Publication Date 01/07/2014         Volume. 6 No. 6   
Information to Pharmacists


From the desk of the editor

Welcome to the July 2014 homepage edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) E-Magazine.
At the commencement of 2014 i2P focused on the need for the entire profession of pharmacy and its associated industry supports to undergo a renewal and regeneration.
We are now half-way through this year and it is quite apparent that pharmacy leaders do not yet have a cohesive and clear sense of direction.
Maybe the new initiative by Woolworths to deliver clinical service through young pharmacists and nurses may sharpen their focus.
If not, community pharmacy can look forward to losing a substantial and profitable market share of the clinical services market.
Who would you blame when that happens?
But I have to admit there is some effort, even though the results are but meagre.
In this edition of i2P we focus on the need for research about community pharmacy, the lack of activity from practicing pharmacists and when some research is delivered, a disconnect appears in its interpretation and implementation.

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Traditional remedy heals wounds

Staff Writer

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Editing and Researching news and stories about global and local Pharmacy Issues

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.

“One mate was facing the possibility of having his foot amputated after he suffered a leg fracture that led to compartment syndrome, a complication that causes tissue death in a limb due to a lack of oxygenated blood supply,” Matheson recalls.

Despite being advised not to run again, the man sought treatment from the Islands’ Koutu Nui (tribal chiefs) and made a full recovery, playing soccer and rugby the next year.

Dr Matheson recognised, as a doctor and a Cook Islander, he was uniquely placed to assess the potential of the remedy with evidence-based medicine.

He sought and gained permission from the tribal chiefs to conduct the research and established a company that permits the traditional owners to share in financial benefits arising from the commercialization of his research. Since then, international efforts have been stepped up to stop biopiracy, or the misappropriation of genetic resources and Indigenous knowledge.

His work with UNSW Professor Bill Walsh, who heads the Surgical & Orthopaedic Research Laboratories at the Prince of Wales Hospital, has shown that extract from one plant had “dramatic” results, promoting large amounts of new bone formation within a week.

An extract from three other plants applied to the skin can improve wound healing and repair ageing skin.

Dr Matheson hopes there will ultimately be a new industry for the Islands, with the first product likely to be an anti-ageing one.

Dr Matheson, the Koutu Nui and UNSW are major shareholders in the company, Cimtech.

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