The week in review

It’s been a high-stakes week in pharmacy, with the lid lifted on pharmacist stress

As pharmacies in the US battle to help people affected by Hurricane Harvey, it appears that Australian pharmacists are suffering under pressures of their own. The National Stress and Wellbeing Survey of Pharmacists, Intern Pharmacists and Pharmacy Students showed that pharmacists suffer similar stress levels as doctors and other health professionals.

Pharmacists have spoken about fear of making dispensing errors, and constant criticism by doctors and an unfriendly mass media.

At least this week one big story to hit the mainstream media saw a radio personality slapped down for criticising her pharmacy. KiisFM’s Thinkergirls co-host Kristie Mercer was “publicly corrected” by health professionals including doctors after she asked, “Like, what is happening? I can see the medicine behind you, it’s like two metres away. Just grab it off the shelf and press print on the old sticker printer, slap it on and away we go.” 

There’s been a number of business decisions announced this week: Sigma declared it was about to restructure, Arrow acquired Amneal, FRED IT and AusDI have ramped up their partnership and the Terry White Group announced an EBITDA of $8 million.

Thursday, August 31 was International Overdose Awareness Day, and a number of announcements were made regarding overdose, particularly Australia’s growing problem with opioids. The Penington Institute released its latest figures, which show more than twice as many Australians are now dying due to accidental overdose than those dying from car accidents. The RACGP got stuck into pharmacy over codeine (again) and new research showed stigma is a killer.

And AJP readers said they don’t think the Government’s plan to randomly test welfare recipients will work… and that it may be harmful.

Meanwhile, small business have been warned that they could face fines if they continue to apply “excessive” surcharges at point of sale. And the SHPA says its residency program is “turbocharging careers“.

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