The week in review


It’s been another busy week for the pharmacy sector – and for once, the King Review was not the only review that got people talking.

The long-awaited response to the Sansom Review finally came, and Health Minister Sussan Ley said accepting its recommendations will bring significant benefits to consumers, the therapeutic goods industry and health professionals.

Stakeholders including the GBMA welcomed the report, but ASMI said that while adopting most of the recommendations was a positive step, it was disappointed that restrictions on advertising would remain.

The King Review, of course, continues to be talked about, and submissions to roll in (stakeholders have until September 23 to submit one). Wages, CMs and, of course, the location rules are just three of several themes emerging from the submissions.

But one of the key points being discussed more widely is to what extent pharmacists have a conflict of interest between their professional and retailing roles.

A group of bioethicists wrote on Croakey that the Guild, in saying uncoupling retailing from pharmacy services, misses “the moral anxiety that underpins the questions posed in the Discussion Paper—that commercial activities of pharmacists and pharmacies might ultimately undermine both their professional standing and their contribution to public goods”.

AJP readers’ thoughts on the bioethicists’ piece were divided; Peter Crothers said that their “argument is simplistic and not grounded in ordinary peoples’ lived experience,” while Ethical Pharmacist wrote, “Pharmacists, as health professionals, should be reimbursed according to the services they provide and not through the products that they sell.”

In positive news, Chris Freeman was honoured by JCU, the SHPA‘s residency program hit a major milestone and the AMA’s Dr Michael Gannon and Guild’s George Tambassis found themselves in “furious agreement” on a range of subjects including absence from work notes—one more step towards peace between pharmacists and GPs.

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