The week in review

Pharmacists in the Maldives mark the day with free blood pressure and BMI checks. Image: Facebook

Recognition for pharmacists was an issue this week: whether in terms of consumer awareness or pay

The week started by recognising the important work pharmacists do, with World Pharmacists’ Day; around the world, members of the profession celebrated and raised awareness, particularly about expanded services.

Pharmacists were identified as key to Health Minister Greg Hunt‘s third wave of health care reforms, and achieved startling results in a pilot study looking at how they could reduce charting errors.

The penalty rates appeal went to court, and PPA wrote to Amcal pharmacies demanding they explain whether or not they’re cutting rates for employee pharmacists.

Flu is still on the agenda, though we’re past the season’s peak: the Chief Medical Officer says there’s evidence this year’s vaccine was less effective than usual. Meanwhile, privacy concerns around flu vaccination have surfaced.

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians released a statement supporting the upschedule of low-dose codeine, which as the Pharmacy Guild pointed out, made no mention of real-time monitoring or doctor shopping. It’s an interesting omission, given that this week the ABS released its figures on cause of death in Australia in 2016, revealing a significant rise in prescription drug-induced deaths, particularly concerning opioids and benzodiazepines.

This Sunday, 1 October, the next round of Price Disclosure cuts are set to bite – costing pharmacies an average of $4,488 each, according to Guild estimates. And in most states, we’re all set to lose an hour on Sunday morning too: don’t forget to put your clocks forward for the start of Daylight Saving Time. Monday’s a public holiday here in NSW and the ACT, so AJP Daily will be back on Tuesday—ready to tell you which early career pharmacists were named our ten Rising Stars!

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