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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 72: June 2008



Welcome to the June 2008 edition of Information to Pharmacists (i2P) E-Magazine. The news that seemed to grab most of the attention in recent weeks was the philosophical divide that emerged between the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (PGA) and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA). Not that this is a recent phenomenon, but following on from a restructure to become a national and uniform organisation, the PSA seems to have developed a new found assertion. The flash point was how pharmacy services will be delivered in the proposed new GP super clinics; the underlying issue is who will provide leadership for all pharmacists.

Your Say

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.

PSA Press 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:   * PSA releases guidelines, standards and training for Patient Medication Profile Program   * PSA guidelines, standards and training underpin Patient Medication Profile ProgramJoint PSA/PGA Media Release

National Prescribing Service Press Releases

The National Prescribing Service (NPS)is a valued independent resource for good and unbiased prescribing information and education. Given the marketing pressures applied by global drug companies, Australia is blessed to have such a resource. Pharmacists are moving closer to a prescribing role within the health system and it is appropriate that i2P promote the message of the NPS. This Month:  * Consumers’ Health And Wellbeing Always Top Priority in QUM, NPS Reminds All  *Sydney Uni student wins the weigh-in for quality medicines use  * Quality medicines use a Vital Health topic    * Old drugs, new tricks – pharmacy magazine column wins national award  * War veterans’ program wins national award for improving health * Aboriginal health workers central to Award winning project * Keep an eye on quit-smoking patients using varenicline

Around the Traps

Organisations with pharmacy connections are invited to share their news, product releases or opinions in this column. This Month: * Ngarukuruwala Choir from Tiwi Islands * New Space Nutrition range

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.

Find it Here

As part of our information service, i2P informs on Conferences, Workshops and Seminars or press releases that may be of interest to pharmacists. PSA event information will be found here, but PSA news 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: * Pharmacy Expo 2008 * National Pharmacies-Calendar of Events - Pharmacy 2008 Conference

Health News from Around the World

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.


Pharma-goss - With Rollo Manning  * Wow what a month for Guild v PSA * Play smart to reap rewards * Beware a deadly condition * Repeat question… Why Codeine so high?

A Pharmacy Peak Organisation: Itís Time to Move

The past president of the Pharmaceutical Guild of Australia (PGA), John Bronger, was once quoted as saying he could see a future need for the PGA and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) to amalgamate into a single peak organisation. No guidelines were ever promoted publicly as to how this might occur, but the lopsided process that exists today for the management and direction of the pharmacy profession has been underscored by the announcement of the government initiative to establish 31 GP superclinics throughout Australia. The PSA see this government move as an opportunity for individual pharmacists to work as clinical pharmacists in a pharmacy model that need not be underpinned with a community pharmacy. The PGA is incapable of seeing pharmacy develop in any other way that does not contain a pivotal community pharmacy model at the centre of the universe, controlling all things pharmacy. If the PSA succeed in establishing their view of the world, the nexus on who controls Pharmacy becomes less oriented towards the PGA while simultaneously opening up more interesting job opportunities for pharmacists. And that would be a desirable and balanced outcome.

Primary care and Pharmacy: 4. large contributions to national adverse reaction reporting by pharmacists in Australia

Editor: In Australia, less than 2% of the more than 600,000 cases of severe adverse drug events (ADEs ) encountered yearly by GPs are reported to the Adverse Drug Reactions Advisory Committee (ADRAC). Community pharmacists’ contribution to ADRAC more than doubled to 23.1% of all reports from primary care sources after 2004 compared to the period 1999-2003. The number of reports submitted to ADRAC from hospitals represented nearly 5% of over 80,000 cases of severe ADEs managed each year in Australia’s hospitals. Hospital pharmacists have submitted most of the reports to ADRAC from Australia’s hospitals. Con Berbatis discusses pharmacists’ impressive contributions to adverse reaction reporting and the potential to contribute further in practice and research in Australia.

A Testosterone - Charged PGA

The testosterone is flowing in Canberra. And we have seen Patrick Reid take a huge swipe at PSA’s position paper on the GP super clinic model and where pharmacy fits in the model. In reading anything from PGA at the moment we have to remember that it’s a PGA election year and all are trying hard to be in the running.

Medical Super Clinics - what an opportunity for pharmacy!

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) certainly “set the cat among the pigeons” with its position paper on pharmacy within the proposed medical super clinics didn’t it? The Pharmacy Guild, of course, has come out strongly against the suggestion by PSA that pharmacy services within these clinics be provided by contracted or staff consultant pharmacists and funded by Medicare rather than by local community pharmacists. The heat of posts on this topic appearing in another pharmacy web site is very significant as it shows how an issue can demonstrate deep divisions within the profession. In some posts PSA is congratulated for at last “showing some backbone” in taking on the Guild by proposing a model for pharmacy services within super clinics breaking away from a community pharmacy based one while in others posters write about “elitist” pharmacists being created.

A Question of Diagnosis

Finally the voice of the 65% of non-proprietor pharmacists in Australia is beginning to be heard! The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) have provided some level of support for the idea of independent practice by pharmacists within the 'Super Clinic' ideology. "About time", methinks. The PSA have finally realised that not all pharmacists are Guild member proprietors. Hallelujah! Now for the BIG test, the Guild has sought an immediate retraction of the PSA's support for independent practitioners. Let's see if they can stay the course!

