EDITORIAL for Monday 7 September, 2015

Welcome to this weeks’ edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) E-Magazine dated Monday, 7 September 2015.
This week we see a re-arrangement of walk-in clinics within the UK.
Originally established under the umbrella of NHS Trusts, these operations have become an important tool in the delivery of primary health care in the UK.

Because of cost blow-outs within the UK NHS budget, fifty of these walk-in clinics have been closed.
However, the pent up demand has forced the UK NHS to seek a solution, and that is to borrow the American version of a walk-in clinic operated from a retail pharmacy.
So funding for an English version is now being established.

Australia has lagged behind in the development of walk-in clinics even though there has been a successful pilot study completed over 30 years ago.
The demise of the Australian PBS system has forced pharmacists to look at alternative revenue sources, but there has been hesitancy in investing in the concept of clinical services, even though it is a component of core business for community pharmacy.

Given the success of the US model and the original NHS Trust version in the UK, maybe Australian pharmacists may gain the confidence to develop a home grown model.

I2P has published much of the insights gained through the original pilot study so there is certainly a range of reference material available.
Read the current article about this topic at Walk-In Clinics for UK Pharmacies

Because clinical pharmacists have not yet been offered a real home within a community pharmacy, many are turning to a GP environment to establish a collaborative version and become “practice pharmacists”.
This is a valid “space” for a clinical pharmacist to practice from and in fact the outreach component of the job could even be used to liaise with community pharmacists to help extend the collaborative process, particularly in the areas of patient education and drug adherence.
i2P asked John Dunlop, the well known NZ clinical pharmacist to outline what the job of a NZ practice pharmacist involved and what were the difficulties involved in establishing such a practice.
Read his comment in the article Practice Based Pharmacy – Is it the future direction for pharmacists?

Already it seems that clinical pharmacists will be needed over multiple types of clinical spaces with a slightly different range of duties for each space.
A representative organisation is badly needed to coordinate the interests of this group and to highlight, develop and promote all the opportunities that could evolve.

Last week also saw an announcement by the newly privatised Medibank health Insurance entity to eliminate cover for a range of service costs in private hospitals e.g. no coverage for the hospital if a patient rebounds within 28 days.
These costs will simply be passed on to the patient and the value of a health insurance offer suddenly becomes a concern.
This is a direct take on the type of service offered in the US which has been a problem in creating high costs within the US system as well as create disruption with health professionals through investment of their vast profits into managed care (direct ownership of hospitals, medical centres and pharmacies).
The concern for Australian pharmacists is that Medibank must now be considered as another pharmacy ownership fight in the future, alongside all the other contenders such as Woolworths.
Read Medibank moves to emulate US health insurers – New Funding Models Needed!

Gerald Quigley is back with an interesting article on herbal medicines and paracetamol safety.
Always well worth reading, you can find Gerald’s latest offering at Paracetamol – not so safe?

Harvey Mackay is also with us again and he discusses the topic of negotiation, a skill that underpins all management styles. Read his article at Everything (almost) is negotiable.

Barry Urquhart is also back with us again with his Marketing Focus column and a range of essays on management and marketing issues.
Look him up at Marketing Focus – 1. All things are relative 2. Don’t get ahead of yourself 3. Differing costs of production reproduction

Plus we have a range of media releases from:

* PSA: PSA Media Releases – 1. Practitioner Development Committee 2. MMR Stage 1 course

* ASMI:  ASMI Media Release – ‘Big Data’ promotes new insights

* NPS:  NPS Media Release: Springtime hay fever: persevere to find effective treatment for seasonal allergies

Enjoy your read for this week.

Neil Johnston
7th September, 2015

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