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From the desk of the editor - Introducing current ideas, perspectives and issues, to the profession of pharmacy
Issue 76: October 2008
Welcome to the October edition of i2P and we do have a good range of high impact articles for your enjoyment this month.
Rollo Manning has some comment on a media item discussing the lack of ADR reporting, a comment on Medicine Australia’s accountability for expenditure on doctor social events and a warning about deregulation moving forward with the Rudd government.
There is also a part-philosophical article on the moral responsibility of owning a pharmacy and investing in pharmacist professional development.
Con Berbatis has a forward-reaching article on climate change and how it will affect pharmacy. Has official forward planning commenced yet?
Neil Retallick and Karalyn Huxhagen report on what seems to have been one of the best pharmacy management conferences yet.
Each year they improve and they now attract quality speakers and a discerning audience. Maybe you should book now for next year.
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.
* Pharmacy Self Care releases Phase II of Contraception Health Campaign
* Hayborough pharmacist awarded for excellence
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.
Topic for this month:
*Pharmacy attempts to 'switch' customers to house brands threatens customer loyalty and profitability
* ASMI welcomes Health Minister Roxon's message on preventative health
* Parents reassured: No causal effect with paracetamol in new asthma research
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.
* New Board Member: Debbie Rigby joins NPS
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 Newsletter
* LocumCo founder Sue Muller featured in new book on CEO success stories
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).
* 1st Annual Scientific Hospital in the Home Society Conference
* ARCHI Innovations in Practice Pain Management Workshop
* 2008 NSW Health Expo
* ASMI 2008 AGM & Conference
Rollo Manning - A Regular Column Reporting the News Behind the News
Pharma-goss With Rollo Manning
* CON GIVES THE EVIDENCE
* MEDICINES AUSTRALIA COMES OUT ON TOP
* NEWS ITEM POINTS TO POSSIBILITY OF CHANGE
Neil Johnston - Management Consultant Perspective
There has been quite a lot of debate over the issue of pharmacy ownership - and that debate spans my entire professional life. Pharmacy seems to fascinate all those entities that interact with pharmacy in some capacity - government, major retailers, medical practitioners, investment companies, manufacturers and wholesalers.
Understandably, with all the issues thrown around at various times, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia has simply bunkered down and drawn a blanket over themselves.
Under that cover it has built the strongest of defences it could devise.
Con Berbatis - A Pharmacy Researcher Perspective
Editor: The ‘Garnaut Climate Change Review’ (4 July 2008) estimated climate change-related changes in deaths and hospitalisations in Australia under ‘unmitigated’ (no action) and ‘mitigation’ scenarios to the year 2100. The estimated gains in heat-related working days lost but increased rates of food- and mosquito-borne infections are considered together with a review of key international studies.
Con Berbatis relates the important climate change effects on health to pharmacy in Australia.
Neil Retallick - A Friendly Society Perspective
Pharmacy 2008, the pharmacy management conference, was held in early September in Cairns. Those who attended enjoyed not only the warmer days and nights but the quality and diversity of the opinions, arguments, positions and ideas presented.
Karalyn Huxhagen - A Queensland PSA Councilor Perspective
The Pharmacy 2008 Pharmacy Management Conference was held in Cairns from 3-6 September 2008. The conference is hosted by AFSPA (Australian Friendly Society Pharmacy Association) but is open to all pharmacists, industry and pharmacy assistants.
Once again the conference was a well oiled operation chaired by Jim Howard and overseen by Master of Ceremonies Lynne McLennan.
Garry Boyd - From an Intellectual Capital Perspective
As more Pharmacists contemplate the use of automated solutions at a time when different models of Pharmacy are being bandied around with as much hit and miss as reality TV, the notion of “Clinical” Pharmacies as put forward by this writer last month may make some sense.
The Clinical Pharmacy as described would no doubt present a vastly different model to “Retail” and touch wood may even be profitable……….
Pat Gallagher - An IT Consultant Perspective
Did I say that?
Some time ago I wrote an article here about the dire situation that exists in the day to day finance management of our hospitals. You may recall I said quite forcefully that B.bankers should be brought into fix things!
B.hell. A few short months later and, in the USA at least, you wouldn’t trust or get a B.banker to do much of anything.
Watching the debacle on TV it struck me that all the failed and forlorn people, captured on camera walking out of the buildings, all had the same nice cardboard boxes.
Where did the boxes all come from?
I guess some clairvoyant banker must have seen it coming and made a bulk buy of boxes.
Loretta Marron BSc - From a Skeptics Perspective
When I walked into the room I could see them reclining in their chairs, faces turned towards the wall, each with a long slender candle wedged firmly in their upturned ear.
I lit the hollow candles in turn and for 15 minutes watched the thin ribbons of smoke waft towards the ceiling as the burning candles slowly disappeared.
