EDITORIAL for Monday 5 December 2016

Welcome to the current edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) E-Magazine, dated Monday 5 December 2016.
Well, we are almost at the end of another year and entering the Festive Season – a time when i2P takes a small break in its activities to allow all of its contributors and production people to concentrate on fellowship and goodwill with family and friends.

Reflecting on the year just drawing to an end, it has to be said that community pharmacy still has not found its way out of the wilderness, with leadership still floundering in terms of direction and vision.
The profession is still trying to prop itself up with a PBS product that has completed its life cycle and is now emptying its catalogue of useful patient support items in favour of very expensive life-saving drugs.
It has lost its universality and is becoming more expensive for both patients and taxpayers.

To keep itself alive, the community pharmacy model is still following a weak model of retailing (except for the warehouse-type pharmacies) that satisfies nobody.
Some experimentation is beginning to occur in the paid clinical services activities, but you could not say that there was any dynamism reflected in these pursuits.

Risk-takers, it seems, are few and far between.
Yet it is the risk-taker, investing in new systems and technologies, who is going to win for the long term.

Of course, our federal politicians also reflect attitudes and values that are simply appalling given that the dying days of parliament were spent politicising a minor “back-packer tax” – an item that had occupied political minds for well over 18 months and still could not be resolved to a competitive rate compared to the rest of the world and has partly destroyed current fruit crops and farmer livelihoods because imported casual labour has been insufficient for the current harvest.
These politicians are not earning their salaries and should be held to account.
It is little wonder that we have divisive policies (such as vaccination policy) given the calibre of decision-making at the highest level, contaminated with conflict of interest issues that seem not to matter for any level of politician.

It would seem that Australia will have to go through a BREXIT or Trump style equivalent election before we can break the nexus and inertia that builds up behind such poor attitudes and values.

However, we will not give in and with our lead article in this edition we discuss an enytry point for paid clinical services using a kiosk-type system to provide a free service that becomes a component of a broader approach. The kiosk software provides a system for patient registration and the establishment of a patient profile using economies of scale involving non-pharmacist staff to create the basics.
At the appropriate level a pharmacist is introduced and a fee structure is involved.

Read: Health Self Service in Kiosk Format

Mark Coleman is back commenting on the Bent Spoon Award- an annual award promoted by Skeptics to denigrate something or someone who has fallen into disfavour with this group.
Mark thinks that this “bent” award requires some heavily “bent” thinking to dream it up and he is probably a bit disappointed that he was not one of the awardees for 2016.

Read: The “Bent Spoon” award developed by people with bent thinking

The Orthomolecular News Service is one that distributes evidence-based information regarding the use of nutritional supplements that can be used by pharmacists to help support their patients to economically and better manage their conditions by providing suitable education.

Read: Magnesium Decreases Hyperactivity in ADHD Children

Barry Urquhart is back with a range of essays about management and marketing techniques. Barry is one of Australia’s foremost thought leaders and his material ia easily adapted to suit pharmacy experiences.

Read: Marketing Focus – Essays on Management and Marketing

Mark Neuenschwander is back with some new perspectives on health safety using bar-codes.
Mainly directed at hospital settings, but some points may be relevant for community pharmacies.

Read: I’ve been thinking about medication safety technology and beating the clock.

In these days of diminishing profitability and cash flow, pharmacy owners might find some perspectives on wealth creation attitudes may help to ensure that sufficient working capital is maintained for new investment in ideas that promote growth and the bottom line.
Read: Develop success habits of millionaires

And we finish up our offering for this edition with media releases from various pharmacy leadership organisations,

PSA – http://i2p.com.au/psa-media-releases-vic-pharmacist-medal-award/

ASMI – http://i2p.com.au/asmi-media-releases-support-for-codeine-otc/

NPS – http://i2p.com.au/nps-media-releases-australian-prescriber-current-edition/

I2P would like to wish all of its readers a happy, safe and peaceful Christmas Season and we will be back around mid-January keeping you informed and on track as thought leaders to pharmacists.

Neil Johnston,

Editor, i2P E-Magazine
Monday 5 December 2016

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