EDITORIAL for Monday 2 November 2015

Welcome to this weeks’ edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) dated Monday 2 November 2015.
Well its almost Christmas and the year does seem to have been a rapid one.
An early Christmas present for pharmacy was delivered as part of Sussan Ley’s National Press Club on Wednesday 28 October. She delivered the announcement that the investigation into Pharmacy Location rules was to commence shortly and that some modifications had been made already to these Pharmacy Location Rules (the Rules), which take effect on 10 November 2015.

The amendments, contained in the National Health (Australian Community Pharmacy Authority Rules) Amendment Determination 2015 (No. 1), were uploaded onto the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments on 22 October 2015 and are available from the Comlaw website.

The amendments involve the removal of three obsolete provisions, changes to some definitions and clarification of some provisions, for example the removal of the provision which meant that a pharmacy, recommended to relocate in a town, was considered to be two pharmacies.

Any application made on or after 10 November 2015, to establish a new pharmacy or relocate an existing pharmacy, will be considered under the amended Rules.

To assist applicants in understanding the amendments, the Pharmacy Location Rules – Applicant’s Handbook is being updated and will be available shortly on the Pharmacy Location Rules (the Rules) and the Australian Community Pharmacy Authority (ACPA)’ page on the Department of Health’s website.

Comments made by Sussan Ley during her Press Club address included that a full investigation into the relevancy of the Location Rules was to commence in 2016 and that it was expected that it would not take long to complete.

One gets the feeling that the report has already been prepared and that any investigation will simply be used to “rubber stamp” the report.
It also has to be said that Location Rules may have reached the extent of their usefulness even though i2P have suggested an alternative use through developing some public health and emergency services having some base of operation in community pharmacy.
Read Leadership, Future Direction, Public Health and Triage Services to understand what is being proposed and that it may represent an opportunity to develop, even without Location Rules.

Stress levels that have been built up over the issues that will arise in the future 6CPA dealings include the discounting proposal of the PBS co-payment.
Whatever way you look at this proposal, it is a cynical attack on pharmacy and to i2P heralds that its strategy prediction (held for the past fourteen years) is that this is the first of a number of “strikes” to weaken the fabric of pharmacy leading to an ultimate exhaustion.
At that point, pharmacy ownership will become open and the Colesworths invited in as well as the global pharmacy giants.
Read Create Infinite Growth Through Appropriate Brand Building as a potential defence and a strategy that has already underwritten many major global brands. It was a strategy well known to “old pharmacy”.
You can survive, because Australian pharmacy still flourished at an earlier date when there was open ownership and no Location Rules.
There was also no PBS back then, but it could be argued that PBS is now becoming unaffordable and could be competed against.

Don’t forget to mark your calendar to attend a book launch and a conference to be held simultaneously in Newcastle on Saturday, November 14 2015.
Organised by author Mouhamad Zoghbi, the day has the potential to provide solutions for a range of contemporary pharmacy problems, so don’t miss it.
Read: Newcastle Conference will Feature Solutions for Pharmacy
And just before this event a reminder that ASMI’s Annual General Meeting and Conference will be held on Wednesday 11 November 2015, also presenting a range of solutions.

Gerald Quigley is back with a small article on allergies and has some very basic information to deliver.
Read: Hay fever options.

Harvey Mackay also takes a position on ageing and its measurement in his latest offering.
Attitudinal approaches are very important when managing the ageing process and Harvey tells of some of his own strategies that have been positive for him.
Read: Age is only a number and enjoy your next birthday!

Crazy, cruel cancer ‘cures’ do seem to proliferate and some are cruel when the intent is to extort money from patients.
Most pharmacists have the training to be able to advise patients and navigate them appropriately if they have the confidence of a patient, and I am certain that quality advice is provided by pharmacists.

By virtue of having patients, pharmacists are able to observe what works and what does not.
Clinical evidence is still a work in process and whatever the last trial says about any set of circumstances, it has to be seen to work in practice.
And this is reinforced when some researchers set out to distort findings of previous trials by creating new findings that are obviously distorted. This is particularly apparrent when extremist medical advocates set out to sabotage complementary and clinical nutrition use.
Thankfully, organisations such as the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service are able to print rebuttals to this type of activity.
Read: Big Names; Big Mistakes Consumers Misled by Supplement Bashing

And we finish up our offering this week with media releases from leadership pharmacy organisations:

PSA –PSA Media Releases – 1. Awards for Australian Pharmacist Journal 2. Pharmacy Practitioner Development

NPS – NPS Media Releases – Choosing Wisely on ABC Catalyst

We hope you enjoy the read for this week and don’t forget to give comment and feedback for the various writers. It will be appreciated.

Neil Johnston
Monday 2 November 2015

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