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Your Say

Issue: Issue 81: April 2009
Author: Letters to the Editor

Your Say is the column reserved for subscriber (or other source) comment relating to i2P articles, or reportage or general comment on the profession and industry at large.
All posts must be identified, but the editor will suppress name and contact details if there is a sensitive reason.

To: The Editor
From: Gerard McInerney

Subject: Pharma-Goss March 2009

View Column at:

Re: "The future of the pre-reg year" and "Feel like a bet?"

The simple fact is they don’t! In NSW we have intern pharmacists with placements in community, hospitals, industry, military  and universities. All that the institution or body has to show is that they can allow the intern pharmacist to develop the competencies required to practice as a registered pharmacist. I can’t speak for other states but can see no reason why this could not happen there. I believe there would be opportunities in Divisions of General Practice and in Aboriginal health as well to name a few.

I hope the horses don’t have the same blinkers on that you do. Firstly, a confession; I part own a Priceline Pharmacy with my daughter. I run it ethically, don’t advertise discount prices for any medicines in contravention of TGA protocols; don’t treat any medicine as a mere “ordinary item of commerce” and don’t advertise “discounts off prescriptions”. I don’t believe having a pharmacy name on a horserace does either. Perhaps you read too much into the allowance for apprentice jockeys and thought they were going to get a special deal on something in the pharmacy.

You may find it distasteful for any pharmacy to advertise  at the races, but unfortunately you can’t legislate for taste. We went into a Priceline franchise so that we didn’t have to worry about spending our time engaged in front of dispensary activities, that could be well managed by a non-pharmacist management and our franchisor, thus freeing us up to do our work as pharmacists more professionally. Many of my Priceline pharmacist colleagues  approached the concept with the same reasoning.

As pharmacists my daughter and I were concerned that with the PBS monopsony of the federal government there would continue to be a financial squeeze on that part of our professional practice subsidised by the PBS. We gladly use the increased profitability of the front of the dispensary  since joining Priceline to subsidise our professional services, particularly our palliative care specialty practice. Management of Priceline, our franchisor, has been exemplary in that there has been no hint of intrusion into our professionally activity and neither should there be.

Our clients are delighted with our change to a Priceline Pharmacy franchise; our pharmacists are delighted with the opportunity for increased scope for their professional practice and I get up every morning looking forward to going to work.

Gerry McInerney FACP FIPharmM AACPA MPS


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