Modifications to Drug Scheduling - a Case Study for Rational Change

Editor's Note: The recent upscheduling of popular cough mixtures for use in children under the age of 2, caught most of the Pharmaceutical Industry (as well as pharmacists) by surprise. Deon Schoombie, scientific director for the Australian Self Medication Industry has provided comment and has noted that regulatory change needs to occur with solid evidence and for all stakeholders to be involved. I think most pharmacists would agree with his commentary that follows.

Whingeing and Whining and Winning

How many of us have read an advert for a dodgy health product and just turned the page, or watched one on the TV and merely tuned out or even seen a display and looked the other way.  Let’s face it, we all have.  However, if you notice that your Sunday paper has lost a bit of weight lately in the snake-oil sales department, there are some of us out there trying, with some success, to make a difference.  For this article, I’d like to talk about ways to clean up advertising.

More Drama at the Patent OfficeÖ.

The World International Patent Organisation (WIPO) a UN Agency based in Geneva, has elected Dr Francis Gurry as the next Director General. Dr Gurry, an Australian national who has called Geneva home for many years faced stiff competition from 13 others to win the coveted and prestigious position. Some may think his less than emphatic 42/41 victory over Brazilian Graca Aranha might be seen as the passing of the proverbial poisoned chalice, given the controversy that has raged through the powerful corridors of the WIPO for some years.

QT-Interval Effects of Methadone, Levomethadyl, and Buprenorphine in a Randomized Trial. Wedam EF, Bigelow GE, Johnson RE, Nuzzo PA, Haigney MCP.

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. In this edition of i2P, Dr Byrne comments on an article in Arch Intern Med 2007 167;22:2469-2473.

Male Hormonal Contraception

Editor's Note: Ben has just completed an assignment as part of the "wrap-up" for his BPharm course. The subject selected was male hormonal contraceptive measures and it covers the latest research. It is also a topic that most of us may need an update on, so for that reason we are publishing this report. Ben would be delighted to have your input and comment so please don't hesitate to contact him.

Understanding Indigenous Health

Editor's Note: Currently there is a greater focus in repect of Indigenous health. And about time, some would say. Only very small pockets of the pharmacy profession have attempted to come to terms with this major problem, and they genuinely need your management assistance. Rollo Manning could well be regarded as the pharmacy expert in indigenous health, and he vigorously defends the rights of indigenous people to enjoy good health - just like the rest of the Australian community. Rollo's sympathetic insights reflect his long association with, and understanding of, the issues surrounding indigenous health.

Generic Drugs Might be Good Medicine for the PBS, but do Consumers Think They are Good for Them?

When the various stakeholders in the generic drugs industry gathered for a conference in Sydney recently, the Government was notable by its absence.  This was ironic at a number of levels. The PBS Reforms being introduced by the Government will have the most significant impact on the industry since this market emerged some three decades ago.  For the rest of the industry to meet without the Government for this month’s talkfest was akin to the orchestra on the Titanic re-arranging the deck chairs to make sure everybody on deck had a seat.  The real action had already happened, someplace else.

Is There Still Such a Thing as Procedure?

Mrs “very senior” Wright is now ensconced in the nursing home section of the RCF she reluctantly calls home. I say reluctantly, because apart from the fact she thinks it’s a gaol, she doesn’t particularly want to be here with the rest of us, anyway. I add with some haste that to the best of my knowledge, she’s never been in gaol, so her comparison is perhaps a touch misguided. Whilst visiting her recently a young lady wheeled the medication trolley into the room.

The world always looks brighter from behind a smile

Dr. C. Ward Crampton, former director of physical training in the New York public schools, always urged his patients to exercise. That was way back in the first half of the 20th century, when he practiced. He specifically prescribed what he called his "miracle exercise." Dr. Crampton's miracle exercise does not require special clothing or equipment. You don't have to get down on the floor or go through a series of contortions that will leave you breathless. You can stand or sit down. It works well if you do it in front of a mirror, or better still, with someone. Here it is:

More About NEHTA

Editor's Note: Dr David More writes regularly on e-health matters and keeps a range of relevant press releases on his website. The followingpress release relates to NEHTA, the bureaucracy charged with the introduction of uniform standards for e-health across Australia. Recently, the organisation had a "sea change" and new people are at the helm. The culture, it seems, is still trying to catch up. The following is a press release written by Darren Pauli from Computerworld, follwed by commentary by David More.

Accelerated Performance

Now is a time to accelerate, not procrastinate. “By any measure we’re not doing too bad”. Behind this oft stated phrase lies several fundamental flaws and fallacies.  Sustainable business success in the immediate, intermediate and longer terms cannot and should not be quantified by a single measure or by any one set of measures. The true art of modern and futuristic leadership is not limited to the marshalling of resources, including people, skills, processes, products, service supply chain management and marketing.  Rather, it is the determination of what sets of criteria are isolated, chosen, measured, monitored and managed to optimise performances.

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