The week in review

All eyes are on Sydney this week as the Pharmaceutical Society hosts its annual conference, PSA18

The PSA has announced its top honours for the year: John Jackson was named the 2018 Pharmacist of the Year, while Dr Jacinta Johnson was awarded the 2018 Early Career Pharmacist of the Year and Ross Brown AM was given a PSA Lifetime Achievement Award. Congratulations to these outstanding pharmacists from all of us at AJP.

At the conference, national president Dr Shane Jackson launched a new Pharmacists in 2023 Discussion Paper, a revised version of the 10-year plan the Society had been working on before feedback indicated a shorter time frame needed to be examined. Pharmacists need better pay and more recognition, he said, and outlined some of the wider roles that are opening up to members of the profession.

One such role was announced this week in Tasmania: vaccination by trained pharmacists of children from 10 years of age against meningococcal disease. And in NSW, the Labor opposition has pledged to widen the range of vaccines pharmacists can administer to adults to include the dTpa and MMR.

Meanwhile, a new report found that the penalty rates cuts aren’t opening up new jobs and have been ‘devastating’ for staff in affected industries; the post-upschedule codeine shortage is finally starting to resolve; and police have alerted pharmacists to increased shoplifting of products containing pseudoephedrine.

Controversy reigned when it comes to My Health Record, with the Guild’s David Quilty and the AMA supporting it as an end to ‘health islands’ while other stakeholders such as former AMA president Professor Kerryn Phelps continuing to express privacy concerns.

We also looked at some of the submissions to the Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry into the pharmacy sector: from Chemist Warehouse, the RACGP, Grattan Institute and several patient groups.

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  1. D.Pharm

    Quote “Meanwhile, a new report found that the penalty rates cuts aren’t opening up new jobs and have been ‘devastating’ for staff in affected industries”

    Funny that. Who remembers what Quilty said?

    “Mr Quilty said excessive penalty rates were discouraging pharmacies from opening on Sundays and public holidays.
    Many pharmacists worked by themselves on weekends, or limited opening hours, because they couldn’t afford to employ staff in what was the highest cost and slowest trading day of the week.
    “Everyone loses. Patients have reduced access to their local pharmacy. Staff who want to work are not able to do so. Pharmacy businesses close their doors rather than having the opportunity to trade,’’ Mr Quilty said.

    • M M

      I believe we came to a point where award rates and penalty rates belong to the past. Many pharmacists decided to be locums and charge the rate they believe is fair.

      Many pharmacies can’t find pharmacists to work fulltime and started to operate using locums.

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