Welcome to the May 2013 edition of i2P - Information to pharmacists.
Economic turbulence seems to now be arriving in Australia with forecasts of high inflation rates, which also means high interest rates following on.
This type of economic forecast also means that banks will be more fractious with their borrowers. They are already offside with pharmacy due to the high level of bankruptcies over the past two years.
There is a pent up demand for a general wage increase for pharmacists impacting at a point in this month where pharmacy gross profit generally, is in decline.
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Regular weekly updates that supplement the regular monthly homepage edition of i2P.
Access and click on the title links that are illustrated.
Editor's Note: i2P is preparing a series of articles about pharmacy design internationally which are the work of Italian architect designers Sartoretto Verna.
This is a rapidly growing family business that has global intentions.
Australia is in their marketing sights and i2P is helping to introduce them to Australian pharmacists.
Australian pharmacies are badly in need of renewal. Their marketing plans appear to be dated and do not show a sense of direction.
Of course, that is a generalisation but without a forward-looking marketing plan it is almost impossible to design a pharmacy that reflects your vision.
This article was compiled by Peter Krasenstein.
It was tempting to entitle this “Often we can’t see the forest for the trees” but that isn’t the key issue,it’s important but not the key.
As someone with more than 40 years invested in pharmacy and having been fortunate enough to build and sell several highly successful pharmacy businesses, let me start by saying I’m committed to supporting this industry and helping it overcome the many challenges it confronts on a daily basis.
I’m a Director of PharmaChoice and I wouldn’t be if I didn’t believe it could truly bring an enormous positive change to the industry. It is and it will. It hasn’t even been launched publicly and it already is,so powerful is the opportunity, but let me put all that to one side because this isn’t an advertisement.
The disclaimer first.
My daughter recently moved to Melbourne for her tertiary studies.
It was important she found a part-time job to help pay the bills.
We were delighted when she rang to tell us she had a job as a waitress in a cafe not far from her campus.
She seemed to be really enjoying the work and her new work colleagues.
A few weeks later, we visited the cafe with her when down in Melbourne.
The owner told us our daughter was a hard worker and she was happy to have her on her team.
We were surprised then when, just a few weeks after that, our daughter rang to tell us she had been fired.
A misunderstanding by her boss, and our daughter held her ground.
The next time she turned up for work she was told there was no job for her anymore.
It was only after this we learned that her weekly pay had been in cash and there was never any superannuation, no weekend loadings, nothing.
I know first-hand how people can be abused by immoral employees.
Greetings from Istanbul, Turkey.
Be assured, the perspectives of the global economy and national business marketplaces from the only country which spans the European and Asian continents are strikingly similar to those from Australia.
Here is a timely message. Inflation comes in many guises. The typical bellwether measure is the Consumer Price Index.
Many people have been comforted by the tepid nature of the CPI in Australia and in the largest economies around the world, during the past 3 years. This has contributed to the continuing “siren” calls for lower interest rates.
House prices in Australia have been relatively stable in recent times, demand for new homes fluky and confidence levels exhibit a very brittle nature.
Critical analysis of available data casts a different hue on the Australian national and global economies.
Prevailing low interest rates are stimulatory and notwithstanding static if not sluggish economic activity we currently operate in an artificial marketplace.
I’ve recently had the privilege of speaking to first year pharmacy students.
Speaking to students reminded me as to how easily forgotten is the anticipation and excitement of starting a degree with which a career can be a stepping stone to contributing to society.
I can’t remember being addressed by anybody other than the academic staff when I was in that position so long ago.
I was just a boy from the bush, fresh out of boarding school, and mesmerised by the big City.
The only pharmacist I knew was the jolly bloke who owned a shop in the small country town near which I lived!
A few years’ ago, $35 per hour seemed to be a standard wage in metropolitan Melbourne for a pharmacist. The findings of the APESMA Remuneration Survey 2012 would suggest that the average wage of a Community Pharmacist in Australia was $35.55 per hour ($38 per hour for an experienced pharmacist).
This isn’t my experience in 2013 when talking to pharmacists on the high street. There appears to be an “Underclass” of Community Pharmacists for whom “above award” means $24 to $27 per hour and who see the prospect of $30 per hour as improbable any time soon.
I have read with interest, Peter Feros’ reply to Joe Conway’s recent article (Countdown to Supermarket Pharmacies-Advantages & Disadvantages) located in the comments section at the foot of the article.
