Week in review

NAPSA crowd at Pharmacy Connect 2017

Post-Pharmacy Connect and beyond, including Tamiflu shortage, scheduling woes, location rules and more

We kicked off the week by rounding up some interesting topics covered at the conference in Sydney last weekend, including women in pharmacy ownership and the Guild’s response to the King Review.

See our Facebook photo album of the event, with images courtesy of the Pharmacy Guild Qld branch here.

We also found out that Victorian regulators are set to begin stricter investigations into ‘complex’ pharmacy licence applications, targeting franchise and banner group agreements.

Speaking of banner groups, Ramsay Health Care Australia also recently lost an appeal in the High Court in a case that judges say may be the first of its kind in the country.

An increased supply of the 75mg capsule has been released, with instructions in the PI and CMI on how to prepare weaker strength suspensions from the capsules.

Meanwhile, a Victorian pharmacy has been sitting empty since January, thanks to a quirk of the location rules. The Waverley Family Healthcare centre has submitted a petition to Health Minister Greg Hunt asking him to exercise “common sense” over the decision that the pharmacy ran afoul of the location rules.

Flu hits hard: The government this week released some Tamiflu stock from the National Medical Stockpile to help bolster national supplies during worst flu season on record, with shortages occurring across the the 30mg and 45mg capsules and suspension products.

Pharmacist stress: Pharmacists are feeling like low-paid “script monkeys”, CEO of the employee pharmacists’ union PPA, Chris Walton, said this week.

His comments were part of an ongoing discussion on the results of the National Stress and Wellbeing Survey of Pharmacists, Intern Pharmacists and Pharmacy Students, which found that pharmacists as a profession are under more pressure than the average Australian, suffering stress comparable to doctors.

With so much negativity around the profession at the moment, how can early career pharmacists stay positive and look after their own mental health?

PSA Young Pharmacist of the Year and partner at the Wanniassa Capital Chemist Elise Apolloni told the AJP that it’s very important for pharmacists to take control of their own mental health.

Elise Apolloni, Partner, Capital Chemist Wanniassa

Scheduling woes: ASMI has criticised a bid to upschedule ibuprofen to pharmacy-only.

Meanwhile AMA has said it “strongly opposes” the downscheduling of medicines from S4 to S3, citing concerns with “patient safety” and the contravention of quality use of medicine principles.

Drug crisis: A Victorian pharmacist has called on his colleagues to consider offering methadone and other pharmacotherapy services.

“You hear comments: ‘we don’t want those sorts of people in our pharmacy, that’s not the image we want’,” he told the AJP.

We need to get off our high horses as pharmacists. How can we expect the public to embrace a different outcome for pharmacy if we’re too staid or too set in our ways to grow as people?”

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