The week in review


COVID-19 is still the major news story in the Australian pharmacy landscape, as its impact continues to be felt on mental and economic health

The National Pharmaceutical Services Association told us that wholesalers distributed more than 70 million PBS medicines during March and April. The SHPA‘s Peter Fowler penned a message of support to hospital pharmacists and technicians around the country, saying that, “I believe we will get through this, together, and we will emerge on the other side, stronger.”

The fallout from the novel coronavirus continues, with PPA telling us this week that a new survey has found that half of Australia’s pharmacists are thinking of leaving the profession, or have already decided to go, as a result, while the Pharmacy Guild‘s David Heffernan said that business owners are doing it tough. And retail stakeholder groups including the Guild put together a plan for moving forward.

More pharmacy industry events were postponed; 15 health organisations got together for a Continuity of Care Collaboration… though pharmacy was left out, to the disappointment of Anthony Tassone from the Pharmacy Guild; and we had an update from the Guild on that elusive 7CPA.

Australia’s first paperless electronic prescription in primary care, using the “token” model, was written and dispensed. The TGA noted that medicine recalls and shortages rose substantially in the second half of 2019, and issued a warning about high doses of Vitamin B6. We learned that the mental health project funded under the 6CPA is now happening, with co-leads Dr Claire O’Reilly and Professor Amanda Wheeler telling us that thanks to COVID-19, it’s never been more timely.

We took a look at PSA‘s webinar this week which looked at the increase in pharmacists seeking help and support to get through the crisis.

And congratulations are in order: to the dispensary assistants, Priceline Pharmacy Menai NSW, for winning AJP‘s inaugural virtual Pharmacy’s Got Talent competition; the pharmacy’s owner Quinn On, who came runner-up; Rachael Runner from Demodeks, who took out the industry section; and Luisa Carriglio, who was named winner of our People’s Choice Award; plus all of Amcal and Guardian‘s 2020 winners, named at a virtual Awards night this week.

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