EDITOR’S NOTE – New format i2P E-Magazine

Originally timed for introduction on 1 August 2014, the new abbreviated format for i2P is now with us.
The new format is designed to bring information to you faster, because it is designed to allow the assembly of articles and news items to be prepared more easily and faster.
The format now allows for up to 10 articles to accumulate before sending, or alternatively, whatever has been entered into the system to be automatically sent on a fixed day for each week.
Being a cloud system it also allows for remote posting of content.

When you receive the email summary, some links may not work within your email system. If that occurs, please click the link “view in your browser” and all will work properly,

Previously, we had a fixed homepage for each month with news updates with one to four times transmission over the month posted to the homepage.
This meant that in some instances, news was not getting out fast enough while our specialty, Opinion articles had to wait for a new homepage before being published.

Opinion articles are our main point of difference compared to other pharmacy media.
With the hiatus that currently exists with pharmacy direction, i2P has become, by default, the “thought leaders” for pharmacy,
By continually highlighting obvious deficiencies in official leadership thinking and direction, i2P has been able to bridge the “ideas gap” that has now grown to be a chasm.

However, we remain optimistic because of a recent announcement by the PGA to pursue the concept of “Concierge Pharmacy”.
At i2P over a period of around 10 years, our writers estabkished a concept titled “Pharmacy-in-the-Home” and we have released articles over time describing the concept.

Pharmacy-in-the-Home was premised on the following:

(i) An ever expanding aged care population living longer lifespans and becoming a higher percentage of the total population.

(ii) Because of age and infirmity, this population group would become less mobile and will need essential supplies such as prescriptions and other medical products, delivered to them rather than they walk/commute to a main street pharmacy.

(iii) Over time, this population group would become more IT literate and would become users of e-commerce sites or other avenues involving the Internet.

(iv) The concept allowed for collaboration with other health professionals e.g.home nurses and other mobile health professionals, such as those involved in foot-care, hearing care and sight care etc.

(v) It was always a proposition that patients would privately pay for this type of pharmacy service in a private capacity as a means for a family to support an ageing member to “age in place”- a much cheaper proposition than moving into a nursing home.
Of course, when patient health deteriorates to a level no longer sustainable at home, then nursing homes become the next step.
With the passage of time it was felt that pharmacies could coordinate and collaborate with a range of mobile health professionals and other service providers that could provide a more than competitive service when compared to a nursing home.

(vi) Pharmacy-in-the-Home service could also prevent the erosion of value in existing pharmacy services such as dose administration aids. When nursing homes concentrate a market for such a service they keep pushing down the service price to a level where it becomes completely unprofitable.
Given that generic drugs will no longer carry the mark-ups they once had, this source of revenue can no longer subsidise dose administration aids.
So not only can pharmacies reduce nursing home pressure on their service prices, but they can offer active alternative competition for prospective nursing home clients.

(vii) Pharmacies specialising in aged care can look forward to an expanding market for at least another 30 years and would not need to provide the service from expensive premises, given that the pharmacy is going to the client- not the reverse.
Cheaper premises could also provide the basis for a large scale Internet pharmacy.
This type of thinking has already been developed by warehouse pharmacies who have based their total business model on discounting.
Despite their apparent success, the model is definitely not a secure one as it currently relies on wholesaler finance and ever expanding numbers of outlets.
There will be a finite limit to the number of outlets and the method of funding.
If enough independent pharmacists go into a Pharmacy-in-the-Home business model coupled with some level of e-commerce, this could hasten the erosion of the warehouse pharmacy discount reliant business model.
Of course, hybrid variants backed by market groups could provide different models with a variety of service offerings to provide a point of difference for each group.

(viii) Pharmacies, as part of an ageing in place service, would be easily able to justify a charge for a delivery service. Deliveries have for too long been a pharmacy-subsidised service, so a delivery service based on the model set by the major supermarkets should be sufficient to start.

We are pleased to commend the PGA for taking up our concept of Pharmacy-in-the-Home because they are better able to negotiate with government for a range of subsidies that others are unable to do.
The only issue i2P has is the name – “Concierge Pharmacy”.
This names has overtones of high cost and again, is a name borrowed from the Americans.
It is not an explanatory name when coupled with pharmacy.
Of course, Pharmay-in-the-Home is a bit cumbersome as a marketing word, but it is at least explanatory.
Surely for once in our professional development we can come up with something more “home grown” – including the service design, instead of slavishly following another country and allow them to impose their culture upon us?

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