I would encourage readers to read and digest it as Peter’s research suggests the assumption that big dispensaries are more efficient is wrong. In fact it would appear that smaller dispensaries could be more efficient than larger ones?
Editor's Note: "Pharmacy Funding Governance Lacking" is the title of an article written by Carol Bennet, the CEO of the Consumer Health Forum.
It was first published in Public Administration Today, edition 34, April-June 2013.
The voice of consumers is not heard very loudly in pharmacy media, but i2P thought that this article was important for pharmacists to be aware of.
Consumer representatives are not always engaged in health decisions- but they should be.
If pharmacists wish to expand into health services, or improve their health offering, who better to talk with at all development stages than the Consumer Health Forum.
After all, they do represent the patients that we wish to develop a dialogue with.
National Volunteering Week is coming up in Australia from 13th to 19th May 2013.
According to the Volunteering Australia website www.volunteeringaustralia.org over 6 million Australians are volunteers.
An Australian Bureau of Statistics survey defined a volunteer as someone who in the previous 12 months willingly gave unpaid help in the form of time, service or skills through an organisation or group.
Whoever concluded we are direct descendants of apes must have missed Solomon’s advice about considering ants. Seriously, nonhuman primates travel light. More like ants, we humans spend our days schlepping stuff around.
We pack suitcases and briefcases, pull them through airports, stow them overhead, and drag them to taxi stands, hotel rooms, meetings, and back home. We push carts through stores, fill them with goods, and scan their UPC codes at self-checkouts while placing them in reusable bags—which we already hauled into the market—as they rest on scales that keep us honest. We pack our purchases in SUVs, drive home, pull them out, and take them in.
Then take stuff out to the trash, the garage, a Shurgard unit, the Goodwill, and pick up more stuff on the way home. We are closer in appearance to chimps, but I’d say our daily activities more closely resemble ants.
Look along the shelves at your local pharmacy and you will undoubtedly see the term 'Detox' written on several of their products.
These may include pills, patches, foot baths or dietary products. With so many nasty man-made and poisonous natural chemicals floating about that can make us sick,
it seems a great idea to periodically clean them out of our system.
Is this possible and what 'toxins' are they talking about?
One day an entrepreneur took his young sales manager up to a magnificent estate overlooking a beautiful river. He then took him up on the highest peak on the property, put his arm around him and pointed down and said: "Look at that stunning home and gorgeous swimming pool! How do you like those fabulous tennis courts? Take a look at those beautiful horses in the stable. Now all I want you to do is continue to meet the high standards and goals I've set for you and someday, son . . . someday all this will be mine."
A Senate report released today highlights the problems behind the Pharmacy Guild’s exclusive power and the way they use their weight to bully others for its own mistakes. CEO of Australia’s union of pharmacists, Professional Pharmacists Australia, Chris Walton, said the Guild should be working with other groups to identify and fix funding issues, not starting a public spat with people who represent the customers we all rely on for a profitable industry.
Australian pharmacists have issued concerns about apparent plans revealed by Liberal leader Tony Abbott to “back” applications from groups like the Pharmacy Guild to remove the penalty rates paid to pharmacists for working outside normal business hours.
Australia’s union of pharmacists, Professional Pharmacists Australia has called on all political parties to support the existing penalty rate system.
Australian scientists are much closer to developing a screening test for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease.
They identified blood-based biological markers that are associated with the build up of a toxic protein in the brain which occurs years before symptoms appear and irreversible brain damage has occurred.
By studying what happens in the normal brain when neurons fire, Australian scientists have been able to identify a finely and dynamically regulated process. They also describe how dysfunction of this process is associated with schizophrenia.
The Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) is pleased to announce that Meridian Lawyers will be supporting their work through the role of Honorary Solicitor for PSS.
Meridian Lawyers is a boutique law firm that focuses on the areas of insurance, health, commercial and employment law coupled with a specialist commercial litigation and dispute resolution practice.
In particular Meridian Lawyers is widely recognised as the leading pharmacy law practice in Australia acting for literally hundreds of pharmacists throughout the country and being a principal legal advisor to the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, a number of their state branches as well as a number of the pharmacy educator institutes.
The following hews item appeared recently in Pharmacy News. It caught my eye because it was one of the few sensible comments I have seen regarding the marketing of pharmacy services.
i2P has been investigating pharmacy services in pharmacy for a very long time, so I asked Mark Coleman to deliver a critique on the basics of the comments made by Sarah McInerney within the article.
Mark's comments appear below the article extract.