The i2P magazine is distributed by email on a monthly basis. Subscription is free and you can unsubscribe at any time.
From the desk of the editor - Introducing current ideas, perspectives and issues, to the profession of pharmacy
Issue 43: November 2005
Welcome to the November 2005 edition of Information to Pharmacists (i2P) E-Magazine.
By the time you are reading this, the Fourth Agreement will have finally been signed, and pharmacists will be able to get on with life again.
What is probably not generally known is that all the research grants managed by the PGA on behalf of government agencies, have also been on hold, because they are part of the Fourth Agreement.
The pharmacists attached to these programs have either had no money to work with, or residues of funds (normally returned if not spent by 30th June) extended to 31st December 2005.
The government talks about wastage and saving money - well here is one area that should be outside the various PGA/Government agreements, so that programs are not "stop-start", and horribly inefficient as a result.
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 email@example.com
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.
Rollo Manning - A Regular Column Reporting the News Behind the News
* REMEMBER THE TRUTH
* DRUGS CREATE HAVOC
* THE PRICE OF ILL HEALTH
* LET’S STOP THIS SILLY BANTER
* THE NORTHERN TERRITORY – NOT A HICK TOWN – CHIEF JUSTICE
Neil Johnston - Management Consultant Perspective
We have a time bomb in our midst, and it is about to explode over the next five years.
Approximately half of our proprietor pharmacists will seek to retire and endeavour to sell out at a premium price.
But whom will they sell to?
I recently received the following communication extract:
“I am a young pharmacist (25 years) currently practising Community Pharmacy in the southeastern suburbs of Melbourne. I am finding it increasingly difficult to become involved with the Pharmacy Profession in a more active and constructive manner.
For example, unfortunately the Pharmacy Guild of Australia's constitution only allows full members (owners) to be members of committees.
It’s very difficult for young pharmacists like myself to enter the housing market let alone the ownership market!”
What does this tell you?
Con Berbatis - A Pharmacy Researcher Perspective
Editor : Nonprescription (OTC) medicines are used widely in self care and primary health care in most countries.
Their role is growing as more prescription drugs are switched to OTCs . In 1995 a national enquiry in the USA reported that their two-tier system without a pharmacist-only class of drugs was not disadvantaged compared to countries like Australia which have a multi-Schedule system and a pharmacist-only category.
Con Berbatis reports international data in 2005 which show the USA may have far fewer OTC ingredients available than countries like Australia.
His next report explores the possibility that countries with more and effective OTCs for use in primary and self care may have lower health care costs.
Chris Arblaster, PhD - A Consumer Self-Care Perspective
Currently only products included in Appendix H of the SUSDP are permitted to be advertised to consumers.
National Drugs and Poisons Scheduling Committee (NDPSC) make the decision on which products are placed in Appendix H.
There are a number of issues with this process that require reconsideration.
The Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code (Code) has several clauses designed to protect the interest of consumers.
These include provisions on restricted representations, and prohibited representations. Importantly, all of the Code applies to permissible S3 advertising.
Neil Retallick - A Friendly Society Perspective
There is an old Chinese proverb, “May you live in interesting times.”
This was interpreted to me many years ago as more a curse than good wishes – the word ‘interesting’ being a euphemism for difficult or dangerous.
The articles in the press regarding the 4CPA are short on fact and long on speculation.
However, they do confirm that the pharmacy industry will continue to undergo rapid change over the next five years.
Wholesaling and pharmacy will be more difficult and it is likely survival rates will fall.
Robert Forsythe - Globetrotting Community Pharmacist Perspective
The oddest thing for a ‘new Australian’ to come to terms with has to be Christmas. It is a completely different event.
One learns to accept the irony of the shopping centre speakers blasting out ‘Frosty the Snowman’, while ‘steamy the puddle’ would be more appropriate.
It is also a joy that it will never be cold enough to wear the stupid jumpers your mum sends you from Marks & Spencer.
I do find it upsetting however that the Christmas Turkey has to go - unless I want to run an 8 Kw aircon unit at full blast for 10 hours to get the heat out of the house.
Karalyn Huxhagen - A Queensland PSA Councilor Perspective
As I write my column this week I am surrounded by various folders awaiting further work.
Many of these I can progress no further as I need to know what exactly is in the fourth agreement and how these programs can be implemented in my business.
Before embarking on any of these processes our management team will need to carefully assess the financial and long term HR implications of these programs for our overall business.
Editor's Note: Just before publishing, the signing of the Fourth Agreement was announced.Nonetheless, the mess occasioned by the delay now has to be cleaned up.
Ken Stafford - A Consultant Pharmacist Perspective
Just last week a short piece on the Medscape web site caught my eye.
Entitled "What are Pharmacists, and What Do They Do?" it appeared initially in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy.
Written by Luis S Gonzalez III, Director, Pharmacy Practice Residency Program at the Johnstown Memorial Medical Centre in Pennsylvania, it addressed a number of very important issues relating to our profession.
While the major thrust of the piece is hospital pharmacy based, the issues raised by Gonzalez are equally important to pharmacy in general.
Can we really define the role of a pharmacist in improving the health outcomes of our clients/customers/patients?
Anthony Tassone - A Pharmacy Manager Perspective
The issue of whether Continuing Pharmacist Education (CPE) should become compulsory for all pharmacists to maintain registration has been a very contentious issue.
Several murmurs have emanated from professional societies that assist with CPE e.g. The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA), that it could become a reality in the coming years.
Should CPE be compulsory, or are we barking up the wrong tree?
Chris Wright - Dispensary Systems Perspective
The retailers in the suburb where I live are bracing themselves for a war.
Mind you, this is a war that started all those years ago when the
Supermarkets first started to throw their hooks into the Butcher the Baker and the Greengrocer.
This time it's different.
This time the very existence of the local strip shopping centre is under threat, not just in my suburb of course, but everywhere.
Heather Pym - A Division of General Practice Perspective
I some times wonder if 'pharmacy' has an identity crisis and how far this is spread.
Having read the current thread on the election of Kos Sclavos as the new President of the Pharmacy Guild (congratulations) and comments as to how the future would evolve with Kos at the helm I am aware that apparently he is not so keen about pharmacists assuming a role as 'disease managers'.
I have to say that I agree with him and am not the only other one with these views.
Neil Johnston - Management Consultant Perspective
The digital imaging market is an explosive market in terms of rapid growth, which is currently measured at between 60-150% annual increase, depending on country, geographic location and type of outlet.
The market is settling down somewhat, and is forming up along the lines of the now "old" silver halide market, as to where consumers go for image processing.
This puts pharmacy in the box seat because it is a trusted outlet servicing women, who are major consumers in the digital imaging market.
Pharmacists who are not looking to this market, particularly given the difficult times yet to emerge from the Fourth Agreement, should look to installing kiosks or adding kiosks to their front of shop offering immediately.
We publish a few tips and ideas for marketing your digital program.
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.
This month, feedback and proposed improvements on PriMed plus a special offer, also a new PSA service, PSA Electrical, which extends PSA membership benefits and provides electrical goods at discounted prices.