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Publication Date 26/07/2012         Volume. 4 No. 7   
Information to Pharmacists

Editorial

From the desk of the editor

Welcome to the August 2012 homepage edition of i2P- Information to Pharmacists.
This month John Dunlop writes about PBS changes in New Zealand. On the surface they seem quite severe, but New Zealand may prove to be the first country in the world to pay directly for pharmacy clinical consults that has a decent framework to allow for progression and development.
It will be interesting to observe progress.

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Recent Comments

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News Flash

Newsflash Updates for August 2012

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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Feature Contribution

The NZ Pharmacy Services Agreement has created a troubled future for community pharmacy

Dr John Dunlop (PGDipPharm, MPharm, DPharm(Auck), FACPP, FNZCP, FPSNZ, MCAPA)

The new Pharmacy Services Agreement reduces the funding for prescriptions to approximately 60% of the previous year’s value.
With the DHB guarantee to ensure that community pharmacies will receive the same value as last year’s return on dispensing,  the balance of 40% of last year’s income will be gained from involvement with patients designated as patients with long term conditions (LTCs).
This remuneration shift has been talked about for years and we are probably the first country in the world to have actually organized some meaningful money to fund a patient-focused service in community pharmacy.
Unfortunately funders were panicked to contain the rising and unsustainable dispensing costs caused by unscrupulous community pharmacies ability to use ‘closed control’ to increase dispensing volumes.

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Have we bottomed out yet?

Gerald Quigley

Where will this stupidity end?
Free, prescription only drugs!!
Doctors are happy,
Consumers are happy.
Our professional bodies shake their heads.
Not our problem the leaders say.
Well, I disagree….it is their problem, and perhaps, they are our problem!

Comments: 3

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First Do No Harm

Steve Jenkin

Editor's Note: i2P is pleased to announce a new writer for our team who is a specialist in IT.
His name is Steve Jenkin and he is based in the ACT.
In pharmacy, we are entering into a new world of fast-moving circumstances that have become very disruptive for all pharmacists.
Information Technology in the micro-environment of a pharmacy will become more relied upon for the management and cost control of these "disruptions".
Through Steve and his experience, i2P now has an ability to interpret the future for pharmacists.

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Pharma-Goss - Change needed in Pharmacist Role in PBS Supply

Rollo Manning

The weekly publication MJA Insight carried an article on 23rd July edition suggesting that pharmacists should be utilised to carry out well person screening to identify persons that could be at risk of developing chronic diseases.
Find it at:
http://www.mjainsight.com.au/view?post=garry-jennings-let%25e2%2580%2599s-test-pharmacy-screening&post_id=10020&cat=comment

The author, Dr Garry Jennings suggested a trial to ascertain acceptability of the idea.

Comments: 2

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Social Media – Is it a new frontier or the wild, Wild West?

Neil Retallick

Like many millions of my fellow Australians, I watched the opening ceremony of the London Olympics on this weekend.
It is fantastic what a wonderful show can be put on when you have a $45 million budget.
I really enjoyed it.
Mind you, for the same money I’m sure you could get something pretty ordinary too.

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Suicide – just ask

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

Most of us will have been affected by suicide at some time in our lives.
Ranging from the suicide of someone very close to us through to hearing about the suicide of a celebrity in the media. There is still a lot of stigma around suicide; as a cause of death it may not be openly discussed or admitted and often we avoid discussing the topic or use euphemisms to describe death by suicide.
For example suicide can be masked as a road death or a drowning or a misadventure.

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Marketing & Social Media 101 for Business (Part 1)

Chris Foster

In the coming week, I am presenting a seminar to business clients on marketing basics and its interaction with social media.
Social media seems to be the buzz word out there in business so I thought it appropriate that I prepare a basic summary for the members of i2P.

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'Manual Muscle Testing' - it's just tosh trickery

Loretta Marron OAM BSc

A good friend was impressed at the way his strength improved after a chiropractor used 'manual muscle testing' (MMT) on him. Another two, one with Parkinson’s and the other with rheumatoid arthritis, purchased Power Balance bracelets for increased strength and to improve balance. Yet another was amazed how her Kinesiologist diagnosed her nutritional deficiencies with a similar test. They would not believe that this was just 'smoke and mirrors' and tosh trickery. So what is MMT, what claims are being made, and are they true?

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The power of we

Harvey Mackay

A famous organist was performing a concert on a huge antique organ in front of a large audience.
The bellows were hand-pumped by a boy seated behind a screen, unseen by any in the vast audito­rium. The first part of the performance went very well, and at intermission the organist took his bows as the listeners applauded enthusiastically.
During the break, the musician rested in a side passageway. The boy came out to join him.
"We played well, didn't we, sir?" the boy asked.

 The arrogant musician glared at him. "What do you mean, we?"

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Managing Expectations

Barry Urquhart

Every prospective and existing customer and client arrives at the premises, on the telephone or on-line with expectations.
These can be and are influenced, or indeed often determined in part or in whole, by past experiences, word-of-mouth references, advertising, website designs, literature, premises presentations, image, reputations and the attitudes of staff members.
Achieving and sustaining satisfaction are functions of the consistency and continuity of the service provided.
This can involve numerous people, departments and sections which contribute to the experiences encountered and, hopefully, enjoyed by the customers and clients.

