Another UK pharmacist lost to COVID; teenager creates naloxone auto-injector; fake degrees appeal dismissed
Dagenham, England: The UK has lost another pharmacist to COVID-19, Navin Shantilal Talati, who was the founder of Talati Chemist in Dagenham, Essex.
Mr Talati, 80, had been named Essex Pharmacist of the Year in 1987 and 1991, the Pharmaceutical Journal reports.
According to Mr Talati’s son Minesh, his father had redesigned the blister packs used in residential aged care in the 1980s, thus reducing errors.
Paul Bennett, chief executive of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society – of which Mr Talati had been a member for 46 years – said that “Navin Talati spent his career supporting members of the public and his patients”.
“His loss is not only a tragedy for his family, friends and colleagues, but also for all the patients he helped during his career.”
The Journal also reports that Jermaine Wright, a senior pharmacy technician at Hammersmith Hospital in London, had also died from COVID-19.
Chief Pharmacist at the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust Ann Mounsey said in a statement that Mr Wright had “Helped save countless lives”.
Bahamas: Thirteen pharmacists who had obtained their degree from an unaccredited institution have failed in their bid to have their licenses renewed.
Between 2006 and 2011, the 13 had received bachelor’s degrees in pharmacy from the McHari Institute, and all but one later acquired a master’s degree in clinical pharmacy there.
However, after the Bahamas Pharmacy Council took oversight of pharmacy and pharmacy technician registration in the Bahamas in 2009, it investigated the McHari Institute’s credentials and declared that it was “not an accredited institution for the purposes of licensing professionals under the Pharmacy Act,” reports Farrah Johnson for The Tribune.
At a 2017 meeting the Council decided the graduates would have to have their degrees assessed to determine whether they were equivalent to those from an accredited institution, and the degree-holders would be granted provisional licenses.
They appealed on the grounds that there had been an error in 2010 in declaring that McHari was not an accredited university.
This appeal has now been dismissed, with justices noting that, “The duty of the (Pharmacy) Council is to register persons who meet the educational requirements. The failure of registered pharmacists to meet these competencies and educational requirements may expose the public to a reduction in quality pharmacy care and increase the possibility of medication errors.”
Alert Bay, British Columbia: Devising a self-administering naloxone injection has seen Alert Bay teenager Lyra Fletcher make the finals of a Youth Innovation Showcase.
Victoria News writes that Ms Fletcher created an injector which is designed to be worn on the user’s upper arm.
Her research had shown that two-thirds of opioid-related overdose deaths occur when the person is alone, which makes it impossible for the current naloxone formats – injection and nasal spray – to be administered.
Ms Fletcher’s design measure oxygen saturation levels and would trigger an injection if the saturation dropped to 90% or lower, alongside text and voice alerts. The device did not win the 12 to 15-year-old category.
Ms Fletcher said that she was concerned about the rise in opioid-related deaths, which she had been aware of through local community channels and because her father is the area’s pharmacist.
He had explained the naloxone administration process to her, which made her concerned that people could not use it to help themselves if they were alone.
British Columbia recently recorded its highest number of fatal overdoses, with 170 deaths in a month.
Islamabad, Pakistan: Pharmacists are concerned that authorities are readying for a 50% jump in the price of medicines, reports The News.
Pakistan Young Pharmacist Association general secretary Dr Furqan Ibrahim has written to the chief justice saying that the potential price increase would not address current issues with the price of listed medicines, which is causing difficulty for patients.
Mr Ibrahim was concerned that a current drug shortage could have been manufactured as a way to drum up support for a price increase.
He said that around 20,000 non-essential medicines, including herbal medicines and cosmetics, are currently being sold without fixed prices, meaning they are selling at prices up to 50 times higher than registered products. This lack of regulation also applied to medicines and devices imported from India, he said.
The PYPA is calling for the price increase to be blocked and drug prices reduced to 2013 levels, as well as the immediate seizure of imported medicines.