The week in review


While some pharmacists were in San Francisco at the PSA Offshore Conference, others headed to Canberra for NPS MedicineWise’ National Medicines Symposium

At this week’s National Medicines Symposium in Canberra, SHPA president Michael Dooley talked about ways that digital health is opening up new roles for pharmacists, and NPS MedicineWise named its award-winning innovators in improving QUM. NPS is also farewelling its outgoing CEO, Lynn Weekes, who in her 20 years heading the organisation has grown it from tiny origins as the then National Prescribing Service, to the force in quality use of medicines it is today. Best wishes and thanks for her tireless efforts from all of us at the AJP.

In health and politics, the West Australian Health Minister has been granted the right to intervene in a pharmacy award dispute involving Chemist Warehouse (the co-founders of which have made the Financial Review rich list), while pharmacist politician Emma McBride has slammed the Federal Budget, saying Australians can’t afford to fill their scripts. The Federal Government has moved to protect pharmacy gambling revenue, says Minister for Communication, Senator Mitch Fifield.

The ACCC has lost its appeal against a previous order dismissing a proceeding against Pfizer for alleged anti-competitive actions. Meanwhile the codeine shortage rolls on, and stakeholders are urging the TGA to get on with implementing national real-time monitoring. The TGA has also begun to release submissions into its opioid enquiry, with PSA and the SHPA at odds with the Guild over potential changes to pack sizes.

The huge increase in pharmacist vaccinations means there’s a good case to give pharmacy nationwide access to the NIP, says the Pharmacy Guild, which also says that My Health Record and the Health Care Homes trial are a significant opportunity for pharmacy to position itself as a key part of the health care landscape.

And for all the outstanding pharmacies out there: the 2019 Pharmacy of the Year competition is now open — time to think about entering!

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