Have you been to Lourdes or Knock lately?

Taoiseach says nobody should be asked if their child ‘still had Down syndrome?’

http://www.thejournal.ie/medical-cards-down-syndrome-2-1464348-May2014/

Yet this is exactly what the HSE are doing when it come to patients HCU and PKU.  They are insisting on this by not paying pharmacists for their very food.  “Patient has exceeded Quota for non-approved drugs.” is their exact wording.  And what are these drugs exactly?  Try low protein milk and other low protein foods.

The GMS/HSE want to have every new foodstuff  for each patient individually approved by the local HSE office before it will pay pharmacists for them.  And what are pharmacists to do?  Let the patients literally go hungry?

The government is taking advantage of many in the community who care and look after people with disabilities in their own homes.  These families and carers look after their own while the government looks after itself.

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California leads the way.

The Governor of California has enacted SB493

This gives pharmacists the power to prescribe a number of currently prescription only products.  Eventually it looks as if the insurance companies will pay for this.

You can read more here http://www.cshp.org/post/victory-sb-493-signed-law and here http://pharmpsych.com/2013/10/11/new-pharmacist-practitioners-analysis-s-b-493/

As with my previous post it makes sense both from the patients point of view in terms of convenience and from the financial point of view of the payers (HSE & GMS).  I wonder if we see this here in Ireland before my retirement.

 

Possible shape of things to come

This is already happening in the US.  There is no reason why it can’t happen here.  We’re accessible and able to do it.  This would help take some of the strain off GP’s and hospital out patients departments.  All it takes is somebody to pay for it.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/819981?src=stfb

Thanks Ultan for the link.

 

Letter to Reilly about Pharmacy Regulator Fees

Here’s a copy of a letter I sent to Dr. Reilly in relation to the extortionate fees being charged by the regulator.  They currently are running a surplus of just short of €2 million per year.  That means they could charge each community pharmacy €1,250 per year instead of €2,250 per year and still be generating a surplus.  I intend to circulate this to every member of the council as well.  So that the next time that they decide to do nothing they cannot say that “nobody told us.”

I would urge you all to do likewise.

Dear Minister Reilly,

I am writing to ask you to reduce the annual registration fees payable to the Pharmacy Regulator, the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI). As you can see from the table below the registration fees for premises and individuals are far higher in Ireland than those payable in both the UK and Northern Ireland. I feel that the fees payable to the PSI should be reduced to rates similar to those paid by pharmacists in other EU countries.

Fees

Premises Ireland €2250 UK(1) £221 (€265) Northern Ireland(2) £155 (€185.89)

Pharmacist Ireland €400 UK(1) £240 (€287.82) Northern Ireland(2) £372 (€446.12)

(Exchange rate – 21/11/13)

On June 26 2013, the Health and Social Professionals Council (CORU) reduced the annual registration fee by 3€195 and set it at €100 for the next 3 years and agreed to refund any members who had paid the annual fee of €295. I would appreciate if you could instruct the PSI to implement a similar reduction for both the individual pharmacists and pharmacy premises as soon as possible.

I would also appreciate if you could instruct the PSI to implement a system allowing for payment in instalments to ease the cash flow burden imposed on pharmacists due to the implementation of a once-off annual payment system.

In light of the current economic climate, the fact that the PSI reported an annual excess of €1,944,324 (4) for the year ending 31/12/12 and the recent reductions in fees paid to pharmacists, I would ask that you give serious consideration to my application and ask the Pharmacy regulator to implement an appropriate deduction in fees payable as soon as possible.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours Sincerely,

David Jordan

(1)Ref – General Pharmaceutical Council

http://www.pharmacyregulation.org/registration/registration-pharmacy-premises/f

ees (cited 21/11/13)

(2)Ref – PSNI

http://www.psni.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Fees-are-applicable-for-2013

-2013141.pdf (cited 21/11/13)

(3)Ref – CORU

http://www.coru.ie/en/news/details/update_on_corus_registration_renewal_fees

(cited 21/11/13)

(4)Ref – PSI http://www.thepsi.ie/tns/publications/core-publications.aspx (21/11/13)

 

The future is here

This blog piece comes from JayPee who is listed on the side of the page. It is about how the AMA (American Medical Association), their equivalent of the IMO are trying to block attempts to widen the pharmacists role. For the moment the GMS won’t pay for these things here so for now they are not going to happen to any great extent. But the time will come when the GMS will start to see the value inherent in them and will want to bring them in. Then will we see the IMO kicking up?

I’ll be posting my Irish Pharmacist pieces soon. Just been up to my tonsils lately.

Is there a future for small independent pharmacy?

A little tale. The names have been changed to protect the guilty and innocent alike.

A few week-ends ago myself and my good wife decided to take some time out and avail of one of the many cut price weekend breaks that fill my Inbox every day. It had to be a cut price week end as I’m a poor small independent pharmacist and that’s all I can afford.

As we drove to our destination we took a break for a cup of tea and a bun. We stopped in what used to be a two horse town before the recession but now is down to one horse and even that looks like it is on the way to the nearest burger factory. We walked the main drag of this town in search of sustenance and being in the trade I noticed the pharmacies that were located there. We saw five pharmacies, two owned by an Irish chain and three independents. This was a Friday about 12 noon. These were all of a similar size and laid out so that just by passing you could see all of the interior.
Being the nosey git that I am I made note of the customers. One had 3 customers, one had two and the third had one. Two were empty apart from staff. Which was which? The empty ones were the chains. The one and two customer pharmacies looked standard enough. The busiest was smaller than my pharmacy. There was one customer at the cosmetics counter, one at the OTC counter and a third one talking to the pharmacist. The pharmacist was a man after my own heart, no tie, cardigan and looking totally at ease.

So as the recession bites and this town losses it’s one horse who’ll survive? My money is on the independents.

As the weekend progressed I continued my observations of retail. The town we stayed in is in real trouble retail wise. Not only the pharmacies but the town center most of the retail businesses were near deserted. This was a Friday afternoon and a Saturday. I cannot feel that this is the situation nationwide in relation to retail. Lets hope that we are all still here when the troika are finished with us.

The conspiracy theorist in me says that the troika are looking to destroy Irish business to allow German, French and British multinationals to come in here cheap and complete the commercial take over that has already started. Don’t say that you haven’t been warned.