The week in review

It’s been a week of controversy in Australian pharmacy, over everything from pay to whether the CPAs offer certainty for the sector

A controversial report which called low pharmacist wages “the elephant in the room” attracted a huge response from AJP readers, with one saying that conditions in pharmacy were now the worst he’d ever seen. And this report called the CPAs a “26-year-old dinosaur of market inefficiency…” and the debate began.

The PSA‘s Dr Shane Jackson called for a collaborative approach and an end to sniping from GPs following the publication of a mystery shopper survey assessing whether pharmacists or pharmacy staff referred to a medical practitioner, after Australian Doctor published a story inadequately differentiating between pharmacist interactions and pharmacy assistant-only interactions.

Dr Jackson also pointed to this study, which showed Australian GPs are prescribing antibiotics between four and nine times more often than they should be.

The Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation released four externally-produced reports, which have proven to be interesting reading: for example, we discovered that many consumers still think of pharmacies as “chemist shops,” and aren’t keen to pay for pharmacist advice. And we learned that only 8% of consumers chose a pharmacy because it would give them the optional $1 script copayment discount.

Take its financial survey report with a pinch of salt, though: in the end, only 38 pharmacies completed the full survey.

The TGA‘s proposed third path for ARTG entry for CMs has received support: read about some of the submissions here. And the TGA also made the news for its announcement that it take on the role of the single body responsible for handling advertising complaints from 1 July 2018.

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