Publication Date 29/07/2011         Volume. 3 No. 7   
Information to Pharmacists

Editorial

From the desk of the editor

Welcome to the August 2011 edition of i2P- Information to Pharmacists.
Direct distribution by pharmaceutical manufacturers is back in the news once more.
This disruptive attack on an efficient community pharmacy business model must be checked before it gets too far out of hand.
Neil Retallick discusses some of the issues as does Mark Coleman in the Pharmedia section of i2P.
Read and see what you can do to help.

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News Flash

Newsflash Updates for August 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.

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Pipeline

Pipeline for August 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.

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Feature Contribution

Pfizer Direct - the Implications as other Manufacturers look at this channel

Neil Retallick

Pfizer is working hard to improve its direct supply model, but no matter how efficient it becomes, it will still wreak havoc in community pharmacies.
It is almost a case of the more effective Pfizer’s logistics become, the more damage their direct supply model will inflict on community pharmacies.
The issue here has never been whether or not Pfizer can supply the right drugs at the right time to the right place.
If they lack the will to make this happen, there is a multitude of logistics experts that can help them achieve efficient supply.
Recent relaxation of order cut-off times is an indicator that Pfizer wants their model to be accepted by pharmacists and is willing to make concessions to meet their needs.

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Pharmacists - where are you when we need you?

Loretta Marron OAM BSc

New parents are congregating  at alternative practitioner clinics for after-hours 'information' seminars, eager to learn anything they can do to improve their families health and wellbeing.  Seniors and major illness patients are attending meetings to learn how to better manage their illnesses.   But what advice are they being given and why is their local pharmacist not there to support them?
People want to feel they are in control of their health.  When they are told about a lecture on lifestyle and health education, they will turn up in droves to listen to what their friendly neighbourhood natural therapist has to say.

Comments: 2

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A conflict between selling complementary medicines and providing evidence based clinical medical reviews?

Dr Linda Bryant (PGDipPharm, MPharm, DPharm(Auck), FACPP, FNZCP, FPSNZ, MCAPA)

First came the randomised controlled trial1,which linked calcium supplementation with vascular events, then there was a meta-analysis linking calcium with cardiovascular events2 and then a further confirmatory meta-analysis of calcium plus Vitamin D and using individual patient data.3
The conclusions were reasonably secure that calcium supplements are likely to increase the risk of a cardiovascular event. It is now advised that people obtain their calcium intake by dietary means – which is feasible even for those who do not consume a lot of dairy products. General practitioners have now stopped prescribing calcium, leaving me confused as to what arguments are being used by the community pharmacists who continue to sell the calcium supplements.

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Post- discharge Home Medicines Reviews

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

Through the 5th Community Pharmacy Agreement hospital initiated HMRs will now be available for high-risk patients recently discharged from hospital. This is an important step in addressing the fact that patients recently discharged from hospital are at risk of medication misadventure. The question I would like to raise is who is best placed to undertake these HMRs. The traditional model of HMR referral has been through a General Practitioner (GP) to the consumer’s community pharmacy. Under this model the HMR may be undertaken by an accredited pharmacist directly involved with or employed by the community pharmacy or be outsourced to an independent accredited pharmacist. Under the 5th Community Pharmacy Agreement this model has now been modified to enable direct referral from a GP to an accredited pharmacist and also direct referral from a hospital based medical practitioner for a newly discharged patient. The traditional model will continue in tandem with this new model.

Comments: 2

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Make sure your perspective is perceptive

Harvey Mackay

We've reached a point in our country's history where authority and power seem to be manifested by the need to shout down the other person.  Discussion and compromise are words freely bandied about, but they've largely lost their meaning. 
What is really lost is perspective.
Just as there are two (or more) sides to every story, there are plenty of different ideas on how to get things done.  No one person has a corner on that market.

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Fingers crossed as FDA considers drug bar code packaging rule

Mark Neuenschwander

I’ve been thinking about baseball, movies, ambiguous bar codes, and the FDA.
On June 26, 1974, New York Yankee All-Star Derek Jeter was born, two-time Academy Award winner Elizabeth Taylor divorced (for the fifth time), and Sharon Buchanan, a young grocery clerk in Troy, Ohio, was the first ever to ring up a retail purchase by scanning a bar code. On the same day in 2011, I drove from Arlington, Virginia, to Silver Spring, Maryland, to meet with people at the FDA to talk about the future of bar-code labeling on drug packaging.

