Since I put my name forward to join the English Pharmacy Board, I’ve received some great, thought-provoking questions on Twitter, Telegram and other networks. Please keep them coming. Here are a few that have been popping up:
What is your opinion of technician-led dispensaries?
There are currently over 1000 dispensing practices in England who don’t have to have a pharmacist. My experience in GP practices has shown me that each of those practices benefit with pharmacist involvement.
I don’t support any notion of a pharmacy not having a pharmacist on-site. A pharmacy without a pharmacist is not a pharmacy. However, I also have some insight into what the technology industry is doing and how this could reshape our notion of medication supply. Technology and systems evolve, and we need to be ready to evolve with them. That is why I am reluctant to draw a ‘red-line’ through it. We must not let pharmacy be bypassed. We must be included in emerging technologies.
I don’t think technician-led dispensaries are the real threat, it is emerging technology with respect to supply. But, it doesn’t have to be a threat, we just need to understand it and ensure that pharmacists shape it as opposed to an isolated team of software developers.
Pharmacy jobs are disappearing, only 1500 roles created in practice and some in care homes — where can we find a niche or new field?
I have been developing new pathways and services that utilise the expertise of pharmacists. This is not just GP pharmacist and care home pharmacist roles (both of which have been very successful, delivered amazing outcomes and embedded pharmacist services) but also exploring ways that pharmacists can be initiators, managers and end-points of digital health applications. My angle has been to look at existing funding streams and make commissioners realise that pharmacists can do a better job.
Why should members vote for you?
I think it’s important to vote for a candidate that represents you and the sector you work in. However, it is also important to vote for someone who is able to get things done. So, an ability to listen and connect with members — and potential members, and the know-how to get their viewpoint expressed to key decision makers is just as important. This is something I believe I bring to the table.
Asim Mirza, England
This is a campaign pledge for the 2018 National Pharmacy Board elections.
Voting opens on 30 April 2018 and closes on 18 May 2018.
For more information, please visit: http://bit.ly/RPSNPB2018