The week in review

Gerald Burns Pharmacy Bicton, WA.

Two drugs have been causing debate this week: cannabis and, predictably, codeine

A group of doctors wrote to the Medical Journal of Australia on behalf of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), sharing their concerns that the introduction of medicinal cannabis has not followed the usual research-based safety and effectiveness processes.

But Professor Iain McGregor, academic director of the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics in the Brain and Mind Centre at the University of Sydney, responded to the article saying it “stokes concerns” and “neglects facts”. Another expert has expressed doubt about whether cannabis availability can be shown to reduce opioid deaths.

As for codeine, the shortages continue, as does consumer dismay over the increased price of what products are available. Health Minister Greg Hunt has referred the pricing issue to the ACCC, while NSW Guild president David Heffernan took to the airwaves to ask consumers not to take out their frustration on pharmacists, who have been blamed by pain organisations for the price hike.

The inaugural International Digital Health Symposium was held at UNSW Sydney, and the PSA‘s Shane Jackson said pharmacists can’t help reduce the number of medication-related hospitalisations without better access to data. And the Red Tape Inquiry suggested, like a number of reviews before it, that the pharmacy sector could do with deregulation.

Congratulations go to the five finalists in the Guild’s Pharmacy of the Year Awards, all leaders in their field of practice. The finalists are:

  • Friendlies Pharmacy Busselton, WA;
  • Gerald Burns Pharmacy Bicton, WA (pictured);
  • Christies Guild Terry White Chemmart, Christies Beach SA;
  • South City Pharmacy, Wagga Wagga NSW; and
  • Priceline Wetherill Park NSW.

And congratulations also to the My Chemist group, which took out the Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Award for 2017: its staff are reportedly “stoked”.

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