The week in review


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Registrations opened for APP, pharmacists encountered aggressive patients, and CWH reported a lift in sales while another network announced it was closing some stores…

This week, Chemist Warehouse co-founder Jack Gance told mainstream media that the group’s online business has been “escalating pretty strongly” since March. This increase means online sales have risen to about 8 or 9% of the discount giant’s total turnover of nearly $6 billion.

Meanwhile API has announced a decision to trim down the Priceline network – of Priceline stores, not including Priceline Pharmacies – following examination of how COVID-19 had impacted business. It plans to close 14 stores following a consideration of the “long-term impacts of COVID-19 on foot traffic in CBDs and shopping centres relative to on-going rents”.

A Queensland Health spokesperson revealed it anticipates that up to five pharmacies will initially be selected for a “limited pilot” of COVID-19 testing in Queensland community pharmacies, to commence in late 2020.

The Pharmacy Guild announced that registrations are now open for its 2021 Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference and Trade Exhibition in May 2021.

We saw a Pharmacy Guild and head of Pharmacy4Less call for action after shocking security footage captured the moment a customer smashed a sneeze guard into a pharmacist’s face. (AJP spoke with the pharmacist directly here). We also heard that pharmacists have been on the receiving end of an increasing number of complaints, and even calls to police over medication supply.

The TGA noted that it is investigating the safety of Valerian following a small number of reports of liver injury. It also announced new medicine approvals for depression treatments.

E-script uptake has ramped up significantly in recent months. Original electronic scripts, not including repeats, clocked over 400,000 across the country, an ADHA rep confirmed to AJP on Wednesday. More than 80% of these were created in the last six weeks alone.

Professor Jeff Hughes was honoured as the recipient of the 2020 Fred J Boyd Award, and Connie Arronis was announced as the 2020 National Pharmacist of the Year by Discount Drug Stores.

Finally the Pharmacy Board has reminded pharmacists to renew their general or non-practising registration by 30 November 2020. The Board is also offering some advice on registering during the coronavirus crisis, with help for pharmacists who couldn’t meet CPD requirements or who are in financial hardship.

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