Welcome to the March 2009 edition of i2P.
February has been a difficult month for all Australians with floods and devastation of property in the north of our country, while in the south, and principally in Victoria, fire, community disruption, and death for over 200 unfortunate citizens.
Our sympathy goes out to all victims of these disasters, and privately, all writers for i2P have contributed to and supported the many financial appeals in various ways.
February also marked one of those crossroads that pharmacy spokespeople allude to from time to time.
I refer to the open clash between the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (PGA) and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).
At issue was the future of independent pharmacist professional services, and representation on the 5CPA negotiating committee forming the major issues.
This clash was inevitable given the behaviour of the PGA in recent years, and that was only the first major event in the tussle to lead in the research, development and delivery of professional services and to break free from the need to be permanently tied to community pharmacy.
Professor Charlie Benrimoj led the charge through his Neil Naismith Memorial address.
Most of these important issues have been covered by various writers for i2P.
While the split shows pharmacy divided just before negotiations for the Fifth Community Pharmacy agreement are about to commence, there has been some temporary papering over.
What it did expose was the lack of forward planning in relation to professional services development, and the PGA's attitude in focussing only on those bits that could be attached to a community pharmacy.
At risk is the ability of Pharmacy as a profession to attract and hold pharmacists in the future, given the lack of interesting work available from community pharmacy.
This month we are also trying a modified format for news reported in various media.
We are quoting relevant media text with acknowledgement, with the editor adding relevant background. A final commentary is then attached by someone with intimate knowledge of the issue. Where possible, we will be seeking comment from people external to i2P, but for this month we are relying on two people who are occasional writers for i2P.
These commentaries are tagged as Pharmedia News Reports.
Two have been published this month – one relating to the process of deglobalisation and how it may beneficially affect pharmacy worldwide and the other relating to Charlie Benrimoj's comment protesting against PGA domination.
Rollo Manning is back with his Pharma-Goss column and queries why pre-registration pharmacists have to do their time mostly in a community pharmacy, particularly if they are looking towards a more specialised area of practice. He has also provided his column relating to indigenous health and poses the issue of eye disorders, particularly trachoma, and the fact that this issue is still a national disgrace.
John Dunlop, our New Zealand contributor has an opinion on professional services delivery, and it is amazing how close independent New Zealand pharmacists are in their thinking compared with independent pharmacists in Australia.
John's insights are refreshing and New Zealand is probably further along in the development of professional services than is Australia. Check him out.
Stephen Carbonara is a pharmacist who would like to practice as an independent pharmacist providing professional services without the backdrop of dispensing.
He represents the future of our profession and pharmacy leaders should be looking to service his needs – not the reverse.
David More has some strong comment regarding the National Health and Hospital Reform Commission and he wonders what the calibre of their IT people is.
So should we be, given the $'s millions they are/will be spending on our behalf.
Karalyn Huxhagen has a query as to why pharmacists are an invisible profession (as well as providing one of the Pharmedia commentaries relating to the PSA/PGA spat).
Garry Boyd has a comment on patenting new ideas in pharmacy and Chris Wright talks about local area market segmentation .
Loretta Maron has a comment or two on the treatment of menopause and Mark Neuenschwander has a report on the use of barcodes at the point of care in hospitals, pointing out some of the pitfalls that may occur.
Barry Urquhart has a timely article on advertising and how to go about it, and finally Harvey Mackay has some thoughts on some life rules. They are relevant in today's economic climate and may assist you in ordering some of your life priorities.
Perhaps some of you might like to let us know if you approve of the gradual content changes that are occurring (recruiting global writers and talking more on global issues).
We will also be introducing some changes in appearnce in time for the April edition and we would appreciate feedback on this aspect as we roll it out.
There is enough in this March edition to keep your reading for a month and we hope you enjoy the content.
March 1st 2009
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