EDITORIAL for Monday 2 February 2015

Welcome to this week’s edition of i2P- Information to Pharmacists dated Monday, 2 February, 2015.
Politics, both state and federal has been dominating the news of late, and that can be unsettling at a time when pharmacy generally is struggling to come to terms with the massive price reductions of the past six months, plus the line up of other drugs about to undergo the same process.
Community Pharmacy needs nurturing and stability and it does need help in transitioning from a dispensing-centric model to a version more aligned with clinical services.

Studies have proven over the past 30 years that health systems are best organised around primary health care, which produces economical outcomes coupled with high levels of patient satisfaction.

Pharmacy once had high levels of primary health care patients which were eroded in 1953 with the introduction of the National Health Act (free doctor plus free prescriptions).
That model is now definitely not free and as a health product, has reached the end of its life cycle.
So what will be its replacement and how long will it take to implement?

A patient-centred home model is now looking to be the replacement model, but it will take a lot of structural organisation.
Also there is a cultural question to be answered in that do we accept the assertion by the medical profession that they should head up all primary health care activities.

History has proven that they always provide expensive solutions, if indeed they really were solutions.
So there is an argument for pharmacist-managed patient-centred homes because pharmacists have been filling primary health care roles since the beginning of time, but given little or no recognition for this activity.
That is, by the medical profession or government.
The general public however, loves pharmacists and pharmacies are conveniently located throughout Australia.
Perhaps a bit of humour found in a Probus newsletter might help focus the situation:

 The Best Patient to Operate On

Five surgeons from big cities are discussing who makes the bet patients to operate on. The first surgeon, from Sydney, says:
 “I like to see accountants on my operating table because when you open them up, everything inside is numbered.”

The second, from Adelaide, responds:

 “Yes, but I prefer electricians!
Everything inside them is colour coded!”

The third surgeon, from Brisbane, says:
 “No, I really think librarians are best, as everything inside them is in alphabetical order.”

The fourth, from Melbourne, chimes in:
“You know, I like to operate on construction workers.
Those guys always understand when you have a few parts left over”

However, the fifth surgeon, from Canberra, won the argument when he observed:
“You’re all wrong. Politicians are the easiest to operate on.

There are no guts, no heart, no brains and no spine … … plus, the head and the backside are interchangeable!

Sentiments that might be easily agreed to considering that it is federal politicians who have to be influenced in realigning health infrastructure, so as to give pharmacy a prominent and influential role to provide a good primary health care solution.
Will it happen?
Not unless pharmacy leadership organisations can produce leaders that unify the profession and are able to influence politicians successfully.

In support of the above sentiments you are advised to read:

What is Primary Health Care?
Biometric Services
Walking Group is a Step to Better Health
Nuvola: floating a new Health & Beauty store concept into Saudi skies
3D-Printed Liver Cells Commercially Available
Is Chelation an ‘integrative’ SCAM?

Plus other articles of interest:

Five Principles Combine to Make Great Logos
Leadership – How it Fails

Given the disruption of financial returns from the prescription market, i2P will provide more focus in 2015 of other potential challenges, particularly as global pharmacy retailers will begin to seek access to the Australian market.
Expect intense political lobbying in this regard, particularly from the Walgreen-Boots Alliance group as they stabilise their structure and begin to seek out new opportunities.
The only stalling point really is the small relative size of the Australian market.
The bright side is that it may be the single factor that would unite all of Australian pharmacy interests.
I would also draw your attention to the Sartoretto-Verna article on a new Saudi Arabian pharmacy.
Those of you that are looking for a good alliance partner in terms of developing a good pharmacy design for Australia and as a partner for any international expansion you need to follow the reasons for Sartoretto-Verna success.
Design is a very potent ingredient in the recipe for success.

All these articles combine to challenge your thoughts on contemporary pharmacy practice, so happy reading.

Neil Johnston,

Monday 2 February, 2015



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