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Publication Date 01/02/2014         Volume. 6 No. 1   
Information to Pharmacists

Editorial

From the desk of the editor

Welcome to the first full homepage edition for 2014.
As usual, the New Year brings new hope as well as a mixed bag of problems.
The problems, on the surface seem a little harsher for 2014 than for previous years.
No longer can pharmacy put off developing a new model for community pharmacy and it has to be a model that has a more rounded approach to pharmacy's core business of dispensing medicines and the provision of associated clinical services.
The new model cannot rely on government funding, and when it is all said and done, why would we want to continue to rely on government funding for managed care systems that always have a finite life cycle, and always end up being disruptive to a privately developed and efficiently managed business model.
The trick will be to find out what percentage of pharmacy services should be government funded (should always be under the 20 percent mark) and whether funding should be applied to an ongoing service or only be available for the development of the actual service model.

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Recent Comments

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News Flash

Newsflash Items for February 2014

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

Building a Clinical Space- Privacy Without Heaviness.

Neil Johnston

You may be looking to establish clinical services offering for your pharmacy, but like many of our fellow-pharmacists you may have taken a “hit” in the cash flow area that may be causing concern and indecision.
There are few models for community pharmacy clinical service spaces, so if investment in this area is to occur, the spaces need to be generated with minimal cost and maximum effectiveness.
You are urged to carefully think the process through and gather as much evidence as is available for every input into a clinical space.
That includes colour schemes, range of furnishings, equipment, a departmental sign clearly identifying "Clinical Service", the price list of services on offer and a detailed marketing plan of how you intend to implement such services.
By not paying attention to every detail you may “trip” unnecessarily.
And that all has to be in place before the first patient can be recruited.

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A Pharmacy chain with a revolutionary layout and services!

Fiona Sartoretto Verna AIAPP

Editor's Note:This month we feature a pharmacy from a fairly remote corner of the world in Kazakhstan. Sartoretto Verna have become involved with a pharmacy chain with pharmacies located in shopping centres not unlike their western counterparts.
That Sartoretto Verna have been able to cope and capture the diverse elements of culture from their commissioning country, into their various pharmacy designs is a credit to them.
And yet, when you view the final product in action, it is very similar to what you might expect to find in an Australian setting, proving that pharmacy is an adaptable component in the global village setting.

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The Illusion of Mainstream News

Mark Coleman

It has been a bit of a mystery to me why the real news about global drug companies, their fraudulent activities and their close ties to government agencies has rarely been reported on in mainstream new media outlets.
Distrust of mainstream media has been growing exponentially, year on year, and it appears that at least in the US a “tipping point” has been reached and readers are deserting mainstream media readers/viewers in droves.

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A Simple Smile Could Drive Profits Up by Over 200%!

Chris Foster

Last week when I was on leave I was walking down the street to purchase a newspaper.
On the way I passed a young girl busily setting up outside tables at a café.
I was about to say good morning but she turned away, totally ignoring me.
I suspect this is what she did to anyone passing by that she didn’t happen to know.
My first (and lasting) reaction to this was to feel inclined never to patronise this café in the future.

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Final Unique Device Identification Rule, Finally!

Mark Neuenschwander

I’ve been thinking about Harry Potter, Cheerios, smoke detectors, and the FDA’s final Unique Device Identification (UDI) rule.
In the Goblet of Fire, Professor Dumbledore informs Harry Potter of the evil Lord Voldemort’s eminent return, then warns: "Dark and difficult times lie ahead, Harry. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.”
In 1999 the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) report, To Err Is Human, warned America of an unseen enemy—a medical problem darker and more difficult than most had imagined. The report estimated that between 44,000 and 98,000 patients die each year as a result of medical errors. As many as 7,000 of these were lost to preventable medication errors, while another 1.5 million patients were needlessly suffering from adverse drug events. We don’t know the number of patients whose suffering and deaths involve medical device mishaps but it’s multiples of the number impacted by medication errors. And, all these statistics say nothing of the commensurate toll on caregivers who are unintentionally and unwittingly compromising their commitment to do no harm.

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Is Chiropractic at a Crossroad?

