What you said

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AJP readers had a lot to say in the comments section over the past week

We roundup some of the latest comments on our most popular recent articles – both on the website and on social media.*

How my one lack of judgement led to my licence being suspended

A learning curve & honest enough to admit the error. Sincerely hope that with your age you can seek to be a real pharmacist.—TL

So here’s something to consider – this pharmacist’s experiences have been devastating on their life and career… and they were in a seemingly stable position in life before this as far as family and career are concerned….. imagine the potential impact on another person without the same resources or family structure around them…

The impact of their decision has been fairly severe, in my opinion. Is the impact on their life proportional to their transgression? Even if you feel that the use of MDMA is immoral, should it impact a person’s career to this degree?—JM

It is amazing what the current generation get up to these days and their attitudes to not only breaking the law, but responsibility under general moral code, profession and basic ethics. Not too sure what “partying” means these days but seems always to include thing the are illegal, unethical and immoral.—W

What’s wrong with ‘partying’ and why should pharmacists advocate against it? Is it “immoral and unethical” to enjoy oneself?—D

This is a problem with culture, not so much with drug use. That’s secondary. Perhaps we need to be honest as a society and rename music festivals as drug and alcohol festivals with enough music thrown in to give them an air of legitimacy.—P

Thank you for sharing this story. We are all human and by sharing this story it is an opportunity for the rest of us to learn just how easy it is to make a small mistake which has big implications.—KD

Despite everything that happened at least you did take responsibility for your actions which is rare. You have learnt a very valuable lesson that hopefully will stay with you and allow you to become a better pharmacist and hopefully a good mentor to other young pharmacists who may go down the same path. You have taken your punishment to heart and now it is time to move on with your career.—SM

Hope every pharmacist (experienced or new) reads this article. To the author – well done for sharing it and owning your mistakes. Hope you find the answers to what pain compelled you to make those decisions and find the frameworks that can help you avoid them in the future. Don’t be afraid to reach out, the profession is based on compassion and you shouldn’t ever feel alone. I’ll put my hand up as one who is happy to be a sounding board for you on your journey forward.—ADS

A reason why PDL is a must have. Definitely a story worth reading.—MV

‘Brittle and sensitive’ supply chain impact in union dispute

It’s great to see a well organized strike for higher wages. I hope to see much more of it in future.—SJ

Extraordinary timing yesterday, how so many tory-aligned talking heads just suddenly started complaining about the MUA at the same time. The links between the Guild and the conservative side of politics stink and are counterproductive in the long term.—A

So will there be any repercussions on Mr Twomey for deliberately putting out false information to try and scare our patients?—AK

Indeed extraordinary timing. 40 Ships not sure what they are counting… Ship tracker shows half a dozen ships at best on their way to Newcastle/Sydney with the wharves looking full currently.

Someone (by that I mean main stream media who report without fact checking) is prone to exaggeration and perhaps those jumping to corroborate should be more thoughtful and nuanced perhaps for example Mr Tambassis’s style of response.

The union concerned has already indicated medical freight would be removed from ships as a priority.—AT

Diverted methadone implicated in another death

As a member of the DHHS Drugs of Dependence Advisory Group, I contributed to the decision to “liberalize” the availability of methadone take away doses. As it became apparent following that decision that there were increasing numbers of methadone related deaths, I and others started to doubt the wisdom of that change. Eventually, the group moved to tighten the provisions again. But has anything changed? 74 deaths in 2019 would suggest otherwise.

So where is the real problem? Many clients are committed to their treatment and treat their take away doses with respect and the care they require. Take away doses represent a valuable, indeed essential element of their efforts to have a “normal” productive lifestyle.

The problem then is with those who are not so committed and responsible. The Policy guidelines give equal responsibility to both prescribers and pharmacists to decide such things as who should have take away doses and who should not. Often, pharmacists have a much better understanding of clients’ behaviors and attitudes than their prescribers; we see clients face to face much more often than the GP. So pharmacists should be providing input and making their opinions known before such important decisions such as take away provision are made. Will my client store the doses safely and do they understand what that means? Will they use them responsibly? Are they likely to use them to facilitate a healthy lifestyle or are they likely to divert them? Take away doses are a privilege, not a right, so is there a genuine need?

Pharmacists have an essential role and helping prevent deaths is one of those! – IN

Stealing a patient’s dose must be prevented, and a safe is not feasible. I had some risky patients purchase a small toolbox plus a padlock, holding up to six bottles for storage in the fridge. Bunnings $10 Craftright metal toolbox.—PA

‘Very, very lengthy delay’ torpedoes unfair dismissal case

While acknowledging the rules are there I acknowledge how difficult it is to put everything in place when your world has imploded. When I was made redundant it took a lot of hard fighting to gain my rightful payout. At the same time I was falling into the deepest black hole of depression and anger as 28 years of my life had just crumbled before my eyes and counted for zip. I was told I was too old, had been away from dispensing too long, past it and a hundred other barbs that tore at my soul. I was placed in a merry go round of terrible employers until I found my niche again. Without my family and peers I would never have been able to fight for my rights, I physically and emotionally had no ability to fight these battles without support. It is disappointing that the commissioner has no ability to apply empathy but sadly the law is the law.—KH

*Comments may have been slightly edited for brevity.

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