The week in review

green wool knitting

Pharmacists could be forgiven for having an identity crisis this week, after a slew of analogies were used to criticise the sector

First, pharmacists’ scope of practice was compared to handicrafts as AMA president Dr Michael Gannon told them to “stick to their knitting” over Sigma‘s pathology screening services, offered through Amcal pharmacies. Later, acting RACGP president Dr Edwin Kruys said that getting pathology screening from a pharmacy was like “getting your car serviced at the lawn mower shop“. The controversy over the initiative ended with its being scrapped.

Later, pharmacies were compared to restaurants in the latest salvo from the mainstream media, in a Courier Mail piece criticising the location rules.

According to one recruitment specialist, it seems that pharmacists are leaving the profession in droves, pushed away by low pay, politics and bad PR. Meanwhile, the Pharmacy Guild said that it’s still worried about the “true intentions” of the King Review, and that the flat dispensing fee option it suggests could put pharmacies out of business; and medicines shortages are now at the point where pharmacists are demanding change.

There was some positive news for pharmacy this week, though: the Queensland branch of the Guild announced the success of its Corporate Vaccination Program, and we discovered that antimicrobial stewardship is a success, with hospital pharmacists playing a big role.

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