s NPS Media Releases for November 2013 | I2P: Information to Pharmacists - Archive
Publication Date 01/12/2013         Volume. 5 No. 11   
Information to Pharmacists

Editorial

From the desk of the editor

Welcome to the December edition of i2P-Information to Pharmacists.
As we wind down in 2013 for the holiday period we will be filing some updates, but at a little more leisurely pace.
Where has the year gone?
Certainly the rate of change for 2013 has been more than hectic and there has been little time to organise thoughts and set appropriate directions.
This is the season for hard negotiations for the 6CPA but there is little left to squeeze.
Pharmacy has had the equivalent of bariatric surgery.
Government has taken it all, as usual.
As current price changes work their way through the pharmacy cash flow cycle, for some there will be insufficient- and heartburn.
Crunch time is that there will be more bankruptcies over 2014.
Media reports that some pharmacies have received free shop refits as a form of payment for purchasing a specific generic drug range is certainly not obvious, as the average pharmacy is in need of some renovation or repair and looking a bit jaded.

read more
open full screen

Recent Comments

Click here to read...

News Flash

Newsflash Updates November 2013

Newsflash Updates


Regular updates from the global world of pharmacy.
Access and click on the title links that are illustrated.

read more
open full screen

Newsflash Items for December 2013 and January 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

read more
open full screen

Feature Contribution

How to Avoid Becoming a Commodity

Chris Foster

These days more than ever the competitive advantage pursued by many is to discount and commoditise an industry.
The prime example of this is warehouse pharmacy stores.
However, this is not unique to pharmacy, but too many industries out there, including electrical retailing and hardware.
As a result, the relentless pursuit of being the cheapest product and service provider has meant that the smaller, service focused business is eventually forced out of business.

read more
open full screen

A Clinical Services Pharmacy Design (Canadian Style)

Fiona Sartoretto Verna AIAPP

Editor's Note: This pharmacy design would suit an Australian pharmacy set up for clinical services and for survival over the next five years. Pharmacists interested in adapting this design to suit their local market should contact Neil Johnston at neilj@computachem.com.au for an introduction to Sartoretto Verna design services.

Villagio Market Pharmacy -St- PerreJolys , Manitoba, Canada Technical Data

Total area: 90 sq.m.
Area open to public: 75 sq.m. Area open to public / total area: 83%
Exposure: 39 lm
The task was to create a pharmacy inside the market in St -Pierre Jolys , a rural village which is situated not far from Winnipeg, Canadian province of Manitoba.
In recent years, the owner Mark Duddridge has transformed a simple grocery into a full-service drugstore that it is visited approximately by 400 visitors per day.
Sartoretto Verna was asked to create a pharmacy that can boast an excellent design with thorough attention to details.

read more
open full screen

A Peaceful Christmas and a Productive New Year

Neil Johnston

The editor ans staff of i2P e-magazine would like to wish all of its readers the best wishes for a peaceful Christmas and a productive New Year.

read more
open full screen

PGA Moves Into Primary Care

Neil Johnston

This week I received a pleasant surprise in the form of a PGA news item endorsing a range of primary health care services, an area that had been progressively abandoned from as far back as 1978, but in particular, within the last decade.
Importantly, the PGA has recognised that the current pharmacy business model has reached its “use by” date by stating:
 “The Guild’s National Council has recognised that the successful and widespread integration of these primary health care services into pharmacy businesses is likely to require significant changes to the traditional pharmacy operating model, including in relation to workflows and the roles and responsibilities of pharmacists and other staff.”

read more
open full screen

Building a clinical services model in a difficult marketplace

Peter Sayers

It seems to me that there is a confluence of events overtaking pharmacy.
On one hand there is a genuine disappointment by health consumers that they have not been able to access pharmacists for basic primary care services, and on the other, there are a host of pharmacy critics and academic advisers that have a range of solutions, none of which are compatible with a community pharmacy environment.
And in the middle are a host of dedicated pharmacists working and piloting a range of solutions while simultaneously being torn apart, as unreasonable chunks of cash flow and profitability disappear from its business heart.

