World news wrapup: 26 January 2017

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We take a look at pharmacy news from around the world

US: A new report from LinkedIn ranks pharmacy as the second-most promising job of 2017.

The report, released for the first time in 2017, ranks jobs based on median salaries, job openings and year-on-year growth, as well as their likelihood of leading to promotion or advancement within an organisation.

The top slot went to “hospitalist,” with a median base salary of US$222,000, more than 1000 job openings, and a career advancement score (out of 10) of six.

But pharmacy wasn’t far behind. The job title “pharmacist” comes with a median base salary of US$123,000, with 3,300-plus job openings (year on year growth), and a career advancement score of five.

Top skills were listed as “medication therapy management, community pharmacy, patient counselling, pharmacy automation, immunisation”.


Davao City, Philippines: New legislation is set to modernise and regulate pharmacy in the Philippines, and expand the pharmacist’s role to include immunisation, reports.

The new law will “greatly contribute in ensuring better medication care to the public,” according to the Asia Pacific Institute of Medication Management, which called it a “landmark” piece of legislation.

“If implemented to the fullest, we can expect huge positive impacts on the delivery of better healthcare especially in terms of medication service to patients,” says Leonila Ocampo, president of the APIMM.

As well as permitting pharmacists to perform vaccinations, the legislation is aimed at professionalising the pharmacy workforce with tougher rules on evaluation of pharmacy workers and pharmacy licensing.

“Pharmacy practice should be appreciated by the public as part of the health profession and this can only be possible if those in the frontline, meaning pharmacies in the patient care settings are capable of delivering professional health service and not merely act as sales people selling drugs to patients,” Ms Ocampo says.

“At present there is a significant gap between potential and actual outcome of medicines and this can be attributed to some extent to the competency of the people who are handling and dispensing the drugs.”


Canada: Pharmacists need to be more accountable and it should be mandatory for them to report errors, according to Alistair Bursey, chair of the Canadian Pharmacist Association.

Mr Bursey told CBC News that mistakes should be reported in a public database, following a case where a man suffered adverse effects after a Yellowknife pharmacist dispensed pills at 10 times the prescribed dose of metoprolol; the death of an eight-year-old after he was dispensed a muscle relaxant instead of his sleeping medication; and the death of a Nova Scotia woman after she was given five times the dose of an immune system suppressant.

Mr Bursey says the system currently in use in Nova Scotia, where such a database exists, should be rolled out across Canada.

“I think that transparency, reporting and using that knowledge, measuring it, is critical for us to continue to identify problems in the system and further education for practitioners,” he told CBC News.

He also called for implementation of e-prescribing and better support for pharmacists.


US: The American Pharmacists’ Association has urged its members to support legislation to attain pharmacist provider status recognition by writing to their political representatives.

The Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act has been reintroduced in the House of Representatives, and is hoped to enable certain Medicare beneficiaries to access pharmacists’ services in medically underserved communities.

“Passing this legislation is our top priority at APhA, and we’re totally committed to achieving access and coverage for those who need pharmacists most: America’s medically underserved,” says APhA executive vice president and CEO Thomas E. Menighan.

“Last year, our members led the way in grassroots engagement by writing more than 42,000 letters to Congress. This year, we need to double that number.

“Let’s let our patients know we support them. And let’s make sure Congress clarifies in Medicare that we are essential to the health care team.

“OF COURSE pharmacists should be included as providers. The health care team relies on effective medication use, and that means including pharmacists as essential members of the team.”

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