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I’ve been thinking about : Shopper and patient migration patterns during my lifetime.

Mark Neuenschwander

For most of my years, the point of sale has been fixed at the front of the store. We shoppers have been gathering our goods and taking them to cashiers who manually key prices into registers and collect our cash (or Visa Cards, which were introduced the year I graduated from high school with the class of ‘66). IBM studies during the early ‘70s revealed that 23 percent of items were entered over or under their actual prices.

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When you delegate you elevate

Harvey Mackay

When you grow, you have to know when to let go. You have to know when to delegate down so you can rise up. The inability to delegate properly is the main reason that executives fail. I've learned that people will seldom let you down if they understand that your destiny is in their hands, and vice versa.

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The Stranglehold that the UK 1939 Cancer Act Exerts in Great Britain

Staff Researcher

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, August 3, 2012
The Stranglehold that the UK 1939 Cancer Act Exerts in Great Britain

by Madeline C. Hickey-Smith

(OMNS Aug 3, 2012) Most citizens of Great Britain are totally unaware of the 1939 Cancer Act which effectively prevents them from finding out about different treatments for cancer.

Comments: 1

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Digital Medicines: Shifting the care paradigm

Neil Johnston

Recently, i2P reported on the development of wearable sensors (see http://www.i2p.com.au/article/digital-cure-future-wearable-sensors ).
Now wearable sensors are being incorporated with ingestible sensor systems designed to be taken internally as part of a medication. The ingestible sensors then transmit raw patient data to an external wearable sensor embedded in an adhesive patch.
One such system is called Digital Medicine.
The data, once collected from ingestible sensors is stored in the external patch and transmitted wirelessly to a smart phone.The data is converted here to patient reports that can be further transmitted to health care providers to interpret results for patients, and allow for an intervention if necessary.

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You control your emotions

Harvey Mackay

You are driving to work when suddenly another driver cuts into your lane and nearly clips you. You immediately get mad and it sets you off for the morning.

One of your co-workers calls in "sick" - again - meaning you will be doing double duty for the third time this month. Your own work is piling up while you try to cover for her. You head to the manager, ready to explode.

Comments: 1

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Aussies "psychologically adapting" to climate change

Staff Researcher

Research from Griffith University and Cardiff University in Wales has found that Australians are accepting climate change and are taking adaptive action.
The two-year project involving nearly 7500 Australians and 1800 Britons found 90 per cent of Australian and 89 per cent of British respondents accepted human causal impact on climate change. Though comparison findings showed striking similarities overall, Australian respondents viewed climate change as a more "immediate, proximal, and certain threat" than British respondents and were beginning to adapt to it through changes in their thinking, feelings and behaviours.

Comments: 1

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Why Pharmacists Don’t Get on with the Job

Neil Johnston

We all know, and mostly agree, that the pharmacy model that solves the future is a clinical model with a fee for service at the epicentre.
Nicola Roxon, the Minister for Health prior to taking on the role of Attorney-General, spoke in very clear terms about pharmacists moving into clinical roles, yet little movement has occurred.
Why?
The reason is that sanction has not been explored fully with other groups and organisations that occupy a similar or complementary space.

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Clinical Intervention Payments Not Being Claimed

Peter Sayers

One of the more useful clinical service payments negotiated by The Pharmacy Guild of Australia (PGA) has not generated sufficient excitement within the pharmacy world because much of the money available has not been claimed.
Even though the service is one that pharmacists have been providing forever, its current design and implementation has not been planned appropriately.
Expected levels of claiming are simply not occurring.

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The Importance of Goodwill, Professional Service Development and Social Media Drivers

Neil Johnston

The loss of even one pharmacy in the delivery of pharmacy services has an impact on all pharmacies.
When a pharmacy has to go into receivership or liquidation, there is an intangible loss that is felt within the industry in some way e.g. banks may reduce lending to all pharmacies or increase their interest rate to the pharmacy sector.
This impact flows through to net profit, goodwill value and the market resale value of all pharmacies
Pharmacy also has a collective reputation and if that reputation is damaged in some way (even by a single practitioner through, say, deep discounting of Panadol, or the commoditising of the core business of dispensing, then all pharmacies collectively lose intangible value in some measure).

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Breakthrough treatment reduces post-surgical scarring for glaucoma patients

Staff Researcher

Scientists at the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have developed an innovative way to combat post-surgical scarring for glaucoma patients.
A clinical trial has shown that the use of a new drug delivery method has resulted in 40 per cent fewer injections needed by glaucoma patients to prevent scarring after surgery.
This also means fewer hospital visits for these patients in future.

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Brain discovery sheds light on link between vision and emotion

Staff Researcher

Neuroscientists have discovered a new area of the brain that is uniquely specialised for peripheral vision and could be targeted in future treatments for panic disorders and Alzheimer’s disease.
Published today in high impact journal Current Biology, researchers led by Dr Hsin-Hao Yu and Professor Marcello Rosa from Monash University’s Department of Physiology found that a brain area, known as prostriata, was specialised in detecting fast-moving objects in peripheral vision.

