It’s been a busy week in community pharmacy, with Ramsay Health and residential aged care under the spotlight

First, there was regulatory news: Health Minister Greg Hunt announced changes to the location rules, which are set to come into effect on 3 October and which will give owners and patients some flexibility, he says. Regulators aim to prevent non-pharmacies from using the term “pharmacy” in their titles. And the ACCC has decided not to oppose the merger between Arrow and Apotex.

AJP broke the news that the Pharmacy Guild was taking Ramsay Health to court, with a desire to “to seek clarity over whether the ownership of Ramsay-branded pharmacies meets pharmacy ownership requirements”. Ramsay says it won’t back down, while the Small Pharmacies Group also took a swing, responding to recent remarks by Ramsay head Peter Giannopoulos that corporates could provide better services in rural areas.

There was a strong focus on residential aged care, following a report by the ABC‘s Four Corners into the failings of the system, including overuse of psychotropic drugs to manage dementia and other symptoms. A number of pharmacists including the Guild’s Trent Twomey, PSA‘s Shane Jackson and consultant pharmacist Debbie Rigby had a few thoughts about how pharmacists could help.

The TGA offered a warning to be very careful with atropine; and aspirin was under the spotlight. The issue of pharmacists in GP surgeries continues to be discussed, as does pill testing, following two deaths at a music festival. And Shadow Health Minister Catherine King said that if Labor were elected, more parties would be invited to the 7CPA negotiating table.

We looked at evidence that hospital pharmacists can prescribe to the same standard as doctors; why pharmacy owners need to get cracking now to future-proof themselves; and we looked at a new report which showed the need to break down barriers to accessing naloxone.

And a quick reminder: the CPD year is about to end! See our list of CPD offerings here, if you need to blitz through a few before September 30.