EDITORIAL for Monday 5 February 2018

Welcome to the current edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) E-Magazine for Monday 5 February, 2018.
We are only just beginning to engage with 2018 and already we are seeing the Australian Medical Association (AMA) stepping up its attacks on pharmacy in a defamatory manner, using dishonest metrics to support unethical accusations.
Nobody benefits from these gutter-type attacks and most pharmacists find that this supposed leadership organisation has few leadership qualities that would sustain any notion that they are an ethical, professional or trustworthy organisation deserving of any respect.
Let alone collaborate with members of that group who actually share the values of their elected executives.
Until there are dramatic changes to AMA policies, pharmacists simply need to ignore them, develop their own disciplined direction and begin to tick off objectives progressively.
Except for those “grass roots” doctors who are genuinely embarrassed by their leadership and want to pursue best practice outcomes for their patients and know that supportive collaboration between health professionals inspires confidence and continuity of the patient.

Poor policy development by government is also impacting on health and poor patient outcomes and this is very evident in the regulatory changes involving low-dose codeine OTC sales and the poor access for patients to engage with medical cannabis.
The size of the prescription opioid epidemic that has erupted in the US has no doubt influenced Australian regulatory change.
The drug manufacturer profits become astronomical as addicts form up through their unethical and immoral marketing practices.
The scale of the problem is quantified in the following story extract:

Drug firms shipped 20.8M pain pills to WV town with 2,900 people

Over the past decade, out-of-state drug companies shipped 20.8 million prescription painkillers to two pharmacies four blocks apart in a Southern West Virginia town with 2,900 people, according to a congressional committee investigating the opioid crisis.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee cited the massive shipments of hydrocodone and oxycodone — two powerful painkillers — to the town of Williamson, in Mingo County, amid the panel’s inquiry into the role of drug distributors in the opioid epidemic.
“These numbers are outrageous, and we will get to the bottom of how this destruction was able to be unleashed across West Virginia,” said committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., and ranking member Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., in a joint statement.
The panel recently sent letters to regional drug wholesalers Miami-Luken and H.D. Smith, asking why the companies increased painkiller shipments and didn’t flag suspicious drug orders from pharmacies while overdose deaths were surging across West Virginia.

And we must definitely add the unsafe vaccination industry that is mass producing future chronically ill patients through influencing politician-initiated coercive and illegal policies, as well as the ridiculous policies and regulations that have all but log-jammed the introduction of medical cannabis.

Poor policy flows into bad regulation and lack of respect by all the communities that are affected by bad regulation.
Many patients embrace the black market to obtain their supply, with the result that the average user of medical cannabis has a profile of being age 60 plus and likely sits next to you in church on Sunday and happily consuming CBD oil or THC tincture obtained from their quite professional but illegal supplier that government pursues and puts in jail, happily wasting taxpayer monies and tying up scarce police resources in the process.
In fact, many police are beginning to intensely dislike following orders to arrest genuine compassionate suppliers who provide the service at a price well under the price of the minimal number of patented cannabis products approved by regulating agencies.
However, there are voices, both medical and political that are starting to speak out critically about the regulatory mess that has been put in place by politicians that follow an agenda commonly provided through global drug and chemical manufacturers through their political donations – both overt to a political party campaign fund or covertly through an individual politician’s Bahamas tax haven.

One could say that we definitely need to drain the Australian “swamp” and need a home-grown version of Donald Trump to kick-start the process.
Dreams of 2018 being a better outcome year compared to 2017 are fast fading!

Our lead article for this edition discusses various aspects and perceptions created by new codeine regulations and what strategies and directions would best suit pharmacists.
Pharmacy leadership has been investing time and effort in advocating for the less onerous regulation of codeine.
Government has responded to some pharmacy advocacy by providing funds for a pain MedsCheck.
But a real opportunity exists for pharmacy leaders to advocate for a Schedule 3 version of medical cannabis as a better codeine replacement.
Some medical and politician support has become evident.
The opportunity for pharmacy goes well beyond the solution to an immediate codeine problem, and that opportunity allows for investment and other professional developments.
And with a change of advocacy direction, pharmacists can leave the petty bickering of the AMA in an empty political space.
Read: An Opportunity Opens Up – Will Pharmacy Leaders Grab It?

Gerald Quigley is back and he also has a view on the new codeine regulations.
His perspective is from a professional viewpoint rather than a retail aspect.
The decision to remove low-dose codeine from open sale was not initiated by pharmacists and certainly there was poor planning for its implementation.

But what is obvious is that the problem evolved not from low-dose codeine sales, but from high-dose medical prescribing.
And the debate was framed using false metrics for the death rate.
So a clumsy mess is forced on pharmacists and they now have to scramble to provide solutions for patients.
Codeine addiction is just the tip of an iceberg – it involves all opioids.
And the problem occurs because of poor doctor prescribing and over-prescribing, engineered by global pharma marketing pressure.
The entire illness model of medicine is now permanently fractured and is beyond repair.
Read: How did we go?

