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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 79: February 2009



Welcome to the February edition of i2P, the first for 2009. And we start the new year with the tension that comes with a “credit crunch” and a recession to follow on. This phenomenon is remorselessly working its way through many global economies, and at multiple levels of the business spectrum. It will be interesting to see how the year plays out and which pharmacies will be winners in adversity. It’s hard to call any trends for the moment, and events do move quickly when a new trend starts. As they say, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. Many opportunities are found in adversity, so do as one of our writers suggests and put some quality “think” time in and "think" your way to success.

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:  * Call for Pharmacy Research Trust of NSW applications  * 2008 NSW Intern of the Year  * PSA 2008 Annual Pharmacy Dinner  * DRUG INFORMATION - A RESOURCE FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONALS

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:  * Information about prescribing antidepressants in children  * NPS reaches out to remote pharmacists   * Generic medicines messages target Chinese and Italian communities   * New NPS patient resource on infective endocarditis  * Side effects warning about varenicline (Champix) * NPS RADAR helps prescribers navigate decision-making  * Generic medicines ancillary label here to stay

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 provides reassurance on antiseptic mouthwashes   * ASMI response to the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) Report: The Political Economy of Community Pharmacy in Australia   * ASMI applauds steps to fill the knowledge gap for complementary medicines

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.

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

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 - The Premier Pharmacy Practice Event           * Pharmacy Management Conference 2009            * ARCHI Design & Development 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

Pharma-Goss - by Rollo Manning "...your people will judge you on what you build, not what you destroy" Barak Obama, US Presidential address. 21 Jan 2009 “Australia must build a strong pharmacy profession and NOT destroy a profession for the sake of the almighty dollar.” – Rollo Manning Feb 2009 The Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement gives the opportunity for this to start from 1st July 2010 but only under one condition – the Status Quo is dead.

Will the Real Community Pharmacy Please Stand Up?

The end of 2008 saw a range of what I would call “positioning” reports/articles – mostly providing a list of “evidence” of pharmacy transgressions, giving a range of reasons as to why the current structure of pharmacy should not exist i.e. it should be parcelled up for big business to take over. The first of these reports was published by the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS), a supposedly independent “think tank” that is obviously well funded. The CIS exists by virtue of member's subscriptions, grants and donations, so one can be forgiven for thinking that the obvious opulence of this organisation derives from the “big end of town”, and as a corollary, would promote the interests of that sector, even though it wears its “badge of independence” on its sleeve. David Gadiel is the author. He has previously worked as a consultant on projects managed by the PGA in 2001 that resulted in a published study entitled “Pharmacy Workforce Supply and Demand 2000-2010).

Leaping Over the Tasman

Editor's Note: John Dunlop is a successful New Zealand Pharmacist who specialises in developing and marketing pharmacy clinical services. He will be illustrating his model and his views of pharmacy in New Zealand, and making comparisons with the Australian version. All references to the Pharmacy Guild and the Pharmaceutical Society contained within John's article refer to the New Zealand versions, unless otherwise specified. To gain an insight into John's background and activities, please click the link found with the author's name above. We are very pleased to have someone of John's calibre to deliver a pharmacy clinical services perpective from a New Zealand base.

Prescribing Pharmacists Have Arrived in Australia

I migrated to Perth in January this year from the UK. Prior to that I was a UK Pharmacist Prescriber, a position I held and developed over 4 years. I qualified as a Supplementary Prescriber in August 2004 and was amongst the first cohort of pharmacists to receive this accolade in the UK. Prior to that I was a Prescribing Adviser and Medicines Information Pharmacist for a Primary Care Trust (PCT) – an NHS body with responsibility amongst other things, for ensuring quality and cost-effective prescribing. I was affiliated to an organization called the National Prescribing Centre which is virtually the same as the Australian National Prescribing Services. At the time, as you are now experiencing in Australia, there was a problem of a shortage of GPs and the Primary Care Trust began to look at other models for provision of prescribing services in particular.

Verifying Bar Codes on Patient Wristbands

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. This month Mark writes about barcode use with patient ID in hospitals.

Size Does Matter

Size DOES matter! No, no, no, i2P is not going X-rated; I refer to the size of pharmacies! Now that hard times are said to be upon us many pharmacists are assessing their future with the view to either sell out before being forced to or make adjustments to address the dramatic fall in shop sales.

