World news wrapup: 17 November 2016

scissors cutting british pounds

We take a look at pharmacy news from around the world

South-east England: NHS funding to pharmacies is likely to influence greater consolidation in the sector, Chemist + Druggist reports.

Pharmacy group Paydens acquired the SG Pharmacy Group, which has stores predominantly in Kent, Sussex and Surrey, for an undisclosed amount earlier this month, bringing the Paydens chain to a total of 129 pharmacies in England’s south, plus a pharmaceutical wholesaler ad small care home group.

According to Michael Jewell, a partner at London Cavendish Corporate Finance, which advised Paydens throughout the move, “further consolidation” is likely in pharmacy as the sector loses its funding.

The firm says increased competition among pharmacy groups, as well as the slashing of funding to pharmacy from next month, is encouraging mergers and acquisitions.


Panama City, Panama: A man propositioned pharmacy staff and attempted to trade drugs for his sunglasses before being asked to leave a Panama City pharmacy, the Panama News Herald reports.

The man went to the pharmacy and asked to borrow a lighter, he later told police. He then attempted to buy medicine with his sunglasses, asked the pharmacy staff if any of them would have sex with him for $3, and asked a cashier on a date.

The man was asked to leave and later told attending police that he had been thrown out because the staff were “haters”.


Wanaka, New Zealand: A Wanaka pharmacist who has described himself as a “conscientious objector” to joining the New Zealand Pharmaceutical Society has been censured after he practised for nearly two months in 2015 without a practising certificate. reports that Aaron Heath, who has a long-standing “rooted objection” to joining the Society, was subject to disciplinary charges by the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand after he did not apply for his certificate in a timely fashion, by 1 April 2015.

He had applied via email instead of the required hard copy, two hours before his certificate expired at midnight. The application was incomplete in relation to compliance with Society requirements and was rejected. He eventually had it issued on May 22.

This was the third time Heath had not applied for his certificate in time; on the second occasion, in 2014, the Council warned Heath that he was now required to participate in the council-approved NZ PSA recertification program.

Heath objected to the cost of the recertification program and said he considered it as “nothing more than a mechanism for the Society to drive an increase in its membership”.

Eventually his legal counsel advised him to “pull his head in and join the Society”.

Heath was fined NZ$1,250 and ordered to pay costs of almost NZ$11,000.


Framingham, Massachusetts: The majority owner of a New England pharmacy which was linked to a fatal outbreak of fungal meningitis has escaped jail for illegally withdrawing over US$120,000 from bank accounts.

Carla Conigliaro, owner of the New England Compounding Centre, and her husband Dennis were accused of withdrawing US$124,000 from their accounts, just as authorities linked the pharmacy to the outbreak.

The Boston Globe reports that 64 patients died and hundreds more became ill after they consumed contaminated steroids manufactured at the centre.

Another co-owner of New England Compounding Centre, former head pharmacist Barry Cadden, and supervisory pharmacist Glenn Chin are set to be tried for racketeering and second-degree murder in seven states from January.

The Conigliaros were not prosecuted for their actions at the pharmacy, but for withdrawing the cash so as to avoid their reporting requirements. Carla Conigliaro was fined US$4,500 and sentenced to a year’s probation, and Dennis US$55,000 and two years probation.

The Framingham pharmacy is now closed.

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