrangements already introduced in some states, would operate nationally. The Pharmacy Guild called for further removal of ‘red tape’ inhibiting full therapeutic substitution.The SHPA also called for more “regulatory agility’ to deal with the current situation.
The ACCC also ticked off a proposal allowing CSO wholesalers to cooperate to ensure medicine supplies could be ensured eqauitably around the country
There was some early, ‘cautiously hopeful’ news about a possible treatment in the pipeline, but for now, pharmacies are left to deal with the adjustment to an changed, unprecedented regulatory framework.
Moving away from the pandemic, the undoubted highlight of the week was the delayed awarding of the 2020 Pharmacy of the Year honour to ACT pharmacy Capital Chemist Chisholm. The pharmacy had previously been recognised for its excellence in business management.