s Conflict of Interest Potential | I2P: Information to Pharmacists - Archive
Publication Date 01/07/2014         Volume. 6 No. 6   
Information to Pharmacists


From the desk of the editor

Welcome to the July 2014 homepage edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) E-Magazine.
At the commencement of 2014 i2P focused on the need for the entire profession of pharmacy and its associated industry supports to undergo a renewal and regeneration.
We are now half-way through this year and it is quite apparent that pharmacy leaders do not yet have a cohesive and clear sense of direction.
Maybe the new initiative by Woolworths to deliver clinical service through young pharmacists and nurses may sharpen their focus.
If not, community pharmacy can look forward to losing a substantial and profitable market share of the clinical services market.
Who would you blame when that happens?
But I have to admit there is some effort, even though the results are but meagre.
In this edition of i2P we focus on the need for research about community pharmacy, the lack of activity from practicing pharmacists and when some research is delivered, a disconnect appears in its interpretation and implementation.

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News Flash

Newsflash Updates for July 2014

Newsflash Updates

Regular weekly updates that supplement the regular monthly homepage edition of i2P. 
Access and click on the title links that are illustrated

Comments: 1

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Feature Contribution

Woolworths Pharmacy - Getting One Stage Closer

Neil Johnston

It started with “tablet” computers deployed on shelves inside the retailer Coles, specifically to provide information to consumers relating to pain management and the sale of strong analgesics.
This development was reported in i2P under the title Coles Pharmacy Expansion and the Arid PGA Landscape”
In that article we reported that qualified information was a missing link that had come out of Coles market research as the reason to why it had not succeeded in dominating the pain market.
Of course, Woolworths was working on the same problem at the same time and had come up with a better solution - real people with good information.

Comments: 5

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Intensive Exposition without crossing over with a supermarket

Fiona Sartoretto Verna AIAPP

Editor's Note: The understanding of a pharmacy's presentation through the research that goes into the design of fixtures and fittings that highlight displays, is a never-ending component of pharmacy marketing.
Over the past decade, Australian pharmacy shop presentations have fallen behind in standards of excellence.
It does not take rocket science - you just have to open your eyes.
Recently, our two major supermarkets, Woolworths and Coles, have entered into the field of drug and condition information provision - right into the heartland of Australian Pharmacy.

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The sure way to drive business away

Gerald Quigley

I attended the Pregnancy, Baby and Children’s Expo in Brisbane recently.
What an eye and ear opening event that was!
Young Mums, mature Mums, partners of all ages, grandparents and friends……...many asking about health issues and seeking reassurances that they were doing the right thing.

Comments: 1

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‘Marketing Based Medicine’ – how bad is it?

Baz Bardoe

It should be the scandal of the century.
It potentially affects the health of almost everyone.
Healthcare providers and consumers alike should be up in arms. But apart from coverage in a few credible news sources the problem of ‘Marketing Based Medicine,’ as psychiatrist Dr Peter Parry terms it, hasn’t as yet generated the kind of universal outrage one might expect.

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Community Pharmacy Research - Are You Involved?

Mark Coleman

Government funding is always scarce and restricted.
If you are ever going to be a recipient of government funds you will need to fortify any application with evidence.
From a government perspective, this minimises risk.
I must admit that while I see evidence of research projects being managed by the PGA, I rarely see community pharmacists individually and actively engaged in the type of research that would further their own aims and objectives (and survival).

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Organisational Amnesia and the Lack of a Curator Inhibits Cultural Progress

Neil Johnston

Most of us leave a tremendous impact on pharmacies we work for (as proprietors, managers, contractors or employees)—in ways we’re not even aware of.
But organisational memories are often all too short, and without a central way to record that impact and capture the knowledge and individual contributions, they become lost to time.
It is ironic that technology has provided us with phenomenal tools for communication and connection, but much of it has also sped up our work lives and made knowledge and memory at work much more ephemeral.

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Academics on the payroll: the advertising you don't see

Staff Writer

This article was first published in The Conversation and was written by Wendy Lipworth, University of Sydney and Ian Kerridge, University of Sydney
In the endless drive to get people’s attention, advertising is going ‘native’, creeping in to places formerly reserved for editorial content. In this Native Advertising series we find out what it looks like, if readers can tell the difference, and more importantly, whether they care.
i2P has republished the article as it supports our own independent and ongoing investigations on how drug companies are involved in marketing-based medicine rather than evidence-based medicine.

