s Pharmacy in 2012 – Doomsday?... or not much to worry about? | I2P: Information to Pharmacists - Archive
Publication Date 01/07/2014         Volume. 6 No. 6   
Information to Pharmacists

Editorial

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
http://aca.ninemsn.com.au/article/8863098/prescription-drug-warning

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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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Pharmacy in 2012 – Doomsday?... or not much to worry about?

Joseph Conway

articles by this author...

Joe Conway is an Irish born pharmacist who qualified in the UK in 1998.
After completing a residency in a hospital in London, he embarked on a 3 year locum stint that involved working all over the UK, Ireland, and Australia in over 350 pharmacies of all varieties (hospitals large and small, community, even a prison pharmacy).In 2002, Joe emigrated to Australia and worked in the Private Hospital sector gradually moving in to management positions with Slade Pharmacy where he developed a keen interest in Oncology services. In 2006, Joe took up a position setting up a Pharmacy service to a newly built Day Hospital in Frankston, Victoria. The Pharmacy now conducts over 40 clinical trials.
Joe is currently studying for a Master of Biostatistics to help him progress in the area of clinical trials, and think outside the square (or at least be left-field).

Editor's Note: Joseph Conway is a new writer for i2P and he brings the perspective of a young pharmacists tackling the career problems that become very apparent as you begin to work your way through the different stages.
I first met Joseph some years ago in the pharmacy department of a rural hospital, working as a locum.
He was backpacking at the time.
I am delighted to have renewed acquaintance again because I had not realised he had returned to Australia, married, and started a family.
Joseph is now well-integrated in Australian pharmacy culture and "punching well above his weight" as evidenced by the commentary contributed to various pharmacy publications.
In the following article he builds a framework as to his perspective on Australian pharmacy now, while simultaneously providing a platform for future commentary on each segment.

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According to Wikipedia There are many popular beliefs about the year 2012 ranging from the spiritually transformative to the apocalyptic. Many said that 2012 would be a bad year for Community Pharmacy and there are certainly challenges for everybody in the Pharmacy profession in 2012.

What are the threats to Community Pharmacy?
There seems to be little consensus about where pharmacy should head among the various groups in Pharmacy.
Pfizer Direct has bypassed the CSO wholesalers to supply medicines direct to pharmacy.
Other companies may follow suit.
Already, some generic medication distributers are planning to use DHL to bypass CSO wholesalers and sell their products for the cheapest prices direct in bulk to pharmacy.
It has become clear that consumers want to pay for the price of prescription medicine and the price of any clinical pharmacy service offered with that medication separately.
The transition to such an arrangement and the rise of Discounters as one part of the solution to consumer concerns has caused concerns for the availability of alternative revenue streams in the Profession.
The outcry when Chemist Warehouse passed on savings they made on generic Atorvastatin to their customers by providing it for free on a valid prescription for a limited period is one example of this.
In April, 2012, the start of Price disclosure for generic medication reimbursement prices on PBS has started pharmacy on a road where the cost of supply of PBS medication is not going to be fully funded by government.
In the light of such issues, I have tried to outline what I think could be the threats to pharmacy in Australia November 2012.
Some of these I think are Universities, Our Disunity as a profession, Bankruptcies, Wages and Conditions, Generic Drugs, Drug Companies, Corporate pharmacy, Technology, and the CHF.

Universities:

With increases in the number of students and talk of Pharmacist underemployment in the cities, it won’t be long before this issue creates waves outside the profession.
I have heard that there are as many first year pharmacy students in Tasmania as there are Community Pharmacies in that state.
Students appear to be sold the line that Pharmacy is a stable career.
We pharmacists are being sold a line that new pharmacist positions will get created with new Government programs.
It is hard to believe that the expected explosion of pharmacy graduates and the magical increase in Clinical pharmacist jobs will positively correlate.
With Facebook and other social media, the grunts of such disenchanted people may resonate with Sharks outside the profession who may use it to their advantage.

Our Disunity as a profession:

There are about 26,400 registered pharmacists in Australia (Pharmacy Board of Australia - June 2012 www.pharmacyboard.gov.au/News/Newsletters/June-2012.aspx ).
There are so many groups that advocate for different areas of our needs.
There are the Pharmacy Guild, PSA, SHPA, Pharmacy Board, APESMA, NAPSA, ACP, APC and probably others that I have forgotten to mention.
When you divide the number of registered pharmacists by the number of groups in pharmacy it is obvious that it all appears to be a bit messy with many people shouting wanting their viewpoint advocated for.
It always seems to be hard to get a clear consensus for a direction for the profession and I often wonder if the average “Joe” on the street has any idea of what a Pharmacist in 2012 actually does and has responsibility for.

