Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist May 2014 Contents Australian Pharmacist May 2014 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
Apex predators of the health
By Andrew Daniels
them and they would be the future leader of
'They just don't know it yet.'
Mr Smirk said that in the future professional
expertise may be all pharmacists have in
'Changes in the remuneration of pharmacy
will require us to reassess our position as
deliverers of medicines and force us to
re-establish a position as drug experts and
He said the 6CPA must seek to establish roles
in disease prevention and early intervention
as well as increasing pharmacy engagement
in new medical services -- particularly for
community-based elderly customers -- as well
as expanding established services, including
as primary health care providers.
'Today's pharmacists are children of a new
generation under the Pharmacy Board
of Australia. The continuing professional
development requirements compel us
to maintain, improve and broaden our
knowledge, expertise and competence.
This will be essential in a new age of
health professions, which brings us to our
'I love drugs, and science has ensured
that our drugs, the good drugs, are more
prevalent, specific and require a sophisticated
level of understanding. That's what we do.
'The cold hard facts from the Australia Bureau
of Statistics show that anywhere between
50 and 60 people die each year as a result
of drugs, medicaments and biological
substances causing adverse effects in
'How many of those deaths and how much
of the $1.2 billion cost could we have
'How many more would have died and if we
weren't so vigilant?' Mr Smirk said.
Researchers have estimated there are less than 3,500 great white sharks
in the world, according to Richard Smirk.
In his opening remarks when presenting
the annual Kevin McAnuff Oration at the
PSA WA Annual prize and presentation
dinner in Perth on 23 March, he
cryptically he urged his listeners to, 'hold
Richard is the proprietor of Post Office
Pharmacy in Scarborough and the
APHRA Pharmacy Professional Officer
for Western Australia. He is also an AFL
accredited coach and has spent 12 years
coaching development level football at
community clubs in WA.
Reflecting on why he decided to study
pharmacy, he said that the lure of
drugs and money -- all legitimate -- may
have been an inducement at the start,
'although my rich rewards have never
been the expected financial windfall.
'It's been much more. It's the enjoyment
I've had, the people I've met and the
opportunities I've experienced. That is
what life is really about.'
Mr Smirk said he was reminded of a
quote from Michelangelo who once said:
'I love being a turtle -- that is of course
the Michelangelo of the Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turtles fame. Well, with the same
enthusiasm I love being a pharmacist.'
He then moved on to talk about who
inspired him, recalling his first day as a
'A rather short and quite loud chap with
long ginger hair fronted me to buy a
raffle ticket for the pharmacy student
association. I could not foresee the
ticket seller, would go on to lead clinical
pharmacy in WA, motivate me and many
others to believe we had the knowledge
to be an accredited pharmacist, and later
become head of the School of Pharmacy
'Sometimes Jeff Hughes is not the
Messiah he's a very naughty boy. But Jeff
would also be recognised with awards
from PSWA, SHPA and PSA, including
Pharmacist of the Year for his work in
clinical pharmacy and research.
'That remains the luckiest raffle ticket I
ever bought for 20c.'
Mr Smirk went on to mention others
who have inspired him including Deidre
Criddle who, he said, 'has championed
the quality use of medicines and
HMRs; underpinned by a dedication
to educating all health professionals
on the intrinsic worth of pharmacists.'
And, Michael Cain who 'after 30 years of
dedication, hard work and determination,
became an overnight success'.
'I know these people. They all possess
a desire to advance our practice and
an unshakable belief in the future of
the profession. That belief commenced
long before any award had ever been
presented,' he said.
Directing his comments at the 'new
generation of pharmacists', he said the
moral of the story is simple.
'I provide you with no inspiration. The
person that will motivate you, provide
the leadership for the next generation of
pharmacists, and will inspire the future
of this profession, is you and the person
who graduated alongside you.'
He said that in the past two years he had
dealt with hundreds of students, interns
and early career pharmacists and knew
that somewhere along the line he had
bought another raffle ticket from one of
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