EDITORIAL – for Monday 22 December 2014

Welcome to this weeks’ edition of Information to Pharmacists E-Magazine for the week commencing Monday 22 December 2014.
This week sees the Pharmacy profession kick out of the pivotal year of 2014, with many taking an opportunity over the festive season to lick their wounds and start anew in 2015.
As we have mentioned previously, 2015 is the starting-point for a new cycle in pharmacy that will peak in 2035 and then decline once again, reaching future rock-bottom in 2055.
The landing for pharmacy at the end of this current cycle has not been a soft one, and many participants have been severely shaken in the aftermath of price transparency and other industry impacts that have caused gross profit shrinkage, plus a scramble for new revenue streams to plug holes.
In this edition we have asked writers to visualise a new paradigm pharmacy and present ideas that have a sense of originality.
Obviously, for this to happen there needs to be an ongoing culture shift, but at a much faster pace than has been  happening to date.
So we have ourselves thought about why pharmacists have not yet visualised themselves as part of a single family, just specialising in performing variations indifferent segments of the profession over a range of settings.
In this regard we are suggesting that a universal pharmacist brand be designed for ethical use by all pharmacists.
Being neutral in intent it would not conflict with various pharmacy brands and in fact is encouraged to be used across all cultures.
Even though the intent is to promote this brand locally in Australia we would not object if the concept was picked up globally. Read our expanded thoughts in the article PPRx – Are We One Family.

Unfortunately, there is still a significant group of pharmacist proprietors who are “under water” financially.
They are still profitable, but with the various “hits” to their cash flow over 2014 they find themselves in a situation where they have lost their freedom to move.
Many of these pharmacists have been in business for long periods of time and have regarded themselves as “successful” in the past. It sometimes takes an outside view to motivate people in this situation and do something about it.
For example, put yourself under a scheme of arrangement (court sanctioned) to buy time to trade out or sell the pharmacy.
Pharmacy values are still holding reasonably well, but the underlying business of pharmacy stability – PBS dispensing – is no longer there.
Expanding core business through clinical services is a good option but very few have been successful because they have not developed a suitable model embracing employed or contracted clinical pharmacists.
Maybe the starting point might be found in our article written about organisational charts “Organisational Styles of Management – Some Charting Views” where you can begin to plan a whole of pharmacy view and build a new style of delivering core business.
This type of planning only requires a few hours of quiet time but it can navigate your commitment into the future.
Get out of the box and begin to take risk. Start with how you can improve elements of the existing model, take them with you an build in a range of new ideas e.g build a health bar and add a forward pharmacist (use the i2P search engine to find out how).
To not do so is a greater risk, as events beyond your control take over e.g. Peter Dutton is no longer Minister for Health and any promises of pharmacy support go with him. Things change so quickly.

i2P would also like to report that its global presence is slowly increasing. The following is a break-up of countries and their readership:

Australia 83.9% ; USA 11.3% ; Japan 2.4% ; New Zealand 1.6% ; Germany 0.3%
We are not having an impact of any significance in the UK, Europe or New Zealand, so the goal for us in 2015 is to find material more suited to those countries for publishing.
The US market share is significant, but we do analyse a lot of material from that market.

Well, we will be having a short break over the festive season and will reappear on Monday 5th January 2015.
i2P wishes all of its readers a Happy Christmas, a prosperous New Year and a safe holiday break.
We also hope that you are able to find a bit of peace and quiet over the holiday break sufficient to prepare a bit of forward planning (not New Years’ Eve resolutions – they are never kept!) – substantial forward planning through charting is a good start point.

Best wishes,

i2P Editor Monday 22 December 2014

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