s I’ve seen the future…….and I’m not happy, Jan! | I2P: Information to Pharmacists - Archive
Publication Date 01/07/2009         Volume. 1 No. 2   
Information to Pharmacists

Editorial

From the desk of the editor

Welcome to the July edition of i2P, and of course, the first week of the new financial year.

Note that we are developing a new range of categories for you to follow e.g. health politics, hospital news, an expanded IT offer and we will be developing the category of anti-ageing medicine

Also, out of interest, could I refer you to the e-publications category located immediately below our columnists. If you click on the link contained there, you will find a range of e-publications that are recommended reading.

The first publication noted is the Pharmacist Activist written by Dr Daniel A. Hussar of the faculty of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. He is a pharmacy advocate.

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Recent Comments

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I’ve seen the future…….and I’m not happy, Jan!

Chris Wright

The ubiquitous Mrs Wright, in her quest to unearth a new erotic shopping experience, ushered this writer to a new Coles store located at the all very nice and leafy suburb of Ivanhoe in Melbourne recently.
This is contemporary retailing at its best, no doubt influenced by the gurus at Westfarmers and the rapidly changing retail climate in Australia, which of course involves the future of Pharmacy in some way….but more about Pharmacy later.

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Pharmacists losing their mojo

Neil Retallick

I read some market research recently that ought to concern community pharmacists across the country, as well as the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.
Groups of average Australians were brought together for a series of focus groups to discuss the community pharmacy landscape as they see it.
Some of the feedback was disconcerting.

Comments: 3

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Has the horse bolted?

Ken Stafford

Some twenty years ago uneasy tremors were running through hospital pharmacy here in Perth. Hospital management had suggested to one of my fellow Chief Pharmacists that the hospital needed a total parenteral and intravenous additive service (IVAS) .
When it was pointed out that this would be very labour intensive and the pharmacy did not have sufficient staff to provide it, the comment was that “nurses would be happy to run such a service”.

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Independent Pharmacist Practitioners

James Ellerson

In the region where I practice, GP’s are reluctant to comply with a patient request for a Home Medication Review.
The stock standard phrase is “I can do that for you” and so in frustration a patient will turn to me, in a professional, or quite commonly in a social setting, and asks if it is possible for me to perform a review without the doctor’s involvement.

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Disgraceful – discuss

Pat Gallagher

Disgraceful – discuss
The newspapers have been chock-a-block the past few days with dire tales but true about the black hole we are about to enter with the insane policy to re-regulate the ‘workplace’ to suit the union paymaster cliques.
While I never voted for Keating I did admire him a little bit this morning when I read a quote of his from the bad old days.
He said to some union goose: “you are carrying the jobs of (100,000) dead men around your shoulders”.
Giving a dead hand to this union unfettered power play will ensure that the nation will soon look like NSW; where the government is actually the plaything of a few loosely combined public ‘service’ union mugs.
Depending on how large your pharmacy is, in terms of overall staffing, you will soon be touched by the coming dead hand of the new/old order.

Comments: 3

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UK Dispensing Errors Under Review

Staff Writer

The recent furore in the UK over pharmacist Elizabeth Lee receiving a conviction for a criminal offence and subsequently a suspended jail sentence, has really lit a fire under the imbalances that exist when a pharmacy dispensing error is made.
The dispensing pharmacist or the supervising pharmacist under current UK legislation, has been made to bear the brunt of legal responsibility, with pharmacy owners escaping with little pain.
According to an article in PJ Online "In many cases, all that the employer needs to establish is that he had standard operating procedures in place and that the employee or locum had simply not complied with them. In these cases, the employer can walk away leaving the employee or locum to face the, often damaging, consequences".
There is now a rush in the UK to have current legislation amended to reflect a more proportionate responsibility for all parties involved.

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A New Ministery - Indigenous, Rural and Regional Health

Staff Writer

The appointment for the first time of a Minister for Indigenous, Rural and Regional Health and Regional Service Delivery is an important strategic recognition of the special needs and circumstances facing people in Australia's rural and remote communities.
People in the bush will expect this position to be part of a permanent increase in the Government's commitment to rural communities.
In welcoming Minister Warren Snowdon to the new position, Dr Jenny May, Chairperson of the National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA), said the appointment will be important both for substantive policy reasons and to boost the place of rural issues on the political agenda.

