The week in review

It’s been a busy week in Australian community pharmacy, with the big issues looming large

This week began with the RACGP attacking community pharmacy over OTC codeine, calling on the Pharmacy Guild and PSA back out of the Nationally Coordinated Codeine Implementation Working Group if they won’t stop exploring issues of accessibility post the 1 February 2018 upschedule. Both  PSA and Guild said the remarks were disappointing.

Pay is again under the spotlight, with PPA supporting PSA’s stance on low pay for early career pharmacists and calling for the resurrection of the Pharmacist Coalition for Health Reform. The union also released new data showing the profession is one of the lowest paid in Australia.

Meanwhile, changes to the mandatory reporting rules for health practitioners are underway, which could potentially help to erode barriers for pharmacists seeking treatment for mental illness.

We took a look at the Pharmacy Guild’s take on private health cover, and what they think about extending coverage to professional pharmacist services and expensive medicines. The Guild also shared its latest data on MedsASSIST and consumer attitudes to codeine access; and outlined seven key drivers of pharmacy internationally.

Chemist Warehouse is continuing its program of expansion, moving across the Tasman as well as into Brisbane’s North Lakes region and TV-land.

In positive news, the results of a pilot study showed 100% take-up of pharmacist recommendations on patient education and lifestyle.

And ahead of NPS MedicineWise‘s Be MedicineWise Week next week, we’ve discovered that many Australians are taking too many painkillers… particularly Millennials, who are the most likely to exceed daily doses and/or mix them with alcohol. The week would be a good time to talk about quality use of medicines even if we weren’t likely facing a record-breaking flu season.

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