read more
open full screen

My Best Team

Gerald Quigley

Quite coincidentally, over the last few months, I’ve been thinking about where we’ve been in our profession, and where we’re headed.
Some recent comments within this fine publication have cemented my thoughts on how we can recover some ground in our perceived role of “do what other health professionals tell you to do, and don’t dare step outside those parameters or your world will end.”
At the end of each football season, “expert” commentators rate their “best 18” (in the AFL) or the “best 11” (in cricket).
Lists like this often precipitate vigorous debate.
I’m no expert, but each of us has our professional heroes.
Some of mine are still with us, and some have gone to that big professional healthcare practice in the sky.
Within that latter group, I wonder what they are thinking.

read more
open full screen

Continuity of care in residential care

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

In February 2011 I wrote on the topic of continuity of care with regard to hospital discharge (Volume 3 No. 2).
At that time I was working in hospital pharmacy practice.
Now I am sitting on the other side of the fence working in residential care undertaking medication reviews and I see just how fragmented care can be in the community.
The situation is exacerbated as the patients are usually elderly and they and their families are not always able to communicate important health information to the various health care providers involved.
This puts these patients at significant risk of medication misadventure and adverse outcomes. Some examples follow. All of these scenarios are based on real cases.

read more
open full screen

More Pharma Abuse

Judy Wilyman

Editor's Note: The corrupt nature of Big Pharma's evidence-base to justify the marketing of bad medicine is slowly unraveling through courts of law around the world.
The corrupt medical academics who fuel this process through allowing themselves to be "bought" by a number of creative means will also be similarly addressed.
Different levels of government are also tainted when it is seen that mandatory vaccination is being used to drive corrupt health policies, even when evidence exists to the contrary.
i2P supports true evidence-based arguments or best evidence where something has had traditional use and is waiting for evidence support to occur.
We do not support the claims made by Skeptic extremists that permeate the landscape, that tend to support corrupt evidence even though it may have been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
How the medical fraternity and Big Pharma will sort out this absolute mess remains to be tested.
And they must realise that they are no longer trusted or respected by members of other health professions, simply because of this unprincipled and illegal behaviour.

read more
open full screen

Medical Debate Censorship Attempt by NSW Government

Staff Writer

Editor's Note: Until today, I had never heard of the organisation Avaaz.
Avaaz—meaning "voice" in several European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages—launched in 2007 with a simple democratic mission: organize citizens of all nations to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want.
Avaaz empowers millions of people from all walks of life to take action on pressing global, regional and national issues, from corruption and poverty to conflict and climate change.
The Avaaz model of internet organising allows thousands of individual efforts, however small, to be rapidly combined into a powerful collective force. (Read about results on the Highlights page.)
The Avaaz community campaigns in 15 languages, served by a core team on 6 continents and thousands of volunteers.
Avaaz takes action -- signing petitions, funding media campaigns and direct actions, emailing, calling and lobbying governments, and organizing "offline" protests and events -- to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform the decisions that affect us all.

read more
open full screen

Why is WHO guilty of WOO?

Loretta Marron OAM BSc

Acupuncturists claim that they can treat many serious illnesses, including depression, dysentery, osteoarthritis and whooping cough. As 'evidence', they even refer to the World Health Organisation (WHO) website.
What does WHO claim acupuncture can cure?
Does this match the evidence?

Comments: 1

read more
open full screen

Unselfishness has a special place in business

Harvey Mackay

Bill Bradley recently spoke to a group of Minnesota Timberwolves season ticketholders.  The topic wasn’t his stellar career, basketball strategy or memorable wins.  Instead, he talked about unselfishness.  After 40 years of traveling America as a Hall-of-Fame basketball player and a U.S. Senator, the Rhodes Scholar has a lot of stories to tell about the remarkable unselfish accomplishments of people both famous and unknown.  He features them during his weekly American Voices program on Sirius/XM Radio.

read more
open full screen

I’ve been thinking about, Boston, Belichick, UPS, and transporting properly prepared IVs to the right patients on time

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.

read more
open full screen

Big Data - A Business Power Shift

Barry Urquhart

Season’s greetings.

