The Difference Between Noncompliance and Defiance

Here’s a blog post that I picked up via

Well worth a read.


Dutch Doctors Against Quackery

Here’s a site that I found via Stephen Barrett MD of  To quote from his newsletter

History of Dutch antiquackery group posted

Atlas Obscura, a site that focuses on “the world’s wondrous and curious places, has posted a history of Vereniging tegen de Kwakzalverij, the Dutch Society against Quackery, which now has over 1,700 members. [Grundhauser E. What’s kept the Society against Quackery going for 137 years. Atlas Obscura, May 19, 2017] The society formed in the late 1800s in an effort to raise awareness of the growing number of quacks operating in the Netherlands. Initially, the group was focused on rooting out fraudulent doctors and suspicious medicines (nostrums). Its members, mostly doctors and other educated men, would chemically test suspect remedies, and if they were found to be placebos or otherwise ineffective, the Society would publish their findings in its journal. In recent years, the society’s focus has been on “alternative” methods, not only in Holland but throughout the world. In the early 1990s, the society fiercely lobbied against homeopathic products, and in 2000 it released a list of the 20 greatest quacks of the 20th century. The society has been sued many times for libel, but has won all but one case and ended up with more members and support as a result of the exposure.

The site in in Dutch but google translate using Chrome gives a good readable version.


New regulations re handwriting benzo and Z drug scripts

It now looks like that from May 4th there will be new regulations in relation to having prescriptions for benzos and the Z drugs handwritten by the GP.   The GP’s know nothing of this and will most likely continue on their merry ways.

I picked up the following from another pharmacy forum.

“Someone has to shout STOP , ENOUGH!!
We are being forced now on a daily basis to break the law in order to provide decent pharmaceutical care for citizens of this country.
It is wrong of the system to place pharmacists in this position. It is not feasible to refuse to dispense a hospital prescription for e.g. diazepam to a patient on the verge of a panic attack on a Saturday evening just because the doctor has no idea of prescription law requirements. It would be immoral to send such a person away on a mission to track down the prescriber who would probably write it incorrectly again (let’s face it), when they are obviously sick, and we obviously know what should be supplied. Sometimes the prescriber may not be contactable for a period of days.
I find it very stressful to know that after a days’ work , I may have broken the law a number of times just to provide care for vulnerable people, and I may be open to prosecution as a result.
No one should be subjected to this sort of psychological stress in the workplace and it borders on abuse, in my opinion.
To criminalise us for doing the decent thing and clearly carrying out the wishes of the doctor is close to a breach of our human rights.
The regulator has lost all sight of what a prescription is supposed to be. It started out historically as a written instruction from the doctor letting us know what they wanted supplied.
What we have ended up with is a bureaucratic nightmare.
This nonsense has to stop. ”

It says it all.

Canice Nicholas MPSI

Dear Colleagues,
My name is Canice Nicholas, I am a father of two and a qualified community pharmacist for 20+ years. I started my pharmacy career in Belfast, locuming for a few years before setting up Cara Pharmacy in 2000 with my now wife of 12 years Ramona. Our company is 100% owned by both Ramona and myself and we have grown the company both organically and through acquisition. We now have 13 pharmacies, 12 in ROI and 1 in NI.
Some may ask why I would put myself forward for the council and over the last few days and speaking to some of my pharmacist friends and colleagues, you might agree with them when they ask me if I’m mad!  I must say that I have been exceptionally grateful for all their their support and good wishes.
I am strong believer that we should always give back to the communities we are involved in, I personally, and the company, have organised many charity events over the years resulting in the ability to make major financial differences to many worthwhile charities.
But now it’s time I feel to give back professionally to my colleagues and peers.
I can safely say that morale within the Pharmacy community is at its lowest since 2009. There has never been so many intelligent young people entering Pharmacy. These young graduates expect and deserve to have a professional, rewarding career but the reality is that for these young people, their future has become completely disillusioned by the profession and they are leaving in droves to pursue new careers.
Having seen the broader picture, having built our business from scratch, suffering many ups and downs a long the way, I feel I have a very clear view of the pressures that our profession is under today.
If elected, (which I hope with your support I will be), I will commit to ensure that the PSI are fully aware of the pressure and stress Pharmacists are under today. No other profession suffer the restraints that we are subjected to yet we don’t even have the legal time to be able to take a comfort break. I will be asking the question ‘why should pharmacists not be allowed to sign in and out as is the case in other European countries’. Research is beginning to show that shorter working hours, more breaks, and more flexibility results in a higher engagement. Yet we cannot even discuss this as a possibility. Ultimately we are looking at a ‘burnt out’ team of professionals, who have so much potential, and so much to give back to our communities.
If elected, what you can expect from me is a pharmacist with business experience, commercial thinking, straight talking, not afraid to ask difficult questions and someone that is committed to the long term future of Pharmacy in Ireland. My core values include honesty, integrity and authenticity. I commit to always being available. And as an added advantage, with the uncertainty of Brexit ahead, I am one of the few Pharmacy Contractors in Ireland that has to work with the PSI and the PSNI.
The role is something I would take extremely seriously, and I am excited about the changes I could bring to the table. I would welcome your No 1 vote, and if elected, I hope I can deliver serious change for our profession that is totally under recognised at the minute.
I would like to thank my colleagues at Cara for nominating me for the role and giving me the opportunity to give back to the profession I am passionate about.

