s Culture Bonds, Right? | I2P: Information to Pharmacists - Archive
Publication Date 01/07/2014         Volume. 6 No. 6   
Information to Pharmacists

Editorial

From the desk of the editor

Welcome to the July 2014 homepage edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) E-Magazine.
At the commencement of 2014 i2P focused on the need for the entire profession of pharmacy and its associated industry supports to undergo a renewal and regeneration.
We are now half-way through this year and it is quite apparent that pharmacy leaders do not yet have a cohesive and clear sense of direction.
Maybe the new initiative by Woolworths to deliver clinical service through young pharmacists and nurses may sharpen their focus.
If not, community pharmacy can look forward to losing a substantial and profitable market share of the clinical services market.
Who would you blame when that happens?
But I have to admit there is some effort, even though the results are but meagre.
In this edition of i2P we focus on the need for research about community pharmacy, the lack of activity from practicing pharmacists and when some research is delivered, a disconnect appears in its interpretation and implementation.

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Newsflash Updates for July 2014

Newsflash Updates

Regular weekly updates that supplement the regular monthly homepage edition of i2P. 
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Feature Contribution

Woolworths Pharmacy - Getting One Stage Closer

Neil Johnston

It started with “tablet” computers deployed on shelves inside the retailer Coles, specifically to provide information to consumers relating to pain management and the sale of strong analgesics.
This development was reported in i2P under the title Coles Pharmacy Expansion and the Arid PGA Landscape”
In that article we reported that qualified information was a missing link that had come out of Coles market research as the reason to why it had not succeeded in dominating the pain market.
Of course, Woolworths was working on the same problem at the same time and had come up with a better solution - real people with good information.

Comments: 5

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Intensive Exposition without crossing over with a supermarket

Fiona Sartoretto Verna AIAPP

Editor's Note: The understanding of a pharmacy's presentation through the research that goes into the design of fixtures and fittings that highlight displays, is a never-ending component of pharmacy marketing.
Over the past decade, Australian pharmacy shop presentations have fallen behind in standards of excellence.
It does not take rocket science - you just have to open your eyes.
Recently, our two major supermarkets, Woolworths and Coles, have entered into the field of drug and condition information provision - right into the heartland of Australian Pharmacy.

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The sure way to drive business away

Gerald Quigley

I attended the Pregnancy, Baby and Children’s Expo in Brisbane recently.
What an eye and ear opening event that was!
Young Mums, mature Mums, partners of all ages, grandparents and friends……...many asking about health issues and seeking reassurances that they were doing the right thing.

Comments: 1

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‘Marketing Based Medicine’ – how bad is it?

Baz Bardoe

It should be the scandal of the century.
It potentially affects the health of almost everyone.
Healthcare providers and consumers alike should be up in arms. But apart from coverage in a few credible news sources the problem of ‘Marketing Based Medicine,’ as psychiatrist Dr Peter Parry terms it, hasn’t as yet generated the kind of universal outrage one might expect.

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Community Pharmacy Research - Are You Involved?

Mark Coleman

Government funding is always scarce and restricted.
If you are ever going to be a recipient of government funds you will need to fortify any application with evidence.
From a government perspective, this minimises risk.
I must admit that while I see evidence of research projects being managed by the PGA, I rarely see community pharmacists individually and actively engaged in the type of research that would further their own aims and objectives (and survival).

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Organisational Amnesia and the Lack of a Curator Inhibits Cultural Progress

Neil Johnston

Most of us leave a tremendous impact on pharmacies we work for (as proprietors, managers, contractors or employees)—in ways we’re not even aware of.
But organisational memories are often all too short, and without a central way to record that impact and capture the knowledge and individual contributions, they become lost to time.
It is ironic that technology has provided us with phenomenal tools for communication and connection, but much of it has also sped up our work lives and made knowledge and memory at work much more ephemeral.

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Academics on the payroll: the advertising you don't see

Staff Writer

This article was first published in The Conversation and was written by Wendy Lipworth, University of Sydney and Ian Kerridge, University of Sydney
In the endless drive to get people’s attention, advertising is going ‘native’, creeping in to places formerly reserved for editorial content. In this Native Advertising series we find out what it looks like, if readers can tell the difference, and more importantly, whether they care.
i2P has republished the article as it supports our own independent and ongoing investigations on how drug companies are involved in marketing-based medicine rather than evidence-based medicine.

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I’ve been thinking about admitting wrong.

