EDITORIAL for Monday 15 October 2018

Welcome to the current edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) E-Magazine, dated Monday 15 October 2018.
Since our last edition we have seen a rush of countries begin the process of legalising cannabis, or making it more accessible.
In the UK the home secretary has announced that medical cannabis will soon be rescheduled to Schedule 2, making it available on prescription (that is equivalent to Schedule 4 in Australia).
Cannabis-based medical products will soon be “available for prescription in the same way as any other Schedule 2 drug”
Australian access still remains unnecessarily difficult and you would have to wonder why.

In a written ministerial statement, the UK home secretary confirmed that the Misuse of Drugs (Amendments) (Cannabis and Licence Fees) (England, Wales and Scotland) Regulations 2018 will “reschedule cannabis-based products for medicinal use”.
This means that patients will be able to receive cannabis-based medicine on prescription from 1 November 2018. 

The new law does not place limits on the type of conditions that cannabis may be prescribed for.

The 2018 regulations, announced by the home secretary, define cannabis-based products as being a preparation or product which contains cannabis, cannabis resin, cannabinol or a cannabinol derivative that is produced for medicinal use in humans, and is a medicinal product, or a substance or preparation for use as an ingredient of, or in the production of an ingredient of, a medicinal product.

Medical cannabis deregulation in Australia needs to at least keep pace with the rest of the world, and given that it will be an important substance for the treatment of many chronic conditions, the CBD fraction needs to be down-scheduled to Schedule 3 while the THC fraction should be Schedule 4 at concentrations above 10 percent, while lower strengths could be accessed through Schedule 3.
Police roadside testing for THC currently does not provide a quantitative type test (like the test for alcohol).

This also needs reviewing.
It is time that pharmacy leadership groups begin to actively lobby for medical cannabis for pharmacy distribution accompanied with health literacy consultations, so that patients can gain both access and knowledge from a trusted local source.

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) have a watching brief on Monsanto’s toxic product Roundup, which reportedly now appears in virtually 100 percent of processed foods.
So it also follows that Roundup is now present in storage sites within the bodies of most people living in western economies.
Roundup has even been detected in the gelatin stabilisers that are used in vaccines for young children.
Roundup has been found to cause a range of cancers and is also noted as a possible cause of autism.
OCA produced a statement concerning the recent court case involving Monsanto and a cancer victim, Dewayne Lee Johnson.
They report:
“Minutes after a California jury ordered Monsanto to pay Dewayne Lee Johnson $289.2 million, Monsanto-now-owned-by-Bayer vowed to appeal the verdict.
Monsanto attorneys were “sorry” that Johnson had cancer, they said. But Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller wasn’t the cause. The biotech giant, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, wasn’t guilty of hiding the carcinogenic truth about its flagship product, the lawyers said.

The jury was wrong, they said. Roundup is safe, they insisted.

Judge Suzanne Bolanos, who presided over Johnson’s case, listened to attorneys for both sides argue for and against overturning the verdict. Instead of flat-out allowing the verdict to stand, she asked both sides to submit their arguments before she makes a final decision.

This is not how the justice system is supposed to work. Johnson, who is terminally ill with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, shouldn’t have to prove his case all over again.

But, as we’ve seen over and over again, this is what happens when the profits of corporations trump the rights of the people.

Stay tuned for the next decision in this case.”

We have also received some information from an organisation of scientists involved with the use of electromagnetic field radiation – yet another environmental pollutant causing ill health

EMFscientist.org is their website and they are currently lobbying global organisations (such as the UN) for better management.

