EDITORIAL for Monday 2 October 2017

Welcome to the current edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) E-Magazine dated Monday 2 October 2017.
When I need a bit of inspiration I tend to read the written works of people who have the ability to transmit motivation through some well chosen words that focus and crystallise your own thoughts about a specific subject.

One such person is Seth Godin, the international marketing guru.
It’s about doing your homework to improve your own personal growth and how to obtain the comparison metrics to assist in managing that growth.
He has even given the subject an illuminative title of:

Constructive dissatisfaction

It’s never been easier to find ways to be disappointed in our performance. You can compare your output, your income, your success rate to a billion people around the globe… many of whom are happy to exaggerate to make you even more disappointed.

It’s hardly worth your trouble.

The exception is the dissatisfaction that is based on a legitimate comparison, one that gives you insight on how to improve and motivates you to get better.

Get clear about the change you’re trying to make and, if it’s useful, compare yourself to others that are on the same path as you are.

If the response rate to your website is lower than your competitor’s, take a look at what they’re doing and learn from it.

If your time in the hundred-yard dash is behind that of the person to your left, analyse the video of their run, step by step, and figure out what you’re missing.

You can always find someone who is cuter, happier or richer than you, (or appears to be). That’s pointless.

But if you can find some fuel to help you reach your goals, not their goals, have at it.”

What Seth Godin does not clearly identify are the comparison metrics that will point your direction in what you want to compare yourself with.

That’s your job, and it is the hardest part of the exercise because it involves making the intangible more tangible and identifiable.
And in so doing you begin to establish metrics that can be recorded as your own “personal best”.

Sometimes it helps to employ a coach to stimulate activity and help identify a valid direction.
That is always a good form of investment.
Even people at the top of their game, be they athletes, performing artists, business managers or persons involved in any professional endeavour, always perform better when they have to perform under the watchful eye of a coach.
Even your own personal physical fitness program will unfold as a sensible stream of personal “bests” in the simplest of programs, and self-discipline becomes additive to that of the stimulus provided by a coach.

The more successful you become in employing the art of creative dissatisfaction the more “celebrity” will attach to you as an individual or the organisation you are identified with.
This is the basis of “Brand ambassadorship” and as a pharmacist it is an imperative that you build your own “brand” to attract the celebrity that further attracts others to become associated with your endeavours.
For example, you would not have failed to notice the “gaggle” of politicians that came out of the woodwork to identify with the celebrity generated through grand final football, (the two major brands – Australian Rules and Rugby League in particular), in the hope that some of the spotlight rubbed off for the benefit of those politicians.

No matter how cynical the process it becomes a measurable success when bearers of high profiles associate for mutual benefit.
And the “brand” becomes more magnified and identifiable.

In our world of pharmacy, work needs to be done on rebuilding brand “pharmacy” which has suffered from poor leadership and disunity for many years.
There is currently some hope of a more unified profession as the PSA and the PGA now publicly proclaim that they are “working in tandem” through collaborative processes for the solution of pharmacy problems.
That is the first step in brand repair.
And it also is indicative of a stronger development of leadership – a process that has been a long time in coming.

Therefore, the timing is right for individual pharmacists to begin to improve their personal best, which will accentuate the strength of brand pharmacy and attract others of high profile (including members of government) to be associated with projects of pharmacy and thus assist in their success.
Good pharmacy leadership will build a creative process from the “bottom up” rather than the “top down” which requires genuine effort to achieve.
However, if the lessons from the past have been learnt, the generation of a creative leadership style will spawn innovation that will propel pharmacy into a confident and prosperous future.
All the raw material is in place – it just requires the “leadership glue” to hold it all together.
Our lead article for this edition explores the positive and refreshing news that the major leadership organisations (PGA and PSA) have begun to explore common ground, and have commenced  collaborating.
As a result, government is listening to unified proposals from pharmacy in a more favourable light.
Community pharmacy sits on the high ground that represents a primary health care service for all Australian consumers.
From that perspective, pharmacy fills its role for the best advantage to the Australian community.
The challenge now is to develop the brand of Pharmacy Care in a variety of competitive niches that will ensure that pharmacists can practice to the full extent of their licence, creatively and with innovation.
Finally, a light at the end of the tunnel.
Read: Pharmacy Care- a Search for Competition?

