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From the desk of the editor - Introducing current ideas, perspectives and issues, to the profession of pharmacy
Issue 41: September 2005
Welcome to the September edition of i2P E-Magazine
The recent elections held for the NSW branch of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia must have contained a surprise result for some, when John Bronger was not elected as state president. The rules of engagement do not allow John automatic membership of the National Council, and he is now not eligible to be re-elected as national president of the PGA
Global Health News from the Internet - Pharmacy Related Links
This section of i2P aims to keep readers informed of global news that may affect pharmacy.
Readers are encouraged to share links to items of interest, by simply e-mailing the story link to the editor located at firstname.lastname@example.org
Topics can range from drug-related news, Information Technology, medical communications, medical research breakthroughs, management and marketing issues.
Because this news area is dynamic and changes daily, readers should immediately bookmark any links that they find interesting.
Response to any item is also encouraged through the "Letters (Your Say) " column.
By a Staff Writer - Publications to Note
A number of important conferences are coming up in September.
If you are thinking of taking a few days out for a change of pace, plus the potential to introduce new ideas an concepts into your business, then consideration should be given to the following events.
Rollo Manning - A Regular Column Reporting the News Behind the News
* A FLASH APPEARANCE IS NOT THE ANSWER
* MONITORING SALES OF ADDICTIVE PAIN KILLERS
* THE PUSH FOR MEDICAL CENTRES TO HAVE AN APPROVAL NUMBER
* THE FUTURE FOR S2 AND S3 STILL IN DOUBT
* ONE PHARMACIST IN ANOTHER OUT AT TGA
* THE GUILD AND THE POSTER
Neil Johnston - Management Consultant Perspective
The period covering the Fourth Agreement is going to be punctuated with some fairly severe management problems for community pharmacy.
They will involve both culture and procedure.
If they are not solved, we will find a weak community pharmacy structure, ripe for a takeover by the major retailers, and fragmentation of the profession as traditional structures begin to disappear.
To tackle a problem it must first be identified, and then workflows developed back from a vision of the solved problem, to today’s circumstances.
This is not a simple process, and the larger the scale of the problem, the more complex engineering of workflows is required.
Con Berbatis - A Pharmacy Researcher Perspective
Editor's Note –The use of the internet by pharmacies has high potential to improve medication use and health but unregulated or rogue internet pharmacies can also purvey harm .Con Berbatis reports the following disturbing results from studies of prescription drugs supplied from e-pharmacy websites:
* poor identification of location, manufacturers, suppliers and company officers behind e-pharmacies
* non-disclosure of authority to dispense medications by nation and jurisdiction
* questionable manufacturing practices and the common occurrence of counterfeit drugs,
Prescription drugs acquired from internet pharmacies with the above shortcomings have been associated with poor labelling and information, misuse and deaths . Pharmacy bodies in Australia should be alert to advice by international authorities and caution the Australian public about the risk ofobtaining drugs from these sources.
Annona Pearse - From a media perspective
In the past month we have seen two extremes of the profile of pharmacy in the media, and they could not have been more contrasting.
The ABC program The 7.30 Report could be described as an exercise in PR mismanagement, while the full page advertisement by Terry White Chemists made previous attempts by the Guild and PSA look poor by comparison.
I would like to take the opportunity to examine these examples with regard to the messages inscribed within them and the resulting reactions to their messages.
Chris Arblaster, PhD - A Consumer Self-Care Perspective
At its June meeting, NDPSC recommended that pseudoephedrine advertising be prohibited, that is excluded from appendix H of the SUSDP, as well as up-scheduling all pseudoephedrine containing products to either S3 or S4, depending on the quantity in the pack.
These measures are to take place as of 1 January 2006.
Pat Gallagher - An IT Consultant Perspective
Don’t you just love the clever, witty people in this world who can come up with humorous names for restaurants and other, usually retail or trade, businesses; plumbers and removalists are often the funniest.
A plumber’s truck with - “We are No1 in No2’s” is a fine mix of wit and childish crudity that grabs ones attention.
Makes you think about the health business.
Or, that the business of health could be a smorgasbord of upside down opportunity for beneficial change if we switched the illness word for health word.
Ken Stafford - A Consultant Pharmacist Perspective
I'm sure that you have all seen many lists of ways to tell when you are getting old, they are a legion.
For me the one that comes to mind reads something like this, "You know you're getting old when you can remember when the time a pharmacist worked each day was realistic".
It came as a shock to me early this year when I looked at my first registration certificate and realised that in November I will have been a pharmacist for forty years - time flies when you're having fun.
Robert Forsythe - Globetrotting Community Pharmacist Perspective
One always feels a certain amount of unease when the Guild and PSA agree on something.
Last month the issue of ‘Pharmaceutical Vending Machines’ seemed to be ruffling a few feathers for the PGA (See - Medicine Vending machine a danger to Public Health) and the PSA (See- Pharmaceutical Vending Machines, 11 July).
The PGA seems to reject the idea outright while the PSA takes a guarded view that it may be OK in limited circumstances
Since most of us have never seen a pharmaceutical vending machine, it seems rather strange for to be bombarded with messages to reject the idea of one without finding out what we are rejecting.
It seems a co-incidence that the two major pharmacy bodies come out with a statement on ‘pharmaceutical vending machines’.
Les Brener - A Digital Imaging Perspective
Editor's Note: Les Brener from the PMA has put together a "Digital Digest" of all that is happening in the digital imaging world. This fascinating market has been expanding exponentially over the past two years and shows astounding growth.
Pharmacy has traditionally held a sizable market share of traditional photofinishing and the savvy marketers have been busily building on this strength to claim a major equivalent share of the digital imaging market.
It is one of the brightest stars on the pharmacy horizon.
Heather Pym - A Division of General Practice Perspective
Again, in the last week, the subject of labelling prescriptions with the indication the consumer relates to has been the subject of professional discussion.
Working with both prescribers and pharmacists I have often voiced my concern that some of the most potent substances are out in the community without a hint of their purpose being on the label.
Where else is this oversight tolerated?
All products sold to the public must be adequately labelled including a statement of purpose.
Why are medicines overlooked on this count?
Is it a vestige of the mystery of the past where even the name of the drug was with held?
Paul O'Neill - The Latest from the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia
Keep in touch with activities of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and their professional support for Australian pharmacists.