DVA & DAA - A Valuable Initiative

The Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) Dose Administration Aid (DAA) program is a new and, in my opinion, a valuable service. For those who are unaware, basically the DVA funds the cost of Webster packs for veterans in the community to the tune of $10 per week, plus $100 per six-month review conducted by the pharmacist. There are however a few logistical hurdles to jump through before each Veteran can be placed on the program.

Last in line?

Two pieces of pharmacy news cross my desk this week that leads me to a belief that, unless pharmacy shows a willingness to be involved, the profession will always be forgotten when decisions about health are made. The first topic I have written about previously, namely the reluctance of community pharmacists to write certificates authorizing a few days off work for patients. I haven’t worked in community pharmacy for a number of years but I cannot see that pharmacists will have lost their role as first line health care providers.

Marketing Focus E-Zine: "My Word is my Bond"

Welcome to our new year. This issue of the periodic ezine is seemingly early, primarily for one reason … momentum. It is and has become increasingly apparent to many business leaders that momentum is imperative in this “crisis ridden global environment”. If you do need a case study on the importance and role of momentum, simply read the media reports on the national career opening innings of Australian batsman Dave Warner in the first of two Twenty-20 cricket matches against South Africa. His score of 89 off 43 balls achieved the momentum for the Australian side to record a total of 182 and to win by 52 runs.

Think before you sink

Four centuries ago when French philosopher and mathematician Rene Descartes made his famous statement, "I think, therefore I am," he probably wasn't thinking about the survival of American businesses. But businesses that aren't thinking simply won't exist anymore. In a better economy, they can slide a little. In this climate, it takes all the thought processes you have to keep the doors open. Sometimes, we have to turn off the rest of your life and live in the moment. In other words, stop thinking so hard about things that don't matter and concentrate on the things that do!

As the Years Condemn

Is this the end of a seven year cycle or the beginning? Are you superstitious? Believe in good luck and bad luck cycles? Is 2009 the start of someone special, or not? I was cogitating on this, as you do over the silly season, as a way of trying to ignore the daily grind in the press regarding the GFC (that is the Global Financial Crisis) and the pontificating and platitudes from our current commentators. All of whom are in short pants when it comes to economic management. And that is just the journalists, the pollies are even worse.

E - Health In Australia is Behaving Like a ‘Headless Chook’!

OK, the first serious working day of the new year and we get this in the Australian today! "Uniform health system in the mill - Karen Dearne | January 27, 2009 LARGE-SCALE production pilots of a nationwide e-health system will start this year, with the National E-Health Transition Authority set the task of making this happen as quickly as possible." More here: http://www.australianit.news.com.au/story/0,24897,24966640-5013040,00.html For another take we also have: "This is the year of delivery: NEHTA - Suzanne Tindal, ZDNet.com.au | 27 January 2009 The standards and foundations for nation-wide e-health solutions in Australia have now mainly been completed, according to National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) CEO Peter Fleming, leaving implementation on the agenda for 2009." More detail here: http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/software/soa/This-is-the-year-of-delivery-NEHTA/0,130061733,339294585,00.htm

Glucosamine – a Fishy Story?

People have put spuds in their pockets and under their pillows, have worn magnets and copper bracelets and have tried all sorts of other weird and wonderful gizmos and remedies to try to combat their arthritis, a painful and debilitating condition that has been affecting joints since the first vertebrate evolved. The many anecdotes and the continual bombardment of advertising by high profile people, and the claims by Sponsors that their products are scientifically based, lead us to assume that Glucosamine improves mobility and reduces pain. However, in the UK, clinical guidelines for osteoarthritis (1) do not recommend it. So, do ground-up prawn shell pills help with arthritis? This month I’m going to talk about Glucosamine.

Is the Guild under Siege?

The pages of i2P will this month no doubt be full of comment about the article penned in the Financial Review on December 30. It is doubtful the guild found the exquisitely vicious piece to their liking. I mean, bragging over the profits of jellybeans in the same article that states the guild has the view pharmacists are community service providers, not retailers. Give me a break! Here’s your DiabexXR, madam. Would you like some jellybeans to go? After all, we have deliberately placed them right under your nose at the pay station!

Understanding Indigenous Health in 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.

Rats alive! Alcohol Reductions Possible with Adequate Buprenorphine Doses.

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 from Biological Psychiatry 2007 61:4-12 titled "Buprenorphine Reduces Alcohol Drinking Through Activation of the Nociceptin/Orphanin FQ-NOP Receptor System." Ciccocioppo R, Economidou D, Rimondini R, Sommer W, Massi M, Heilig M.

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