Publication Date 01/12/2010         Volume. 2 No. 11   
Information to Pharmacists

Editorial

Neil Johnston

With 2010 drawing to a close, some of us will be able to relax and enjoy the festive season, socialising and touching base with family and friends.
Others of us will be busily planning for 2011 to try and insulate against some of the havoc that may occur in 2012.
More than ever pharmacies need to audit their management processes to eliminate any wasteful procedures or activities.

read more
open full screen

Recent Comments

Click here to read...

Pharma News

Hospital News

Health Politics

Climate Change

News Flash

Newsflash Updates for December 2010 and January 2011

Newsflash Updates

Regular updates from the global world of pharmacy.
Access and click on the title links that are illustrated.

read more
open full screen

Feature Contribution

The "Touch Points" in Marketing Pharmacy Services

Peter Sayers

The internet has upended how consumers engage with brands for goods and services - professional or commercial.
It is transforming the economics of marketing and making obsolete many of the function’s traditional strategies and structures.
For marketers, the old way of doing business is unsustainable.
For pharmacist marketers, this also holds true.
It’s all about “touch points”.

read more
open full screen

Pharma-Goss for December 2010

Rollo Manning

THE YEAR IS ENDING BUT WHERE?

It has been an eventful year for pharmacy in Australia that once again raised more questions than answers.
The Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement is in place with reduced funding for professional services and locks the current model of PBS supply to the Australian population in to the antiquated system that is in dire need of an overhaul.

The Guild and the PSA have put out their vision for the future without consultation with the members of the profession and both directed towards achieving their own vested interests.

The PSA paper on the involvement of pharmacists in GP Super Clinics failed to address the key issue of linking supply data in to the professional role of the pharmacist as a clinical consultant. (See next item).

The Guild and PSA conferences continue to forge ahead attracting large numbers but not providing the grassroots with an opportunity to present on their views for the future.

The Early Career Pharmacists show an obvious willingness to be engaged but lack the resources of the employers – both in retail and industry – to make their voices heard.

read more
open full screen

Say thanks to your employees

Harvey Mackay

Don MacPherson is co-founder and President of Modern Survey, a human capital measurement company which, among other things, conducts employee engagement surveys. Their research has shown that recognition and appreciation is the top driver of employee engagement.

Perhaps it seems elementary, but Don says if you want employees who are fully engaged, you need to ensure they are recognized when they do great work and that they know you appreciate their contributions to the organization.

read more
open full screen

Pharmacy Conference 2010 – The Future is Ours for the Taking - Part ll

Neil Retallick

It’s early December and while we are working hard to make every post a winner in what should be a big month for community pharmacy, my mind is still mulling over some of the terrific business-building ideas I heard at the Pharmacy Conference.
The recent passing of the MoU legislation presents an even greater challenge to the sustainability of what has been the core business of community pharmacy. Those who attended the Conference were reminded that sometimes the best form of defense is offense. In the context of community pharmacy this might be paraphrased as, if you are not going to win with the game plan that has worked in the past, look to the margins.

read more
open full screen

Secret Men's Business

Loretta Marron OAM BSc

As a cancer patient, I am never too far from my doctors and, concerned about their patients, I have heard quite a few sad stories which relate to alternative cancer therapies.
When faced with a diagnosis of an aggressive type of prostate cancer, one man opted to cure himself with mega-doses of the herbal remedy, Saw Palmetto, only to end up in the emergency department of his local hospital two years later.
While quite a few remarkable chemotherapy drugs are based on natural plants, they have been through extensive clinical testing, but for many others, natural does not always mean safe nor does it mean it works.

Comments: 1

read more
open full screen

Pfizer Shatters Wholesaler Expectations

Neil Johnston

Pfizer is changing its business model and will no longer distribute through regular pharmacy wholesalers, preferring to deal direct with all pharmacies through its Pfizer Direct distribution scheme, a system that has been running in a limited form over the past three years.
The claim is that Pfizer wishes to develop stronger relationships with pharmacy and key stakeholders and therefore has to change its business model, including the method medicines are provided to community pharmacy.
To that end, Pfizer have decided to establish a dedicated pharmacy field force, increase the size of the customer service team and distribute prescription medicines directly to community pharmacy.
The announcement has shattered the aspirations of pharmacy wholesalers who have immediately downgraded their anticipated sales by 9-11 percent.
Share prices of Sigma and API have fallen in line with their sales downgrade and Sigma is expected to reduce its terms of trade again to offset this development.

Comments: 2

read more
open full screen

Dispensing Errors - What Real Protection for Employed Pharmacists?

