s Bar-Code Apps Proliferating | I2P: Information to Pharmacists - Archive
Publication Date 29/04/2010         Volume. 2 No. 4   
Information to Pharmacists

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Newsflash updates for May 2010

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Regular updates from the global world of pharmacy.
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Feature Contribution

Introducing Jeanette Sell - The Colac Community Leader who took on a Pharmacy Monopoly

Peter Sayers

In the April edition of i2P, a story involving the ministerial removal of pharmacy location rules was published.
It involved a disparate group of Colac residents coming together to fight the location rules and to establish a third independent pharmacy.
The story was important for a number of important reasons:
(i) The Colac residents did not want a "chain-type" pharmacy.
(ii) They wanted true competition between local pharmacies to avoid a perceived monopoly.
(iii) They wanted good old-fashioned pharmacy personalised service in an appropriate time frame.

As pharmacists we often bemoan the spectre of "Colesworth" providing pharmacy services and the potential for them to strip personalised service out of the independent pharmacy environment.
Yet the existing Colac pharmacies (having the same owner) did exactly that.
The question I pose is if this is the direction of pharmacy (as formulated by the PGA supply side pharmacy and warehouse-type pharmacies) the Colac community have clearly demonstrated that those models are not the preferred version.
i2P asked Jeanette Sell to tell her story in her own words.

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My two bob’s worth on COAG’s Health Funding ‘Reform’ (sic)

Pat Gallagher

Health Reform? Is that what we have been given by COAG: I don’t think so at all. It is wrong from the get go. In that 60% will come from here; 30% will be taken away from there; 40% will be paid by them and we will layer some more highly experienced and very necessary bureaucrats on the top to make sure no one ever knows what is actually going on.
Same old, same old, just tarted up differently so the punters think something is happening.
Health Reform it aren’t. Pretending to reform hospital funding it is.
Not a word about technology, e-health, savings, over-staffing of suits in place of white coats and blue blouses, blame shifting, waste, incompetence and all the other ills that riddle the hospital operational (non-clinical related) networks.

And there are enough ills for a zillion hypochondriacs to wallow in. Just this past week I had occasion to sample it first hand with a relative that needed emergency attention. The ambulance picked her up at 6:55 pm, after just a ten minute wait. We arrived at the hospital about the same time as the ambulance at 7:15 pm.
So far so good.

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A once in every five years opportunity that must be taken.

Neil Retallick

On July 1 2006, the Federal Government reduced the pharmacy wholesaling margin from 10% to 7%. This action was an outcome of the Government’s negotiations with the Pharmacy Guild as these two parties hammered out the 5 year deal that was the Fourth Community Pharmacy Agreement (4CPA).
To put this change into today’s context, Sigma’s wholesaling business turned over around $2.4 billion in the last twelve months.
If 70% of this turnover is generated by dispensary medicines, and if 65% of these are PBS items, then the 4CPA pulled about $33 million in revenues off Sigma’s top line in today’s dollars.

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The Light and Dark side of some Pharmacies

Loretta Marron OAM BSc

Living in outback Queensland, especially during the long periods of drought, the elderly grazier has struggled from day-to-day to keep his cattle property going.
He had only been 12 years old when his father died, but with the Second World War still raging, and with no men available, the local police officer had issued him with a drivers licence and told him to go home to help his mother run the property.
That had been the end of his schooling and to this day, he can still barely read and write.

Comments: 1

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Pharmacist Support Service now Extended to Tasmania

Staff Writer

Tasmanian pharmacists now have access to the Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS), developed by the Victorian PSA.
It can be contacted by phone on the toll free number: 1300 244 910.

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Expensive drugs cost Australia billions

Staff Writer

Consumers and the Australian Government are paying up to 10 times more for generic cholesterol-lowering drugs compared to the United Kingdom, according to research carried out by health economists at the University of Sydney.

A recent study published by the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) found Australia could have saved approximately $900 million on statin treatments (drugs used to lower cholesterol) over the past four years and could save up to an additional $3.2 billion over the next 10 years.

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Doors open on Australia's first zero-emission home

Staff Writer

Pharmacy designers in Australia have yet to come up with a zero emission pharmacy building, but they will have a model t draw from in the form of an AusZEH private home, designed and built by CSIRO.
Designed to fit the Australian climate – and the lifestyle of a typical middle-income family – Australia's first Zero Emission House (AusZEH) has been officially opened  in Melbourne.
Working with industry partners Delfin-Lend Lease and the Henley Property Group, and supported by the AusZEH consortium, CSIRO designed and built the demonstration house 30 kilometres north of Melbourne’s CBD, in the community of Laurimar in Doreen, Victoria.
The eight-star energy-efficiency rated AusZEH showcases off-the-shelf building and renewable energy-generation technologies, and new future-ready energy management systems.
Nearly 13 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are due to home energy use.

