World news wrapup: 9 August 2019


Pharmacist allegedly threatens doctor for hurting his business; Canadian pharmacist facing discipline over alleged door-to-door distribution of naloxone kits; woman criticises pharmacists over morning-after pill judgement

Bangalore, India: A pharmacist has been reportedly charged with assault, criminal intimidation and wrongful restraint after allegedly threatening to kill a local doctor and his family members.

The Deccan Herald reports that the doctor had opened a clinic closeby to a pharmacy, with the goal of providing treatment to the poor.

During the course of practice the doctor said he would charge his patients a nominal fee and even give them medicine.

This consequently had an impact on the business of the nearby pharmacy.

The pharmacist, who was also the pharmacy owner, allegedly entered the clinic and demanded the doctor shut down his practice.

A few weeks later, the pharmacist allegedly returned with four associates and asked the doctor to shift his clinic in two days – failing which he and his family would be murdered, the pharmacist threatened, according to the doctor’s complaint to police.

The pharmacist has reportedly been charged and summoned for further questioning.

 

Ontario, Canada: A Canadian pharmacist is facing discipline from his professional regulator over allegations he improperly handed out opioid overdose antidote kits to members of the public, reports The London Free Press.

He allegedly went door-to-door in neighbourhoods with high drug-use rates to get the kits out.

The Ontario College of Pharmacists alleges the pharmacist handed out naloxone kits between 1 Aug 2017 and 31 July 2018 without considering patients’ individual needs or the “clinical appropriateness” of supplying the drug.

The professional regulator also alleges the pharmacist allowed or directed non-pharmacist employees to give patients naloxone kits in the community and solicited patients without complying with provincial disclosure regulations.

The disciplinary action reportedly comes amid a coordinated push to make naloxone kits more publicly available in Ontario.

While the Ontario Pharmacists Association recognised the importance of boosting public awareness of naloxone, it condemned door-to-door distribution of the emergency drug.

“Naloxone is a Schedule II drug product which is only to be dispensed from a pharmacy,” vice-president and chief pharmacy officer Allan Malek said in a statement.

“This is inappropriate, unprofessional and completely inconsistent with the Ministry of Health’s protocol and with pharmacists’ professional standards of practice.”

 

Dublin, Ireland: A woman has written an article in The Irish Times sharing her negative experiences with getting the morning-after pill at various pharmacies.

Her first experience, she explains, was in an Australian pharmacy where the pharmacist “yelled across the shop” saying “Morning after pill is it? What do you want it for?”

The pharmacist ended the conversation by saying to the writer: “You know you’re not supposed to rely on this, you need to make better decisions”.

The author Brianna Parkins wrote: “I’ve bought the morning-after pill for a few reasons: because contraception failed or various medical conditions affect contraception and sometimes just to be 100 per cent sure, just in case.

“As time has gone on, I’ve felt less ashamed at standing in the queue. When I was younger, I would plan my mission for the morning-after pill like a method actor.

“What outfit would I wear to minimise disapproval from the pharmacist? If I put on matching active-wear and carry my yoga mat I’ll look a suitably responsible woman who’s got her life mostly together and maybe deserves to be let off, just this once.”

In another scenario, this time at a big chain pharmacy in Dublin, Ireland, the author said after asking for the morning-after pill, she “noticed the whispering between assistants” and the “see-through consultation box of shame” and was forced to fill out a form with her name and address.

“I baulked at the idea of having that information available to a nosy employee. What is it like for women in rural Irish towns? Or teenagers? Don’t get me started on the price,” wrote Ms Parkins.

“One friend earned a harsh word from her regular pharmacist for coming in just one too many times for the pill. She was in an abusive relationship with a man who was restricting access to regular contraception.”

Ms Parkins called on pharmacists to make it easier and be kinder to people who need access to emergency contraception.

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