The “profitless prosperity” that those millionaire pharmacists, owning pharmacies they are currently trying to keep afloat, have my sympathy.
They are being savaged by the millionaire Murdoch Press who are deliberately stirring up and distorting images of pharmacy that are blatantly false – and they know it!
What does it say about their professionalism?
As we know, the tabloid press distorts any issues that may increase circulation and boost advertising revenues.
Millionaire press barons unleashed – not a pretty sight!
My advice to the PGA for the moment would be to electronically “sweep” your office telephones to prevent illegal phone tapping, as the Murdoch Press did through their UK subsidiary in their never-ending quest to generate sensationalist headlines.
Because we know this newspaper group has always represented the lowest standards in journalism in terms of professionalism and ethics, the concern is that the Australian government may seize on the opportunity to further punish community pharmacy and suppress the potential to retaliate through another petition.
I would suggest that the PGA invest in a communications system that involves community pharmacy loyalty club email contacts mixed with social media.
This to get out a simple but truthful message very effectively and very efficiently.
Health Minister Sussan Ley told pharmacists they would be asked to deliver savings and efficiencies in the new five year pharmacy agreement, despite already having received more than the profession could reasonably give.
“I wish I could say to you today that pharmacy and the PBS more broadly are exempt from this process. But that is not possible,” she said.
“I cannot ignore the facts of the Budget environment which Australia faces,” she said.
“The need to stem the growth in costs in our health system is urgent, so that future generations can continue to benefit from Medicare and the PBS,” she said.
After all that pharmacy has been seen to have given up, to provide a sustainable PBS, manufacturers have immediately used any surplus generated to quicken the approval process for new and more expensive drugs.
Medicines Australia have also joined the chorus line.
Dr Martin Cross told the National Press Club recently that because medicines had to prove their cost effectiveness before they were subsidised by taxpayers, so should pharmacy for their services.
“Those same principles really should apply across the health field … and I suspect there will be some savings available from that,” he said.
Fine words coming from an industry that has proven to be promoted on fraudulent science and the people who set the original drug prices – it is a ludicrous point to try and score.
Better they concentrate on cleaning up the existing evidence databases that are so corrupted it has been deemed an almost impossible task by a number of researchers.
The RACGP, The RACP and the CHF jointly state:
“With an estimated 1.5 million Australians suffering from an adverse event from medicines each year, efforts to promote the judicious, safe and effective use of medicines should be at the heart of the CPA,” they say in a letter to Sussan Ley.
“We question the merit of committing to a further five years of such an agreement.”
I have just a short response to those points:
Who prescribes the drugs and who manufactures the drugs that cause these adverse events?
Certainly not the pharmacists!
Despite all the negativity being heaped on pharmacists collectively we say that the PGA should get on with the job of negotiating the 6CPA.
However, i2P cautions that this should be done in a collective manner.
Many more voices need to be heard.
PGA is well aware that it has disadvantaged clinical pharmacists and eroded a major QUM project (Home Medication Reviews) misusing its power base.
So start reversing all the stupid decisions of the recent past, recognise clinical service pharmacists as a vital component of community pharmacy core business, and look to establish suitable clinical spaces within pharmacies and encourage the creation of shared risk agreements with a contracted service providers.
Fighting on more than one front is never considered good strategy in any type of warfare.
That your internal opponents may have been feeding information to the Murdoch Press and other professional groups noted above, may certainly prove to be the case.
That PGA has driven clinical pharmacists to withdraw loyalty, and to mentor PGA detractors in where to look and what to ask, would only have occurred under extreme stress.
Having split the entire profession and made it vulnerable from attacks far and wide we would suggest the PGA immediately get on with the job and mend fences quickly.
But above all else – DO THE RIGHT THING!