World news wrapup: 16 June 2016

Stanley Almodovar III

Our weekly wrapup of pharmacy news from around the world

Orlando, Florida: Stanley Almodovar III, 23 (pictured), and Amanda Alvear, 25, have been named as two of the victims of the worst mass shooting in US history, at Pulse nightclub earlier this week. Both were pharmacy technicians.

Almodovar told Florida Today that his son was “a very happy-going kid, he was happy with who he was”.

Alvear, who was working as a pharmacy technician while working towards her nursing career, sent a Snapchat of herself at the moment the lone gunman opened fire in the club.

“People got caught in her wake,” her brother told the Orlando Sentinel. “Whatever she was doing, that’s what they were going to do and have fun doing it.”

Image: Facebook


Nelsons Bays, NZ: The Nelson Marlborough District Health Board has released a consumer alert warning that some pharmacies in the Nelsons Bays region are charging customers more for prescriptions than is allowed under their contract.

The Board is taking steps to stop the additional charging, it says.

It reminded consumers that there are normally no pharmacy charges to them for medicines prescribed for under-13s, anyone in a family that holds a Prescription Subsidy Card or repeats. In other circumstances the normal charge to customers is $5 for each medicine on the prescription.

The Board reminds consumers that “If the pharmacy asks you to pay more than this, you are entitled to ask the pharmacy why. They must explain any additional charges, and suggest ways to avoid additional charges.”

It published a list of the pharmacies who were charging customers more.

Radio NZ reports that pharmacies claim the extra charges were added because the District Health Board “had failed to address under-funding of medicine margins” and they needed to avoid being out of pocket themselves.


Baltimore, Maryland: A pharmacy which served customers through a broken window during the Baltimore riots has been given a Storefront Improvement Grant to revitalise the business, which is still struggling after the events of last April.

CBS Local Baltimore reported that Governor Larry Hogan visited pharmacist Marisha McCoy to present her with a governor’s official coin, which “We hardly ever give out. There will only a couple people who have them. But it’s presented for excellence,” said Governor Hogan.

McCoy described to the station how when the Breathe 4 Sure pharmacy Solutions store was looted and vandalised, and much of its inventory stolen, the staff boarded up the doors after the front door was destroyed.

She showed Hogan the broken window through which she served customers.

“And I would just slide the window up and pray nobody got, you know,” said McCoy, pointing to a sharp area on the window. “But it worked out really well, and we were able to service the 100 customers that we had, and they stayed with us.”


UK: The chief executive of UK pharmacy union Pharmacy Voice has told Chemist + Druggist that pharmacists should feel confident in the value of Medicines Use Reviews.

MURs attracted controversy recently when it was alleged that Boots was encouraging employees to aim for 400 MURs a year per pharmacy, the allowable maximum.

“We should feel confident that done right, they work,” Darracott told C+D.

“Clearly MURs will be considered as part of the government’s clinical services review and some of the publicity over recent weeks means we have got some things to think about.”

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