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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Call for urgent paradigm shift to bring nutrition into medicine

Neil Johnston

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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.

I was recently sent an email from ACNEM as a follow on from the Second Nutrition in Medicine conference at the Grand Hyatt in Melbourne.
It seems that awareness is growing once again, about the usefulness of nutritional science and its application to the prevention and treatment of illness.
That this subject is not front and centre for any healthcare program has always been a bit bewildering to me.
Of course, you can't patent most nutritional products can you?
It's not that long ago pharmacists had their own college of clinical nutrition...and let it go.

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If pharmacists are ever going to succeed in launching a preventive medicine program, clinical nutrition has to be a major component.
As well, pharmacists are well placed in the community to deliver such a program for patient benefit.

Clinical nutrition treatments can:

(i) Offset various side-effects of drugs including avoiding nutrient depletion caused by drugs.
(ii) In some instances provide an efficient alternative treatment for certain conditions.
(iii) In instances where conditions are progressive, clinical nutrition can slow down progression and offer safer solutions.
(iv) Side-effects are almost non-existent with the use of nutritional products.

The only other comment I would make about the ACNEM statement is that clinical nutrition should not become the exclusive preserve of the medical profession. Certainly, their current lack of training of medical practitioners is disruptive for those health practitioners who do have skills.
And there are a few pharmacists qualified to deliver nutritional consults.
Collaboration is the cornerstone for this discipline.
With that in place, turf wars may become a thing of the past.
The ACNEM Report follows:

Dear Colleagues

“Nutrition should be the domain of all medical practitioners, not the reserve of a few.”

I am pleased to report that on the weekend of 4-6 May 2012, more than 550 doctors, scientists, academics, nutritionists and allied healthcare professionals attended the 2nd Nutrition in Medicine conference at the Grand Hyatt in Melbourne. The conference was facilitated by Dr Norman Swan, of the ABC Health Report, and opened by the Hon Catherine King, Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing.

By convening this conference with CSIRO Food & Nutritional Sciences and the Nutrition Society of Australia, we aimed to open up the field of nutritional and environmental medicine for closer scrutiny along with the science that drives it, and did not shy away from challenging views in our programming.  I hope this was apparent from the weekend to those who attended.

World-leading psychiatrists, gastroenterologists, endocrinologists, and genetic and nutritional scientists, pointed to nutritional deficiencies and imbalances in conditions such as depression, Type 2 Diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and colorectal cancer, along with the potential for nutritional interventions, education and public health policy to impact on and prevent these conditions.

Delegates heard calls from experts for an urgent paradigm shift, to translate nutritional science into medical training, practice and public health policy.

The conference provided me with a forum to call on the medical schools in Australia and New Zealand to urgently review their undergraduate curricula to ensure that future doctors receive training in nutritional and environmental medicine. Likewise, general practitioner registrar training must further develop doctors’ knowledge and skills in this area since GPs are both primary care providers and the gatekeepers to the healthcare system.

You will be aware from the nature of the event, if not from the changes you have seen in the College in recent years, that ACNEM is on course to impact on the epidemic of chronic and lifestyle-related illness, much of which has an underlying nutritional and environmental aetiology.

I am pleased to be part of the team leading this challenge.

A/Prof Eugen Molodysky
Chair, Conference Organising Committee, &
Vice President, ACNEM

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