World news wrapup: 15 December 2016

We take a look at pharmacy news from around the world

Madison, Wisconsin: A Madison pharmacist has appeared in court charged with the delivery of narcotics and retail theft after he used prescription drugs to pay a prostitute, the Portage Daily Register reports.

Timothy Endres appeared in court facing seven counts of delivery of narcotics.

Earlier this year a woman contacted the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office to allege that she met Endres in 2014 after advertising her services online. After initially paying her in cash, over two years he supplied her with 100 to 150 pills a week of Oxycodone, Vicodin or morphine.

However eventually he insisted that she pay him in cash for the pills, which he would leave next to the drugstore for her to collect, she said. She said she would remove the pills from the bottles and replace them with cash.

After performing an inventory detectives discovered about 9,000 morphine pills and nearly 6,500 Oxycodone pills could not be accounted for.

Endres is due in court for a preliminary hearing in January.


Letterkenny, Ireland: A woman who was studying to be a pharmacy assistant has had to terminate her studies after being burned in the face by a flame from an aerosol can.

Shauna McHugh was staying at Gallagher’s Hotel in Letterkenny and had gone to a friend’s room to charge her phone when she heard a knock on the door, the Donegal Democrat reports.

A man named Kevin Quinn was at the door. When she answered it, he sprayed an aerosol can in her face and a large flame hit her. McHugh heard laughter and swearing, and then footsteps running away.

After being arrested by Gardaí Quinn told them he and “a load of lads” had been playing with aerosols and cigarette lighters in the hotel room.

“I was just carrying on with the lads. I did not mean to hurt her,” he said. He had been drinking since 4pm and had consumed vodka and beer.

McHugh suffered a burn to the left side of cheek and her eyes were swollen.

In a victim impact statement McHugh said she had to leave her course which would have qualified her to be a pharmacy assistant, or work in the pharmaceutical industry, because it involved the use of bunsen burners. Quinn was jailed for a year.


UK: The UK’s National Pharmacy Association has given notice that it will no longer fund Pharmacy Voice, an association of trade bodies which speaks on behalf of community pharmacy contractors.

The community pharmacy sector in England is entering a crucial phase of its development, and pharmacy’s leadership structures must be fit for purpose in the time ahead, says NPA chairman Ian Strachan. He says the NPA Board has recommended a simpler structure for community pharmacy representation.

“The mission is to move community pharmacy to a position where it is secure, thriving and fulfilling its potential – against the backdrop of current government policy which threatens the opposite,” Strachan says.

Pharmacy Voice’s Rob Darracott has expressed disappointment at the decision.

Over the next year, Pharmacy Voice’s small but unique team of policy, public affairs, communications, and governance professionals will continue to work, as we have always done, on behalf of the whole of the community pharmacy sector in England to promote the value of the network and support the role frontline pharmacy teams play within an integrated health and care system.

“Regardless of how it is delivered in the future, the need for the thought leadership and sector-led development that Pharmacy Voice was established to provide, has never been more essential than it is today.”


Illinois, US: The State of Illinois is trialing a system of in-home visits by pharmacists, the Illinois News Network reports.

The Illinois Department of Aging is partnering with a Chicago-based company to offer 2000 residents in-home pharmacist visits and counselling to manage complex medication regimens.

When patients qualify for the program, a pharmacist from Chicago-based APC Corp visits them at home and counsels them on their prescriptions, including where and when to take them, as well as how the medicines make them feel.

Once a routine is set, the patients’ medication will be delivered to their door, clearly marked for ease of use.

Department of Aging Chief of Staff Matt Ryan says the goal of the program is to let elderly patients maintain their way of life in spite of complicated pill regimens.

“We’re trying to keep individuals in their homes,” Ryan says. “We want them to maintain a good quality of life.”

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