The week in review


It’s been a busy week in pharmacy, and a rollercoaster for the South Australians

This week, Amazon Pharmacy finally launched in the US… and it could be on its way here. In the aged care sector, the University of Tasmania’s Associate Professor Juanita Breen spoke to the AJP about the need for greater pharmacist involvement.

The Star Discount Chemist, Hollywood Plaza Surgery at Salisbury Downs was added to the watch list for South Australia‘s new COVID-19 cluster, and the PSA‘s Robyn Johns told pharmacists that this was not the time to panic, ahead of the state’s hard lockdown… which was then suddenly to be lifted, it was revealed Friday, after a pizza shop worker lied to authorities about his activities and exposure.

The TGA made an interim decision to allow Australians to only access nicotine through vaping if they have a doctor’s prescription, with the Guild‘s Anthony Tassone saying the organisation welcomes the move and that nicotine should ideally be placed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods. And a TGA investigation revealed some contaminated Metformin batches, but the risk to patients who have taken metformin potentially lightly contaminated with nitrosamine has been ruled to be “very low”.

The Pharmacy Board and AHPRA offered advice on the revised Guidelines for advertising a regulated health service, which will come into effect on 14 December 2020, and PDL reminded members to renew their registration by the 30th of this month.

In its budget, the NSW Berejiklian Government announced funding for “a Real Time Prescription Monitoring system to track prescribed medicines associated with a high risk of causing harm, dependence or misuse”… welcomed by the PSA’s Chelsea Felkai and the Guild’s David Heffernan, though Mr Heffernan pointed out that details were as yet unseen.

Cat Media was fined $13,320 for alleged unlawful advertising of a FatBlaster product. AFT Pharmaceuticals announced growth across its OTC and prescription medicines in its half-year financial results. The 2020 Graduate Outcomes Survey was released, detailing high employment rates and low pay for pharmacists in their intern year.

Congratulations to the Gerald Burns Pharmacy in Bicton, winner of the WA Age Friendly Business Award for its ‘above and beyond’ services for seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic… and to all the winners of the Pharmacy Guild Stage One branch elections.

And the National Health Practitioner Ombudsman revealed that it received 595 complaints about the administrative actions of Ahpra and the National Boards in 2019-20.


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