EDITORIAL for Monday 25 January 2016

Welcome to i2P (Information to Pharmacists) E-Magazine, dated Monday 25 January 2016.
This week we review the new flagship retail store developed for Blackmores, the highly successful manufacturer of vitamins, minerals and a range nutritional supplements and functional foods.
Blackmores has independently incorporated many concepts researched or developed by i2P, so it is with a touch of frustration that we acknowledge the design efforts incorporated within their new store at Bondi, Sydney, NSW.
Frustrated because it is not a pharmacy presentation we are acknowledging, but we do encourage pharmacists to visit this new concept store as a means for adopting and physically designing your own pharmacy those elements that will provide ideas your infrastructure and your systems for the future.

Blackmores is a classic example of focusing on what you do best (quality manufacturing) and then providing quality information to consumers to drive retail sales.
Despite criticisms from organisations such as Friends of Science in Medicine (FSM) and their destruction of an appropriate partnership between pharmacy and Blackmores (remember “I’ll have coke and fries with that”), Blackmores has gone from strength to strength with its shares being regarded as a “blue chip” investment.
Individual naturopaths that I have mentored within pharmacy environments often commented that they had difficulty assimilating into pharmacy culture.
They put it down to what they perceived as a professional jealousy, because they could create an income from a professional consultation, and none of the pharmacists within the same environment seemed able to.

I explained to them the cultural differences and that while pharmacy was highly visible and appeared to be successful, it was still assembling its core business under oppression from the medical profession.
That comment is still valid today and is the driver of the underlying problem of professional self-confidence that will only be overcome when pharmacy leaders rise up in revolt and absorb the relentless criticism that follows.
This factor of self-confidence will also be a determinant in the collaboration process, particularly those pharmacists  that elect to work in GP environments.
Read: Blackmore’s New Flagship Store – Now There’s a Model for Pharmacy!

Within that article you will find a suggestion for the PSA to set up its own flagship store as a means of accelerating an evidence base to drive community pharmacy.
We at i2P used to define that concept as a “training pharmacy” and as a method of recruiting pharmacy’s best and brightest – and give them self-confidence.

We have often talked about locally delivered education providing practical information modules that can be applied immediately to a community pharmacy environment, as the key to driving the future.
This type of workshop would be capable of driving acceptance of new and sometimes controversial concepts, but with a high degree of local acceptance, the actual risk would be low.
If health areas became the boundaries for this type of education then the introduction of a training (flagship) pharmacy within each health area would also fit.
Read: Local Education –Forums to the future

Seth Godin came along recently (via Internet) and provided independent clarity to a concept often appearing in the pages of i2P.
Do we have patients or customers?
Well as i2P has frequently pointed out we do have both and they have to be treated separately in their recruitment.
We do need customers but we need patients even more.
The strategy of how to achieve a correct balance requires reading Seth Godin Clarity – as applied to pharmacy.

Gerald Quigley has a couple of pertinent points relating to some PBS decisions and he writes about them in Panadol Osteo? Give me a break!.
It also leaves me wondering that if official evidence exists that Panadol Osteo is not proper treatment for osteoarthritis, then why do so many consumers demand it.

It’s a bit like the squeeze treatment applied to pharmacists that cannot supply homeopathic products their patients believe in.
Are we going to have the APLF rush to a new policy on this issue?
There’s not much difference.
Where did the ability to apply professional discretion disappear to?

Not a day goes by when there is some new report about how medical marijuana is able to help manage a chronic condition.
i2P believes that medical marijuana in its CBD form ought to be Schedule 3.
If that were to occur (and it could if our leaders fought for it) then that would position pharmacy quite high in providing solutions for primary health care, plus a specialised role for compounding pharmacists.
Our library of articles on this subject is now becoming quite extensive and we recommend that you access the archives through the site search engine and read up on the subject.
For this edition read: The Effects of Cannabis On Weight Loss, Exercise Performance and Insulin Resistance

The Orthomolecular.org association has done some research on nutritional supplement safety in the US.
Primarily because medical skeptics in the US keep attacking this valid evidence-based component of health.
Their conclusion – a 100 percent safety profile.
Even this week in Australia there was a report on the safety of a weight loss supplement supposedly the cause of a liver transplant.
Yet the doctor making the media statement could not say how or what component caused the liver damage (the product was mostly organic whey protein).
A report such as this is senseless because it is not evidence-based – yet the medical skeptic who made this an issue would insist on valid evidence if the boot was on the other foot. Read Nutritional Supplement Safety Profile Proven To Be 100 Percent Safe and add a bit of your own commonsense in this ongoing useless debate.

We have published some research developed through the University of Queensland which involves a naturally derived insecticide.
This natural substance is being promoted to spray on stored agricultural products to avoid toxic health problems from arising through the food chain.
It is not yet a complete solution because alternatives need to be found for glyphosate in crop spraying – a proven cause of cancer and autism.
Read Buzz about natural fly insecticide and add this article to your own reference library.

Some Australian developed research on high functioning autism might prove interesting to some readers.
We have applied this information to the attitudes of some advocacy groups, the Friends of Science (FSM) in particular.
See if you agree with this evidence-based commentary: People with high autistic tendencies see the world very differently.

There are no press releases from pharmacy leadership organisations – they must still be on holidays and remain asleep for a week or two.

Enjoy your read.

Neil Johnston
Editor i2P E-Magazine
Monday 25 January 2016

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