Welcome to the June edition for i2P, Information to Pharmacists E-Magazine.
While it is traditional for the pharmacy business cycle to “dampen down” at this time of the year, the lack of optimism in community pharmacy seems more noticeable this year.
While there is much to be concerned about, the old adage about “when the times get tough, the tough get going” has never been truer.
Opportunities abound in this current climate of change. All you have to do is do some forward planning and capture your share of forward movement.
And there is much to excite as is evident in the current articles presented for your use.
Volume 1 Number 1
Volume 1 Number 2
Volume 1 Number 3
Volume 1 Number 4
Volume 1 Number 5
Volume 1 Number 6
Volume 1 Number 7
Volume 2 Number 1
Volume 2 Number 2
Volume 2 Number 3
Volume 2 Number 4
Volume 2 Number 5
Volume 2 Number 6
Volume 2 Number 7
Volume 2 Number 8
Volume 2 Number 9
Volume 2 Number 10
Volume 2 Number 11
Volume 3 Number 1
Volume 3 Number 2
Volume 3 Number 3
Volume 3 Number 4
Volume 3 Number 5
Volume 3 Number 6
Volume 3 Number 7
Volume 3 Number 8
Volume 3 Number 9
Volume 3 Number 10
Volume 3 Number 11
Volume 4 Number 1
Volume 4 Number 2
Volume 4 Number 3
Volume 4 Number 4
Volume 4 Number 5
Volume 4 Number 6
Volume 4 Number 7
Volume 4 Number 8
Volume 4 Number 9
Volume 4 Number 10
Volume 4 Number 11
Volume 5 Number 1
Volume 5 Number 2
Volume 5 Number 3
Volume 5 Number 4
Volume 5 Number 5
Volume 5 Number 6
Volume 5 Number 7
Volume 5 Number 8
Volume 5 Number 9
Volume 5 Number 10
Volume 5 Number 11
Regular weekly updates that supplement the regular monthly homepage edition of i2P.
Access and click on the title links that are illustrated.
Community pharmacists in New Zealand are waiting with bated breath to see the final iteration of the latest pharmacy services contract.
Most have now attended one or two meetings to become better acquainted with the thrust of the new service specifications which aim to move the funding model away from reliance on a dispensing fee to funding for professional services.
These services may include vaccinations, medication reviews, warfarin testing and looking after patients with long term conditions.
There are two levels of service;
a) those requiring a pharmacist to be registered in the basic scope of practice, and
b) those services – such as vaccinations – that will require the pharmacist to up skill and credentialed for the service provision.
Some people create scrap-books or family photo albums to preserve memories or important hobby material.
I do similar exercises in a business and a professional sense whenever I find a good idea.
Some of these ideas, commonly found on the Internet, I catalogue for future use by researching all the potential applications that could absorb any new idea, and I write a concept paper about it.
Then, when something new appears that could provide enhancement, I revisit my concept paper and update it with this new information.
As a result, my desktop is littered with a large number of concept papers that are filed for future use, or amalgamated with other concepts as awareness builds for a meaningful project.
They are all projects in development.
Those of you who are regular readers will know that, by and large, I think the Pharmacy Guild of Australia does a pretty good job of promoting the two horns of the interests of its members and the healthcare of the average Australian.
But, as Bob Dylan continues to remind us, “...the times, they are a’changing...” In fact, it is hard to remember a time when community pharmacy was confronted by more dynamic intra-industry and extra-industry forces.
I had the pleasure this afternoon of speaking with pharmacy students from RMIT University.
What an inspiring group!
I headed, having read at breakfast, a garbage piece of journalism written in the Herald Sun Melbourne, implying that every pharmacy is ripping you off unless they are selling discounted cold and ‘flu remedies.
In this cynical piece, the journalist naming himself as “Public Defender” quotes “if you do your homework to source a cheaper product, then you are going to end up with money in your pocket”.