With the increasingly cosmopolitan nature of Australian society and its people the Christmas festive period is becoming progressively less dominant, particularly for businesses.
However, the Christian values of love, compassion, sharing and understanding are relevant at all times for all people.
We all benefit and should enjoy embracing the sense of family... Australians are all part of one cohesive, extended family. This year we should make the time and effort to reflect, reach out, respect and value the sense of virtue of family.
In commerce the same commitment should be given to virtues of quality customer service.
The following text highlights why. And remember, there is no holiday or break in the need for and advantages of service excellence.

Kindest Personal Regards

Barry Urquhart

read more
open full screen

‘All Trials’, Marketing Based Medicine, and the fight for clinical transparency

Baz Bardoe

Editor's Note: i2P would like to introduce a new writer named Baz Bardoe, an experienced writer with an interesting background.
He joins our small group of writers looking at the ethics behind drug and other medical evidence that pharmacists rely on for their advice and recommendations to their patients.
Much of this evidence has been found to be fraudulent and will take decades to sort out.
This type of fraud also permeates other industries to the extent that information adverse to the interests of these industries (Big Pharma, Big Agriculture, Big Tobacco, Mainstream Media and Big Pesticide and Herbicide Manufacturers), is suppressed.
But they all seem to conspire using a similar methodology to the extent that human health is adversely affected through lack of information or publicising false information, or distributing misleading information.

read more
open full screen

A Tribute to Nelson Mandela

Neil Johnston

Nelson Mandela had little to do with pharmacy (except that he was involved in action to obtain access to cheap HIV medications for his country) but his personal code of conduct was admired universally.
His strength of character and leadership style certainly avoided what might have become a blood-bath in South Africa.
His recent passing was a loss to the World Community and i2P decided to acknowledge this great man within its pages.
I also began to think about what his personal reaction might have been to some current issues in Australia and its health system, and how our leaders compare with his standards.
For example, would he have signed up to the current proposed version of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and would he have endorsed the actions of Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, Big Agriculture, Big Herbicide/Pesticide where it involved human health?
I am sure the answer would have been a resounding NO!
The following is a statement he made and observed:

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”


The following synopsis of his life has been extracted from the Nelson Mandela Foundation website:

read more
open full screen

Good Manners Create Good Communications and Illustrate Respect and Care

Peter Sayers

Pharmacy has always “won its stripes” utilising its ability to be able to relate to individuals in an empathetic manner.
Patients have always reacted positively in accepting what pharmacists have offered to them as a health benefit.
Trouble is, the health benefits have not expanded progressively and pharmacists have become less visible under the mountain of PBS paperwork, bureaucracy and sundry critics that drown out pharmacist voices.
Now the price is about to be paid as government payments to pharmacists will reduce according to their view of the value of a pharmacist, which will be seen as almost non-existent.
And pharmacists, being survivors, will have to limit their time-investment in the PBS because it will not represent good value to them or their patients.

read more
open full screen

Primary Health Care Teams – Will Community Pharmacists be Participants?

Neil Johnston

In the hospital setting pharmacists work well with nurses and doctors. Possibly because of close working proximity and the opportunity for social interaction, there is a better understanding of the role of each profession.
Politically, within a hospital setting, pharmacists feel disadvantaged.
It is a numbers game.
Nurses and doctors have the largest number of people on the ground and the strongest “hands-on” contact with patients.
Pharmacists have a lower profile with the patient, coming in later with an educational role that does not have the same sense of immediacy.

Comments: 1

read more
open full screen

Something’s Fishy About Macular Degeneration Fish Oil Studies

Staff Writer

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, December 11, 2013

Something’s Fishy About Macular Degeneration Fish Oil Studies
by Bill Sardi

(OMNS Dec 11, 2013) Just seven months ago National Eye Institute researchers claimed fish oil “doesn’t seem to help macular degeneration,” (1) a sight-robbing eye disease that plagues adults in their senior years.
So how could another newly published study produce exactly opposite results?
In fact, fish oil didn’t just slow down the insidious progression of this eye disease, it restored vision to every patient placed on high-dose fish oil. It was therapeutic and curative, not just preventive.

read more
open full screen

Vitamins, Minerals Reduce AIDS Mortality - Ignoring Supplements Means Unnecessary Deaths

Staff Writer

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, December 17, 2013

Vitamins, Minerals Reduce AIDS Mortality - Ignoring Supplements Means Unnecessary Deaths
Commentary by Andrew W. Saul, Editor

