The week in review

Student finalists were announced, the Guild lambasted Australia’s COVID vaccine “stroll out”, and an audit found no signs of unlawful pharmacy ownership

COVID-19 vaccination was at the forefront of pharmacy this week, as the Pharmacy Guild was joined by other people and organisations in calling for more pharmacies to be activated for the rollout.

“We’ve lost patience and had enough,” said Guild national president Trent Twomey.

“Don’t you dare send tens of millions of vaccinations to other countries when we have a humanitarian crisis here while Australia is in lockdown,” he told the Federal Government.

Guild Victoria branch president Anthony Tassone also criticised the government’s vaccination efforts as a “stroll out”, as we found out only eight out of more than 800 pharmacies have been activated to vaccinate for COVID-19 in Victoria.

“Whatever way you look at it, this vaccine stroll out hasn’t achieved a pass mark and 8 out of 800 pharmacies activated is an abysmal indictment on overlooking a ready, willing and capable workforce and critical primary healthcare infrastructure that is ready to take the field and help the team win,” he told AJP.

We also saw the list of pharmacies grow for case locations in Sydney as half of Australia went into lockdown due to the spread of the Delta COVID-19 variant.

In some positive news, the Pharmacy Student of the Year (PSOTY) award state finalists were announced. They will compete at the national final, scheduled for late July at the PSA conference.

David Gillespie returned to the regional health portfolio as the Nationals reshuffled their Cabinet positions.

And a Victorian Pharmacy Authority audit of pharmacy ownership arrangements did not find signs of unlawful behaviour.

We heard that distribution of the smoking cessation medication Champix (Varenicline) has been paused in Australia due to “impurity concerns”, with further testing of the medication being undertaken.

A consortium of leading health groups issued a report that included 10 recommendations for reducing harm caused by medicines.

AJP also published the story of a pharmacist who was on her first day in a new role when she accidentally dispensed sertraline instead of sumatriptan to a teenager… a mistake discovered over six months later.

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