Peter Sayers

PJ Online, the UK pharmacy publication has published a recent news item relating to dispensing errors. It is actually part of an ongoing commentary that started when UK pharmacist Elizabeth Lee was prosecuted for an error that resulted in the death of a patient.
She did not dispense the prescription (but was pharmacist in charge) nor could a court determine who had actually dispensed the prescription.
Elizabeth Lee was working long hours due to the fact that two pharmacists were not on duty and management had not replaced them.
She was working 10 hour shifts under near impossible safety conditions in a corporate chain environment.

Comments: 4

read more
open full screen

Planning for Pfizer Changes

Neil Johnston

D-Day for Pfizer discontinuance of wholesalers is 31 January 2011.
The impact for Pfizer on some pharmacies will be significant, but the most severely affected will be small to medium sized pharmacies that do not have the ability to create suitable buffer levels within their inventory for some products.
Curiosity forced me to do some research to find whether Pfizer had instituted a similar system anywhere else in the world and yes, it happened in the UK back in 2006, but did not happen in the US because of the sheer number of dispensing points.
This event passed us by because it did not seem significant for Australian pharmacy at that time.

Comments: 4

read more
open full screen

The Pfizer-Wholesaler Tussle - Time to Get "Down & Dirty"?

Neil Johnston

In the last update for i2P I wrote an article titled “Planning for Pfizer Changes”.
One of our readers, Mike Lazarow, placed the following comment:

“Interesting article and well balanced. My concern is to take the story to its probable conclusion.
A number of other ethical manufacturers follow Pfizer's lead and the viability of the wholesaler is threatened.
The CSO is withdrawn and the wholesalers are forced to drastically reduce trading terms and delivery service.
Where will average Joe Pharmacist be now?
Up the proverbial creek I would suggest!”

I agree with him wholeheartedly, and there is no straight forward response to Pfizer’s strategy.
Pfizer has carefully thought out its processes and I believe that while the immediate impact on community pharmacy will be little more than an irritant, the loss of the services of a major wholesaler would be highly detrimental to the entire community pharmacy market.

Wholesalers need to develop their own “fight-back” campaign and it may have to be guerrilla warfare for some time. They will be supported by pharmacists, but they need to get out early in the New Year and start swinging.

I searched some of my own early experiences in community pharmacy, to find some parallels

Comments: 1

read more
open full screen

PFIZERWATCH – Understanding Why Pfizer Deals Direct

Neil Johnston

During the "silly season" I have found that the impact created by Pfizer in imposing Direct to Pharmacy (DTP) distribution had its roots in some very serious problems that impacted Pfizer back in 2006 in the UK.
These problems set up a train of events that are still unfolding.
They are of global consequence and I have put together a fairly long reference article that I invite you to print out, share with a colleague or use as a basis for your pharmacy strategy over the next five years.
I believe the issues are of paramount importance.
While we in Australia have been vaguely aware of activities such as parallel importing of drugs, the Internet sale of prescription drugs without a prescription, the manufacture of “fake drugs” and their introduction into the regular supply chain, we have generally been ignorant (as pharmacists) of the massive damage and disruption borne by drug manufacturers.
Added to the above are the ongoing attacks on Pfizer intellectual property in the form of drug patents and the growth of generic equivalents.
It is a company that feels it is under siege.
In 2006 these activities had grown to such an extent that Pfizer in the UK was forced to take action to protect its market base, and introduced one measure -Direct to Pharmacy (DTP) distribution.

Comments: 3

read more
open full screen

Wholesalers Fire First Shots

Neil Johnston

Wholesalers are directly in the firing line of the recent decision by Pfizer to deal direct.
Pfizer is the largest manufacturer globally and its impact on wholesaler turnover is thought to be of the order of 17-20 percent downwards.
This has caused the National Pharmaceutical Services Association (NPSA) to rally its members to undertake an intense lobbying effort and persuade government to only allow drugs to be listed on the PBS if their manufacturer makes supply through CSO accredited wholesalers at ex-manufacturer prices.
The Pfizer move, initiated in December 2010 was obviously timed so that an industry response could not be quickly mounted, given that Christmas, school holidays and a parliamentary recess ensured that many-decision makers would not be in place to help plan any campaign.
The NPSA is trying to organise a forum of stakeholders through Nicola Roxon and this would obviously involve the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (PGA) that is deeply troubled by the potential downstream problems that would emerge a few years into the future.
It will be interesting to see whether government will exploit this problem to reduce PGA political power down a "notch or two".

Comments: 1

read more
open full screen

Marketing Focus E-Zine

Barry Urquhart

RESPECT THE BRAND

Important lessons have been learnt on the importance and complexity of brand management for all in business from two recent high profile Australian case studies.