(OMNS Dec 17, 2013) Twenty-six years ago, I worked with a client (woman, late 20s) who was HIV positive.
She was a heavy drinker and drug user, a smoker, had a terrible diet, and a series of bad personal relationships.
Her health was deteriorating.
Desperate, she decreased her drug and alcohol use.
She still smoked, ate a poor diet, and was under great stress.
She took multivitamin/multimineral supplements irregularly.
But she took a lot of vitamin C very regularly, for over two decades.

read more
open full screen

Multivitamins play a key role in health and wellbeing for people with vitamin and mineral deficiencies

Marie Kelly-Davies

Australian consumers can continue to have confidence in the wealth of evidence that exists on the role of multivitamins in providing overall health and wellness benefits and filling dietary gaps in combination with healthy lifestyle choices, the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) said today.

read more
open full screen

What are we worth?

Gerald Quigley

I’ve been following the bleatings by many about the fee we “deserve” to be paid for aspects of our professional expertise, which the consumer doesn’t actually know we have.
What puzzles me more is that we are even speaking about a “fee” before asking the end-user (the patient) whether or not they feel they need this particular service.

Comments: 1

read more
open full screen

Vitamins Help Prevent Alzheimer's Disease News Media Ignores Supplement Benefits . . .Again

Staff Writer

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, December 20, 2013

Vitamins Help Prevent Alzheimer's Disease. News Media Ignores Supplement Benefits . . .Again

(OMNS Dec 20, 2013) Nutritional supplementation with antioxidants and the B-complex vitamins has been shown to help prevent dementia. Half of all cases of Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia, could be attributable to known dietary and lifestyle risk factors, and at least one fifth of current cases could be prevented right now.

read more
open full screen

Tracking Down Human Rights - Is Anyone at Home?

Judy Wilyman

Editor's note: For some time I have been following the arguments in support of official vaccination policy, and the other side of the argument as well.
Having been trained in pharmaceutical science and its objectives to align itself with “evidence-based medicine”, I have to admit that I have lost heart both in the process itself and the arguments in support of medical products that have supposedly  been submitted to testing, using orthodox and recognised processes.
The entire system of checks and balances has been torn apart.

read more
open full screen

The New Battlegrounds

Peter Sayers

As pharmacists commit further to the expansion of clinical services over 2014, it will not take long for the local GP’s to begin the predictable strategy of reprisal.
In the past, that usually took the form of “channelling” prescriptions to opposition pharmacies (including Internet pharmacies).
However, PBS prescriptions are now so commoditised and cash flow disruptive, that they can no longer be part of the real growth platform of pharmacy’s future and therefore have less impact when channelled by a GP.
Similarly, nursing home business that has always been vulnerable to either GP pressure or a cut-price pharmacist competitor is no longer a concern, unless the pathway to “profitless prosperity” is part of a business model needing expanding cash flow volume at the expense of profit.

read more
open full screen

Vitamin D supplements needed for many mothers and babies

Staff Researcher

Many pregnant women in New Zealand should be taking vitamin D supplements to ensure their babies are not at risk of rickets.
Young breastfed infants of Maori or Pacific Island women, or infants of women with dark skin or who are often covered or veiled when outdoors, are at the greatest risk of having low vitamin D levels.
The mother’s vitamin D level during pregnancy determines the vitamin D status of her newborn baby and remains an important determinant of vitamin D status while the infant remains exclusively breastfed.
A study to determine the optimum vitamin D dose for pregnant women and infants has recently been completed in Auckland and was published this month in the American Academy of Pediatrics journal ‘Pediatrics’.

read more
open full screen

Monoculture Pharmacy - How to Rise Above It

Neil Johnston

The problem with modern Australian community pharmacy is that it has evolved to become a monoculture that is lacking in diversity and depth.
The term is commonly used in agriculture to describe the production of one crop over vast quantities of land, with all the resultant havoc that such practice plays on the soil, water, native flora and fauna, and, to be perfectly clear, on the climate system as well.
For havoc in pharmacy read government induced profit losses leading to career opportunity loss for individuals, lack of suitable forward vision and direction, disruption in education and workforce planning - and the list goes on.
And that is a perfect analogy for pharmacy at the close of 2013.
In its extreme form monoculture becomes monomania and we would know it as the PBS and managed care, as we have all been brainwashed into believing that it is the world’s best health system.
What a joke!

read more
open full screen

How to make New Year's resolutions you'll keep

Harvey Mackay

It is New Year's Eve and Charlie Brown says to Lucy:  “Next year I am going to be a changed person.”
“That's a laugh,” says Lucy sarcastically.

