Third year anniversary!

I recently asked a colleague for search advice on a topic I was researching. When I told her it was for a blog post, she was intrigued. “How much do you get paid to blog?” she asked. When I told her that blogging didn’t provide any revenue, she was dumfounded. “Even writing for [big pharmacy trade magazine] will pay you a few hundred dollars per article! Why would you write something, and then just give it away?” I told her I wasn’t interested in writing 5000 words on someone else’s topic, waiting months to see it in print, and then wondering if anyone even read it. “Blogging provides immediate gratification,” I replied, “That model seems hopelessly outdated. If there’s a therapeutic controversy, or pharmacy practice issue, I want to discuss it now – not in six months, or a year.” And blogging provides a level of feedback that’s unheralded compared to traditional publication models. Sure, you may be called a Nazi, a Communist, or a Big Pharma Shill, but that comes with the territory when you criticize quackery and call out pseudoscience. Continue reading

Guild ends Blackmores Upsell Deal

On Monday, I described a new agreement between the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and Blackmores, a supplement manufacturer. The agreement meant that the pharmacy computer system would prompt pharmacists to offer Guild-approved supplements with specific prescriptions. In the face of widespread professional and public criticism, the Guild has terminated the agreement: Continue reading

Would you like a Coke and fries with your prescription?

Is pharmacy a business or a profession? It’s a question that comes up when when pharmacists put financial interests ahead of patient interests. And that’s the question that’s being asked of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, the national advocacy organization for Australian retail pharmacies. The Guild recently announced a partnership with Blackmores, a large Australian supplement manufacturer. The partnership means that the Guild’s pharmacy computer system will prompt pharmacists to recommend Blackmores-branded supplements alongside specific prescription drugs. The announcement has exploded in the Guilds’ face (see the advertisement above, for example), and brought widespread criticism to pharmacists, and pharmacy practice. Is this co-marketing science-based or profit-based? And is it ethical? Let’s look at the details. Continue reading