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More Shocks and Economic Pain

Barry Urquhart

There are more shocks and economic pain on the near-term horizon for taxpayers, small business owners and corporations.
This is a key finding of an extensive and intensive strategic analysis undertaken by Barry Urquhart, Managing Director of Marketing Focus, who will deliver a keynote address on the analysis at the forthcoming annual national conference for the Australian Mining and Exploration Companies Association.
Among the significant points which have been identified are: -

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Marketing Focus: Here's looking at you, kid!

Barry Urquhart

AUSTRALIA'S OWN SILICON VALLEY

"Wealth....Innovation. Creativity. Originality. Dynamism. Growth. Capital. Technology."

Silicon Valley is both a name and locality known throughout the world and is synonymous with each of the above listed attributes. It means and is perceived to be many things to many people.
Since the 1960's Silicon Valley has been the birthplace of many scenario changes, iconic products, services, concepts and business entities. In itself it is a magnet which attracts some of the world's brightest, most enterprising, free thinking and driven entrepreneurs.
The Federal and State governments, in Washington DC and California, have welcomed, encouraged and supported investment in countless large and small, established and start-up businesses to enable them to blossom and to create wealth, employment, education and opportunities.
Financial injections and tax relief/incentives have been provided in abundance.
Everyone, it seems, is a winner.

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No success without access

Harvey Mackay

Over the years I've asked a lot of people what makes a great salesperson, and the answers are fairly predictable:  passion; persistence; personality/likeability; planning; trustworthiness; strong work ethic; drive/initiative; quick learner; goal-oriented; good communications skills; sense of humor; humility; good timing; strong at building relationships; and follow-up (or as I say, the sale begins when the customer says yes).
My own answer is always the same:  hungry fighter.  In many ways, that is the embodiment of all of the above traits.

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E-Health - High cost for very little return

Peter Sayers

Politicians in the UK are starting to wake up to the fact that their Department of Health is unable to deliver its electronic care records system, after investing 2.7 billion pounds sterling in the project without being able to demonstrate a single benefit of the system.
The project has suffered from the same problems that have beset a similar Australian project being developed by the National e-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA).
It is now recognised that the pitfalls and waste might have been avoided in the UK had they consulted a range of health professionals before starting the project.

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Question homeopathy’s remedies but not its approach

Staff Writer

It seems the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is likely to follow the lead of the UK and denounce homeopathy as an ineffective and unethical therapy that shouldn’t attract scarce government research funds.
This is within the remit of the NHMRC’s role to provide health advice to clinicians and the Australian public. But the NHMRC also funds the majority of health and medical research in Australia.
And this dual role means the NHMRC – or those looking to it for guidance – may look unfavourably at funding any research involving homoeopathy.
Homeophathy has its shortcomings but researchers still have a lot to learn from studying this practice. 

Written By Jon Wardle:NHMRC Research Scholar, School of Population Health at University of Queensland

Comments: 2

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Saving Lives at Birth

Staff Writer

United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has acknowledged Monash University researchers for a life-saving new drug concept at the Saving Lives at Birth global challenge forum held yesterday in Washington DC.
Following the forum, at which Monash University researcher Dr Michelle McIntosh spoke, the research team received funding to engineer a drug that could save the lives of mothers of newborn children in developing countries.

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UQ Law helps professionals deal with carbon tax challenge

Staff Writer

The University of Queensland is preparing for an increased uptake in post-graduate legal courses as lawyers, consultants and accountants prepare to implement the Government's carbon tax scheme, due to take effect in July 2012.
Head of the TC Beirne School of Law Professor Ross Grantham said he expected a significant demand for specialist skills in areas such as consumer law, contracts, taxation, climate change and policy, and mining and offshore resources law.

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Cholesterol drug may help diabetes sugar levels

Staff Writer

A medicine designed to improve levels of 'good' cholesterol may also help control blood sugar in people with diabetes who are taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, according to a recently published study in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
The study, led by the University of Sydney's Professor Philip Barter, made the finding while analysing data from a clinical trial on the drug torcetrapib. Torcetrapib is a cholesterol ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitor, a type of drug that increases levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs, or 'good' cholesterol).

