The week in review

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Codeine news and the prospect of $20 online prescriptions caused controversy this week

The ever-present issue of codeine loomed large this week, as the results of this study, which helped inform the TGA when making its decision on the future of low-dose codeine, became public: it examined the picture of hospitalisation due to OTC codeine consumption in Australia. The Pharmacy Guild says there’s more to the story, however.

Consumers more generally are becoming aware of the upcoming reschedule to prescription only… and they’re not happy, responding to NPS MedicineWise and a News Corp article that they’re worried about how to manage their pain in the future.

Controversy swirled around Qoctor (formerly known as Dr Sicknote) and its plans to offer $20 scripts and online pharmacy services, which GP and pharmacy groups believe would provide a “second best” service for consumers.

Chemist Warehouse has been in the news, with a spotlight shone on its worth, for its involvement in Victoria’s Supercare program, and for its concerns about the high cost of energy.

Pharmacy researchers have found some consumers may be hoarding antibiotics thanks to the high level of repeat scripts.

There’s been downscheduling news (accepted and rejected) as well as a product recall for Lax-Sachets.

And if you needed some feel-good news to get you through a busy weekend (or to take your mind off the heatwave if you’re in an affected area), here’s how one NSW pharmacy decided to “pay it forward” to their customers.


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