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From the desk of the editor - Introducing current ideas, perspectives and issues, to the profession of pharmacy
Issue 60: May 2007
Welcome to the May 2007 edition of i2P.
You know, as you begin to reflect the enormity of the healthcare problems facing Australia and its aging population you can see the cynical processes being engineered by the politicians to gouge out a "down payment" on the future, from the health professions.
Pharmacy has suffered the worst in this regard, and will continue to bear the brunt of the failings of a government that proudly boasts of its budget surpluses, but glibly passes the buck when it comes to funding infrastructures such as hospitals and education.
Nor has there been proper planning and funding in the area of water conservation, and our ailing farmers are dealt yet another blow as the irrigation systems begin to be turned off.
It's not as if there was not sufficient lead-time for a warning - it has been staring our leaders in the face for at least a decade or more - time that approximates the total period of power held by the current government.
Peter Waterman - The Latest from the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia
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.
Wanted: Australia’s Top Pharmacists
Introducing the PSA Lifetime Achievement Award
Are you Australia’s top pharmacy student?
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 comment on any news item by contacting the editor through the "Contact Us" panel located on the home page.
News items and topics displayed 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 will be published through the "Letters (Your Say) " column.
By a Staff Writer - Publications to Note
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.
By a Staff Writer - Conferences and Events
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).
* Dynasties of China Tour - organised by Mike Lazarow in conjunction with the ACPP&M
* FIP Pharmaceutuical Sciences World Congress and the 67th Annual Congress (Beijing, China)
* The Pharmacy 2007 Conference - organised by the Friendly Societies, this conference has gone from strength to strength each year to become the premier pharmacy conference.
Don't be disappointed - book now to ensure your reservation in Hobart this year.
* New release - Therapeutic Guidelines Gastrointestinal 4 2006.
Order your copy to keep pace with current developments and guidelines.
Letters to the Editor - A Reader's Perspective
Your Say is the column reserved for subscriber (or other source) comment relating to i2P articles, or reportage or general comment on the profession and industry at large.
All posts must be identified, but the editor will suppress name and contact details if there is a sensitive reason.
Rollo Manning - A Regular Column Reporting the News Behind the News
* The truth must come out on Ritalin
* Coroner wants methadone rethink -where is the pharmacist?
* Review into aboriginal health studies
* "Confidential" representation for all pharmacies
* Morphine over prescribe over dispense
Neil Johnston - Management Consultant Perspective
Much has been reported upon regarding the aging of the Australian population and the concerns that are anticipated with a shrinking taxpayer base, an increasing level of social security payments and general increases in aged care spending in total.
For pharmacy, the outlook should be apparently bright.
However, the events played out through the recent Fourth Agreement negotiations, do not indicate a favourable outcome that can be relied upon, without working a little harder and a little smarter.
The recent release of the second Intergenerational Report by the Australian government quantifies movements in population and health expenditure for the next fourty years and forms the basis of an excellent planning document for pharmacy.
Pharmacists now need to look at similar planning (in five-year segments) because there is a fairly clear indication of the difficulties that lie ahead.
Against the backdrop of this report some additional factors need to be considered.
Keryn Coghill - A Pharmacy Health Informatics Perspective
Where do Pharmacists sit in the decisions made at Government level to structure medication safety in aged care facilities?
The last Government Guild agreement provided ZERO funding for the community pharmacy for the ‘service’ to the aged care industry with Dose Administration Aids.
At the same time Community Pharmacy is bracing for the impact of changes in the generic trading terms
Pharmacy Guild modeling suggests a total pharmacy service for an aged care facility currently equates to $30 per patient per week.
What pharmacy can even break even in their efforts to supply and support the growing aged care industry.?
Barry Urquhart - International Conference Keynote Speaker
That’s all it takes for a trade union official to have a business owner or manager feel a shiver up his or her back and to develop sweat on the brow.
It’s not the words, but rather the implied messages, standards and suggestions of losses of productivity, revenue and profits that are inherent in the phrase “Work to Rules”.
It begs the question of why management would agree to rules that lead to suboptimal performance standards.
James Ellerson - A Marketing Consultant Perspective
Have we become so obsessed with dotting government “I’s” and the crossing of “T’s” that we have forgotten our most important people – our patients and customers?