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Microsoft grant boosts stroke, cardio disease detection devices

Staff Writer

A $100,000 Microsoft fellowship awarded to a lecturer leading the University of Sydney in the emerging field of bioelectronics will accelerate the development of electrical devices used to diagnose and monitor stroke and cardiovascular disease.

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Indigenous Science Education Program wins national award

Staff Writer

Macquarie University's innovative Indigenous Science Education Program has been recognised with an Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Award for Programs that Enhance Learning.
The Indigenous Science Education Program (ISEP) works with Casino, Lismore and Maclean High Schools in northern NSW and Chifley College in Western Sydney and has its origins in requests for help from Aboriginal Elders in addressing the poor completion rate of secondary education by their Indigenous youth.

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Karratha GP Super Clinic to Provide Better Health Services

Staff Writer

Residents of the West Pilbara will soon have better access to GPs and allied health professionals following the signing of a $7 million agreement with the Pilbara Health Network for a GP Super Clinic to operate in Karratha.
Acting Minister for Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, today welcomed the signing of the $7 million agreement as a welcome boost to health care in West Pilbara.
“This GP Super Clinic will deliver better access to health services for locals in a single, convenient location,” Mr Butler said.

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Stopping snoring cuts heart attack risk, researchers find

Staff Writer

Sleep apnoea patients who are successfully treated have lower blood fat levels and a reduced risk of heart attack than people who are left untreated, University of Sydney researchers have found.
Sleep apnoea, a condition in which people stop breathing momentarily while sleeping, affects up to 20 percent of the population. The researchers found treatment with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device reduced post-meal blood fat (triglyceride) levels.

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New Advisory Council to Boost Disease Prevention Efforts

Staff Writer

Moves to prevent the lifestyle risks of chronic disease in Australia have been boosted with the creation of an expert Advisory Council for the Australian National Preventive Health Agency.
Acting Minister for Health and Ageing Mark Butler today welcomed the appointment of 10 expert members to a new advisory council for the Agency in another significant step forward for national health reform.

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Researchers unveil body clock battle for Blind New Zealanders

Staff Writer

Nearly 3000 blind and partially-sighted New Zealanders could be suffering from undiagnosed sleep timing disorders according to a recent study from The University of Auckland.
The study, which was undertaken in conjunction with the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB), was recently published in the journal PLosOne. It looked at self-reported sleep habits, sleep disruptions and medication use in people completely blind in one or both eyes; partially-sighted and fully-sighted.

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Stone Age Diet May Stop Ageing

Staff Writer

While some people may feel anxious about their body's condition as they age, US academician Professor Michael Rose has no qualms about it; claiming once individuals reach their 90s their bodies stop ageing.
According to Professor Rose, who is an expert in evolutionary biology, “if you are lucky enough to live that long, you stop ageing”.
To reach this point, he suggests adopting a 'stone age' diet when you hit 30 years of age.

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Forum told of seaweed’s bioproduct potential

Staff Writer

Commercial viability of high-value macroalgal (seaweed) bioproducts for human health is a step closer with a research collaboration between Flinders University biotechnologists and Australian Kelp Products.
Under the agreement, Flinders researchers will trial new processes developed at the University to create products for the food, nutraceutical and cosmeceutical industries.
These include marine sugars refined from seaweed that can have applications in anti-viral pharmaceuticals, functional cosmetics, and environmentally friendly agricultural pesticides and fertiliser.

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Flood Relief Funds Distributed – Pharmacists Supporting Pharmacists

Staff Writer

On behalf of the pharmacy profession of Australia, the Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) is pleased to announce that financial support for pharmacists affected by the floods, via the funds raised by the joint Pharmacists’ Support Service Inc and Pharmaceutical Society of Australia flood appeal, has now been distributed.  A total of 18 pharmacists were provided with financial assistance which was generously donated by their pharmacy colleagues from around Australia.

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Direct Distribution - the story continues to unfold

Neil Johnston

Editor’s Note: It was expected that other manufacturers would consider a direct distribution model after Pfizer had initiated a system that when developed, would appear to have most of the “bugs” knocked out of it.
The “who” and the “when” would then be the only unanswered questions.
i2P has covered a lot of the earlier discussion regarding this industry-changing decision, and in light of recent commentary, i2P has asked Mark Coleman to give us an update.
His comments appear below the media item in brown text published recently in Pharmacy News.

