Publication Date 24/02/2011         Volume. 3 No. 2   
Information to Pharmacists

Editorial

From the desk of the editor

Welcome to the March 2011 edition of i2P.
The month of February has seen free enterprise in the pharmaceutical industry breaking out of the mould that is regulated health and upsetting any semblance of balance within community pharmacy.
Government negotiated price reductions with Big Pharma collided head-on with the new business model from Pfizer Direct and its potential to destabilise the entire supply chain process and the supply of medicines under the PBS.
This process has been described in eloquent detail by Neil Retallick, in his article “New landscape, new directions, new Government role in community pharmacy?”

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Editorial

From the desk of the editor

articles by this author...

Introducing current ideas, perspectives and issues, to the profession of pharmacy

Welcome to the March 2011 edition of i2P.
The month of February has seen free enterprise in the pharmaceutical industry breaking out of the mould that is regulated health and upsetting any semblance of balance within community pharmacy.
Government negotiated price reductions with Big Pharma collided head-on with the new business model from Pfizer Direct and its potential to destabilise the entire supply chain process and the supply of medicines under the PBS.
This process has been described in eloquent detail by Neil Retallick, in his article “New landscape, new directions, new Government role in community pharmacy?”

open this article full screen

Our feature article for this month, “The IT Can of Worms in NSW” concerns the experience of one Australian small business and its inability to be paid for work done under contract with the NSW hospital system.
There is something radfically wrong with government health systems, and in particular e-health.
Why is it that Australia does not have a system of e-health excellence when there are so many innovatiove entrepreneurs capable of delivering?
And they were capable of delivering up to five years ago.
The non-payment or delayed payment of valid contracts seems to be an institutionalised method of bullying in its mildest form, or something more sinister. If the experience written about is multiplied nationally, it is little wonder our e-health projects are in such poor health.
Victoria seems to have taken a lead to bring matters into line in their state and have cancelled all contracts involved with new health technologies (some $360 million in value).
This is a genuine attempt to stop the culture that currently prevails in Victorian health IT, and put a break on the expenditure that often turns improperly into a bottomless pit.

Kay Dunkley, our new writer, has written an interesting article titled “Continuity of care – discharge from hospital”. This makes an interesting read, particularly when read in conjunction with other articles in this edition concerning Medicare Locals and Linda Bryant’s article on the evolving primary care system in New Zealand “Pharmacy in the context of New Zealand primary health care”.
Slowly it seems it may be coming together in primary health care.

It would seem that most western economies, including the US with its recent right turn towards pharmacy (see “Clinical Pharmacist Roles Surging Ahead in US”), are following parallel primary health pathways, with just a local twist for differentiation.
It is easy to see where Australian Pharmacy will be eventually, as the best components from each country’s business models are integrated and evolved.

Short-term there is obvious pain for Australian community pharmacy and practicing pharmacists, but long-term there is definitely more hope.
Australian Pharmacy has a need for its peak bodies to get in step with a clinical models that benefit all pharmacists, otherwise it will lag behind all other countries.

Mark Neuenschwander has come up with the concept that “Physicians Need Bar Coding Too” – and I am inclined to agree with him.

Patrick Gallagher is back after a short absence and he has an article titled “We can’t answer until we are asked” where he is becoming more optimistic about the IT world. Let’s hope it is well-placed.

Columnists Rollo Manning, Loretta Marron and Barry Urquhart are in their regular space and coupled with a range of staff-researched topics, the March edition of i2P is a good read.

Neil Johnston
March 1st, 2011

 

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