World news wrapup: 5 April 2018

Blackburn pharmacy owner Moonira Hinglotwala, 39, has made it the semi-finals of BBC One program MasterChef.
Blackburn pharmacy owner Moonira Hinglotwala, 39, has made it the semi-finals of BBC One program MasterChef. Credit: BBC.

Walmart looking to scoop up online pharmacy start-up; addiction, anxiety leads to 20,000 stolen pills; UK pharmacist reaches MasterChef semi finals

US: Walmart is reportedly in talks to acquire online pharmacy startup PillPackCNBC reported Monday night. The deal, which would be valued at less than $1 billion, is not yet finalised.

PillPack is a start-up that helps manage prescriptions by packaging pills together and delivering them, which CBNC says is “an attractive proposition for Walmart and other e-commerce companies that are looking to enhance their health care offerings”.

Health investor Bob Kocher told CNBC that a PillPack-like experience for customers would prove beneficial to Walmart as it looks to expand its online pharmacy business. Amazon also courted the company and at one point held discussions, sources said.

Oklahoma, US: Continuing the Walmart theme, a pharmacy manager allegedly took about 20,000 pills over the course of his employment with Walmart in Chickasha, Oklahoma.

The estimated loss to Walmart from the thefts exceeded $21,299.80 according to a report from the Chickasha Police Department.

The store’s surveillance camera showed multiple incidents of the pharmacy manager taking the pills, reports The Express-Star. He allegedly admitted he altered the pharmacy’s spread sheet that records the distribution and amount of controlled substances prescribed to customers. The controlled substances that were stolen included oxycodone, hydromorphone, fentanyl,  carisoprodol and phentermine.

When the pharmacist was interviewed by authorities, he allegedly said he had an addiction that had begun many years prior when he sustained a back injury. He also said he suffered from anxiety as a result of working as a pharmacist.

The pharmacist faces charges of obtaining a controlled dangerous substance by fraud.

Saskatchewan, Canada: Pharmacists in the Saskatchewan province can now prescribe birth control and UTI medication.

According to Global News, this includes oral, transdermal (patch) or vaginal ring hormonal contraception. However this doesn’t include IUDs.

“It just allows them greater access to health care in Saskatchewan,” said the director of professional practice at the Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan, Myla Wollbaum.

“Many pharmacies have extended hours of operation so right there is increased access just because of hours.”

In 2011 the province also changed its regulations to allow for pharmacists to prescribe for minor medical conditions such as diaper rash and emergency contraception.

Blackburn, UK: Blackburn pharmacy owner Moonira Hinglotwala, 39, has reportedly made it the semi-finals of BBC One program MasterChef.

The contestants were tasked to cook an ‘outstanding’ Italian dish, and Ms Hinglotwala impressed renowned chef Theo Randall and MasterChef hosts with a vanilla and saffron panna cotta, lemon polenta cake and semolina crumb.

Theo said “The panna cotta is just unbelievable. It’s absolutely brilliant,” reports The Citizen.

Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph after the show, Moonira said: “I’m overwhelmed, excited and relieved. It was amazing to get the comments from the judges.”

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