World news wrapup: 24 January 2019

Syrian pharmacist murdered in Germany; pharmacist fatally shoots alleged would-be robber, CVS and Walmart reach a deal

Hamburg, Germany: A pharmacist and political activist has died after being attacked with a weapon suspected to be an axe.

Mohamed Joune, a pharmacist and longterm German resident who owned a number of properties in Hamburg’s south, was the leader of a non-profit organisation which helps support victims of the Syrian war.

The organisation, the Union of Syrians Abroad, aims to help Syrians – particularly women and children – both within Syria itself and in nearby countries, reports The Guardian.

Mr Joune had been working as a pharmacist in Germany for some time and also worked to support refugees’ integration into Germany.

A friend told The Guardian that Mr Joune was probably attacked due to these political activities, possibly because he had been suggesting a demonstration on the anniversary of Syria’s uprising against Assad.

Mr Joune was transported to hospital after the attack, which left him suffering a severe head wound and a hand injury, but died soon afterwards.


Luling, Louisiana: A pharmacist has shot and killed a man who was allegedly attempting to rob a pharmacy in Luling, reports the New Orleans Advocate.

Police say the man, Mark Fisher, went to rob the Thrift Village Drug Store, armed with a handgun.

He allegedly told the pharmacist he wanted drugs, and during the altercation that followed, the pharmacist took out a gun and shot the man.

The alleged robber ran away, but collapsed behind the strip shopping centre and died.

While the pharmacist’s actions have been described as justified, it is not known at this stage whether the pharmacist will face any charges.


US: Walmart and CVS have reportedly worked out a solution to their dispute, in which CVS had announced that Walmart would no longer be part of its pharmacy benefit unit network.

The two organisations had clashed over how much the pharmacy benefit manager would pay for scripts to be filled in Walmart pharmacies.

If no solution had been found, more than 50 million CVS Caremark commercial and Medicaid insurance plan members would have been able to be reimbursed for getting their scripts dispensed at Walmart dispensaries, reports CNBC.

While the new agreement is reportedly expected to last for several years, details have not yet been made public.


UK: PharmaTimes has reported on the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s work towards producing the country’s first Professional Standards for Community Pharmacy Services.

The standards are expected to establish best practice in community pharmacy and encourage a consistently high level of patient care.

They are aimed at providing a supportive framework for continuous improvement of care, and to date have involved consultation with a number of stakeholders, including community pharmacists, patients and the public.

“This is a genuinely exciting project which help drive quality and enable teams to know what they are aiming for, and that they are doing the right thing. We all need to know what good looks like so we can aim high,” says RPS director of pharmacy and member experience Robbie Turner.

“The standards will improve and shape future services, and so help with the development of new opportunities for pharmacists.  

“Organisations that use and measure themselves against professional standards are more likely to provide good care, which is ultimately what all pharmacists and patients want.”

Consultation events are set to begin on January 26 and into February, in locations including London, Glasgow and Cardiff.

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