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PSA Media Release for July 2011

Peter Waterman

articles by this author...

Keeping you up to date with PSA activities.

Information made available from the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia by Peter Waterman. 
Peter Waterman is the Public Affairs Manager for the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. 
He may be contacted by telephone(02)62834782, or on mobile phone
0487 922 176.

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28 July 2011

THE USE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES IN PRACTICE – HOW TO DO IT WELL 

The use of electronic media with Social Networking Sites (SNS) such as Facebook and MySpace has become extremely common and pervasive across communities and organisations.

Senior Health Services Research Fellow in Medicine at Monash University, Greg Duncan, will present at PAC11 on the developments and opportunities created by this contemporary digital environment and also on identifying potential conflicts with a digital presence. Greg will also  discuss professional behaviour and  will make suggestions to prevent negative impacts while still allowing for as significant digital presence as an individual would like.

“Numerous reports exist describing job losses, student exclusion and more in the pharmacy setting alone because of what has been accessible via a personal Facebook or other site that either identifies and/or criticises patients, gives unprofessional (and often uncivil) criticism of employers or teaching staff, displays of 'unprofessional' behaviours in social settings and so on,” he says. 

 “It is neither practical nor possible to prevent the use of such digital resources so guidelines for how to establish and manage a digital presence and maintain a professional public persona are essential.”

Mr Duncan’s presentation will explore the risks and pitfalls of poorly managed SNS, blogs and more as well as identifying potential benefits to both individuals and organisations such as community pharmacies themselves.

Drawing on this and other information a framework for having an appropriate digital presence will be provided.

In addition to his teaching, Mr Duncan works as an independent health services consultant. He has a background in hospital, community and academic pharmacy and has taught at undergraduate, graduate and professional development level in Communication, Wound Management, Pharmacoepidemiology, Evidence-Based Practice and Public Health.

His research interests cover population health issues, health policy and international health. He has worked with the Western Pacific and South-East Asian Pharmaceutical Forums and the WHO, developing and conducting training workshops for community pharmacists in the region. 

He is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Wound Practice and Research and Pharmacy World and Science. He is a peer reviewer for these journals as well as several other international pharmacy journals.

He has also contributed to reviews for Martindale, the Australian Medicines Handbook and the Australian Pharmaceutical Formulary.

PAC11 is being held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 6-9 October 2011 and to register just go to www.pac11.com.au

 

22 July 2011

GRANT KARDACHI NEW PSA PRESIDENT

South Australian pharmacist Grant Kardachi has been elected President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

Mr Kardachi is an accredited pharmacist who until recently was also a community pharmacy proprietor. He has held a wide range of roles across the profession, in particular those dealing with medicines reviews. 

Mr Kardachi said he was excited and honoured by his election.

“I am greatly honoured by this appointment and I look forward to continuing the drive to have pharmacists better recognised as primary health-care providers in the collaborative model towards which Australia is evolving,” Mr Kardachi said. 

“I also look forward to working closely with PSA Members and ensuring the Society continues to be responsive to Members and their needs.

“With the current emphasis on health reform, we see great opportunities for pharmacists to be better recognised for their contribution as health-care providers and essential health-care team members. 

“The advent of Medicare Locals - and the health-reform agenda and its focus on primary and preventive health - highlights the clear need for pharmacists to have a greater role in delivering better health care.” 

Mr Kardachi said the newly elected Board of PSA would provide a solid base for continuing and growing the work of the Society into the future.

“I would also like to thank the outgoing President. Warwick Plunkett, for his work, particularly in driving the unification of the Society, which has given the PSA and pharmacists across the country greater recognition and credibility,” Mr Kardachi said.

“Warwick has been exemplary in his leadership and I am delighted he remains on the Board of PSA to lend his experience and knowledge to our ongoing work.”

The new Board also comprises Warwick Plunkett (NSW), Claire O’Reilly (NSW), Joe Demarte (Victoria), John Jackson (Victoria). Julie Stokes (Queensland), Nerida Smith (Queensland), Gabrielle Cooper (ACT), Luke Bereznicki (Tasmania) and John Harvey (Western Australia).