Mark Neuenschwander

Editor's Note: This is an early article by Mark Neuenschwander we have republished after the soul-searching surrounding a recent Australian dispensing error involving methotrexate.
Hmm. There’s more than one way you could take that, huh? Like Someday when I get around to it (I’m not sure) I may admit that I was wrong about something. Actually, I’ve been thinking about the concept of admitting wrong. So don’t get your hopes up. No juicy confessions this month except that I wish it were easier for me to admit when I have been wrong or made a mistake.
Brian Goldman, an ER physician from Toronto, is host of the award-winning White Coat, Black Art on CBC Radio and slated to deliver the keynote at The unSUMMIT for Bedside Barcoding in Anaheim this May. His TED lecture, entitled, “Doctors make mistakes. Can we talk about it?” had already been viewed by 386,072 others before I watched it last week.

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Dispensing errors – a ripple effect of damage

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

Most readers will be aware of recent publicity relating to dispensing errors and in particular to deaths caused by methotrexate being incorrectly packed in dose administration aids.
The Pharmacy Board of Australia (PBA), in its Communique of 13 June 2014, described a methotrexate packing error leading to the death of a patient and noted “extra vigilance is required to be exercised by pharmacists with these drugs”.
This same case was reported by A Current Affair (ACA) in its program on Friday 20 June
http://aca.ninemsn.com.au/article/8863098/prescription-drug-warning

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Take a vacation from your vocation

Harvey Mackay

Have you ever had one of those days when all you could think was, “Gosh, do I need a vacation.”
Of course you have – because all work and no play aren’t good for anyone.
A vacation doesn’t have to be two weeks on a tropical island, or even a long weekend at the beach. 
A vacation just means taking a break from your everyday activities. 
A change of pace. 
It doesn’t matter where.
Everyone needs a vacation to rejuvenate mentally and physically. 
But did you also know that you can help boost our economy by taking some days off? 
Call it your personal stimulus package.

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Explainer: what is peer review?

Staff Writer

This article was first published in the Conversation. It caught our eye because "peer review" it is one of the standards for evidence-based medicines that has also been corrupted by global pharma.
The article is republished by i2P as part of its ongoing investigation into scientific fraud and was writtenby Andre Spicer, City University London and Thomas Roulet, University of Oxford
We’ve all heard the phrase “peer review” as giving credence to research and scholarly papers, but what does it actually mean?
How does it work?
Peer review is one of the gold standards of science. It’s a process where scientists (“peers”) evaluate the quality of other scientists' work. By doing this, they aim to ensure the work is rigorous, coherent, uses past research and adds to what we already knew.
Most scientific journals, conferences and grant applications have some sort of peer review system. In most cases it is “double blind” peer review. This means evaluators do not know the author(s), and the author(s) do not know the identity of the evaluators.
The intention behind this system is to ensure evaluation is not biased.
The more prestigious the journal, conference, or grant, the more demanding will be the review process, and the more likely the rejection. This prestige is why these papers tend to be more read and more cited.

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Dentists from the dark side?

Loretta Marron OAM BSc

While dining out with an elderly friend, I noticed that he kept his false tooth plate in his shirt pocket. He had recently had seven amalgam-filled teeth removed, because he believed that their toxins were making him sick; but his new plate was uncomfortable. He had been treated by an 'holistic dentist'. Claiming to offer a "safe and healthier alternative" to conventional dentistry, are they committed to our overall health and wellbeing or are they promoting unjustified fear, unnecessarily extracting teeth and wasting our money?

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Planning for Profit in 2015 – Your key to Business Success

Chris Foster

We are now entering a new financial year and it’s a great time to reflect on last year and highlight those things that went well and those that may have impacted negatively in the pursuit of your goals.
It's also a great to spend some time re-evaluating your personal and business short, medium and long term goals in the light of events over the last year.
The achievement of your goals will in many cases be dependent on setting and aspiring to specific financial targets. It's important that recognise that many of your personal goals will require you to generate sufficient business profits to fund those aspirations

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ReWalk™ Personal Exoskeleton System Cleared by FDA for Home Use

Staff Writer

Exoskeleton leader ReWalk Robotics announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the company’s ReWalk Personal System for use at home and in the community.
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk.
ReWalk, the only exoskeleton with FDA clearance via clinical studies and extensive performance testing for personal use, is now available throughout the United States.

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Attracting and Retaining Great People

Barry Urquhart

Welcome to the new financial year in Australia.
For many in business the past year has been described as a challenging period.
Adjectives are a key feature of the English language.  In the business lexicon their use can be, and often is evocative and stimulate creative images.  But they can also contribute to inexact, emotional perceptions.
Throughout the financial pages of newspapers and business magazines adjectives abound.
References to “hot” money draw attention and comment.  The recent wave of funds from Chinese investors, keen to remove their wealth from the jurisdiction and control of government regulations is creating a potential property bubble in Australia.

