EDITORIAL for Monday 12 October 2015

Welcome back to i2P (Information to Pharmacists) E-Magazine for Monday 12 October 2015.
This week we analyse some of the issues surrounding practice pharmacists and prescribing.
Prescribing is really a separate issue that while being a skill that clinical pharmacists need to acquire, it is not initially required for the role of a practice pharmacist.

I think that the PSA is being a bit misleading when it says that their practice pharmacist model being negotiated with the RACGP does not contain an activity for pharmacist prescribing, when the rest of the world says otherwise.
And the PGA disagree, but their motivation is a little different.

The Scottish model for pharmacists and pharmacies is an excellent model for collaboration between government, pharmacy and pharmacists.
The Scottish government has actually signed up to a ten year agreement with all of pharmacy that includes measurable milestones.
One of those milestones was to have every pharmacist as a registered prescriber within the first two years – and they are nearing that target very successfully.
The government there invested good money in pharmacist skill levels and their health service is coming together cohesively.
They will be able to afford their service.

Even our near neighbours, New Zealand, resolved the issue of pharmacist prescribing some years ago now, and their practice pharmacist model seems to be using pharmacists and their prescribing skills with little problem.
However, it did require testing to successfully evolve.

Of course GP’s are going to feel anxious about pharmacist prescribing until they understand how it fits in.
That pharmacist prescribing is not currently with the scope of a pharmacist’s practice should reflect shame on our pharmacy leaders, and this should be rectified quickly.
So there is no issue at the moment because pharmacists cannot formally prescribe.
But that doesn’t mean that prescribing should not be mentioned in the RACGP agreement for revisiting at a future date.

The PGA on the other hand, sees prescribing rights as a valid issue but seems to want some form of control themselves over the clinical pharmacists that will become prescribers.
It is time the clinical pharmacists formed up in their own representative association if they want a real future.
And if the US experience provides insights, pharmacists need to be providers in their dealings with GP’s.
I wonder if the PSA has considered this issue.

Read: The Rules of Engagement for Practice Pharmacists Being Debated

The legalising of marijuana in Australia will provide benefits beyond its use as a medicine.
There is a real opportunity for pharmacist involvement, both at the compounding level and at the clinical level.
Pharmacy leadership bodies should be very active in this area safeguarding the interests of pharmacists because this single issue of marijuana could also plug a financial hole left by the PBS.
Read: Medical Marijuana and its Positive Possibilities for Pharmacy

So in terms of a new paradigm pharmacy, the issues are starting to line up.
The picture will evolve progressively to include larger pharmacy physical practices, clinical pharmacists as health providers and able to prescribe, pharmacist managers of marijuana and the pain of chronic illnesses, minor health ailment managers (supported by electronic pathology testing and funded by government), and pharmacies will become more involved in compounding through 3D printing and the spectral analysis of drugs, including marijuana for titration against patient need and to prevent fake drug distribution.
It’s really starting to take shape for entrepreneurs willing to invest in the new concepts.

Judy Wilyman is back and she is helping to organise public resistance against mandatory vaccination.
Like i2P, she also believes in safe vaccination, but the issue has been polarised into a pro and anti debate, with our federal government trying to force coercive legislation down the pipeline to make vaccination mandatory for all.
Vaccine safety is hidden in “spin” describing vaccines as “safe and effective” when the evidence says otherwise.

In a democracy, this is disgraceful and government will progressively become unstable through forcing these types of policies on a voting public.
Read: Public Forum Sydney to Discuss the Government’s ‘No Jab No pay’ Policy

Chris Foster is back with an interesting article on leadership in business.
The same principles apply to leadership people in our own profession.
It is said we always get the leaders we deserve by not being active in our representation issues and ensuring that our leaders truly represent our interests.
There is definitely room for improvement within pharmacy.
Read: Quality of Leadership Can Make or Break a Business

Dr Andrewe Byrne, an expert practitioner in drug addiction and harm minimisation, is back with an article that is timely, given the rise in opioid addiction through prescription medicine access.
He thinks that not enough known strategies are being employed.
Read: BMJ article: increasing overdoses but they ignore known solutions (+ Hari TED talk).

Our composite news page is published this week because we ran out of space for treating items individually, and this is the only way we can manage it.
Just shows how busy pharmacy news is becoming because when we first started back in 2000 we published only once a month to start with.

Read: Recent News and Information 1. EHR System 2. Sydney Addiction Seminar 3. New iMIMS

And we finish up our week of opinion and analysis with media releases from pharmacy organisations:

PSA – PSA Media Releases 1. Medical Cannabis Dispensing 2. GP-Pharmacist Connect

ASMI – ASMI Media Release – Restrictive Access to Medicines

NPS – NPS Media Releases 1. Be Medicinewise Week 2. Be Medicinewise Campaign

Enjoy your read and please make comment to provide feedback for the various writers.

Neil Johnston
12 October 2015

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