The decision by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia to raise its variable interest rates by .45% on 2 November, being 20 basis points above that of the Reserve Bank of Australia, drew immediate, voluble and emotional responses from the Australian Federal Government and all sectors of the media.

We were interviewed extensively and repeatedly by the Australian media on the business implications for the CBA and its brand.

In essence, we contended that the character of the decision had been previously and repeatedly made public by statements of the chief executives of the four major banks. It was evident that individually and collectively they were endeavouring to educate clients and the public at large.

That will not be possible in future because the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has determined that such public utterances could be deemed to be collusion between the major banks and will be the subject of legal action.

Hence, in future the public will be less informed and the doctrine of "no surprises" has been trashed.

Our analysis of the situation was that the decision of the Commonwealth Bank, which was subsequently followed by its competitors, did not and has not changed the opinions held of the banks per se, by many Australians. The most common phrases used about banks are:

* "Banks are greedy"

* "Banks are uncaring"

* "Banks are bastards"

So, in the short term the Commonwealth Bank of Australia will be less popular. That, in isolation, will not be sufficient cause for a significant and sustainable loss of business and market share.

The recent decisions by CBA and the three other major banks have simply intensified, rather than changed the opinions held of the banks. So now, currently many Australians believe and express:

* Banks are more greedy than previously thought

* Banks are more uncaring than previously thought

* Banks are bigger bastards than ever

Criticism from Wayne Swan, the Federal Treasurer has seemingly been dismissed by the bank corporate leaders. Rightly so. This is a man who did not comprehend the concept of "the real cost of capital", and is arguably financially illiterate.

Business leaders need to protect the inherent value of their brand names.

References by Australian politicians of bank super profits totalling $21 billion have to put into perspective. One mining company, BHP Billiton, recently recorded a total annual profit of $16 billion.

CELEBRATE SUCCESS

Whatever happened to the philosophy and practice of recognising, celebrating and rewarding success? The four major Australian bank chief executives should be lauded and supported for leadership which contributed to stability and relative national economic buoyancy.

QANTAS

The ongoing problems of Qantas and the trauma with the A380 aircraft and its Rolls-Royce Trent 900 series engine is another matter.

It is not the single instance but rather the serial nature of multiple problems which are inflicting damage on the brand names of Qantas, the A380 and Rolls-Royce.

My quote in an early interview in "The Age" newspaper in Victoria generated a lot of subsequent interest in other international media, including from Britain, The United States of America and New Zealand. It was:

"Where are Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman when you need them?"

 It was a light hearted reference to the movie "Rain Man", and the statement by the autistic character Raymond Babbitt that Qantas had never had a crash, or a casualty and had the best safety record of all airlines.

Sadly, the subsequent further instances of problems with the A380 aircraft and the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 series engines did change the opinion of many people. It was understandable that statements about Qantas having the best safety record were or could be qualified by first the question:

"How safe is it flying with Qantas?"

 It would have followed that the issue was subsequently elevated with the question:

"Is it safe to fly with Qantas?"

 Alan Joyce, the Managing Director of Qantas is to be congratulated. He made himself readily available to media, was open, expansive and reassuring in his public statements.

SEASONS GREETINGS

Jill, Kate and I extend to you and yours the full and true spirit of Christmas.  Enjoy the fellowship and sense of family.

Your and our contributions to peace, harmony and understanding will, hopefully, make for a better world and 2011.

Regards

 

Barry Urquhart

read more
open full screen

The Perils of Being Anti-Social

Harvey Mackay

"Is social media a fad or is it the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution?" asks Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics.  Consider these statistics he presents, and my analysis of them, and then decide how connected you should be.  Hint:  Your company website alone is no longer enough!

As of 2010, Generation Y -- those born between 1980 and 2000 -- outnumbers baby boomers.  And 96 percent of them have joined a social network!  There was no initiation, no dues, no recommendations.  Just a few taps on the keyboard and voila!  Instant connection to friends and family, immediate information sharing, finding the kid who sat next to you in kindergarten story-time.

read more
open full screen

The Enterprise Pharmacist

Peter Sayers

I am coining the word “enterprise pharmacist” to describe a non pharmacy owner, yet one who is a pharmacist operating out of his own business model, to provide a consumer professional service for a fee.
The venue to provide the service can be various – GP super clinic, Medicare Local, commercial office location or a community pharmacy.
I believe the best place is a community pharmacy provided the pharmacy proprietor sees the opportunity to associate with and promote the service for mutual benefit.
The enterprise pharmacist runs like any normal service business with the appropriate business registrations, insurances and proper planning.
The business plan for such a venture should include a detailed budget and a marketing strategy – and it is the latter component that will win success with a carefully balanced range of primary health care services.

