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- Issue 81: April 2009
- Issue 80: March 2009
- Issue 79: February 2009
- Issue 78: December 2008
- Issue 77: November 2008
- Issue 76: October 2008
- Issue 75: September 2008
- Issue 74: August 2008
- Issue 73: July 2008
- Issue 72: June 2008

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Issue 46: March 2006



Welcome to the March 2006 edition of i2P. It is really just two months into the new calendar year and already we are seeing some very disturbing trends. Sales for small business have stalled (but not for big business), government is about to attack generic drug prices (which is an indirect attack on pharmacy profitability), and there is the issue of Nicotine Replacement Therapy being directed to supermarkets by no less than Christopher Pyne (Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Health). What next? There is only one alternative - bite the bullet and develop a fee for service for a cognitive services program.

Global Pharmacy News

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 neilj@computachem.com.au 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.

Events of Significance

As part of our information service, i2P will begin to inform on Conferences, Workshops and Seminars that may be of interest to pharmacists. PSA information will continue to be published separately in the section reserved for PSA press releases. Pharmacy organisations may submit material for publication, preferably in digital format (Word document). This month: * The Photo Marketing Association Annual Convention, to be held at the Sydney Convention Centre on the 30th April 2006. Speakers to inform on digital imaging and the marketplace, plus trade displays forall that's new and interesting in the digital world   * The Friendly Societies Pharmacy 2006 Pharmacy Management Conference. This conference is organised by the Friendly Societies and features people associated with National Pharmacies, one of the most efficient and professional pharmacy operators in Australia. Friendly Societies are a genuine alternative model of pharmacy, and have been around virtually since the First Fleet. The conference is open to all, and if the last conference is any indication, the hospitality is friendly and the content is topical and first-rate, and you will recognise many Pharma industry faces in attendance. Mark your diary now !


Pharma-goss  - With Rollo Manning * Nicotine sales in Woolworths – why not?  * Who is to blame for new cost saving measures? * Specialisation or an expanding role –Auspharmlist calls  * RU 486

Prescriptions to Sales Ratio - The Balanced Pharmacy

There is no doubt that some of the effects of the Fourth Agreement are beginning to be felt earlier than anticipated. Coupled with hesitant general economic conditions, a pattern is beginning to emerge. Well-managed pharmacies are beginning to report difficulties in managing their cash flow over the month of February, no doubt due to a reduced volume of prescriptions over previous months, lower than expected Christmas general trading volume, sluggish sales post-December (experienced by all small business but not large retailers), with margins on some prescription items starting their downward trend. Managers are already looking at traditional methods of containing costs, including the trimming of staff.

Disease State Management – This Time For a Fee

Pharmacists have been wondering how and when they are going to develop a cognitive flow of services that will be recognised, and provide an income stream. If this is going to be a true reality, then each individual pharmacist, whether a pharmacy owner or not, must be prepared to take responsibility for the development of this process - it is not going to magically appear by itself. So, what are your thoughts? The following is a first attempt to draft an outline of what might have to be developed and organised before a fee structure would be accepted by a patient.

Chronic Disease Management – a possible breakthrough for pharmacy.

Just before Christmas my wife and I went out to dinner at one of Perth's premier restaurants, situated at Burswood Casino. We had a wonderful night out but what stood out for me were two opposing memories. The first of these was the exceptional standard of service, second to none that I have experienced before. We were made to feel that the staff considered us important and wanted us to enjoy our night. Sure, you would expect this of an establishment that has won numerous Gold Plate Awards, but it seemed genuine and applied to everyone with whom we cam in contact.

Generic Tendering – Is this the road to Damascus?

While the Community Pharmacy industry eyes the 1st July with an air of anxiety and anticipation to mark the formal commencement of the 4th Community Pharmacy Agreement (4CPA), another beast stirs within the corridors of Parliament House. That beast is the concept of Generic Tendering, the love child of an interdepartmental committee formed between the offices of Treasurer Peter Costello and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane. This creature was brought tentatively into our world around May last year, deliberately kept exclusive from the heated and drawn out negotiations with the Pharmacy Guild concerning the 4CPA.

Trends in Prescription to Pharmacy Only Switches

The UK has tended to be the leader in switches from prescription to OTC status over the last few years. This has come about by the removal of some of the barriers including removal of restrictions on advertising, a more streamlined switch application process and it is now possible to get one year's data exclusivity if significant new data forms the basis of an application.

It’s OK to be Paid for What you Have Been Trained to do.

The role of the Pharmacist has been systematically reduced to that of a Public Servant over the years. The Pharmacist has become a dispensing agent for the Federal Government in much the same manner as the Accountant has become a revenue collector. The difference being the Accountant has always been paid for providing advice, the Pharmacist has never been afforded such a luxury. Assurances made by the Government in 1952, that the introduction of the NHS would not have an adverse affect on the Pharmacist or the remuneration of the industry was as big a porky as self serve petrol will be cheaper.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy – An Open Seller?

Recently, Parliamentary Secretary for Health Chris Pyne wanted to know precisely why NRT products, which are unscheduled, are not available more widely than through pharmacy.Enter the Pharmacy Guild and PSA who quite rightly wanted to know why retailers such as Coles and Woolworths deserve to have a slice of the NRT market, considering that some of their biggest sellers are cigarettes.

Today’s Lesson From my G P Conversations: Beware Lest we do Ourselves in!

I spend most of my working day talking to General practitioners about evidence based drug therapies and how to optimise and promote QUM in their prescribing. It is a very satisfying and at the same time challenging role as a pharmacist of more than a few decades to be able to intelligently influence prescribing. I receive many appreciative comments and learn a lot from the GPs at the same time. We certainly do have a mutual respect for each other.

The Marketing Focus E-Zine

Editor's Note: Barry Urquhart is the Managing Director of Marketing Focus, a marketing consultancy based in Perth.  Barry is an internationally recognised conference keynote speaker, facilitator of strategic planning workshops and marketing business coach. His e-zine can be subscribed to, and the information he delivers has relevance to the pharmacy market.

PSA News Releases

Keep in touch with activities of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and their professional support for Australian pharmacists. This month: * APF20 - Your Everyday Guide to Pharmacy Practice * New Standards Resource

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