‘Low pharmacist pay is the greatest challenge facing our profession.’

What you said: we round up some of the latest comments from across the AJP website so far this month

Comments may be slightly edited for brevity or accuracy purposes.

Pay: The discrepancies are real, says FWH (13/9/19)

PPA says the Fair Work Commission has agreed that pharmacists’ pay needs to increase

Paul Sapardanis: “Low pharmacist pay is the greatest challenge/impediment facing our profession. It needs to increase significantly to make sure that the services we provide are valued and that we are not just as cost to business that gets people into the door. Further as a Guild member I hope that as an organisation we appreciate what our employed colleagues are trying to achieve and that we support them in their endeavour.”

Red Pill: “Well done PPA. Great work.”


A war of words (12/9/19)

A community pharmacist has responded to a column that referred to the profession as ‘usurpers’ who only have ‘dispensing degrees’

Adele Tahan: “Dear Dr Zappala and Dr Ackermann, It’s the same degree and education that the majority of registered pharmacists hold in Australia. It’s the competency, training and exams!!

“So the ‘dispensing degree’ that you are referring to is the same degree that every other registered pharmacists hold in this country. The pharmacists that you are promoting to be embedded in GP practices are the same pharmacists that also contributes to the clinical medication management in community pharmacy.

“I work with doctors every day and I see how much time and effort those doctors spend with their patients. Doctors aren’t remunerated for the time they spend administering all the daily tasks required from providing a full clinical advice. In addition to this, the doctors I know and I have in my family are absolutely amazing and would love to see me contribute to ALL our patients.”

Kevin Hayward: “I wish that I could share with my esteemed peers in this column, the many positive experiences I have enjoyed in a long career as a pharmacist working closely with GPs. I have found time and time again, in many and varied primary care settings, pharmacists and GPs and the rest of the primary care team can work together for the betterment of patients, observing the highest standards of clinical governance, respecting each other’s professional boundaries and expertise.”

Nicholas Logan: “It is sad that the ‘leading’ doctors associated with their professional bodies are sounding more out of touch every day. They need to reconnect with their members who have fabulous relationships with their local pharmacies. Their current war on pharmacy is misguided and spiteful.”

Anthony Tassone: “The depths that elected representatives at the national level of AMA and RACGP have recently stooped to questioning the; integrity, competency and professionalism of pharmacists as health professionals during the public conversation about scope of practice is absolutely shameful and unacceptable.”


GP-owned dispensing pharmacists ‘world’s best practice’? (10/9/19)

Doc group argues for GP-owned dispensing pharmacists, but Guild says it’s a “tit-for-tat” reaction to “battery hen” medicine—while PSA maintains separation of prescribing and dispensing is “paramount”

George Papadopoulos: “This is conflict of interest galore. The head of the practice will encourage/push doctors to prescribe the products that get the best deals. Great way to compete with the discounters.”

Warren Simpson: “Eight years ago dispensing medical practices in the UK seldom employed pharmacists – dispensing was done by techs ‘trained’ by their predecessors and supposedly supervised/checked by the G.P. although after 2 years’ experience as a locum I found this highly improbable….”


Does the current pharmacy system reward low-value care? (5/9/19)

Discount pharmacies are making a ‘mockery’ of the current remuneration arrangements, say leading pharmacists

Still a Pharmacist: “I remember proposing a cap on dispensing by individual pharmacist which was immediately dismissed by a senior pharmacist. Putting a cap on dispensing fee per month per pharmacy is a very good idea for saving small independent pharmacies.”

Jarrod McMaugh: “I’ve had several conversations with people in my pharmacy where I explain to them that I can’t speculate on their medication and health without an adequate dispensing history to refer to, and that they should return to the place they purchased the medication from.”


Paracetamol: ‘Balance versus risk’ (4/9/19)

It’s too early to decide whether restrictions on access to paracetamol are appropriate, says one leading pharmacist, following reports of increased hospitalisations related to the drug

MAP: “Does the increase in paracetamol overdoses coincide with the codeine restrictions? Chronic pain patients have very few options for pain control, long waits for pain management clinics, GPs under pressure to reduce pain medications, any wonder paracetamol is abused.”

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