World news wrapup: 22 November 2018


Dayna Less in Kenya. Image: Facebook
Dayna Less in Kenya. Image: Facebook

Tributes for hospital pharmacist killed in Chicago shooting; UK regulator can conduct covert surveillance; young pharmacist murdered in Saudi Arabia

Chicago, Illinois: Family and friends have paid tribute to Dayna Less, a 24-year-old pharmacy resident at Chicago’s Mercy Hospital, who was killed in a shooting at her workplace on Monday.

While at work on Monday afternoon, Ms Less walked out of a lift and into the path of a gunman who had already shot his former fiancée as well as a police officer.

Ms Less, a graduate of Purdue University, was to marry her childhood sweetheart in June, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Ms Less was a survivor of severe, migraine-like headaches which the Tribune says were the result of “nerves that had embedded themselves in her skull” and which responded to surgery. The family blogged about the headaches, which according to Ms Less’ father, Brian Less, helped other families in similar situations.

“She gave and gave and gave,” Mr Less told the Tribune. “She wanted to help people. That’s all she wanted to do. Anybody who knew her loved her.”

Ms Less had undergone work experience in Kenya and also blogged about this, outlining her interest in collaboration and teamwork between health professionals.

“We’ve remembered Dayna Less as a kind, compassionate, beautiful soul that had dedicated her life to helping others,” said Eric Barker, dean of the Purdue College of Pharmacy.

“It’s so tragic that a young person with her life in front of her has had her life ended in this senseless manner.”

 

UK: The UK’s pharmacy regulator, the General Pharmaceutical Council, is now legally permitted to conduct surveillance of pharmacists covertly, reports the Pharmaceutical Journal.

This is defined as “the covert monitoring of targets’ movements, conversations and other activities”.

The decision follows a BBC investigation in 2012 which showed that pharmacists were selling controlled drugs without prescription.

After the BBC piece was aired, the GPhC announced it planned to request the power to conduct surveillance on pharmacists of interest, and only in the most serious of circumstances.

“In appropriate cases we now have the power to use directed surveillance (for example monitoring movements or actions) but we do not have the powers to use covert human intelligence sources (for example using an informant/someone acting undercover),” said the GPhC.

“As yet, we have not yet used these new powers.”

 

Jizan, Saudi Arabia: A young Egyptian pharmacist, Ahmed Taha Hussein, has been murdered in Saudi Arabia after he refused to refund a product without a receipt.

According to the Daily News Egypt, Mr Hussein was assaulted by a Saudi citizen after the refund was refused, and the patient later returned to the pharmacy and stabbed the pharmacist seven times.

Mr Hussein was taken to hospital but was unable to be saved.

According to the News, Saudi authorities have arrested a suspect and are continuing their investigations.

The suspects is alleged to be affected by mental illness.

Mr Hussein has been remembered by friends as a “decent person” who had sought work in Saudi Arabia in a bid to help support his family.

The Egyptian Pharmacists’ Syndicate has condemned the crime.

 

Iran: New US sanctions are already having a “chilling effect” on imports of medicines, reports the Washington Post.

Due to its hopes that Iran might give up its ballistic missile program and withdraw support for groups including Hamas and Hezbollah, the Trump administration has imposed a “near-total embargo” on Iran’s economy.

A US spokesperson said that it was not the United States’ responsibility to identify safe channels for humanitarian trade.

Iranians are reportedly concerned that they may not be able to import medicines and medical equipment as a result of the sanctions.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has shared communications from European pharmaceutical companies, declaring an end to business activities in Iran, on social media.

The price of some medicines has reportedly soared, while others are now available only on the black market.

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