Here it is.
You can download the full issue of Irish Pharmacist here.
Here it is.
It has been edited a little in the published version, but that’s what editors are for!
As you know I follow a couple of pharmacy related blogs mostly from the USA. One which I haven’t listed to date (soon to be corrected ) is Jim Plagakis. Over the weekend he posted a report of what caused a PIC (Pharmacist in Charge) to walk out and close the pharmacy that they were working in. He followed it up with the pharmacist’s own story.
While the conditions that allowed this to occur do not exist yet in Ireland to me it gives a good example of what can happen when the pharmacy chains are dominant. It might be a good idea for the employee committee of the IPU to prepare an S.O.P. for how they might deal with this type of situation and one for employee pharmacists on how they should react.
Maybe for a bit of fun we could ask the PSI for their advice should such a scenario arise.
It’s not often that I agree with the PSI. In fact this will probably be the first in a long time. Their latest email is that first.
It is a position paper on electronic cigarettes. I don’t think they would mind too much if I reproduce it here.
I will do my best to promise that this will be a first and last time and I will try not to make a habit of this.
“PSI position on electronic cigarettes
The PSI has recently received a number of inquiries regarding the appropriateness of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) being offered for sale or supply in retail pharmacy businesses, as these products are not currently regulated under either the medicinal products or medical devices legislation.
In addition, the supply of these products in pharmacies requires consideration under the PSI Code of Conduct, as pharmacists should ensure that products supplied do not pose a hazard to a patient’s health or well-being.
Electronic cigarette products are typically presented in two parts, one of which is a device and the other a fill or refill consisting of a solution of various compositions containing Nicotine. These products are not currently being regulated under the medicinal products legislation, medical devices legislation or tobacco legislation. It should be noted that they do come within the scope of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive.
Agreement has not yet been reached as to the legal classification of these products, i.e. whether they are medicinal products that would require appropriate marketing authorisation, or whether they are medical devices, in which case an appropriate notification to an EU competent body would be required, including appropriate labelling, before being placed on the market.
The PSI understands that the EU Commission has recently commenced a public consultation with respect to the possible revision of the Tobacco Products Directive 2001/37/EC, and that one of the issues being considered is the extension of the scope of that Directive to cover electronic nicotine delivery systems where such products are presented as alternatives to cigarettes. It has also been noted that these kinds of products have the potential of undermining smoking cessation policies, since they keep the smoking addiction (EC Orientation Note on Electronic Cigarettes, May 2008*).
This EC Orientation Note also gave consideration to whether or not these products can be characterised as human medicines and thereby requiring regulation as authorised medicinal ”
As per previous posts I have been trying to find out anything I can about the policies of the various parties in relation to community pharmacy. As far as Fianna Fáil is concerned all I have succeeded in doing is getting one of my email addresses on their spam list. I have been getting a steady stream if spam from wannabe TD’s, Taoiseach, Fuhrers and other low life telling how they are going to save the world. It’s a pity that they didn’t do anything to save it when they were in power for the last 15 years. Much as I dislike the Shinners it would be nice to see them beat FF into 4th place.
The Greens to their credit have got back to me.
“………we thought these points would be of interest to pharmacy:
Prioritise health prevention and promotion programmes by increasing their proportion of the overall health budget in an effort to encourage a healthier population and maximise existing resources.
There would be a role for community Pharmacy here, given that you are an existing resource which is extremely accessible.
When services are moved from hospitals to the community the money and resources must move with the services.
We also see community pharmacy as an integral part of the primary care team, and will support it as such.
Ensure that the most cost effective medications are used (including “generic drugs”).
This was one that there was a lot of debate about. Pharmacists will be pivotal in this, ……
We are also opposed to direct marketing of medications.”
These aspirations are fine but given that the Greens are likely to be fighting for survival rather than any position of power they will remain aspirations.
As for Fine Gael their plan is to have about 700 “one stop shops” that will include all G.P.’s from the area, physio’s, dentists, MRI facilities and other diagnostic procedures available. There will be multi-disciplinary meetings each week with “all members” of the practice included at these meetings. The money will follow the patient so the more patients a practice sees, the more money it will receive. I also believe that FG see these “one stop shops” each having a pharmacy. They do not seem to have thought what will happen to the other 1,500 or so community pharmacies in the country. Not to mention all the dental practices that are being destroyed by the cuts in PSRI dental benefit. It also begs the question who will own these centres?
At the moment it would appear that most are owned by the GP’s who operate from them. Worryingly most of them have as part of their business plan that the cost of the centre is supported by the rent that the contractor/community pharmacy pays. We see every day in the media about small businesses being crippled by high rent and inequitable leases and now it would seem that FG would like to add to it. Never mind if they keep on this path most of the remainder of community pharmacies will be closed and the voters that they employ will be jobless on the street. There is also the ethical question of doctors having a financial interest in the operation of a pharmacy that dispenses mostly their own prescriptions. I wonder if the awe inspiring, god fearing pharmacy regulator would have to say about that. I’ll get my ear plugs ready for the deafening silence.
There are similar stories in the other media as well. I can’t help but feel that it is a bit over the top. I know that the PSI have been itching for a chance to try out their new powers but if an out of date bottle of Benylin is the best that they can muster up then I for one won’t be quaking in my boots. I can feel pretty sure that they notified all the media about this case but they must be disappointed that this was the best they could get. Despite all their rantings and ravings about consultation areas and codeine guidelines this was all they could find. To me this speaks fairly well for the profession.