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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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We are in the process of moving all of our articles to the new site.

In the meantime you can find them on the old i2P site.

Issue 53: September 2006



Welcome to the September 2006 edition of i2P. As more debate and discussion occurs within Australian Pharmacy, concerns are beginning to grow as to how pharmacy may remain cohesive leading into and post 2010, when deregulation becomes a strong possibility. Some are not waiting and have decided to go down the volume model i.e. sales at any cost. This is a predatory model hijacking sales from all and sundry with not a great deal of planning or thought going into the final objectives. This seems to be an afterthought. And it is not that these volume models don’t produce good returns. They do!

Pharmacy 2006 - The Pharmacy Management Conference

Editor's Note: The Pharmacy 2006 management conference would seem to be the place to be at this moment in time. Given the turmoil within the pharmacy profession and the industry at large, we urge you to attend this important conference and evaluate all the strategies that will help survival when deregulation occurs. PSA have rated it very high awarding it a total of 11 credit points (see statement on site). Here is a great opportunity to align your thoughts, network new contacts and at the same time, bring your family along and have a holiday at a great resort by, extending your time after the conference.

Events and Press Releases

As part of our information service, i2P informs on Conferences, Workshops and Seminars or press releases 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: * ASMI Self-Care Conference - The Consumer and Commercial Reality Thursday, 21 September 2006 Southee Complex, Sydney Showground New trends and ideas in the management of self-care including the future for functional foods and a featured range of speakers highlighting preventative health, the consumer trends and the commercial opportunities. * New Therapeutic Guideline - RHEUMATOLOGY (VERSION 1, 2006) Therapeutic Guidelines: Rheumatology. A brand new title — practical help for the one in six patients presenting with a musculoskeletal complaint, from back pain to obscure vasculitides. * Improving Medication Safety: sharing the lessons learned 28-29 September 2006 Sydney, NSW, Australia Change Champions invites participation in its next Toolkit Seminar, Improving Medication Safety: sharing the lessons learned by submitting an abstract to present at the seminar. Aims of Seminar · To share information about initiatives, structures, systems and strategies that have been successfully implemented and have improved medication safety for patients. · To showcase best practice, models of care, models of service delivery, tools and resources that have been effective in improving medication safety and/or reducing medication errors. * 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 !

PSA News Releases

PSA News - 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:   * Tasmanian Pharmacy Research boosted.   * 2006 Excellence Awards Nominations Closed.   * PSA Member Benefits Partner, AMP wins Banking Award

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.


Pharma-goss  - With Rollo Manning ----- * WHAT WILL YOU DO.....when the dispensary is automated * AN EASY PATH TO REMOTE DISPENSING.....imagine a cigarette vending machine loaded with PBS top selling items. * PERSON TO WATCH

A Look at Supermarket Pharmacies - What Makes them Work? - Part 1

Major supermarkets are very well informed organisations and access research on pharmacy market performance and management on a regular and global basis. One organisation that provides this type of information is the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), which is based in the US. Like most “think tank” organisations it conducts programs in research, education, industry relations and public affairs on behalf of its 1500 member companies – food retailers and wholesalers – in the US and globally. The US membership operates approximately 26,000 retail food stores with a combined annual sales volume of $340 billion. FMI’s retail membership is composed of large multi-store chains, regional firms and independent supermarkets, comprising 75% of all retail food store sales. FMI’s international membership includes 200 companies from 50 countries that no doubt include Woolworths and Coles.

A Look at Supermarket Pharmacies - What Makes them Work? - Part 2

A report card on US supermarket pharmacies prepared by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) for 2005 makes for some interesting reading and comparisons. It is felt that much of the report has direct application in the development of Australian supermarket pharmacies. Reported was the fact that supermarket pharmacies maintained their financial stability and met major regulatory challenges preparing for Medicare Part D, and complying with new laws restricting the sales of products containing pseudoephedrine, a product that has the same diversionary activity in the US as does Australia. There was an increased focus on technologies, such as electronic prescribing and robotic prescription filling and labelling systems, and whole health services for customers contributed to the stable performance, according to the FMI Report. FMI senior vice-president, Michael Sansolo said: ”It is most impressive to see more supermarket pharmacies reaching beyond the prescription counter to help consumers improve their health and wellbeing.” The statement above could only hold true if the pharmacist was able to get out from the dispensary and had a reasonable investment in ongoing training and education. Is the US supermarket pharmacy in operation now, giving us a glimpse of Australian pharmacy post 2010, given that Australia generally tends to lag by about five years in all trends evolving in the US?

So What Would be the Difference?

Pharmaceutical literature in Australia is at present full of “it would be the end of the world” stories. You know the ones. If “Colesworth” get to own pharmacies it will the end of the world as we know it. Pharmacists will no longer be able to call themselves health professionals, and will become mere slaves to big business with no control over their lives. “So what”, I ask, “will be the difference?”

Long Live the Crappy Little Shop

As a hospital pharmacist I have been recently concentrating on continuity of care issues, notably the implementation on a local level of the latest incarnation of the APAC Guidelines on continuity of care. One of the elements is that we attempt to determine if the patient has a regular pharmacy and if so contact them and provide discharge information. Community pharmacists have responded well to the idea - saying that it allows them to ensure that patients don’t re-order medications that have been ceased as the pharmacist can sort out the files. For example it’s pretty unlikely that an elderly person will stop ordering repeats for Prothiaden every month if she has been doing it for the last 10 years. Community pharmacists are often very useful in helping piece together what is really happening when an elderly person is admitted to hospital as frequently the medication the patient has actually been having differs from what the GP would like them to have. Hospital doctors have traditionally relied on the GP records to obtain their medication history.

