EDITORIAL for Monday August 10, 2015

Welcome to i2P (Information to Pharmacists) E-Magazine for Monday 10 August 2015.
This week we draw your attention to a Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) media release that, in part, states:
“With pharmacists’ roles expanding into more diverse areas of patient care, the issue of patient consent is coming to the fore.
In the August issue of Australian Pharmacist, legal columnist Dr Laetitia Hattingh from Curtin University discusses the importance of obtaining legally valid consent from patients.

Dr Hattingh writes that pharmacists must ensure consent is obtained before undertaking activities such as medication reviews, carrying out any diagnostic or assessment procedures such as taking blood pressure, bone density screening, blood sugar and cholesterol monitoring and administering vaccinations.

“All adults of sound mind have the legal authority to either consent or refuse treatment or healthcare interventions. The principle of patient autonomy is embedded in the Pharmacy Board of Australia Code of Conduct for Pharmacists,” Dr Hattingh writes”

This is a valid ethical issue that involves all pharmacists.
It will particularly affect those pharmacists providing vaccination services with informed consent.
If you, as a pharmacist, give informed consent honestly then many parents/carers may not proceed to have their children vaccinated.
As the Australian government is in the process of removing all objections (personal, religious or conscientious) to avoid having children vaccinated, it puts pharmacists on the front line of a battlefield they have not had a lot of experience in.

Regardless of whether you agree with vaccination or not, the removal of Conscientious Objection as an exemption has far reaching implications when it comes to any issue a government or its associated influences deems best for ‘the greater good’ of the community.
Be it a medical issue, national security, privacy, religion or politics.
Conscientious Objection accepts and respects individual rights for a host of valid reasons.

‘No Jab No Pay’, the new vaccination policy aimed at cancelling financial benefits if children are not vaccinated to a mandated level, is aimed to be enforced from January 2016.
It has been propelled by a frenzied and biased media campaign desperate to divide a community of sensibility and rational discussion over a very medical procedure that carries risk of harm and injury like every other pharmaceutical intervention.

It is also a coercive policy, the legislation contradicting ‘valid consent’ before vaccination, see Section 2.1.3 of The Australian Immunisation Handbook which states:

For consent to be legally valid, the following elements must be present:

* It must be given by a person with legal capacity, and of sufficient intellectual capacity to understand the implications of being vaccinated.

* It must be given voluntarily in the absence of undue pressure, coercion or manipulation.

* It must cover the specific procedure that is to be performed.

* It can only be given after the potential risks and benefits of the relevant vaccine, risks of not having it and any alternative options have been explained to the individual.

The very basic principle – the Precautionary Principle – the principle for formulating sound policy and legislation, has not been followed by government.
i2P has published an article explaining this process in this edition.
Go to Mark Coleman’s article: The Precautionary Principle – Why did it disappear in formulating vaccine policy?

If the Australian government is serious about improving confidence in vaccination, it will need to get REALLY serious about scrutinizing vaccine research, efficacy and safety, conflicts of interest, establishing a mandatory (and accountable) vaccine adverse event register AND a no-fault vaccine injury compensation fund, to support the victims of vaccine injury, disability and fatality.
Only then will commonsense reign.

On a different topic, i2P was delighted to find a pharmacy model (located in the US) that was nearly identical to a core segment of our version of the new paradigm pharmacy for Australian pharmacists.
Read the article Clinical Pharmacy – a US Working Model to discover more.

Peter Sayers is back with an article titled On Being a TV “Star” . Peter is irritated by the manner in which pharmacists are portrayed in media, particularly the visual media. He makes some valid observations and suggestions.

3D drug printing in a pharmacy near you has moved one step closer with the refining of the printers to have a faster output and be capable of printing large doses.
Read 3D Drug Printing Becoming Commercialised for Pharmacy Use for all the details.

Barry Urquhart is back with an interesting range of short stories for various topics concerning management and marketing.
Barry should be your window to the outside world and allow you to adapt comments and strategies to your pharmacy planning and presentation with an appropriate perspective. Read Marketing Focus – Short Stories on Management & Marketing.

Harvey Mackay has an article of great wisdom titled: Pursuit of perfection leads to search for excellence . It’s the sort of advice and information that helps you to progressively upgrade your own values and culture.
It does make you think about what you are doing.

And we finish our offering with the Pharmacy Council of NSW August 2015 Newsletter, PSA Media Releases – Outstanding NSW Pharmacists 2. Informed Consent 3. The HDP Pharmacy and NPS Media Releases -1. Be Medicinewise Week 2. Australian Prescriber.

Enjoy your read for this week.

Neil Johnston
Monday August 10, 2015


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