s ASMI Media Releases for June 2009 | I2P: Information to Pharmacists - Archive
Publication Date 01/07/2009         Volume. 1 No. 2   
Information to Pharmacists


From the desk of the editor

Welcome to the July edition of i2P, and of course, the first week of the new financial year.

Note that we are developing a new range of categories for you to follow e.g. health politics, hospital news, an expanded IT offer and we will be developing the category of anti-ageing medicine

Also, out of interest, could I refer you to the e-publications category located immediately below our columnists. If you click on the link contained there, you will find a range of e-publications that are recommended reading.

The first publication noted is the Pharmacist Activist written by Dr Daniel A. Hussar of the faculty of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. He is a pharmacy advocate.

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Recent Comments

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I’ve seen the future…….and I’m not happy, Jan!

Chris Wright

The ubiquitous Mrs Wright, in her quest to unearth a new erotic shopping experience, ushered this writer to a new Coles store located at the all very nice and leafy suburb of Ivanhoe in Melbourne recently.
This is contemporary retailing at its best, no doubt influenced by the gurus at Westfarmers and the rapidly changing retail climate in Australia, which of course involves the future of Pharmacy in some way….but more about Pharmacy later.

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Pharmacists losing their mojo

Neil Retallick

I read some market research recently that ought to concern community pharmacists across the country, as well as the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.
Groups of average Australians were brought together for a series of focus groups to discuss the community pharmacy landscape as they see it.
Some of the feedback was disconcerting.

Comments: 3

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Has the horse bolted?

Ken Stafford

Some twenty years ago uneasy tremors were running through hospital pharmacy here in Perth. Hospital management had suggested to one of my fellow Chief Pharmacists that the hospital needed a total parenteral and intravenous additive service (IVAS) .
When it was pointed out that this would be very labour intensive and the pharmacy did not have sufficient staff to provide it, the comment was that “nurses would be happy to run such a service”.

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Independent Pharmacist Practitioners

James Ellerson

In the region where I practice, GP’s are reluctant to comply with a patient request for a Home Medication Review.
The stock standard phrase is “I can do that for you” and so in frustration a patient will turn to me, in a professional, or quite commonly in a social setting, and asks if it is possible for me to perform a review without the doctor’s involvement.

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Disgraceful – discuss

Pat Gallagher

Disgraceful – discuss
The newspapers have been chock-a-block the past few days with dire tales but true about the black hole we are about to enter with the insane policy to re-regulate the ‘workplace’ to suit the union paymaster cliques.
While I never voted for Keating I did admire him a little bit this morning when I read a quote of his from the bad old days.
He said to some union goose: “you are carrying the jobs of (100,000) dead men around your shoulders”.
Giving a dead hand to this union unfettered power play will ensure that the nation will soon look like NSW; where the government is actually the plaything of a few loosely combined public ‘service’ union mugs.
Depending on how large your pharmacy is, in terms of overall staffing, you will soon be touched by the coming dead hand of the new/old order.

Comments: 3

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UK Dispensing Errors Under Review

Staff Writer

The recent furore in the UK over pharmacist Elizabeth Lee receiving a conviction for a criminal offence and subsequently a suspended jail sentence, has really lit a fire under the imbalances that exist when a pharmacy dispensing error is made.
The dispensing pharmacist or the supervising pharmacist under current UK legislation, has been made to bear the brunt of legal responsibility, with pharmacy owners escaping with little pain.
According to an article in PJ Online "In many cases, all that the employer needs to establish is that he had standard operating procedures in place and that the employee or locum had simply not complied with them. In these cases, the employer can walk away leaving the employee or locum to face the, often damaging, consequences".
There is now a rush in the UK to have current legislation amended to reflect a more proportionate responsibility for all parties involved.

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A New Ministery - Indigenous, Rural and Regional Health

Staff Writer

The appointment for the first time of a Minister for Indigenous, Rural and Regional Health and Regional Service Delivery is an important strategic recognition of the special needs and circumstances facing people in Australia's rural and remote communities.
People in the bush will expect this position to be part of a permanent increase in the Government's commitment to rural communities.
In welcoming Minister Warren Snowdon to the new position, Dr Jenny May, Chairperson of the National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA), said the appointment will be important both for substantive policy reasons and to boost the place of rural issues on the political agenda.

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NZ fish killed by water quality

Staff Writer

The following news item was recently published in Science Alert. It would seem that the pristine environment of New Zealand is under attack. The reasons are similar to those findings in Australia surrounding the protection of the Great Barrier Reef.

