Posted by: Ranveer Bassey29 JUL 2013
We share our profession withseveral thousand people you won't find on the register. Their behaviour makes those selling Oramorphlook tame. Dubious advice, no qualityassurance and no clinical governance are examples of charges on theirlist. Despite this, we've let themcontinue their trade with little protest. I'm talking about drug dealers.
You might scoff and claim it aridiculous comparison, but is it really? Their realm is our realm: drugs. Their primary source of income is ours: supply. Their clients can often be our clients. The difference between us, at risk of statingthe obvious, is the legality of the drugs we supply.
This is of course important. Following the law is the most basicrequirement for maintaining public confidence. But there's a big difference between following the law because it's thelaw, and following the law while questioning it and campaigning forchange. For the benefit of the public,we should be doing the latter.
We're ideally placed tocontribute to the drug reform debate as experts in drugs. I'm confident, with the benefit of ourtraining, and putting prejudices aside, most pharmacists would agree thatcurrent drug regulation is a farce, based on whim and yellow press froth ratherthan harmfulness. I know manypharmacists, given their experience with methadone and buprenorphine, feelthere has to be a better way.
That better way must involvepharmacy as a supply route. To disagreeis to think the current situation of drugs being supplied from who knows where,by who knows who, is the best we can do, and most importantly, is best forpublic safety. It clearly isn't.
It's easy to get lost in debatingthe details of who, what, when and where. It means the why can often be forgotten and it's why I've been short ondetail. I hope we can first agree thecurrent situation is unacceptable, and agree pharmacists should thereforecampaign for reform which should include presenting a viable alternative forsupply.
The public and drug users would thank us for it.
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