Top ten - the political year that was

10. Curious ­commercial pharma deals

THE Pharmacy Guild of Australia hit the headlines in recent months following the announcement of a partnership agreement that was to see its member pharmacies spruiking the Blackmores Companion range of supplements when completing customer prescriptions. 

The commercial arrangement was scrapped almost before it left the blocks following uproar over comments from Blackmores CEO Christine Holgate that the deal gave pharmacists the opportunity to provide “Coke and fries” with prescription medications. The resulting furore also saw the guild’s ‘gold cross’ endorsement removed from the product packaging.

Within weeks the guild found itself once again in the spotlight, with the TGA requesting it ‘please explain’ a deal that included pharmacists being paid a small fee by Pfizer to recommend eligible sign-ups to a compliance program for some of the