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Pain Management and Analgesic Sales

Neil Johnston

With the changes occurring restricting the sale of analgesic products within pharmacies, there has not been a great deal of discussion as to how best to handle these changes.
It has been said that the new processes impact severely on the pharmacist’s workflow.

The analgesic market is a very large one within pharmacy and the ability to lose a major income stream is very real.
The following is a press release from the PSA and we have asked Mark Coleman to comment on the various issues:

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Bar-Code Apps Proliferating

Mark Neuenschwander

articles by this author...

Mark Neuenschwander has earned his reputation as one of the nations' leading authorities on dispensing and point of administration automation. Whether writing, lecturing or problem solving with a client, Mark communicates in terms and concepts that are easy to grasp and apply. His fresh perspective and keen insight stem from having invested thousands of hours in research and in-depth consulting with clients.

I’ve been thinking about the impact of mobile computing on fertility, frugality, mortality, and posterity.

Recently, I posted a picture of my sixth grandchild on Facebook.
A buddy in California wrote something on my wall about knowing me when I was infertile.
He’s right. It took nearly a decade of trying.
Finally, we adopted a two-year old, whereupon, in rapid succession, three more followed by conventional means.
Four was plenty. Then we confused ovulation dates. Enter number five.

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Now, my kids appear to be on pace for doubling the grandchildren every five years. We’re talking about a herd of 64 when I’m 82, not factoring in twins or octuplets. BTW, I’m told that four of my six grand kids are oops babies.

Good news: Help’s gone mobile. This month, babycenter.com introduced Booty Caller, a series of 18 ovulation alerts sent via text message to subscribers. Too late for me, but I’ve notified my kids.

Five kids means lots of shoes and mandates frugality. If only we’d had today’s mobile technology back when. To find the best deals, we had to drive from store to store or call our way through the Yellow Pages. My kids can scour the Internet from their couches. Better yet, they can use their mobile phones to scan barcodes on shoes at Macy’s, discover they’re available for half price at Target, click “purchase” then and there, pass go, avoid checkout, and have them on their kids’ feet in two days.

Beyond pulling information from our handhelds, messages are being pushed our way. Bank of America sends texts, for example, reminding us that our mortgages are due, causing us to consider canceling the flights to Cancun we bought last night.

I concluded last month’s “Thinking” by asking what might happen if healthcare and grocers got together. After scanning Costco’s family pack of rib eye steaks, I suggested the cashier might inform me that their interface with Group Health indicates my cholesterol levels disqualify me for the purchase.

This probably won’t happen in my lifetime, especially, if I don’t keep my cholesterol levels where they belong. However, while grocery shopping I can use my GoodGuide iPhone app to scan product bar codes, which hotlinks me to useful health data about each (e.g., nutritional value, calories, cholesterol, etc.). Can it tell me if an item is on my diet? I’m sure there’s an app for that too.

All this while my Distance Meter app is running in the background, tracing my GPS coordinates against the clock, tallying the miles I’ve walked and calories I’ve burned so far today.

Bar-code scanning has merely scratched the surface of our everyday cellular lives. Apps are multiplying as we speak. And Cisco estimates that mobile traffic will see a 39-fold increase in the next five years—proliferating faster than my grandchildren.

I believe the same thing will happen with bar-code applications and utilization at all points of care, inside and outside hospitals. Before I die? I hope so. Not only because I want to witness it, but also because I’m pretty sure the point-of-care apps explosion will occur in the next few years.

Speaking of dying—have you heard about the trend in Japan of engraving tombstones with bar codes? In addition to viewing human-readable names, dates, and epitaphs (e.g., I told you I was sick, BRB, etc), passersby are able to scan mobile-readable QR* codes to pull up Web pages with obituaries, photos, and YouTube links about the deceased. Family members are notified of scanners who paused to pay their respects. Visitors also have the option of sending messages to loved ones of the deceased.

I’ve not decided if my tombstone will have a bar code. However, you don’t need to wait until I’m gone. If you want to let me know that you stopped by this article, you may scan the QR code at the top of this page and send me an email. If you need the mobile app to read the code, grab it here. You may thank me the next time you are shopping.

What do you think?
Mark Neuenschwander

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