Loretta Marron OAM BSc

Hundreds of Australian websites claim that chiropractic is an effective treatment for a wide range of childhood diseases, including asthma, autism and cerebral palsy.
It was therefore not surprising that when I challenged this industry back in 2010, I believed that all chiropractors held pseudoscience-based beliefs.
However, when some of their 'moderates' offered to help me, including several of their academics, I realised that there was division in their ranks.
Could this mean their industry would eventually change?

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Dementia on the G8 Agenda The Good, the Bad, and the Encouraging News

Staff Writer

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, January 24, 2014

Dementia on the G8 Agenda
The Good, the Bad, and the Encouraging News

by Gert Schuitemaker, PhD and Robert G. Smith, PhD

(OMNS Jan 24, 2014) On December 11, 2013, a special G8 summit for health ministers was held in London. The topic was dementia. The summit was called by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who wants to encourage health authorities to seize the initiative taking action against this condition. The G8-health ministers, together with scientists, medical doctors, pharmacists, and health organizations discussed a new approach to study and treat this burgeoning disorder that is estimated to cost around EUR 440 billion (almost US $600 billion) annually.

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Role of vitamin D, in combination with calcium, indisputable for bone health

Marie Kelly-Davies

Despite the current debate surrounding vitamin D, its role in maintaining good bone health and protecting against osteoporosis, in combination with calcium, is indisputable.
While evidence of the potential role vitamin D may play in non-skeletal conditions mounts, the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) agrees with recent editorial comments in The Lancet that large clinical studies would help to properly assess the effects of vitamin D for health conditions such as heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, dementia and inflammatory diseases.1

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He says –she says- they say!

Gerald Quigley

NPS Medicinewise has waded into the Souvenaid debate, perhaps at the insistence of some agitators who have been active since its launch.
I wonder if any of these “opponents” have ever lived in a situation wherein Alzheimer’s disease plays a substantial role.
After all, we don’t have a cure, we don’t have an effective drug option to effectively slow the progress. Geriatricians often express frustration that their armamentarium is rather useless.
The research behind Souvenaid obviously needs further research, as most clinical trials do.

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Aged care drug abuse that points to scandal

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

Amanda Vanstone recently wrote a very critical article on the topic of over prescribing in aged care:
Aged care drug abuse that points to scandal
Only a savvy relative stood between Auntie Wilma and a GP's dire regime of pills.

'It would be foolish to imagine there are no bad eggs in the GP profession.'
Auntie Wilma has been a key focus of my friend Josie's life for many years.
Wilma trained and worked in healthcare, never married and remained fit and independent until she was 91.
Every morning at 7.30am Josie's phone would ring three rings and then cut off. Auntie Wilma had agreed to this messaging system that would let Josie know she was alive and well.

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Ramping Up Patient Data Security

Steve Jenkin

Editor's note: i2P was the first pharmacy publication to warn of "Ransomware", a hacker business model that was likely to succeed, because its pricing was more reasonable.
The Pharmacy Board recently issued a warning about patient data security, so Steve Jenkin was asked to re-visit the subject and update his original article.
I am not sure how many pharmacists regard this topic as a serious one, but we would advise that you need to treat it with concern,because the financial penalties imposed by the hackers first, and the patients secondly in their action against you for negligence in the handling of their information, can be considerable.
Do you have specific insurance cover for this eventuality?
The system for prevention is relatively simple, so a review of your internal security arrangements might need to be an annual event.
Steve Jenkin brings you up to date with the following:

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Start your year with creativity

Harvey Mackay

Each January the world celebrates International Creativity Month – a month to remind individuals and organizations around the globe to capitalize on the power of creativity.
Unleashing creativity is vital for personal and business success in this age of accelerating change.  Motivational speaker Randall Munson founded International Creativity Month to refocus attention to creatively improve business and personal activities.

January, the first month of the year, provides an opportunity to take a fresh approach to problem-solving and renew confidence in our creative capabilities.

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Save the Internet - a Real and Emerging Threat

Staff Writer

We are forwarding on a message from the AVAAZ organisation which is involved in issues surrounding freedom of speech and freedom of the Internet.
They manage a free petition system for lobbying government.
Many of you may have noticed that important issues are no longer covered by the mainstream news media, or are manipulated by misreporting. To get balanced news, you have to go to a range of "underground" press over the Internet.
There are now moves to remove freedom of the Internet.
You may not think that these issues directly affect pharmacy - but they do.
What we take for granted and the democracy we believe in is rapidly being eroded.
Read the AVAAZ media releases and decide for yourself.
Join their organisation and help to give them a louder voice.

