Saturday, 30 August 2008

Weekend Humour.

I've never met Mike Eslea, of the University of Central Lancashire, but he seems like a pretty sound bloke.

Click by here

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Being On Call Sucks.

I loathe the cheery ring-tone of the on-call phone with every fibre of my being. I loathe the way that I will be stuck in the equivalent of Bumfuck, Ohio, in the first fine weekend in months because of the on-call phone. I have nothing but disdain for people who are incapable of reading Patient Information Leaflets. I am pissed off with the fact that there are only three medicines that are commercially available in a liquid form.

Despite all this, it's still several thousand times better than being in the Wonderful Whacky World Of Retail.

There's a University in Central Lancashire?

No, I didn't know that either. But, according to the irrepressible David Colquhoun, there is one, and they have, thankfully, abandoned their "degree" in homeopathy

There's also a link there to a rather excellent letter from an academic member of the university. I like this quote

"It cannot be right for acupuncturists to validate acupuncture courses,
herbalists to validate herbalism courses, homeopaths to validate homeopathy courses
and so on. By that logic, we could have a degree in any moronic idea so long as there
is a National Morons Association to validate it."

Well said, Dr Eslea.

National Morons Association

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Homeopathy in Work.

Now that I work in the blessed, blessed, sacred hospital environment, a place where I can have a piss without the world collapsing around my shoulders, I no longer have much contact with homeopaths in real life. Lee and Stephen Kayne are a pair of quack cunts though, A PAIR OF QUACK FUCKING CUNTS.

Unfortunately, Aotearoa is sometimes not the green and pleasant land, welcoming of poor huddled masses, a place of enlightenment, that I sometimes think it is. We have useless quack cunts like Lee and Stephen Kayne here as well.

Today in work, a doctor, a registrar, no less arrived at the hatch. Being a proper pharmacist, my first instinct was to bolt for cover, as speaking to another human being is anathema to me. Next thing you know, touching will occur, and I'll end up locked in a loveless marriage to some slack-jawed slattern from Aberflyarff. Unfortunately, however, I'd managed to briefly immobilise myself by walking into the sticky-out corner of the table with my testicles, and it was then that our sultry technician beauty, with big blue eyes you could drown in, approached, and her husky tongue was music to my ears. Steven and Lee Kayne are quacks.

"TWP, there's a doctor at the hatch. I dunno what he wants, can you see him pleeeeeassseeee?"

And she fluttered her eyelashes at me, and I was a broken man.

Ailed in both body and spirit, I dragged my aching carcass to the Satan-spawned hatch, cause of all life's problems, where the following ensued.

NZ Doc: "Heeeey, bro! One of my patient's is taking these instead of his proper medicine. Do you know anything about them, bro?"

I cast my gaze over a bunch of medicine. When I say medicine, I mean that these things are to medicine what the horse and cart is to the Pioneer probe. There's 200C, 30X and 1M all over the place, and the name of a prominent local woo-merchant on it, which I probably should have noted for later use.

Me: "Mate, look bro, this is fucking bullshit. There's zero active ingredient in any of these. He's wasting his time and money. It's just water and lactose"

NZ Doc: "Aw, sweet as bro, thanks a lot. Cheers bro, sweet as"

And then he left, and I wanted to know "Sweet as" what? But I don't think I'll ever find out.

So, this led me to wonder: "Is is ethical to offer a cancer patient false hope when "prescribing" them homeopathy?" Personally, I think that homeopaths should admit that they are offering nothing other than placebos, and not make, or imply claims that they can cure anything.

Lee and Steven Kayne are quacks.

Potato Wedges

You say kumara, I say sweet potato. I'm still not entirely sure if these are the same thing.

Anyway, when making kumara/sweet potato wedges with chili and garlic and 'erbs and lemon, it really is a good idea to switch the oven on. Don't go to check on them after thirty minutes, wonder why everything is cold and dark, and then realise you're forgotten to switch the damn thing on.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Things I Miss From Home.

1) Walkers crisps. I just spent over a pound (or three of your new-fangled New Zealand dollars) on a pack of Walkers Salt&Vinegar. And, for the love of all that is holy, it tasted so, so delicious. Kiwis need proper crisps. Or chips (not to be confused with hot chips).

2) Proper chips in chip shops with vinegar. In this green and pleasant land, the fish you get in fish and chip shops is incredible, like pure sex wrapped in a coating of crispy batter. Unfortunately, they don't know how to cook chips, and so you end up with McCains frozen garbage. And no vinegar either. I miss vinegar.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Pharmacy in the UK.

One of the comments on one of the posts below got me thinking about how pharmacy in the UK could be improved. Here's some ideas.

