World news wrapup: 20 May 2021

Family settles case with pharmacist who allegedly denied EpiPen to teen who died of anaphylaxis; Indian pharmacies can’t keep pace with antifungal requests; Kiwis worried about Chemist Warehouse

Dublin, Ireland: The family of a girl who died after she had an anaphylactic reaction to peanuts has settled their case against a pharmacist who allegedly refused to provide an EpiPen to help her.

Fourteen-year-old Emma Sloan had gone to a Chinese restaurant with her family days before Christmas in 2013, and accidentally consumed some of a dish which contained nuts, the Irish Times reports.

When she experienced anaphylaxis as a result, she and her family went to the Hamilton Long Allcare Pharmacy nearby to get an EpiPen, but it had been alleged that the pharmacist would not supply it because they did not have a script.

Emma Sloan subsequently died.

Her mother had sued pharmacist David Murphy and the pharmacy over the matter.

Now, she has settled the case for a reported €50,000 (AUD$78,504). There was no admission of liability.

In 2015 the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland had agreed, after a charge of poor professional conduct had been brought against the pharmacist, that he did not have a case to answer.


Delhi, India: The Indian Express reports that pharmacies are being inundated with requests for an antifungal treatment, because mucormycosis is becoming more frequent among COVID-19 patients.

As COVID-19 ravages the country, more and more people are being struck down with the infection, it reports.

However pharmacies in Delhi are now reporting that they are running low on Amphotericin B.

One pharmacy in South Delhi said that every second phone call they were receiving was about the medicine.

Dr Sumit Ray, head of critical care at Holy Family Hospital, said the drug was scarce in hospitals as well.

“Anticipating greater requirement in the days to come, we asked our pharmacy to procure the drug but they’re having difficulty doing that since it’s in short supply,” he said.


Blenheim, New Zealand: Independent pharmacies are worried about the likely arrival of a Chemist Warehouse, saying that job advertising in the region by the discount giant has them concerned.

Stuff reports that while the discounter has not confirmed that a store opening is imminent, it has been advertising for store workers, pharmacy assistants and dispensary technicians on the Jora website.

While Chemist Warehouse has told Stuff that it is not ready to release information about the potential new opening, a sign worker outside the rumoured Springlands location said that the Australian banner group would be moving in soon.

Christopher Furness, manager of the Marlborough UFS pharmacy, said that if the discounter were to open, there would be an impact on patients.

“I think one of the strengths that the pharmacies in Blenheim have, is the really high quality relationships between the pharmacy staff and their customers,” Mr Furness said.

“It isn’t just about dishing out the medicine, it’s about talking to them [customers], and helping them.

“That sort of service will go, when you’ve only got a couple of big pharmacies which is where it’s heading.”

Meanwhile owner of the Life Pharmacy Blenheim Kath Potts said that waiving the NZ$5 (AUD$4.64) script fee would not be sustainable for independent pharmacies.

“Obviously it’s about wanting to take care of your patients, and money will sway some people to go there,” she said.

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