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Ken Harvey - His Mission is to be Controversial

Mark Coleman

Recently, La Trobe University announced a partnership between itself and the vitamin manufacturer Swisse Wellness.
On the surface it appeared that the university was striking a good deal with Swisse to back a $30 million research centre to test the efficacy of complementary and alternate medicine
Swisse agreed to inject $15 million into the project over a six-year period that would be called The Complementary Medicines Evaluation Centre.

Comments: 6

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Vaccine Warfare - Totally Unnecessary In-Fighting

Judy Wilyman

Editor's Note: i2P continues to stand beside Judy Wilyman in her fight to have her evidence on vaccines published without interference, simply because her evidence is accurate and valid.
And you can't do better than that.
Many vested interests seem to be willing to try and discredit Judy, but like a true researcher, she publishes objective truth..
Every time Judy publishes original research she has to tun a gauntlet of medical attacks for no other reason than vested interests find it harder to hoodwink governments and the general public, while Judy is presenting facts.
That government, academics and medical Skeptics choose to present a fabricated picture is simply an indication that medical fraud represents big money - and we all have to pay for that.

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Complementary medicines users more health conscious

Marie Kelly-Davies

The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) has welcomed a newly published review in Nutrition Journal which shows that people who regularly take dietary supplements are more health conscious and have better eating habits.1
The authors, who examined the data from 20 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles, found that dietary supplement users in the United States are more likely than non-users to adopt a number of positive health-related habits such as consuming healthier diets, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy body weight and avoiding tobacco products.1
The authors from the Washington-based Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) commented that the review also indicated that Americans who take dietary supplements are focused on wellness for the long term.

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Clinical Recording Systems - Awareness Building for Need to Design an Opposite to a Dispensing System

Neil Johnston

There are obviously a few of us who care about providing a rounded service (dispensing and clinical service) as a complete and balanced product provided by pharmacists.
But it is only recently that I have noted pharmacists commenting on some of the obstacles embedded in pharmacy infrastructure systems when trying to include clinical services in the mix.
The obvious one, and one that many still have to embrace, is the establishment of a permanent clinical space suitable for conducting a range of interviews with an appropriate level of privacy (privacy without heaviness).

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Sensors Create a Sensible Pharmacist Clinical Role

Staff Writer

With PillCam, physicians can now visualize the small bowel, esophagus and colon with a small, disposable capsule used to monitor and diagnose disorders of the gastrointestinal tract without sedation or invasive endoscopic procedures.
Earlier this month Pharmedia, an i2P column written mostly by Mark Coleman, discussed the us of an electronic hub to coordinate and record readings/results from sensor devices such as Pillcam.

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A Timeline of Vitamins as Medicine

Staff Writer

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, February 15, 2014
A Timeline of Vitamin Medicine
by Andrew W. Saul, Editor

 Don't get bogged down by silly claims that multiple vitamins kill, or that antioxidants are bad for you. It is high time to take a look at the record, and review what published medical research actually has been saying for eight decades.

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Pharmacists and conscientious objection to supply of the oral contraceptive pill

Peter Waterman

Pharmacists who have a conscientious objection to providing oral contraceptives on moral or religious grounds should nevertheless always act professionally and ensure that consumers were informed as to where they could access these items, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has stressed.

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PPA Condemns Guild's HMR Changes as ‘slap in the face’ to non-owner pharmacists

Professional Pharmacists Australia Spokesperson

Professional Pharmacists Australia has condemned comprehensive changes announced by the Guild to Community Pharmacy Agreement (CPA) programs today.
“The changes once again confirm that when it comes to administering the CPA, the Guild’s primary focus is in ensuring that the majority of funds from the CPA flow through the four walls of a pharmacy.
“By limiting the number of HMRs for each provider to 20 per month they are significantly limiting the ability of an accredited pharmacist to be able to operate in a manner that allows a fair level of remuneration.

