EDITORIAL for Monday 16 February 2015

Welcome to this week’s edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) dated 16 February 2015.
It has become obvious that cultural changes have occurred within the pharmacy profession – not all positive.
In this edition we report on the tragedy of the Pharmore management company and how it is a loss for all of pharmacy.
The culture reflected by this group was all positive.
The problem was the fact that there was an insufficiency of financial resources to build their aspirational product, and to sustain it to the next stage of development.
They have our sympathy and it is hoped that they are able to eventually rebuild a new model and a vision that can finish the job.

We also have a new writer this week by the name of John Cook.
John certainly has a vision for clinical services and is energetically working to create his own niche in pharmacy.
He will explain more fully his beliefs and forward-thoughts on clinical services in future articles – all positive.

Harvey Mackay has an interesting article and perspective on “listening”.
This is a skill that pharmacists need to continually fine tune.
As Harvey says “We were born with two ears but only one mouth.  Some people say that’s because we should spend twice as much time listening as talking.”

Judy Wilyman has a report on one of the more disruptive elements within medical activism.
These people have an extreme view that only their version of medical evidence can be openly discussed.
It is one thing to be critical through the normal avenues of open press, blogs etc.
It is another to become part of the criminal code by threatening venue proprietors with violence and spreading a range of lies and propaganda. I find it personally disgusting.
It is suppression of freedom of speech.
It is un-Australian and should not be tolerated.
That it is driven by already discredited Pharma’s is probably self-evident, but should not be tolerated.
And the medical people associated with this activity need to look long and hard at themselves and their behaviour.
At the very least they should be confronted with their professional Codes of Conduct.

We have also published some commentary on the twentieth edition of the Report on Government Services 2015, produced by the Productivity Commission for an inter-governmental steering committee.
It is not good bedtime reading and the dry language and style quickly bores.
However, it should keep academics, researchers and some politicians fully engaged for some time.
It is the language of de-identification that concerns me most.
The word “pharmacist” only appears in the silo context of “the PBS”, which in my world seems to lock in all pharmacists within a system that is becoming increasingly commoditised and on its last legs, with little opportunity or input visible from pharmacists.
While I realise that this report has to be filtered through many layers of government before it becomes actual policy, I know that the attitudes that underlie this document will “stick” and drive agendas not favourable for pharmacists and other health professionals.

The “silo” mentality seems to be alive and well.

Read also the media releases from PSS, PSA, ASMI and NPS. They all have interesting messages for your perusal.

Neil Johnston

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