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Publication Date 03/09/2013         Volume. 5 No. 8   
Information to Pharmacists

Editorial

From the desk of the editor

Welcome to the September edition of i2P E-Magazine
I am sure that I am not the only pharmacist who is sick and tired of hearing and seeing nothing but political drama as portrayed by the various news media dominating the airways.
It seems to be lasting forever!
Having been sold out by Kevin Rudd on the issue of accelerated price transparency, and with Tony Abbott, displaying little interest in the plight of pharmacy (maybe he can’t find a three-word slogan for it), the new PGA leader-in-waiting (George Tambassis) is set to take over right at the bottom of the pharmacy lifecycle curve.
It is not surprising that he will be speaking on Day 1 of PAC 13 on pharmacy unity – he will need all the friends (and help) he can get!

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Recent Comments

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News Flash

Newsflash Updates for September 2013

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

Interesting Times

Gerald Quigley

A few of us were discussing health at golf the other day, and I asked one person the name of their local GP.
He rattled off a name and I followed up by asking the name of his local pharmacist.
Other than saying that he visited a number of pharmacy businesses depending when and where he needed to, he couldn’t tell me a name.
Why have we been pushed off the radar?
I still hear the pharmacists of old spoken about by their local communities in revered tones.
Maybe the fact that we all do the same stuff, all carry similar ranges of stock, all dispense really fast, and all have the soap powder and detergent out in the street, means that the consumer can’t tell us apart any more?

Comments: 1

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Mr. Giacomo Rescigno’s pharmacy, Via Trento, Salerno

Fiona Sartoretto Verna AIAPP

Based in Italy (Rome and Turin), our company has designed a patented series of purpose-built pharmacy furniture, which is then manufactured by our partner companies.
Our expertise in pharmacy store design (the first in Turin – Italy in 1965) is attested to by over 1500 pharmacy refurbishments and renovations completed all over the world that have created above-average rises in turn over for our clients.
Our lines of furniture for pharmacies, drug stores and chemists are part of a comprehensive modular system of pharmacy fixtures which are distributed throughout the world by our Rome and Turin offices.

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Medical Turf Wars Set to Become Wars of Attrition - AHPRA is Sued

Mark Coleman

Turf wars between health professions are liable to become increasingly centre stage from this point onwards as the AMA sues the Board of Optometry
If the doctors win with the optometrists, they will have the precedent to bully all of the other health professions into submission, and to conform to a desperately flawed medical model that is archaic, monopolistic and expensive.
It is because of improved education throughout most of the allied health professions, that is causing its members to see opportunity to service patients more efficiently and economically than the current medical model.

Comments: 3

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Major Tax Benefits may be Lost after September 7

Chris Foster

Editor's Note: Chris Foster has sent this informative article for the benefit of i2P subscribers alerting all to tax benefits that could occur if some transactions are enacted prior to the elections.
As everyone is looking to save on costs at the moment, here are some suggestions that could be of benefit.

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Why Do We Cheat?

Harvey Mackay

Why do we cheat?
Baseball has surely been in the headlines lately, and for the ugliest of reasons: cheating.
Not the old hide-the-ball-in-the-glove trick or greasing or scuffing the baseball.
No, those would be too obvious.
In their pursuit of perfection, or at least superior performance, dozens of high-paid athletes, superstars and utility players alike, turned to performance enhancing drugs that they hoped would evade discovery.
It didn’t work, and America’s pastime is plagued with scandal.

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Disinformation and Reasonable Doubt

Neil Johnston

No doubt you have all followed the negative press being disseminated within mainstream media about all those "greedy" pharmacists who overcharge and exploit their patients.
Journalists like Sue Dunleavy write their stories with only one thought in mind, and that is to create controversy that leads to more new stories about the fallout created by using this style of journalism.
She practices “disinformation” that was a process developed to a fine art by the Russians during the Cold War era, and the process can be very destructive, as near-truths are spun out as actual fact which remain embedded in Internet media and resurface in search engines for years later

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Body Language of Political Leaders

Barry Urquhart

How interesting!
Voters, in a series of six focus groups, have been asked to interpret the messages and attitudes from the body language of Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott from sets of television video clips from the campaign trails – with no sound tracks.

