Here’s what you said

angry woman

Pharmacist pay, clinical interventions and the COVID vaccine saga are issues engaging our readers. Here’s what people have been saying on these topics

Here’s a selection of some recent comments from our readers. We would welcome your contribution to these and other stories 

The state of pay 

I’ve always wondered what came first the chicken or the egg? Has low wages come about from the amount of discount pharmacies and non owner operated pharmacies or was the opportunity to create a discount non owner operated pharmacy there because of low wages?

An independent owner who runs their pharmacy does no want to earn what an employed pharmacist earns!! ( I can assure you of that!! ). Are we ( I am a guild member btw ) promoting this new pharmacy model?

Paul Sarpadanis

Great investigative work Megan. For what it’s worth my brother left pharmacy to do medicine when I was still in pharmacy school. He told me how bad things were but I decided to finish my degree anyways.

5 years on, I wholeheartedly regret my decision. I’m now back at uni to study engineering after being used and abused by so many owners and store managers. This decision was definitely not easy but this article has put my mind at ease. It’s pretty clear there is no will or strategy to fix the issue from any professional body.

I just hope early career pharmacists are reading this article and are not wasting their youth in this profession. It’s much easier to change careers in your 20s than 30s or 40s. Find what you are passionate outside of pharmacy and pursue it. Every day wasted in the community pharmacy is a wasted salary in a much better paying and fulfilling job.

James O’Loughlin

Clinical Interventions: a ‘lost opportunity’

Meds Checks over CIs should have been de-funded.

Re: Meds checks. Working in community pharmacy in the past (but no longer), I have experienced that these are just a 2 minute consultation for most pharmacies, rather than spending time to clarify the list of medications that they are actually on.

Or alternatively, owners wanting you to print out the medications they are on in advance, then just hand it to the patient with the claim form and ask them to sign it, plus being expected to do them with only one other (sometimes inexperienced) staff member.

This behaviour smacks of profits over actual care and service for the patients.

Whilst this is hopefully not the case for all pharmacies, the profession has to do better.

Chantelle Pennington

CIs are just as easy to game. There needs to be greater oversight of the provision of all professional services in community pharmacy, including maximum workloads.

Is self-regulation good enough when we’re talking about taxpayer money? I agree wholeheartedly with the principle…. but they won’t solve the problem alone in my opinion.

In order to have durable change for the better, the interests of patients and employee pharmacists need to be better represented, and the oversized influence of pharmacy owners needs to be reigned in. In my opinion.

Sean Gannon

COVID pharmacy need ‘more acute in Queensland’

This is all about a battle over turf and not about patient care.

The Government has been less than transparent about the number of vaccine doses available from CSL. Either there are production problems and /or the Government is stockpiling vaccines.

The problem is that vaccinations will not be complete until the end of 2022 unless the Government improves supply to GPs and brings Pharmacies online quickly. They won’t have Pfizer vaccine until October 2021 for the under 50s.

GPs were treated with contempt by the bureaucrats with only 50 doses a week , just increased to 150 per week. There are 4000 community pharmacies ready to go twiddling their thumbs.

At least Pharmacies can focus on the 17 million flu vaccines over next 2 or 3 months and hope Government comes to their senses about COVOD 19 vaccine.

The politicians promised vaccination by end of October.

The downside is that our borders will remain closed and parts of the economy are still struggling.

Have we let the clowns run this circus??

Michael Ortiz

Pharmacists, GPs urged to co-prescribe naloxone

Yes the trial should be extended to all other jurisdictions in Australia of course, but seriously why do we need a trial?

If your medical condition changes or you combine opioids with some drugs then even taking the prescribed dose of opioids may trigger an OD.

The sensible and equitable way to distribute naloxone is via the PBS and nearly 6000-strong pharmacy network by allowing pharmacists to access the PBS naloxone for their patients without the obstacle of a prescription.

Angelo Pricolo

We have capacity to refer people for a PBS script, or provide it OTC… but for all people using opioids on an ongoing basis, they should have access to naloxone.

Think of all the elderly patients with durogesic patches, for instance, who get a chest infection later in the year and never recover… was it pneumonia, or was the opioid having a greater impact on their breathing while they were unwell?

And for those pharmacists who are unsure of whether you should offer naloxone… utilise your RTPM systems (soon to arrive in every state!) – the green/amber/red warning at minimum can help your resolve on whether to offer naloxone, while the actual history in the RTPM system should cement it.

Jarrod McMaugh

Previous Unregistered woman wrote scripts, did skin checks
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