The week in review

It’s been a busy week in the pharmacy sector, with new information on drug trends, a number of health awareness days and another shot in the turf war

There was good news for pharmacy owners, as the Morrison Government announced it was bringing forward tax relief for small to medium businesses – and Labor said it would back the move. The Government also outlined the terms of reference for the Aged Care Royal Commission, which will include medication management.

World Obesity Day, with a focus on stigma and discrimination, and World Sight Day, when we heard about the difficulties vision impaired people can have with medicines packaging, were held; and the United States celebrated its very first Women Pharmacist Day. On World Mental Health Day, we heard that calls to the Pharmacists’ Support Service are increasing, and discovered how Australians are experiencing mental health.

Research highlighted the importance of pharmacists in preventing drug-drug interactions in cancer patients, including those involving complementary medicines; NDARC reported on illicit drug trends; and a review showed evidence to support statins in preventing non-CVD conditions was lacking.

We read about Australia’s first smoke-free CBD, in an initiative championed by Strathfield’s pharmacist mayor, Giulian Vaccari.

The Guild and PSA issued new guidance on absence from work certificates.

We took a look at codeine trends following the 1 February 2018 upschedule; and at the growth of natural medicines, in what public health physician Dr Ken Harvey called “a triumph of hype, celebrity endorsement and regulatory inaction over science”.

MedAdvisor is accelerating its expansion into the US market. Another GP, AMA vice president Dr Chris Zappala, fired a shot in the GP versus pharmacist turf war. And the NPSA warned again of the dangers of exclusive direct supply.

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