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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So you want to be a pharmacist?

Gerald Quigley

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Gerald Quigley is a Melbourne-based pharmacist who has a strong interest in complementary medicine. He is a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, The National Herbalists Association of Australia and The Australian Traditional Medicine Society.
He is also an Associate Fellow of the Australian College of Pharmacy. Up to the year 2000, Gerald operated community pharmacies in partnership with his wife Philippa but has since diversified into health broadcasting (Radio 3AW), writing (Retail Pharmacy and a wide variety of health and lifestyle magazines) and various consultancies as an integrative pharmacist and medical herbalist.
He also lectures at GippsTAFE on weight management and complementary medicines.

I had the pleasure this afternoon of speaking with pharmacy students from RMIT University.
What an inspiring group!
I headed, having read at breakfast, a garbage piece of journalism written in the Herald Sun Melbourne, implying that every pharmacy is ripping you off unless they are selling discounted cold and ‘flu remedies.
In this cynical piece, the journalist naming himself as “Public Defender” quotes “if you do your homework to source a cheaper product, then you are going to end up with money in your pocket”.

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From a sensational journalistic perspective, I can take it or leave it. I can dispatch it to the recycle bin, although I feel that sometimes some newspapers aren’t quality enough to recycle!

What really gets up my nose is that we don’t have a spokesperson to defend and justify our position in the health team. The article contains a very insipid reply from the Pharmacy Guild, which doesn’t address the professional slagging that is implied in this article. Or am I being a bit precious? Will we as usual, keep our heads down, never comment, never justify our position, and just be happy with letting the discounters get their way?

If this article was an attack on the fees of GPs, the AMA head would be out there on every TV news channel justifying the role of the quality GP treatment in the health of Australians. Who’s our spokesperson? Where is PSA here? Don’t they represent the professional interests of member pharmacists? Or don’t we have the courage to have an opinion?

I challenged the student group today to learn to have an opinion early, and not to allow the commercial and political interests of our professional bodies to lead us down a government-led one way path. I challenged them to be proud professionals, proud pharmacists in a noble profession. But I encouraged them to shake the tree, to seek justification of our place in the health care team, and to demand our professional bodies to move with the times. To be aware of the perceptions out there, and to be quick to respond. Or is it too cozy in the cold Capital?

Amen, and as AAMI says, “I feel better now”.

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Submitted by Kay Dunkley on Fri, 01/06/2012 - 20:55.

In this week's MJA Insight (Issue 20-25 May 2012) Aniello Iannuuzzi, in an article which questions the value of the AMA to doctors, actually makes the reverse comparison noting how well the Guild has negotiated the CPA and the "financial windfall for pharmacists". This particular article has generated a large number of responses from doctors who mostly criticise the AMA and its ability to represent doctors.
It would seem to me that loyalty to the associations which represent professionals is at an all time low, with declining memberships and constant criticism from within the professions and from consumer groups. It would be interesting to know what has prompted this change in attitude in recent years.

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