EDITORIAL for Monday 22 June 2015

Welcome to i2P (Information to Pharmacists) dated 22 June 2015.
This week we see tensions rise within community pharmacy as the vote for the 6CPA in the Senate is due for debate and for passing into enabling legislation.
Will it be passed before the Senate goes into recess?
Time is running out fast.
This is just one of the costs of doing business with the federal government and it should serve to reinforce the reality of having too high a percentage of a pharmacy practice being reliant on government funding.

Plus the never-ending reviews and investigations into various aspects of the management of government funding attracts a range of critics that have absolutely no idea of what it means to run a successful pharmacy practice while being beaten over the head.

That creates entrenched positions and for individual pharmacists creates a negative climate for future investment and idea creation.
For these reasons, and many others, 2015 should mark the point where pharmacists consciously begin to devote more time, effort and investment towards building more private activity to redress the balance.
There is always opportunity and if you are unable to “see” them, it is time to step out of your embedded routine and “have a look”.

Ageing populations around the world are driving these new opportunities, and even if government investment is required to develop and fund successful ongoing opportunities, that word “balance” should be kept front and centre.
Don’t let government control your service to the point that they actually own it (as with PBS).
Illustrated in one of our articles is some research into setting up some primary health care clinics.
Read: New Study Creates a Guide for Pharmacy Clinics
In a study published in Lancet, the illness market is broken down into categories and gives a rationale and perspective on how pharmacists can be involved in primary health care and what should be tackled first.

The planning and development requires a marketing approach.

In the article The APLF – a very quiet organisation we discuss the emergence of the Australian Pharmacy  Liaison forum, the umbrella organisation for all of pharmacy in terms of its vision, values and culture and its objective of fostering unity across the profession.
Formed in 2008 it had a faltering start, but now seems to be moving in the right direction, and that should give hope to all pharmacists.
It will definitely reinforce pharmacy leaders and their endeavours and that should provide impetus for a forward-moving profession.

We have also published a balancing article on behalf of homeopathy.
I2P has thoughts that homeopaths have been selected as a political diversion to keep focus off Pharma companies and the lack of real evidence used to launch new drugs.
Otherwise, why do we really worry about an inoffensive group of people who were at the very forefront, (in most areas the only service available), of health provision in the early years of the Australian colony, up to Federation.
What they do may not be totally understood, but they do it safely.
Their track record for safety compared to mainstream medicine, bears no comparison.
So read up on some of these issues in Homeopathy – a Political Diversion Rather than a Valid Issue

Mark Neuenschwander is back with his perspective on bar codes providing medication safety in the dispensing and administering of drugs.
In the article I’ve been thinking about minding the gap, looking right, and a potential blind spot in the medication-use process  he discusses some of the “blind spots” at the interface of pharmacy and nursing.
Mark is definitely the expert on drug safety systems.

Harvey Mackay is back with a philosophical article on “giving back” as part of business management culture.
Read Life is what you give back to understand his perspective.

Some local research by University of Sydney will be of interest to those pharmacists providing weight management advice.
You will find it in the article Semi-starvation diets offer new hope for obesity with binge eating.

Because our publication format concentrates mainly on opinion articles, we have had to find ways of delivering news in a more condensed format.
So the link title News Roundup for 22 June 2015 contains a range of news “snippets” important to pharmacists, but unable to be analysed and commented on.

Plus we have the usual media releases from PSA and NPS.

Please enjoy your read for this week and comment on any opinion article in the panel provided at the foot of each article.

Neil Johnston
Monday 22 June 2015

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