Comments: 2

read more
open full screen

Water Consumption Down, Water Prices Up

Staff Writer

Water prices have risen, but Australia is using less water according to the 4th Edition of the Water Account Australia, released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The average price of water nearly doubled from $0.40/kL in 2004-05 to $0.78/kL in 2008-09.
There was large variation in the average price paid for water in 2008-09 with households paying $1.93/kL and agriculture $0.12/kL.

read more
open full screen

Oceans Where Fish Choke

Staff Writer

Australian marine scientists have expressed disquiet over the continued worldwide spread of large, dead zones in the ocean.
Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg and Associate Professor Mark McCormick of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies have recently published scientific articles, which raise concern about the impact of large areas of ocean emerging which are so low in oxygen that fish and other sea life cannot survive.

read more
open full screen

First Indigenous PhD graduate for Health Sciences

Staff Writer

Dr Reuben Bolt today became the first Indigenous student to graduate with a doctorate degree from the Faculty of Health Sciences. His research into Aboriginal identity is set to deepen the way Indigenous people are understood in Australia and the rest of the world.

read more
open full screen

Leading on Indigenous health

Staff Writer

Australia’s national body dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research, the Lowitja Institute, has a new board member – UNSW’s Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver.

read more
open full screen

Portuguese decriminalisation did not lead to increases in drug-related harms: Australian/UK study

Staff Writer

A joint Australian/UK study published this month in the British Journal of Criminology has shown that decriminalisation of all drug use in Portugal did not lead to increases in drug-related harms.
The authors, Dr Caitlin Hughes of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales and Professor Alex Stevens of the University of Kent, report on the first independent, academic study to assess the effects of the Portuguese policy.

read more
open full screen

Fish Oil as OMACOR on Prescription Only

Staff Writer

The TGA has approved the first prescription-only fish oil capsules for secondary prevention of myocardial infarction (MI).
Omacor (Omega-3-acid ethyl esters 90), manufactured by Abbott in 1g dose capsules, was approved by the TGA last Monday as a Schedule 4 prescription-only adjuvant treatment for patients with a history of MI, in addition to standard antihypertensive treatments.

Comments: 1

read more
open full screen

Added Sugar Does Not Impact on Weight Gain or Lipid Profiles

Staff Writer

It is difficult to accept that taking extra sugars in your diet does not contribute to weight gain or an adverse lipid profile, particularly when the funding source is a grant from the Corn Refiners Association in the US.
Corn is the source of high fructose corn syrup which has found its way into almost every processed food you can think of, but mostly through soft drinks.
It is often attributed as the major cause of the obesity epidemic prevalent in most western economies.

read more
open full screen

Garvan Scientists Acknowledged

Staff Writer

Garvan diabetes research has been recognised by the Diabetes Australia Research Trust, which announced that several Garvan scientists would be receiving significant research support over the coming two years.

read more
open full screen

Facing a Future of Heatwaves: Study

Staff Writer

With Australia facing its third wettest year on record and the world on track to be the hottest year in a decade, extreme weather conditions are set to continue, according to a study led by Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
In fact, Australians are being warned to brace for more killer hot weather in the future with a study of the 2009 southern heatwave giving other states an insight into how to cope with the lethal effects of climate change.

read more
open full screen

South Australian pharmacists now have the Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) as close as a phone. Toll free number 1300 244 910

Staff Writer

The Victorian based Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS), an independent incorporated association supported by the official bodies of pharmacy, is expanding its service to South Australia from 15 December 2010.

read more
open full screen

Child Health Risk From Sofas, Carpets Rising

Staff Writer

Australian babies and young children are increasingly exposed to toxic flame-retardant chemicals emanating from cheap imported carpets, furniture, foam mattresses and electronic goods, a new scientific study indicates.

Research at the CRC for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE) shows that levels of bromine-based flame-retardant chemicals known as PBDEs may be rising in the Australian indoor environment, and that children are the group most exposed.

read more
open full screen

Mertz Glacier Under Scrutiny

Staff Writer

An array of underwater cameras, moorings and sensors will be deployed at the Mertz Glacier in east Antarctica this summer for the first time since a major iceberg calving event.
In January last year, 78 kilometres of the Mertz Glacier tongue broke off after being hit by another 97 kilometre-long iceberg.
A team of nearly 40 Australian and international scientists will depart Hobart today on the Aurora Australis for a month-long voyage to the glacier to measure the impacts of the calving eventVoyage Leader and Oceanographer with the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, Dr Steve Rintoul, said the Mertz Glacier region is one of the few places in the ocean where dense, salty water forms at the surface and sinks 4 or 5 kilometres to the sea floor.

read more
open full screen

Facing a future of heatwaves: study

Staff Writer

With Australia facing its third wettest year on record and the world on track to be the hottest year in a decade, extreme weather conditions are set to continue, according to a study led by Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
In fact, Australians are being warned to brace for more killer hot weather in the future with a study of the 2009 southern heatwave giving other states an insight into how to cope with the lethal effects of climate change.
QUT researcher Jim Reeves led a joint research project to investigate the impact and response to the 2009 Melbourne and Adelaide heatwaves, which killed more than 400 people in just two weeks.