1) It should be illegal to sell homeopathic "medicine" in a pharmacy. You can either be a pharmacist, or a fucking woo-merchant. Not both. In other words, if you want to sell homeopathy, don't hide behind the respectability that the title "Pharmacist" gives you. Renounce it, and go and take up with the clairvoyants.

2) Do what they do down here-pharmacists aren't allowed to own more than five stores. Also, pharmacists have to own 51% of the business.*

3) For the love of Dawkins, do something with Jeremy Holmes. Put him out to seed, sack him, send him off on a fact-finding mission to Georgia, it doesn't really matter what. Why an unelected, jumped-up little arts graduate twerp has such an influence on what used to be a glorious profession is beyond me. His sole acheivement so far is producing a pathetic little monthly puff-piece about HOW WONDERFUL THE SOCIETY IS. Also, he doesn't have an opinion on homeopathy either. Mind, arts graduates are probably too thick to understand how it's a load of bollocks.

3) One pharmacist, one pharmacy. Unless it's a busy pharmacy, in which case more than one may be needed. Bollocks to this running around pretending to be doctors business. If I wanted to be a doctor, I'd have gone to medical school. If there's no pharmacist, then the pharmacy does not open. Sweet as, bro.

4) Owner's responsibility to provide adequate amounts of adequately trained staff. If this was implemented properly, Lloyd's would probably go out of existence. Hurrah!

5) Exile all the supporters of remote supervision to some remote, godforsaken, wind-blasted hellhole where they can reflect on being a bunch of backstabbing treacherous cunts. I suggest that we house them in Gorleston.

6) Send whichever dickhead came up with the bright idea of the open-plan dispensary to a gulag in Siberia. Contrary to popular belief, the job is not just about sticking labels on boxes. Sometimes, we have to use our brain, and it's not much fun having some twat yelling "THOSE AREN'T MINE", when you're trying to sort out someone else's problem.

7) No more pharmacies in supermarkets.

8) Get rid of Andrew Gush, make him apologise for being completely out of his depth, and not having the guts to admit it, and bring in someone who knows what they're doing. And make him turn up for his locum work as well.

9) Get as many pharmacists as possible to join the PDA

10) Pharmacist editor of the PJ, please. Because at the moment it seems nothing more than a propaganda rag issued from the Society.

Anyone got any more ideas?

* I'm a bit hazy on this, but I figure that as I'm not working in retail (HALLELUJAH!!) I don't have to worry about it. It's broadly correct anyway, though I'm not quite sure how it relates to The Warehouse pharmacies.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Shout Out To My Homies.

Go and waste time reading these sites, if you have some time to kill

Bad Science column from the Grauniad. Oddly, it's free of muesli-wearing, sandle-knitting, crystal-healing jiggery-pokery.

The brilliant Improbable Science by David Colquhoun of UCL. Read all about Boots "pharmacists" here.

From the Evil Empire across the water, home of the godforsaken Experimental Law Variations, comes Some Pharmacy Guy. Retail work in the Land of the Mullet appears to be as bad as in the UK.

This chap is an inspiration to me, and seems to be quite a fantastic GP. Bloody good writer, too. A Fortunate Man

Edit:Woohoo, finally worked out how to do proper linky things!!!!1!!11

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

BBC gets it wrong. Well, sort of.

Interesting article on the BBC website.

"Chemists "under too much strain"", the headline says. Obviously, this is news reporting along the lines of "Pope: Mildly Catholic" and "Bear: Shits in Woods". What is peculiar, however, is that the BBC refers to the "profession's leaders", and yet the only people quoted are from the PDA. Perhaps naively, I was under the impression that the leaders of the Profession were supposed to be the RPSGB. They're probably too busy promoting homeopathy, or thinking of new ways to take money off the membership though. God forbid they should intervene and do anything about shithouse working conditions; fuckwit, mouth-breathing left-school-at-16 "management" cunts who keep pushing and pushing for more pointless paperwork to get done, which is never read by anyone; pointless fucking MURs, and the endless undertrained, understaffed shops used by the larger multiples. To do anything about that would require some backbone, something the RPSGB are lacking in.

If you haven't joined the PDA, go and do it now. They're actually useful.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Any Chiropractors Want To Sue Me As Well?

So, a bunch of quacks are deciding to sue Simon Singh for telling the truth. What a pathetic bunch of cowards.