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I’ve been thinking about admitting wrong.

Mark Neuenschwander

Editor's Note: This is an early article by Mark Neuenschwander we have republished after the soul-searching surrounding a recent Australian dispensing error involving methotrexate.
Hmm. There’s more than one way you could take that, huh? Like Someday when I get around to it (I’m not sure) I may admit that I was wrong about something. Actually, I’ve been thinking about the concept of admitting wrong. So don’t get your hopes up. No juicy confessions this month except that I wish it were easier for me to admit when I have been wrong or made a mistake.
Brian Goldman, an ER physician from Toronto, is host of the award-winning White Coat, Black Art on CBC Radio and slated to deliver the keynote at The unSUMMIT for Bedside Barcoding in Anaheim this May. His TED lecture, entitled, “Doctors make mistakes. Can we talk about it?” had already been viewed by 386,072 others before I watched it last week.

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Dispensing errors – a ripple effect of damage

Kay Dunkley - BPharm, Grad Dip Hosp Pharm, Grad Dip Health Admin, MPS, MSHPA

Most readers will be aware of recent publicity relating to dispensing errors and in particular to deaths caused by methotrexate being incorrectly packed in dose administration aids.
The Pharmacy Board of Australia (PBA), in its Communique of 13 June 2014, described a methotrexate packing error leading to the death of a patient and noted “extra vigilance is required to be exercised by pharmacists with these drugs”.
This same case was reported by A Current Affair (ACA) in its program on Friday 20 June

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Take a vacation from your vocation

Harvey Mackay

Have you ever had one of those days when all you could think was, “Gosh, do I need a vacation.”
Of course you have – because all work and no play aren’t good for anyone.
A vacation doesn’t have to be two weeks on a tropical island, or even a long weekend at the beach. 
A vacation just means taking a break from your everyday activities. 
A change of pace. 
It doesn’t matter where.
Everyone needs a vacation to rejuvenate mentally and physically. 
But did you also know that you can help boost our economy by taking some days off? 
Call it your personal stimulus package.

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Explainer: what is peer review?

Staff Writer

This article was first published in the Conversation. It caught our eye because "peer review" it is one of the standards for evidence-based medicines that has also been corrupted by global pharma.
The article is republished by i2P as part of its ongoing investigation into scientific fraud and was writtenby Andre Spicer, City University London and Thomas Roulet, University of Oxford
We’ve all heard the phrase “peer review” as giving credence to research and scholarly papers, but what does it actually mean?
How does it work?
Peer review is one of the gold standards of science. It’s a process where scientists (“peers”) evaluate the quality of other scientists' work. By doing this, they aim to ensure the work is rigorous, coherent, uses past research and adds to what we already knew.
Most scientific journals, conferences and grant applications have some sort of peer review system. In most cases it is “double blind” peer review. This means evaluators do not know the author(s), and the author(s) do not know the identity of the evaluators.
The intention behind this system is to ensure evaluation is not biased.
The more prestigious the journal, conference, or grant, the more demanding will be the review process, and the more likely the rejection. This prestige is why these papers tend to be more read and more cited.

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Dentists from the dark side?

Loretta Marron OAM BSc

While dining out with an elderly friend, I noticed that he kept his false tooth plate in his shirt pocket. He had recently had seven amalgam-filled teeth removed, because he believed that their toxins were making him sick; but his new plate was uncomfortable. He had been treated by an 'holistic dentist'. Claiming to offer a "safe and healthier alternative" to conventional dentistry, are they committed to our overall health and wellbeing or are they promoting unjustified fear, unnecessarily extracting teeth and wasting our money?

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Planning for Profit in 2015 – Your key to Business Success

Chris Foster

We are now entering a new financial year and it’s a great time to reflect on last year and highlight those things that went well and those that may have impacted negatively in the pursuit of your goals.
It's also a great to spend some time re-evaluating your personal and business short, medium and long term goals in the light of events over the last year.
The achievement of your goals will in many cases be dependent on setting and aspiring to specific financial targets. It's important that recognise that many of your personal goals will require you to generate sufficient business profits to fund those aspirations

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ReWalk™ Personal Exoskeleton System Cleared by FDA for Home Use

Staff Writer

Exoskeleton leader ReWalk Robotics announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the company’s ReWalk Personal System for use at home and in the community.
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk.
ReWalk, the only exoskeleton with FDA clearance via clinical studies and extensive performance testing for personal use, is now available throughout the United States.