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Updating Your Values - Extending Your Culture

Neil Johnston

Pharmacy culture is dormant.
Being comprised of values, unless each value is continually addressed, updated or deleted, entire organisations can stagnate (or entire professions such as the pharmacy profession).
Good values offer a strong sense of security, knowing that if you operate within the boundaries of your values, you will succeed in your endeavours.

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Evidence-based medicine is broken. Why we need data and technology to fix it

Staff Writer

The following article is reprinted from The Conversation and forms up part of our library collection on evidence-based medicines.
At i2P we also believe that the current model of evidence is so fractured it will never be able to be repaired.
All that can happen is that health professionals should independently test and verify through their own investigations what evidence exists to prescribe a medicine of any potency.
Health professionals that have patients (such as pharmacists) are ideally placed to observe and record the efficacy for medicines.
All else should confine their criticisms to their evidence of the actual evidence published.
If there are holes in it then share that evidence with the rest of the world.
Otherwise, do not be in such a hurry to criticise professions that have good experience and judgement to make a good choice on behalf of their patients, simply because good evidence has not caught up with reality.

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Laropiprant is the Bad One; Niacin is/was/will always be the Good One

Staff Writer

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, July 25, 2014
Laropiprant is the Bad One; Niacin is/was/will always be the Good One
by W. Todd Penberthy, PhD

(OMNS July 25, 2014) Niacin has been used for over 60 years in tens of thousands of patients with tremendously favorable therapeutic benefit (Carlson 2005).
In the first-person NY Times best seller, "8 Weeks to a Cure for Cholesterol," the author describes his journey from being a walking heart attack time bomb to a becoming a healthy individual.
He hails high-dose niacin as the one treatment that did more to correct his poor lipid profile than any other (Kowalski 2001).

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Culture Drive & Pharmacy Renewal

Neil Johnston

Deep within all of us we have a core set of values and beliefs that create the standards of behaviour that we align with when we set a particular direction in life.
Directions may change many times over a lifetime, but with life experiences and maturity values may increase in number or gain greater depth.
All of this is embraced under one word – “culture”.
When a business is born it will only develop if it has a sound culture, and the values that comprise that culture are initially inherent in the business founder.
A sound business culture equates to a successful business and that success is often expressed in the term “goodwill” which can be eventually translated to a dollar value.

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ReWalk™ Personal Exoskeleton System Cleared by FDA for Home Use

Staff Writer

Exoskeleton leader ReWalk Robotics announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the company’s ReWalk Personal System for use at home and in the community.
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk.
ReWalk, the only exoskeleton with FDA clearance via clinical studies and extensive performance testing for personal use, is now available throughout the United States.

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Pharmacy 2014 - Pharmacy Management Conference

Neil Johnston

The brave new world of health and wellness is not the enemy of Pharmacy, it is its champion.
Australian futurist, Morris Miselowski, one of the world's leading business visionaries, will present the Opening Keynote address on Pharmacy's Future in the new Health and Wellness Landscape at 2.00pm on Wednesday July 30.
Morris believes the key to better health care could already be in your pocket, with doctors soon set to prescribe iPhone apps, instead of pills.
Technology will revolutionise the health industry - a paradigm shift from healthcare to personal wellness.
Health and wellness applications on smartphones are already big news, and are dramatically changing the way we manage our personal health and everyday wellness.

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Generation and Application of Community Pharmacy Research

Neil Johnston

Editor’s Note: We have had a number of articles in this issue relating to pharmacy research.
The PGA has conducted a number of research initiatives over the years, including one recently reported in Pharmacy News that resulted from an analysis of the QCPP Patient Questionnaire.
Pharmacy Guild president, George Tambassis, appears to have authored the article following, and there also appears to be a disconnect between the survey report and its target audience illustrated by one of the respondent comments published.
I have asked Mark Coleman to follow through, elaborate and comment:

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Culture Bonds, Right?

Barry Urquhart

articles by this author...

