World news wrapup: 14 June 2018

Image courtesy medsEXPERT Pharmacy

Canada’s LGBTQ pharmacy launches safer sex campaign; month-old New Zealand baby given methadone; pharmacy funding in the UK

Toronto, Canada: medsEXPERT Pharmacy, which lays claim to being “Canada’s only LGBTQ pharmacy” has launched its own sexual health campaign to encourage safer sex and reduce stigma.

New Now Next reports that the campaign is called “Know Yourself – Know Your Health” and stars a young man with a number of sexual partners, who also has a script for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP).

“There is still a lot of stigma out there around the sex gay men have, it’s not always easy to find friendly or knowledgeable doctors and healthcare providers for LGBTQ+ folks,” medsEXPERT owner and pharmacist Michael Fanous said.

“Through this campaign, medsEXPERT wants to acknowledge the sex that men have and for all of us to be proud of who we are. Gay, bisexual, and queer men should not feel ashamed, guilty, or judged because of the sex they are having.”

The ad encourages men to “ask real questions” and “get expert advice” on their health.


Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand: A month-old baby is recovering after being given methadone by a community pharmacy, reports the NZ Herald.

The baby was reportedly given the methadone by error, instead of their prescribed medicine, by a Hawke’s Bay pharmacy.

A spokesperson for the Hawke’s bay District Health Board told the Herald that the baby was being treated in the Special Care Baby Unit.

“Clinicians are confident the baby will make a full recovery,” she said.

“The parents are with the baby, and are grateful for the support and clinical care they have received since arriving at Hawke’s Bay Hospital.”

Pharmacy Council chairman Mark Bedford said that “Unfortunately human error does happen but you can be rest assured that there are very robust processes in place.”


Northern Ireland: An £8.8 million (AUD$15.54 million) funding boost has been given to GP services in Northern Ireland – and more than half will be spent on pharmacists.

Just over half the money will go towards the Practice Based Pharmacist scheme, which is expected to see almost 200 pharmacists placed in GP surgeries, reports Belfast Live.

“he £8.8million announced today includes £4.54million for the Practice Based Pharmacist scheme, which is freeing up GP time and together with community pharmacy is helping ensure the safe and effective use of medicines for better patient care,” a Department of Health spokesperson said.

“By the end of the year, there will be close to 200 pharmacists working across practices in Northern Ireland.”


UK: The UK’s pharmacy minister has admitted that more than £23.5 million (AUD$41 million) earmarked for the pharmacy sector has been spent on other areas of the NHS, reports Chemist + Druggist.

In May 2016 £300m was set aside in a Pharmacy Integration Fund, which was intended to be spent over the next five years in order to change the way pharmacy operates under the NHS. Of this, £42m was planned to be spent in 2016-18.

However the Pharmacy Minister, Steve Brine, has now responded to a written question by Labour MP Julie Cooper by admitting that only £210,000 of the money was actually spent on initiatives for integrating pharmacy within the NHS.

More than £1.7m in 2016-17 and nearly £21.8m was “appropriated” to other parts of the NHS, Mr Brine said.

C+D points out that this outcome was predicted by England’s chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge, who in 2017 said it was unlikely pharmacy would get the funds on time.

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