The week in review

It’s been a busy week in the pharmacy sector…

The pharmacy sector celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8 with a debate about whether flexibility helped or hindered the profession; and with a NSW Pharmacy Guild breakfast where women were told to “get in the game to win”. Medici Capital held its Women’s Conference, with pharmacists asked to consider what business they’re really in.

We foreshadowed the upcoming April 1 price cuts, which aren’t as bad as they may appear at first glance; we discovered that psychotropics are being overused in aged care settings; and we found that Senators and Health Department representatives were quite confused over funding provided to PSA. Meanwhile PPA attacked the Guild over what it calls a “protection racket”.

The issue of consumers obtaining absence from work certificates from pharmacies raised its head again, though there appears to have been little catalyst for it to appear in the mainstream media other than Chemist Warehouse offering the service for $20. Innex Willox, chief executive of the Australian Industry Group, told News Corp reporters that some employers would be suspicious of such certificates as “pharmacists are not doctors”.

The Guild released new research stemming from its CP2025 initiative, which showed that cost and convenience of location are the most important factors when a patient is choosing a pharmacy and that consumers generally believe advice and counselling are similar at all stores.

There’s good news for people with severe allergy: EpiPen supply is finally getting back to normal. Congratulations go to Dr Janet Sluggett, Dr Jacinta Johnson, Dorsa Maher and Colin Johns, who were honoured by PSA.

And if you had your heart set on buying Chemist Warehouse shares, you’ll be disappointed: after months of speculation, co-founder and chairman Jack Gance spoke out about the chain’s future, which lies in private hands.

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