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From the desk of the editor - Introducing current ideas, perspectives and issues, to the profession of pharmacy
Issue 75: September 2008
Welcome to the September 2008 edition of Information to Pharmacists (i2P).
This month we have all the usual columns and an interesting array of conferences in the “Find it Here” section.
If you can get along, the best management conference for the year will be held at Cairns on the 3rd September, hosted by the Friendly Societies, and we would also point you to a new perspective in medicine promoted by an interesting organisation known as a5m.
Their conference is set for September 6th.
This entity promotes the science and evidence-based research developed under the banner of anti-aging, and is a fascinating and interesting emerging body of medicine.
With all the ‘Baby Boomer” retirees coming on stream, this represents a useful and expanding market for pharmacist engagement.
Look it up because you will have to register quickly or miss out.
Note that ASMI is also having their AGM and conference in November and it always proves to be an interesting event.
Katie Butt - From a Good Prescribing Perspective
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.
* Our antibiotic "addiction" is not helping our children fight their colds
* Zolpidem (Stilnox) and insomnia management - NPS info for prescribers and patients
* New drug for type 2 diabetes: is it as good?
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.
* Clinical Update/Pharmacy Assistant Training Day
* PSA awards ACT's top pharmacy students
* Pharmaceutical Society of Australia supports NDPSC decision on ibuprofen-codeine products
* Warwick Plunkett elected as PSA President
* Herpes virus health campaign released
Bob Bowden - Media Contact for the Australian Self Medication Industry
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:
* Consumer medicines sector welcomes wider consultation on review of codeine based pain relievers
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 - News Items, Background Information and Items of Interest
Organisations with pharmacy connections are invited to share their news, product releases or opinions in this column.
* HIP appoints new Chief Operating Officer
* New Space Nutrition range
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 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).
* A5M Anti-Ageing & Aesthetic Medicine Conference 2008
Management Conference 2008
* ASMI 2008 AGM & Conference
Rollo Manning - A Regular Column Reporting the News Behind the News
There are two ways pharmacy is likely to go as a result of the current review of health and hospital funding by the Rudd Government being driven by Health Minister Nicola Roxon.
One way is that preferred by this writer and described in the August edition of i2P (Click here). Pharmacies will become a much more professional outlet linked to primary health care facilities and paying a much lower rent than existing pharmacies in the retail shopping centres or strips.
The second and that preferred by people such as the former Chairman of the Australian Consumer Competition Council Allan Fells and described in an article in The Age newspaper on 23rd August 2008 advocate the presence of pharmacies in supermarkets.
Neil Johnston - Management Consultant Perspective
We are hearing a lot about “carbon credits”, “food miles”, “carbon footprints”, “climate change” and sustainability and other “eco” terminology and globally we are setting in train a series of events that will impact on every individual.
Skeptics maintain we are just going through a normal cycle of global warming, but science is tipping our direction towards a reduction in carbon emissions as being the only way to sustain the world into the future for coming generations.
In Australia, this is embodied in the Garnaut Report that was part-released on July 4 2008.
Obviously this will impact on Pharmacy, but the how, when, where and why are still the big questions.
Mark Coleman - Medical Centre Pharmacist Perspective
Opportunity is being squandered because the creativity of self-employed pharmacists is not being harnessed.
And by self-employed I am not referring to the owners of the 5000 odd pharmacies scattered around Australia, but to those pharmacists who have identified a business opportunity and have set up in a normal business structure to deliver their pharmaceutical product or service to an end user (patient, community pharmacy, a nursing home, a public hospital or any other potential end-user).
Neil Retallick - A Friendly Society Perspective
The Pharmacy Guild is starting to gird its loins – preparing to negotiate the next Community Pharmacy Agreement (CPA). Discussions into the evening, environmental scans, forecasts of prescriptions written, drugs dispensed and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) subsidies. Also in Canberra, the bureaucrats are developing their spreadsheets, loading data, fitting trend lines to the cost of the PBS and looking for reasons to pass off costs. This process has become a ritual, well practised and understood by all participants.
Garry Boyd - From an Intellectual Capital Perspective
The ownership of Intellectual Property is not supposed to be difficult.
Inventors invent either individually or collectively and either independently or at the specific direction of an employer.
Inventors invariably assign the patent (or patent application) to another party, being either a corporate entity controlled by the inventor or an entity nominated by a financial stakeholder.
This writer described the story behind the development of Viagra way back in November 2006, ?page=site/article&id=564 with humour, despite the legal seriousness.
Stephen Carbonara - From an Independent Professional Pharmacist Perspective
Medication continuance (aka: "Here you are, no tests today; would you like Nurofen Plus with that?") is a poorly constructed, publicly dangerous piece of propaganda aimed solely at protecting Guild members' domination of pharmacists' professional practice services.
It is so poor in fact and so bereft of clinical knowledge, that the Guild fails to appreciate that lives will be put at risk.
