World news wrapup: 1 December 2016

The latest pharmacy news from around the world

Berkshire, UK: UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s local pharmacy is likely to lose up to £20,000 a year under the UK’s proposed funding cuts, which are set to kick in this month – so it organised a rally to highlight the sector’s plight.

To draw attention to the predicament of his pharmacy and others throughout the country, Olivier Picard, manager of the Newdays Pharmacy in Twyford, Berkshire rallied locals to show their support for British community pharmacy, Chemist + Druggist reports.

Residents lined up inside the pharmacy and outside behind a sign stating, “This is the queue for your GP if your local pharmacy closes”.

Picard organised the rally with the local newspaper, the Maidenhead Advertiser, to help raise awareness of the funding cuts and encourage patients to lobby their MPs.

“At 10 minutes to 10 we had two people lined up, and by two minutes to 10 we had maybe 120 people,” Picard told C+D. “They all piled in.

“I think if we had a week, we could have filled the streets with patients and supporters

“People don’t want another charity shop replacing a pharmacy. They will fight to retain the good services they receive.”

Image: National Pharmacy Association



Florida, US: He became so wealthy that he bought the chateau formerly owned by movie star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in an exclusive South Florida community – but pharmacist Serge Francois’s millions were allegedly derived from fraudulent claims, the Miami Herald reports.

The owner of Atlantic Pharmacy, Francois is being held on charges of conspiring to defraud US$37 million from two health insurance networks.

Both the government programs – one for military personnel and one for government employees – paid more than US$31 million to the pharmacy after it submitted claims for medicines which were not needed or correctly prescribed, it is alleged.

An indictment from the US Attorney General’s Office says that in addition to making false statements in provider certification and re-certification documents and conspiring with an Atlantic employee to pay kickbacks to patient recruiters, Francois and his co-conspirator also committed money laundering.


Ireland: The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland, the country’s pharmacy regulator, has published a major report examining how pharmacists can best meet the needs of patients and the public into the future.

The Future Pharmacy Practice Project includes recommendations concerning how pharmacists could provide greater assistance for patients in managing their chronic diseases, as part of structured medicine management initiatives in hospitals and also in the community for patients taking multiple or complex medicines.  

The report anticipates that physical settings for services and patient care, delivered by pharmacists are also likely to evolve with changing healthcare delivery patterns and patient need.

“With an estimated 2 million visits to a pharmacy by the public per month pharmacists are the most accessed healthcare professional. We believe that maximising this regular contact would assist the implementation of the national health and wellbeing strategy by enabling pharmacists to support patients, protect and improve their health,” says Dr Ann Frankish, PSI President.

The new roles for pharmacists that are recommended in the latest report would see pharmacists:

  • Contributing to health and wellbeing initiatives through structured population health information and awareness campaigns and preventative medicine to support the maintenance and improvement of the health of the public;
  • Providing expertise in assisting patients to manage their chronic diseases and medication through structured initiatives and, where appropriate, through supplementary prescribing in collaboration with a patient’s GP;
  • Managing medicines throughout the patient care pathway via structured initiatives such as medication reviews for at-risk and vulnerable patients in the community and local settings e.g. nursing homes; and the greater presence of pharmacy throughout the patient pathway in acute settings, reducing prescribing errors and optimising the impact of medicines for patients.

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