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Publication Date 01/03/2014         Volume. 6 No. 2   
Information to Pharmacists

Editorial

From the desk of the editor

February has been a mixed bag for the editor, because it was this month that I chose to relocate - and that was when the world fell apart.
Telstra still has not relocated/reconnected all telephone and Internet installations and has warned that I might have to wait until March 15.
Not a great performance.
So not being able to access the Internet meant that I missed a number of media releases plus the physical time in packing and transporting meant that there was only limited time to write and assemble all the varied articles and their editing.
So apologies to one and all and I hope to be at full efficiency before the next publishing date.

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Recent Comments

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News Flash

Newsflash Items for March 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

The "Knee-capping" of HMR Services

Neil Johnston

The various pharmacy media (particularly the social media) have been alight with the news that PGA had negotiated a “cap” on the number of home medication reviews a provider can provide.
One commentator, Professor “Charlie” Benrimoj, has stated:

“The people who are putting the arguments out there at the moment are people with vested interests, they are not thinking about the profession as a whole,” he said.
“I don’t think people understand that the Agreement is between s90 pharmacies and the Government. It’s not between anybody else.
“Therefore all those people who are not owners of pharmacies are commenting on something that they don’t have a right to comment on.
“The Agreement does influence practice, but it is still an agreement with pharmacy contractors and the Government. It is these contractors that really put their money into the network of pharmacies, and it is their contract.”

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The first Sartoretto Pharmacy in the largest oasis in Saudi Arabia becomes a beacon of health and wellness

Fiona Sartoretto Verna AIAPP

At the start of the spring, the pharmacy in the new Al-Moosa General Hospital will be unveiled. It is an avant-garde private health care center in Hofouf, the main city of the Al Hasa Oasis in the western province of Saudi Arabia. Opened in 1996, the hospital is growing to offer a better, more personalized service and an improved environment for its patients. A new 12-storey tower block has been built to provide offer more hospital beds, laboratories, medical units, a wellness center, a day hospital and last but not least, the first Sartoretto Verna pharmacy in Saudi Arabia.

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Do We Need to Reboot the Australian Experience of Vaccination Policy?

Baz Bardoe

Last year Greens Senator Richard  Di Natale used parliament to chastise the Australian Vaccination Network, a community based group that takes an anti vaccination stance.
He accused them of promoting misleading information that he believed was hostile to good health outcomes.
He stated that as a man who adhered to Evidence Based Medicine there was no legitimate contrarian position on the vaccination issue.
Di Natale drew upon experiences derived in Third World countries to validate his position that vaccination is vital for combating infectious diseases.

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Expanding pharmacists’ role must link with general practice to achieve improved patient outcomes

Staff Writer

The following media release was issued by the RACGP and i2P is in general support of the message being delivered.
But we caution that a GP centric model may not necessarily be the best version and that experimentation involving other models should be tested.
Unfortunately GP's have been disruptive in past collaborations with pharmacists and trust would have to be developed before pharmacists could fully commit to the GP preferred version.
It's not impossible, so the door is still open - and we will simply wait and see.

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MJA Insight, Foresight, Hindsight or No Sight

Gerald Quigley

Haven’t we seen and heard some fascinating comments, accusations, and even some hysterical rambling over the Swisse Vitamins research link to LaTrobe University!
Sensible comments have been made in The Conversation, wherein Dr Andrew Scholey from Swinburne University of Technology defends eloquently the role of universities in research on alternative medicines.
Swisse explained that they are in a no-win situation. Academia is demanding research.
When funding is made available, academia continues to bleat that the results will be biased!

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Developing Professional Services

Mark Coleman

So you're looking for a “quick fix”to plug the profit leaks from your current business model?
And you have gotten out of bed this morning with no real idea of where and when to make the next move?
I2P has been forecasting this issue for some years now while simultaneously trying to stimulate our leadership organisations to get with it and embrace their job properly.
Even though there are now moves afoot to do the job, there is a decade of non-development to correct, which leaves a hiatus in direction and substantial market content available – and that may prove fatal for many pharmacies.
It will also cause a substantial number of job losses for all pharmacy employees, even if positions are maintained on reduced working hours or a cut in hourly rates.

The fact is that only you can resolve this crisis and you have to start by developing a network that can examine useful ideas contributed on a regular basis – and then extend the information sharing with other pharmacies.
Once a basic set of ideas have evolved you must then set about preparing a plan of action based on those ideas.
You must be prepared to strike out in a totally different direction and re-balance your business.

