World news wrapup: 24 August 2017

The Cough Drop flavoured Kit Kat.
The Cough Drop flavoured Kit Kat. Image: Nestle Japan

Banks close pot-selling pharmacies’ accounts; cough drop flavoured Kit Kats; pharmacy key in Scotland’s health strategy

Uruguay: Pharmacies which are legally selling recreational marijuana under Uruguay’s new laws have found that banks are closing their accounts.

The pharmacies have unwittingly run afoul of international efforts to combat money laundering, reports 7 News via AFP.

Lenders including Uruguay’s state bank, Banco Republica, and Santander of Spain have explained that while marijuana may be legal in Uruguay, they must follow international expectations when it comes to providing services to pot-selling businesses.

“As a global bank with clients in various countries, we have to observe the various norms in force in those places,” a source from Santander said.

Some pharmacies are now considering ceasing their marijuana offer as a result.

While more than 10,000 users have now signed onto a register – required for them to access the drugs – around half of Uruguayans do not approve of pharmacies selling marijuana, a new survey found.


Japan: Japan is known for its wacky Kit Kat flavours, and the newest may be the most unusual yet, reports SoraNews24 – ideal for those with a sweet tooth and sore throat.

Not content with sake, soy sauce, cherry blossom or red bean paste flavours, Nestle Japan has now created Kit Kat Nodo Ame Aji: Kit Kat Cough Drop flavour.

The limited edition release contains 2.1% throat lozenge powder – made from ground throat lozenges – in each serving of the white chocolate base. This gives it a “fresh and invigorating” flavour, the company says.


Inverclyde, Scotland: The Scottish Government has released a plan to strengthen the role of hospital and community pharmacy, following the success of an extended Minor Ailment Service pilot in Inverclyde.

The Inverclyde trial extended pharmacy’s Minor Ailments Service (MAS) to anyone in the area registered with a GP, in contrast to MAS in other parts of Scotland, where it is restricted to certain patients only.

The Scottish Government’s Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Dr Rose Marie Parr launched the new strategy while visiting the pharmacy team within the GP practice at Port Glasgow Health Centre and the community pharmacy team at M&D Green Pharmacy in Port Glasgow, one of the sites where the extended Minor Ailment Service is being piloted in Inverclyde.

“Pharmacy teams in both hospital and the community already play an important role in the provision of NHS services,” Dr Parr said.

“In the community, we are making good progress in promoting local pharmacies as the first port of call for our most common healthcare needs and I want to encourage more people to see them as their initial point of care.

“Coupled with the commitment to transform hospital pharmacy services, I believe this strategy will support our ambition to deliver world class pharmaceutical care.

“The commitments and actions in this strategy will help the public and professions alike realise the true value that pharmacy can bring to our communities and daily lives.”


UK: Pharmacists employed by Lloydspharmacy may be owed hundreds of pounds each after a series of payroll errors, according to the Pharmacists’ Defence Association.

PDA recently contacted Lloydspharmacy for assurance that its members would be “paid correctly going forward, including being reimbursed for any bank charges incurred as a result of the payroll error,” it told Chemist + Druggist.

PDA surveyed 80 members and found 60% reported being paid incorrectly, with another 25% also experiencing trouble having expenses reimbursed.

“Many say they are owed hundreds of pounds by the company, with some saying the owed amounts are in the thousands,” the PDA told C+D.

According to C+D the company’s new payroll system was introduced for 4000 employees in May, followed by a “small number” of staff being paid incorrectly that month. Technical issues followed in payment processing in June.

Spokesperson for Lloydspharmacy’s parent company Celesio UK Hilary Stables told C+D that Lloydspharmacy “worked around the clock” to fix the issues.

She said the company is not aware of any staff currently out of pocket by hundreds or thousands of pounds, and is “really sorry” that the issues with its technology led to incorrect payments. Those who incur bank charges as a result will be reimbursed, she said.

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