s The Need To Get Brand “Pharmacy’s” Story Right – and Up To Date | 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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Newsflash Updates for July 2014

Newsflash Updates

Regular weekly updates that supplement the regular monthly homepage edition of i2P. 
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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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The Need To Get Brand “Pharmacy’s” Story Right – and Up To Date

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.

If I tell story in a way you relate to, my story becomes your story, and the need to persuade or convince or sell you on something disappears.
For the past 20 years I have been documenting my own personal story in the context of the larger story of my family’s history, and in so doing, have learned the derivation of a lot of common surnames.
It has, for me, been an interesting journey that is encapsulated in a number of short stories from the past that merge into the broader landscape of history in general.
It also gives me a starting point when I first engage with a patient and try to build an empathetic base because if I know the derivation of their surname, I am able to share a point in time of some aspect of family history that crosses over to that of my patient.
And for that brief moment, my story becomes theirs and barriers break down sufficient to engage my patient in a clinical conversation where I can ask questions to a meaningful depth and receive answers that are both friendly and accommodating.

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In the broad scheme of things we all want to engage our patients and customers in a story they can easily visualise themselves as being part of, even if it was told in a completely different style and manner to the way they would have presented the same story.
We all want our patients and customers to say, “Yes! You get it - this is for me.”

Over time you are able to keep your story fresh and interesting by releasing self-contained story segments that create new points of interest.

Stories are the building blocks that that build and hold a culture together, and it follows that if you want to transform or change a culture, then the stories that provide the basis for change need to be in place before momentum can build to effect change.

Currently, a number of people involved in the pharmacy profession are trying to change its culture, and the limited success achieved to date has been hard won.
This is because there are insufficient stories out there that illuminate the type of change required and the reasons for it in the first place.
And is the right story being told?
The golden rule for communication is to “first get your story straight”.

The challenge is that most people get lost in their own story - the enormity of it, how to best frame it, what to say, and in what way.

What does it mean to tell the right story?
 And how do you tell the story in a way that feels authentic and relevant to the message you represent?
It’s easy when you’re selling widgets. It’s a lot harder when you’re in the business of transformation—in areas like clinical pharmacy, business innovation, social change, or some other bold intersection that is reshaping how we experience culture in pharmacy.

For many of us, just figuring out the story to tell is the hardest part.

Your success as a social entrepreneur, change-maker or innovator is determined by the story you tell.
In order to make a dramatic change or a collective shift in people’s perceptions and behaviour, you have to tell the right story - authentically and ethically. 

As an exercise:

* Describe the work you do and why it matters?

* Translate complex ideas into easy-to-digest segments.
Do you agree this is the job of a pharmacist and give an example.

* Emotionally engage your audience and turn them into true believers?
As a pharmacist, do you believe this is necessary. If so, can you illustrate an example from your own experience?

* Tap into the energy of your authentic story?
Does this resonate with you. Have you ever achieved this (give an example).

Build this exercise to a level where you have a bigger story to tell to a larger audience.
Decide on the format for a formal presentation of your story.

Rehearse and imagine telling your story to the point where everyone in the room “gets it" and when:

* People become inspired, intrigued, and engaged.
* They resonate with your presence.
* They emotionally connect to who you are.
* You’ve translated the complex issues into a simple, elegant story—one that’s easy to remember and relate to.
* They want to be a part of what you’re up to.
* They see themselves in your story.

When you have reached this stage you can regard yourself as having reached "brand" status.

Continue to build your brand:

* Master the elevator pitch of your organization’s story

* Develop a compelling back story that builds authentic credibility

* Learn the step-by-step sequence to make your story resonate

* Discover a dynamic way to re-frame how people perceive your work

* Address the gaps and blind spots of the change-making process

Now market your brand by continuing to build confidence in your ability to tell a compelling story while remembering the hardest story to tell is your own, and that it is a story in two parts:
* Your own “inner” story, your journey and your reasons, and how you overcame self-doubt. Show how you charted your map and the direction it is still taking.

* Your “outer story” which is represented by your brand.

Now you are approaching maturity in brand building.

Which begs the broader question, “Who is looking after brand “pharmacy” on the national stage, and who should be involved in its development?
We surely cannot expect that this is the sole responsibility of the PGA or that they should assume total control for the brand.
Yet it is the most important component of our professional presentation and it does not seem to be nurtured, and in someone's specific care.

Who are our best and brightest story-teller practitioners and how would they be best organised as trusted leaders and custodians of brand “pharmacy”

Humanise your work and your message, because story telling has become the major tool in 21st century marketing campaigns.
Believe in your story and you will find no difficulty in its telling and re-telling without the need for memorising and performance reinforcement that is needed for high level and expensive campaigns.

With presence, authenticity and voice, your own story will tell itself.
You won’t feel tongue-tied trying to deliver something you’re still trying to memorise. Instead, you’ll speak your truth about the things that matter most to you. 

This is what your patients, customers, employees, and associates want from you. They want you to engage them in a new way, one that is conversational, approachable, and real – a mentoring style.

A point to note:
If you are not telling your own story there will be someone else out there telling it for you.
And it may not be attractive. It could, for example, be the president of the AMA telling the world that pharmacists are not qualified to give vaccinations, they deliver them between “toilet rolls and toothpastes” and that they don’t have the financial resources to install a suitable cold chain system to ensure vaccine stability.
All the above statements, all untrue, have been made within the past 12 months from the AMA.
Why they stoop to such derogatory behaviour is not fully understood, but it illustrates what can happen if you lose control of your story.

Obviously the Pharmacy Vaccination Story needs to be updated to refute all of the above and the experience derived to be built into the next campaign.

When you consciously enter into a relationship with the stories of your organisation or brand, you can transform the world, from the inside out with some simple guiding principles:

Truth—Speak and act on what really matters

Presence—Be your authentic self

Empathy—Deepen your ability to witness and feel

Voice—Own your experience and point of view

Imagination—See new possibilities and connections

Return to home

Submitted by Raphael Le Tran on Thu, 19/06/2014 - 13:44.

Brilliant insight and practical points for pharmacists, particularly young ones in the workforce like myself who are bewildered by where the industry is going.

Submitted by Gerald Quigley on Tue, 17/06/2014 - 06:21.

This illuminating article also shows that not only does the profession need a "brand", but each individual pharmacist, in his or her own way, needs their brand within this overall brand. Engagement with the patient is a disappearing art, and in my view, that's because it has disappeared within the GP world. But when engagement does arise, each patient is actually pleasantly surprised. Neil's article should make compulsory reading on Day 1 of Pharmacy 1 nationwide.

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