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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 78: December 2008



Welcome to the December edition of i2P – Information to Pharmacists E-Magazine. We have an interesting array of material for you to read and absorb, and we advise that our next edition will not appear until February 1st 2009. We take advantage of the holiday break to rest and do maintenance on the website, also to plan new initiatives. i2P hasa new writer, Mark Nuenschwander, who is a US expert on point-of-care systems, automation and barcodes. We are introducing this type of article at this time because Australian pharmacies will have to embark on an investment in IT systems and a high level of automation as a means of containing costs and remaining competitive. Point-of-care does not have to take place in a hospital, it can occur in a clinical pharmacy setting and it can open the door to a new world of patient service.

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 supports frontline role for pharmacists

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 appoints new senior manager to oversee complementary medicines    * Higher Medicare levy likely unless self-care increases   * 'Coughs and colds' placing heavy burden on doctors and costing millions of dollars to national health budget   * ASMI marketing awards honour excellence and innovation in healthcare sector   * ASMI welcomes Valeant Pharmaceuticals as a new member organisation

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:  * Generics tool kit products available to order   * Best practice drug use in aged care   * Lifestyle messages timely for hypertension patients  * Chronic kidney disease common but under-treated * Hypnotic hazards of z-drugs immeasurable

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:   * HIP Newsletter  * NEW ANALYSIS suggests THAT improveMENTS IN kidney function in patients treated WITH LIPITOR STRONGLY CORRELATE WITH A reduced risk of major cardiovascular events

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 2009            * ARCHI Design & Development Conference


A trip to Elcho Island and a visit to Darwin by an expert in transport has got in the way of a final year column for Rollo this month. He sends the following message from a sun filled Galiwin'ku:

Have You met Nicola Louise Roxon?

After a little over 12 months in power, the Rudd Labour government has now had sufficient time to demonstrate the conversion of pre-election promises into substantial policy and programs. Because there is potential for major and beneficial changes to occur within Australia, particularly in health, it was thought appropriate to begin a scorecard to plot development and change as applicable to pharmacy. The young women who, as Minister for Health and Ageing, heads up a high profile, big budget and daunting and controversial portfolio, is a high achiever. But it has to be said that very little has been known about her in pharmacy, as a person and as a politician. A quick scan of most of the pharmacy media reveals scarce detail of the background and calibre of the person who holds the destiny of all the health professions within her department, including that of pharmacy. Other media have snippets of information obtained through formal interviews but she is relatively unknown at the coalface of pharmacy. We know through recent pharmacy media that her mother, Lesley Roxon, is a pharmacist and that she attended the Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s recent annual dinner at which Nicola was the guest speaker, as the Minister for Health and Ageing. Does pharmacy have a clear road map to follow since the delivery of her address? Well, for the moment, that remains a good question. And to understand where Nicola Roxon will take pharmacy, it is necessary to have a look at what life experiences (family, education, career path etc) have formed Nicola’s attitudes and values.

Primary Care Clinics and Self-Care Environments

There has been a revolution in US health care service provision that has occurred in very recent years. It is called the Retail Clinic, a service that started cautiously only a few years ago in the US, but now numbers in the thousands. It is based on a clinical service product relating to common ailments, and sold at a competitive price in a convenient location. It is the same product that Australian pharmacists used to service – and do the job very well. You could almost say that product profile also fits that of a product that would find success in a supermarket environment.

Maybe Doctors and Pharmacists Should Swap?

Well… the title says it all! This might be the one way that we can sort out community primary care without the inter-professional bickering. Doctors want us ‘off their turf’, we want doctors ‘off our turf’; but something still needs to be done about primary health care. So let’s swap ‘turfs’ (or is it ‘turves’? Maybe I’ll ask a doctor, they’re more trained than me).

A Sign of the Time?

The WA Pharmaceutical Council recently appointed a new manager for continuing education, a lady with a very interesting background. Lesley Gregory is a pharmacist originally registered in the UK and comes to us in WA from a role as Prescribing Support Pharmacist for the NHS Medicines Management network. We, in this state, now have a source of expert knowledge in the area of pharmacist prescribing, one I hope we make good use of.

Barcodes Move Into the Third Dimension

Editor's Note: Mark Nuenschwander is regarded as one of the experts in hospital automation and point-of-care technology, in the US. Australia is about to go down this pathway in the hope that many of the seemingly intractable healthcare problems will untangle and deliver Australians a quality healthcare system that taxpayers, in reality, are paying too much for. i2P is privileged to have a writer of Mark's undoubted quality, and we hope that readers enjoy his offering. For a more complete background on Mark, click on the link contained in his name at the top of this page.