The two Vice-Presidents of PSA elected by the Board this week are Claire O’Reilly from NSW and Joe Demarte from Victoria. ENDS

 

22 June 2011

ENROLMENTS CONTINUE FOR THE PSA: NATIONAL INTERN TRAINING PROGRAM

Pharmacy interns looking to further their career and develop their practice knowledge are still able to enrol in the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s specialist National Intern Training Program (NITP).

The second intake* of enrolments for 2011 is continuing and provides participants with an online program specifically designed to meet their needs.

The program has tailored face-to-face workshops, workplace-based assessments and practical-based projects which have been developed after close consultation with PSA members and previous interns to ensure that the content is relevant.

Undertaking the PSA NITP provides:


* National Delivery - if participants move to another state or territory during their intern year, they can easily transfer interstate as the program is delivered consistently across Australia
* FREE Online Preceptor Training Course for nominated preceptor and support materials
* Interactive online forums for participant and their preceptor — the opportunity to interact with interns and pharmacists across Australia, broadening knowledge of the industry and developing long-lasting networking relationships
* Written and Oral Exam support throughout the duration of the intern year
* Tax deductable course fee and flexible interest free payment option
* Support with the PBA provisional registration
application process
 

The NITP has been specifically developed to focus on the participant’s workplace, and as a result it increases the utilisation of the skills and knowledge which provides participants with a competitive, professional edge over their  peers.

By joining the PSA NITP, participants become part of the PSA and one of its  more than 16,000 members who enjoy ongoing support throughout their entire career.

Enrol online at www.psa.org.au/intern before 31 August 2011.  Questions can be directed to intern@psa.org.au.

20 July 2011

COMPOUNDING IN COMMUNITY PHARMACY 

Compounding was a core activity of pharmacists until the emergence of the pharmaceutical industry.  Nevertheless, almost all pharmacists prepare compounded medications from time to time and in recent years, some pharmacists have adopted compounding as a specialised practice. 

PAC11 this year will include a special presentation in which the reasons for the emergence of compounding as a specialisation by community pharmacists, and how this differs from traditional practice, will be canvassed.

Presented by Jenny Giam, the session will look at calls for increased regulation of compounding and some of the concerns and controversies will also be discussed.

“The Therapeutic Goods Regulations exempt pharmacy compounded products from registration by the TGA under specific circumstances; these will be discussed along with aspects of the new professional practice standards that are relevant to all pharmacists,” Ms Giam said.

“I will also speak about plans for regulation of pharmacy compounding and development of guidelines for professional practice.” 

Since 1981, Ms Giam has worked in formulation development and software quality assurance in the pharmaceutical industry, and in independent community pharmacy as a pharmacist and a pharmacy owner. 

As the Technical & Training Manager for PCCA since 2001 she is responsible for supporting and training compounding pharmacists and their staff in contemporary compounding techniques and clinical applications for compounding.

She is the Secretary of the Australasian Compounders Association and a member of the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration Technical Working Group responsible for developing compounding standards for larger scale compounding pharmacies.

Jenny is a reviewer of the compounding relevant sections of the current Australian Pharmaceutical Formulary and Handbook and a member of the Expert Advisory Group appointed by the PSA to review the Compounding Professional Practice Standards.

She is also completing a PhD investigating the specialised compounding practice in community pharmacies at the University of Sydney.

PAC11 is being held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 6-9 October.  To get more details or to register for pharmacy’s premier event, go to www.pac11.com.au

 

19 July 2011

A TRIP INTO THE PAST OF PHARMACY IN AUSTRALIA 

Australia has a fascinating and diverse history of pharmacy which has spawned numerous books and articles over many years.

But no publication is a match for having a passionate storyteller relate some of the amazing, and often incredible snippets of our history. 

This year, PAC11 has added an extra stream on the History of Pharmacy and its nuances which will feature three speakers who will enthral their audience with their passion and love for the history of the profession.

The session will be divided into three parts:

The Wilkinson Dynasty 

Paediatric neurologist Dr I. A Wilkinson will take us through his family pharmacy dynasty which was started by J. Wilkinson in 1832 who  opened the first pharmacy in Tasmania in what was then known as Hobart Town.  Another member of the dynasty was L. A Wilkinson (the speaker’s grand-father) who went to Queensland and operated a chain of pharmacies from 1911 to 1948.  Finally there was his son,  R. L Wilkinson, the father of the speaker, who continued the dynasty. 

