EDITORIAL For Monday, 7 December 2015

Welcome to this weeks’ edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) E-Magazine, dated 7 December 2015.
This week we are hearing concerns about the affordability of taking a break over the festive season, a decision that will set up a fatigue process that will cloud decision-making in the coming months.
At the heart of that decision lies multiple problems – the $1.00 co-payment discount, more hits to the PBS bottom line as drug patents expire, Blackmore’s opening retail stores that will mimic pharmacies in providing wellbeing information through naturopaths, the continuing pressure of retailing against warehouse and discount pharmacies, the high costs of opening extended hours and the human cost of a proprietor trying to cover gaps created by employed pharmacists who have been “let go”.
The biggest problem long term is Roger Corbett’s return to Woolworths as “board adviser” and his continuity of the link with Walmart.
Read urgently: Walmart Is Rolling out a Primary Health Care “whole of store” Concept  and
Pharmacy Nemesis Roger Corbett – Back to the Future

The list goes on always with the fear that the unexpected will create further disruption.
That fear is a reality now that Sussan Ley, with the aid of our own Pharmacy Guild, has led pharmacy into a weakened condition, lining up all the balls to allow Roger Corbett to  resolve the financial woes of Woolworths, then remove Location Rules that will further weaken community pharmacy, then at 7CPA time, remove ownership rules.
And then we collectively face the influx of overseas globals – mostly Walmart and Celesio.
PGA members should be asking some very hard questions of their leadership and i2P will be providing an analysis in the next edition of what strategies may prevail.

So it is with trepidation nearly all pharmacists, employers, employees and the unemployed begin to think about 2016.
If 2016 is to be a positive year for you, then you must consider investing in your infrastructure or your skills – there has to be a change in direction.
Doing nothing is definitely not an option!

Over the past year i2P has released information from its own research library to help stimulate ideas and a sense of direction.
A visit to our various editions published over the past 12 months might help if you are contemplating starting the New Year without a plan.
At the very least you need to review all of your clinical spaces to ensure that they will be adequate to deliver the service products that you may have access to.
Also, a list of competent pharmacists who have the skills to deliver services because you may not have the time for implementation – a tragedy possibly in the making if you remain unprepared.
All clinical spaces must have a reasonable level of privacy that matches the service being delivered and they need to be made a feature within the pharmacy so that future patients have some grasp of what is taking place without having to ask the questions.

If you don’t have a clinical space built and ready for operation then goodbye future oportunities.

Despite all of the above, there are some pharmacists actually getting a bit excited and looking forward to 2016 – and they have a plan!
There are three major banks that monitor i2P as part of their own information gathering on the industry.
Through this editorial i2P is suggesting that if you receive some new funding applications from a range of enthusiastic pharmacists with a written business plan, that you seriously consider being supportive of their new and progressive ideas.
I2P is now confident that there is sufficient groundswell and sanction within the profession to branch out in a number of ways that have not been previously thought of as traditional pharmacy.
The pharmacists seeking to invest over 2016 will be great customers for the banking system and will build stable business.
They will be seeking capital to expand into new channels – not looking to prop up an old model and trying to fill holes with funds from all available sources.

I personally have been driving the idea of pharmacy clinical services since 1978 when a pilot study was undertaken (and paid for) by my consulting group, utilising five community pharmacies.
Because I understood the success encapsulated in that pilot, the idea has never been discarded – because it simply worked.
I have also held a strong interest in clinical nutrition and through that channel, a vision for patients having a more comfortable life and “wellness”.
It turns out that many patients share and appreciate the concept, because that is what drives a lot of successful pharmacy practices currently and would be at the heart of the new Blackmore’s retail stores.
It is also the reason that nearly 70 percent of Australians have embraced at least one form of complementary medicine in their search for wellness – and the rate is risining despite all the arguments about available evidence.
Self care is the main driver here, and because of the high cost (and many failures) of mainstream medicine, self care will continue to be a major driver into the future.

In this edition of i2P we are, yet again, promoting the concept of “pharmacy-in-the-home” as a project that needs to be launched in early 2016.
While most pharmacies have one or more elemens of a system already in place (such as a prescription delivery service) many pharmacists have come to regard this activity as a cost rather than a marketing opportunity.
It is possible to take your entire pharmacy into a patient’s home using electronics, mobile phones, notepads and the Internet.
In so doing, you avoid the need to locate in expensive premises and you reduce a patient’s need to leave their home environment to seek out a pharmacy for their purpose.
And within that same channel you can run catalogues and a range of personal services and still make a good profit.
Peter Sayers discusses some of this in his article What Does Domino Pizza and Pharmacy-in-the-Home Service hold in Common?
Read his ideas and research i2P article arhives with suitable keywords.

The other investment opportunity that we are promoting is that of being engaged with Medical Marijuana – from growing, processing, dispensing and creating consultations about it.
Despite all the bad publicity of the past, it is a medicinal substance that holds good potential, particularly in pain management- a condition that is needed by a large proportion of the population, particularly the ageing population.
What is needed now is good quality evidence to support that potential.
Some has been developed in Israel, and that evidence supports marijuana oil (multiple cannibinoids) as being better than single synthetic cannibinoids in sustained action and efficacy.
Read: Engage with Marijuana Opportunities and Pineapple Express – A Retail Store Concept for the Sale of Marijuana

Another extension of a new technology is the use of “electronic ink” that is painted on the skin to resemble a tattoo. Mixed with a very tiny microchip that can be attached to the skin (much like a Band-Aid).
The electronic circuitry that is formed up is able to measure biometrics for the wearer and this will help the progression of self care for those who are interested.
Bio-Wearables – “Tech Tats” with a Difference

Barry Urquhart is back with his Marketing Focus essays and I was particularly interested in his first essay titles “We are Family”.
It’s only a short essay but has a great impact.
Also in essay number four, Barry highlights that he is encouraging marketing audits for some of his clients early in January, rather than take a vacation.
This mirrors what we are hearing from some sectors of community pharmacy.
Marketing Focus – Essays in Management & Marketing

Judy Wilyman is back with more commentary on vaccine legislation just passed in the Senate.
This coercive legislation was formulated without a proper process to get information to politicians, particularly the information posted by the general public but not published on the government website.
Why are educated parents choosing not to use all the recommended vaccines?

Harvey Mackay has a reflective offering appropriate for this time of the year.
Thoughts for a richer life and include these thoughts into your planning processes.

And we finish our selection with media releases from some pharmacy leader organisations.

PSA – PSA Media Releases – 1. Pharmacy Still Opens 2. Patrick McGorry to Present at PSA

NPS – NPS Media Releases – Four Current Releases

We hope you enjoy our offering for this week, and don’t forget to comment and provide feedback.

Neil Johnston
i2P E-Magazine
7 December 2015

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