The week in review

Developing news around pharmacy’s role in the COVID-19 vaccination program dominated the news cycle during the week

All eligible community pharmacies across Australia were finally the green light to join the COVID-19 vaccination rollout on Thursday.

Nearly 4,000 community pharmacies, which had already successfully applied the join the program through an Expression of  Interest process earlier in the year, were now expected to commence administering the AstraZeneca vaccine from mid-August.

A small number of Victorian pharmacies – both metropolitan and regional – had already begun, or were soon to start vaccinating.  

With the number of cases rising around the nation, and especially in Sydney, Professionals Pharmacists Australia (PPA) issued an urgent nationwide call for people not to enter pharmacies if they had symptoms or suspected they had been exposed to COVID-19.
Many pharmacies were reporting heavy demand for vaccinations, with a pharmacist at Narromine in NW NSW saying “demand had been incredible” 

In other news, there were renewed complaints from doctor’s groups about pharmacists issuing medical certificates. 

The RACGP head said through the week that some pharmacies were advertising absence from work certificates “as if it’s like toothpaste”, comments slammed by pharmacy leaders.

The TGA’s medicines scheduling committee rejected a number of applications to allow direct-to-consumer advertising for a number of Pharmacy Only medicines.

Notification of a decision on the rescheduling of nitrous oxide, or Nangs, was deferred     

The nominations process for the UTS Innovative Pharmacist Award for 2021 has begun 

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