The week in review

As the COVID-19 crisis in NSW continues, there’s been plenty happening in the pharmacy sector this week

More and more pharmacies were added to the list of COVID-19 exposure sites in NSW, as the state’s participating pharmacies were told they could vaccinate any adult with the AstraZeneca jab in a move welcomed by Pharmacy Guild state president David Heffernan. Meanwhile Guild national president Trent Twomey got stuck into PHNs for the way they have handled distributing PPE to pharmacies, and work to give Australians access to Moderna’s mRNA vaccine continued.

Lieutenant General John Frewen appeared before the Senate COVID-19 Committee to explain pharmacy’s new role in administering AstraZeneca… as well as why the sector was sidelined for so long. And the SHPA congratulated hospital pharmacists and technicians and their clinical and nursing peers at state and territory run vaccine clinics, who had administered the latest one million doses in only 15 days.

Federal Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alex Hawke announced that pharmacists would be added to the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List… provoking a response from PPA‘s Geoff March, who said wages and conditions for Australian pharmacists needed to be fixed instead.

API declined Wesfarmers‘ takeover offer, saying that its case was “not compelling and is not in best interests of API shareholders”. We learned that Professor Lloyd Sansom AO and Dr Sarah Dineen-Griffin are set to join the committee for the National Medicines Policy review.

The Pharmacy Board shared its latest snapshot of the profession, as well as a case study on alleged disrespectful communication between pharmacist and patient. A study out of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney looked at liver harms related to pharmacy supplements. NAPSA and PDL renewed their MoU.

The TGA handed down more than $23,000 in fines relating to unlawful advertising of medicinal cannabis to treat cancer, and of homeopathy for COVID-19.

And a new report from Victoria’s coroner’s court examined trends in overdose deaths, including from pharmaceuticals… some of which have seen a spike in deaths.

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