Publication Date 01/04/2014         Volume. 6 No. 3   
Information to Pharmacists

Editorial

From the desk of the editor

Business is tight!
Cash flow has evaporated!
The PGA calls for unity while simultaneously dismembering the business of consultant pharmacists.
The federal government continues to strip massive funds from the PBS to the extent that it is gasping for air.
Oh, and I forgot, the Revive Clinic thinks that pharmacists cannot vaccinate patients in community pharmacies ( It is actually a warehouse pharmacy group trying to destabilise the market here to push fellow-pharmacists off balance by supporting the Revive group).
Even wage-earning pharmacists have discovered that they have not had a rise in their pay over the past five years

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News Flash

Newsflash Items for April 2014

Newsflash Updates

Regular weekly updates that supplement the regular monthly homepage edition of i2P. 
Access and click on the title links that are illustrated.

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Feature Contribution

Does this present an opportunity?

Neil Johnston

Entrepreneurial pharmacists may find an opportunity in the recent Macquarie University study into patient self care, which was commissioned by the Australian Self Medication Industry, (ASMI).
The study has found that the rescheduling of the most commonly used prescription medicines to over-the-counter (OTC) status could save the Australian healthcare system approximately $2.1 billion a year
The study, found that the rescheduling, or ‘switching’ from prescription (Rx) to Pharmacist Only could achieve savings of $1.1 billion through some 17 million avoided GP visits, and a further $1 billion in productivity savings.

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The perfect recipe for promoting your pharmacy

Fiona Sartoretto Verna AIAPP

One of the most important aspects of running a pharmacy in today’s world is communicating to customers that they can find precisely what they are looking for.
It is a vital part of any business yet is often overlooked.
Customers respond well to positive and clear communication of what’s on offer and it is important to try to exceed their expectation in this regard.
It is fundamental that independent pharmacies create a unique identity and promote the products and services that they are specialized in to differentiate the business.

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Cash Flow is Paramount - the Rotten Fish Problem

Neil Johnston

In these more difficult days of pharmacy management the golden rule of business applies more than ever.
“Be profitable-be cash flow positive-and be both simultaneously”
Strangely enough it is easier to turn a profit than a sustained positive cash flow.
Cash flow volume is directly related to stock turns, which in turn directly relates to gross profit volume. And the whole is related to marketing strategy that actually sets objectives and achieves results.
The latter occurs when purchasing systems and pricing policies are in harmony and are constantly monitored.

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The Rules of Engagement

Gerald Quigley

The Rules of Engagement - What do we call it?

Counselling?

WHATSTOPGO?

Diagnosing?

Interrogating?

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Boots' Pharmacies Lead In Clinical Pharmacist Role Development

Mark Coleman

Most pharmacies expect to face difficult challenges over the next 12-24 months and are looking to cut costs that may inevitably involve making many individual pharmacists redundant.
This is a tragedy that has been created through so-called PBS reforms that have resulted in cash flow reductions in all pharmacies, mostly at an unsustainable rate.
On top of that, PGA mismanagement of the HMR process has resulted in a rationing of a service that should be receiving an increase in investment- the exact opposite of what is happening.
This has resulted in many capable pharmacists having to abandon their consulting practices, with some forced to leave the profession permanently, through no fault on their part.

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The Rising Costs of Health Care

Peter Sayers

No matter which political persuasion you favour, it is universally acknowledged that health care costs are rising and will continue to rise at a rate that is currently unsustainable.
But most government advisers have put forward the thoughts that delegating health care payments to private insurers is not the best way to go because of their high overheads and lower reimbursements compared to a single insurer such as Medicare.
The debate has now to focus on how health costs will be apportioned to the individual, the insurance company and government.

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This App can Expand Knowledge at the Coalface

Staff Writer

The Hannover Medical School (MHH), founded in 1965, is one of the world's leading university medical centres.
Its research and patient care set national and international standards.
They are also part of an excellent regional medical network.
Their outstanding success in interdisciplinary collaboration both within the MHH and with extramural scientific institutions is reflected in the fact that the MHH is the German medical university with the greatest volume of grant funding.
Recently, they developed an augmented reality simulation app called mARble
that enables med students to get as much hands-on experience as they’d like.
It also has relevance for clinical pharmacists enabling a reach that has not been previously possible because of limited hospital experience for their training.