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Attracting and Retaining Great People

Barry Urquhart

Welcome to the new financial year in Australia.
For many in business the past year has been described as a challenging period.
Adjectives are a key feature of the English language.  In the business lexicon their use can be, and often is evocative and stimulate creative images.  But they can also contribute to inexact, emotional perceptions.
Throughout the financial pages of newspapers and business magazines adjectives abound.
References to “hot” money draw attention and comment.  The recent wave of funds from Chinese investors, keen to remove their wealth from the jurisdiction and control of government regulations is creating a potential property bubble in Australia.

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Updating Your Values - Extending Your Culture

Neil Johnston

Pharmacy culture is dormant.
Being comprised of values, unless each value is continually addressed, updated or deleted, entire organisations can stagnate (or entire professions such as the pharmacy profession).
Good values offer a strong sense of security, knowing that if you operate within the boundaries of your values, you will succeed in your endeavours.

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Evidence-based medicine is broken. Why we need data and technology to fix it

Staff Writer

The following article is reprinted from The Conversation and forms up part of our library collection on evidence-based medicines.
At i2P we also believe that the current model of evidence is so fractured it will never be able to be repaired.
All that can happen is that health professionals should independently test and verify through their own investigations what evidence exists to prescribe a medicine of any potency.
Health professionals that have patients (such as pharmacists) are ideally placed to observe and record the efficacy for medicines.
All else should confine their criticisms to their evidence of the actual evidence published.
If there are holes in it then share that evidence with the rest of the world.
Otherwise, do not be in such a hurry to criticise professions that have good experience and judgement to make a good choice on behalf of their patients, simply because good evidence has not caught up with reality.

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Laropiprant is the Bad One; Niacin is/was/will always be the Good One

Staff Writer

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, July 25, 2014
Laropiprant is the Bad One; Niacin is/was/will always be the Good One
by W. Todd Penberthy, PhD

(OMNS July 25, 2014) Niacin has been used for over 60 years in tens of thousands of patients with tremendously favorable therapeutic benefit (Carlson 2005).
In the first-person NY Times best seller, "8 Weeks to a Cure for Cholesterol," the author describes his journey from being a walking heart attack time bomb to a becoming a healthy individual.
He hails high-dose niacin as the one treatment that did more to correct his poor lipid profile than any other (Kowalski 2001).

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Culture Drive & Pharmacy Renewal

Neil Johnston

Deep within all of us we have a core set of values and beliefs that create the standards of behaviour that we align with when we set a particular direction in life.
Directions may change many times over a lifetime, but with life experiences and maturity values may increase in number or gain greater depth.
All of this is embraced under one word – “culture”.
When a business is born it will only develop if it has a sound culture, and the values that comprise that culture are initially inherent in the business founder.
A sound business culture equates to a successful business and that success is often expressed in the term “goodwill” which can be eventually translated to a dollar value.

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ReWalk™ Personal Exoskeleton System Cleared by FDA for Home Use

Staff Writer

Exoskeleton leader ReWalk Robotics announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the company’s ReWalk Personal System for use at home and in the community.
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk.
ReWalk, the only exoskeleton with FDA clearance via clinical studies and extensive performance testing for personal use, is now available throughout the United States.

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Pharmacy 2014 - Pharmacy Management Conference

Neil Johnston

The brave new world of health and wellness is not the enemy of Pharmacy, it is its champion.
Australian futurist, Morris Miselowski, one of the world's leading business visionaries, will present the Opening Keynote address on Pharmacy's Future in the new Health and Wellness Landscape at 2.00pm on Wednesday July 30.
Morris believes the key to better health care could already be in your pocket, with doctors soon set to prescribe iPhone apps, instead of pills.
Technology will revolutionise the health industry - a paradigm shift from healthcare to personal wellness.
Health and wellness applications on smartphones are already big news, and are dramatically changing the way we manage our personal health and everyday wellness.

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Generation and Application of Community Pharmacy Research

Neil Johnston

Editor’s Note: We have had a number of articles in this issue relating to pharmacy research.
The PGA has conducted a number of research initiatives over the years, including one recently reported in Pharmacy News that resulted from an analysis of the QCPP Patient Questionnaire.
Pharmacy Guild president, George Tambassis, appears to have authored the article following, and there also appears to be a disconnect between the survey report and its target audience illustrated by one of the respondent comments published.
I have asked Mark Coleman to follow through, elaborate and comment:

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Conflict of Interest Potential

Neil Johnston

articles by this author...

