EDITORIAL for Monday 27 April 2015

Welcome to this week’s edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) E-Magazine dated Monday 27 April 2015.
Again, we are seeing a round of mainstream media releases that could only be termed “vindictive”.
i2P reminds its readers that the Abbott government and the Murdoch Press have formed an unholy alliance and that 6CPA negotiations are under way.
The job of the Murdoch Press is to demoralise pharmacists while the Abbott government creates promises that it has no intention to keep.

Back in 2005 i2P made the prediction that government would create ongoing pressure through the PBS to the extent that it would exhaust coalface pharmacists physically and mentally.
Then it would offer pharmacies to the supermarkets because the economic rationalists demand it and because everything to them is a low price rather than a fair value.
The date we predicted a decade ago was…you guessed it, 2015!

Even simple media stories published by the Murdoch Press have a financial bias, deliberately distorting pharmacy to be high-priced and uncompetitive at every opportunity.

If you haven’t yet gotten around to work out what will be your future direction i2P suggests that it is now time to move away from the PBS and develop better models for dispensing and health service delivery.
Not a mass exodus, just a simple strategy and business plan to chart your direction to a new and better pharmacy structure – one that is less commoditised and gives a better return intellectually and financially.
Starting your own pharmacopoeia around compounding formulas, generic drugs, nutritional supplements and any devices that aid health in general is your starting point. Also, by building in a range of clinical services you could develop a more rounded and better health offering than what is provided through the PBS that is now a mismatch of illness support drugs marketed with evidence that is tainted or problematical.
And keep an eye on the 3D printing of drugs – that could be a real and disruptive game changer for pharmacy.

Any market segment that has potential to be commoditised will fall prey – first to the retail pharmacies, and in turn, to the major supermarkets.
And don’t think that the major supermarkets will be queuing up to buy retail pharmacies, because they think they can do it better than the pharmacists and will develop their own.
The supermarkets really do despise pharmacists for holding them out of what they perceive as a “divine right” to own pharmacies.
They will trample all over the profession and commoditise as much as they can.

Last week we advised pharmacists to lodge a complaint with the journalist group Media Alliance. You can lodge a complaint using the process outlined here.

For the newspaper itself lodge a complaint with the Australian Press Council

Here is a summary of this weeks stories:

The Value Curve Aligns
Craig Frawley is a new writer for i2P helping to define the future pharmacy. He is trying to invent a new paradigm for his own future. Inescapably we are all bound by a conservative culture that is resistant to change. Change must take note of what has gone before, so that is the suitable starting point for any future model.

In this article by Craig compares the major franchise groups for value and performance.

Culture is a Unifying Force – and we need it now with a touch of Terroir
I learnt a new word this week…Terroir. And it does not mean what you may think it to be.
Anyway, this article was written to stimulate thought as to how pharmacy can conduct its affairs more fluidly and with a single voice by coming together under an umbrella of culture to first create a single voice and then a flavour of Terroir.
It’s a simple concept but one that is long overdue.

A Missed Opportunity?
Gerald Quigley talks about the Bioceuticals Conference he recently attended and the low numbers of pharmacists who attended.
Was this a missed opportunity?
Given the current market and political climate I would say yes!

IOM states Vaccines can cause Autism
Judy Wilyman is back with her research perspective on vaccines and autism.
Yes, it’s getting a tired argument but as she states there is no evidence that vaccines do not cause autism and even research authorities back this claim.
Even some pharmacy voices support what can only be described as marketing catch phrases that support the vaccine manufacturer’s position and close their eyes to patient damage.
i2p is committed to “Safe Vaccination”  is neither “pro” or “anti” and is committed to turning the light on across the entire debate.

I’ve been thinking about minding the gap, looking right, and a potential blind spot in the medication-use process.
Mark Neuenschwander is our bar code expert and committed to the safe administration of medicines, particularly in hospitals.
Mark has spent a lifetime as a bar code evangelist and has almost brought about a single-handed revolution in patient safety through promotion of bar code use on medicines, and for patients (wrist bands) and their medication charts. He is winning the war.

Ice Pack for Injections Courtesy 3D Printing
Here is a simple invention that is cheap and effective. It is an ice-pack design to take the pain out of giving influenza injections (or any form of vaccine) that might just provide a point of difference between a pharmacy promoted vaccine compare to all others

And finally, PSA Media Releases, ASMI Media Releases, and, NPS Media Releases to complete this weeks’ offering.

Enjoy your read and offer any comments you may like to make.

Neil Johnston
27 April 2015

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