EDITORIAL for Monday 4 April 2016

Welcome to this edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) dated 4 April 2016.
In his edition we focus on the road ahead for community pharmacy, and by extension, all other pharmacists.
I can come to no other conclusion that Stephen King, chair of the Review Committee into Location Rules and Ownership Rules is there to facilitate Australian pharmacy into a weakened state vulnerable to any takeover offer, (which will be of global origin) as the last impediment of location, then ownership rules disappear.

I believe his job is to dismantle the structure of pharmacy and try to shoehorn the profession into a neat industrial economist box, where it will literally die.

So let us speculate for a few paragraphs.

Did anyone notice that Stephen King was sponsored at the recent APP Conference by Sigma?
Join the dots.
Sigma are already in discussion with the Boots Alliance conglomerate (owned by US pharmacy giant Walgreens) and the first dot to be joined will be the Alliance component of Boots that will form up an equal partnership with Sigma.

Sigma’s job will be to deliver the best of their pharmacies within their franchise banners and rebrand them as “Boots Pharmacies”- the initial pharmacies may have a pharmacist component controlling 51% of shares (like New Zealand), but the real control lies in the hands of the “brand” and the primary lease of the premises.

Franchises like Chemist Warehouse will also be vulnerable because of their close financial ties with Sigma (and has a strong stick to wield just in reduction of terms of credit).

We would also advise that we are at a starting point where automation will drive most business offerings and the momentum will not stop for decades
This year will see community pharmacies move to install robotic dispensing equipment, which is estimated to reduce pharmacist content of dispensary labour by about 90 percent and one full time equivalent dispensary technician.

They have no choice, the PBS as an investment by community pharmacy is finished.
You will not be able to squeeze any more contribution to the bottom line and it will keep diminishing, so the dispensary has to find an alternative, and the first choices will be to increase compound dispensing and private dispensing.

Given that government is adding extraordinarily high cost specialised drugs to the list, its choice to keep adding these drugs has to be offset by kicking other drugs off the list completely.
In fact, the PBS list seems to be set on its original aim (back in 1952) of only having life saving drugs subsidised.
So there is opportunity here if you remain alert.

Automation will be completely disruptive for pharmacy and will be the generator of large scale unemployment.
Pharmacy leaders have been woefully short-sighted in not having mature service offerings to compensate and balance government policy and legislative changes.
The only attempt to fill that gap is the Health Destination Pharmacy project currently being delivered through the research work of Dr Alison Roberts for the PSA.

Its redeeming feature is that it does not rely on government funding and delivers a positive number to the bottom line of a community pharmacy.
But there is a long way to go before it becomes a sustainable system and to function properly it needs robotic dispensing to release enough pharmacist hours to do the job in the front of the pharmacy.

The fast food industry, which is one of the best analogies to compare against a pharmacy dispensary, will lead the way in automation and you should adapt innovations from that source.
The Pizza App delivery tracker is one such innovation.

Pharmacies will have to cut costs dramatically and one of the few options left is automation.
To be stable you will need to keep profitable and keep cash flow positive.

Remember, the experts in how a pharmacy runs and how to package pharmacy patient care, are pharmacists themselves – not industrial economists.
Don’t abdicate this responsibility and carry the fight right back by designing income sources that do not rely on government funding.
Government funding will always let you down.

Fast Food Leading the way – Annihilate Dispensing or Enhance it?
Is the first of our articles leading off from the comments above.
While our industry will not be the only industry that is affected, automation and the use of robotics will overall cause a major social upheaval.
But our industrial economist will love this process.
Whatever he thinks the events to come will not be because of his expert opinion, and governments are notoriously inept in their planning for this type of phenomenon.
So pharmacy has to undergo more disruption and change and it is imperative that you plan and build long-term solutions.
This is a time of investing in your business model while simultaneously remaining agile in the market place and also cutting costs.
Ignore all the negative criticisms from the encircling predators, including the Industrial economist, because he does not understand the pharmacy profession.

VAXXED – From Cover-Up to Catastrophe
This article is a disturbing article that has not been completely covered by mainstream media.
The reason is that Big Pharma, through investment control or through the control of influential decision-makers, prevented the screening of a movie exposing the cover-up and fraud involved in  government agencies, and exposed the level and method of corrupt practices by Big Pharma in a cover-up of the fact that vaccines do cause autism.
The movie with the same title as this article was to be screened at the Tribecca Festival, a test environment and launching pad for new films into general cinemas.
The Tribecca Festival was started by well-known actor, Robert De Niro.
The film attracted his personal interest because he has a son affected by autism.
Robert de Niro wanted the film to start a discussion on the processes that have ruined reputations of certain health professionals and was going to personally introduce the film at the Tribecca.

He was “leaned upon” it is suspected, by a high government official in the CDC.
The threat must have been too strong for him to ignore, so Robert de Niro pulled the film.

This story of government censorship and Big Pharma corruption is still running to a conclusion but it may take some years for a groundswell of health professional revulsion to the methods employed, to be understood, condemned and countered.

Non mainstream outlets are joining globally to get the message out and it will be seen and its powerful message will be heard.

Coercion Starts at the Top
This article is also a bit disturbing, because it alleges that our Prime Minister may be engaged in major conflict of interest decisions.
The “no jab no pay” recent legislation that was passed with virtually no debate or the addressing of the issues of many in the community who had taken the time to protest their concerns.
They were lost in this debate.

You also have to remember that GSK (the Pharma mentioned in the article) has close ties with James Murdoch and Rupert Murdoch also having ties with the Tony Abbott family.
James Murdoch sits on the board of GSK.
It’s a cosy little circle.

Selling is not all about the product
Harvey Mackay reminds us that selling is not just about the product.
It involves the support team in logistics in getting the product into the right place, at the right time, with the right display and the right price and the right person trained to sell.
Often the word “sell” is used negatively against pharmacy.
It is a necessary skill and an essential activity to manage patient and customer needs.
Those using labels like “sell” as a negative against pharmacy are those same predators that talk about evidence – but themselves can never produce evidence to back their claims.

What are you Competing on?
Gerald Quigley introduces a theme that was active during the APP conference.

Seth Godin had some very succinct comments about it.
Gerald seems to think he might have been at APP because his comments are so apt.

I’ve been thinking about effective (and defective) e-mails
Mark Neuenschwander is back for this edition reminding us that quality communications should be a priority with all health professionals and that our emails are used to form positive or negative by all recipients.

It is always the little things that create a positive image, so email construction is one that you and all your staff can work on – and it costs very little.

We finish up our offering with media releases from the main pharmacy leadership organisations.

PSA Media Releases – Health Care Homes – Primary Care Program 2. Nominate for Excellence Awards

ASMI Media Release – ASMI Congratulates Tim Roper

NPS Media Releases – Caution! – Diagnosis Creep

With regard to the NPS release on Diagnosis Creep, we congratulate the NPS for undertaking this investigative reporting that is causing all health professionals concern.
Basically, we are having a pre condition (pre-diabetes, pre-osteoporosis etc) to create patients earlier, and of course can only be treated with Big Pharma medicines.

This is not proper medicine.
Similar activities dot the entire Big Pharma terrain and the more they become exposed and the more resistance can be organised and mounted.

That’s all for this edition.

Neil Johnston
Editor i2P E-Magazine
4 April 2016

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