EDITORIAL for Monday 19 February 2018

Welcome to the current edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) E-Magazine dated Monday 19 February 2018.
Health literacy is fast becoming the focus of government interest as evidence points to the fact that people with low levels of health literacy are unable to take full responsibility for their personal health and as a consequence, do not self-manage their health issues appropriately.
This translates to a higher cost for public health systems.
Low levels of health literacy also correlate with low socioeconomic demographics, such as those found in Western Sydney.

While Health Literacy is a relatively new label it is an old function common to all health professions – different health modalities craft it to suit their own unique culture variances.
It has always been a feature of community pharmacy culture, in that community pharmacists have always been at the forefront by basically being the only health professionals that can have their environments accessed without a patient incurring a cost.
Pharmacy patients are always encouraged to “ask your pharmacist” – a slogan at the heart of many long-standing pharmacy advertisements.
And the “Self Care” program is a natural extension.

Location Rules for pharmacies (now reinforced by recent legislation) ensures that community pharmacies are equitably distributed around Australia for convenient access, and are thus conveniently structured to provide health literacy services.

Health Literacy is worth investing in because it provides a method of patient engagement that can be developed as an ongoing relationship with a patient.
Health Care delivery is both an art and a science with the art component strongly associated with patient care.

It could be said that Health Literacy is a core component of patient care, and is based in science.
Each health modality has its own terminology in this regard and no single health modality has a monopoly for the values of its care model and evidence base.

Distorted forms of health literacy such as those emanating from advocacy groups like Friends of Science in Medicine (FSM), that provides media statements targeting complementary and alternate medicines in a negative manner, do nothing to further the cause of Health Literacy and of patients taking responsibility for their health.
In fact, the intelligent patients reaching out to embrace complementary medicine, clinical nutrition and integrated medicine now represents 70 percent of the Australian population, much to the chagrin of FSM, as well as drug manufacturers.

FSM have the feel of being part of a global pharma marketing program because they do not target the fact that a large proportion of pharma-sponsored research is fraudulent, and that major initiatives (such as vaccination programs) represent pseudoscience, (not evidenced based science), and have safety issues suppressed.
A more broad-based and universally accepted Health Literacy program embraced by all “grass roots” health professions, (including registered natural health and complementary health modalities), is a far better approach, because it would reduce the inappropriate biases delivered by organisations such as FSM and would help to prevent them delivering “skewed” versions of health science.
Also that iatrogenic mainstream drug issues are now a major factor in patient deaths, compared to alternate and complementary medicines where the death rate is negligible.

i2P has published a specialised column titled the Safe Vaccine Debate” for some time now and our archives and ongoing content in this column provides stark evidence that vaccines are anything but safe and that there is a dark agenda being conducted by a substantial number of people who could be labelled “pro-vax”.
Conflict of interest is epidemic from our top politicians through to academic institutions and various skeptic-influenced health groups.

Major developments are occurring in Health Literacy development currently just “under the radar”, and public announcements will be made later this year.
i2P will keep its readers up to date on these events.
This is an important issue for pharmacists to be involved in – not only because it is traditionally part of pharmacy “core” business, but it also represents an opportunity to extend public/private partnerships between community pharmacy and government.
It is an area where given support, pharmacy can have a major beneficial impact on public health.
PBS is the current public/private partnership now entering the final stages of its life cycle.
Health Literacy patient services (plus other initiatives) could be a viable replacement for the PBS.

Our lead article for this edition involves the costing of tangible and intangible services with a focus on pharmacist-delivered clinical services (for a fee).
Creating a value for a new pharmacy professional service requires a strong focus on the design of the content of the service, the design of the spaces allocated for the delivery of the service, the training of the people implementing the service and the wrapping of all these elements into an informative “back story” that describes how the service will benefit a patient and how it fits in with the overall culture of your community pharmacy.
Only then are you equipped to determine a value for that service using the CVM process described.
And not forgetting that once a valuation is established the final link is to prepare a descriptive price list that is prominently displayed.
Read: Pharmacy Professional Services – the Willingness to Pay

Gerald Quigley is back and he discusses health distortions that are occurring in clinical trials, the restrictions placed on agencies that function to validate medical science and the lack of comment by organisation such as the FSM.
Health professionals have become progressively hesitant in accepting data provided by drug companies, particularly when it comes with secrecy provisions to those charged with measuring the validity of data that ends up as published research.
At least three editors of prestigious medical journals have resigned in recent years, claiming that up to 50 percent of published clinical trial data is fraudulent.
All evidence needs to be tested by different health disciplines, and be able to be criticised and replicated.
It should also be able to stand independently in its own right – and not form part of a corporate marketing initiative.
Read: Health by Stealth!

Middle ear infections are prevalent among our younger populations.
The Orthomolecular Medicine News Service (OMNS) newsletter describes an integrated approach to treating the problem.
While the treatment described is written for a US audience, it applies equally for Australian patients.
The only modification that might apply in an Australian treatment is that vasoconstrictor nasal drops may not be first line choices.
Rather, normal saline nasal drops perform best first line treatment, acting as a mucolytic.
Read: OMNS – Middle Ear Infection in Infants and Children

Harvey Mackay is back with an article describing the traits of successful team players.
Teamwork is the successful component of management culture that represents the best way of completing a complex task.
The ingredients required include intelligent team members with complementary skills and empathy for each other, and a skilled leader who combines selection abilities and a mentoring approach.
Successful teamwork gets the job done with minimum friction and maximum efficiency.
A blueprint that pharmacy leadership might need to adopt.
Read: Look for these traits in successful  team players

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. Echonet: Annual police cannabis raids on again  2. NZ Herald: Why cannabis is a gateway drug in the right direction 3. The Independent: How Greece is growing medical marijuana to tackle high unemployment

Vaccination programs are programs that badly need a universally accepted Health Literacy Program that can be comfortably validated by all health professionals.
The current divisive pro-vaccination campaigns are simply a distortion of truth that creates confusion among parents of small children.
That governments add to the problem through coercive legislation, could be described as criminal behaviour.
“The science is settled”.
So say the people who promote vaccination as some form of extreme medical ideology.
“Scientism is settled” is a more accurate description of the manipulation of the science surrounding vaccines – and it is certainly “unsettling” to hear the dishonest 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. Robert Kennedy’s World Mercury Project: Diseases with Unknown Etiology Trace Back to Mass Vaccination Against Influenza in 1976  2. Dr Judy Wilyman Report: Newsletter #190 and Newsletter #191 3. Jon Rappoport: The mandate to overthrow mainstream news

And we finalise the content for this edition of i2P with a roundup of media releases from three pharmacy leadership organisations.

PSA – PSA Media Releases – 1. Career program empowers pharmacists to maximise their potential 2. Pharmacists can help to Close the Gap 3. Harnessing the power of pharmacists to decrease smoking 

ASMI – ASMI Media Release – Consumers can have confidence in OTC painkillers when used as directed

NPS – NPS Media Releases – 1. MEDICINEWISE ARTICLE UPDATE 2. Applications open for NMS Asia-Pacific QUM Scholarship 2018  3. National Medicinewise Awards: Call for entries

We hope you enjoy our current content and you are reminded that as a reader, you can contribute a comment on any issue raised in i2P by entering details in the panel provided at the foot of each article page.

Neil Johnston,
Editor, i2P E-Magazine
Monday 19 February, 2018

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *