Publication Date 01/05/2011         Volume. 3 No. 4   
Information to Pharmacists

Editorial

From the desk of the editor

It looks as though our Newsflash Column has found favour with our readers.
One article “Analysis: The Pharmacy Alliance and API Dispute” drew record numbers of page reads which illustrates the intense interest that is being generated by the unpopular Pfizer Direct delivery system.
One cannot but help feel that because of the unfair motivation and callous indifference to pharmacy patients that Pfizer will eventually regret this move as pharmacists keep snipping at the business model, to either make it work or bring it down.
It will take a little while to engineer a “work around” – but it will come.

read more
open full screen

Recent Comments

Click here to read...

News Flash

Newsflash Updates for May 2011

Newsflash Updates

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

read more
open full screen

Pipeline

Pipeline for May 2011

Pipeline Extras

A range of global and local news snippets and links that may be of interest to readers.
Pipeline Extra simply broadens the range of topics that can be concentrated in one delivery of i2P to your desktop.

read more
open full screen

Feature Contribution

Discipline is the order of the day

Harvey Mackay

Most people aim to do right; they just fail to pull the trigger. 
For whatever reason, they just don't have the wherewithal to finish the job. 
They are lacking discipline.
"Discipline is the foundation upon which all success is built. 
Lack of discipline inevitably leads to failure," said the late motivational speaker Jim Rohn. 

read more
open full screen

Reviewing Supply Chain Associated costs

Neil Johnston

As the grind to remain profitably afloat continues to wear down community pharmacy on multiple fronts, the ability to pare down operating costs has become quite limited.
What can be done better, or done away with if it is under-performing?
In any review process it is inevitable that you will eventually have to come face-to-face with franchise marketing costs and wholesaler supply costs.

read more
open full screen

Location Rules do Nothing for Consumers

Rollo Manning

“The sooner the Productivity Commission can get its teeth into the PBS and the value for money it is costing the Australian consumer the sooner there may be alternative models for supplying the PBS to the Australian consumer.” – i2P – March 2011

Comments: 1

read more
open full screen

Pharmacy Brand Loyalty-Does it Exist?

Neil Retallick

There is no distinct brand loyalty in the community pharmacy market. Consumers consider all brands pretty much the same. Is this good or bad?
The recent results from the Roy Morgan customer satisfaction survey provide no surprises for anybody. The spread from best to worst pharmacy brand was only 4 percentage points.

read more
open full screen

War on Errors

Mark Neuenschwander

I’ve been thinking about pacifism, catechism, patient-recollection, and specimen-collection.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to become insensitive to statistics about lives taken by bullets and bombs. Similarly, it’s easy to grow numb to oft-rehearsed statistics like seven thousand patients dying each year from medication errors, which happens to be nearly seven times the U.S. troops we lost each year at the peak of the war in Iraq.
This is to say nothing of patients injured and lives lost from specimen-collection errors and laboratory mix-ups. Has anyone seen statistics on this? I’ve not been able to dig up the data, but the media has put a human face on the problem for us.

read more
open full screen

Mandatory Reporting and the Pharmacy Profession

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

Mandatory reporting of health practitioners came into effect on 1 July 2010 and applies to all registered health professionals including the pharmacy profession. 
This is the first time that Australian pharmacists have been subject to such legislation although there has always been a professional and ethical duty to protect the public. 
Guidelines, including decision guides, are available from the Pharmacy Board of Australia at http://www.pharmacyboard.gov.au/Codes-and-Guidelines.aspx
These guidelines are certainly worth reading in order to gain a complete understanding of this new requirement for pharmacists.

Comments: 1

read more
open full screen

Respect the Birthmark

Barry Urquhart

The suggestion by some leading Australian retailers that consumers are "cocooning" is, perhaps, understandable but misplaced.
All consumer groups are alive, well and consuming.
However, their needs, wants, demands and buying patterns have changed, substantially, and possibly permanently.
It would be wrong at this time for businesses to significantly cut back, to differing measures, and to become inert, in the belief that existing, prospective and past buyers have done similar.
Some will contend that it is the "discretionary purchase" market segment that has been the most affected and is the worst performing.
Well, that is true in part.
What has happened is that the "excess" component of consumer expenditures has been eliminated from most segments of the overall marketplace.

read more
open full screen

Believe in yourself even when no one else does

Harvey Mackay

"Some people succeed because they are destined to, but most people succeed because they are determined to." 
When Henry Ford said those oh-so-true words, he wasn't just talking about himself -- even though he is the epitome of determination.  He went belly-up several times, but never lost sight of his goal.
He believed in himself and in what he was doing. 
In the end, he was so right.

read more
open full screen

A Parliamentary Enquiry is Needed and Justified

Rollo Manning

A PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY IS NEEDED AND JUSTIFIED

http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/clac_ctte/pbs_medicines/index.htm 

Submissions closing date – 30th June 2011

Report due to Parliament – 18th August 2011

After ten years of an improved way of providing Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme medicines to remote living Aboriginals there are major flaws to the system introduced to resolve the question of access in places where there is no mainstream pharmacy available.

read more
open full screen

Lifestyle Prescriptions – a Healthy Marketing Approach

Neil Johnston

Over the years I have noticed that patients respond positively to any interaction with them that is genuinely educational, and most importantly, gives them the knowledge to provide some of their own input into management of their condition, independent of their GP, pharmacist or any other health professional.
Surprisingly, not all the knowledge transfer is directly related to drug or condition knowledge.
Some years ago when I was working as a clinical pharmacist in a public hospital I turned up at a patient’s bedside with some drug information to assist this patient recover from his recent heart attack.
I had prepared a medicines use review and other supportive information for the patient to take home with him, after a discharge planned for the following morning.

read more
open full screen

Pharmacist and GP Collaboration - the Necessity for Improvement

Neil Johnston

In a recent UK newsletter published by PJ online I noticed a small commentary which stated:
 “GPs need to be incentivised to work more closely with pharmacists, according to Graham Phillips, a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s English pharmacy board.
His comments were made at an All-Party Pharmacy Group meeting last week, looking at how pharmacists can help improve outcomes for patients with long-term conditions.”

The reference was directed towards the introduction of medicine use reviews, a process already established in Australia.

read more
open full screen

E-Health Deadlines Not Concrete Enough

James Ellerson

Editor's Note: There have been recent calls for the rapid introduction of e-prescriptions given that NEHTA is now looking at a 5-year introduction period.
The Medical Observer reported recently:

"AXE paper prescriptions from July next year: that is the call on Government from the head of one of Australia’s leading electronic prescribing service operators.
Speaking at the 8th Annual Future of the PBS conference in Sydney last week, MediSecure CEO Phillip Shepherd said if the Government was serious about meeting its 1 July 2012 deadline for the introduction of a personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR) it must get e-prescriptions working first.
Mr Shepherd told MO decisive action was needed to encourage the adoption of e-prescriptions by making them the only means by which a patient could access medications."
"National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) clinical lead and Melbourne GP Dr Chris Pearce said he supported imposing a deadline for e-prescribing but said a five-year deadline would be  more feasible."

read more
open full screen

Bioflavonoids from citrus fruits may reduce inflammation

Staff Writer

Increased intakes of compounds called flavonoids from citrus may be associated with lower levels of markers of inflammation, according to a new study from researchers at Harvard, Sweden and Singapore.
Data from between 1,200 and 1,600 women showed that women with the highest intakes of total flavonoids, which includes various subclasses such as flavones, flavonols, flavanones, flavan-3-ols, anthocyanidins, and polymeric flavonoids, were associated with an 8 percent lower level of the pro-inflammatory compound interleukin-18 (IL-18), compared with women with the lowest intake.

read more
open full screen

Blindness Recovery in Sight

Staff Writer

Prospects for recovery of lost vision have brightened with the release of new scientific findings showing that the use of gentle near infra-red light can reverse damage caused by exposure to bright light, up to a month after treatment.
Dr Krisztina Valter and doctoral researcher Rizalyn Albarracin of The Vision Centre and The Australian National University have successfully demonstrated recovery of vision cells in the retina following near infra-red treatment applied after damage was sustained.

read more
open full screen

Strong EU Regulations for Herbal Medicines Introduced

Staff Writer

New European Union rules come into force today banning hundreds of traditional herbal remedies.The EU law aims to protect consumers from possible damaging side-effects of over-the-counter herbal medicines.
In Australia, herbal medicines that have caused concern have been progressively classified under the Poison Schedules, with seemingly few adverse events reported.
Most Australian issues centre around practitioner claims and product standardisation.
For the first time in the EU, new regulations will allow only long-established and quality-controlled medicines to be sold.
But both herbal remedy practitioners and manufacturers fear they could be forced out of business.To date, the industry has been covered by the 1968 Medicines Act, drawn up when only a handful of herbal remedies were available and the number of herbal practitioners was very small.

read more
open full screen

Serious skin infection rates double in children since 1990

Staff Writer

Serious skin infection rates in New Zealand children have increased markedly over the last two decades according to new research from the University of Otago, Wellington.
More than 100 children a week are now being admitted to New Zealand hospitals for treatment of skin infections with most needing intravenous antibiotics and one-third requiring surgery.
The study by Associate Professor Michael Baker, Dr Cathryn O’Sullivan and colleagues has been published in the international journal Epidemiology and Infection. For the first time it comprehensively details the high rate of serious skin infections amongst New Zealand children.

