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


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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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 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


22 July 2011


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


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 before 31 August 2011.  Questions can be directed to

20 July 2011


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


19 July 2011


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


15 July 2011


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 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


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


13 July 2011


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


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


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