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A new model for consultant pharmacy in aged care

Kay Dunkley - BPharm, Grad Dip Hosp Pharm, Grad Dip Health Admin, MPS, MSHPA

On 26 March 2014 ABC Lateline reported that a new study produced by Alzheimer's Australia suggests up to 80 per cent of dementia patients in aged care facilities are being treated with psychotropic drugs (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-26/alzheimers-psychotropic-drugs/5345322).
This follows on from other Lateline reports on the misuse of sedatives in nursing homes in July 2013 (
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-07-22/scientists-alarmed-by-nursing-home-sedative-prescriptions/4835442) and August 2012 (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-17/dementia-patients-dying-as-anti-psychotic-drugs-over-prescribed/4204536).
Not once in these reports is the role of the consultant pharmacist undertaking medication reviews mentioned. In fact pharmacy does not get a mention at all.
Another missed opportunity for pharmacy to undertake some PR.

 

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Always Sit Near an Exit

Mark Neuenschwander

I’ve been thinking about the Dodgers, Webinars, leadership, and the importance of sitting near an exit.
My late father-in-law habitually looked for the nearest exit before taking his seat at movies, banquets, or ball games, insisting, “Always be ready to escape a disaster.”
My colleagues and I arrived a few minutes late for our last breakout session at a leadership conference. The chairs, maybe one hundred, were facing the entrance.
The speaker in the front of the room paused long enough to watch the four of us awkwardly make our way to the empty back row.
Candidly, we were all conferenced out.
Though I desperately wanted to blow it off, I felt I had to be a good team leader and stay the full nine innings.
Speaking of a disaster.
The presenter displayed such subject matter ignorance that I had a change of heart.
Did I mention the Cubs were visiting the Dodgers a few miles down the Pasadena freeway?

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Make a Statement

Barry Urquhart

WHAT PRICE LOYALTY?
Some things in life and business simply don’t add up.  Loyalty and Rewards programs are two cases in point.
Contemporary consumers are discerning, demanding and well informed.  They have a seemingly endless supply of data available to them on-line.
Consumers’ responses are tepid to discounts and sales offerings of 10% or 20%.  General interest is stimulated with 30% price reductions and genuine demand is generated with headline statements about savings of 40% and 50%.  It’s a tough marketplace.

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Go the extra mile to find success

Harvey Mackay

A man walking down a narrow, twisting road spotted a guru meditating on the grass.  “Excuse me, master,” he called.  “Is this the road to success?”
The old man nodded silently and pointed a finger in the direction the traveler was headed. He thanked the guru and hurried on his way.  An hour later the man returned, bleeding and exhausted.
“Hey!” he shouted to the guru.  “You told me that was the road to success!  I walked that way, and right away I fell into a ditch so deep it took me almost an hour to climb out!  What’s the matter with you?”
The guru stared at him, and then after 10 long seconds opened his lips to speak:  “That is indeed the road to success.  It lies just beyond the ditch.”

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Unsatisfactory Answers to Vaccination Questions

Judy Wilyman

Editor's Note:Judy Wilyman has furnished  i2P with a number of extracts from various communications generated over the month of March 2014.
There has been insufficient time to collate them into a logical and chronological article format,
However, interested readers should be able to glean that all is still not right with the “vaxers” and the “anti-vaxers” and government is not helping because it has not formulated rational policy for this area of medicine.
That there are a significant number of intelligent parents out there who are quite capable of making rational decisions with accurate information and sensible policy guidelines and do not vaccinate their children. That is a testament to the doubt that has been created.
That Australia has very high vaccination rates leaves me wondering what is the actual issue.
What percentage constitutes a rate to guarantee “herd immunity” if in fact, there is such a state.

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Is there any merit in Visceral Manipulation?

