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Publication Date 01/09/2012         Volume. 4 No. 8   
Information to Pharmacists

Editorial

From the desk of the editor

Welcome to the September 2012 homepage edition of i2P-Information to Pharmacists.
This month we feature an article by Gerald Quigley who has had a frustrating experience trying to collaborate with a range of medical practitioners and specialists and finding out how little these people know about pharmacy and that their collaboration potential was zilch!

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News Flash

News Flash Updates for September 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

Is it time to survey what we actually do?

Gerald Quigley

I hear exciting news about building liaisons with GPs.
Lots of words, but so little action.
I attended a meeting last Friday.
It was all about the issues confronting the elderly, focusing on their nutritional needs.
Well structured meeting, well chaired and attended by specialist geriatricians, specialist dieticians, a GP, and me.
Intense discussions were bounced back and forward across the table.
“Why aren’t pharmacists more interested in older patients?” I was asked.
“Surely they get to see an older person far more often that the local GP, and certainly more often that a geriatrician!”

Comments: 1

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Health Insurers in the News-ACCC to Prepare a Senate Report

Peter Sayers

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is inviting interested parties to comment on preliminary issues identified by the ACCC in preparing a report to the Australian Senate on private health insurance.
The Senate requires the ACCC to provide an annual assessment of 'any anti-competitive or other practices by health funds or providers which reduce the extent of health cover for consumers and increase their out-of-pocket medical or other expenses '.
The report will cover the period I July 2011 to 30 June 2012. It will be the fourteenth report prepared by the ACCC in compliance with an order agreed to by the Senate on 25 March 1999 and amended on 18 September 2002.
This year the ACCC proposes to examine issues that reduce the extent of health cover and increase consumers' out-of-pocket expenses which have not formed the focus of previous ACCC reports to the Senate.

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Pharmacist Succession - employer and employee

Peter Sayers

Pharmacist ageing is a process that has had little thought or input particularly when retirement age is reached and how a succession is to be achieved.
And there are two levels of succession.
One involves the business succession to create a survival and renewal process for the business.
The other involves a more personal professional succession for those pharmacists that seek a rewarding extension of their professional skills.

Comments: 2

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Your Big Expensive Healthcare Reform: What measurable benefits will you deliver? -Part 1 of 4

Steve Jenkin

Introduction - Backgrounding and framing the topic

Government reform in healthcare is predicated on patients moving into a space that involves taking responsibility for their own treatment.
For this to properly occur, all health professionals have to engage with their patients and begin to mentor them to assist in understanding their health problems.
They must provide education and resources so that this process can occur.

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Your Great Big Expensive Healthcare Reform: What measurable benefits will you deliver? - Part 2 of 4

Steve Jenkin

Models of real & successful healthcare improvement
Editor's Note:This article is the second in a series written by Steve Jenkin.
In his first article he discussed the balance of power between patients and their doctors, the Institute of Science in Medicine - the US organisation from which the Australian FSM organisation is cloned and the Carhegie Foundation Report of 1920 by Flexner, which is more fully discussed in the third article of this series in detail in the next i2P update for September.

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Your Great Big Expensive Healthcare Reform: What measurable benefits will you deliver? Part 3 of 4

Steve Jenkin

The Flexner Report – its background and relevance

Editor's Note:The Flexner Report is a book-length study of medical education in the US and Canada, written by the professional educator Abraham Flexner and published in 1910 under the aegis of the Carnegie Foundation.
Many aspects of the present-day American medical profession stem from the Flexner Report and its aftermath.

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Your Great Big Expensive Healthcare Reform: What measurable benefits will you deliver? Part 4 of 4

Steve Jenkin

Conclusions

Editor's Note: This is the fourth and final article in the Steve Jenkin analysis of the FSM.
Throughout the series he has been highly critical of the Friends of Science in Medicine (FSM) organisation, their policies and their values.
His attitude is best summarised in an observation he made at the completion of his analysis:
"If ISM/FSM criticise the Effectiveness of non-Medical Healthcare, we must in turn ask them to demonstrate the Effectiveness of their own proposals.
If they set Rules and Standards for others, they need to follow them themselves, even better, demonstrate by superior example."