Glyn Ratcliffe MPSI

Thank you for the opportunity to introduce myself, my name is Glyn Ratcliffe and I am a community pharmacist based in Athlone.
I bring a broad base of community pharmacy experience which I expect to draw from as a member of PSI Council. I qualified in the UK and worked there for 9 years, as a pharmacist, manager and later responsible for pharmacist manpower planning in the Head Office of a large multiple. I have worked on projects from coal-face to boardroom, and I ask a lot of questions. For the last 12 years, I have worked with McSharry’s Pharmacy.
I am here as a practical and pragmatic community pharmacist with a strong belief in my ability and motivation to represent the interests of independent pharmacy in the business of Council. That will be my role.

If I have one particular area of special interest, it is in relation to the PSI’s stated role of ‘development of pharmacy practice for the benefit of patients and the wider health system’.

In its report ‘Future Practice in Ireland: Meeting Patients’ Needs’, the PSI comprehensively brought together good practice from a number of other countries.

It also highlighted how differently these countries utilise the skills of the profession, and the gap between where we are currently, and the recommendations made.

I believe that the PSI must increase the pace of its work as an enabler of change and I would have a personal interest in supporting work to enable the transition from ‘recommendation’, to deliverable service enhancements in real-life community pharmacy.

Please vote and enable me to represent you.

The Ballots are Out

They started hitting the post boxes this morning.  The ballot papers for this round of Council elections.  If yours haven’t arrived by Monday, Tuesday at the latest give Fenian St a ring and find out where they are.  They may have gone to an old address.

It’s vital that we get a good turnout to ensure a strong representation for independent community pharmacy.

Ballots have to be back in Fenian St by Wednesday 19th April so vote early and post early.  Don’t forget to follow the instructions on the sheet as if it were a CD prescription.  With an educated electorate there should be no excuses for any spoiled votes.

I’ll nail my colours to the mast here.  I will be voting Nicola Cantwell No 1 and Sean Reilly No 2 and then continuing for other independent community candidates and I call on you all to do likewise.  I’m not ignore pharmacists working in other areas but I am a small independent community pharmacist and I want to have my voice listened to at Council.

Sean Reilly MPSI

I am Sean Reilly and I am asking you to Vote 1 Reilly

I am very proud to be an independent community pharmacist since I qualified in 1992.
I am the superintendent pharmacist and I face customers daily in my sole store.

Our profession needs to aspire to the highest achievable standards to flourish. This is always going to involve challenges as workflows will constantly modernise into the future.

We are currently getting to grips with formally recording our CPD, very soon we will be challenged by electronic prescribing and the Falsified Medicines Directive.
Well-motivated, well rested pharmacists are essential to ensure delivery of top class patient safety.

I want to make sure that the systems the PSI puts in place around these particular initiatives, and all others, are part of the solution for all pharmacists, not just the very well resourced.

Routine notified inspections were a sensible move forward by the stakeholders. I want to build on from there.

The current PSI setup is often accused of approaching its constituents with the view that low standards and errant behaviour are the norm and only for their strict invigilation patients are threatened. I will not accept this position. As we all know, the vast majority of our colleagues are caring, extremely highly trained and competent professionals.
Regulation should be at least as much about encouraging buy in to high standards as it is tough on those unwilling to comply.
I will work night and day to get PSI to accept this as the opening position in all future proposals.

I standing for election because:

  • I have witnessed at first hand, on a couple of occasions, the shattering blows to confidence of young pharmacists on initial contact with the complaints procedure, complaints that were subsequently not upheld. It will be my priority to review the fitness to practice system ensuring entry to it is an absolute last resort.
  • A desire to build on the effective work of my predecessors coming off Council I am very keen for my supporters to vote 2 Cantwell
  • Over the last decade I have represented my colleague pharmacists in many forums, it is very important to me to put back into our community what I can. Some roles where I have previously put myself forward for election, successfully
    • Elected to IPU Executive committee and served for six years
      (Involved in strategic direction and policy setting at a national level, with experience of what worked well and the obstacles of what did not)
    • Chairman of the independent Life Pharmacy symbol group
      (Strong representation of colleagues in a new direction for independent pharmacists.)
    • Served on the IT subgroup within the IPU.
      (Familiarity with the technical aspects of ePrescribing, software standards and FMD requirements)
  • I have wide experience of three different approaches to quality systems, their implementation and supervision. As a licensee of all the PSI, HPRA and the IAA (aviation). I can bring a different, lateral perspective to the table.

Please VOTE 1 REILLY and continue your preferences #2 Nicola Cantwell, rest of my community colleagues