World news wrapup: 17 August 2017

MacLeod's Pharmacy, Niagara Falls
MacLeod's Pharmacy, Niagara Falls. Image: Google

Kmart opens first telepharmacy; three more come forward in US pharmacist strip case; GP-pharmacist spat over CMs in New Zealand

Niagara Falls, New York: Three more people have made formal complaints about the conduct of Dr Robert Kendzia, a pharmacist who allegedly demanded a woman strip before he would fill her script.

Earlier this month Dr Kendzia, the owner and principal pharmacist at MacLeod’s Pharmacy, was arrested by Drug Enforcement Agency officers following a tip to police that he had forced a female customer to strip.

Dr Kendzia allegedly told the woman that he would tell other pharmacies in the area not to fill her scripts if she refused to comply. The DEA is also examining data relating to the pharmacy’s handling of narcotics, the Niagara Gazette reports.

Now, WKBW Buffalo reports that more potential victims have been in touch with law enforcement, with investigators looking into “a number of tips”. Local police believe there may be yet more victims who have not reached out to authorities.


New Zealand: The New Zealand Medical Association has attacked pharmacists over the supply of complementary and alternative medicine, reports Pharmacy Today, complaining that the Pharmacy Council’s revised code of ethics was not strengthened on the issue.

Doctors are concerned that the new code and its revised version did not contain a change which would have stated it was ethical to supply CMs in pharmacy, provided customers were given enough information to make an informed decision.

The NZMA is still putting together its submission on the code, but chair Kate Baddock told Pharmacy Today that member feedback supported the view that pharmacy should not sell CMs.

The Pharmacy Council should have “zero tolerance” for such sales, she said.

Selling CMs in pharmacies “makes it seem legitimate,” she said, saying that it seemed “incongruous” that health professionals supplying medicines should gain income from selling CMs.


Des Plaines, Illinois: Kmart has opened its first telepharmacy in Illinois, reports Drug Topics, with more locations set to open up in the near future.

The Des Plaines store is currently operating as a hybrid model, but is planned to become a fully remote dispensing pharmacy soon. Currently, a clinical pharmacist remains on duty for part of each day, but between 3pm and 8pm the service is provided by an off-site Kmart pharmacist.

This pharmacist conducts quality checks and has the ability to talk to patients in the store where necessary using video chat.

According to Jennifer Speares Lehman, Kmart Pharmacy senior director of compliance and administration, the telepharmacy is running smoothly and feedback has been good.

Customers feel that it “is even more personal,” she said.

The Des Plaines site is operating as a test model, with more pharmacy conversions – another in Illinois and one each in Idaho and South Dakota – planned for the next six months, with an aim to converting more within 12 months.


The Bronx, New York: A pharmacy worker has been hailed as a hero after he interrupted an attempted rape at his pharmacy.

CBS New York reports that a 28-year-old man allegedly followed a 50-year-old woman to the Walgreens bathroom and then prevented her from leaving, attempting to remove her pants and stop her calling for help.

The unidentified worker rushed into the bathroom and stopped the alleged attacker, who fled the store but was later arrested.

Customers told CBS that the pharmacy worker was a hero.

“He’s an angel and thank god he was around,” said one.


New Caledonia: Pharmacists have called off a planned strike which was set to start this week.

According to Radio NZ, no reason has been given for the decision not to strike.

Pharmacists in New Caledonia are concerned about the Government’s failure to respect a pricing agreement negotiated between pharmacists and the Government.

The Government has now made an indexation decision which means the cost of some drugs will drop, causing financial difficulty for pharmacies.

Pharmacists have already gone on strike for a day in July to protest the decision. The second strike was planned for August to allow time for government role changes, including the appointment of a new budget minister.

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