The week in review

Canberra parliament house

A lot has happened in pharmacy this week, especially in Canberra

Pharmacy stakeholders welcomed the introduction of new legislation by Health Minister Greg Hunt which is set to see mandatory reporting of medicines shortages and discontinuations. Also in Parliament, a petition has been presented calling for adverse event reporting cards to be handed out at every medicine transaction by pharmacists; and the late Joseph Max Berinson, a lawyer, pharmacist and Whitlam Government MP, was remembered.

The Government also decided to go against ACCC and expert advice in exempting nappy rash products and tampons from regulations, and excluding ear candling from the ARTG, while in Victoria, codeine was added to the real time monitoring program Safescript… but it’s only a first step.

We looked at some cuts: to medicines under the latest round of price disclosure, and to penalty rates this weekend… as well as the Government’s aim to trim opioid prescribing.

The Intern Year Blueprint project has finalised, and the Guild announced the recipients of its Rural Scholarships and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme. Discount Drug Stores unveiled its plans for its health food concept and partnership with FRED NXT.

The PSA announced its Board, including new ECP Director Lauren Burton, and the SHPA celebrated its 5000th member.

The inquest into the 2016 thunderstorm asthma deaths began, and the PSA’s Shane Jackson said that the way pharmacy stepped up at the time just proves what the sector is capable of doing.

In research news, we found out just how much medication is lost due to interruptions in the cold chain, while another study looked at the risk of errors with new electronic medication management systems. A third found that pharmacist-led interventions can have a positive impact on a range of health outcomes.

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