EDITORIAL for Monday 28 September 2015

Welcome to this weeks’ edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) dated Monday, 28 September 2015.
This week we have a diversity of topics starting with a rather unique story of an American police chief taking the initiative in dealing with the spiralling prescription abuse creating a gateway to addiction and multiple other crimes to feed the addiction.

His solution?

To decriminalise the illness of addiction and provide support for addicts.
The uniqueness?
Dragging the main manufacturers to the negotiating table and getting a financial contribution towards a rehabilitation plan.

It’s a very interesting story and it does involve community pharmacy support.
Read: The Power of One

Our next story simply asks the question: “Why the heck is official pharmacy getting involved in destroying homeopaths. Don’t we have enough major issues of our own to contend with?”
Mark Coleman takes you step-by-step through this issue and the dubious methods employed by the NHMRC to obtain the result it planned for.
Its findings were even released through the media well before the investigation formally commenced.
On many levels the NHMRC failed to do its job ethically and honestly.

The Australian Pharmacy Liaison Forum (APLF) made it a priority at its last meeting to condemn homeopathy without conducting its own investigation first.
It played follow the leader rather than looking for the evidence that exists.
i2P has supported the APLF endeavours to unify pharmacy through a leadership role, but is disappointed by the standard of leadership displayed by first pursuing an issue of irrelevance and secondly, by not creating a shopping list of pharmacy issues that does need attention.
To rub salt into the wound the organisation is changing its name from “Liaison” to “Leaders” –  a title not yet earned.
Read: Homeopathy and the APLF – What’s Wrong With This Picture?

And before you take an irrational, non evidence-based “pot-shot” at i2P, just remember that we have done our homework and we are also of the belief that pharmacy itself is being manipulated.
So everyone – please open your own eyes!

Since the government disposed of a very profitable asset (namely Medibank) and in the two years prior to that decision, there has been a marked upwards shift in patient “out-of-pocket” expenses.
Interestingly, government health contributions have remained more or less static.
Medibank has recently refused to pay benefits for 165 items, thus increasing the potential for a further steep rise in “out-of-pocket” payments.
That the government is trying to avoid “political heat” by having Medibank front for them is obvious.
The bottom line is that patients will shortly become financially distressed and pharmacy will be in the middle of it unless new systems of health insurance are developed to enable patients to cope.
Read: Health Out of Pocket Costs Will Impact Pharmacy.

Harvey Mackay is back with an article titled Real leadership often defies the rules.
It’s a very relevant article given some of the content delivered by i2P this week, but it is an ongoing and universal issue.

For organisations and governments to maintain their democratic principles and standards, leaders must always be on the lookout for any weaknesses in their own area of control.
It might even be said that i2P is defying the rules regarding homeopathy and sustaining its thought leadership role. Life wasn’t meant to be easy.

Gerald Quigley is back and asks the question Screening over-70’s for memory issues – what can it achieve?
Can you answer it for him?

Judy Wilyman reports on some activist campaigns recently conducted against government coercion being used to force parents to vaccinate their children against their wishes.
Government investigators report that it is more the “well-educated” communities that are refusing vaccination.
So what does that tell you about the investigators?
i2P and these “well educated” people are for safe vaccination and the democratic freedom of choice.
There is no “anti” or “pro” stance about this – just plain safety.
This is also a pharmacy issue because pharmacists want to provide vaccination services.
There is no problem here – just a need to obtain informed consent.

Read: Censorship and Misrepresentation in the Australian Media,

We also thought that we would publish a series involving the human face of unsafe vaccination. It does cause you to ponder a little and be sympathetic to the families involved. It could also be your own.
Read: The Human Face of Vaccination

And we finish up our offering this week with media releases from PSA and NPS.

PSA – PSA Media Releases – 1. MPS Value & World Pharmacists Day 2. PSA Welcomes New Team in Health

NPS – NPS Media Release – New Antibiotic and Aged Care Collaboration

Enjoy your read for this week and don’t forget to add a comment or two in the panel at the foot of each article.

Neil Johnston
Monday, September 28, 2015

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