Loretta Marron OAM BSc

Visceral Manipulation (VM) involves gentle movement of the abdominal and pelvic areas.
Practitioners say they can detect "rhythmic motions" from both the intestines and other internal organs, which they manipulate to stimulate healing.
They claim that manipulation can change the course of many diseases and disorders.
Used on both people and animals, it is included in university studies and professional development courses and is promoted by a growing number of conventional and alternative health practitioners.
Is there any credible supporting evidence?

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Understanding the Illness Generated from Processed & Patented Foods

Staff Writer

Recently, the US Environmental Protection Agency ignored the overwhelming evidence that Roundup, the most widely-used herbicide in the world, is just as dangerous as DDT.
Municipalities spray Roundup on roadsides and parks. Homeowners, golf courses and landscapers use it to control weeds.
But the number one use for Monsanto’s Roundup is GMO crops.

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Clinical Pharmacists Should Adopt Patient Biometric Systems

Neil Johnston

It would seem that if Australian pharmacists want to compete in the primary health care consultation area, you will need to access patient biometrics quickly and accurately.
One of the reasons for high medical costs is pathology testing and the exclusivity of results tied to a medical doctor monopoly
Traditional testing is through accredited pathology laboratories and tests can take days to obtain a result.
It is also expensive for government to fund, so at this moment that business model is quite vulnerable.
Patients have to make a additional appointments to discuss results and often they are left “hanging” because GP reception staff do not contact them and advise of results.
Of course, doctors will not comment on results unless it is done through a face-to-face consultation and a fee paid by the patient.
This is not only inefficient, but costly to the patient, who is more likely to drop out of the system as the total cost of ongoing service mounts.

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Do it for Denmark

Staff Writer

While the United Nations is busy trying to convince the world of the risks of a rising global population, a company in Denmark is practically begging its country’s citizenry to procreate in order to “save Denmark” from its low birth rate epidemic.
While many parts of the world may be experiencing explosive population growth, Denmark is not one of those places.
Under the banner “Do it for Denmark,” Danish travel agency Spies Travels hopes to give its country’s ailing population a much-needed boost by incentivizing couples to copulate while on travel with the aim to produce children.

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Green Ideas – You Need Them For Survival.

Staff Writer

There is no doubt about it – we are slowly poisoning ourselves and creating illness in place, as we age.
On the homepage for this month you will find an article on how glyphosate (trade name Roundup) has infiltrated the food chain on a massive basis and can now be found in detectable concentrations in most processed foods, many fresh foods and genetically modified foods – even in the air we breathe and the water we drink.
There are now global calls on having it totally banned from use.
Chronic illnesses are now beginning to proliferate from agricultural chemicals, food preservatives and chemical additives to the food chain, to the extent that researchers now describe certain illnesses in terms of being “epidemic” within a community.

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There must be a better way

Mark Coleman

That the PGA has been front and centre of all things pharmaceutical for a very long time is a given.
It has remained that way because the majority of pharmacists have allowed that to happen.
In return, they sought strong leadership and collegiality.
In the past decade the PGA has created selfish attitudes, no collegiality and have allowed governments to destabilise the business of pharmacy through mechanisms that should not have been a community pharmacy problem.

Comments: 1

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Story Based Marketing

Mark Coleman

I was reading an anti-pharmacy article in the Daily Telegraph  which began to escalate my blood pressure the more that I read it.
And I guess that was the real motivation behind that article which was written to generate an emotional defence in response to some very unfair and uninformed criticisms, slightly balanced with some positive comment.
It was an article written to influence public opinion in the negative, against pharmacy, following on the heels of the Roy Morgan poll - a positive, placing pharmacy equal second with medicine in the “ethics and honesty” stakes.
That in itself would have been sufficient to set the negative generators off into overdrive from the medical sector against the pharmacy sector.
The Telegraph article was just a little bit of help from a “friend”.
That was my “gut” response.