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NZ fish killed by water quality

Staff Writer

The following news item was recently published in Science Alert. It would seem that the pristine environment of New Zealand is under attack. The reasons are similar to those findings in Australia surrounding the protection of the Great Barrier Reef.

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New theory for global diabetes epidemic

Staff Writer

A new "fertility first" hypothesis published this week by a group of international experts in the American Journal of Human Biology, proposes that the global epidemic of Type 2 diabetes has its origins in the struggle, over millennia, to sustain human fertility in environments defined by famine.
A surprising and important implication for us in the modern world is that this hypothesis gives cause for optimism that the modern epidemics of diabetes and cardiovascular disease will diminish.
Source: Sydney University

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Immune system key discovered

Staff Writer

A team of Monash University researchers has discovered the importance of a protein, which could improve the way the drug interferon is used to strengthen the human immune system.
Published online in the prestigious journal Immunity, the findings show that the protein promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger (PLZF) is a key player in the body's immune response to disease, increasing our understanding of the function of the immune system.(Source: Science Alert )

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Political suspicions raised as China cracks down on bogus online health info

Staff Writer

China is notable for its authoritarian approach to the Internet and other forms of media communications.
Restrictions on Internet activity may have some long-term implications for Australia, particularly as these restrictions are intruding into the health arena.
Source: Tech.Blorge

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Senior Pharmacists - A Valuable Resource

Staff Writer

Little thought seems to have occurred in maintaining and supporting mature aged pharmacists in the workplace.
Given that this group of pharmacists is the one with the "corporate memory" of the profession, with many having started life as compounding pharmacists and counter-prescribers, there is a wealth of untapped intellectual resource that could be internally utilised in mentoring or even training pharmacists in how to sell a professional service.
This group of pharmacists is concerned with the development of retail clinics proposing to do almost exactly what they were successfully doing 30-40 years ago.
What went wrong?

Well, there is plenty of evidence to illustrate that the process of commoditising medicines is the primary reason for this loss, because if you strip everything out of a process to sell at the cheapest possible price, you get a barren professional offering
Source: Science Alert

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Terry White Makes a Move

Staff Writer

Introduction:

It is clear that the Terry White pharmacy group is on the move with the recent purchase of Pharmacy Direct and a restructure of its own management. Terry has had a distinguished pharmacy career and his stewardship will see possibly the strongest pharmacy group in Australia emerge He is opening up the opportunity for equity for senior members of his management team.
The following excerpt extracted from pharmacy media reports explains the process.

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I’ve seen the future…….and I’m not happy, Jan!

Chris Wright

articles by this author...

Chris has spent many years in the pharmaceutical industry and is semi-retired.
He has an interest in supply chain procedures, and work flows within community pharmacies, and he provides consultancies around those activities.

The ubiquitous Mrs Wright, in her quest to unearth a new erotic shopping experience, ushered this writer to a new Coles store located at the all very nice and leafy suburb of Ivanhoe in Melbourne recently.
This is contemporary retailing at its best, no doubt influenced by the gurus at Westfarmers and the rapidly changing retail climate in Australia, which of course involves the future of Pharmacy in some way….but more about Pharmacy later.

open this article full screen

To wander into the open entrance to this store is to reminisce of the brilliant Marks & Spencer model. Unlike the ill-fated attempt by M & S to introduce retail excellence to the less than enthusiastic Afghanis by opening a store in Kabul in the indulgent 60’s this is a store seemingly poised to establish Coles as a leader in the new wave of retail thinking.

With a heavy emphasis on fresh food being offered in state of the art fixtures with a low orientation to provide a sense of openness and grocery aisles separated by a central “street” in the same manner as Bunnings this must be retail Shangri-La to the seasoned shopper….with apologies to James Hilton.

At long last, a supermarket has addressed the two issues that drive customers to madness.

It is not necessary to traipse the aisles in frustration in this store in search of an elusive product and, in the event a purchase has not been made it is no longer like trying to escape from Pentridge to exit the store.

