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From the desk of the editor - Introducing current ideas, perspectives and issues, to the profession of pharmacy
Issue 32: November 2004
Welcome to the November 2004 edition of i2P E-Magazine.
And what a lively month we have just passed through!
Bushfires seem to be springing up again as pharmacy leaders begin to develop positions that appear to have pharmacists moving into more cognitive service territory.
GPs seem to the most vocal element opposed to the latest moves by pharmacy leaders.
Letters to the Editor - A Reader's Perspective
We are always pleased to publish innovation and accomplishments of Australian pharmacists.
Brett Clark, the managing director of ePharmacy Australia Pty Ltd has delivered a massive accomplishment, about which he writes below.
I first met Brett a few years ago at a conference.
He had only had a limited experience in online pharmacy at that time, and he told me that he started up ePharmacy in his lounge room, because personal circumstances had tied him to his home, and he needed an outlet.
Since then Brett has gone from strength to strength.
I would personally consider Brett to be one of the best trained pharmacy managers in Australia, also having a native instinct and feel
for what is required.
Read on, with interest.
Neil Johnston & Con Berbatis - Consultant and Pharmacy Researcher Perspective
The following story made page 1 headlines in The Australian Newspaper on the 25th October, 2004.
Not since the Woolworths debate has pharmacy received such a "top billing" .
It would seem that we have gone from fighting supermarket competition straight into a head-on tilt with doctors (and other professions, such as nurses) .
Also, It would seem that the pharmacy proposal to compete in what is seen as traditional "doctor's turf" has generated a response that has Bill Glasson (national president of the AMA) commenting that currently pharmacists can own doctor's practices, but doctors cannot own pharmacies. Read into these comments what you will.
Because these recent events are important for the future landscape of pharmacy I have attempted to illustrate what the immediate future may hold.
In the second part of this article I am joined by Con Berbatis, well-known pharmacy researcher, who has provided separate and independent comment.
Rollo Manning - A Regular Column Reporting the News Behind the News
* A SENATE INQUIRY NEEDED INTO THE PBS
* IT’S NOT OVER – PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION CALLS FOR A NIKE
– Just do it !
* MORE PHARMACISTS NEEDED IN INDIGENOUS HEALTH
* NT GOES BACK TO THE 1930s
* ATTENTION GRABBING HEADLINES
* AMA PRESIDENT STRIKES A HOME RUN
* PM BACKS PHARMACY MONOPOLY
* BRONGER AND THE STATES OF AUSTRALIA
* GENERICS TO SAVE GOVT PBS MONEY
Neil Retallick - A Friendly Society Perspective
The recently announced acquisition of New Clicks by API once again points up what is a fundamental problem in the pharmacy market - the ability of pharmacies to develop professional retailing competencies.
It's an interesting manoeuvre by both API and New Clicks.
The pharmacy model for retailing has been developed over the years by the three major wholesalers. Their motivation in these endeavors has always been to maximize the volume of product pharmacies purchase through their wholesale warehouses.
Con Berbatis - A Pharmacy Researcher Perspective
Editor's Note: The enormous blow to the pharmaceutical industry and national therapeutic drug agencies caused by safety concerns in September 2004 with rofecoxib (Vioxx) and in October by valdecoxib in the USA and SSRI antidepressant fears in young patients , may lead to a cadre of community and hospital pharmacists with a paid role in the complementary post-marketing surveillance of new and certain established drugs.
Con Berbatis discusses the background to, and the implications of, this important issue.
Ken Stafford - A Consultant Pharmacist Perspective
Murphy's Law states that if anything can go wrong, it will and at the worst possible time.
This may be a funny way to start a column, but the law came to mind as I opened my e-mail on Monday morning to find a message from Neil requesting copy for this newsletter.
Why was this a problem?
Simple, I had only arrived home about ten hours previously after attending PAC in Adelaide over the week-end and was "pharmacy-ed" out.
Pat Gallagher - An IT Consultant Perspective
Many will have heard the joke that has the tourist asking the Irish farmer directions, only to be told, .. "If you want to be getting to Dublin I wouldn't be a'starting from here"
Actually, let me digress.
A few years ago I was a tourist in Ireland. One bad day, after hours of being hopelessly lost driving around the boonies, I was still unable to locate the rural hotel we had booked for the night.
And, yes, I did as a last resort look at the map.
