World news wrapup: 20 October 2016


We take a look at the last week in pharmacy

Egypt: An Egyptian actress has taken a swing at one of Egypt’s top pharmacies, stating on Instagram that its nurses are not adequately qualified.

The pharmacy sends nurses to patients’ homes to perform services such as childhood vaccination, but according to Zeina (pictured), they have not actually studied medicine, Albawaba reports.

“Don’t ever try to order a nurse from that pharmacy. None of them are actually medical school graduates. And I trusted them with giving my kids shots,” Zeina said in an Instagram post which has since been deleted.

“I spoke to the general manager of the pharmacy where he told me those people they send to their customers’ home are usually trained from two weeks to a month in a special academy before they get hired. Is that enough for them to give kids shots? This is absolutely unprofessional.”

Image: Instagram


Saskatoon, Canada: A four-year-old boy was left “acting like a slobbering drunk,” after a prescription for an antipsychotic medication was incorrectly filled at 10 times the correct dose.

Sherrie Jackson-Buller told CBC News’ Go Public that her son, Adam, who has ADHD and other behavioural problems, was prescribed a 0.3mL liquid dose of risperidone, but a three millilitre dose was dispensed.

“The first time we gave Adam the dosage, about 30 minutes after, he was acting like a slobbering drunk. He couldn’t stand up, he was drooling, he couldn’t walk on his own. We had to carry him,” Jackson-Buller told Go Public.

She consulted the family doctor, who advised that these symptoms could be a temporary side-effect of the medicine; another doctor suggested that Adam was suffering from a virus.

It was not until four months later, when Jackson-Buller again sought help from one of her son’s doctors, that the error came to light.

Tammy Smitham, vice-president of external communications at Shoppers Drug Mart, said the error was an isolated incident.

“We have provided context and apologies in person and through our company customer service team,” said Smitham.

“We continue to express our sympathy and we are, as we speak, engaged with the customer to help find a suitable resolution to her concerns.”

Jackson-Buller has hired a lawyer and told Go Public she will not settle until any long-term impact on Adam’s health has been determined.


UK: Proposed cuts to the UK’s pharmacy sector remain in limbo, Chemist + Druggist reports, as a Department of Health spokesperson told the pharmacy magazine that “no final decision has been taken” on the proposed funding package.

The comments followed the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee’s rejection of the Department’s proposal to cut 12% from pharmacy funding in England for December 2016 until March 2017.

The Department of Health told C+D that it had “worked collaboratively” with PSNC.

“We are committed to offering more help to those pharmacies people most depend on‎ compared to others,” the spokesperson said.

The Department also told C+D that the government aims to “modernise the pharmacy sector”.

“That’s why we are investing £112m to deliver a further 1,500 pharmacists in general practice by 2020.”


Isle of Wight, UK: Isle of Wight pharmacist Francisco Alvarez has been named Public Health Pharmacist of the Year in the UK, the Isle of Wight News reports.

Alvarez works at Regent Pharmacy in Shanklin and is the Community Pharmacist Lead for the Primary Care Prescribing Committee at the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group. He is also Community Pharmacy Wessex Academy Lead for the Island.

The News reports that Alvarez and his team at Regent Pharmacy have “driven the public health agenda with passion, notably his role in the Pharmacy First Scheme, which enables residents to access advice and treatment for minor ailments, before visiting their GP”.

“Francisco plays a crucial role in public health on the Isle of Wight,” the judges said.

“In driving the public health agenda, Francisco and his team promotes Pharmacy First in their pharmacy, local schools, voluntary and statutory groups.”

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