As the 2012 financial year draws to a close, it's a good time to reflect on last year and highlight those things that went well and those that may have impacted negatively in the pursuit of your goals.It's also a great to spend some time re-evaluating your personal and business short, medium and long term goals in the light of events over the last year.The achievement of your goals will in many cases be dependent on setting and aspiring to specific financial targets. It's important that recognise that many of your personal goals will require you to generate sufficient business profits to fund those aspirations
With each passing birthday, some wise guy asks me if I'm finally going to retire.
Oh, how I hate that question.
I love my work, and I love to work.
And as it turns out, I'm part of an emerging demographic: the longevity revolution.
It's also an underrated generation. To confirm my suspicions, I turned to the real expert in this field.
I have recently been experiencing health care from a different angle as I have accompanied my elderly mother through a prolonged period of hospitalisation (seven weeks) in five different hospitals, both public and private. As my mother has short term memory loss and I have her medical power of attorney I believed it was very important to be involved in my mother’s journey through the health care system. This has provided a very different perspective from either being a care provider in my role as a pharmacist or even from the times I have been a patient.
No single source of evidence can be regarded as reliable even if derived from controlled clinical trials and published in a reputable journal.
The reason for this is that there has been no system for validating clinical trials and allowing open comment. Intellectual fraud is commonplace.
All clinical trials need to be replicated by an independent external body and no published evidence should be regarded as complete without this tick of approval.
A statement regarding replication should appear prominently at the beginning of each published paper to clearly illustrate its status.
When the budget came out last month, private health insurance (PHI) was suddenly in the spotlight when funding was allocated for the investigation into so-called 'natural' services they include in their'extras'. Having left Medibank two years ago, when they announced they were including a rebate forhomeopathy, this is music to my ears.Comments: 9
I was recently sent an email from ACNEM as a follow on from the Second Nutrition in Medicine conference at the Grand Hyatt in Melbourne.
It seems that awareness is growing once again, about the usefulness of nutritional science and its application to the prevention and treatment of illness.
That this subject is not front and centre for any healthcare program has always been a bit bewildering to me.
Of course, you can't patent most nutritional products can you?
It's not that long ago pharmacists had their own college of clinical nutrition...and let it go.
I’ve been thinking about taking a snooze.
The hungry Bermuda Triangle is out my window to the west. I’m on a nine-hour flight between Washington DC and Sao Paul to address I Simpósio Internacional de Farmácia Hospitalar e Clínica. My title is “Traceability and Patient Safety in the Drug Dispensing and Administration Processes Using Barcodes”—a real snoozer. Napping passengers surround me.
Six or seven flights ago, a young woman holding a Costco-sized jar of earplugs stood up as I approached my row.
“The Peter Principle” lives.
In 1969 Dr Laurence Peter released a management book, with co-author Raymond Hill, which was an irreverent study of what became known as hierachiology.
The underlying contention of “The Peter Principle” was that everyone in a bureaucracy is promoted to their level of incompetence.
An extension of the principle, verified by ubiquitous anecdotal observations, is that everything that works will be used in progressively more challenging applications until it fails.
Clinical spaces are those spaces dedicated for fee-paying clinical services..
To date, one of the difficulties of carving a suitable clinical space from a pharmacy environment is the ability to find a quiet spot as well as one that allows for speech privacy.
I have concluded that a range of different spaces are required to deliver pharmacy clinical services so that they are able to be differentiated by type of service and privacy level.
Thus a layout and design for the clinical spaces will become as important as the total layout for the entire pharmacy. Integrating the clinical environment into a retail space will be a significant challenge to overcome, but it is a challenge where creative pharmacists will be able to generate a range of unique pharmacy solutions.
Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, June 11, 2012
by Steve Hickey, PhD, Andrew W. Saul, PhD, and Robert G. Smith, PhD
(OMNS June 11, 2012) There is a global tendency to popularize pharmaceutical industry pseudoscience that harms patients and prevents health. Far from being critical, the media are easily taken in by corporate medicine. Two recent examples give food for thought. Like so many others in the media, Alex Hutchinson was misinformed about the underlying science when he wrote "Three Reasons to Reconsider Vitamin Pills."  Sometimes the lack of scholarship in medical research is astounding. A recent paper by MarÃa MartÃnez and colleagues illustrates this well. It is bizarrely titled "Dietary Supplements and Cancer Prevention: Balancing Potential Benefits Against Proven Harms." 
Over the past four years, i2P has been promoting the concept of “Pharmacy-in-the-home”, the definition of “home” being where a patient actually lives (private home, nursing home, hostel etc.).
More succinctly, the concept of the development of a mobile pharmacy health service has been a project in progress.
Understandably, the concept of a mobile service has also caught the attention of mobile phone manufacturers and their “app” developers, with the latter starting as an interesting innovation, but now turning into an innovation flood.
There is no doubt that pharmacy must change its model of health delivery and become proactive on behalf of patients - to be mobile and have diversity in health programs and individual services
Sometimes you simply have to stand in awe at some new technology breakthroughs because they expand and transform human endeavours to such a remarkable degree.
In manufacturing, the first phase was the Industrial Revolution in the 19th Century and later, the production line in the early 20th Centrury-the second Industrial Revolution.
Right now we are on the cusp of the Third Industrial Revolution.
Digital manufacturing is upon us and it will transform the way we work and will be disruptive to all major economies.
I2P has always reported on trends that will affect future pharmacy, and we now note that a lot of remarkable technologies are converging in the form of clever software, novel materials, more human-like robotics, a multitude of web-based services plus new processes.
At the heart of these new processes is the 3D printer.
While pharmacists may regard these technologies as “distant” and are used to planning forward strategies on a five-year timeline, we advise that strategies will need to be planned on a continuous 12 month cycle to keep abreast of developments.
Accordingly, pharmacists must plan investment in their own research to harness this new technology.
A novel anti-inflammatory drug could help to improve survival in the most severe cases of malaria by preventing the immune system from causing irrevocable brain and tissue damage.
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researchers have shown that a new class of anti-inflammatory agents, called IDR (innate defense regulator) peptides, could help to increase survival from severe clinical malaria when used in combination with antimalarial drugs.
Australian researchers have discovered why people develop life-threatening allergies after receiving treatment for conditions such as epilepsy and AIDS.
The research, by the University of Melbourne and Monash University, could lead to the development of a diagnostic test to determine drug hypersensitivity.
Researchers find form commonly used in supplements has no such benefit
Vitamin E in vegetable oils and nuts prevents cancer, according to research done at Rutgers University and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey.
Next time you need to choose between vegetable oil and margarine in that favorite recipe, think about your health and reach for the oil.
Supercritical fluid technologies developed by chemical engineers at the University of New South Wales will play a vital role in extracting medicinal compounds from a range of native Indonesian herbs and enable new methods of drug delivery.
A memorandum of understanding was signed today between UNSW and PT SOHO Global Health of Indonesia, a leading pharmaceutical company based in Jakarta, which plans to use these technologies to uncover the evidence-based potential of long-used herbal remedies.
SHPA is pleased to announce the appointment of Helen Dowling as the new Chief Executive Officer of SHPA, commencing July 2012.
Helen has been the District Director of Pharmacy for the Hunter New England Local Health District since 2008, and previously was the Director of Pharmacy at the John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle, NSW.
Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, May 28, 2012
Commentary by Stuart Lindsey, PharmD
(OMNS May 28, 2012) Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the drugstore, we are going to question authority yet again. Readers may remember Dr. Stuart Lindsey as the Frustrated Pharmacist (http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v08n05.shtml). He's back and at it once more, this time presenting an important supplement-based approach to type 2 diabetes. This essay presents ideas that are very possibly a large part of the solution. As with all OMNS releases, it is not meant to substitute for medical advice. Persons should consult their own doctor before making any health decision. - Andrew W. Saul, Editor
In good news for all chocolate lovers, a daily dose of dark chocolate could lower the risk of stroke and heart attack, according to new research.