Lessons From Food Retailing

In the last few weeks, I have been reminded of a couple of fundamental lessons about retailing. Both of them demonstrated in the food category but both of them pertinent to pharmacy. For the last ten years I have bought my household groceries from a Coles Supermarket that is just two minutes drive from my house. There is plenty of parking and the mid-size shopping centre in which it is located also has an excellent deli, a good butcher and a fruit and vegetables store that never seems to close. Between these stores, they capture the lion’s share of my spending in the food category. But the winds of change are blowing and Coles has been blown away

Why are we not Embracing Better Models for Delivery of Pharmacy Services?

There is an acute crisis in Queensland of not having enough hospital pharmacists in the regional state funded hospitals to deliver the wide range of pharmacy services that should be provided for optimal health care of the patient. This is not unique to Queensland from the workforce figures that I have seen. The workload is such that innovative planning needs to occur to assist the pharmacists working in these pharmacy departments. This assistance is going to come at a price and it needs an innovative team to be able to make some of these systems work. In some areas the outpatient dispensing is being sent to community pharmacies for dispensing or the patients are being provided with PBS prescriptions to allow them to have their medication dispensed in the community.

Assisted Dispensing, not Automated Dispensing.

Quite obviously, rapidly developing technology will play a significant role in all aspects of Pharmacy life in the years to come, provided the reasoning behind the implementation of such innovation is understood and embraced in the interest of solving problems, rather than it be denied due to either a lack of understanding or a misguided attitude towards protectionism. The commonly used term "automated dispensing" is a misnomer, to say the least. The word "automated", indicates "without human intervention", and we all know that medicines cannot be dispensed without the direct participation of a Pharmacist. The term "assisted dispensing" is probably more appropriate, given that the Pharmacist must by law be in control of a transaction involving a scheduled product.

The Internet - A Point of Differention in Providing Quality Information

The increasing use the Internet could provide a useful differentiation point for online pharmacies.A recent “Harris Poll” in the USA provides information on the use of the Internet to search for healthcare information. The poll found that using the Internet for healthcare information has markedly grown in the last year. Most adults who have looked for information claim they have been generally successful in finding what they are looking for.

E-Prescribing - Part 2

Just when I thought the e-prescribing initiative was settling down for a few weeks, a very useful contribution to knowledge and the state of play comes from the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aging (DoHA). A statement was circulated today clarifying last week's AHMAC announcement. It said (in full).

Some Observations and Statistics From the Sydney Injecting Centre

Editor's Note:Dr Byrne (and his associates) advocate for better policies which are proven to reduce risks for drug users and the general community under a framework in parallel with Australia’s official policy of harm minimization. The findings of the New South Wales Drug Summit recommend better access to methadone, detoxification and other dependency treatments. It also advised investigating alternative services such as supervised injecting centres, leading to the opening of the Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in 2001. Dr Andrew Byrne has been involved in opioid treatments from a primary care background for 20 years at the same site in Redfern, an inner suburb of Sydney. He is recognised worldwide as a specialist in the addiction field and was involved in the seminal stages of the Chapter of Addiction Medicine, Royal Australasian College of Physicians. He received the Dole-Nyswander award from the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence in April 2006. Dr Byrne comments on the Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre........ I have attended the Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (SMSIC) about once per week for the past five years. I have had a ‘guided tour’ of the centre as well as being a local resident delegate on their ‘community consultative committee’. The service now has strong majority support (up to 80%) from residents and businesses in Kings Cross and has been supported by most police, medical, church and health authorities

Marketing Focus E-Zine

1 August 2006 - Happy birthday … to all the thoroughbreds in the equine and business worlds. In this transmission, I would like to draw a parallel between the study and appreciation of a magnificent mosaic and that of analysing the data from the broader marketplace. A true appreciation of both pieces of “art” is not necessarily derived from taking in the total picture, nor by micro-studying each ceramic piece. Isolating, analysing and appreciating clusters and flows enables one to gain insight and value the underlying depth of the total piece. Colours, hues and dimensions develop a character of their own. So it is with the economy and marketplace. Managers and executives who are inclined to look at the “big picture” need also to focus on some of the finer points of the composition. Single and disparate pieces of information do not readily make it easy to determine significant and important trends, the basis of valuable intelligence. A following segment titled, “A Differing Perspective” will hopefully cause pause, to contemplate and enable one to conclude the relevance of the individual snippets of information to specific sectors and circumstance. That text is not intended to be challenging nor confronting. Rather it will, hopefully, stimulate questions and should be read in concert with the article text which is featured at the conclusion of this e-zine transmission. Stay well. Barry Urquhart

Introducing The Pharmacist Activist

This section of i2P is designed to be an experimental section to introduce other publications that have similarities to i2P, but are based in other countries. The globalisation of Australian pharmacy started around the year 2000. It has had minimal impact up to 2004, but that is now changing and i2P must reflect that change. There are many aspects of globalisation not yet fully understood, but I think that to most of us, globalisation means that we must be quicker on our feet and have pharmacy practices with sufficient critical mass to withstand global pressures. Depending on the model of pharmacy chosen, and its location, global pressures will vary. As pharmacists we must begin to open up our minds to new ideas and innovative ways of delivering pharmacy practice. This is inherent within each individual - it needs creativity, the creation of effective alliances and a forward planning "Think Tank". The task is too large for a PGA-like bureaucracy .

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