“I mean it,” says Charlie, “I'm going to be strong and firm.”
“Forget it,” says Lucy.  “You'll always be wishy-washy.”
“Well,” answers Charlie defensively, “One day I will be wishy and washy the next.”
Like Charlie Brown, most of us set New Year’s resolutions that are a little vague – lose some weight, spend more time with family and friends, quit smoking, quit drinking, enjoy life more, get out of debt, help others, get organized and on and on.
Just think, if everyone kept their New Year’s resolutions, the world would be a lot different:  We’d have healthier people that would show up for work on time, smoke and drink less and be more organized.

read more
open full screen

Remove barriers to medication reviews for aged-care residents

Staff Writer

Written by Suzanne Newman from SHPA
An article by Amanda Vanstone in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald this week highlights important issues in the aged-care sector in relation to medicine use.
In her article, Ms Vanstone described a resident of an aged-care facility being prescribed medications that she did not require.
SHPA believes that this case highlights why regular medication review by accredited pharmacists is an important service for all residents of aged-care facilities.

read more
open full screen

Orthomolecular News Service January 3 & January 7 2014

Neil Johnston

Editor's Note:
The unnecessary war that is waged on vitamins and other nutritional supplements is continually and routinely engaged.
Is it because they offer a genuine alternative to mainstream medicine? Or a cheaper treatment? Or a safer treatment?
In the war of continuous disinformation it gets harder to separate truth from fiction particularly when it is generated through Big Pharma sources - the same sources that have had massive fines levied against them for publishing fraudulent research, not just once, but multi-times.
Will government ever legislate in this area?


Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, January 3, 2014

No Deaths from Vitamins. None.
Supplement Safety Once Again Confirmed by America's Largest Database
by Andrew W. Saul, Editor
PLUS

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, January 7, 2014

Regulation of Vitamins: Politics As Usual

Commentary by Rolf Hefti

Comments: 1

read more
open full screen

Gradually, and Then Suddenly- a Lesson in Life

Neil Johnston

I started publishing i2P in February 2000 because I was personally aware that community pharmacy policy was not going in an optimum direction and was becoming divisive within the profession.
At that stage there was only one writer (me), but I was soon tackled by other pharmacists with similar thoughts and very strong views, so I decided there was room for a “thought leadership” role for my then fledgling publication, and I invited my detractors/supporters to fill an Internet page that was theirs to manage and to write their own researched thoughts, without censorship or heavy editing (except for potential libel and grammatical errors).
So was born a publication that could publish completely opposite viewpoints simultaneously, creating a form of a “think tank” for all pharmacists.

Comments: 3

read more
open full screen

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, January 16, 2014 - Top 20 vitamin D papers for 2013

Staff Writer

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, January 16, 2014

Top 20 vitamin D papers for 2013

by William B. Grant, PhD

(OMNS Jan 16, 2014) There were 3774 papers published in 2013 with vitamin D in the title or abstract according to pubmed.gov, up from 3099 in 2012.
Among the top 20 vitamin D papers chosen to highlight for 2013 were 11 reviews, five observational studies, one geographical ecological study, one trial, one laboratory study, and one analysis of data from published results.
The papers were chosen in part by the number of times they have been cited in other works as reported by Scholar.Google.com and in part based on expert opinion by vitamin D researchers.
The fact that two-thirds of the papers were reviews is an indication of the relative maturity of the field. However, as noted in the discussion, the weak link in the vitamin D story is the limited number of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) reporting beneficial effects of vitamin D.
As discussed in the paper by Heaney [2013], the primary reason for this result is that vitamin D RCTs have been poorly designed and conducted in general; researchers have generally designed vitamin D RCTs based on the pharmaceutical drug model, which assumes no other source of the agent and a linear dose-response relation. These conditions are not satisfied for vitamin D. As a result, many of the trials enrolled people who had relatively high serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels and gave them too little vitamin D to produce a beneficial effect.

read more
open full screen

Vaccinations Still Have Problems in 2014

Judy Wilyman

Welcome to the first Vaccination Decisions newsletter for 2014.
I would like to provide you with information about the HPV vaccine that is given to all Australian adolescents in government funded school programs to prevent cervical cancer. This vaccine has had the highest number of reactions globally and thousands of girls (and now boys) have become permanently disabled after receiving this vaccine.