Beware the spinal trap

Some practitioners claim it is a cure-all but research suggests chiropractic therapy can be lethal

• Simon Singh
• The Guardian,
• Saturday April 19 2008
• Article history

This is Chiropractic Awareness Week. So let's be aware. How about some awareness that may prevent harm and help you make truly informed choices? First, you might be surprised to know that the founder of chiropractic therapy, Daniel David Palmer, wrote that, "99% of all diseases are caused by displaced vertebrae". In the 1860s, Palmer began to develop his theory that the spine was involved in almost every illness because the spinal cord connects the brain to the rest of the body. Therefore any misalignment could cause a problem in distant parts of the body.

In fact, Palmer's first chiropractic intervention supposedly cured a man who had been profoundly deaf for 17 years. His second treatment was equally strange, because he claimed that he treated a patient with heart trouble by correcting a displaced vertebra.

You might think that modern chiropractors restrict themselves to treating back problems, but in fact they still possess some quite wacky ideas. The fundamentalists argue that they can cure anything. And even the more moderate chiropractors have ideas above their station. The British Chiropractic Association claims that their members can help treat children with colic, sleeping and feeding problems, frequent ear infections, asthma and prolonged crying, even though there is not a jot of evidence. This organisation is the respectable face of the chiropractic profession and yet it happily promotes bogus treatments.

I can confidently label these treatments as bogus because I have co-authored a book about alternative medicine with the world's first professor of complementary medicine, Edzard Ernst. He learned chiropractic techniques himself and used them as a doctor. This is when he began to see the need for some critical evaluation. Among other projects, he examined the evidence from 70 trials exploring the benefits of chiropractic therapy in conditions unrelated to the back. He found no evidence to suggest that chiropractors could treat any such conditions.

But what about chiropractic in the context of treating back problems? Manipulating the spine can cure some problems, but results are mixed. To be fair, conventional approaches, such as physiotherapy, also struggle to treat back problems with any consistency. Nevertheless, conventional therapy is still preferable because of the serious dangers associated with chiropractic.
In 2001, a systematic review of five studies revealed that roughly half of all chiropractic patients experience temporary adverse effects, such as pain, numbness, stiffness, dizziness and headaches. These are relatively minor effects, but the frequency is very high, and this has to be weighed against the limited benefit offered by chiropractors.

More worryingly, the hallmark technique of the chiropractor, known as high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust, carries much more significant risks. This involves pushing joints beyond their natural range of motion by applying a short, sharp force. Although this is a safe procedure for most patients, others can suffer dislocations and fractures.

Worse still, manipulation of the neck can damage the vertebral arteries, which supply blood to the brain. So-called vertebral dissection can ultimately cut off the blood supply, which in turn can lead to a stroke and even death. Because there is usually a delay between the vertebral dissection and the blockage of blood to the brain, the link between chiropractic and strokes went unnoticed for many years. Recently, however, it has been possible to identify cases where spinal manipulation has certainly been the cause of vertebral dissection.

Laurie Mathiason was a 20-year-old Canadian waitress who visited a chiropractor 21 times between 1997 and 1998 to relieve her low-back pain. On her penultimate visit she complained of stiffness in her neck. That evening she began dropping plates at the restaurant, so she returned to the chiropractor. As the chiropractor manipulated her neck, Mathiason began to cry, her eyes started to roll, she foamed at the mouth and her body began to convulse. She was rushed to hospital, slipped into a coma and died three days later. At the inquest, the coroner declared: "Laurie died of a ruptured vertebral artery, which occurred in association with a chiropractic manipulation of the neck."

This case is not unique. In Canada alone there have been several other women who have died after receiving chiropractic therapy, and Professor Ernst has identified about 700 cases of serious complications among the medical literature. This should be a major concern for health officials, particularly as under-reporting will mean that the actual number of cases is much higher.

Bearing all of this in mind, I will leave you with one message for Chiropractic Awareness Week - if spinal manipulation were a drug with such serious adverse effects and so little demonstrable benefit, then it would almost certainly have been taken off the market.

• Simon Singh is the co-author of Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial

About this article
This article appeared in the Guardian on Saturday April 19 2008 on p26 of the Comment & debate section. It was last updated at 00:06 on April 19 2008.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Poll Results.

Looks like I'm off to Pitcairn Island then.

Anyone ever been?


There's nothing I can say that hasn't already been said, really. I feel, not so much betrayed, as disappointed. Had he not decided to play silly buggers, I'd have had him back like a shot. As it is, I feel that a shining legacy has been tarnished. It's not going to do the Packers any good.

I'm glad Favre has finally gone, and I wish him and the Jets* all the best. But he could have handled it a lot better.

* I do hope that George R R Martin doesn't get so excited about Favre's arrival that he promptly has a heart attack, and never finishes Song of Ice and Fire. Although having it unfinished may well be preferable to the abortion that was the final three volumes of the Dark Tower.

Also, is it normal to support both the Giants and the Jets?

