s The Enterprise Pharmacist | 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.

read more
open full screen

Recent Comments

Click here to read...

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

read more
open full screen

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

read more
open full screen

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.

read more
open full screen

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

read more
open full screen

‘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.

read more
open full screen

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).

read more
open full screen

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.

read more
open full screen

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.

read more
open full screen

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.

read more
open full screen

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

read more
open full screen

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.

read more
open full screen

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.

read more
open full screen

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?

read more
open full screen

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

read more
open full screen

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.

read more
open full screen

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.

read more
open full screen

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.

read more
open full screen

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.

read more
open full screen

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).

read more
open full screen

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.

read more
open full screen

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.

read more
open full screen

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.

read more
open full screen

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:

read more
open full screen

The Enterprise Pharmacist

Peter Sayers

articles by this author...

Peter Sayers is vitally concerned about pharmacy professional practice - its innovation, its research and development, and its delivery to create an ongoing revenue stream. Delivery of healthcare is increasingly involved with Information Technology systems. All perspectives in IT must be considered for the impact on pharmacy practice and its viability.

I am coining the word “enterprise pharmacist” to describe a non pharmacy owner, yet one who is a pharmacist operating out of his own business model, to provide a consumer professional service for a fee.
The venue to provide the service can be various – GP super clinic, Medicare Local, commercial office location or a community pharmacy.
I believe the best place is a community pharmacy provided the pharmacy proprietor sees the opportunity to associate with and promote the service for mutual benefit.
The enterprise pharmacist runs like any normal service business with the appropriate business registrations, insurances and proper planning.
The business plan for such a venture should include a detailed budget and a marketing strategy – and it is the latter component that will win success with a carefully balanced range of primary health care services.

open this article full screen

What’s in it for the pharmacy owner?
Well he gets a new income stream in the form of office space rental and with a bit of negotiation he may also get all of his S3 sales properly recorded and counselled as well as having his prescription patients properly counselled and given written information.
A retainer paid to an enterprise pharmacist to provide a specified number of hours for a fixed price fee might just prove to be an equitable arrangement.

If a retainer was offered to me on that basis, I would immediately set about investing in systems to properly cope with the work. For example, I have already designed software that will record an S3 drug by scan and quickly accept patient details on a cumulative basis. Patient notes and additional information can be provided in the same system, with all data being capable of being uploaded into the primary dispensing system at the end of a day.
That would mean I could operate independently without interrupting the dispensing flow.
However, the market I would be most interested in is an emerging market where it will soon be possible to offer non intrusive pathology services very economically for a wide range of readings including INR, cholesterol, electrolytes, blood sugar, blood cell counts etc.
This would provide an information base, that when coupled with a patient’s medication record and other biometrics, would put me in an excellent position to provide a prescribing service at either a dependent or independent level.

Pharmacist prescribing must eventually be considered and being an enterprise pharmacist, with no pecuniary interest in a pharmacy, I would be in a no-conflict of interest position.

This would be another bonus for the pharmacy owner, as he would inevitably get a large proportion of my scripts.
How will this happen?
Well it requires all you bright young pharmacists getting off your backsides and just “doing it” with proper direction and advice.
This requires dedication, risk taking, investment and political lobbying – just like your pharmacy owner.
Get yourselves some good advisers, plan it and go for it!
Like all new enterprises it may take a while to get an income base. You might even need to find some locum hours at another pharmacy (another pharmacy otherwise you will confuse patients and staff with what role you actually fill).

Along the way you will need to form and belong to your own College of Enterprise Pharmacists to educate and accredit your specialties or contract the Australian College of Pharmacy (ACP) or the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) to do this for you.
And then set about training your replacements and the next generation of enterprise pharmacists.
You will also need professional lobbyists to argue your case with government on a collective basis.
You may also have to fend off political attacks from the Pharmacy Guild of Australia as they would see you as opposition to pharmacy owners, even though the gap in core business of a pharmacy has been widening each year.
They won’t fill the gap and they will not necessarily help you to achieve the bridging of this gap.
There are a number of pharmacy owners who still see themselves as being a colleague of another type of pharmacist, so they will have to be sought out.

The New Year certainly heralded in some dramatic changes for pharmacists that may see the unravelling of many hallowed pharmacy traditions.
Pfizer sent shockwaves through the industry with a new disruptive business model that has caused pharmacy wholesalers, pharmacies and government regulators to revisit the drawing board.
To me, I see a further round of belt-tightening and more pressure to make an already margin-stressed PBS about to take on a very bleak future.
The money available for pharmacists is actually shrinking again, or misapplied through “top down” incentives that never seem to reach the target pharmacist or achieve an anticipated outcome e.g. the new $10,000 incentive payment for training rural-based pharmacists-how much of that will be actually invested in quality training processes?