Bankruptcies:

It has been widely reported that approximately 20% of pharmacies are in financial difficulty.
In this environment, it is going to be hard to fund the Clinical Pharmacist positions necessary for a viable future and relevance of pharmacy to the primary healthcare team.
Pharmacists who feel hard done by when their business goes bankrupt may also lead to further disunity of the profession.

Wages and Conditions:

These appear to be in jeopardy.
With an explosion of students and current avenues for income generation drying and no real consensus on where pharmacy goes from here, it appears that wages (and possibly conditions) could further deteriorate especially when CPI is accounted for.
A Pharmacist in Charge in a Sydney pharmacy was getting $30+ 12 years ago, yet in 2012, $28/hr appears to be going rate in Sydney.
This places a direct figure on the direction the Community values the dispensing work of a pharmacist. There isn’t much scope for this wage to increase due to the Small Business structure of pharmacy which might change with the franchise model of Community Pharmacy.
$28/hr is not a bad wage, but when you pay $80k + HECS and work for long shifts without time to even take a toilet break, endlessly checking prescriptions to ensure that the correct label in on each box and that the dispensed medication seems to be an appropriate dose for the particular patient, the $28/hour doesn’t seem great.
In some states, (e.g. VIC) it’s actually illegal for a pharmacist to service a call of nature and take a quick toilet break.
Unless you are lucky to inherit a deposit or are a financial whizz, this would appear to be as far as your pharmacy degree will take you if you love being a Community Pharmacist.
Pharmacy needs to attract those who are the best pharmacists and not just those who are good are running a business or are rich.

Generic medications:

This issue has to potential to erode the trust that our profession deservedly has with the public.
If a patient presents with a valid prescription for Lipitor®, Somac®, Plavix®, or Coversyl® and are fully covered under PBS for medication, the price of the generic versions of these drugs are no cheaper for the patient than the original branded products.
Giving people the generic brands may even have the potential to harm the patient as it’s widely accepted that there could be an increase in adverse events occur when patients get confused by getting so many different brands of the same medication.
Many Pharmacists need to convert patients from the Originator brands to the Pharmacy best deal brand to ensure the pharmacy’s financial survival.
I think that this issue is doing great damage to the image and has the potential for the profession to be seen in the same light as used car salespeople (Sorry to used Car salespeople, but according to many (e.g. CHF), people are getting sick of being coerced or unknowingly being converted to the brand that the Pharmacy has to best deal with that month.).
There are reportedly better ways of doing this and achieving the same (or even more?) savings for the Federal budget bottom line.

Drug Companies:

Pfizer Direct has shaken the profession.
There is talk of other companies following suit.
However, the Guild reaction seems (to me) to have been subdued so maybe, it’s not a real issue as they see it.
I don’t think that Drug Companies want to open pharmacies.
They have never shown interest in owning Doctor’s surgeries (open market), so, I don’t think that they would want to own pharmacies for the very reasons they don’t own Doctor’s clinics.

Corporate pharmacy:

Pharmacists in Australia will be looking closely at Countdown Pharmacies in NZ.
However, many pharmacies in Australia are already very “Corporate”.
The Corporatization of pharmacy has to potential to save Taxpayers billions through increased efficiencies and if done in the right way could achieve great health and economic benefits for Australians.
However, I think that Supermarkets in Australia will have to convince the public that they are interested in Clinical Pharmacy and I haven’t read much about this with Countdown in NZ – if they don’t they will never get the keys to pharmacy.
I guess that this is a “wait and see” issue.

Technology:

Automated dispensaries are on their way.
It’s possible for machines to dispense faster and more accurately than any human can.
It’s possible to use Infra-Red technology to check dispensed Websters® and barcodes for machines to read the scripts.
People in the future may get most of their prescription medication from vending machines.
People will always need some medication that can’t be automated (e.g. Antibiotic mixtures for kids) and everybody will expect their pharmacist available to help improve QUM.
However, it is obvious that Pharmacists who only dispense medication and don’t interact with patients may find their job opportunities limited in the future due to technological advances.

Internet Pharmacy:

This might make the location Rules obsolete.
If you have access to a computer and a valid script you can get it for a cheap price through any Australian Online Pharmacy.
If you live in a town or suburb where all the pharmacies are owned by single owner, it really doesn’t matter as you have online access to the cheapest prices of dispensed medication anyway.
Again, this affects the bottom line and is a further challenge to the profession.

CHF:

Nothing typifies the pressures on the pharmacy profession to be more open with the public than listening to Carol Bennett talking to the profession about the concerns of consumers.
People are seeing Pharmacists as a secret group who “close up” when an outside force wants answers on a subject.
Consumers like getting their medication for the cheapest price.
The success of Chemist Warehouse and their clones is a testament to this.
CHF are going to continue to advocate for openness and pharmacy is just going to have to adjust for this.
To adjust for this, Pharmacy may need to charge patients a fee for clinical pharmacy services rendered if the patient is willing to pay for them.
I think that patients would be willing to pay for “good” 20-30 minute private talk with a pharmacist about medication issues.