Barry Urquhart, Managing Director of Marketing Focus, Perth. Barry is an internationally recognised conference keynote speaker, facilitator of strategic planning workshops and marketing business coach.
Contact Barry: TEL:61 8 9257 1777 - EMAIL: urquhart@marketingfocus.net.au -
WEB: www.marketingfocus.net.au

PAY ATTENTION: Applying “automatic cruise” is not a viable or appropriate option for management by business leaders today.
The pathway to success and to the future is littered with numerous, often unforeseen barriers, impediments and filters.
There is a clarion-clear message in this for all. It parallels the findings of a recent detailed study among motor vehicle drivers and into the causes of road accidents.
The consistent and most disturbing primary cause of motor vehicle accidents was not speed, alcohol, climatic conditions or unfamiliarity with the local road network (through these were significant, often independent contributors to the accident statistics).
The highest ranking causal factor was INATTENTION.
Being distracted from the primary focus can, and often does have dire consequences.
On the road these can include receiving and sending text messages, mobile telephone calls, loud and aggressive passengers, external eye-catching activities and simple tiredness, boredom and outright inattention.
The consequences can and do impact on many.

In business the lure of alternative pursuits, a lust of doing something different, the belief that everything is running smoothly and a sense of comfort – all contribute to exposure of heightened risk, failure and a loss of opportunities.
 
Responsible leadership dictates the need for discipline, focus and, yes, attention.
 
Duties can be delegated. Responsibility – for performance, punctuality and consistent improvement – remains the province of the leader. Productivity, efficiency and effectiveness are typical, natural consequences of attention.
 
NO RISK? NOT LIKELY
 
Risk Management and Risk Committees are on the agendas of all major public listed companies, and should be of equal importance for private, unlisted and family-based entities.
 
Management teams need to be committed to identify, isolate, analyse, address and then redress existing and emerging risk factors.
 
Right now and in the immediate future, risk is not a contingency issue. It is fundamental to the operation, profit optimisation and sustainability of governments, companies, superannuation funds, families and individuals. It’s that blatant and that important.
 
Risk is all pervading. It is in reality, a constant. Risk cannot be removed or eliminated.
 
Prudent, effective managers manage and minimise risk. The financial, competitive and operational rewards for doing so are substantial.
 
Facilitating interactive strategic sessions on risk mitigation is both challenging and energising. Providing creative, external and objective input is personally rewarding. Our unique template enables effective determination of risk profiles and priorities.
 
If we can contribute to your endeavours on this key issue do not hesitate to make contact.

EXTRACT THE DIGIT!
 
GET ONLINE, ONSIDE, WITH DIGITAL MARKETING
 
Digital marketing consultants are fast coming to the realisation that technical expertise does not ensure advertising and marketing effectiveness.
 
In all communications; – marketing, selling and promotions, – knowing how (online advertising, etc) is not enough: the fundamental aspects of what and why remain pre-emptive imperatives.
 
Interestingly, few digital marketing experts have skills and experience in one-on-one and group interactions with a range of targeted consumers. Consequently, comprehension and understanding are often deficient. The result is reflected in low response rates to digital marketing, advertising, strategies and campaigns.
 
Online is a blind and interactive medium. Therefore, knowing and understanding consumer word-usage vernacular and frames – of – reference are essential to generate traffic in specific sites.
 
In a sphere where “hits” are a measure of success, it is regrettable that in the absence of input from consumer behavioural analysts, many digital marketing campaigns are case-studies of “hit and miss”.
 
Captivating online presentations, appealing graphics and attractive colours are not enough. Indeed, they may reside in cyber space, never to be exposed to prospective customers and clients.
 
In recent times, we at Marketing Focus, have had the enjoyable experience of consulting to and working with several leading digital marketing exponents, to the advantage and benefit of a range of clients. We simply complement their knowhow with what and why. It works! 

BARNYARD PARROTS AND CALL CENTRES
 
I’ve made an important discovery. Hopefully, it will provide insight into some aspects of why consumers find “call centre experiences” frustrating.
 
My recent mobile telephone call to a business associate was intercepted by Robert, a call centre operator. He requested that I leave a message and asked my name. He managed to spell Barry unassisted. From a lifetime of experience I always spell out my surname... UR.. QU.. H.. ART.
 
I didn’t manage to get out the letters UR before Robert spoke over me. I tried again, and again. He repeated the practice of speaking over me before I had the opportunity to complete the sectioned spelling, let alone the entire surname.
 
I went silent.
 
He enquired why I wasn’t speaking.
 
I explained that out of courtesy to him I would wait until he had finished and I would appreciate the same courtesy.
 
Robert then declared: “You are being aggressive.”
 
I requested to speak to his manager and was referred to Emily, a supervisor.
 
She explained that their operators were trained to, and I quote: “Parrot-speak!” That is, to rapidly repeat that which is said to them.
 
My advice to Emily: Don’t employ and train parrots... It makes them and the clients they represent sound like galahs!
 
