The week in review

Pharmacy has been under fire this week, with one store closing for cleaning after an “absolutely disgusting” prank, 18 pharmacists having to self-isolate and #BunningsKaren reportedly confronting a pharmacy worker

Madison Dodds, retail manager of the Chemist Warehouse Sebastopol in Ballarat, called on pharmacy workers to be vigilant after the store was subjected to a hoax where a caller claimed to be a health authority warning the store of potential exposure to COVID-19. The Pharmacy Guild‘s Anthony Tassone warned of unforeseen consequences for community pharmacy workers located near the closed NSW-Victoria border… and for their patients.

Everett O’Keeffe, who owns the Wonthaggi Amcal Pharmacy in the Gippsland region, started a petition calling for an elimination strategy when it comes to the novel coronavirus. The woman known as #BunningsKaren reportedly targeted a Chemist Warehouse in her anti-mask crusade, though apparently forgot to record the confrontation. And 18 pharmacists from St Vincent’s Hospital Darlinghurst in Sydney were required to self-isolate after dining at a Thai restaurant linked to an outbreak… though fortunately, they’ve all since tested negative to COVID-19.

Plaza Medical Centre and Wizard Pharmacy in Kalgoorlie created and dispensed WA‘s first paperless electronic script. The Pharmacy Guild’s Suzanne Greenwood called for greater diversity of candidates in the organisation’s upcoming elections. And pharmacists are being encouraged to use new labels for opioid products which are aimed at starting conversations about the medicines.

The mental health trial funded under the 6CPA is set to start soon… and the Federal Department of Health released a review of the implementation of the Pharmacy Trial Program under the 6CPA, with some stakeholders unhappy about its transparency.

The National Pain Survey 2020 found that the relationship between chronic pain patients and their pharmacists has grown worse. And researchers found that allowing pharmacists to administer influenza vaccinations provides positive, though fairly small, benefits.

PDL offered some advice on medicines commonly involved in incident reports… and announced the three recipients of its Student Grant Program: congratulations to Mikah Peterson, Stefan Coombs, and Monica Sharma.

FRED IT called on pharmacies to be careful around cyber security. The TGA announced that the metformin shortage has been extended.

And we were saddened to hear of the passing of Dr Harry Nespolon, president of the RACGP. As PSA National President Associate Professor Chris Freeman said, Dr Nespolon and the pharmacy sector did not always see eye to eye, but “Harry was a strong advocate for GPs and their profession and despite battling deteriorating health in recent months he was still able to provide strong leadership and achieve a great deal during the COVID-19 pandemic and will no doubt leave an enduring legacy.”

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