All eyes were on the Gold Coast this week, as thousands of pharmacists headed up to the Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference
It’s been a big week for community pharmacy, and especially so for Luke van der Rijt and Michael O’Reilly, proprietors of the Southcity Pharmacy Wagga Wagga. Their pharmacy was named Pharmacy of the Year at APP, as well as winning the Excellence in Community Engagement Award. The Friendlies Pharmacy Busselton took out the Business Management category, while the Gerald Burns Pharmacy won the Professional Innovation award.
Also taking out awards were Tim Stewart of Lanyon Pharmacy in the ACT, who was named Intern of the Year, and the Karumba Pharmacy in North Queensland, which took out the rural and remote pharmacy video competition. Congratulations to all the winners from all of us at AJP!
Health Minister Greg Hunt went through the Government’s response to the King Review, telling delegates they’re not in danger of being replaced by vending machines. However, the proposal to abolish the controversial $1 copayment discount has been put on hold, with Mr Hunt saying the Government won’t make a decision on it.
The Government did accept some proposals from the Review, particularly that recommending a trial around high-cost medicines, which is hoped to ease some of the financial pressures on pharmacies that supply them. Professor King himself is reportedly disappointed with the Government’s response, especially the decision not to back the proposal to forbid pharmacies to offer different prices beyond the copayment on PBS medicines.
Shadow Health Minister Catherine King told delegates that while pharmacists’ scope of practice growth is “contentious,” it needs to grow, particularly into gaps in health care service provision. The PSA’s Shane Jackson says pharmacists should have prescribing rights by 2020, and we heard that medicines supply is under threat, with the Guild calling for PBS listing of medicines to be conditional on supply through the CSO wholesalers.
Outside APP, TerryWhite Chemmart and MedAdvisor have signed a three-year agreement; we heard that three Tasmanian pharmacies are taking part in a novel community-based quit smoking pilot; the SHPA backed a suggested protocol for dealing with medicines shortages; and Canberra’s pill testing pilot at Groovin the Moo was hailed as a success, with two “deadly” substances found in tested pills.
Last but not least, the AJP has launched a new campaign to find pharmacy’s agenda setters. We’re looking for the 12 pharmacists who are driving the profession into the future… let us know here if you know a pharmacist who fits the bill.