At $45 per box, the pharmacy assistant had assured my friends that “they worked”, so I was there to see what happened.
“My ear has popped” said one woman.
Pulling out the remnants of her candle I could see a dark wax residue.
“I told you that they cleaned out your ear wax, you can see it for yourself” she said to me.
This convincing experiment warranted further study – I’ve always assumed that this was some kind of witchcraft - maybe I was wrong?
For this article I’m going to talk about Ear Candling.
Trevor Bamford - A Health Food Retailer Perspective
My how time flies when you are having fun - the last time I wrote for I2P was back in October 2002.
At that time and from 1999 I was heavily involved with the Complementary Healthcare Council (the CHC) heading up CHeG – the Complementary Healthcare e-Commerce Group.
As a retailer faced with supply chain fragmentation, lack of product coding standards which were causing serious inefficiency burdens to my family business I was advocating at the CHC level for a coordinated, industry wide project that would see the adoption of global standards for CHP’s in the supply chain and an “Efficient Consumer Response” (or ECR) style e-commerce model for the complementary healthcare sector.
My vision was that not only were there major economic efficiencies to be gained but that there existed significant potential for this electronic infrastructure to add-value.
Such as for the coordinated delivery of improved service standards, the provision / collection / management of information (e.g ad-cleared ad content, product recalls etc), the adoption of / compliance with industry e-learning initiatives (e.g. diplomas, advanced diplomas) along with many other possible marketing ‘win-wins’.
Stephen Carbonara - From an Independent Professional Pharmacist Perspective
This month I write about an issue that I'm sure will get resolved. I however still feel the need to share the particulars of this issue with fellow i2P readers for the sake of comprehensive professional collaboration.
This topic concerns accredited pharmacists who provide medication review services to residential aged care facilities.
Harvey Mackay - From an International Speaker, Author, Columnist and Consultant Perspective
Failure is all too common in business. Anyone who has ever run a business wakes up regularly with nightmares about the what-ifs.
Successful business people, however, know that even if adversity strikes, they can work around it.
They are resilient.
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.
Ken Stafford - A Consultant Pharmacist Perspective
Three stories appearing in the media recently caught my attention and, for a number of reasons, led me to think about where our profession will go to from now.
Firstly was the suggestion of a “two tier” medication reviews system with differing levels of complexity and recompensed accordingly.
The idea is that the lower level, dispensing bench, review could be carried out by any pharmacist (accreditation not required) leaving the realms of highly complex problems to the accredited consultant pharmacist.
Chris Wright - Dispensary Systems Perspective
I accompanied Mrs “Always” Wright to the Doctor recently, she was feeling poorly enough to warrant a stay in the waiting room that at one stage was looking as though the registration on my car might expire before she saw the Doctor.
No less than 12 Doctors practice on a rotating basis here…………pity only one was on duty on this Saturday.
A suggested “Wait” time of 80 minutes managed to stretch to 3 hours 17 minutes before “Always” managed to be seen.
This situation was not helped by the fact that this particular Doctor has the unfortunate nickname of “Thirty”, because she spends nearly 30 minutes with each patient.
Dr David More - From a Medical IT Perspective
Editor's Note: Dr David More is recognised as one of the health informatics industry experts and we are pleased to carry his column in i2P.
For this month we have selected his comments in regard to an article by Karen Dearne in the Australian IT online publication. It concerns the Pharmacy Guild and its efforts to monopolise the e-prescription market.
i2P has often commented on this disturbing activity that is designed to feed on the greed of PGA executives, rather than fill any broader vision for e-health.
David More makes a blunt comment, and as he says, " 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!"
And we add the comment "In an ethical framework", something that the PGA seems to have left behind.
Andrew Bryant - From a Recent Graduate Perspective
Reaganomics states that government should reduce the growth of spending and reduce the regulation of the economy.
Therefore public utilities are privatised and public services are run as businesses.
This leaves universities a place to train people for the workforce and reduces education to a commodity and as with any other commodity subject to market forces.
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 comments on " A randomized clinical trial of methadone maintenance for prisoners: findings at 6 months post-release. Gordon MS, Kinlock TW, Schwartz RP, O'Grady KE. Addiction 2008 103;8:1333-1342"
Barry Urquhart - International Conference Keynote Speaker
Around the world the sentiments of the business fraternity and the rules of commerce are changing.
Competition, consolidation, rationalisation and rapid change, individually and collectively, are now both the benchmarks for sustainable success and the desired outcomes.
High energy, innovation and creativity provide only partial answers.
The new dawning of the post Beijing Olympic era is not a false dawn.
For many it will require a new corporate culture, for others cultures will need to be refined.
In both instances the process will involve time spans of between 18 months and five years.