“The International EMF Scientist Appeal serves as a credible and influential voice from EMF (electromagnetic field) scientists who are urgently calling upon the United Nations and its sub-organizations, the WHO and UNEP, and all U.N. Member States, for greater health protection on EMF exposure.
Putting Wi-Fi in schools; allowing cordless phones that radiate constantly to be manufactured; placing wireless baby monitors near an infant; using a wireless tablet, smart phone or computer while pregnant; holding a cell phone next to the head and keeping a cell phone in a bra or hip pocket or under a pillow; placing cell phone antennas near homes, schools and on hospitals; metering electricity, water and gas with wireless smart meters and designing smart appliances for the home will be viewed by future generations as dumb technology generated by greed for a population that is largely ignorant of the consequences.
We need to protect the health and wellbeing of future generations, because without them there is no future! If we don’t do it . . . who will?”
Dr Magda Havas, PhD, Environmental and Resource Studies, Centre for Health Studies, Trent University, Canada. www.emfscientist.org
Did you know?
Very recently, new research is suggesting that nearly all of the human plagues which emerged in the twentieth century, like common acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children, female breast cancer, malignant melanoma and asthma, can be tied to some facet of our use of electricity.
* Professor of Medicine, Samuel Milham, MD MPH, author of Dirty Electricity and the Diseases of Civilization 2010
*. Rees C and Havas M, Public Health SOS The Shadow Side of the Wireless Revolution – 110 Questions on Electromagnetic Pollution, 2009 SUGGESTION: Eliminate EMF out of your life as much as possible”

And we have also received two media releases from the Pharmacist Support Service (PSS)

1. World Mental Health Day Wednesday 10 October 2018 – Calls to the Pharmacists’ Support Service continue to increase

On World Mental Health Day, 10 October 2018, the Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) encourages all pharmacists to take time to focus on their own mental health and well-being.  Mental health is not just the absence of mental illness.  It is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.  Pharmacists spend a lot of time looking after the needs of others and to be able to maintain this without burning out it is essential to take steps to maintain mental health by managing stress through a healthy lifestyle including regular exercise; a healthy diet; adequate sleep and ensuring sufficient time for relaxation and pleasurable activities with friends and loved ones.

The Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) continues to receive an increasing number of calls, with the figure for 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018 reaching a total of 318 calls compared to 266 the previous year.  Executive Officer, Kay Dunkley, comments that as all calls are taken by volunteers this is a significant workload for the team of volunteers who do this on top of their day to day responsibilities.

Kay reports that 79% of callers are registered pharmacists, 13% interns, 5% students and the remainder are family or friends of pharmacists.  The most frequent issues discussed are workplace issues, stress, legal and ethical issues, workplace relationships and mental health.  Early career pharmacists continue to be the most frequent group calling PSS.  Kay notes that although call numbers have increased, trends remain similar to the previous year and it is likely that increased awareness of the service is the main reason for the increased call numbers.

As call numbers increase so does the cost of providing the service.  PSS is a service established by pharmacists for pharmacists and a tax deductible donation is an investment in the mental health of the pharmacy profession.  Donations to PSS can easily be made using a credit card via the “Donate Now” button on the PSS website or facebook page.

For more information about PSS visit our website at www.supportforpharmacists.org.au or follow us on facebook https://www.facebook.com/supportforpharmacists/

The Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) is a service which focuses on the mental health and well-being of Australian pharmacists, interns and pharmacy students.  PSS is just a phone call away and can help you if you are stressed, are concerned about your mental health or need a listening ear.  The PSS telephone is answered by volunteers who are experienced pharmacist or retired pharmacists who have undertaken training in crisis support counselling.  Anonymous and confidential support is available by phoning 1300 244 910 between 8.00 am and 11.00 pm (EST) every day of the year.

Date of release: 10 October 2018

 Enquiries to: Kay Dunkley, Executive Officer, on pss1300244910@gmail.com

2. PSS explores practitioner health services in the UK

The Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) has been exploring services to support health professionals in the UK.  Following an invitation, Executive Officer, Kay Dunkley, presented a paper at the International Practitioner Health Summit 2018 –the Wounded Healer in London.  Kay presented the findings of the National Stress and Wellbeing Survey of Pharmacists, Intern Pharmacists and Pharmacy Students during the conference to an international audience.  Kay followed up by attendance at the Pharmacy Show in Birmingham and met with the UK Pharmacist Support staff in their offices in Manchester.

