EDITORIAL for Monday 20 August 2018

Welcome to the current edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) E-Magazine, dated Monday 20 August 2018.
In Australia, the medical cannabis market still remains a mess with genuine access still remaining a myth.

Even attempts to educate health professionals are being disrupted by organisations such as the Friends of Science in Medicine (FSM) who have lobbied to have CPD points removed from a symposium featuring medical cannabis experts presenting current cannabis knowledge and evidence.
The RACGP is being urged to review its decision to award 40 CPD points to a cannabis education event to be held this coming September.
Friends of Science in Medicine says the CPD accreditation of ‘Essentials of Medicinal Cannabis: What Practitioners Need to Know’ should be challenged because of the “fringe views” held by a number of members on its speaking list.
The RACGP should not revise its decision and entertain in any way, the “extreme views” of the FSM, which are designed to obstruct any mechanisms that would affect the market for patented medicines promoted by global pharma’s.

It is also worthy of note that pharmacy leadership organisations are yet to exhibit leadership activities that would promote a primary role for pharmacists in the medical cannabis space, creating equitable access for consumers and a vital tool to enable pharmacists to treat chronic illness.
i2P would suggest that the above event would represent an excellent opportunity for pharmacists to expand their knowledge base, and online registration can be completed by following the link above.
The first symposium was of a very high standard and well-received.
This year’s event promises to be even better, so note the following details into your diary: Date: Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 September 2018; Time: 9am-5.00pm; Venue: Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, 88 Broadway, Chippendale, Sydney, NSW 2008.
Cannabis drug scheduling changes are being promoted around the world, but not by our Australian pharmacy leadership groups – they seem to be asleep at the wheel.
In November this year, the United Nations will perform a deep review of cannabis’ scheduling status under the 1962 Single Convention treaty, which coordinates international drug laws.
The UN World Health Organization’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence found in a pre-review in June that there was sufficient scientific evidence to support a full critical review of cannabis’ status, the first part of a multi-step review process.
In Australia, this market should be substantially Schedule 3 – particularly the CBD components of medical cannabis.
Let’s hope our leadership groups become more alert and lobby effectively at the appropriate time, as the United Nations review unfolds.

The Greens political party is going to introduce legislation at the end of this year to legalise cannabis completely.
The Greens see drug use as a health issue, not a criminal issue.
Their campaign to legalise cannabis use would regulate and tax cannabis use to reduce harm, increase protection for vulnerable people, and break the business model of criminal gangs.and  by the end of 2018, they will introduce a bill to fully legalise cannabis, into federal parliament.
This is worthy of pharmacy support, because there is a great future opportunity for pharmacists, particularly compounding pharmacists, to become small-scale growers, manufacturers and compounders of medical cannabis to match specific conditions.
In our current column Understanding Medical Cannabis, item #3 describes a consumer toolkit for growing, extracting and measuring potency that would enable a self-contained market, which could be adapted, developed and controlled by the community pharmacy network.
It’s an opportunity that should not be missed!

It seems that even high-minded organisations such as Cochrane have a price at which they can be “bought”.
Despite denials to the contrary, Cochrane has increasingly experienced criticisms surrounding conflict-of-interest issues that have found their reviews becoming devalued for those who relied on unbiased reporting.
So Cochrane is now consigned to the company of all those other compromised organisations, including most so-called prestigious medical journals.
What a mess our global health system has become!
For a further elaboration on this topic ensure that you read Item #3 in the Safe Vaccine Debate column in this issue.

The lead article for this edition discusses the fact that a climate change equivalent is evolving for community pharmacy and that individual pharmacy owners will have to bridge gaps to develop their own individual digital pathways to create clinical services within a patient’s private home – particularly an aged-care patient.
i2P has written on this topic for nearly twenty years now and magically, this concept has emerged in the UK under the title of Pharmacy Anywhere.

Pharmacy Anywhere ought to be the trigger for community pharmacy to strategically alter its perspective by adjusting the primary focus of a pharmacy practice to a patient’s private home.
In so doing, the need for high cost rental of community pharmacy premises is diminished, because the capture of a patient’s home through a structured health service will be more effective and less costly than trying to entice the same patient out of their home to visit your high profile site, continually reinforced by advertising.

Current and future need for home services multiplies with demand being driven by the ageing population demographic.
The key to a successful transition to this new focus will be an ability to deliver services through digital systems of management.
Individual pharmacists will have to pioneer their own digital futures because their leaders are asleep at the wheel.
Read: Pharmacy Anywhere – A System for Pharmacy Enhanced Primary Care

Gerald Quigley is back with another perspective on patient care and engagement.
To deliver care to a patient there needs to be an assurance expressed by pharmacists (implied or stated)  to that patient that he/she is valued, and that full attention is guaranteed- because they are the reason for being.
Patient engagement is thus a planned process and has to be continually developed and refined.
In that context, distractions that occur within the confines of a patient interview, will disrupt the orderly flow of an interview.
Distractions become a negative by devaluing a positive patient engagement, and need to be eliminated to deliver care.
It’s not rocket science!
Read: Dealing with distraction

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. MedicalMarijuana Inc News: American Osteopathic Association Voices Support for Marijuana Reclassification 2. Independent: Cannabis could help treat inflammatory bowel diseases which affect millions, first study shows 3. Cannabis Tech:  Innovative Technology For The Cannabis Consumer

“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. Dr Judy Wilyman’s Report: Newsletter #208 – Part 1: The Suppression of Scientific Debate on Vaccination in Australia 2. Robert Kennedy’s World Mercury Project:  Natural Measles Immunity—Better Protection and More Long-Term Benefits than Vaccines 3. Elizabeth Hart’s Overvaccination Project: Request for Cochrane Review Withdrawal for HPV Vaccine

Jon Rappoport is back, reporting on the tactics of artificially creating pandemics and the cost, in health terms, to the general population.
Conflict of interest surrounds much of the development and marketing of the mainstream medical business model.
That it has flourished under the watch of our political leaders is an indictment that they are part of the process.
In fact, they are a primary cause, due to the fact that political decisions can be “bought” (sometimes called lobbying).
The end result is a poor quality medication inflicted on a population that can, in turn, create more illness through serious side-effects.
Read: Remember that pandemic that was going to wipe out humanity? –  We’re still here

Harvey Mackay is back with an article about creativity and how criticism of creativity can be a positive influence.
Creativity requires a healthy imagination and a belief in one’s self sufficiency to create a resilience needed to weather the range of critics that are always willing to tell you your idea can’t be done.
Hence, creativity is always in short supply and requires special people to fill the gaps.
That there are numerous creative gaps in pharmacy is no reason why you should not give it a “personal best” try.
It could represent your professional survival.
Read: Criticism Challenges Creativity

Barry Urquhart is back with a series of essays on management and marketing issues that can be adapted for pharmacy.
He also warns about the need for professions, including pharmacy, to preserve their future through the adoption of digital technologies.

We conclude our offering for this edition with media releases from two pharmacy leadership organisations.

PSA –  PSA Media Releases – Pharmacists to guard Victorians against flu and measles

NPS – NPS Media Releases – 1. Australian Prescriber New Drug Glecaprevir 2. MEDICINEWISE UPDATE

We hope you enjoy the content contained in this current edition and invite you to join any debate by adding your comment in the panel provided at the foot of each article.

Neil Johnston
Editor i2P E-Magazine,
Monday 20 August 2018

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