Drove into a service station, fuming, asked the nice lady behind the counter, rudely (I was beyond flustered) - "where the blankdeyblank is the Pins Hotel."
Quite calmly she told me that - "I was hardly lost at all"! "It is only a mile or so up de road".
Seven and a half miles, to the inch, later, there it was.
Her meaning was that at least, I was on the right road.
Annona Pearse - From a media perspective
My interest in the debates circulating through i2P was prompted by a letter to the editor complaining about media bias and the less than flattering profile of pharmacists as health service providers. Given that the Pharmacy Guild had spent considerable time, money and effort on raising the profile of pharmacists and defending the current ownership laws, the media expose of dubious counselling practices with regard to the dispensing of the "morning-after pill" was regarded as unwarranted and unnecessary in terms of news and news reporting.
Robert Forsythe - Globetrotting Community Pharmacist Perspective
Recently a pharmacist acquaintance of mine has fallen upon hard times.
He opened a pharmacy that concentrated on the beauty and perfumery business.
What's wrong with that I hear you ask?
Many pharmacists do that.
It's an honest crust.The trouble is that this pharmacy was located in a suburb where the average household income was less than $35K per year.
Heather Pym - A Division of General Practice Perspective
The ABC news this morning startled me as I was driving to work with the almost " fait d' compli " that pharmacists would soon be giving immunisations, having a 'surgery' full of people waiting for their complex chronic disease management or monitoring, as it was stated is done overseas.
This is in addition to the increasing demand to dispense and counsel patients about prescribed medicines and the free counselling already in demand from OTC and even supermarket bought medicines available.
This extra initiative proposed would relieve the burden on GPs in the community.
What about the burden on pharmacists that exists also ?
Les Brener - A Digital Imaging Perspective
Last month we presented the first part of a presentation given to National Pharmacies Conference by Terry Rimmer, PMA (Photo Marketing Association) Director of Australian Activities.
In this concluding part Terry continues his thoughts on the amazing grip Digital Photo Kiosks are taking in photo stores, supermarkets and in pharmacies (and we understand even in Convenience stores).
However, he gives interesting information on the increasingly important role of the wife and mother in purchasing cameras, photographic prints and other equipment - he looks at the coming impact of camera phones, which in Japan and the USA already have a huge market and many of these users are printing or having their images printed.
This is already happening in Australia.
Photo Marketing Association is able to give you information on many products or point you in the right direction.
A trial membership of the Association is available to readers of i2p for only $50 ( to run through until September 2005) instead of the regular $165.
A bargain for those seeking information and looking to increase turnover through photography.
A trial membership form can be dowloaded through the PMA link on the left hand side of i2P front page.
Les Brener can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (02) 9360-6504 or fax 9360-0571
Chris Arblaster, PhD - A Consumer Self-Care Perspective
Many people may have seen articles in the daily press about RFID (radio frequency identification). This article tries to explain the basics of how it works and what are the benefits and implications for the Australian market.
Whilst not yet of immediate importance to retail pharmacy, RFID will have an impact on the grocery channel in the near future and as with other technologies move into other distribution channels with time
Karalyn Huxhagen - A Queensland PSA Councilor Perspective
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) National branch launched an exciting new concept at the Pharmacy Australia Congress (PAC) in Adelaide in October 2004.
For many years there has been much discussion as to the differences between development and maintenance of competency and continuing education post graduation.
All state branches and PSA National have accredited and approved various organisations and presenters as being of a standard that Pharmacist's could count for CPE points.
Terry Irvine - Community Pharmacist Perspective
I have been encouraging Terry to write about his rebirth in rural community pharmacy.
Terry was one of the "movers and shakers" in pharmacy circa 1970, and up until recent times, was looking forward to an active retirement.
Active retirement means doing the things that you like, whenever and however you like.
So in a climate when many senior pharmacists are selling out and disappearing, it is good to see pharmacists like Terry remaining very useful, providing a service to a grateful rural community.
Retired pharmacists living near Terry's new home base
might be encouraged to provide a locum service to a pharmacy of this type, maintaining skills.
Perhaps it is because Terry is located near to where I lived and attended school, that makes me feel a bit nostalgic.
Whatever the reason, Terry, at least for the moment, is making a productive contribution in a quiet NSW coastal village, enjoying life as it ought to be.