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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

More Archives
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 73: July 2008



Welcome to the July 2008 edition of Information to Pharmacists (i2P). This month we continue to express concerns that the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (PGA) continues to demonstrate appalling leadership in widening the rift with the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) by taking on a role that is rightfully the PSA’s. Rollo Manning illustrates some of the anomalies in that role in the form of membership in the National Primary Care Partnership. The PGA has never deserved the lead role in driving the professional services area of the pharmacy profession, but insists in pursuing this stance with arrogance. A supporting role certainly, but definitely not the primary role.

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:  * National Prescribing Service wins Gold Quill award, New York * Antidepressants alone: Not for bipolar depression * Good hygiene not pills the best way of avoiding a cold

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 announces new CEO   * Pharmacy Student of the Year Update   * 2008 - 2011 PSA Branch Committees

Australian Self Medication Industry Press Releases

For over 30 years, the Australian Self-Medication Industry has represented companies involved in the manufacture and distribution of non-prescription consumer healthcare products and related firms. ASMI is the peak industry body for the Australian self-care industry including consumer healthcare products ranging from over-the-counter medicines (OTC) to complementary medicines.  Also represented by ASMI are companies providing manufacturers with services, such as advertising, public relations, regulatory consultancy, legal advice and industry statistics. Topics for this month:     * ASMI welcomes Federal Government's Primary Health Care Strategy   * ASMI Submission on the Listing System for Complementary Medicines   * NEW CHAIRMAN APPOINTED FOR THE GENERIC MEDICINE INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION

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.

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 Management Conference 2008


Pharma-goss - With Rollo Manning  * National Primary Health Care Partnership  * Non compliance - truth or myth  * Methadone too costly for addicts

Community Pharmacy "Backbone" - Building a Stronger Health Delivery

The rate of change within pharmacy has certainly stepped up to a new level and with the current spate of PBS reforms coupled with the rise of supermarket pharmacies, many community pharmacies have been forced to trim their inventories sharply along with staff levels, including pharmacists. For those who survive this belt tightening and continue to review their market range regularly, plus bridge the gap to provide fee-paying clinical services, the upside is that they will emerge over the next two years as a very productive and profitable model. The downside is that as more pharmacies develop clinical services there will be a scramble to recruit suitable pharmacists, but they will be in short supply. So don’t let your senior pharmacists fully retire. Encourage them to stay in an active capacity and one that allows them to use their “people skills” rather than force them into sausage factory dispensing that is fatiguing and soul destroying. Help them transition by providing as much in-house education as possible. Because of the demand and short supply, some well-trained pharmacists will find that they can look forward to commanding a strong fee for service.

Diluting PGA Dominance - Where is the Peak Body for Pharmacy?

Australian Pharmacy continues to seek a solution as to how it can re-engineer itself to become a meaningful player in primary health care and make the transition from a dispensing role to an expanded clinical role. The solution is complex because there is no “one size fits all” and is unbalanced because the role of the two major pharmacy political organisations is unequal and overlaps. The Pharmacy Guild of Australia (PGA) sees itself as the solution for the “whole of pharmacy” and recent derogatory media statements by senior PGA officials against the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, illustrates the deep divisions that exist. This lack of respect does not accumulate credit for the officials concerned, or to the organisations in total, and it is illustrative of the lack of vision and leadership skills currently in place.

Speak Now!!!

Recently the Federal health minister released information on the National Primary Health Care Strategy, which included a reference to the possibility of extending prescribing rights and Medicare subsidies to allied health practitioners in primary care roles. This could obviously involve pharmacists in these primary care roles and therefore begins to pave the way for community clinical practitioner pharmacists and pharmacist prescribers.

Stand Together or Fall Apart

The huge redwood trees in California are considered to be the tallest trees in the world. Some of them are 300 feet high and more than 2,500 years old. One would think that trees so large would have a tremendous root system reaching down hundreds of feet into the earth. Not true. The redwoods actually have a very shallow root system, but they all intertwine. They don't stand alone, for all the trees support and protect each other. When the storms come or the winds blow, the redwoods stand together.

Brand Protection Gone Mad.

C. S. Lewis would no doubt turn in his grave……. The creator of the Chronicles of Narnia, the richly talented CS Lewis, would be no doubt horrified to learn that the CS Lewis Company, the owners of the author’s estate, have bought down the might of the law upon a 10 year old boy for daring to accept a birthday present from his Mum and Dad in the shape of the domain name >Narnia.mobi<.

Princes, Professors and Poltergeists

An urgent message had arrived. A man was dying; there was no time to lose. Late in the 18th Century, Samuel Hahnemann, physician and the father of homeopathy, meticulously prepared his remedy; the correct active ingredient; the correct number of dilutions; the correct amount of shaking. He mounted his horse and travelled at great speed along the highways and byways to his patient. The remedy was administered, but alas, his patient died. What went wrong? Surely it couldn’t have been the formula or the preparation. As he headed for home he realised what had happened. The additional jarring from the galloping horse had over-shaken his remedy. The patient had died of too much ‘Vital Force’.

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.

How do Pharmacists see Their Roles?

The very persistent editor of i2P, one Neil Johnston, generally makes his presence felt during the third week of each month as he rustles up the troops for material for yet another edition of i2P. After having confessed to suffering from some sort of “writer emotional hiatus” by not being able to wrap my limited mind around anything remotely interesting, I stumbled out of a Pharmacy in close to tears of mirth after a very amusing encounter with two Pharmacists. They were genuinely perplexed at my expression of surprise that I had actually found two Pharmacists in the same room with a sense of humour.

Pinto H, Rumball D, Maskrey V, Holland R. A pilot study for a randomized controlled and patient preference trial of buprenorphine versus methadone maintenance treatment in the management of opiate dependent patients

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 the Journal of Substance Use 2008 13;2:73-82

Marketing Focus Newsletter

Failure, like success, comes with choice. Many people choose failure to survive because of one or more four primary reasons. Pulitzer Prize winning writer Jared Diamond in his text “Guns, Germs and Steel” crystallised those four factors to: * Failure to anticipate a problem; * Failure to perceive it once it has arisen; * Failure to try to resolve it once recognised; * Failure in one’s attempt to solve it. Failure, it seems, is almost inevitable in life and in business. Contemplate the fact that 99% of all species which have inhabited and graced the planet are today extinct. According to Charles Darwin, the 1% which have survived were not or are not the smartest or fastest. Rather, they have been most able to adapt. Today, we face increasing complexity and accelerating change. Interaction between complexity and change generates volatility and occasional bursts of turbulence.

Fear of Failure Scares off Many Successes

Of all the fears that come with being in business, I think the fear of failure is the worst, the most paralyzing and the most costly. Costly? How can that be? Don't the actual failures themselves cost a lot of money? Sure they do. But refusing to try new ideas, methods or products because you're afraid they might fail can prevent you from growing your business and your customer base. Fear can cloud your judgment and make calculated risks look like Mt. Everest. I have taken some colossal risks in my career, not without some fear. But it was never fear of failure. I have had spectacular failures. And no, that is not an oxymoron. A spectacular failure can, and often will, lead to your most spectacular success.

Just Why are NEHTAís Plans for the Shared EHR a Secret?

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 mix of press releases with commentary by David More.

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