In a study published today in the British Medical Journal, Monash University researchers showed that dark chocolate's blood pressure- and cholesterol-lowering qualities made it a cheap (and tasty) intervention strategy for the 30 per cent of the Australian population at high risk of cardiovascular disease.
The prospect of less painful medicine shots without needles came a step closer this month, as US researchers revealed how they have developed a device that delivers a controlled, tiny, high-pressure jet into the skin without using a hypodermic needle.
While there are already several jet-devices on the market, they tend to be of an "all or nothing" design that delivers the same amount of drug to the same depth each time.
However the new jet-injection device that researchers at MIT have engineered can be programmed to deliver medicine into the skin in a range of doses to variable depths in a controlled manner.
For more than three decades scientists have been investigating magnetic nanoparticles as a method of drug delivery. Now by combining three metals - iron, gold and platinum - pharmacists at the University of Sydney believe they have discovered a method for magnetically directing drugs through the body.
Australian researchers have uncovered a potential new way to regulate the body’s natural immune response, offering hope of a simple and effective treatment for auto-immune diseases.
Auto-immune diseases result from an overactive immune response that causes the body to attack itself.
The new approach involves increasing good regulating cells in the body, unlike most current research which focuses on stopping “bad” or “effector” cells, says lead researcher Dr Suzanne Hodgkinson, from UNSW’s Faculty of Medicine and Liverpool Hospital.
Ms Eleonora Ottina and Dr Marco Herold have identified a survival factor for immune cells
An international team of researchers has discovered that many of the body’s infection-fighting immune cells require a cell survival protein, called A1, to develop and function. Their finding could lead to a better understanding of conditions including leukaemia, allergy and autoimmunity.
The team discovered that without A1, immune cells called lymphocytes and granulocytes could not develop, or could not respond appropriately to infectious stimuli.
Tucking into a home-cooked meal up to five times a week could add years to your life, according to new research.
The study, recently published in Public Health Nutrition by researchers from Monash University, the National Defense Medical Centre, Taiwan and the National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan, found that people who cooked at home at least five times a week were 47 per cent more likely to still be alive after 10 years.
Professor Roger Nation, Dr Kade Roberts, Dr Tony Velkov and Associate Professor Jian Li. Associate Professor Phil Thompson is also part of the MIPS research team.
Doctors treating infectious disease who are down to the last line of defence against antibiotic-resistant superbugs will be buoyed by an A$4.48 million investment in designing new treatments and therapies.
Awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US, the grant will support researchers from the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS) and Rempex Pharmaceuticals in California to design and develop new antibiotics that are effective against bacterial ‘superbugs’ that cause life-threatening infections and are resistant to all current antibiotics.
Don’t miss out on making your tax deductible donation to PSS before 30 June 2012. As the end of the financial year approaches the Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) invites all Australian pharmacists to consider making a tax deductible donation to support the work of PSS. According to John Coppock, President of PSS, “PSS provides a listening ear and support to any pharmacist, pharmacy student or intern wishing to call on the toll-free number. All members of the pharmacy profession should support this service. We have volunteers based in Melbourne who generously give their time to answer calls. Other pharmacists can support the service through a tax deductible donation.”
Editor's Note: There have been two articles recently in Australian medical media regarding clinical services for a fee through non-medical practitioners. The first being was by a standalone nurse practitioner clinic that closed after only a few months of operation.
The second was simply about a survey asking for comment on pharmacist clinical services. This involved one researcher from Flinders University in Adelaide and a small sample of the general public. The survey was conducted in Glasgow, published in the BMJ and reported in Australia through the e-pages of 6Minutes.
It was thought that this item was worthy of comment by Mark Coleman.
The media item follows and Mark's comments appear after the media item.