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New theory for global diabetes epidemic

Staff Writer

A new "fertility first" hypothesis published this week by a group of international experts in the American Journal of Human Biology, proposes that the global epidemic of Type 2 diabetes has its origins in the struggle, over millennia, to sustain human fertility in environments defined by famine.
A surprising and important implication for us in the modern world is that this hypothesis gives cause for optimism that the modern epidemics of diabetes and cardiovascular disease will diminish.
Source: Sydney University

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Immune system key discovered

Staff Writer

A team of Monash University researchers has discovered the importance of a protein, which could improve the way the drug interferon is used to strengthen the human immune system.
Published online in the prestigious journal Immunity, the findings show that the protein promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger (PLZF) is a key player in the body's immune response to disease, increasing our understanding of the function of the immune system.(Source: Science Alert )

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Political suspicions raised as China cracks down on bogus online health info

Staff Writer

China is notable for its authoritarian approach to the Internet and other forms of media communications.
Restrictions on Internet activity may have some long-term implications for Australia, particularly as these restrictions are intruding into the health arena.
Source: Tech.Blorge

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Senior Pharmacists - A Valuable Resource

Staff Writer

Little thought seems to have occurred in maintaining and supporting mature aged pharmacists in the workplace.
Given that this group of pharmacists is the one with the "corporate memory" of the profession, with many having started life as compounding pharmacists and counter-prescribers, there is a wealth of untapped intellectual resource that could be internally utilised in mentoring or even training pharmacists in how to sell a professional service.
This group of pharmacists is concerned with the development of retail clinics proposing to do almost exactly what they were successfully doing 30-40 years ago.
What went wrong?

Well, there is plenty of evidence to illustrate that the process of commoditising medicines is the primary reason for this loss, because if you strip everything out of a process to sell at the cheapest possible price, you get a barren professional offering
Source: Science Alert

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Terry White Makes a Move

Staff Writer


It is clear that the Terry White pharmacy group is on the move with the recent purchase of Pharmacy Direct and a restructure of its own management. Terry has had a distinguished pharmacy career and his stewardship will see possibly the strongest pharmacy group in Australia emerge He is opening up the opportunity for equity for senior members of his management team.
The following excerpt extracted from pharmacy media reports explains the process.

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ASMI Media Releases for June 2009

Bob Bowden

articles by this author...

Information and news from the Australian Self Medication Industry provided by Bob Bowden, Foresight Communications. Contact him on (02) 9241 2811 or 0412 753 298.He is supported by Filomena Maiese (ASMI Marketing & Business Development Director) and Michelle Sollitt-Davis (ASMI PR Manager).


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2 June 2009
Health conference probes the role of the individual in improved national health

The issue of self care and greater personal responsibility for health will be the centrepiece of the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) national conference to be held in Sydney in November.

Speakers from government, the healthcare profession, regulatory agencies, policy think tanks, private health insurers, and the consumer healthcare industry including complementary medicine, will discuss the changing environment for delivery of health services and the impact on health professionals, consumers and health budgets.

The ASMI Conference, with a theme of, “Self Care: How Much Is Your Responsibility?” will be held on Thursday 12 November at Australian Technology Park, Redfern. 

“In the face of mounting national health challenges and rapidly growing health budgets, it is timely to consider what can be done at the personal level to assist people to better look after their health and wellbeing,” said ASMI Executive Director, Juliet Seifert.

The concept of self care has become an integral part of the UK health system and there are growing pressures to adopt similar measures in Australia, in particular in dealing with major preventable illnesses.

Topics to be discussed include the emergence of self care and the role of individuals, the evidence base surrounding self care remedies, the regulatory environment for over-the-counter and complementary medicines, and the recent overseas experience in providing wider consumer access to medicines.

Speakers and panellists include:

* The Hon Craig Emerson MP, Minister for Small Business, Independent Contractors and the Service Economy, and Minister Assisting the Finance Minister on Deregulation;

* Dr Rohan Hammett, National Manager, Therapeutic Goods Administration;

* Dr Tony Hobbs, Chair, National Primary Health Care Strategy External Reference Group;

* Professor Stephen Leeder, Director Menzies Centre for Health Policy;

* Dr Linda Suydam, President, Consumer Healthcare Products Association (United States);

· Carol Bennett, Executive Director, Consumers Health Forum of Australia

* Dr Lesley Braun, Executive Director, National Herbalists Association of Australia

* Jez Moulding, General Manager, sanofi-aventis Australia &New Zealand

* Mario Capanna, Cincotta Chemist

* Dr Norman Swan, ABC, The Health Report;

* Odette Gourley, Partner, Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

The conference will also feature the ASMI Sales & Marketing Awards which honour manufacturers who excel in the sales and marketing of their products. The award categories are:

* Best launch of a consumer healthcare product

* Best advertising/promotional campaign, including re-launch, of an existing consumer healthcare product

* Best self care program

* Best sales force initiative - grocery and/or pharmacy

Conference site: www.asmi.com.au/events/default.aspx

4 June 2009
ASMI Launches Self Care Discussion Paper

The Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI), the peak industry body representing non-prescription consumer healthcare products has launched a discussion paper, Self Care in Australia: a roadmap toward greater personal responsibility in managing health.

