The ‘Revolution Bug’

changes ahead sign

September 1971: Change is in the air within the pharmacy profession 

Calls for change were everywhere in the September 1971 edition of the AJP

There were calls for “revolution” to change the structure and focus of the Pharmaceutical Society of NSW 

Ross Brown, President of the Society in NSW and a “young (average age 36) and energetic executive” had in the space of a few months discarded “many traditional concepts”, created a proliferation of hard working committees and revolutionised relationships with retail, hospital, industrial and academic pharmacists.

In an AJP special report, Mr Brown said the changes “can be described best as an upgrading of performance. Our aim is to give more meaning to the professional role of all pharmacists.”

“Now that the end of Resale Price Maintenance is threatening the net profits of community pharmacists,
more emphasis must be placed on their professional services, and the need for a strong, effective professional organisation is paramount.

We also want to strengthen the bonds that link non-retail pharmacists to the Society”.

The AJP editorial lauded the moves, saying they made “exciting reading. The idealism is obvious, and good”.

“Although some will inevitably question—even resent—the new developments, comparisons between “old” and “new” should be avoided. Youth is notoriously incompetent at evaluating past trials and conditions,” the editorial said.

“In any event, comparison is unprofitable because all judgments must be subjective. Keeping our feet firmly on the ground in the present, without backward glances or futuristic dreams, we are nevertheless bound to observe that many of the changes in NSW are overdue.

“Perhaps the most pleasing note that has been struck is in the statement that the changes are bringing academics and Guild people together on common tasks in Society sub-committees”.

“There is, too, the feeling that the B.Pharm. degree course has produced graduates in retail practice who want to do more in such areas”.

The editorial went on to say “it may be too much to hope that other states will catch the “revolution bug” from NSW (although Tasmania and Western Australia have recently seen “new-look” changes)”.

Meanwhile, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia was preparing to say goodbye to long-serving national president Sir Eric Scott, who announced his retirement after 24 years in the top job. 

“I will not stand again,” Sir Eric told AJP. “I’ve been there long enough. It’s now the day of the young man.”


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