When looking around at the range of pharmacist types available we can generally find:

* Employee pharmacists who now see themselves as underpaid and marginalised within their own professional surroundings to such an extent that they are looking for alternate forms of employment. They find themselves subjected to pressure-cooker type workplaces owned by absentee proprietors who no longer involve themselves too deeply in the daily workplace, because they are too busy adding to the chain empire or fraternising on the golf course, or both.

* Consultant pharmacists, who have had their business model concept “stuffed” since inception.
Only now can we find some opportunities to develop this class of pharmacist and value-add to the service. Changes in the market place with the development of GP super clinics and Medicare Locals do not necessarily mean more opportunities for consultant pharmacists because we find that doctor groups in particular are aggressively working to eliminate pharmacists completely (note the recent drop off of pharmacists in the palliative care team).
The only way this can be countered is to attack some of the market base of GP’s to even up the scores a little – cooperation and partnering are simply myths.
Enterprise pharmacists could create that competition.

* Pharmacy contractors, who see themselves as a business providing a combined management and professional service to pharmacies, generally as a locum. They pay their own insurances (worker’s compensation, public liability, professional indemnity etc); pay their own superannuation; they look after their own taxation arrangements and simplify pharmacy accounting by requiring only one payment by invoice; and they often arrive at a pharmacy with their own reference resources, website and systems to maintain their high standards.
These people are not always seen as anything other than employees and find it difficult to have any premium recognised for their cost-saving approach, and therefore no real incentive to involve themselves in contributing ideas and maximising the bottom line for a pharmacy – because they are not allowed to.

* Pharmacy proprietors – these pharmacists have taken on the mantle and agenda of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (PGA), a powerful trade union of employers. The policies of the PGA have not been necessarily good for the profession or the Industry.
None would deny that they have acquired an exceptionally strong power base and in so doing, have followed a doctrine of dominating every other pharmacy organisation by any means whatsoever.
It could be said that the PGA really does control the entire pharmacy industry in one or more of its facets.
At one stage it was stated by one well-known politician that “the Dept of Health and Ageing was a wholly owned subsidiary of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia”.
Because the majority of pharmacy proprietors have been passive towards their organisation, being comfortable in the arms of its power, they have become individually complacent and have followed the “party line” with minimal questioning.
PGA executives live a totally different business and private lifestyle to the majority of their members.
PGA has actively worked against the interests of its members by not encouraging “grass-roots” development of paid professional services – a core activity. Today, this policy leaves pharmacy gross profits in disarray, with widespread unemployment because of the diminishing “pie” left to pay all categories of pharmacists.

Rumours are starting to circulate that another enquiry will be created to investigate again the location rules and the ownership legislation as being non-competitive.
If this does happen, it is inevitable that conditions will change drastically.
Enterprise pharmacist service businesses and an entrepreneurial pharmacy owner dedicated to maintaining core pharmacy service at a high level will survive, because a Woolworths or a Coles cannot own the individual or the profession.
It can only own the assets of a pharmacy and must employ pharmacists.

They may even contract with enterprise pharmacists in the future, but until that day you need to think about your own survival and where you want to take your profession, and it must be as divorced from supply side aspects of a pharmacy as much as practicable.

As we can currently see, supply side business is the plaything of the Colesworths and Chemist Warehouses of this world.

Return to home

Submitted by Gerald Quigley on Wed, 26/01/2011 - 09:18.

Peter's comments reflect the observed confusion seen by the general community as to the role of the trusted pharmacist. Does he fix me, or just sell me something? Your suggestions are entirely achievable, but young pharmacists aren't given the encouragement at all. Our organizations do lots of pontificating, but little effective implementing. The threatened emergence of business-savvy, holistic health orientated, patient-centric pharmacists, with a clear ideal of patient care, would shake the foundations of PGA, PSA and the other jointly owned bodies which dominate the career pathways at present.

Submitted by Chris Wright on Tue, 25/01/2011 - 16:58.

Hear, Hear..... Well said, Peter!
The "problem" the PGA has is that the long overindulged executive no longer has everybody "bluffed", particularly the DoHA.
Activity (or lack of) the PGA has permitted itself to be involved in with regard to appropriately representing the interests of pharmacy to the likes of (say)NEHTA has been appalling.
And yes, the troops are waking up....

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

health news headlines provided courtesy of Medical News Today.

Click here to

If any difficulty is found in subscribing, please use the "Contact Us" panel found in the navigation bar with the message "subscribe" and your email address.

Subscribe to our mailing list

Email Format


  • Copyright (C) 2000-2020 Computachem Services, All Rights Reserved.

Website by Ablecode