Time for New Balls

We are used to fighting our battles with the PSI, the PCRS and the HSE.  But if what I hear today is true we can now add the IPU to the list.  Just like the Grand Old Duke of York they have marched their men to the top of the hill and now they are marching down again.

Reports suggest that the PCRS have threatened to stop collecting the IPUs GMS levy from 1st January next if the IPU does not agree to re-engage in the Pharmacy Interface Project.  And what’s the reaction?  The IPU rolls over and plays dead faster than a politician after a free lunch.

We all knew that it was going to be messy when we pulled out but to surrender without a shot being fired makes me wonder what sort of people we have in Butterfield House.  In my view decisions like this should be taken by the membership as a whole.  Surely the IPU could put some other method of collecting the levy in place.

We put the first chip down when we withdrew from the project.  The PCRS has now just upped the ante.  They want this badly and I don’t think that we should give it to them on the cheap.  If we give up on this we can forget of having any real negotiations  with the PCRS EVER again. They will know that we have cojones for a fight and just implement whatever diktat they like.

I think maybe the Officers and the Executive should ask themselves “did we get this wrong?” or “maybe the members might want something different.”  It’s time for them to come out and state publicly to the members did they agree to roll over and face their wrath.  And if they think that members aren’t angry over this then it is time for them to step down.

Have you been to Lourdes or Knock lately?

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


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.

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.


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.


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


ees (cited 21/11/13)

(2)Ref – PSNI


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

(3)Ref – CORU


(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.