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Vaccine Concerns Spreading in Australia

Judy Wilyman

Editor's Note; I recently received an email newsletter sent by Judy Wilyman at www.vaccinationdecisions.net . She is a PhD student and has researched the controversies surrounding vaccine policy development in the US and Australia. Like i2P she has noted the insertion of people into health policy departments that has resulted in decisions that favour the profits of drug manufacturers and do little for the health of the general public, particularly its youngest members. These people also appear to have a common thread, in that there is a strong association with members of the Australian Skeptics organisation.

Comments: 6

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Lessons From Texting While Driving

Mark Neuenschwander

I’ve been thinking about cavalier pilots, intrepid teens, arrogant adults, and overconfident caregivers.
If I remember correctly, I was driving home from the airport while listening to an NPR clip about two airline pilots overflying their destination by 150 miles.
The commentator said they “lost situational awareness” while using laptop computers for personal activities. I’m sure these pilots were not dumb, but what they did was stupid.
What in the friendly skies were they thinking? What if their inattentiveness had caused a crash and killed the 144 passengers and three flight attendants aboard? I mumbled something like “throw the book at them.”
That’s about when I realized that I had lost exit awareness on I-405—all because I was peeking at a text on my iPhone. What on earth was I thinking?

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Immunisation - Measles, Mumps and Misinformation

Loretta Marron OAM BSc

"Bring back the pox! Bring back polio! Bring back whooping cough, mumps and measles! 
Your children will be stronger if they contract disease" - or so a book recently pulled from the shelves of Australia's biggest online book store would have you believe.
Written as a children's bedtime story, Melanie's Marvellous Measles is a discussion between a mother and her daughter after a friend contracts measles.
The mother wants her to catch the disease so that she can build up her "immune systems naturally".

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Vitamin C, Shingles, and Vaccination

Staff Writer

OHMS-Opinion by Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD

The pharmaceutical industry, and many doctors, appear to be making great efforts by to get as many people as possible vaccinated against shingles. Even if such an intervention was highly effective in preventing shingles, which certainly has not been shown to be the case, the information below should make it clear that such vaccinations are unnecessary. The side effects that would be suffered by a significant number of individuals need never occur in the first place. The real problem is that what is discussed below generates relatively little income for anybody in the healthcare industry. Regardless, you need to decide for yourself.

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Australians need a viable primary care pharmacy network

Staff Writer

by Suzanne Newman:

SHPA supports the need for a viable and affordable primary care pharmacy network, based around community pharmacies that can provide the medicines and pharmacist professional services that consumers need, when and where they need them.
SHPA also supports the need for medicines to be affordable – both to the consumer and to the community as a whole.

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The Sophisticates - Do we present well? (With credit to Seth Godin)

Gerald Quigley

Every profession creates them.
Doctors and lawyers sure, but also speakers and programmers, and rodeo riders.
The sophisticate is on one side of the chasm, and the hack, the amateur, the self-defeating worrier is on the other.

Comments: 1

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Primary Care – Taking the High Ground Again

Neil Johnston

You have to acknowledge that as competitors, "they" have been very efficiently organised themselves and created a boundary around primary health care.
“They”, being general practice medical practitioners.
Over time, I am sure that you too have noticed the “invisibility” of pharmacy in any public discussion on primary health care or inclusion in any public health programs.
I have even attended regional health meetings where primary health care has been the major topic and no pharmacist present at all.