The paper is designed to address key issues in the evolution to a system that is built on the notion of individuals taking greater personal responsibility for health and wellbeing.

The paper discusses the roles and responsibilities of a range of stakeholders and how these may change under self care.

The paper sets out a definition of self care, the benefits and the evolution of self care internationally. It also examines the role under self care for the major stakeholders including consumers, government, the consumer healthcare industry, private health insurers and healthcare providers including GPs, pharmacists, and allied professionals.

ASMI Executive Director, Juliet Seifert, said the discussion paper aims to canvass the possible changes that will need to be considered as self care becomes more embedded in the health system.

“If individuals are to be enabled to take greater responsibility for personal health, all the major players including healthcare professionals, government and the healthcare industry will need to play a part.

“It is well recognised that health budgets are not sustainable at current levels without some fundamental re-thinking about the way we look after our health. It also means individuals being supported so that they have the skills and knowledge to better understand how to look after their own health and that of their families”.

For a copy of the discussion paper: http://www.asmi.com.au/self-care/What-Is-Self-Care.aspx

7 June 2009
ASMI welcomes new Parliamentary Secretary Mark Butler

The Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI), the peak industry body representing non-prescription consumer healthcare products today welcomed the appointment of the new Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Mark Butler.

ASMI Executive Director, Juliet Seifert, said Mr Butler’s previous experience in the healthcare sector would be extremely valuable in helping to implement the government’s health reforms and understanding the regulatory environment.

“I am delighted that we have someone with firsthand knowledge of the real needs of those in the health system and I look very much forward to working with him.

“At a time when the pharmaceuticals sector is facing a dynamic and challenging environment, we look forward to working with the Government to achieve the best outcomes for all stakeholders.

“In particular, ASMI’s self care agenda is based on the premise that health budgets are not sustainable at current levels without some fundamental re-thinking about the way we look after our health.

“I would also like to express my sincere appreciation to the former parliamentary secretary, Senator Jan McLucas with whom we have enjoyed a close and productive working relationship. I wish her every success for the future,” Ms Seifert said.

22 June 2009

New ASMI award to recognise excellence in health public relations

Public relations firms will have the opportunity to showcase their work in the health sector as part of a new category of awards to be announced during the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) national conference in Sydney in November.

The ASMI Marketing & Sales Awards, to be announced at the conference, will include the new category, ‘Best PR Initiative’. The award will honour PR firms who have excelled in undertaking campaigns in support of products in the over-the-counter sector, including complementary medicines, consistent with the Quality Use of Medicines (QUM).

The ASMI Conference, with the theme, “Self Care: How Much Is Your Responsibility?” will be held on Thursday 12 November at Australian Technology Park, Redfern.

The Marketing & Sales Awards will be announced at a gala dinner following the conference. Simon Corah, ex CEO of M&C Saatchi and now CEO of growth consultancy Growth Mantra, will be MC for the Award dinner.

“This category is expected to attract a diverse array of entries from the public relations industry. I am very excited to be playing a part on the judging panel, helping to identify the best examples Australia has to offer,” Mr Corah said.

ASMI Marketing and Development Director, Graham Birch said the new category is aimed at recognising excellence by public relations firms in helping consumers to better manage their health.

“PR agencies are using innovative approaches to help consumers understand the responsible and safe use of medicines and treatments, and we think it is time that they received proper recognition,” Mr Birch said.

Other categories of awards to be announced include:

* Best launch of a consumer healthcare product

* Best advertising/promotional campaign, including re-launch, of an existing consumer healthcare product

* Best self care program

* Best sales force initiative - grocery and/or pharmacy

Entries for all categories of awards will close 12 September 2009. Details regarding awards criteria, guidelines and judging are available at the conference website: www.asmi.com.au/events/default.aspx


About ASMI: The Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI) is the peak industry body for the Australian self care industry representing consumer healthcare products including over-the-counter medicines and complementary medicines. ASMI’s mission is to promote better health through responsible self-care. This means ensuring that safe and effective self-care products are readily available to all Australians at a reasonable cost. ASMI works to encourage responsible use by consumers and an increasing role for cost-effective self-medication products as part of the broad national health strategy. www.asmi.com.au

Media contact: Bob Bowden, Foresight Communications (02) 9241 2811, 0412 753 298

Bob Bowden

Partner, Foresight Communications

Suite 4, 102 Gloucester Street


Tel 61 2 9241 2811

Fax 61 2 9241 2940
Mob 0412 753 298

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