It is obvious that pharmacists can play a unique role within the primary health care system under the broad title of Pharmaceutical Care. Because of access, training and an ability to engage with patients, pharmacists can provide solutions in the form of Integrative Medicine. Gerald Quigley explains how this can be achieved with a practical example illustrated in his current article.
Read: The “flu”……What role can we play?

Despite the advances in pharmacy technology and automation, dispensing errors still exist in hospital and community pharmacy environments.
This is why pharmacists must always be conscious of giving 100 percent of their efforts in preventing errors arising from the dispensing of prescriptions.
Despite the introduction of new professional services there must be a continuous investment in patient safety systems to ensure that patient damage is eliminated and the profession’s integrity remains solid.
Harvey Mackay’s article illustrates this need.
Read: Good enough never is

It is some time since Mark Neuenschwander, a pioneer in the use of bar coding for safe dispensing, has appeared in i2P.
Mark reflects on his friend and mentor, Dr Kenneth Barker and whose life work was devoted to the researching of safe dispensing.
It should remind us that we all have unfinished business in the realm of patient safety.
Read: I’VE BEEN THINKING about my first lecture on pharmacy automation, the life work of Dr. Kenneth N. Barker, and the autographed baseball I keep on my desk.

WHO has made a statement saying that cannabis should be decriminalised world-wide because existing laws cause health discrimination.
In Australia, patients are being actively discriminated against as police are instructed to enforce existing laws and close down “illegal” supplies, leaving critically ill people with no workable solutions for their health problems.
Flawed health policy generates bad laws and lowered community respect for policy and laws.
Yet again, Pharmacy is in a position to provide solutions very simply and simultaneously create opportunity for the profession to treat chronically ill patients efficiently and economically.
Pharmacy leaders need to be proactive in the regulatory area because other health professionals are actively competing to lock pharmacy out of any opportunity whatsoever.
Potential for pharmacists is found in the compounding of THC and CBD in specific ratios to match the best result for patients with chronic illness.
Further pharmacist potential also lies in using cannabinoids in harm minimisation programs involving opioid dependencies and as an adjunct for the management of pain.
Pharmacists also need to be active and have a voice in the regulation of these substances ensuring that maximum patient access can be obtained through the application of Schedule 3 of the Poison’s Act.
Read: Understanding Medical Cannabis – 1. Let The People Grow (They Do Anyway) 2. 150,000 Full-Time Marijuana Jobs in the U.S., a 22% Increase from Last Year 3. Legalizing Weed Has Done What $1,000,000,000,000 and a 40 Year Drug War Couldn’t

Dr Andrew Byrne is a specialist in harm minimisation and actively researches his subject.
Pharmacists engaged in the methadone program will find his comments of interest.
Read: Bart G, Wyman Z, Wang Q, Hodges JS, Karim R, Bart BA. Methadone and the QTc Interval: Paucity of Clinically Significant Factors in a Retrospective Cohort. J Addiction Medicine pre-publication 2017.

“The science is settled”.
So say the people who promote vaccination as some form of extreme medical ideology.
“Scientism is settled” is a more accurate description of the manipulation of the science surrounding vaccines – and it is certainly “unsettling” to hear the dishonest claims that blare out in all forms of media.
 “First do no harm” is the concept that underwrites all medical practice.
Australian vaccination policy is so poor and damaging, that it beggars belief that legislators can be so close to manufacturer sales objectives as to guarantee them a market through coercive legislation that involves simultaneous removal of patient choice.
The evidence supporting vaccine policy failure and its lack of safety is becoming so voluminous that it will eventually destroy the unnatural power alliance that desperately tries to hold it all together.
Read: The Safe Vaccine Debate – 1. Corruption & Misconduct at CDC 2. Dr Judy Wileyman Report – Newsletters #174 & #175 3. Poul Thorsen – Vaccine Data Manipulator

And we finish this edition with some current media releases from two pharmacy leadership organisations.

PSA – http://i2p.com.au/psa-media-releases-1-pharmacists-welcome-new-sa-health-minister-2-celebrating-vital-role-of-pharmacists-on-world-pharmacists-day/

NPS – http://i2p.com.au/nps-media-releases-medicinewise-ncirs-announce-national-partnership/

We hope you enjoy our content for this edition and invite you to post a comment in the panel provided at the foot of each article.

Neil Johnston
Editor, i2P E-Magazine
Monday 2 October 2017


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