The week in review

Health Minister Greg Hunt talks to the press at PSA17 on Friday 28 July.

For the most part, it’s been a positive week in Australian pharmacy

The Pharmaceutical Society’s conference, PSA17, has seen a number of positive announcements made: Health Minister Greg Hunt declared that the Government would begin work on the long-hoped-for real-time prescription monitoring program, with a view to having it fully implemented nationwide by the end of 2018. This followed the revelation this week that prescription painkillers were now responsible for more overdose deaths than heroin.

Mr Hunt’s comments offering certainty over the sunset clause for location rules were also appreciated by pharmacy.

PSA17 also saw the announcement of this year’s PSA Excellence Awards. Congratulations from all at AJP to Pharmacist of the Year Irvine Newton; young Pharmacist of the Year Elise Apolloni (whose pharmacy, the Capital Chemist Wanniassa, also took out a Telstra Small Business Award this week) and John Bell, who was presented with the PSA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

The PSA has also spoken out about the King Review, releasing its submission in which it said pharmacist services could not be compared to gas or electricity.

There was good news for Australians living with hepatitis C, as the Health Minister also announced the PBS listing of the first pan-genotypic antiviral. And both the Terry White and Guardian brands made the news, taking out the Roy Morgan June 2017 Pharmacy of the Month and the Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customers Award for Pharmacy, 2017 respectively.

The Guild unveiled a new partnership in the health technology landscape. Sigma and the My Chemist/Chemist Warehouse group are now in formal negotiations, after Sigma dropped its legal action against the group. And even though the general small to medium business outlook is gloomy, the health sector is bucking the trend: Sensis data shows it’s the most optimistic of all sectors.

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