The week in review


(L-R): Professor Michael Dooley, SHPA President; Professor Ian Bates, Director of FIP Education; Kristin Michaels, SHPA Chief Executive and Associate Professor Ian Coombes, SHPA Vice-President.

It’s been a week for official announcements in community pharmacy

If you’ve been wondering what to do with your leftover low-dose codeine stock next year when these products are upscheduled, the TGA had the answer this week. The TGA, Guild and PSA all released new guidance on codeine. And a new tool on medicinal cannabis was launched.

Perhaps tired of waiting for the tardy King Review to finally be handed down, the Pharmacy Guild launched its own future-oriented project this week: CP2025, which it says will help keep the profession’s future secure and which will include significant input from the profession and other stakeholders.

The Guild is also still in the throes of its election period, which was extended after the AEC determined that Honorary Life Members can vote.

This week saw the death of Love Your Sister breast cancer advocate Connie Johnson. Pharmacy stakeholders praised her tireless efforts to raise funds and awareness about the disease, and encouraged pharmacists to help keep women informed about screening and other resources.

The number of new CMs being approved – as well as the number of adverse events reported – are soaring, the TGA says. AHPRA announced that Pharmacy Board fees are set to rise, to $336. FIP highlighted Australian initiatives in its new global report, which show SHPA initiatives in particular shine. And SHPA residency program site accreditation applications are now open.

FIP also welcomed three leading Australian pharmacists with fellowships of the International Pharmaceutical Federation: Dr Betty Chaar, A/Prof Kirstie Galbraith and Paul Sinclair. Congratulations to all.

We continued to look at the way stress is affecting pharmacists, with PDL‘s Curtis Ruhnau writing that pharmacists can be considered a second victim where errors are concerned. We also discovered the biggest factor stressing pharmacists out: it’s trying to make ends meet on low pay. Meanwhile, at least we know that when pharmacists are stressed, they’re no more likely than the general population to turn to non-productive coping strategies like drugs and alcohol.

On that front, a Senate committee has recommended the welfare reform bill behind the proposal to carry out drug testing among welfare recipients be passed.

This week, AJP is looking into the GP-pharmacist “turf war” – does it reflect your experience at the coalface? Tell us what you think here.

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