Rather than just appearing contrary, I will list that which I believe to be more appropriate guidelines for medicines provision below in my conclusion; however I will first deconstruct the issue as it stands.
Chris Wright - Dispensary Systems Perspective
When setting out to write this little piece my usual calm demeanour momentarily deserted me. So rather than offend the sensibilities of those with sufficient time to be bored by this writer's rambling, the title remains.
Mrs “Very Senior” Wright resides in a Residential Care Facility (RCF) that to this writers opinion tends to maintain a reasonably high standard. At least it’s a good act if they don’t. Like most RCF’s, they give the impression they are actually doing the providing pharmacy a favour by allowing them to supply their residents.
As this writer has commented before, to supply manually filled DAA’s to this environment is a labour of love, based on professional responsibility, rather than economic enrichment.
The pharmacist is removed from the action and has virtually no contact with the patient.
Herein is another problem, because the pharmacist cannot possibly forge a meaningful relationship with RCF staff if there is no contact with the patient.
Rollo Manning - A Special Report on Indigenous Health from Northern Australia
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.
Loretta Marron BSc - From a Skeptics Perspective
I opened an iridology report mailed to me by a Brisbane naturopath.
My problems barely fitted onto two crammed pages.
At fault was every major body system, including my circulatory, nervous, lymphatic and adrenal systems.
My liver, pancreas, kidneys and stomach all had problems.
I had eye weakness and hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar), a suspected bowel infection, chronic digestive disturbance, a hormonal imbalance, damaged cells, as well as a toxic liver and kidneys” (1).
Can looking into your eyes really tell you what ailments you had in the past, what you have now and what can happen in the future?
As my local pharmacy offers “free 15 minutes consults”, for this article I’d like to talk about iridology.
Andrew Bryant - From a Recent Graduate Perspective
I and my family together with many other Australians are Aussie battlers and have come to be labelled as working families.
We have worked hard and have struggled to strive to where we are today.
I am a child of Bob Hawke’s Australia and was instilled with the values of mateship and a fair go.
I would consider it Un-Australian to dob, however, I would also consider it Un-Australian to rob.
Once an education was for everyone and graduates were in a position to obtain employment. Now economically disadvantaged students graduate with a large HECS debt and are forced to compete with international students.
Dr Andrew Byrne & Associates - A Harm-Minimisation Research Perspective
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's associate, Richard Hallinan, comments on a Concord Seminar, held at Concord Hospital (Western Sydney, Australia), the principal speaker being Dr Julian Trollor and the subject ADHD.
Harvey Mackay - From an International Speaker, Author, Columnist and Consultant Perspective
There's an old joke about a guy who goes into a hardware store to buy a saw to cut firewood. The clerk convinces him to buy a top of the line chainsaw claiming it will cut a cord of wood in an hour. The guy brings it back the next day saying it took him all day to cut just one cord. So the clerk primes it, pulls the handle and starts the chainsaw right up. The guy looks at him in amazement and asks, "What's all that noise?"
Dr David More - From a Medical IT Perspective
I am vitally interested in making a difference to the quality and safety of Health Care in Australia through the use of information technology.
There is no choice.. it has to be made to work!
Honestly, sometimes NEHTA really takes the biscuit!
For the most recent example – see this ripper from ZDNet.
Barry Urquhart - International Conference Keynote Speaker
Last month in an aeroplane on the tarmac of Adelaide airport as I reached for my carry on luggage a passenger enquired of me: “Is your forecast still on?”
It was Jock Henry of the Elders Real Estate network who had been exposed to my projection last year that the international economic boom would turn down at 10.35pm (Australian western standard time) Saturday, 23 August, 2008.
That will be the time of the concluding moments of the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games.I did remind Jock that I had entered a qualification that the timing may be 6 to 9 months out.
On balance the forecast was not unreasonable. January 21 this year was the date of “Black Monday”, when share markets around the world fell around 24%. Two days later, we became familiar with the name Jerome Karviel of Sociètiè Gènèrale and the loss of some $8 billion (Australian).
With inflation in China currently running at some 9% per annum for this calendar year and India enduring 11%, central governments and banks action will be required in both nations. The consequences for other nations will be far reaching.
Therefore, we can expect some further turbulent times during the ensuing 18 to 36 months. Black clouds are gathering on the horizon. However, there is a silver lining for those who take assertive action promptly. Reassessments are needed of marketing strategies, distribution networks, product and service ranges, personnel profiles and above all, the overriding business models that are presently being applied. In a significantly high percentage of instances those business models are inconsistent with the prevailing corporate philosophies.
During the course of this year we have undertaken a number of briefs to work with senior management teams and Boards of Directors to review and refine corporate cultures and missions, to enable them to better address the marketplace environment.
The outcomes have been rewarding and stabilising, encouragingly having fostered greater measures of loyalty and confidence among internal and external stakeholders.
I commend to all the need to act now.
Inertia has its own consequences, many of which are not desirable.