EDITORIAL for Monday, 6 October 2014

Welcome to this week’s edition of i2P E-Magazine (Information to Pharmacists).
This week seemed to mark some new directions in health – and with pharmacy involvement.

The Consumer Health Forum appears to be organising a program for its constituents that most health practitioners could align with. i2P has an article detailing the ideas.
Certainly i2P has supported the concepts separately over some time.

If CHF intent is to have a transparent forum for the delivery of health services that has the AMA on the same sheet of paper in a positive mode, then all will be well.
ASMI also seems to be moving in a forward direction sponsoring a complementary medicines research leadership program.
Prior to that an ASMI sponsored spokesman for the Council for Responsible Nutrition for a range of private consultancies identifying a small range of complementary medicines that were evidence-based and shown to have a positive impact on government health budgets.
ASMI is also linking a new pharmacy model through Dr Alison Roberts, Director Policy and Practice at the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd (PSA), who will be a keynote speaker at the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) Conference on 18 November 2014.
I am only guessing, but maybe commonsense is starting to shine through with an integrative patient-centred pharmacy as the outcome.
Whatever, it is great to see some positivity shining through.
On top of that you will find an interesting media release from the PSA highlighting commentary from Professor Libby Roughead discussing the need for pharmacists to adapt to patients with multiple chronic conditions.
Writing in Australian Pharmacist this month, Professor Libby Roughead highlights that in the 1980s, one in 10 Australians was living with three or more chronic conditions.
Now, Australian health surveys show more than one in three of us is living with three or more chronic conditions. Consequent with this, medication use has also increased.
Her solution?
Services need to expand to include medication reconciliation, adherence services, medication review, and multidisciplinary, agreed care planning for patients with multiple chronic illnesses

“As the health profession most commonly visited by patients with multiple chronic conditions, pharmacy has a key role to play in identifying problems with care, resolving conflicts in care, and engaging other health professionals involved in patient care to prevent harm and improve outcomes for patients”

PGA take note and get into step by not playing “dirty tricks” on our independent consultant pharmacists.
Get rid of any caps and step up to ensuring they get paid properly and on time.
Your behaviour in this matter is unseemly and you need to get in tune with what is required for modern pharmacy practice.
Otherwise you will destroy the best elements of clinical pharmacy that point to future development – and also the survival of community pharmacies, if they are led appropriately to an alliance relationship.

A revolution in medication delivery may soon be arriving in your pharmacy whereby a needle-coated capsule may convert most (if not all) injectable products to an oral capsule (which includes insulins).
The technology may also impact on vaccination programs down the track and should reduce health costs by not requiring a health practitioner to administer an injection.
The nursing profession may be the hardest hit through this disruptive technology which may further inhibit established convenient care clinics established in some overseas pharmacies.
Read about this technology in the current edition of i2P.

Also, Mark Coleman revisits an earlier PGA public relations disaster regarding “Coke and Fries with that?” and how an extreme element in Australian medicine destroyed what might have evolved into a successful promotion for good health (but admittedly had to move from its first concept delivery).
I am sure there will be a recovery now there is renewed vigour in the complementary medicines sector, but read Mark’s take on magnesium supplementation in the interim.

And finally, Barry Urquhart points out that Australia has become overpriced in nearly everything it is doing in business, including the pricing of health.
We haven’t seen all of the ramifications of this but PBS price transparency is just a taste.

Pharmacy needs to deliver health services on a wide front and do it better than anyone else –
fortunately there are some stirrings.
I hope you enjoy this week’s range of topics, as always presented with flair and opinion.

Neil Johnston
Editor     6 October 2014


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