World news wrapup: 13 February 2020

pounds sterling

NZ pharmacist censured after pouring petrol on neighbours; more funding woes in the UK; Chemist Warehouse eyes new market

Kāpiti, New Zealand: A pharmacist “just snapped” after years of complaining about his neighbours’ loud music, and doused them in petrol, Stuff reports.

James Scott Bowman reportedly threatened to burn down his neighbours’ house after he made repeated complaints about their speakers directing loud music into the bedrooms of his home overnight.

The complaints, to the neighbours in question as well as noise regulators, did not result in an overall reduction in the noise, and in August 2017 Mr Bowman went to the house at around midnight to make the threat.

While the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal heard that he had not intended to use the can of petrol he had brought with him when he made the threat, he left the two men splashed in petrol.

Mr Bowman was censured and ordered to undertake therapy with a clinical psychologist, after which he has been told to write a reflective written letter to the Pharmacy Council.

In criminal proceedings he had been charged with a count of common assault, and one of a threatening act.


UK: Britain’s Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee has expressed concern that more financial stress will be placed on pharmacy, thanks to the new GP contract which will see at least £1.5bn earmarked for general practice.

More pharmacies are likely to close over the four years of the contract, warns CEO Simon Dukes.

The GP contract will worsen a shortage of pharmacy staff as well as the “cost of labour, a position which seems all the more untenable given the complete refusal of the government and NHS to recognise pharmacies’ costs in delivering their ambitions set out in the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework”, Mr Dukes told Chemist+Druggist.

While there will be extra funding for pharmacy, this will not feel like good news, he said.

“Overall, we think this deal will put yet more financial stress on a sector that is in an increasingly unsustainable fiscal environment, increasing the risk that we will see further pharmacy closures happening randomly and affecting those patients who need their community pharmacists the most,” he said.


Wellington, New Zealand: With 10 stores now operating in Auckland, one in Tauranga and one in Hamilton, Chemist Warehouse is reportedly planning its first foray into another New Zealand market and considering opening a pharmacy in Lambton Quay, in capital city Wellington.

Stuff spoke to real estate agent Jim Wana, who did not offer details about the pharmacy’s development but did confirm that Lambton Quay would be the first Wellington site, with several locations being investigated.

According to Stuff, the discount giant is planning up to 70 pharmacies across the country.

NZ Retail chief executive Greg Harford said that the move to Wellington would be a positive for consumers, particularly given that discounter Bargain Chemist is already active in the city.

“They have competition, of course because of the Bargain Chemist,” Mr Harford said. 

“There will be two discount chemists slugging it out for their custom.”


Owerri, Nigeria: A pharmacist has been arrested along with his staff after the group allegedly beat a man to death after a dispute in Imo State capital Owerri.

According to, the victim, Damian Ali, attempted to park his car in front of the pharmacy in Umuguma, but an altercation between him and the store owner ensued.

The pharmacist reportedly handed himself in to police and was subsequently arrested.

State commissioner of police Olaniyi Fafowora has now ordered a full-scale investigation into the case.

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