The week in review

Jill Hennessy announces the expanded vaccination program. Image: Anthony Tassone via LinkedIn
Jill Hennessy announces the expanded vaccination program. Image: Anthony Tassone via LinkedIn

It’s been a busy week, with pharmacist-GP tensions flaring again…

The week started on a high, as Victoria announced new vaccination reforms which will see pharmacists able to offer the MMR, and the PSA released new figures showing almost two-thirds of Australians want pharmacists to be able to administer more vaccines.

But doctors promptly lashed out at the idea, with AMA president Dr Tony Bartone citing fragmentation of care and “less than perfect outcomes”. And frequent critic of the pharmacy profession Dr Evan Ackermann weighed in to suggest that “Coke and fries” were back, claiming that a “McPharmacy” approach for vaccination was an excuse for pharmacists to sell complementary medicines.

Pharmacists in collaboration with GPs are the subject of our current poll… tell us what you think of non-dispensing pharmacists working in GP surgeries here.

And we also looked at whether there’s an imbalance of power between doctors and pharmacists that causes harm to patients.

Meanwhile in Canberra, ACT legislators are considering whether pharmacists who do not want to provide certain products should be required to put up signage outlining their conscientious objection; and pharmacist politician Emma McBride hit out at plans to drug test welfare recipients, drawing on her years of experience helping people with substance dependency.

We foreshadowed the ACCC hearing into Ramsay Health Care, which is expected to begin this month. We took a look at whether the push for faster approval of drugs is actually a benefit or a safety risk; why Australians self-medicate with cannabis; and how safe e-cigarettes are for vapers. We also examined how downscheduling sildenafil has worked in the UK, and at just how good pharmacists are at reporting ADRs… which it turns out could be better.

And congratulations to the pharmacy researchers who have gained a funding boost from the NHMRC… as well as Laura Mckinlay, who has just been named South Australia’s top pharmacy assistant, and Sally Alfieri, who won the state award for Western Australia.

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