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Healthpoints Systems and Profesional Development

Neil Johnston

i2P is constantly researching new ideas and systems that could be uniquely adapted for pharmacy.
While there has been some uptake that is visible, there is not a lot of movement or growth in any specific area.
Other health professions, (notably doctors and nurses) have been quick to grab new technologies and programs and have embryonic systems to take their respective professions forward.
In contrast, pharmacy shows little disposition to follow suit.

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PPA calls on non-owners to share their concerns about community pharmacy

Professional Pharmacists Australia Spokesperson

In response to concerns raised by members about the direction of pharmacy, PPA is launching “Clean Up Pharmacy” – a campaign to allow non-owners to share their concerns about worrying practices occurring in community pharmacy.
President Dr Geoff March said that PPA had been flooded with concerns from pharmacists since the Pharmacy Guild of Australia had cited allegations of questionable behaviour around the provision of HMRs and RMMRs as a reason for defunding these programs and even more recently, the revelation that one pharmacy had claimed 319 Medschecks in two weeks.

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Scientists Clone Human Embryos To Make Stem Cells

Staff Writer

Reported in NPR
Scientists say they have, for the first time, cloned human embryos capable of producing embryonic stem cells.
The accomplishment is a long-sought step toward harnessing the potential power of embryonic stem cells to treat many human diseases. But the work also raises a host of ethical concerns.
"This is a huge scientific advance," said , a Harvard stem cell scientist who wasn't involved in the work. "But it's going to, I think, raise the specter of controversy again."

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Potholes and Winning Posts

Neil Johnston

Every new project (or job, or hobby, or company) starts out exciting, interesting and fun.
Then it gets harder and less fun, until it hits a low point - really hard and not much fun at all.
And then you find yourself asking if the goal is even worth the hassle.
Maybe you're in a pothole-a temporary setback that will get better if you keep pushing.
Potholes can be filled and repaired.
But maybe it's really a cul-de-sac, which will never get better, no matter how hard you try.

Comments: 1

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It’s Time to Act as Community Pharmacy Wages Go Nowhere

Professional Pharmacists Australia Spokesperson

The wages of Australia’s community pharmacists are stagnating with the 2013/14 Community and Hospital Pharmacists Remuneration Survey showing that average hourly base pay rates have risen by a mere 23 cents per hour since 2009 (see Graph 1).
Professional Pharmacists Australia president Dr Geoff March said the survey of more than 2,672 pharmacists provided “solid evidence” for what many in the sector already suspected.

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Do it for Denmark

Staff Writer

While the United Nations is busy trying to convince the world of the risks of a rising global population, a company in Denmark is practically begging its country’s citizenry to procreate in order to “save Denmark” from its low birth rate epidemic.
While many parts of the world may be experiencing explosive population growth, Denmark is not one of those places.
Under the banner “Do it for Denmark,” Danish travel agency Spies Travels hopes to give its country’s ailing population a much-needed boost by incentivizing couples to copulate while on travel with the aim to produce children.

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Cheap 3D printer raises $1 million on Kickstarter in just one day

Staff Writer

Micro, an unusually sleek 3D printer, is about to hit $1 million in funding on Kickstarter just a day after it started raising funds. The project hits the sweet spot for anyone interested in 3D printing as it might be the first commercially viable $300 3D printer the world has ever seen.

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Pharmedia- Pharmacy Quiz a Little on the Nose

Neil Johnston

Editor's Note: It happens every day in a pharmacy setting.
You cringe because of some inappropriate activity such as your counter assistant yelling out "Script for Thompson" - and you then see Mrs Thompson stand up and walk to the front counter with all eyes upon her.
Not that it was greatly inappropriate, just insensitive when a gentler, more personal and quieter contact with the staff person going to Mrs Thompson, rather than the reverse would have been better.
And the same feeling when an inadequately trained staff person starts a personal interrogation of a patient to determine whether an S3 product they have requested will be suitable for them.
It's common enough and we all tend to ignore that it is happening because time does not permit to intervene and rescue the patient, simultaneously demonstrating a more appropriate mentoring approach in front of that staff person and the patient.
Is it just the pressure of daily business or complacency that allows these discourses to proceed?
I have asked Mark Coleman to comment and his views appear below the media item.

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