WHO has made a statement saying that cannabis should be decriminalised world-wide because existing laws cause health discrimination.
In Australia, patients are being actively discriminated against as police are instructed to enforce existing laws and close down “illegal” supplies, leaving critically ill people with no workable solutions for their health problems.
Flawed health policy generates bad laws and lowered community respect for policy and laws.
Yet again, Pharmacy is in a position to provide solutions very simply and simultaneously create opportunity for the profession to treat chronically ill patients efficiently and economically.
Pharmacy leaders need to be proactive in the regulatory area because other health professionals are actively competing to lock pharmacy out of any opportunity whatsoever.
Potential for pharmacists is found in the compounding of THC and CBD in specific ratios to match the best result for patients with chronic illness.
Further pharmacist potential also lies in using cannabinoids in harm minimisation programs involving opioid dependencies and as an adjunct for the management of pain.
Pharmacists also need to be active and have a voice in the regulation of these substances ensuring that maximum patient access can be obtained through the application of Schedule 3 of the Poison’s Act.
Read: Understanding Medical Cannabis – 1. Sydney Criminal Lawyers: Facing Prison for Providing Free Cannabis Medicine: An Interview with Jenny Hallam 2. Ganjapreneur : Vermont Public Safety Commissioner Pushes for Roadside Saliva Tests 3. Medical Search: Victorian medicinal cannabis industry powers ahead

“The science is settled”.
So say the people who promote vaccination as some form of extreme medical ideology.
“Scientism is settled” is a more accurate description of the manipulation of the science surrounding vaccines – and it is certainly “unsettling” to hear the dishonest claims that blare out in all forms of media.
“First do no harm” is the concept that underwrites all medical practice.
Australian vaccination policy is so poor and damaging, that it beggars belief that legislators can be so close to manufacturer sales objectives as to guarantee them a market through coercive legislation that involves simultaneous removal of patient choice.
The evidence supporting vaccine policy failure and its lack of safety is becoming so voluminous that it will eventually destroy the unnatural power alliance that desperately tries to hold it all together.
Read:The Safe Vaccine Debate – 1. World Mercury Project: The Vaccine Program’s Unintended Consequences: A Tale of Two Hepatitis B Studies 2. Dr Judy Wilyman Report: Newsletter #188 – Newsletter #189 – Newsletter #190  3. AVN Newsletter: Pro vaccine death threats against Dr Humphries and the Tommey family + The Truth about Vaccines -What every parent needs to know

The Orthomolecular Medicine News Service (OMNS) has provided an article  that describes how major players in the food industry have disrupted human nutrition by falsely labelling food fats as being unhealthy.
And basically leaving sugar, a “natural part of life” untouched and able to wreak havoc by generating whole of body inflammation which underwrites nearly all chronic illness.
The processed food industry thus creates illness and the chemical industry (in the form of herbicides, pesticides and synthetic fertilisers) becomes additive to the damage caused by processed food.
All of this feeds into the drug industry that creates a drug response as a supposed solution to illnesses that proliferate to epidemic proportions.
Clinical nutrition (orthomolecular medicine) helps to underwrite sensible solutions to these manufactured problems.
Read: OMNS – Plenty of Food but not Plenty of Weight  Or, “So that’s why those good-looking French eat the butter and cream dishes!

Harvey Mackay is back with an article describing an often overlooked business value system of networking.
Networking is a simple management system that underwrites a manager’s ability to get a job done.
It is also a component of public relations and thus creates an intangible value of goodwill that creates positive perceptions surrounding your business and you, individually, as a manager within that business.
Like all good systems, networking needs a method of recording contacts and retrieving those contacts efficiently, as required.
Plus, a range of marketing aids starting with a well-designed and professional-looking business card.
Read: Dig your well before you’re thirsty

And we conclude our offering for this edition by publishing media releases from three pharmacy leadership organisations.

PSA – PSA Media Releases – 1. Pharmacists welcome new pain management service 2. Exceptional pharmacists receive Australia Day honours 3. Consultation begins on My Health Record Guidelines 4. New online training to support people who use drugs 5. Pharmacists welcome landmark National Asthma Strategy

ASMI – ASMI Media Releases – 1. Major progress on access to medicines and consumer awareness of pharmacist-only meds 2. Filomena Maiese departs ASMI 3. Pregnant women reminded to check medicines with pharmacist or doctor

NPS – NPS Media Releases – 1. Codeine dependency – is it more common than we think? 2. Video guidance on the five commonly asked questions about codeine changes 3. Speakers announced for National Medicines Symposium 2018

We hope you enjoy our current content and please do not hesitate to add your own comment in the panel provided at the foot of each article page.

Neil Johnston
Editor, i2P E-Magazine
Monday 5 February 2018


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