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NT Election outcome signals a new era

Rollo Manning

A new approach is likely to economic development in remote Aboriginal communities as a result of the resounding victory of the Country Liberal Party (CLP) election held last weekend.
It now looks as though the CLP have won 16 seats in the 25 seat Parliament with one seat held by the Independent Gerry Wood and the balance by the outgoing Labor Party with eights seats – down from the previous 12 seats.
The significant element to the result was the success “in the bush” – all those seats outside of Darwin and Alice Springs – now held by CLP members of Parliament and which were previously Labor held seats.

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The Health Legacy of Nicola Roxon

Neil Johnston

Back in 2007 when John Howard was defeated in a general election and the new  team was assuming the reins of power, I remember looking for the name of who the new Minister for Health and Aging was going to be.
That person, of course, was Nicola Roxon, a virtual unknown at that time.
I decided to do a background article to understand the attitudes and values of the person who was going to control Pharmacy’s destiny for the ensuing years.
Now we have had time to observe her in action and I would say that Nicola represents one of the best young political minds ever to serve in the Australian Parliament and deserves wider recognition for her achievements in containing the tobacco industry’s marketing thrust, saving many Australian lives now, and for the future.

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Marketing & Social Media 101 for Business - Part 2

Chris Foster

Last month, we looked at marketing in general, including;

* Defining what marketing is
* Looking at the difference between marketing and selling
* Identifying the four ways to grow a business
* Discussed business growth strategies
* Listed many of the tools of marketing
* The importance of having an on line presence in some form

This month, we are going to have a closer look at social media, which in Part 1 last month, we identified as only one of the many tools of marketing.
This article is best viewed by clicking the link *open full screen" 

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Suppliers ought to be partners in any business

Neil Retallick

Community pharmacies across Australia are casting around for alternate sources of revenue and profit that will replace the revenue and profit being eroded from the dispensary as PBS Reforms and the accelerated WADP processes take hold. One of these opportunities most often evoked is the notion of re-building the retail front-of-shop in community pharmacy. The greatest challenge with this plan is that any successful retail business relies heavily on support from its suppliers. Community pharmacy is not assured of this support.

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Stress and Anxiety in Australian Pharmacists – an important research topic

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

During the period 1 July 2011 until 30 June 2012 the Pharmacists’ Support Service received 72 calls, up from 54 in the previous year.  Is this increase due to growing awareness of PSS or is this due to increased stress in pharmacists?  How much do we know about how pharmacists are coping with the current climate in pharmacy?  Are pharmacists more susceptible to stress and anxiety, perhaps due to their training and personality?  Is stress and anxiety affecting pharmacists’ ability to practice safely?  What impact does stress and anxiety have on the competency of pharmacists?  All these questions will remain unanswered until there is more research into the well being of pharmacists in Australia.  I personally believe that this topic is deserving of the attention of our pharmacy organisations including Australian schools of pharmacy.

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Vitamins - or should it now be Vita-mens?

Loretta Marron OAM BSc

According to a recent article, "Women are sillier than men when it comes to choosing what to put into/on their bodies"
This had me hurrying to investigate why women use CAM more than men.
The article also claims that men go to the doctor less, do not eat as well and that they drink more, with which many men happily agree.
It also had me thinking about recent vitamin advertising during sports programs, clearly targeting men. So – it is safe for men to take vitamins?

Comments: 1

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It's All In The Mix

Barry Urquhart

The suggestion may appear to be simplistic.
However, the current malaise of the overall retail sector, as well as that being experienced by individual shopping centres, precincts and communities will to some considerable extent be addressed and redressed by a prime focus on a fundamental marketing imperative... that is, a good tenancy mix .
It should be an immutable rule for all lessors and property owners.
A balanced, attractive tenancy mix which satisfies a full spectrum of consumer needs, wants and aspirations is an effective magnet which generates customer traffic.
Thus, it is and must be Sine Qua Non.

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I’ve been thinking about mountains, marijuana, and multitasking.