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The State of Sales

Harvey Mackay

I will go to the ends of the earth to find ways to improve communication and selling, so I was delighted to be invited to Israel in July to be briefed by the crème-de-la-crème of Israel's intelligence community. Wall-to-wall briefings introduced me to 25 top strategists, military commanders and technology entrepreneurs. Why is Israeli intelligence gathering so widely envied and emulated? Its discipline, attention to detail and passion are breathtaking. These same traits that distinguish Israel's national intelligence program are easy to spot in the country's economy. It's increasingly dominated by entrepreneurial, high-tech innovators in breakthrough industries like 3D printing.

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PPA Pursues PGA over Proposed Penalty Rates

Professional Pharmacists Australia Spokesperson

The outgoing president of the Pharmacy Guild today called on the Federal Government to cut penalty rates for pharmcists.

An interview with outgoing President Kos Sclavos in yesterday’s Australian Financial Review states:

“However, he said rents and wages were a more pressing problem for struggling pharmacists.

He hoped the new Coalition government would bear these challenges in mind when drawing up

policy around penalty rates, as well as considering the power of landlords.

Australian Financial Review, 18 September 2013

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ISDS Inter-Country Agreements - The Next Battle to Face

Neil Johnston

All those people who have been worried about price transparency and the so-called overcharging for prescription by pharmacists should now focus their attention on Investor-State Dispute Settlements, or ISDS's
This is a term that is becoming common in Free Trade Agreements between sovereign countries.
It sets out the right of foreign companies to sue national governments of the signatory countries, not in domestic courts, but in opaque and shadowy international forums, if they think some element of that government’s policy is harming their interests. 

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Paracetamol pack size changes

Marie Kelly-Davies

With the imminent scheduling change to paracetamol from 1 September 2013, theAustralian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) has reaffirmed its commitment to adopting best practicein all aspects of analgesic use including issues such as labelling, packaging, dosage and availability of public information. From 1 September 2013, the size of packs containing paracetamol that are available over-thecounterin supermarkets will reduce from 25 to 20 tablets.1

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Health Policies Need to Focus on Self Care

Marie Kelly-Davies

The Financial Review recently featured a Letter to the Editor from ASMI Executive Director Dr Deon Schoombie, ‘Health policies need to focus on self care’ (Financial Review, 29 August 2013, page 51).
The letter was prompted by Tuesday’s opinion piece by Stephen Duckett (health program director at the Grattan Institute) on the shortcomings of the health policies being presented by the major parties in the lead up to the election.

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Health Professional’s Health Conference caring for you caring for others

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

I will be representing pharmacists at this conference and presenting a contributed paper about the work of the Pharmacists’ Support Service. I am passionate about the health and well-being of pharmacists and I encourage you to think about attending this conference in order to learn more about how we can create a healthier pharmacy workforce. I plan to report back on the conference in the November edition of i2P. I hope that I will be joined at the conference by other pharmacists interested in ensuring that the Australian pharmacy workforce addresses its own well-being and so is well equipped to care for the Australian community.
If you want to talk anonymously to another pharmacist about your own or a colleague’s health and well-being call the Pharmacists’ Support Service on 1300 244 910. The service is provided by pharmacists for pharmacists every day of the year between 8.00am and 11.00pm.

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New clinical pharmacy standards address national safety and quality initiatives

Staff Writer

Written by Suzanne Newman
The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has released the new SHPA Standards of Practice for Clinical Pharmacy Services. Compiled by the SHPA Committee of Specialty Practice (COSP) in Clinical Pharmacy, these Practice Standards describe the activities delivered by pharmacists to patients to minimise the risks associated with the use of medicines and to optimise the use of medicines.

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Pharmacy Guild Should Support Penalty Rates

Professional Pharmacists Australia Spokesperson

By Matt Nuirse:
Australia’s union of pharmacists, Professional Pharmacists Australia, today said it was concerned about the Pharmacy Guild’s failure to support pharmacists’ penalty rates – at least at their current rates.
President of Professional Pharmacists Australia, Dr Geoff March, said he was worried that penalty rates could be cut after the federal election with support of the Pharmacy Guild.