During her time at the Wounded Healer Summit Kay was able to learn about initiatives across a wide range of health professions including medical, dental, nursing, pharmacy, veterinary and allied health professionals.  Speakers and delegates came from countries including USA, Canada, Australia, Spain, The Netherlands, Britain and Ireland.  Themes of the conference included resilience and healthy workplaces; mindfulness; the emotional impact of caring; burnout among health professionals; mistakes, complaints and blame culture; mental health management and stigma in health professionals; addiction in the health professional; impairment and management by regulators and suicide in health professionals.

At the Pharmacy Show, Kay had the opportunity to meet with delegates and exhibitors including the British Pharmacy Students Association (BPSA), pre-registrant pharmacists, the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA), pharmacy training providers, academics and practising pharmacists.  She also saw the UK Pharmacist Support display and staff in action at the event.  Kay was able to attend a number of sessions which covered contemporary pharmacy practice in the UK including general practice pharmacy.

In Manchester Kay spent time with the staff employed by the UK Pharmacist Support covering their programs and services including the development of well-being seminars for pharmacists; marketing and fundraising; involvement of volunteers and charity management.

For more information about PSS visit our website at www.supportforpharmacists.org.au or follow us on facebook https://www.facebook.com/supportforpharmacists/ or twitter @AusPharmSupport.

PSS is a charity established by pharmacists for pharmacists and a tax deductible donation is an investment in the mental health and well-being of the pharmacy profession.
Donations to PSS can easily be made using a credit card via the “Donate Now” button on the PSS website or facebook page.

Date of release: 15 October 2018

Media enquiries to: Gillian Swinnerton, PSS Acting President, phone 0427 639 029
(NB Kay Dunkley is available from Friday 19 October 2018, phone 0407 755 598)

Our lead article for this month is a reference article discussing aspects of a Pharmacy in the Home program.
This subject will be delivered over a number of articles, summarising as much knowledge about this subject, given that it is a topic that is finally being addressed by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (PGA)

PGA is building a business plan for community pharmacies titled CP2025.
At its centre is a concept to deliver services to patients in their homes.
That it has taken so long to identify this particular need is astounding and if it is being delivered in 2025 it’s like pharmacy leaders are taking a leisurely stroll in the park.
Community pharmacy is a great resource but still remains under-utilised and under attack by many envious predators.
Cultural change has been very slow and history seems to indicate that change only occurs in pharmacy if it is forced by either government or the medical profession.
i2P believes that if community pharmacy owners wait any longer to create the self-evident changes needed to service consumers in their homes, they will remain very vulnerable.
Government budgets will become very strained with the burden of aged care costs on all fronts.
They will grasp at what is expedient to do what is necessary.
That may involve inviting global pharmacy conglomerates to do what Australian pharmacy is unable or unwilling to do in a timely fashion.
i2P recommends that individual pharmacies just do it… now!
Read: Pharmacy in the Home (PIH) – Designing Your Future Direction

Empathy is a component of care and touch is a communication mechanism that conveys empathy.
This is not new, but in our haste to commoditise and homogenise a range of professional activities, the human touch is often overlooked.
As pharmacy begins the journey towards remote care through “pharmacy in the home” programs, the human touch will become more difficult to convey.
These types of deficiencies must be planned for in different ways.
Those that succeed in developing appropriate care programs will be the future winners in health service provision.
Read: Have we lost the importance of touch?

The capture of non-doctor health professionals, through integration, is the strategy that is being employed to forcibly reduce the effectiveness of those health professionals, thus making them irrelevant to the health system.
It is a form of medical dictatorship designed to ensure the illness business model designed by Big Pharma survives into the future.