Neil Johnston is a pharmacist who trained as a management consultant. He was the first consultant to service the pharmacy profession and commenced practice as a full time consultant in 1972, specialising in community pharmacy management, pharmacy systems, preventive medicine and the marketing of professional services. He has owned, or part-owned a total of six pharmacies during his career, and for a decade spent time both as a clinical pharmacist and Chief Pharmacist in the public hospital system. He has been editor of i2P since 2000.

From the desk of the editor:
This month, Pharmedia touches on the Dose Administration Aid business and the ramifications that can create confusion and financial disadvantage as contracts change. Also, the potential for conflict of interest.
The original media story was published by a regional Queensland newspaper, The Fraser Coast Chronicle, and is reproduced below.
i2P asked Mark Coleman to explore beneath the surface of this story to provide linkages to the wider story, given the players that are involved, directly or indirectly.

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Pharmacies lose contracts

Robyne Cuerel- Fraser Coast Chronicle

Kawungan Chemmart Pharmacy owner Clive Scotney and manager Nick Buete (rear) are concerned over a trend in major aged care homes to outsource medication management of residents. Mr Scotney is holding up a sachet system.

AGED-CARE providers have struck a blow against local pharmacies by contracting out-of-town suppliers to provide medication for the region's elderly.

RSL Care is the latest organisation not to renew its local contracts with local chemists and will instead adopt one supplier for Hervey Bay, Maryborough, Bundaberg and five other facilities across Queensland.

The move has forced Kawungan Chemmart Pharmacy owner Clive Scotney to demand better support for local businesses.

His business will stop delivering medication to Baycrest at the end of August and Mr Scotney said using a supplier more than 300km away would only disadvantage aged-care residents.

While Terry White Pharmacies are set to benefit from the change after their parent company won the new contract, the local pharmacies will only supply unpacked medication such as creams and liquids as well as emergency medication.

All other medication will be packaged by APHS in Brisbane and distributed to Terry White pharmacies, which will then distribute the packs to Baycrest and RSL Care's Chelsea home in Maryborough.

The two aged care facilities have about 190 aged care beds.

Mr Scotney said the decision was made by RSL Care with no consideration for the local situation.

"It is really just people in the head office making the decision," he said.

Kawungan Pharmacy manager Nick Buete said they had approached RSL Care to continue their contract.

They were told if they could not service all eight facilities in the tender, which included Townsville, Longreach and Cairns, they would not be able to continue the contract with Baycrest.

"Because we couldn't supply Far North Queensland, we couldn't supply the place down the road," he said.

The store spent more than $200,000 upgrading its packaging last year to comply with the sachet system required by aged care homes in an effort to keep its contract with RSL Care's Baycrest facility.

He said they only found out they may lose the contract after talking to RSL Care staff about potentially upgrading to a computer-checking system at a cost of $150,000.

Baycrest residents were given notice of the change last week and will have the choice to remain with their current chemist.

About 30 residents or their families have so far indicated they will choose to stay.

RSL Care chief executive Stan Macionis said the decision to standardise medication management was made in May with 17 RSL Care sites already making the transition.

Mr Macionis said the process for emergency medication had not changed as the local Terry White Pharmacy would now be on call.He said the change would not cause any disruption for residents.


Mark Coleman

I am asked to comment on the above media article.
Dose Administration Aid (DAA) business could now be regarded as big business.
It is business that lends itself to the automation of the packing of DAA's.
Control of DAA supply will very much evolve into a major direction for pharmacy practice for a few obvious reasons:
* DAA's are synonymous with aged care whether the patient is located in a nursing home or a private home.
* The population of Australia is aging rapidly and as a demographic, is expected to evolve to around 25-30 percent of the population.
* A large percentage of PBS prescriptions are dispensed for this sector, particularly in the last eight years of lifespan.

Taking the above facts on board it is also obvious that there is a market for pharmacist-driven clinical services and an opportunity for skilled pharmacist contractors to facilitate the growth and development of such services, including investment in infrastructure, education and marketing.

The only way governments can control their investment and budgeting in aged care, is to sustain an aged patient in their own home.

Therein lies the opportunity.

