The week in review

We take a look back at the week in pharmacy

Budget 2017, handed down by Treasurer Scott Morrison on Tuesday, contained more than a few measures affecting pharmacy, from the final demise of the “zombie” copayment rise from the 2014 Budget, to a commitment to the location rules, a risk share solution, price cuts for innovative medicines and small business tax changes.

The Guild welcomed the Budget, with president George Tambassis saying that “The Government has recognised the key role that community pharmacy plays in the primary health care team”.

Doctors would have preferred that the Medicare freeze be lifted all at once, the AMA‘s Michael Gannon said, but otherwise welcomed the measure. “This is a monkey that has been on the back of the Coalition Government since the 2014 Budget that cut significant dollars out of health,” he said. And small business and retail groups welcomed the extension of the $20,000 tax write-off among other points.

Groups with a focus on preventive health think it’s a missed opportunity, though, as does the PSA, which says it could have done more to maximise the role of pharmacists.

But enough about what industry groups think: we’d like your opinion. Was the Budget good for pharmacy… or a let-down?

Of course, there’s been more this week than the Budget: for example, the Queensland bureaucracy has signed up to have staff vaccinated in pharmacies. The South Australian chemo under-dosing investigation is winding up.

And we looked at the latest study examining the link between the use of common NSAIDs and heart attack, which pinpointed when the greatest risk occurs. ASMI responded saying people who follow the on-pack instructions on OTC NSAIDs should not start worrying.

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