Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist December 2014 Contents Australian Pharmacist December 2014 I © Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Letters are invited from anyone wishing to
comment on articles or issues relevant to
pharmacy. However, any letters judged by the
Editor to be potentially defamatory will not
be published. Letters should be no more than
300 words long. They can be emailed to the Editor
We write to comment on Dr Brian
Morton’s response to the PSA’s 6th
Community Pharmacy Agreement
discussion paper where there is a
bid for community pharmacists to
independently provide GP-type services
Having developed a model whereby
a consultant pharmacist has been
successfully integrated into a general
practice we draw upon our experiences
of the past 30 months.
A business text titled Blue Ocean Strategy
‘Blue Oceans’ that are uncontested
market spaces as compared to bloody
‘Red Oceans’ where rivals fight over a
shrinking profit pool e.g. pharmacists
duplicating GP services. It is imperative
that our respective professions are
continually seeking ‘Blue Oceans’ and
the current turf issues don’t distract us
from our common goal of improved
patient care and outcomes.
We are optimistic that incentive models,
as proposed by Dr Morton, will attract
adventurous pharmacists prepared to
sail into these uncharted ‘Blue Oceans’.
When more pharmacists are working
closely with GPs they will have a greater
understanding of how our respective
roles can be complementary and that
integration rather than duplication
is the way forward for better patient
care. Pharmacists have been working
in an integrated manner with doctors
in hospital settings for decades, where
team care is now the norm. However, as
most community pharmacists work
in relative isolation they haven’t
developed a proper understanding
of what GPs do and vice versa. We
know patients value input from their
community pharmacists, particularly
their accessibility for health advice and
management of minor ailments, and
dispensing should be independent of
Integration shouldn’t only refer to
practice-based pharmacists; community
pharmacists should also be ‘integrated’
into the Medical Home. Once a role for
practice pharmacists is clearly defined
they will be positioned to play a role in
facilitating this ultimate goal.
Dr Andrew Kellie
Managing Principal, East Adelaide Healthcare
Dr Manya Angley
Consultant Pharmacist, East Adelaide Healthcare
Would you like coke with that?
By Peter Waterman
Community pharmacies should be the outlets for legalised recreational
drugs, and pharmacists should be tasked with providing education and
safety information if, and when, they are made freely available.
This is the view of Greg Chipp, Victorian
Senate candidate and founder and
convenor of the Drug Law Reform
Australia Party which seeks to raise
awareness of what it terms the
current ‘harm maximising’ drug laws.
The party maintains that drug use can
be dangerous and that problematic
drug use is a major health concern, but
criminalising drug use does more harm
As such, Mr Chipp is convinced that
within 10–15 years, drugs like marijuana
will be legal worldwide.
‘I have a view that the whole recreational
drug market should be medicalised,’
‘People wanting to use recreational
drugs such as cannabis, ecstasy or
cocaine should be able to do so.
‘ These drugs should be dispensed
through pharmacies and monitored
though the medical profession.
‘ That’s the way of the future and
pharmacists have a very large part to
play in that future.
‘People using drugs recreationally should
be able to do so safely and the pharmacy
infrastructure should be utilised to assist
in the safe use of these drugs.
‘It’s a controversial issue I agree but the
whole thing about the re-legalisation of
recreational drugs is that there has not
been a lot of work done on the model
that will be needed to regulate the use of
these drugs to minimise adverse health
effects for users.’
Mr Chipp said some suggestions were
that that marijuana be sold in milk bars
or pubs but he believed pharmacies
were the safest and most logical outlets
to dispense cannabis products.
‘It’s natural for the pharmacy industry
to assist in the way these drugs become
available in the future,’ he said.
‘I have no doubt recreational drugs will
be legal worldwide in 10–15 years and
we have to make plans as to how these
changes will be implemented.
‘Using the pharmacy infrastructure
and having pharmacists involved also
means there will be reduced chances
of contraindications when recreational
drugs are taken while the person is also
on other medications.
‘ The whole thing is about the safety of
recreational drugs and also monitoring
people who do become addicted to
these substances. If these things were
prescribed and there was monitoring in
place then there would be controls.’
See page 30 for more.
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