Bypass the AMA if Collaborative Ventures are Required for Unmet Patient Needs

It is becoming apparent that the medical profession leadership has clearly “lost the plot” in direction-setting, patient engagement and collaborative health when you analyse statements attributable to AMA leaders at their recent national conference.
Cries that GP’s feel “under assault” through pharmacists encroaching into “their” territory of vaccinations and sick certificates, with no mention of better patient engagement, better health system delivery or better collaboration between health modalities, were featured (and not featured for the positives) during the national conference.

But there’s more!
They also passed a resolution that doctors should not dispense for profit!
My query?
What were they doing in that space in the first place, which clearly generates a conflict of interest no matter which way you view it!
The resolution seems to portray GP’s as “pure as the driven snow” through the stance of taking the high moral ground.
But it did not ban dispensing at all, only the derived profit.
And that could easily be hidden through overseas tax shelters and backdoor payments.

The lessons from history repeatedly tell the story of dictators, when they suffer a plunge in esteem from their subjects, set up a distraction, such as creating warfare with a peaceful neighbour-country. 
The AMA certainly has demonstrated dictatorial tendencies, believing it can interfere with any other health modality, and it has certainly declared war on pharmacy as an unnecessary and unwarranted distraction (for pharmacists).
Medical profession claims as to be the lead profession in health have lost all validity, because they are empty claims.

And no doubt there are quite a few AMA members expressing bewilderment as they grapple with the coalface problems of holding a GP practice together while simultaneously worrying about how to coexist with the local community pharmacies and other health modalities.
It must be both isolating and destabilising for them, because they know in their heart that this is poor medicine practice.

Part of the problem is that the medical profession have been “captured” by global pharma companies and they can only see patented medicine solutions marketed through manipulated, often fraudulent, evidence.

Patients are not silly.
They simply march with their feet to a health provider who fills their needs more appropriately.
They know, as we pharmacists already know, that mainstream medicine causes more problems than its purported benefits
More often than not the health provider a patient defects to, will be involved in natural health.
And sales of natural (and safe) medicines have soared in recent years.
Statistics show that 70 percent of Australians use some form of natural medicine at least once a year.
Pharmacists recognise that they are in the business of responding to the health needs of their patients and that the best business model for community pharmacy is an integrated version.
Pharmacists also recognise that the health literacy levels have risen in the patient population and that the level of self care is rising because of that.
Often, their requested needs may not be recommended by a pharmacist, but as long as the product is safe and accompanied with adequate information, the choice remains with the patient.

So that brings me to another comment circulating at the national AMA conference and following:
As the AMA we consistently highlight the conflicts of interest of pharmacists who sell a wide range of therapeutic (and other) products to consumers.”
That statement shows a complete misunderstanding of how a pharmacy practice is run and arises either from ignorance or a dictatorial vision of disrupting a pharmacy practice for other ulterior motives e.g. that most of the products alluded to would not fit into a global pharma marketing plan and the medical profession paymasters cannot be refused.

With the negative attitudes entrenched in medical leadership positions, it is basically a rudderless ship if you wish to develop a respectful and professional relationship with a local GP.
This means that if a collaboration is desired to fill an unmet need, then it needs to be organised at the local level through an individual and respectful, personal professional approach that benefits both parties.

i2P wrote of such a relationship in its last edition.
What follows is a link to the article through its title, and a brief introduction follows.
For those who have not read this article please take the time to do so.
And beyond that excerpt, we write of a similar opportunity that is progressing currently that Australian pharmacists need to be involved with.

A Sensible Community Pharmacy & GP Collaboration

“In a win for commonsense, a professional collaboration between community pharmacists and local GP’s coupled with a simultaneous solution for a major public health problem, a mutually respectful system has been piloted in the County of Staffordshire in the UK.
And patients involved in the pilot study have documented high levels of satisfaction, simply because they have been provided with an understandable system to treat a common condition, with clear boundaries and health professionals supporting each other and their patients.
And that is unusual in these days of discord and open “turf war” issues.
So what happened in Staffordshire that produced such positive results?”

In this edition in the section titled “Understanding Medical Cannabis” item #3 talks about a Canadian company called Compass Cannabis Clinics  launching its business in Australia in association with an Australian GP, Dr Teresa Towpik.
She currently operates a website that delivers formal education about medical cannabis.
It is titled Medihuana. (click on the link to go to her website).

The Australian entity will be called Compass Australia and it will be a joint venture.
The joint venture operation will also be supported with the addition of Dr. Towpik as Chief Medical Officer and a director of Compass Australia, and MediHuanna’s Managing Director Paul Bulkiewicz as a director of Compass Australia. 
Mr. Bulkiewicz brings a wealth of knowledge in cannabis education and is actively engaged in the creation of physician-focused and accredited curriculum highlighting the role of cannabis in healthcare.

Dr Towpik strongly believes in working with a network of ethical growers, manufacturers, pharmacists, and health professionals across Australia, in an effort to create an allied industry that utilizes an integrative approach to supporting patients.
Herein exists a collaborative opportunity for community pharmacists.

From the Compass Canadian website they describe the opportunity as a Cash Flow Positive Cannabis Clinic Network and they note that medicinal cannabis patients grew by more than 225% last year.
Surely that sort of shared patient increases surpasses the AMA’s so-called assault by pharmacists providing vaccination services and sick note services?

Medical cannabis services provide patient benefit at economical costs, particularly when it involves chronic illness.
But would the AMA stand up to Global Pharma pressure to not prescribe medical cannabis?

It’s doubtful, so that is why an individual local approach is required, or alternatively join up with the opportunity that Compass Australia may provide.
And pharmacist entrepreneurs may look to develop a similar or variant business model.

It’s a good direction to follow.

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