The week in review

Seroquel tablets, 100mg and 25mg. Source: Luke-2/Wikimedia Commons.

Some key final reports were issued this week, and more COVID-19 news

In COVID-19 news, the TGA said it is set to start publishing weekly reports on adverse events related to the vaccine, saying there had been 79 so far, and none out of the ordinary. Internationally, World Health Organization experts strongly advised against the use of hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19.

New legislation was passed to formalise the Serious Shortages Substitution Notices, streamlining the process whereby pharmacists can substitute medicines in different jurisdictions.

We learned that Priceline could face a class action due to a dispute with franchisees who say the banner group has exerted undue control over their pharmacies.

Some key reports were released: the Royal Commission into the aged care sector made several recommendations involving the use of pharmacists, a move welcomed by the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia and its chief executive Kristin Michaels, who said the presence of a pharmacist in the residential aged care setting will help ensure residents’ safety. Meanwhile Guild national president George Tambassis said that community pharmacy can play a key role in helping ensure the growing ageing population receives the best possible healthcare.

There was also Victoria‘s Royal Commission into the mental health sector, which showed a system in decline with an “over-reliance on medications”. The Guild’s Anthony Tassone responded saying that pharmacists can play a critical role in helping rebuild it.

Karalyn Huxhagen looked at how changes to rural pharmacy funding have disadvantaged some businesses compared to others. NDARC told us that among 7,000 people who injected drugs in Australia between 2011-2018, around 10% used quetiapine for non-medical purposes. Politicians talked about improving Australians’ access to medicinal cannabis.

Congratulations to Monash University, which has retained its number two ranking in the world for Pharmacy and Pharmacology.

And in AJP‘s latest poll, we’re looking at vaccine hesitancy… are you seeing more, or less hesitancy and/or refusal as the COVID-19 vaccine rollout gets underway? Let us know in our poll here.

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