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Give Me A Pre-Reg, And I Will Show You The Pharmacist.

I'm slightly worried that I may be turning into my pre-reg tutor bloke. He used to say to me

"TWP, the phone creates problems. Your job as a pharmacist will be to solve problems. Now go and answer the phone all the time."

I hated answering the phone. But, by Io, he was correct. And now, I find myself saying the exact same thing to the new guys in work. And I photocopy useless bits of crap, and leave them in other peoples trays.

I miss Norfolk, and the Long Bar, and getting pissed in the Ocean Rooms, and playing far, far, far too much Pro Evo.

I Travel 13,000 Miles To Have The Exact Same Conversation That I Could Have In The Albany.*

"...and if you take this tablet every morning, you will be irresistable to women, and have the ability to shoot lasers from your eyes. Any questions"

"No, mate, that about covers everything. Are you Irish?"

"No, Welsh"

"Ahh, Barry John..."

Which set up a ten minute conversation about the 1971 Lions, Gareth Edwards, Andy Bastard Haden, the shambles of the 2005 Lions tour, how much the modern tri-nations sucks, how much playing New Zealand every year sucks, how much better old-fashioned tours were, and just how damn fine Christian Cullen was.

Which leads me to the conclusion that Kiwis are Just Like Us, except we speak funny.

*Except we would be talking about Welsh rugby in The Albany. And getting pissed.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Boots:Useless, Bilge-Filled, Anti-Science Fuckers Concerned Only With Ripping You Off. Stick Your Advantage Card Up Your Bollocks.

"We don't believe in science. Your opinion is important to us."

And as for that fuckwit pharmacist referred to in the post below, she's not fucking fit to hold her license to practise*. Of course, the beloved president of the RPSGB works for Boots. He doesn't appear to have an opinion on homeopathy. Probably because Boots haven't told him what to think about it.

Read this and weep for what the "profession" has become.

*I know, I know, sample size of n=1, there's no proof this actually happened. Boots are still evil fuckers though.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Three Month Appraisal Thingy.

BOSS:"Well, look, you've been here for a bit now. Let's just go into my lair, sorry, office, for a little chat. How do you think you're getting on?"

ME:"Yeah, not bad. Let's face it, I almost quit after three weeks, so yeah, it's got a lot better."

BOSS:"Excellent! How do you feel about setting up and running a proper Medicines Information service, becoming our paediatric pharmacist blokey, doing our Cardiac Club talk every month, rewriting our gentamicin calculations, getting aseptically trained, and dealing with all our HEC* enquiries?"

ME:"Fucking hell, I should have opted for mental health when I had the chance. Am I going to see any extra money for this?"


*HEC= Hospital Exceptional Circumstances. Where we have to lie, sorry, fabricate, sorry, bend the truth to try and get a drug funded that is not normally funded. Filling in one of these forms is kind of like doing a tax return, in terms of creative accounting.

Friday, 8 August 2008


The quote below is copied verbatim from one of the comments left here. It sums up homeopaths perfectly as vermin not worth pissing on if they were on fire. Anonymous commenter, I salute you!

It's called GREED - the more one has, the more one wants - forever chasing, because others always appear to have more - some will never be satified and will use any means to get more and more apparent wealth and become more and more unhappy. Move away from them and let them rot in their own immoraility of using false assumptions, frightened people, and an orgy of false science. Such greedy people are not worth wiping shoes on - they are parsites living on sad, often lonely people. Leave those greedy people alone to rot, otrherwise they will drag you into their perverted web of money. Like the religions - they have set themselves up as 'knowing' of course NO PROOF - such people are best left on the outside of civilisation.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

PJ Online.

They don't seem exactly happy about the fact that a former president of the RPSGB has sold 200C homeopathic "remedies" from her website. So unhappy, in fact, that I was asked to remove my post referring to it. Even though I was assured that it was not libellous. Odd, that.

Day off work tomorrow!


Well, not really. Instead of going to do real work I've got my Treaty of Waitangi training day. I have embraced the Maori language enthusiastically thus far, albeit with limited success. Although, from what I can gather, the letter R appears to be pronounced similarly to RH in "Rhys". The problem is, there is no actual written Maori language, it's just been represented in English, which I think is fascinating. Anyway, it should be a really interesting day.

Most of the people I work with cannot understand how I can be so excited about learning about the Treaty, but then it's all relatively new to me. I went up the Treaty grounds the other week, and saw the marae, and the Treaty House, and the beach, and it was gorgeous, and I love it.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Being On Call Sucks.

Life on call would be so much easier if people actually read the Patient Information Leaflets.

I missed Tony Woodcock's tries because of this.