Comments: 1

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Less Bluster. More Cluster

Barry Urquhart

Access to online information channels, via mobile smart phones in particular, is effecting significant changes in store visits and buying patterns.
For accommodating businesses, it equates to greater productivity and increased sales.
The new generation of connected “mobile” shoppers tend to spend 30% less time in brick and mortar premises and spend up to 15% more money than the store average unit value. That is understandable.
CONCLUSION: Informed intending purchasers are inclined to be better focused and less detracted, resulting in higher business productivity.
 
For many, it is decision time.

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A Censored Radio Interview

Judy Wilyman

Today I was invited to speak about my research on vaccination on a Perth radio station - 6PR.
The interview was about the ever expanding childhood vaccination schedule, the known adverse effects of vaccines and my research on the HPV vaccine that was presented at a US conference and funded by the university.
Whilst Paul Murray allowed me to present my arguments he did not allow a debate of the issues.
Like all other forums on vaccination in Australia, the government and the AMA do not allow open and free debate on this topic.
They always ensure that the forum for discussion will only allow the AMA or the government to have the last word on the topic.
In this case Julie Brotherton, who heads the HPV program at the NCIRS was given the last word and her information was not complete - and this is misleading the public on an important health issue.

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I've Been Thinking About - Boston, BCMA, BCMP, and BCMT

Mark Neuenschwander

I’ve been thinking about, Boston, Belichick, UPS, and transporting properly prepared IVs to the right patients on time.
Boston is my favorite public transit city. I’m like a kid while being transported by user-friendly Charlie through the labyrinth beneath her historic streets.
It’s not uncommon for outsiders to say Bostonians are not so user friendly. Stereotyping suggests they are not terribly diplomatic, sometimes condescending, and always in a rush. Sort of the way the Patriot’s Coach Belichick comes across on Sports Center’s post-game interviews.

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Great stories make great management lessons

Harvey Mackay

President Abraham Lincoln was once criticized for referring to the Confederates in kind terms.  A woman critic asked the President how he could speak generously of his enemies when he should rather destroy them.

“Why, Madam,” replied Lincoln, “Do I not destroy them when I make them my friends?”

The moral of the story:  Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer.

Few people have had the ability to tell stories to illustrate points like our 16th president.  I love good stories that teach a lesson.  Here are a few of my favorites.

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How Will You Gain Happiness in Your Life?

Chris Foster

Recently I came across an interesting Blog post on the Harvard Business Review, HBR Blog network. Written by Dorie Clark, strategy consultant, it was headed “Why Can’t We Stop Working?”
The article spoke about the writer meeting with a friend she hadn’t seen for a couple of years. What she saw of what once was a handsome, dapper young professional was now 30 pounds over weight and a smoker.
Although this friend was financially successful with a booming business and beautiful holiday home, he didn’t have the time to enjoy his dream home or to start dating and meet someone special in his life.


Of course, this was all due to the choices that he had made.

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Craniosacral therapy - Superlative science or silly sorcery?

Loretta Marron OAM BSc

Craniosacral  therapy (CST) is a hands-on ‘healing’ technique, whose practitioners “feel a cranial rhythm" in the fluid surrounding the brain. ‘Selective pressures’ to ‘align the plates of their patient’s skull’ are allegedly therapeutic.
What evidence is there to support this widely used technique?

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Sustainability

Mark Coleman

I came across the message illustrated below and decided to share it with i2P subscribers.
It is apparent that the motivating force of greed has brought our lifestyle to an unsustainable level.
Health is at its centre, because through contamination of soil, water and air our food supply is making us ill in ways that we could never have envisaged, even a decade ago.

We talk about obesity epidemics and its costly side effects, without trying to determine the real causes,
We should be counting chemicals - not calories.

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Major Changes to Privacy Law

Mark Coleman

Important changes to the Privacy Act 1988 commence on 12 March 2014.
The changes include a new set of Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) that will regulate the handling of personal information by Australian Government agencies, businesses with a turnover of more than $3 million or those trading in personal information and all private health service providers.
There are also changes to the credit reporting provisions of the Privacy Act and new regulatory powers for the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), including the power to conduct a privacy performance assessment, accept an enforceable undertaking and, in the case of serious or repeated breaches, seek civil penalties.