read more
open full screen

Australian-led research in nanotechnology a huge breakthrough

Staff Writer

Groundbreaking research in quantum light source led by the University of Sydney will result in information speeds many times faster and data that is almost impossible to hack.

read more
open full screen

China Announces Thorium Energy Project

Staff Writer

The Chinese Academy of Sciences announced that it will finance the development of a programme to develop a Thorium Fuelled Molten Salt Reactor (TFMSR). This is first of four “strategic leader in science and technology projects” that the Chinese Academy of Science will be supporting.

The Head of the Chinese TFMSR programme is Dr Jiang Mianheng, Graduate of Drexel University, with a PhD in electrical engineering. His father Jiang Zemin, was the former President of the People's Republic of China from 1993 to 2003. This gives an indication of the importance the Chinese Leadership attach to the TFMSR programme.

read more
open full screen

Traditional remedy heals wounds

Staff Writer

New pharmaceutical products based on plants used in traditional Cook Island remedies could be on sale within two years, following research carried out at UNSW.
Dr Graham Matheson, who grew up in the Cook Islands and is now an emergency physician in Sydney, is undertaking a PhD at UNSW about the plants.
His interest in traditional remedies was ignited in 2003 after two sporting teammates made spectacular recoveries from serious bone fractures after they used traditional plant-based remedies.

read more
open full screen

Woolworths & Coles takes $40 of every $100 spent in Australia

Staff Writer

The Slow Food in Australia organisation has posted the following comments on their website, drawing attention to the enormous market concentration of retail sales that exists in the hands of Woolworths and Coles.
No other western economy allows this type of market power to develop.
Australian laws only look at the prinicpal market in which an acquisition might occur with no consideration to the total market power the duopoly controls.
Perhaps it is just in time that political feelings about market concentrations and the misuse of market power are beginning to be realised from a broader perspective, and this could eventually work in favour of Pharmacy in its fight to retain ownership of pharmacies within the profession.
Damage done to local economies is not always seen e.g. the recent price wars involving milk, that do nothing to support farmers and the nation's need for food security; instead we see a pseudo-campaign purporting to embrace consumer's rights to cheaper prices.
And receiving cheaper prices is problematical as was recently exposed through a recent TV survey into global retail prices. Australian supermarkets were almost double of any of their global counterparts.
The destruction of local farm economies has to be seen in the context of unemployment and loss of local investment that impacts across all businesses.
This has to be a factor when government is weighing up the misuse of market power.

read more
open full screen

Con Berbatis to Speak at Netherlands Conference

Staff Writer

Well-known researcher and academic Con Berbatis of Curtin University of Western Australia’s School of Pharmacy will speak on invitation in the Fifth Annual Conference of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy to be held in Utrecht the  Netherlands, 23-24 May 2011.
He will address and participate in the session entitled ‘ Prescription opioids : managing an epidemic of diversion and misuse’ .

read more
open full screen

Tobacco lobby's plain-pack threat not based on reality

Staff Writer

Editor's Note: After the implementation of many prior strategies it appears that government has found a sensitive spot by attacking the marketing basis of tobacco promotion - brand power!
The following analysis by Professor Simon Chapman makes interesting reading.


British American Tobacco's long-threatened campaign against plain packs kicked off today. Has there ever been a more complete demonstration of Shakespeare's "the lady doth protest too much"?

It's now very plain the global tobacco industry sees the move as arguably the greatest single threat it has ever faced, and is spending millions to say that — really, honestly — plain packs just won't work and will cause chaos throughout the economy. I've done many interviews on this in the past year and even normally sceptical radio hosts quickly make the point that ordinary Australians are asking "well, if it won't work, why are they so concerned and spending all this money?"

Comments: 1

read more
open full screen

Applications Open For Flood Relief Funds

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

The Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) is now offering financial support for pharmacists affected by the floods via the funds raised by our joint flood appeal with the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.
The flood appeal was set up to provide relief to any pharmacists affected by wide-ranging floods in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.
(Click for application form)

read more
open full screen

Ideas on Drug Addiction Interventions

Neil Johnston

In a departure from our normal Pharmedia content I was intrigued to find that "medical marijuana" had achieved a position of "normalcy" in some states of America.
Although I personally hold traditional views about this type of drug, it is not going to go away as a social problem under our current regime.
Then I got to thinking about the parallel problems of injecting heroin, nicotine addiction and alcohol addiction and whether there was potential for treating these problems with pharmacist-supervised and limited sale of these types of products.
I therefore asked Mark Coleman to comment and his commentary appears below the article following:

read more
open full screen

Ideas on Drug Addiction Interventions

Neil Johnston

articles by this author...