Mark Neuenschwander

When my son graduated from high school, I compiled twenty suggestions for him.
The list wasn’t terribly profound—hardly worth a book.
Nevertheless, I think I offered a few pretty good ideas from “do your own laundry” to “start a business at least once in your lifetime.”
I’m proud to report that Jeff has done his own laundry ever since (even after marrying Cristina) and has started a successful tech-support business.
I borrowed my best suggestion for naming his list—“Climb Every Other Mountain”—to which I added, “You can’t do everything in life. Choose well.”

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Let your imagination fuel your success

Harvey Mackay

Take a close look at the back of a dollar bill.
On the left side is a pyramid, with an eye at the top.
Over the pyramid is the Latin inscription "annuit coeptis."
It means: "Providence has Favored Our Undertakings."

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Time For a Philosophical Review of S3

Peter Sayers

How many times have you been interrupted during the busiest prescription flow of the day to attend to an S3 request?
How many times have you thought “b**gger – I need this interruption like a hole in the head!”
Yet you dutifully attend to the request in a professional manner, asking all the relevant questions of a patient who looks at you if you are from outer space!
And you return to the dispensing mess that has piled up while you were talking to the patient.
Something is wrong here, as pharmacist mental health becomes a victim of the process.
It’s definitely time to adjust the workflow process and create roles within pharmacies designated “consumer health-partner pharmacist”, or similar title.
We have a legislated “pharmacist-in-charge” role to cover dispensary procedures, but no designated person to look after consumer cognitive services – both core activities in a pharmacy.

Comments: 1

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Pharmacist Succession - employer and employee

Peter Sayers

Pharmacist ageing is a process that has had little thought or input particularly when retirement age is reached and how a succession is to be achieved.
And there are two levels of succession.
One involves the business succession to create a survival and renewal process for the business.
The other involves a more personal professional succession for those pharmacists that seek a rewarding extension of their professional skills.

Comments: 2

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“All of a sudden I could see a little flash of light. It was amazing.”

Staff Researcher

Ms Dianne Ashworth has profound vision loss due to retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited condition. She has now received what she calls a ‘pre-bionic eye’ implant that enables her to experience some vision. A passionate technology fan, Ms Ashworth was motivated to make a contribution to the bionic eye research program.
After years of hard work and planning, Ms Ashworth’s implant was switched on last month at the Bionics Institute, while researchers held their breaths in the next room, observing via video link.
In a major development, Bionic Vision Australia researchers have successfully performed the first implantation of an early prototype bionic eye with 24 electrodes.

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New hope for spinal cord injury patients

Staff Researcher

A new antibody could reverse the damage caused by trauma to the central nervous system, according to new research.
After a neurotrauma event, such as a spinal cord injury, the body produces an inflammatory response that often leads to scarring and permanent nerve damage.
There are currently no treatment options.
Research published in The American Journal of Pathology and led by Monash University's Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI)  and the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) details how a new antibody, created by the US therapeutic antibody company Lpath, blocks the effects of lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). A molecule released in response to injury, LPA promotes inflammation and nerve cell death.

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Non-communicable diseases having devastating global impact

Staff Researcher

Original article written by Catherine Somerville

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes are no longer just a problem in wealthy nations – the rate of NCDs in low-to-middle income countries are increasing faster than in developed countries. This major public health issue was the focus of the Director’s Seminar presented by Professor Rob Moodie from the University of Melbourne’s School of Population Health.

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Persistent Cannabis Users Show Neuropsychological Decline from Childhood to Midlife

Staff Researcher

Persistent cannabis users who started using the drug before age 18 show an average IQ decline of 8 points and other signs of impaired mental functioning by age 38, according to world-first research emerging from the University of Otago’s long-running Dunedin Multidisciplinary Study.
The Study has followed the progress of 1000 Dunedin-born people since their birth in 1972/73 and is one of the most detailed studies of human health and development ever undertaken. The latest findings are newly published in a paper appearing in the US journal PNAS Plus co-authored by researchers from Otago, Duke University and King’s College London.

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Anaesthetic linked to learning problems in children

Staff Researcher

Children who are given anaesthetic before the age of three may have an increased risk of developing learning difficulties, according to a new study involving researchers at The University of Western Australia.
But researchers have cautioned there is not enough evidence at this stage to change current medical practice and parents should not avoid or delay surgery for their children if needed.