For at least the past five years, i2P has been encouraging pharmacy owners to develop a pharmacy-in-the-home service and create a gateway service directly to patients and customers.
This was recommended as an offset to business leakage through the Internet, and as a means of providing an alternative cheaper location because of shopping centre escalating rentals, and as a means of developing "under the radar" promotional activity.
In other words, a personalised service that reduced reliance on premium site location allowing more investment (through lowering of major costs) into expansion of personal services.
Administration can still be through the medium of a website, but accessed only through a login/password system.
So Clive Scotney, featured in the media story above, not only stands to lose his DAA business to Terry White Chemists (the anointed primary contractor) but also a progressive erosion of his total business as the resources of that pharmacy group are mobilised to take customers/patients that would normally support him.
It is a transfer of wealth (market share) from the weaker (smaller pharmacy) to the stronger (group pharmacy).
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia is supposed to represent all pharmacy owners in a fiduciary role, but in recent times has developed policies that tend to support the larger pharmacy groups.
And some relationships weave a very tangled web.

What would your take be on the relationship between Rhonda White, wife of Terry White and business partner to Kos Sclavos. Rhonda White is also a senior executive in Terry White Management.

When Clive Scotney lodges a complaint with the PGA and expects support and help in his current dilemma, will Kos Sclavos respond and claim to be at arms-length to the problem?
And add to this mix the same PGA that is the negotiator for DAA service payments?
Can the PGA be relied upon to produce a fair negotiation for all pharmacists involved in DAA supply?
I think not!

And the nurses have not yet been able to have a vote in the debate as to the type of DAA pack they would prefer to administer from. Most prefer to use Websterpack, but the Terry White clients will have to accept sachet-type packs that have a high error rate causing difficulty in repackaging.

If I was involved in the dilemma that Mr Scotney faces, I would develop the following strategy:

1. Form an association of DAA pharmacists. Even pharmacists in competition with each other can come together on overriding issues and take over functions that the PGA should be involved in.
Also, review your involvement with the PGA as they may be ultimately working against your interests.

2. Introduce a nurse component (those that work in aged care facilities) and ask them to support local providers that do not create monopolisation and centralisation of local DAA services.

3. Involve existing DAA consumable suppliers that are not sachet providers. Ask them for funds to represent their interests.

4. Involve generic drug manufacturers. Increasingly, as Terry White gains a larger market share he will be selective in whose drugs will be utilised in the packaging process. At a certain point in market share development, Terry White will substitute their own packing system, leaving the current contractor out in the cold. Terry White already manufactures a range of generic medicines and DAA business will tend to support an expansion of the range.

This disruptive business model being introduced by Terry White,is supported by Kos Sclavos the Pharmacy Guild president.
How does he reconcile his current position?

5. As soon as the political/business elements of the Terry White system are contained, the DAA association should continue to fill the gaps created by PGA conflict of interest and move to "value-add" to the DAA system.
There are now many methods to create communication through a DAA pack.
A DAA pack that can tell whether a patient dose has been taken or not would fill a vital need for private home-supported patients.
Also, a DAA pack that can be further value-added by creating an electronic system for patient biometrics would also be valuable.
In other words, look to creating your own version of a disruptive model.

I might also throw into the ring the following issues:

1. The PGA have not defended pharmacies against the likes of Pfizer and their disruptive supply model that increases costs for community pharmacies. Pharmacy groups that have their own distribution system are not so affected.
Also, the PGA receives money from drug manufacturers to support their own activities that are not necessarily in individual community pharmacy's best interest.

2. The PGA have not defended the erosion of community pharmacy gross profit disguised as PBS reforms. The extent of this betrayal will become more evident as more pharmacies become financially stressed over the coming 12 months. Two large and previously successful pharmacies located in the Chatswood area are currently in the hands of receivers. Their sale is ironically being handled by the Pharmacy Guild.
Looks like there is so much that is intertwined with the PGA they have a self perpetuating business!

3. Another process is in play whereby the government will wish to divorce the dispensing fee from the total price of each dispensing. This will end up as an additional attack on pharmacy profitability.
i2P has been warning for years that the PGA is virtually "owned" by the PBS system through the distribution of pharmacy grants. Few people realise that the control of which organisation gets a government grant is in the hands of the PGA.
The "management fees" received by the PGA amounts to 10 percent of the value of all grants - and that represents many $'s millions.
This is a conflict of interest that the PGA seem very happy to be involved with.