And here’s the rub – some pharmacists have never seemed to work out whether they are dealing with customers or patients!
Make no mistakes – the detractors of pharmacy (and this includes doctors) always position pharmacy as dealing with customers, portraying pharmacists as something less than being health professionals.
Even official pharmacy publications are confusing in this aspect, commonly using customer and patient interchangeably.
There is no doubt – the customer is always right, but the patient is not necessarily right!
Pat Gallagher - An IT Consultant Perspective
Recently in a discussion with a dear and knowledgeable colleague, I was all het up about challenging him, you, others and me about the local scene as it appears to someone working overseas for a month.
Looking back into the spaghetti mess we have in Australia from afar shows clearly a silly sight. By that I mean the slow take-up and use of computer and communication technology for e.health applications.
Or if you prefer, the deathly slow state of health informatics implementation in this country due to inane arguing of what (not) to do.
Dr David More - From a Medical IT Perspective
Sobering news for all the proponents of Shared Electronic Health Records (EHRs) came in overnight. The original article from E-Health Insider can be found at the following URL:http://www.ehiprimarycare.com/news/item.cfm?ID=2635 and iHealthBeat (http://www.ihealthbeat.org/) summarises the key findings well.
“Majority of British Physicians Oppose IT Project, Survey Finds
Sixty-six percent of British general practitioners said they will not allow their own health records to be shared through the National Health Service's Summary Care Record program, according to a survey of general practitioners by Pulse magazine, E-Health Insider reports. Only one-third of respondents said they plan to advise their patients on sharing their health information.
Stephen Carbonara - From an Independent Professional Pharmacist Perspective
One of the most hotly debated issues concerning community pharmacy of late has been the possibility of pharmacists issuing medical certificates under the provisions of the federal government’s new “Work Choices” legislation.
Up until now the PSA has advised that pharmacists not provide medical certificates to customers because of perceived liability concerns, however the matter is now receiving consideration for implementation.
Pharmaceutical Defence Limited (PDL) and the PGA are reportedly developing a position on the issuing of medical certificates by pharmacists, as well as guidelines and a pro-forma to be used in the issuing process.1
Chris Wright - Dispensary Systems Perspective
Forgive my temerity in commenting on such a date, but the fact that COAG was conducted on the day most feared by the superstitious, and celebrated with religious fever by others, makes comparison to the current plight of pharmacy irresistible.
Following the victory of the first crusade, Hugues de Payens offered a band of Knights to the Patriarch of Jerusalem to protect visiting pilgrims.
This formidable group of nine were, in 1118 provided with quarters on the Temple Mount by King Baldwin.
But hey! .......It could have been Canberra!
Ken Stafford - A Consultant Pharmacist Perspective
A couple of days ago I read with interest an article in the press telling us that lawyers and accountants are Australia’s most depressed professionals.
There followed a list of eight more “depressed groups” which, to me, contained one notable omission, namely pharmacists.
I am unable to work out if pharmacists do not get depressed, do not want to acknowledge the problem or do not rate, in the eyes of the writer, as professionals but their absence is significant
Stuart Adams B.App.Sc (Nutrition and Food) - From a Nutritional Activist Perspective
As I have mentioned on this website previously, I have had a couple of unfavourable experiences working in pharmacies where I was pressured into trying to sell unnecessary, often useless and potentially harmful 'complementary medicines' to pharmacy customers, who subsequently believed what I was telling them because they assumed that pharmacies are places of reliable health care advice.
In previous articles, I suggested that perhaps these were isolated experiences, so out of curiosity I recently decided to see what kind of criteria pharmacies are looking for when hiring pharmacy assistant staff.
Here's what I found:
Garry Boyd - From an Intellectual Capital Perspective
I have no doubt our lives are not our own, any longer.
Maybe it’s always been that way, and I’ve been blind to the extent Government and those close to Government “manage” us by making decisions favourable to just about everybody other than the intended recipient of the decision.
An early example was in the 1970’s, when self-serve petrol was introduced with the promise of “cheaper petrol”
Yeah, sure.You don’t need me to tell you that we nearly have to make room in the diary to actually fill the car up these days.
Long queues, to get to a pump, and then we suffer the indignity of actually queuing up to pay!