Numbers and Computer Systems.

During the week we had a new patient visit our pharmacy, a young lady who had travelled for an hour or so, passing a number of doctors along the way to visit a doctor 25Km from us.  She chose to call in to our pharmacy on her way back home, requesting we dispense three items, benzodiazepines and some paracetamol and codeine.  She had her pension card, the Medicare number was on the prescription.  When she was asked to pay for the medication she declared they should be free as she had “that other number” that allowed her to get free medicine, and she thought that somehow that entitlement was associated with her pension number and therefore we should know it.  Without giving us the opportunity to enquire of another pharmacy as to her Safety Net number, she demanded the return of her prescription, and dashed off the some other pharmacy, presumably in possession of her “other number”.

The Rudd Administration Essentially Ignores E-Health in First Year

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 the Rudd Government's scorecard in e-health after 12 months in office. 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 thereby lies the challenge for Nocola Roxon, Minister for Health & Ageing.

2008 – Community Pharmacy at its Best and not so Best.

2008 is rapidly drawing to a close. It has been a year that saw significant (and unwelcome) change in some aspects of community pharmacy and not much change where some change might have been good. In some of this, community pharmacists demonstrated their appreciation of the important role they play in ensuring optimal health outcomes for all Australians and in others they undid some of this good work.

Weighing the Problems

It breaks my heart to see my two best friends puffing and wheezing as they drag themselves up my front stairs. Sadly the kilos they worked so hard to lose a year ago have found them again. They blame themselves for being weak-willed, but in other aspects of their lives they are intelligent, hardworking ‘Super Women’ who don’t eat fast food, are knowledgeable about nutrition and know their calorie book backwards. The reason for their widening girth is that evolution has worked overtime for them and they have been blessed with amazing survival genes that in the food-abundant 21st Century are now undermining their efforts to be healthy. Seven million Aussies are overweight and this provides an opportunity for easy money. This month I’m going to talk about several popular weight loss strategies.

Obama, the First IT Savvy President.

As I listened to the acceptance speech delivered by the new President-elect I reflected on two other powerful speeches, made also by men of vision. The Harold Macmillan ‘Winds of change” speech, delivered in Cape Town in 1960 was full of melancholy and foreboding. The Martin Luther King Jnr “I have a dream” speech, delivered in 1963 was full of life, hope and equality.

End of Year Reminiscences

Having found a position in my pharmacy career where I am comfortable with my professionalism being appreciated and uncompremised, and reflecting on some past situations, I was interested this week to read on the Internet a survey conducted by AusPharm on work pressures that are now of concern to many working at the coal face in pharmacies.

The Silly Season is Upon us……Again.

Phew, doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun? The clock has turned full circle and everybody is frantically preparing for Christmas, whether or not they observe it as a religious period. This writer has never quite understood what the fuss is all about, being resolutely agnostic. By “fuss” I mean that we seem so pre-occupied with the commercialisation of Christmas and of course the accompanying frivolity of the associated parties the meaning sort of slips away……….so, why bother with all the partying, I wonder?

Telegraphing Feedback: The stuff of yesteryear

When Jack Canfield, author of The Success Principles, gives a training session on feedback, he'll recruit a volunteer from the audience. The job? Steer Jack, who is blindfolded, to walk up to the volunteer's spot in the auditorium. Step after every step, the volunteer utters up just two words: "On course" or "Off course." The audience notices two things: Had Jack been told he was "off course" more often, he would have reached his goal faster. But, even so, Jack always gets to the right spot because he's "continually taking action and constantly adjusting to the feedback."

The Dawning of a New Era

Well, the Melbourne Cup is over for another year, (the race stopped a nation but not the world!). Australia beat England in the Rugby League World Cup, the Aussie cricketers salvaged a draw in the Test match in India and the Irish taught us a little about the hybrid International Rules football. Above all else, the sun has continued to rise in the east and set in the west, the United States of America has a new President-elect and some 96% of the Australian workforce is still employed. Perhaps now we can get back to work, to create opportunities, to satisfy customers and to provide continuing employment and a better quality of life. Too many distractions can and often does lead to inertia. Consider this casual personal observation: the most negative people have ceased making contact and are not responding to letters, telephone calls or emails. I, for one, have been gladdened and, reassured by the fact that I am surrounded by, working with and am enjoying a host of positive people.

Failure of Naltrexone Implant Reported From Russia

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 Russion use of Naltrexone implants.

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