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Neuromarketing

Staff Researcher

Dr Joseph Ciorciari.

Marketers are using neuroscience to create advertising which speaks directly to your brain.
How do you decide which running shoes to buy? Why do you prefer the iPhone over all other smart phones? Why did smokers crave a cigarette after watching an ad designed to turn people off smoking, while non-smokers were disgusted by it? These are the questions advertisers, marketers and market researchers are constantly faced with and Swinburne Neuroscience Professor Richard Silberstein has some of the answers.

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Muscle pain reduced in thirty minutes

Staff Researcher

Using a hand held device the size of a computer mouse for just 30 minutes could significantly change how people deal with, and recover from, the pain associated with musculoskeletal conditions.
Edith Cowan University (ECU) School of Exercise and Health Sciences Master by Research student Harry Banyard has been investigating the effectiveness of electromagnetic therapy in treating muscle damage.

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New discovery of how carbon is stored in the Southern Ocean

Staff Researcher

A team of British and Australian scientists has discovered how carbon is drawn down from the surface of the Southern Ocean to the deep waters beneath.
The Southern Ocean is an important carbon sink in the world – around 40 per cent of the annual global CO2 emissions absorbed by the world’s oceans enter through this region.
Reporting this week in the journal Nature Geoscience, scientists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and Australia’s national research agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), reveal that rather than carbon being absorbed uniformly into the deep ocean in vast areas, it is drawn down and locked away from the atmosphere by plunging currents a thousand kilometres wide.

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Australia 'must help' groundwater crisis

Staff Writer

A recent UNESCO report has warned that degradation and depletion of the world's precious groundwater reserves is continuing unabated - Professor Craig Simmons argues Australia is in a position to tackle the issue and lead the rest of the world in improving groundwater management. Australia should take a lead in tackling the emerging global crisis in groundwater, says one of the nation’s most eminent water scientists.
Professor Craig Simmons, director of the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT), was commenting on a recent UNESCO report warning that degradation and depletion of the world’s precious reserves of groundwater was continuing unabated on a global scale.

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New SHPA-NAPE partnership for MMR accreditation

Staff Writer

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) and the National Alliance for Pharmacy Education (NAPE) are pleased to announce a new accreditation pathway for pharmacists wishing to perform Commonwealth-funded medication management reviews (MMRs).
From 1 October 2012 SHPA will recognise NAPE-credentialing as a pre-requisite for accreditation under the SHPA system. NAPE credentialing is in addition to the existing SHPA pathways that recognise certification from the US-based Commission for the Certification of Geriatric Pharmacists (CCGP) and Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS).

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Party drug users risking memory loss

Staff Researcher

The party drug mephedrone can cause lasting damage to the brain, according to new research led by the University of Sydney.

"Mephedrone is highly addictive in the worst possible way. Users tend to binge on massive doses of the drug over short time spans," said Craig Motbey, a PhD candidate in the University's School of Psychology and lead author of the research published in PLOS ONE, the Public Library of Science journal, today.
"Combined with the fact mephedrone is skyrocketing in popularity worldwide, with Australia following that trend, our finding that high doses can cause ongoing cognitive impairment spells a significant risk for users."
Also known as 'meow meow' and 'MCAT', mephedrone's immediate effect on the brain is similar to a combination of ecstasy and methamphetamine.

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How is Your Bedside Manner?

Neil Johnston

I read with interest, Gerald Quigley's article featured in i2P this month. He is talking about Doctor/Pharmacist professional cooperation and the collaboration and development of a team approach to health issues such as geriatric health.
A simple question was asked by a panel of assorted doctors about why pharmacists were not more active in the care of the elderly.
“Why aren’t pharmacists more interested in older patients?”
“Surely they get to see an older person far more often that the local GP, and certainly more often that a geriatrician!”.
The upshot was that all the doctors thought the pharmacist's role was to supply nutritional products such as Ensure, at the cheapest possible price. Nothing more.
No collaborative clinical venture there as Gerald quickly discovered.

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