Instant access to what exactly?

Pharmacists talk about instant access.

As individuals and as a group.

It’s been our clarion call.

For decades now.

It’s the flagpole to our flag.

Our lighthouse in the storm.

Society should value us.

Because: instant access.

There are other reasons but…

We’ve relied on it a lot.

We’ve told commissioners.

We’ve told politicians.

We’ve not told patients.

Not much.

They already know.


But a question came to mind.

Which won’t leave again.

If pharmacist’s USP*,

as healthcare professionals,

is instant access,

then we have to ask,

is it working?

Is it doing what a USP does?

Selling us?


If the response of our paymasters is used,

As a measure of success.

Then it isn’t working.

Yes, things are changing.

But that isn’t because of instant access.

It’s because our paymasters,

Are in a tough spot.

Instant access hasn’t worked.

Otherwise the world would be different.

Two reasons are apparent.

Amongst others.

One is an empty promise.

We haven’t provided instant access,

To very much until recently.

For most of the period,

Where we’ve USPed.

Two is confusion.

We’ve sold instant access,

Without charging for it.

And anything free,

Is often undervalued.

At best.

Often ignored.

At worst.

Not charging for our USP.

Communicates that it is valueless.

So we have to ask.

Instant access to what?

Thankfully nothing remains unchanged for long. While we plan and execute idea after idea the world will turn when it turns and not before. It remains helpful to plan while it is most helpful to remain ready. Ready for change and able to respond when it happens. How many of our thousands of pharmacies are truly ready to become clinical service providers, managing the flow of people and care and demonstrating value? It is likely impossible while clinging to instant access. As organisations and individuals, being ready when the wheel turns is really what our lives are about.

What are you noticing?

Are you ready to respond?

*Let’s not get started on whether the concept of a USP is actually helpful. That’s a different debate.