World news wrapup: 12 April 2018


Unichem Maxx Botany, Auckland. Image: Facebook
Unichem Maxx Botany, Auckland. Image: Facebook

UK safety standards unmet; pharmacist allegedly robs another pharmacy; narrow miss for patients; Kiwi pharmacy unfazed by Chemist Warehouse next door

Oakland, California: Drugstore robberies are commonplace in the US, but it’s not every day a pharmacy is robbed by another pharmacist.

The East Bay Times reports that Dr Jonathon L Szkotak, who had at the time of publication not yet been criminally charged, was arrested in connection with the armed robbery of a CVS pharmacy on San Ramon Valley Boulevard.

According to Danville police, a man wearing a surgical mask covering part of his face went to the pharmacy and handed a note demanding medicines to another pharmacist. He then showed the CVS pharmacist a gun.

Police are also investigating a similar robbery in Danville in late 2017, in which a similarly dressed man armed with a gun robbed a Walgreens pharmacy on the same block of the street.

Dr Szkotak is now also under investigation by the California State Board of Pharmacy.

 

Rockville, Maryland: Alarming CCTV footage shows that two customers were lucky not to be injured last week, when a car crashed through the front doors of the Express Pharmacy.

NBC Washington reports that a driver drove her Lexus up to the building and then hit the accelerator instead of the brake, crashing into the pharmacy and narrowly avoiding the two.

The driver then attempted to back out of the pharmacy, alarming a pedestrian and crashing through the remains of its front door. Nobody was injured.

Watch the footage here.

 

Birmingham, UK: New survey results have revealed that seven basic standards of pharmacy safety are regularly not being met, says the UK’s Pharmacists Defence Association.

The PDA says it is concerned that while pharmacies fail to meet these standards, it is pharmacists who are keeping patients safe by putting themselves into unsafe working conditions.

This places pharmacists and their careers at unreasonable levels of stress and risk, it says, calling for action to protect pharmacists, patients and taxpayers.

Around 2000 pharmacists responded to the survey, which asked them how often, in their direct recent experience, the standards detailed in their Safer Pharmacies Charter were met.

Values from one to five were assigned where 1 meant “none of the time” and 5 meant “all of the time”.

No self checking received an overall value of 3.28; safe staffing a value of 2.85; adequate rest was rated at 2.62; respect for professional judgement at 3.16; raising concerns at 2.66 and physically safe at 3.53.

“We are disappointed that we have even had to produce a charter of such basic standards, but these survey results and feedback from pharmacists shows why it was needed,” says PDA head of policy Alima Batchelor.

“Our members are passionate about patient safety however these standards are not something they can directly control, employers need to do more and the regulators need to make sure that they do.”

 

Auckland, New Zealand: Recently the AJP reported that Chemist Warehouse is set to open its second New Zealand store in the suburb of Botany – right next door to the Unichem Maxx concept store.

But the operators of the existing pharmacy are hopeful that the Chemist Warehouse move will actually benefit the Unichem Maxx business.

“I think it would be naive not to expect business would be affected but ironically in that particular location, it could well have a positive impact by bringing increased foot traffic to the area,” Green Cross Health group general manager Debbie Yardley has told the New Zealand Herald.

“Its not an unusual strategy to have a cluster of retailers in a similar sector near to each other in that retail park environment, and we’re optimistic we have a good offer,” she says.

“Chemist Warehouse are very good at creating that perception of low-cost retail in a sector that Unichem and Life Pharmacies are not necessarily known for, or looking to play in.

“That one store in Botany has always been an innovation site for us as it’s a Unichem Maxx and in such is a bit of a standalone store offering.”

Green Cross uses the existing store as a test site to look at new concepts and bulk sale offers.

Green Cross has been preparing for Chemist Warehouse’s arrival for some time, she told reporter Aimee Shaw.

“Green Cross Health sees itself as a primary healthcare provider and there’s quite a different strategy at play there.”

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