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Non-prescription medications play vital role for pharmacy sustainability

Marie Kelly-Davies

The Australian Self Medication Industry said that the non-prescription medications industry and ‘front ofshop’ can play a vital role in improving the sustainability of pharmacies. 
These comments were made by ASMI President, Mark Sargent, at the Pharmacy Guild’s Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference.

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GP's Have Similar Delivery Problems in Primary Health Care

Neil Johnston

I was interested to see the results of a Flinders University study into the work of practice nurses in a GP setting and the difficulties they were facing in preparing them with sufficient skills to monitor chronic disease management.
In a different setting of community pharmacy the same problem exists for pharmacists of all sorts, except maybe for the senior pharmacists who can remember the primary care offered to patients pre- 1970.
As for the GP/nurse scenario, pharmacies lack the organisational and training structures involving mentors, to deliver the skills.
Existing pharmacy owners lack the confidence to develop the infrastructure and primary health care patients have to learn how to trust pharmacists to deliver these types of services.

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Protein and carbohydrates outweigh calorie counting: major research from Charles Perkins Centre

Staff Researcher

Food intake is regulated primarily by dietary protein and carbohydrate, and not by the number of calories consumed, according to the most comprehensive study of macronutrient balance ever undertaken.
Conducted by the University of Sydney's ground-breaking Charles Perkins Centre and published in Cell Metabolism, the world-first research examines the effects of protein, fat and carbohydrate on energy intake, metabolic health, ageing and longevity in mice.

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PPA CALLS GUILD’S PUSH ON PENALTY RATES AND COMPARISON TO RETAIL SECTOR DIVISIVE

Professional Pharmacists Australia Spokesperson

President of Professional Pharmacists Australia, Dr Geoff March, today said it was disappointing that the Pharmacy Guild had confirmed in a submission to the Fair Work Commission that they were going to use the review of the Pharmacy Industry Award to attempt to reduce penalty rates.

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Fingerprinting herbal medicine

Staff Writer

Details on how to fingerprint herbs, isolate and identify herb potency or connect massive clinical datasets are among the topics of a new reference tool released today by University of Sydney academics.

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The Future of Genomic Medicine Has Arrived in Australia

Staff Writer

The transformation of medicine by human genome sequencing has moved closer following the announcement today that Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research is one of the first in the world to acquire machines that can sequence a whole human genome at a base cost below $US1,0001.
This will accelerate medical research and provide widespread medical benefits, with significantly lower health costs, through early prevention and more targeted treatments.
Speaking at the JP Morgan 32nd Annual Healthcare Conference in San Francisco this morning, Illumina2 CEO Jay Flatley introduced the HiSeq X Ten Sequencing System that enables large-scale sequencing for population disease studies. (See the Illumina media release here.)

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Major Changes to Privacy Law

Mark Coleman

Important changes to the Privacy Act 1988 commence on 12 March 2014.
The changes include a new set of Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) that will regulate the handling of personal information by Australian Government agencies, businesses with a turnover of more than $3 million or those trading in personal information and all private health service providers.
There are also changes to the credit reporting provisions of the Privacy Act and new regulatory powers for the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), including the power to conduct a privacy performance assessment, accept an enforceable undertaking and, in the case of serious or repeated breaches, seek civil penalties.

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A fresh look at our kidneys on World Kidney Day

Staff Writer

Researchers are taking a fresh look at our wonderful blood-cleaning kidneys, in the hope of delaying the need for dialysis for those in the early stages of disease, and to buy time for those seeking a transplant.
The CQUniversity Rockhampton researchers are taking a range of novel approaches to their task of delaying the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD).
They will pioneer investigation at the molecular level with a long-term goal of finding ways to modify the expression of genes involved in CKD.

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Reducing Health Care Costs through use of Pharmacists

Neil Johnston

Editor's Note: There is no doubt that health consumers are a dissatisfied group.
Mainstream health, which includes pharmacists, are being bypassed, and the measure of note here is patient satisfaction level.
Patients are not happy with pharmacy service quality and turn to other health care providers to fill the gaps.
That pharmacists are beneficiaries of nutritional supplement sales masks the fact that they are not necessarily the prescribers for these substances.

Profit generation masks the loss of prescribing activity.
Doctors are aware of their own market share erosion but lash out at pharmacists and complementary medicine practitioners through legislation and restrictive practices, much like pharmacy has done in past years, to maintain market share.
In retrospect, you can see just how fruitless that sort  of approach is.

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