The week in review

wine in glasses

We take a look at the last week in pharmacy

With only a few more sleeps left ’till Christmas, a lot of Aussies are already well and truly into the Christmas spirit: Amcal told us that this last week (12-19 December) was likely the least productive week all year.

The survey suggested that more than a quarter (26%) of Australians will take up to three sick days during the festive season.

So it was timely for GPs and pharmacy to again debate whether or not pharmacists should issue absence from work certificates. The AMA’s Dr Tony Bartone told A Current Affair that consumers should be wary as pharmacist-issued certificates may fragment care, but the Pharmacy Guild’s George Tambassis reminded Australians that pharmacists can help ease the burden on already strained GP services.

Former NRL star Matt Cooper opened up to News Corp journalists about his addiction to Endone and other prescription analgesics, prompting the Guild to call once more for a national real-time monitoring system for drugs of dependence.

Cooper’s “courageous” decision to go public highlights the need for such a system, which was first promised in 2010 but is yet to be rolled out outside Tasmania, the Guild’s David Quilty said.

And the Guild also welcomed news that latest figures reveal Government spending on the PBS is forecast to fall by $800 million in 2016-17, pointing out that this demonstrates the sustainability of the PBS.

But there’s no immediate end in sight for the risk share dilemma: it appears it’s likely the dispute between the Government and the Guild will continue into 2017.

Lastly, there’s good news for public health as the University of Sydney trained its first interns in the administration of the flu vaccine, making them the first interns to start their intern years already prepared.

“Pharmacist-administered vaccination is an added way that a lot of people who would never have had the vaccine can get it—and that’s got to be good for the community,” the University’s Professor Peter Carroll told the AJP.

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