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Chronic pain distorts sufferers’ sense of space and time

Staff Researcher

Einstein’s famous theory of relativity proposed that matter can distort space and time. Now a new study recently published in the journal Neurology suggests that chronic pain can have the same effect.
Neuroscientists from the University of South Australia, Neuroscience Research Australia and the University of Milano Bicocca in Italy, studied people with chronic back pain, the most common painful condition which costs western countries billions of dollars in lost productivity every year.

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Diabetes risk for elderly couch potatoes in Australia

Staff Researcher

Australians aged 60 and over spend more time watching TV than other adults and are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a new study from The University of Queensland has found.
The study of almost 2,000 elderly Australians found that over 60s watch TV for an average of nearly four hours a day, about an hour longer than younger adults.

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Kids who play interactive video games have better motor skills

Staff Researcher

Deakin University health researchers have found pre-schoolers who play interactive video games, such as Wii, have better motor skills.
The researchers, in collaboration with a colleague from the University of Wollongong, conducted a pilot study of 53 pre-schoolers to see if there was an association between playing electronic games and the children’s fundamental movement skills.
The results showed that object control motor skills, such as kicking, catching, throwing a ball, were better in the children who played interactive games.

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Possible new approach to fighting chronic inflammatory diseases

Staff Researcher

Researchers from The University of Queensland's Institute for Molecular Bioscience have discovered a potential new approach to treating chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.
Professor Fairlie, Dr Rink-Jan Lohman and their colleagues have developed an experimental treatment that is effective in stopping the progression of arthritic disease as well as reducing disease symptoms in models of arthritis.

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The brains of people with schizophrenia may attempt to heal from the disease

Staff Researcher

New NeuRA research shows that the brains of people with schizophrenia may attempt to repair damage caused by the disease, in another example of the adult brain’s capacity to change and grow.
Prof Cyndi Shannon Weickert
, Dr Dipesh Joshi and colleagues from Neuroscience Research Australia studied the brains of people with schizophrenia and focussed on one of the hardest-hit regions, the orbitofrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain involved in regulating emotional and social behaviour

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Ginger muscles in on diabetes

Staff Researcher

Ginger, the common spice and ancient Asian remedy, could have the power to help manage the high levels of blood sugar which create complications for long-term diabetic patients, a University of Sydney study reports.
The study, published this month in the prestigious natural product journal Planta Medica, reveals the potential power of ginger to control blood glucose by using muscle cells.

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Symbion contributes to PSS development fund

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

The donation will be put towards developing and expanding the Pharmacists’ Support Service including establishing a website which will include a host of resources and information to support and assist pharmacists.
The website will enable PSS to broaden its outreach to pharmacists throughout Australia.  Currently the service only has adequate funds to provide a telephone service between 8am and 11pm to Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and the Northern Territory.
A website with links to useful information will provide pharmacists throughout Australia with a valuable resource that they can access 24 hours a day.

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Neighborhood Links to Health & Wellbeing

Staff Researcher

People who live in safer, cleaner and friendly neighbourhoods experience higher levels of health and wellbeing as they age, a new Flinders University study shows.
Released last month, Neighbourhood Characteristics: Shaping the Wellbeing of Older Australians reveals a direct link between communities and the physical health, mental health and overall quality of life of middle-aged and older Australians.

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Global study shows brain damage from stroke can be minimised

Staff Researcher

A new study from The University of Queensland shows monitoring the brain of stroke patients using Quantitative EEG (QEEG) studies could inform treatments and therefore, minimising brain damage of stroke victims.
EEG stands for electroencephalogram and is a medical test which is used to measure the electrical activity of the brain.

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Ambos' call-outs rise and fall with the temperature

Staff Writer

If the temperature hits 30 degrees, Brisbane ambos can expect approximately 10 per cent more call-outs that day for people with chronic conditions, research from QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation has found.
With summer on its way and climate change in full swing, QUT Professor Shilu Tong's analysis of 784,000 daily ambulance attendances between 2000 and 2007 could prove a valuable predictive tool.

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Speech a new marker for depression treatment response

Staff Researcher

Speech can measure the severity of depression as well as a patient’s response to treatment, a new collaborative study between the University of Melbourne and the Center for Psychological Consultation in Wisconsin, USA has revealed.

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New way to block drug addiction

Staff Researcher

The studies show that addiction can be blocked via the immune system of the brain, without targeting the brain's wiring.
In a major breakthrough, an international team of scientists has proven that addiction to morphine and heroin can be blocked, while at the same time increasing pain relief.

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Conflict of Interest Potential

Neil Johnston

From the desk of the editor:
This month, Pharmedia touches on the Dose Administration Aid business and the ramifications that can create confusion and financial disadvantage as contracts change. Also, the potential for conflict of interest.
The original media story was published by a regional Queensland newspaper, The Fraser Coast Chronicle, and is reproduced below.
i2P asked Mark Coleman to explore beneath the surface of this story to provide linkages to the wider story, given the players that are involved, directly or indirectly.

Comments: 2

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