World news wrapup: 9 March 2017

We take a look at pharmacy news from around the world

UK: 78 pharmacies applied for financial protection from the UK’s funding cuts… and all 78 have been knocked back.

Chemist + Druggist reports that 78 pharmacies have now received letters telling them that they did not meet the application criteria for protection under the Pharmacy Access Scheme.

The Scheme was designed to protect pharmacies, if they were situated a mile of more from another pharmacy by road from the “full effect” of the funding cuts, provided they were not in the top 25% of best-performing pharmacies by dispensing volume.

Meanwhile, the managing director of Lloydspharmacy’s parent company, says it can’t promise no staff will lose their jobs as a result of the cuts.

Describing the cuts to C+D as “draconian,” he said he didn’t intend to close any stores, but “won’t make any commitments” as to whether all of the company’s approximately 17,000 staff will keep their jobs.


Canada: According to a new national survey, 92% of Canadians believe pharmacists play an essential or important role in Canada’s health system.

Conducted to coincide with Pharmacist Awareness Month in Canada this March, the survey revealed a three-point increase in those saying pharmacists are essential, compared to a similar survey which took place last year.

“While pharmacists continue to have one of the strongest professional reputations in Canada, we are seeing an increasing level of awareness and trust surrounding the expanded services we are now delivering,” says Alistair Bursey, Chair of the Canadian Pharmacists Association.“This is a testament to the professional, high-quality care pharmacists continue to provide across the country.”

“This is a testament to the professional, high-quality care pharmacists continue to provide across the country.”

The survey also found that:

  • 94% of Canadians have a positive impression of pharmacists, more than doctors, teachers, military officers, or police officers.
  • Most Canadians trust pharmacists to provide advice on medicines (96%), management of common ailments (94%), healthy lifestyle changes (91%), and vaccinations (88%)—trust levels which continue to increase year-over-year since surveying began in 2015.
  • Canadians recognize the advantages of pharmacists’ expanded scope of practice. More than 4 in 5 Canadians, 82%, say allowing pharmacists to do more for patients will both improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs.
  • Most Canadians are open to visiting their pharmacy for health care services beyond filling a prescription. Nine in 10 Canadians are likely to visit a pharmacist for advice on medicines they are taking, 80% are likely to visit a pharmacist for management of common ailments like the flu or cold, and 70% say they are likely to visit a pharmacist to get a flu shot.


UK: In a joint statement, four regulatory bodies—the General Pharmaceutical Council, CQC, the General Medical Council, and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency—have reminded providers and healthcare professionals working for online primary care services that they must provide safe and effective care.

This follows revelations that one online pharmacy has closed due to providing “incompetent” clinical advice.

The statement says: “Technological advances have brought opportunities to deliver healthcare in new ways, including online primary medical services. Potentially, this innovation allows patients easier access to care and treatment when they need it.

“We share a joint commitment to ensure that the same safeguards are in place for patients whether they attend a physical consultation with their GP or seek medical advice and treatment online.

“We will continue to work closely together to share intelligence where we have concerns and take action where necessary to protect patients. We will ensure providers and clinicians are clear on their responsibilities to protect people who use their services and deliver safe, high-quality care.”


Boardman, Ohio: A pharmacist has had his license “summarily” suspended following allegations that he was mixing and administering incorrect doses of drugs to his patients.

WKBN reports that the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy advised Ernest Perrin that he would be required to turn in his license and ID card within 10 days. While suspended, he can not be employed by or work in a facility licensed by the Board.

WKBN reports that Mr Perrin started personally compounding medicines instead of relying on a technician while working at the Select Specialty Hospital Regional Pharmacy in Boardman. He admitted to compounding the drugs himself so that he did not have to add the total dose prescribed to the IV for particular dangerous drugs.

The patients in concern were high-risk patients.

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