Friday is World Pharmacists Day and Brad Butt, managing partner of the Cooleman Court Pharmacy, is an example of a pharmacist doing more than only dispensing medicine.
The 37-year-old, who has been a pharmacist for almost 15 years, is also the founder of Men’s Health Down Under, a pharmacy-led clinic for male urological issues. He helps men get back to a full life after prostate cancer, including regaining sexual function following surgery.
“Men don’t talk about their health as much as they should and in our experience having done this for seven years the awareness of men’s health issues and representation that men get about their health is not as good as it can or should be,” Mr Butt said.
Ian Nash was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017 and following a successful prostatectomy, found there was very little information or assistance when it came to men regaining sexual function following surgery.
“I got to a period about five months after surgery where the nerves had not started to heal and I was getting into a bit of a black hole about all of this and that is about the time we saw a urologist who referred us to Brad and things from then started to pick up,” Mr Nash said.
“The value of having a pharmacist like Brad providing treatment and support is that he knows and is very knowledgeable about every single medication that is around and throughout my treatment he has found different methods and different ways of doing things whether it be injections, tablets or compounding a lozenge.”
Ian’s wife Jane Godtschalk said following surgery she was surprised how little information or assistance was available for men like Ian recovering from a prostatectomy.
“There is very little support for men post prostatectomy and I saw my husband becoming someone else and he kept saying, ‘I am not me anymore.’,” she said.
“Men don’t tend to talk about it, they don’t talk about sexual function, they don’t talk about recoveries and while you get very good pre-surgery assistance and immediately post-surgery you don’t get much after that.
“Ian was initially sceptical when we went to the pharmacy to talk to Brad but he was very approachable and very passionate about what he does and was so easy to talk to and as you can imagine it is a very private thing but the advice and treatment he has given us has been incredible.”
A father of three, with one on the way, Mr Butt said the scope of being a pharmacist was ever expanding.
“The script component is probably still the primary focus for most pharmacists but there are a lot of healthcare areas that pharmacists now support,” he said.
This year’s World Pharmacists Day is seen as an opportunity to recognise the work and dedication of pharmacists over the past year.
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia national president Associate Professor Chris Freeman said throughout the bushfire crisis and COVID-19 pandemic, pharmacists had remained accessible and approachable.
They had “put themselves in harm’s way to ensure that patients have had the care they need, when they need it”.
“Throughout the bushfire crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic pharmacists have stood tall and responded to the most challenging of circumstances and I am incredibly proud of how the profession has met that challenge head on,” Associate Professor Freeman said.