 The Queensland’s pioneer chemist-dentist

James Delahunty will examine a fine example of combining health professions in the early days, when he talks about Moses Ward, a chemist-dentist, and one of the prominent men who shaped the early development of the pharmacy profession in Queensland.

A journey back to our roots to view the Apothecaries Hall, London

Historian Rad West will take delegates for a “visit” to Blackfriars Lane in London which was built in 1668 following the Apothecaries Act of 1815.  The apothecaries of the day became the GPs and this in turn led to the formation of the Pharmaceutical  Society of Great Britain by Jacob Bell. This society was of course the prototype for Pharmaceutical   Societies in Australia, which commenced with Victoria in 1857.

The session will be held on Sunday, 9 October 2011.  PAC11 is being held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 6-9 October 2011 and to register just go to www.pac11.com.au

 

15 July 2011

PAC11 EARLY BIRD REGISTRATIONS CLOSE ON MONDAY

Are you thinking about your pharmacy future?  If so PAC11 is the education event that will provide you with the skills and knowledge to advance your career.  There is still time to save money by registering for PAC11 under the Early Bird Registration offer which closes on Monday 18 July 2011 at midnight. 

Under the special Early Bird offer, PSA members will pay $775 (a saving of $150), while for non-members the fee is $960 (a saving of $195).  By going to www.pac11.com.au delegates can complete their full Early Bird Registration online.

In addition, attendance at PAC11 enables delegates to earn up to 30 CPD credits over the days of the Congress.

PAC11, with the theme of Discovery, Development, Diversification, will cover a wide range of educational, business and practice subjects to increase delegates’ knowledge and skills and support their expanding roles in the multi-disciplinary health-care model.

The three days of the congress are structured to provide every opportunity to get the most out of PAC11 by devoting each day to one of the elements of the theme of Discovery, Development, Diversification.

On Thursday, the pre-congress sessions are tailored to suit many of the wide range of interests of the profession and are an ideal lead-in to the main congress program.  Delegates can register separately for these important events.

The first day of the Congress on Friday is devoted to Discovery of knowledge through academic and practice research, market inquiry and experimentation to break new ground professionally and in the area of running pharmacy businesses. 

On Saturday the  focus is on the latest research relevant to pharmacists that will  help pharmacists in the Development of professional skills as well as providing information about new tools to improve practice, and in turn the health outcomes of consumers.   Among the highlights of the day are the PSA National Forum and a Mental Health plenary session.

The final day of the Congress on Sunday explores the third element of the theme, that of Diversification which is the key for the future of our pharmacy profession.  

PAC11 is being held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 6-9 October 2011.  Register and make the most of the Early Bird Registration and secure the opportunity to earn up 30 CPD points over the days of the Congress.

Prepare for your future by registering now to attend PAC11.  Taking advantage of the Early Bird registration fee will save you money and secure your place at the premier pharmacy conference in the country.

 

13 July 2011

PAC11 EXAMINES NEW DRUG PIPELINES

The pharmaceutical industry faces significant stakeholder challenges including drug safety, drug pricing, sales practices, investor relations and claims of lack of innovationOver recent years new product introductions have been in decline and many companies face patent expiries and increasing competition from generic drugs.

The topic of contemporary drug development will be examined in depth at PAC11 in a presentation on New drug pipelines by pharmaceutical physician Dr Guy Gavagna. 

Dr Gavagna has several years’ clinical practice in hospital and emergency medicine and post-graduate qualifications in business administration and pharmaceutical medicine.  His industry experience has been mainly in medical affairs, with other roles in marketing and clinical research.

Dr Gavagna is on the Global Medical Affairs Subteams for oncology and respiratory medicine at Boehringer Ingelheim, and he has experience with regulatory and reimbursement submissions. He has sat on the Medicines Australia Code of Conduct Complaints Committee and Appeals Committee. 

The New drug pipelines penetration will look at four very different areas. 

“Cystic fibrosis and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis are two rare respiratory diseases which have previously received minimal attention from the pharmaceutical industry. However in recent times significant investment has been spent and correspondingly significant results are now being seen in trials and hopefully soon will be translated into the clinic,” Dr Gavagna said.

