How snobbery is holding pharmacists back


How snobbery is holding pharmacists back

Ian McMichael PSNZ president

Ian McMichael

School boy in class
Youngsters who get ignored in class are more likely to disengage or start acting up

Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand president Ian ­McMichael makes a plea for pharmacists to be heard and recognised for the larger contribution they could make to ­improving the health of New Zealanders

When I was a 10-year-old and in my standard four class, we had 35 children and the teacher couldn’t cope. She especially couldn’t cope with me. Try


To be blunt Ian, the problem pharmacy faces is that there are too many people like you in influential positions that have proven incapable of effecting positive change. Case in point, your recent Society election "vision" to have, what was it, 1000 pharmacists trained as prescribers by 2020 despite the fact there has not been one single indication of how such radical change would be funded.

There is no snobbery in pharmacy. My pharmacy and staff regularly get praise and positive feedback from allied health professionals working towards common goals as I imagine most pharmacies do.

Would agree that the whole (pharmacy) industry needs to have a good hard look at itself and how it might fund the education and upskilling of existing practitioners.  As an example, it might cost a sole practitioner around $1000 to refresh a first aid certificate (course cost, locum wages, own wages, travel, lost productivity)  My tradie friends just laugh when I tell them what is expected of pharmacists (in their own time & at their own cost) to retain registration and meet other compliance requirements, without even considering upskilling.

It's not just the cost of up-skilling pharmacists, it's the cost of having to fund a (non-dispensing) pharmacist prescriber work force (presumably expected to be the Government). Extra technicians wil be required to fill the gaps left by pharmacists moving to the prescribing space so no savings will be realized by pharmacists leaving dispensing.

Ian's vision is just plain crazy and completely unaffordable. He doesn't seem to have grasped that there is already a highly effective and competent workforce in place fulfilling the prescribing needs of NZ - GP's.

Ian & co., you need to focus on the real problems faced by NZ pharmacy such as the widespread impact of discounting instead of wasting your time on the bullshit nonsensical stuff that you seem to be obsessed with.

Isn't it neat to see vigorous correspondence in pharmacy today ?

I agree that at times we community pharmacists have had to tolerate elitism from those in our profession, those who never or seldom see patients, this has often been evident at Symposia.

Not understand nor appreciating the role of a community pharmacist certainly suits those on the other side of  the negotiation table unfortunately our case also seems to be undermined by those at the top of Ian's ladder. 

Snobbery or simply a sense of noblesse oblige, we are the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, our patient contacts keep us grounded and provide a true sense of satisfaction and worth others can only envy.

You have touched the core of the problem. Even in Abu Dhabi and other places in the World  where I have worked as a Pharmacist like of Libya PNG etc the Pharmacist are the first port of call for  patients. In New Zealand even to get Paracetamol or Head lice shampoo or antifungal cream , I have seen peoples waiting in the Medical Centre's for hours. This is gross  wastage of talent of Pharmacist who spent five years to graduate similar to other professions like Doctor or nurses etc.