World news wrapup: 7 September 2017

Sacked for poo delivery; pharmacist killed by grenade in Kenya; UK pharmacy rolls out virtual GP consult

Limerick, Ireland: A medicines delivery driver has had his unfair dismissal application knocked back after he was fired for delivering faeces to a pharmacy.

John Flood had filed an unfair dismissal action against Limerick Pharma Logistics, the Irish Independent reports, but the Employment Appeals Tribunal found firing him was an appropriate sanction.

In April 2014, Mr Flood, who said he suffered from colitis which had believed was under control, had become unable to control his bowel movements after making a delivery in Kildorney, north Cork. He defecated into a hard plastic container in the back of his van, which was normally used by pharmacy suppliers to deliver drugs.

He planned to deal with the contents after his series of deliveries, but forgot about it and left it in the van until his next run that evening – after which he accidentally delivered it to a pharmacy in Limerick.

The pharmacy’s staff contacted the supplier’s operations manager to complain about the “unpleasant smell”.

This pharmacy was the supplier’s biggest customer.

Mr Flood was suspended without pay and sacked after an investigation.


Isiolo, Kenya: A pharmacist has been killed by a hand grenade after the explosive was brought into his pharmacy for identification.

A herdsman named Sare Deko said that he had taken a “strange object” from some children, reports Standard Media.

He brought the grenade to the pharmacy at Skot Market, a livestock market yard built by USAid, to ask the pharmacy’s owner, Mahat Abdi Daware, what it was.

The grenade exploded in the pharmacist’s hands. He was taken to hospital but died from his injuries. Mr Deko and a customer were also injured.

“Saturday was a market day and the place was crowded with many people. It would have been catastrophic if the grenade had exploded in a crowded area,” Garba-Tula Deputy County Commissioner Kipchumba Rutto told Standard Media.


Cambridge, UK: A Cambridge pharmacy has piloted a virtual GP service and plans to roll out the service to all its branches by the end of 2017.

The Pharmaceutical Journal reports that Fitzwilliam Pharmacy – one of the UK’s oldest pharmacies – piloted the “MedicSpot” system which allowed patients to access a virtual GP consultation via a laptop in the store.

Pharmacy superintendent pharmacist and managing director Gurvinder Singh Sabharwal says feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

“The virtual GP terminal allows our pharmacy to provide even more added value to our local community as well as provide a one-stop solution for our patients’ health and wellbeing needs,” he says.

“With all the recent NHS pharmacy cuts, we have to ensure that we continue to innovate and provide better and more efficient services than ever before from our community pharmacies.”


Auckland, New Zealand: Pharmacies in Auckland have been alerted to a scam where they may be offered a free delivery of prescription drugs, Pharmacy Today warns.

ProPharma, a New Zealand wholesaler, warned that it was aware of at least two pharmacies in the town which had been phoned and offered a delivery that “if true, would break the speed record from India”.

Pharmacy Today says that the time frame offered – one or two days – is not possible as a flight from India would take at least 15 hours.

The calls are professional-sounding and persistent, and make claims that other Auckland pharmacies are existing customers, says ProPharma general manager Anthony Aitken.

“Supply of pharmaceuticals direct to pharmacy in New Zealand is illegal unless they have the appropriate wholesale license and Medsafe approvals,” ProPharma says.

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