“Type 2 diabetes is unfortunately a common and growing problem in Australia ... there is a very exciting class of oral diabetic medicines called SGLT-2 inhibitors with a completely novel mechanism of action being developed by several companies.”

Systemic treatment of advanced cancer has come a long way from being simply “chemo”.

“Now we have access to a new and growing range of so-called “targeted therapies” which require specific diagnostic tests that are leading us into the era of personalised medicine. Is this the end of the “blockbuster” business model and the start of the “nichebuster” business model?

“Finally, atrial fibrillation is a common cause of the disabling and common condition stroke and has for many decades been treated with the anticoagulant warfarin, complete with its many attendant risks. In recent months we have seen the publication of multiple phase III clinical trial results in prestigious medical journals for a number of new oral anticoagulants – could this be the end of warfarin’s 60 year reign?”

PAC11 is being held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 6-9 October and great discounts are available through the Early Bird Registration offer until 18 July.  To register go to www.pac11.com.au

 

13 July 2011

PSA AND NAPSA SIGN MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the National Australian Pharmacy Students' Association have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to help the body representing students in this country try grow and develop.

Under the MoU signed this week, PSA will assist the NAPSA Executive in the efficient administration of the organisation as well as providing access to a wide range of PSA products and services.

National President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett, welcomed the MoU as another example of PSA’s commitment to the profession.

“The MoU will see PSA offer NAPSA members professional development opportunities through the PSA to help grow their career and provide them with the skills needed to take them into the future,” Mr Plunkett said.

Chief Executive Officer of the PSA, Liesel Wett, said the agreement would establish a strong working relationship between the PSA and NAPSA and ensure pharmacy students were well supported during their student days.

“This MoU means NAPSA’s interests are well represented and provides the basis for ongoing support in the pharmacy profession from the PSA after they graduate from university,” Ms Wett said.

President of NAPSA, Mr Timothy Mizzi, said it was an important day for the student body, and the MoU provided the organisation and its members with a stability and security that had been lacking in the past.

“With the support and strength of a body such as PSA behind us, we can continue to build the organisation and provide a greater range of support and services for our members,” he said.

“It also sets the scene for ongoing relationships between PSA and our members after they have finished their studies.”

Ms Wett said it was exciting for PSA to be closely involved with the student pharmacists.

“These students represent the future of the profession and I am confident this relationship will benefit the profession and pharmacists across Australia,” Ms Wett said.

 

6 July 2011

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE TREATMENTS UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT

Developments in treatment strategies for Alzheimer’s disease in the context of pharmaceutical settings will be the subject of a presentation at PAC11 given by noted authority Professor Jürgen Götz. 

Professor Götz, who is Chair of Molecular Biology and Director of the Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Laboratory at the Brain and Mind Research Institute of the University of Sydney, will be presenting on Dementia – Understanding the underlying mechanisms and translating into practice.

Professor Götz said recent clinical strategies for Alzheimer’s diseases included vaccinations and the modulation of the formation, aggregation and clearance of proteins such as Abeta, and tau.

“To test treatment strategies, we established transgenic mouse models that reproduce key features of the human pathology,” Professor Götz said. 

“These treatment strategies will be discussed in the context of ongoing strategies for AD in pharmaceutical settings.”

Professor Götz studied biochemistry at the University of Basel, and earned his PhD in immunology in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Georges Köhler at the Max-Planck-Institute in Freiburg, Germany (1989).

After postdoctoral work at UCSF and the Preclinical Research Division at Novartis in Basel, he established his reputation in the Alzheimer’s field as a research group leader at the University of Zürich (1994–2005).

His major research interests are in the development and analysis of transgenic mouse models for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias using the tools of functional genomics. Furthermore, he is interested in the physiological and pathological functions of the microtubule-associated protein tau, and how tau interacts with the amyloid-betapeptide.

Professor Götz’s prsentation will be part of the PAC11 Advanced Clinical Stream of the Concurrent Sessions being held on Friday afternoon, 7 October.

PAC11 is being at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 6-10 October and great discounts are available through the Early Bird Registration offer until 18 July.  To register go to www.pac11.com.au

 

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