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Australian Journal of Pharmacy : April 2005
news news Attack ‘unprofessional’,says Guild A USTRALIAN Medical Association president, Dr Bill Glasson, has been publicly rebuked by national president of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, John Bronger, following Dr Glasson’s latest tirade against the Guild, this time while addressing a breakfast briefing attended by some 100 Members of Parliament, including both the Minister and Shadow Minister for Health. Dr Glasson continued his theme that pharmacy was not competitive and that the regulations relating to pharmacy loca- tion and enshrined in the Community Pharmacy Agreements negotiated between the Guild and Government did not make sense. Mr Bronger said he was ‘shocked and amazed’ at the ‘unprofessional attack’ upon community pharmacists made by Dr Glasson. ‘It’s about time Dr Glasson recognised that the Australian public values the sys- tem of community pharmacy we cur- rently have, and they don’t want some second-rate, American-style version of chain pharmacies, where they can’t get advice or counselling or the prescription medicines they need in a timely manner,’ Mr Bronger said. ‘Certainly, Dr Glasson’s own members seem supportive of the ownership of com- munity pharmacies by pharmacists, as overwhelmingly shown last year in NSW, when hundreds of doctors signed the biggest petition in the State’s history in support of the Guild’s opposition to super- market pharmacies,’ he said. Mr Bronger pointed to the bipartisan political support for the current model of community pharmacy and similar sup- port from the public, evidenced by hun- dreds of thousands of signatories to a NSW Parliament petition that opposed super- market pharmacies. He asked that, by taking the opposite position to the Australian public and its leaders, was the AMA‘arrogantly telling us that doctors know best’? ‘Dr Glasson’s views have become ever- more strident in recent times and we must ask whether anybody takes notice of what he says any longer,’ Mr Bronger said. Dr Glasson was chastened following his breakfast attack by Liberal Party Tas- manian Senator John Watson. In ques- tioning Dr Glasson, Senator Watson said the last thing the health sector needed was a turf war and this view was supported by many of the delegates. Dr Glasson’s comments about a lack of competition in community pharmacy are all the more curious when one considers the proposed investigation by the Pro- ductivity Commission into the medical workforce to identify factors that affected, among other things, the number of spe- cialists being trained. It has been suggested in media reports, particularly in NSW and Queensland, that AMA offers MOU to PSA D ESPITE waging a campaign against the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Dr Bill Glasson has offered the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) a Memorandum of Understand-ing (MOU) with the AMA. The offer was made at a Queensland PSA dinner in which Dr Glasson was guest speaker. However, it is understood that the PSA has not entered into any agreement with the AMA. The AJPhas also had it confirmed that Dr Glasson said at this dinner: ‘I don’t hate pharmacists, I hate pharmacies.’ While Dr Glasson has publicly said his beef is not with pharmacists but with the Guild, his rhetoric may have already created unnecessary friction between pharmacists and GPs. The AJPunderstands that plans to include GPs in a major pharmacy educational event had to be cancelled due to the bad blood created by Dr Glasson’s intemperate remarks. specialists have for many years played a role in maintaining a low number of spe- cialist training places. Specialists, includ- ing surgeons like Dr Glasson, comprise a significant proportion of AMA members.s Star pharmacy assistants go for gold T HE six state winners of the GSK Pharmacy Assistant of the Year Award 2005 are have been selected, and are about to compete in the national final late this month. The Award, now in its second year, is proudly supported by Post Script maga- zine, and is an initiative of the Australian College of Pharmacy Practice and Man- agement (ACPP). GlaxoSmithKline Con- sumer Healthcare is the major sponsor of the Award. The state winners will fly to Queens- land’s Hamilton Island for the final round of judging, held during the College’s annual conference from April 20 to 24. The outstanding pharmacy assistants for 2005 are: Kelly Cameron (Riverton Forum Pharmacy, WA); Jennifer Cugley (Ocean Grove Pharmacy and Geoff Brentnall Pharmacy, VIC); Karen Han- nah (Chemist Warehouse Virginia, QLD); Lynne Hook (Greenwith Phar- macy, SA/NT); Sarah Renwick (High- way Pharmacy, NSW/ACT); Jo Smith (Salamanca Pharmacy, TAS). s THE AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACY VOL 86 APRIL 2005 ? 225