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Medication Reviews Price-Capped - the Explosion Being Felt Nationwide

Neil Johnston

As most of Pharmacy would be now aware, the fledgling professional services segment of pharmacy vaporised recently with the announcement (by the PGA) of a capping of medication review payments.
That single announcement “king hit” accredited pharmacists – and they will find that decision difficult to recover from.

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The Illusion of Mainstream News

Mark Coleman

It has been a bit of a mystery to me why the real news about global drug companies, their fraudulent activities and their close ties to government agencies has rarely been reported on in mainstream new media outlets.
Distrust of mainstream media has been growing exponentially, year on year, and it appears that at least in the US a “tipping point” has been reached and readers are deserting mainstream media readers/viewers in droves.

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Facebook: the new self-help

Staff Writer

 

Writing on Facebook isn't merely the act of a narcissist - in fact, it's based on an age-old practice that helps people understand and improve themselves, a QUT media researcher said.
A new study by Dr Theresa Sauter of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCI) at QUT shows social networking sites can be a form of self-therapy.

"Social networking sites invite people constantly to share their thoughts and actions with others, confess their wrongdoings and highlight their achievements," Dr Sauter said.
"This turns these sites into tools for self-reflection.
"It's like keeping a diary, but it's more public, frequent and up-to-date. For users, it can become a therapeutic tool that helps them to discover how they feel and how they can improve themselves."

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The power of microparticles

Staff Writer

A University of Sydney discovery has the potential to transform the treatment of a heart attack, after a new approach boosted heart function and reduced heart scarring in preclinical studies.
The research breakthrough, published in Science Translational Medicine, involves injecting tiny "microparticles" into the bloodstream within 24 hours of a heart attack to reduce tissue damage made by inflammatory cells.
The discovery was made at the University of Sydney and is the result of an international collaboration with researchers at Northwestern University in the USA, and Bonn and Münster in Germany.

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Move over elephants – plants have memories too

Staff Writer

Not long after publishing a paper in a prestigious journal about plants being able to ‘talk' using sound, Monica Gagliano is back with her new findings showing that they can ‘learn'.
While this may sound stranger than fiction, Dr Gagliano, an Australian Research Council research fellow at The University of Western Australia's Centre for Evolutionary Biology, has solid evidence to support her theories, the latest of which is published in Oecologia.

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Colour Changing Holograms Track Sick Patient Progress

Staff Writer

Researchers at University of Cambridge have developed holographic sensors that can be used to detect and monitor health conditions and diseases.
The “smart” holograms change color when they come in contact with certain compounds and they are being developed into cheap and portable medical devices and tests that can prove useful especially in developing countries where diagnostic tests can be costly.

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Unethical Vaccine Reports- the Misuse of Mainstream Media

Judy Wilyman

Editor’s Note: The debate regarding vaccinations has degenerated into a meaningless “mud-slinging” event that does not serve any purpose.
*That vaccines are a valuable tool to control and eliminate certain infections goes without saying.
*That some vaccines contain toxic or questionable substances is also a fact.
* That some influential lobbyists have succeeded in influencing governments into legislating against the natural rights of parents and individuals to not inject vaccines into their own or their infant’s body.
* That some vaccines are marketed with questionable science and seem to actually spread the infection they are supposed to protect against.
* That fraud exists in the body of evidence for some vaccines.
* That elements of the mainstream media either misreport or do not report the full facts surrounding vaccines.
* That many of the unethical/illegal strategies that are used to promote vaccines extend to other areas of drug marketing in Australia.

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Pharmedia - Suggesting Useful Projects- A Sensor Hub

Neil Johnston

For some time, Pharmedia has been commenting on political issues that pointed to an adverse problem for community pharmacy.
Because of the adverse economic conditions facing the profession I have had a discussion with Mark Coleman to see if we might identify media items that point to an innovation that may be useful, sufficient to improve the delivery of pharmacy services, particularly clinical services.
Innovations like the one described in the media item below are not difficult to incorporate in a pharmacy practice and in fact, many pharmacist entrepreneurs would be able to build their own version that might create a secondary stream of income through sales to other pharmacists and health practitioners.
Creativity and innovation are seen to be the main driver of productivity and profitability for pharmacy's future. They will be the drivers of positive change and rekindle interest into the profession.

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health news headlines provided courtesy of Medical News Today.

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