With Costco about to open at Docklands Coles has drawn a line in the sand and is clearly preparing for battle, despite a differing culture.

This Coles store (like Aldi and NQR) sells alcohol inside the body of the store but unlike Aldi/NQR accepts payment at designated “Grocery/Alcohol” checkouts. Coles have been flirting with this for some time and Liquor Licensing Victoria seem to have relented with their opposition to Supermarkets selling alcohol through the same checkout as everything else.

The fish counter, butchery, bakery and deli departments are about the best around. The magnificent cheese range and presentation gives rise to the thought that unless the fine folk of Ivanhoe have an unhealthy addiction to the stuff the store may well fail.

Pharmacies in the area would be well advised to increase their stock of Lipitor……

An area of no less than 225 square metres is devoted to lines once regarded as the exclusive domain of Pharmacy. Yes, yes I accept that those days are long gone, but this “Pharmacy Department” is different to the norm for two reasons.

Firstly, it is obvious that it this an area designated as special use insofar that it is removed from the main body of grocery etc, etc shelving and highlighted by the fact that shelving in the body of the area is low, but surrounded by higher shelving, thus clearly delineating the area and giving the illusion it is somewhat autonomous.

Secondly and very significantly, this area is located in a prime position, unlike the “Pharmacy Department” as we usually know it, which generally shares space with the likes of hardware, motor oil, pet supplies and anything else not remotely associated with Pharmacy.

It is also interesting that the area devoted to Pharmacy is adjacent the liquor shop, which is not branded as one of the identifiable Coles brands such as Liquorland, Vintage Cellars or 1st Choice. Rather, this is a smallish department with a reduced range, but nonetheless exudes a professional air. Equally, the liquor shop and pharmacy areas are somewhat removed from the self checkout area……..a subliminal message, perhaps?

Perhaps this is part of a concerted effort by Coles to highlight their desire to participate in Pharmacy. Westfarmers recently dumped Pharmacy Direct, but let’s not interpret this as a lack of interest.

Kevin 747 is hell-bent on “saving” money and will plug any financial hole he can find, whether it be imagined leakage, or not.

Pharmacy is a certain target because unlike the previous Liberal Government, this Labor Government appears to be less than enthusiastic about maintaining the status quo; despite the fact the Health Minister has a sound knowledge base of the industry and Pharmacy generally does well under a Labor Government. Besides, it has been made clear that this Government will treat the PGA just like any other interest group. Let’s face it, if the Government is prepared to take on their own flock such as the ETU, AMFMU et al, why would they be concerned about having a crack at an elitist and astonishingly wealthy “union” who boasts the miniscule membership base of approximately .375% of unionists in this country? Besides, as it approaches its Diamond anniversary the time honoured relationship between the Government of the day and the PGA is clearly not it once was……..is divorce in the air, we wonder?

It is probable that Pharmacy and the patient will pay dearly for the much vaunted stimulus package that sent many residents in Malta and Greece on a path of frenzied celebration at their good fortune at being reverse ex-pat’s. Limuncell and ouzo sales must have gone through the roof. I mean, talk about hitting the jackpot!

The long revered profit base of prescription activity is evaporating at a pace approaching the fall of Gordon Ramsay’s popularity. In an effort to survive, pharmacists are learning to sacrifice care in an effort to stay in business. Some of course do this with consummate ease and have done so for many years, which has exacerbated the problem of establishing a balanced and objective debate about the relationship between care and cost as we head towards the next agreement, which is looming as the most controversial of all.

With a footprint of a 225 square metre Pharmacy Department in a prime location in the store Coles in the future will no doubt be able to capture the prescription and DAA market by providing automated solutions to fulfill patient requirements in time to present to them as they exit the store with their shopping. Image and presentation is everything in today’s world and Community Pharmacy as we know it is at risk of being consigned to history, not just because of the bear in the corner, but also because the window of opportunity for Pharmacy to develop value added services as a community based health provider is cracking.

Game over?

Are we about to spawn a generation of Pharmacists whose focus is concentrated on satisfying the demands of a store manager to the detriment of patient care?

The answer seems to be yes……… not happy, Jan!

Although Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer would no doubt be pleased.

 

 

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