Comments: 2

read more
open full screen

Brain gene makes a female develop as a male

Staff Writer

Australian scientists have discovered that changes to a gene involved in brain development can lead to testis formation and male genitalia in an otherwise female embryo.
Lead researcher Professor Andrew Sinclair of the University of Melbourne and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute said the breakthrough would improve diagnosis and clinical management of patients with disorders of sex development (DSD).
These conditions occur when the testes or ovaries do not develop properly in the embryo, causing genital abnormalities in one in 4500 babies.

read more
open full screen

Cutting-edge care

Staff Writer

UNSW has joined forces with some of the country’s top hospitals and medical research bodies to form one of Australia’s biggest advanced medical treatment and research centres.
The Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC), to be located in Randwick, will integrate research, training and clinical expertise to provide cutting-edge treatments to the community.
A council has been formed to implement the collaboration from mid-year.
UNSW Medicine will join with the Prince of Wales Hospital, the Royal Hospital for Women, Sydney Children’s Hospital, the UTS Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health and four research institutes – the Black Dog Institute, Children’s Cancer Institute Australia, Neuroscience Research Australia and the Eastern Heart Clinic – to form the centre.

read more
open full screen

Queensland Floods - Campus Pharmacy Assists Cleanup

Staff Writer

Campus Pharmacy has been assisting the flood relief efforts at The University of Queensland by providing much-needed food and fruit to the dedicated staff and volunteers helping with the cleanup.
With a BBQ setup at UQ Sport, Campus Pharmacy cooked and distributed more than 400 sausages between Monday, January 17 and Tuesday, January 18.
Pharmacist Tuyet Pham was joined on the grill by her husband Mike Sultan and niece Linh Esmail, a UQ pharmacy student.

read more
open full screen

Impacts on Marine Systems - Recent Floods

Staff Writer

A $200,000 CSIRO coastal glider is bound for Queensland to be deployed in Moreton Bay to investigate the impact of the recent flooding on marine ecosystems.
Dr Andy Steven from CSIRO's Wealth from Oceans Flagship says the glider’s deployment is part of a research program to monitor the extent of the flood plume into Moreton Bay and assess its effects. “This disastrous flood also provides us with a rare opportunity to understand how our marine ecosystems respond to massive inputs of fresh water and sediments,” Dr Steven says.
“The glider will generate three-dimensional maps illustrating the impact of the flooding on the marine waters receiving the flow of the Brisbane River.”

read more
open full screen

DHL and China Development Institute to develop innovative logistics solutions for China

Staff Writer

DHL has signed a Partnership Agreement with the China Development Institute (CDI), a leading think tank in China, to research and develop innovative logistics solutions nationwide.
As a Global Research Partner of the DHL Innovation Initiative, CDI will provide in-depth strategic knowledge and resources for the two parties to jointly deliver solutions in the areas of Urban Logistics, Sustainable Supply Chain, Auto ID Application, Supply Chain Optimization to administrative and business organizations.

read more
open full screen

Responsible Self Care

Neil Johnston

The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) has issued a media release to coincide with the installation of their newly-elected president, Lindsay Forrester.
Primary health, the turf that ASMI lay claim to in the non-prescription area is about to take off in 2011 with many supportive federal government initiatives set to be funded or rolled out.
Various points are made in the media release, one being support for expanding the role of the pharmacist.
I am wondering whether the role is fully understood by the industry at large, so i2P recruited Mark Coleman to comment on the ASMI media release and the implications for pharmacy.
The media release follows and Mark's comments flow on from that.

read more
open full screen

Clinical Newsfeed

health news headlines provided courtesy of Medical News Today.

Click here to read more...

Practice Development

Information Technology

Indigenous Health

Preventive Medicine

Aged Care

If any difficulty is found in subscribing, please use the "Contact Us" panel found in the navigation bar with the message "subscribe" and your email address.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Email Format

  • Copyright (C) 2000-2014 Computachem Services, All Rights Reserved.

Website by Ablecode