The news cycle this week remained focused around the COVID-19 pandemic, with concern over measures allowing pharmacists to supply medicines using digital scripts
COVID-19 again remained the focus of attention during the week. As death tolls rose around the globe, the International Pharmaceutical Federation outlined a series of measures it says are necessary to protect and support pharmacists working in the front line.
Their concerns were emphasised in Australia with more hospital pharmacy staff having to go into quarantine due to suspected outbreaks.
As tougher punishments came in for people abusing frontline staff, there were still incidents where pharmacists and their staff experienced unacceptable behaviour from disgruntled patients
Also linked to COVID-19 was growing concern over the temporary measures allowing pharmacists to supply medicines using digital images of scripts. While thew move was welcomed in principle, a number of people expressed concerns over a lack of detail around the plan, with PSA national president Chris Freeman saying there was a “complete lack of clarity”.
The ‘turf war’ opened a new front with Queensland doctors expressing concern over new pharmacist vaccination and emergency dispensing powers.
Rural pharmacists said the pandemic had exposed systemic problems with medicine supply chains and said a temporary nationalisation of supply may be required.