She managed to take my name and telephone numbers without interruption, and correctly.
 
Message to Paul Keating: the barnyard parrots of parliament have left and are ungainfully employed in call centres throughout Australia.
 
P.S. I’m still awaiting the return call from the business associate 

ARTICLE TEXT: CULTURE BONDS, RIGHT!

We have been here before!
Culture has a lot to answer for.
In food, it’s the very basis for a pathway to health, particularly with yoghurt and the like.
Sporting clubs consumer culture as a key explanation for on-ground and off-ground behaviour – good and bad.
 
Culture, reflected in behaviour, clothing and events, is a magnet that attracts tourists to many established European, Asian and South American countries.
 
In the corporate world, culture explains, determines and influences practices and values. It largely determined people “doing the right thing”.
Sub-optimal performances and inconsistent standards are often sheeted home to poor and inappropriate corporate and business cultures.
 
Positive cultures are the bonding forces that, figuratively, hold entities, nations and families together. Negative cultures and sub-cultures contribute to varying degrees of entropy. That is, the trend and tendency towards a state of disorder.
 
Sadly, many senior executives and business owners find it difficult, if not impossible, to articulate the essential elements and attributes of their organisations’ cultures. That shortcoming is readily reflected in staff behaviour, branding initiatives, advertising, company product and people images (and self-images).
 
WINDOW ON THE WORLD
 
Cultures are windows through which the world, and conversely, the entity is perceived and valued.
 
Cultures are filters that often distort reality.
 
Written statements like, “we are committed to maintaining the highest customer service standards” can be contradicted and typically stand in stack relief to decisions made to retrench staff, contain costs and to our-source services.
 
Which is to be believed and responded to... by team members, customers, clients, suppliers and associates?
 
Corporate cultures enable accurate expressions of company belief systems. Gaps between words and actions create problems.
 
ROOT CAUSE
 
Consistent deficiencies and inadequacies in customer service delivery, retailing selling skills and relationship management practices are invariably consequences of, and reflect an inappropriate or poorly deployed corporate culture.
 
Well-intended training programs usually address the symptoms and not the causes. Little positive outcome is achieved from these activities.
 
Focusing on processes is misguided. It is the inputs that need to be addressed and redressed.

A definitive statement that exhibits an understanding of the nature and importance of a corporate culture is:
 
“We do it that way, because that’s the way we do things”.
 
Note that the word and first person “I” has little emphasis in a corporate culture.
 
FORCED CHOICES
 
A telling test which identifies the true nature of a culture is when staff members are subjected to a choice between expending company money to provide customer service and hence, deliver customer satisfaction – or to save money.
 
It is the thought – process of people and their resultant actions, rather than craftily scripted and framed customer service texts that project and define a true corporate culture.
 
LEARNING EXPERIENCES
 
Our son David recently shared the details of an unpleasant personal life experience. He was tempted to “point-score” by responding to the disadvantage of another person.
 
He explained that he took pause, reflected on the Urquhart Clan motto: “Meane weil, Speak weil, Do weil”, and dismissed the thought as being inappropriate and inconsistent to the values to which he adheres.
 
You will excuse me for being impressed and proud.
 
Culture statements that are recognised, comprehended and respected typically out-rank corporate mission and vision statements.
 
True cultures are character-building and defining.
 
In essence, cultures are the very expressions of the personality of an entity, a nation, a family and an individual.
 
A sobering and insightful challenge is to ask team members, clients and customers to express in humanoid characteristics, the personality traits of a business. It results in a better, more comprehensive understanding of self, be it an entity, product, service, group or individual.
 
CULTURE DISPARITIES
 
There is much to learn, develop and refine when business advertising, literature, premises, practices and policies are analysed against the datum points of the corporate culture.
 
Inconsistencies become readily identifiable. Better understandings are gained about poor and inappropriate responses to texts, behaviour, marketing and sales initiatives. Certain perception and image factors can jar.
 
Casual comments by team members too often cause conflict, annoyance and frustration, resulting in loss of sales, profits and customers. Often the primary cause is a lack of recognition of, respect for and commitment to a clearly defined corporate culture.

THE AUTHOR

Barry Urquhart, Managing Director of Marketing Focus is a consumer behavioural analyst, business strategist and internationally recognised conference keynote speaker.
 
He consults on the formulation, refinement and development of corporate cultures for small, medium and large sized businesses.

Mobile:                   041 983 5555
Email:                     Urquhart@marketingfocus.net.au
Web:                      www.marketingfocus.net.au
Visit:                       Facebook,  LinkedIn

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