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ALL PHARMACISTS SHOULD BE THE FOCUS OF RESPONSE TO PRICE DISCLOSURE CHANGES

Professional Pharmacists Australia Spokesperson

By Fiona Simpson
Professional Pharmacists Australia today said fair remuneration for Australia’s non-owner pharmacists, as well as owner pharmacists, should be the focus of community pharmacy lobbying in response to the recently announced changes to price disclosure by the Federal Government.

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Brain atrophy linked with cognitive decline in diabetes

Staff Researcher

New research has shown that cognitive decline in people with Type 2 Diabetes is likely due to brain atrophy, or shrinkage, that resembles patterns seen in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.
Dr Chris Moran and Associate Professor Velandai Srikanth of Monash University led the first large-scale study to compare brain scans and cognitive function between people with and without Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM). They found that brain atrophy, rather than cerebrovascular lesions, was likely the primary reason for cognitive impairment associated with T2DM.

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Cannabis Users Beware - Exercise May Lead to a Positive Test

Staff Researcher

Exercise is essential to a healthy lifestyle, but new research led by the University of Sydney shows that for cannabis users, it could also lead to positive drug tests.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main intoxicating ingredient in cannabis, has a strong affinity for fat tissue. Most of the THC consumed when cannabis is smoked ends up being rapidly transferred from the bloodstream into fat cells, where it accumulates and can lie dormant for weeks or even months.
But what happens when you burn the fat that contains this THC?

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OTC analgesics containing codeine safe for the majority of users

Marie Kelly-Davies

Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines containing codeine, including codeine-combination analgesics, are an effective short-term option for temporary relief of moderate to strong pain, when taken according to the directions on the pack, the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) has reinforced today.
ASMI’s comments follow the release of preliminary research findings from the University of Adelaide which suggest that using large and frequent doses of the codeine may produce heightened sensitivity to pain.1,2

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ASMI and Macquarie University to uncover the positive impact of self care on public health

Marie Kelly-Davies

The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) and Macquarie University have announced a joint research partnership that will produce for the very first time independent, evidence-based research into the current and future impact of self care and self-medication on public health in Australia.
The extensive research program, which will be conducted in three phases over the next 12 months, will determine the consumer healthcare industry’s* value in the Australian economic and healthcare environment, critical insights into consumers’ attitudes and behaviour towards self care, and the value of self care in contributing to a sustainable healthcare system in the future.

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Award forYvonne Allinson

Staff Writer

Story provided by Suzanne Newman
During the opening session of Medicines Management 2013, the 39th SHPA National Conference, the 2013 Fred J Boyd Award was presented to Yvonne Allinson, former Chief Executive Officer of SHPA, in recognition of her enormous and sustained contribution to the profession.

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ASMI encourages new Government to integrate self care into health policies

Marie Kelly-Davies

In congratulating the Coalition on election success, the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) said today that it looks forward to continuing to engage with the new Government to ensure health policies focus on self care.

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OTC analgesics containing codeine safe for the majority of users: Response to Letter to Editor in MJA

Marie Kelly-Davies

Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines containing codeine, including codeine combination analgesics, are an effective short-term option for temporary relief of moderate to strong pain, when taken according to the directions on the pack, the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) reaffirmed today.

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Respected pharmacist recognised for work in heart disease

Staff Writer

Story provided by Suzanne Newman

SHPA presents the Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award each year to a member who has made an outstanding contribution in the area of clinical pharmacy practice.
Dr Alexandra “Sasha” Bennett is the recipient of the award for 2013.

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Pharmedia: Looking at Virtual Retail Solutions

Neil Johnston

Editor's Note: The past decade has been one of disunity coupled with a corresponding loss of collegiality between pharmacists.
Some of the divisions that have occurred may never be repaired.
i2P has taken a decision for its Pharmedia column to build it into a positive ideas column - one that may stimulate some of the more active and creative minds within the comunity of pharmacists.
This may also be done at some commercial loss to i2P, as these are ideas that have, or may have been developed and refined through some of our consulting work.

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