Neil Johnston is a pharmacist who trained as a management consultant. He was the first consultant to service the pharmacy profession and commenced practice as a full time consultant in 1972, specialising in community pharmacy management, pharmacy systems, preventive medicine and the marketing of professional services. He has owned, or part-owned a total of six pharmacies during his career, and for a decade spent time both as a clinical pharmacist and Chief Pharmacist in the public hospital system. He has been editor of i2P since 2000.

In a departure from our normal Pharmedia content I was intrigued to find that "medical marijuana" had achieved a position of "normalcy" in some states of America.
Although I personally hold traditional views about this type of drug, it is not going to go away as a social problem under our current regime.
Then I got to thinking about the parallel problems of injecting heroin, nicotine addiction and alcohol addiction and whether there was potential for treating these problems with pharmacist-supervised and limited sale of these types of products.
I therefore asked Mark Coleman to comment and his commentary appears below the article following:

open this article full screen

Socially Conscious Design: Medical Marijuana Dispensary Wins Architecture Award

The American Institute of Architects’ 2011 Design Award winner for Interior Architecture was the San Francisco Patient and Resource Center (SPARC), a medical marijuana dispensary that provides cheap, quality cannabis to patients.

The AIA stated:

The architecture strove to convey their socially conscious philosophy by giving the medical cannabis industry a positive presence in the community, with an environment of grace and craft through environmentally sensitive design and inventive detail. The jury saluted the strong social commentary and apothecary-like feel of this beautiful project.

 

Designed by Sand Studios, the center features wooden boxes stacked all along one wall, a menu and prices on hanging LCD screens and glass pendant lamps. The counters, tables and benches are made from locally-sourced oak and the marijuana is stored in glass apothecary jars with custom designed labels.

Mark Coleman


I am asked to comment on the above news item and for once I am a bit "stumped" as to what I should feel about this subject, including pharmacist involvement.

But whatever I feel about this issue, it is one that needs some light shining upon it and perhaps i2P readers can join in and comment in the panel below.

There is no doubt that drug addiction in all of its forms is a serious problem. The social issues generated by having to feed any addiction gives rise to various crimes, some extremely violent depending on the choice of drug.
Many pharmacists would already have experience in the harm-minimisation processes utilising methadone for opiate dependence, and nicotine patches, gums and lozenges for nicotine addiction.
There is an argument here for all tobacco products to be retricted for sale in this type of environment.
Medical marijuana is known to be able to treat various types of pain, particularly cancer pain.
It also has a beneficial effect on the condition of multiple sclerosis.
Should valid patients be denied access?

The destruction of families and the dangers some children face within addict environments seems to spawn an endless litany of social dislocation and destruction, at an enormous cost to our community.

So I would comment that our training as pharmacists does equip us to be involved with addicts at all levels.
Our young people are destroying themselves through binge drinking and intervention is urgently needed here. Surely alcoholic drinks over a certain volume and concentration could be limited for sale to an environment such as the above?
There would also be a need to link in with specialist counsellors and other community health resources for referral.
I would also comment that this environment would need to be associated with a pharmacy but be physically separated from that pharmacy. This so that distractions such as shoplifting could be discouraged through secure fixtures and fittings, and that client behaviour could be better controlled away from normal customer traffic flows. Access through a conjoined dispensary/professional area could enable rapid pharmacist intervention when required, also information provision.
Swipe cards issued to registered customers could record all transactions for amalgamation with other primary health records.

I also see this type of environment as being strong on all forms of information - written, poster and audio-visual - to ensure clients are equipped with strategies to curb their addiction problem.

Security systems would also need to be a feature with an emergency response protocol rehearsed and backed up by trained professional security personnel. Normal staff would need a higher proportion of males to females.

All the above is only speculation on what may be able to be delivered. But as I have worked my way through the various issues I do believe that an outpost service like the above may have definite merit and some impact on community addiction problems.
I also like the intent behind the interior design - one of calmness and respect.

Is there any entrepreneurial pharmacist out there willing to pioneer a working model?

That is, provided all the political impediments can be appropriately set aside.

My view is that nicotine and alcohol sales would generate sufficient cash flows to fund the entire program.

Return to home

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a genuine visitor, to prevent automated spam submissions.
Incorrect please try again
Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

health news headlines provided courtesy of Medical News Today.

Click here to read more...

Practice Development

Information Technology

Indigenous Health

Preventive Medicine

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

Email Format
 

 

  • Copyright (C) 2000-2015 Computachem Services, All Rights Reserved.

Website by Ablecode