4. IT systems with PGA money utilised for their development have not been introduced to assist each member. They have a history of dubious ownership or overseas ownership and almost universally, they have not produced a benefit commensurate with member investment. In particular, the thrust of this type of development has been to further PGA interests financially, with benefits not flowing to individual members.
Ask yourself how much did the eRx system really cost, what was its origin and what benefit does your pharmacy currently derive?
Clinical service that designed to suit individual pharmacies have been sacrificed for services that have little relevance for income generation for individual pharmacists

What I am pointing to, and what i2P has been writing about is that pharmacists at all levels are coming under stress.
Those pharmacists controlling market share and the potential to increase that market share will do whatever is necessary to disrupt their competitor pharmacies - well beyond the understood competitor activity.
This disruption is occurring all around us, but don't expect your governing bodies to be of any assistance - they are too busy leveraging their own interests.

Your only defence is offence.
Form into new groups that will honestly represent your interests without conflict potential.
Move along the supply chain (both products and services) and see what segments you can capture or add value to. By adding value you can create intellectual property that adds the force of law to your innovation.
Vigorously defend your patch and don't abdicate to others who may not be as diligent as yourself.
Become pharmacy-politically active and make your existing representatives work for you.
Demand accountability!
Actively disrupt!

Return to home

Submitted by Karalyn on Tue, 21/08/2012 - 21:03.


This issue has been happening for some years and will continue to do so. Blue Care led the way with contracting for supply of everything from milk to bed linen from one supplier. we all lost our contracts.

RMMRs also went to big pharma suppliers.

Some residents will stay with you and you need to fight back. Make sure all of the residents and their families are aware of what is happening.

also look for the opportunities -what to do with the staff and the equipment you have committed to?

in truth aged care facilities are hard work. They have far more pack changes than community patients, they demand more and pay less than community patients.

Look at your community packing business-are you promoting this well enough,are you engaging with the right people to grow this business?

Have you considered supply to other areas e.g. disability services, involuntary treatment order patients. Have you had a discussion about supplying medication packs to mental health clients who are at high risk?
Can you now free up pharamcists to do more of the PPI programs e.g. HMR, Medscheck

While it is gut wrenching when it happens you need to sit down and brain storm what have I gained and what can I do with these gains?

You will probably be surprised as to how much more you can do when you are not constantly at the beck and call of an aged care facility.

You will also be able to barter on your terms when they return in a short period of time. The best time to revisit the facility is when the roads have been shut for three days due to flooding and the packs did not come through

Submitted by Rollo Manning on Wed, 01/08/2012 - 10:28.

Good analysis Mark and you have used it to attack a broad range of deficiencies with the PBS supply system.
The only thing missing is a fundamental review of how the money paid by Government to pharmacists is being spent. Yes the whole $2.5 billion of it and what the consumer gets for the dollar paid.
To my mind we have to stop tinkering at the edges of the PBS and have a good look at what it is doing and why. This has happened in Aboriginal health with the use of Section 100 of the NH Act for remote living Aboriginal people. Why? Because they cannot go to a pharmacy and have their scripts dispensed. So my question is what is different between a person lying in a bed at an aged persons home and a remote living Aboriginal person with respect to accessing the PBS.
It is time Section 100 is used for DAA packaging and stop the continual use of a dispensing fee - (now $6.52) to pay for all DAA packing.
A recent study I know of showed it was costing $12 to pack DAAs (Websterpaks) . No where near the $6.52.
The only reason that party was not interested in a change was because it was better the devil you know ($6.52) than the one you don't - how much would be paid under a s100 arrangement. At least it would be negotiated based on true costs and everyone would be required to accept the fee with NO discounting. You cannot discount the dispensing fee now and neither could you under a s100 scheme.
At least you are getting paid for work done in packing and not taking a fee determined years ago by an arbitrary assessment of pharmacy earnings costs and profits.
So why do we not accept the fact that the PBS as we know it for persons going to the doc and getting a script then taking it to a pharmacy is NOT serving the patient and needs structural reform - not tinkering at the edges in a way that lets the Terry White Group maximise profits through a dispensing fee that DOES NOT APPLY to the job they are doing.
Make all persons in aged care and nursing homes eligible to PBS through Section 100 and the whole scene changes.
Webstercare have a program for high volume packaging projects - the Virtual Pill Count MedsPro - which would work brilliantly in a Section 100 environment.
Let us stop tinkering at the edges and make structural change that suits the client.

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