I guess we have arrived at last!
Our professional expertise has been approved by Choice magazine – a publication which has been fairly critical of us over the years.
Even made the front page of some pharmacy newsletters.
But hold on………the tick of approval has nothing to do with our professional expertise, our role in primary care, our patient interactions of our role as supervisors of medicine use.
It’s because we sell drugs at a discount!
And that’s their headline, not mine.
Choice examines the price discrepancies around painkillers, sinus medications, cough cold and flu, hayfever treatments, heartburn or reflux, diarrhoea and low-dose aspirin.
Is this how we are perceived by a consumer who subscribes to this magazine?
If so, how can we reverse this perception?
Has our commercial offer overwhelmed our offer as being a health destination?
Young pharmacists must be horrified by this outcome.
Their careers are being judged by their ability to sell discounted “drugs”.
So, how will this be blended by Choice into our roles as minor players in a medical practice, where (for free) we will be under the jurisdiction of the medical practitioner and his or her practice nurse, each of whom has a provider number, and therefore recognized as a valuable contributor to the health of the Australian taxpayer?
Will the 6CPA take us out of the supply mode and into practitioner mode?
Let’s look at the Choice approval in a little more detail.
Brands are splashed around like confetti, with no differences between the combinations of ingredients.
So, do we really recommend a solution based on the active ingredient, the margin we make, whether it’s being promoted at present, or whether it’s been advertised widely on late afternoon television?
Choice seems to advise that all products give the same outcome.
Surely, a common sense solution to this would be to spend a little more time with an enquiry, perhaps even push the interrogation to one side, and ask the simple question “tell me how you feel”.
At that stage, say nothing more, and let the patient’s true feelings be expressed.
That way you will be able to tailor a solution based on the issues involved.
Sure, that’s not a quick sale, and that might not suit some of the companies involved in this market.
But if we want to remain relevant in primary care, start getting involved before it’s too late!