This all sounds a bit depressing.
However, it all comes down to what future we as pharmacists want.
Supply of medication is going to be expected to be at below cost by both patients and the Federal Government.
I like many other pharmacists am taking the opportunity to implement some of the incentive programs from the 5CPA.
They seem like a start but of course these are only incentives and not fully funded programs – we will have to earn these if they ever occur.
In the end, real change has to come from the dispensary up.
Pharmacist knowledge is valuable and experienced Pharmacists with specialist experience are a worthwhile commodity.
As soon as some knowledgeable Pharmacist opens up their own consulting rooms and has the guts to charge people directly for a clinical Pharmacy service and enough people are willing to pay for that service, we could be on a road to irrelevancy.
We cannot continue to see our roles as dispensing with little engagement with customers.
The most experienced Pharmacist should be the first person people see in a pharmacy not the last or in some cases people never.

I think that change will happen – it has to!

Return to home

Submitted by James on Mon, 12/11/2012 - 00:53.

I have spoken to many pharmacists from all walks and ages of life - from pre-regs to pre-retirement. All and I mean ALL have vehemently voiced their dissapointment and concern with where the profession is heading. No matter whether they are employees, ex-owners, owners or discount puppet-partners the theme is the same. In recent times the profession's virtuous public image has been tarnished beyond repair from various faux pas all the way to the top.

Where is this all heading? What is around the corner? Pharmacist prescribing will save the day i'm lead to believe. Another distraction from core practice. Something that pharmacists were never trained to do but will assume 101% responsiblity for, whilst unsensibly irritating our fellows at the AMA. Bit like the sick certificate debacle.

You want to be asking the profession's leaders what the alternative is...I've already made my suggestion of individual provider numbers for appropriately-trained pharmacists to reimburse them for counselling etc a long time ago.

And oh, I agree very much with you on the generics front - Pharmacists all over Australia are beginning to bemoan the prospect of broaching the subject of substitution with clued-up patients; pharmacists are beginning to question the real motives behind generic substitution. In fact, a truly ethical pharmacist would not even bother with it and risk confusing the patient. And before you say "But it can save patients some serious moola!" à la generics rep, I'll say; "Who are we to worry about our patient's finances when we are trained to worry about their health?".

Pharmacy is simply nibbling at the edges of the gravy cake when it should be taking big, meaty chunks and slurping it down. It needs proper direction. It needs proper renumeration. And above all it needs proper unity in order to secure a sustainable future for everyone from employees to employers.

Submitted by James on Fri, 02/11/2012 - 21:40.

I agree with most of what you mention - well done! But I think your 'going rate' for a Pharmacist-in-charge' is a generalization and inaccurate. A well-spoken, well-presented, experienced (10yr+), business-savvy, Pharmacist-in-charge can easily command a rate $45+ plus super + bonus in capital cities. More if they have good followings of patients and a 'poaching attempt' is made by a rival. Bonus if they have a proven track record of getting along with staff and adding harmony to your business! There are many pharmacists being paid six figure sums on par with other professionals. And yes, even at discounters!
Pharmacists need to be treated as unique health professionals and be given more power as individuals and be appropriately renumerated directly from Medicare. This will increase their self-worth and also value to employers.
The 5CPA incentives are, quite frankly, a joke that is just putting more stress and time demands on pharmacists whilst removing them from the all-important patient interaction as they deal with the ridiculous paperwork for no direct financial reward....

Submitted by Joseph Conway on Thu, 08/11/2012 - 21:53.

Thank you for your comment James. I would have thought the the figure would be closer to $30, but, it's heartening that some pharmacists are being paid well. I know of some experienced pharmacists who fit your criteria in Melbourne outer suburbs who were previously >$40 per hour finding it hard to get steady work for $35 per hour. I was talking about a 3-5 year qualified pharmacist who can competently do all their tasks and even do some management duties.
I don't really like thearduouss paperwork doing business in pharmacy now. I feel like a person at the passport office - constantly faxing papers and wondering if all these mountains of paperwork achieve anything. However, what's the choice? Do 5CPA programs or become a Discount Warehouse? We can't all be warehouses, so what's the alternative?

Submitted by Jen on Thu, 01/11/2012 - 18:05.

I am an older pharmacist, who has been feeling more and more despondent as I have watched the profession struggle against cost and staff pressures to try to engage in collaborative health care, from the more recent base of medicine supply, which somehow supplanted the apothecary, who actually compounded and advised and dispensed. Such a breath of freah air to hear a younger pharmacist with such an exciting vision for the future. Well done Joe!

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