In Australia, does any clinical pharmacist really believe that a valid career path exists by following the AMA party line call to embed yourself into a GP practice?
It can only work if you retain independent provider status, which still has to be fought for.
Another reason for community pharmacies to provide a “home” for independent clinical pharmacists, who really are the future of pharmacy.
Read: The Capture of Health Freedom

We often hear the expression “The science is settled,” however, science is a process.
The idea that “science” cannot consider new information contradicts the definition of science.
People who promote vaccination as an extreme medical ideology are involved in “scientism” – the manipulation of the science surrounding vaccines.
And it is certainly “unsettling” to hear the dishonest scientism claims that blare out in all forms of media.
“First do no harm” is the concept that underwrites all medical practice. Australian vaccination policy is so poor and damaging, that it beggars belief that legislators can be so close to manufacturer sales objectives as to guarantee them a market through coercive legislation that involves simultaneous removal of patient choice.
The evidence supporting vaccine policy failure and its lack of safety is becoming so voluminous that it will eventually destroy the unnatural power alliance that desperately tries to hold it all together.
Read: The Safe Vaccine Debate – 1. Children’s Health Defence: HPV: The Biggest Battle is Being Fought Right Now 2. Elizabeth Hart OverVaccination: Posts of Interest 3. Dr Judy Wilyman Report: Newsletter 211 A Lack of Integrity in Australian Journalism and in Government Vaccination Policies

WHO has made a statement saying that cannabis should be decriminalised world-wide because existing laws cause health discrimination.
In Australia, patients are being actively discriminated against as police are instructed to enforce existing laws and close down “illegal” supplies, leaving critically ill people with no workable solutions for their health problems.
Flawed health policy generates bad laws and lowered community respect for policy and laws.
Yet again, Pharmacy is in a position to provide solutions very simply and simultaneously create opportunity for the profession to treat chronically ill patients efficiently and economically.
Pharmacy leaders need to be proactive in the regulatory area because other health professionals are actively competing to lock pharmacy out of any opportunity whatsoever.
Potential for pharmacists is found in the compounding of THC and CBD in specific ratios to match the best result for patients with chronic illness.
Further pharmacist potential also lies in using cannabinoids in harm minimisation programs involving opioid dependencies and as an adjunct for the management of pain.
Pharmacists also need to be active and have a voice in the regulation of these substances ensuring that maximum patient access can be obtained through the application of Schedule 3 of the Poison’s Act.
Read: Understanding Medical Cannabis – 1. CBD Testers: Why CBD Can Treat Schizophrenia While THC Can Make You Psychotic 2. STUFF (NZ):  Front line police work may not significantly change with legal cannabis 3. Nimbin Hemp Embassy: Medical Cannabis Workshop- Medican

Most health professionals are too busy trying to provide a best practice of their version of health care.
That is, with a few stumbling blocks to contend with, that can eventually be traced back to Big Pharma trying to sustain its illness model of health structured through a well-developed Disinformation Playbook designed to confuse and intimidate various health practitioners.
Read, learn and inwardly digest – then take the time to develop your own tactics to beat this restrictive, well-funded practice.
Read: OMNS – Vitamin D acceptance delayed by Big Pharma following the Disinformation Playbook

A good memory is a great asset for communicating with customers and patients, impressing them with your ability to recall their name and a few pertinent facts about them.
Impressed because you have obviously taken time out to focus on them.
And because of your interest you have developed a high retention rate of those customers and patients.
The technique of memory training is an important management skill but it always pays off.
Read: Remember To Work On  Keeping Your Memory

And we conclude our offering for this edition with some media releases from two pharmacy leadership groups:

PSA – PSA Media Releases – 1. SafeScript to combat medicine misuse 2. Nationally consistent approach to pharmacist administered vaccinations will improve access for all Australians

NPS – NPS Media Releases – 1. Start of new CPD year 2. Webinar: Getting to the heart of diabetes 3. Australian Prescriber: Treatment of irritable bowel syndrome

We hope you enjoy the content for this edition and don’t forget to add your comment in the panel at the foot of each article to assist in stimulating debate,

Neil Johnston
Editor, i2P E-Magazine,
Monday 15 October 2018


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