The week in review

Debate over access to codeine has dominated this week’s news, which also saw positive developments for pharmacy

Codeine has again been a hot topic this week, as the Guild outlined its proposed “Prescription – except when” model; PSA has also spoken out about the issue, saying low dose codeine-containing analgesics must remain an OTC therapeutic option for the management of acute, short term pain.

High-profile doctors, however, slammed the proposal. That discussion is still going on, with pharmacists pointing out the need for a national real-time monitoring program for substances of concern, as well as highlighting the statistics on prescription opioid overdose deaths.

Meanwhile, the TGA has created a hub for pharmacists to help them talk to patients about the upcoming changes, and we learned that most pharmacies are still using MedsASSIST.

In non-codeine news, a refreshing collaborative approach between GPs and pharmacists is set to be trialled in Victoria, with four pharmacies and medical centres set to work together to help their patients manage chronic conditions.

Amcal is turning 80, and celebrating with a relaunch. For the first time, a pharmacy has become closely involved with DonateLife. And congratulations also go to Sandra Minas, who has just been elected NAPSA president, and to its board of executive directors; Ms Minas follows Shefali Parekh, who has been an outstanding ambassador for pharmacy students in her tenure as president.

The Guild has condemned the King Review, saying its direction appears to be aimed at dismantling the current system. And if you wanted to make a last-minute submission to the King Review, here’s your last chance: submissions close tomorrow, 23 July.

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