Comments: 3

read more
open full screen

Leadership is a State of Mind

Neil Johnston

Leadership is often confused with management.

While it embraces management it is nonetheless ,an entirely different process.
An organisation that does not have a leader is an organisation that is going nowhere.

It is a follower.

It is a long time since I have seen a leader of our profession that really stood out – one who was not frightened to really speak up about their thoughts and actively defend them.

You are more likely to see someone who waits for someone else to “do something”, and then slavishly copy them. In the interim those pseudo-leaders fade into the background because they can never be original.

Certainly examine some other person's work, but only to see what deficiencies exist so that your version might be greatly improved.

But in researching and value-adding a leader will come up with an essentially new approach that will give his organisation a point of difference. And he will launch his product as an incomplete (eighty-percent) version to be refined “on the run”.

That leader gets to achieve his goal before the rest of the pack.

That leader will stand out.

read more
open full screen

ASMI welcomes community pharmacy support for S3 information-based advertising

Marie Kelly-Davies

The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) is encouraged by strong signals of support from community pharmacy to expand the range of Pharmacist Only (S3) medicines as well as its widespread support of an information-based communications approach to consumers for S3 medicines, as demonstrated by the UTS Pharmacy Barometer released this week.1
Prescription to non-prescription reclassification (‘Rx to OTC switch’) and lifting the current advertising restrictions on S3 communication are key issues that remain high on ASMI’s agenda.

read more
open full screen

Nearpod helps revolutionize medical education teaching using mobile devices

Staff Writer

One of the most impressive apps for medical education purposes is Nearpod.
The premise behind nearpod is simple–to bring the classroom to life with interactive mobile presentations that teachers can create and customize themselves.
Nearpod relies on a  cloud based system to distribute interactive presentations to students in a classroom. It is particularly well suited for institutions that own or use tablets regularly (although you can use a phone).

read more
open full screen

New discoveries in quest for better drugs

Staff Researcher

A new crystal structure of a GPCR bound to both an activating molecule and a drug
Two studies into alternative drug recognition sites on G protein-coupled receptors have been published in Nature.
Scientists have combined cutting edge computer modelling, structural biology, pharmacology and medicinal chemistry to reveal new insights into how the body interacts with novel drug treatments, in research that could lead to the creation of drugs that are more targeted and with fewer side effects.

read more
open full screen

SHPA’s new president to champion excellence in medicines management

Staff Writer

Story by Suzanne Newman

At a meeting of SHPA’s Federal Council on the weekend, Professor Michael Dooley, Director of Pharmacy at Alfred Health, and Professor of Clinical Pharmacy, Centre for Medicine Use and Safety, Monash University, was elected as the new President of SHPA.

read more
open full screen

SHPA welcomes prescribing pathway for health professionals

Staff Writer

Story by Suzanne Newman

SHPA welcomes the news that the Health Professionals Prescribing Pathway has been approved by Australian health ministers.
The Health Professionals Prescribing Pathway project has been undertaken by Health Workforce Australia (HWA) to develop a nationally recognised approach to prescribing. SHPA has been involved in this project from the outset: contributing feedback on a draft version and being represented in workshops and other settings by SHPA representatives including former President Sue Kirsa, CEO Helen Dowling, Yvonne Allinson and Greg Weeks. SHPA member, Dr Lisa Nissen, has been a clinical advisor to the project.

read more
open full screen

Prime Minister announces new funding to support delivery of chemotherapy

Staff Writer

Story by Helen Dowling

SHPA welcomes the announcement on 30 November 2013 by the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott of more than $82million additional funding to support the delivery of chemotherapy medicines in Australia’s public and private hospitals.
Although few details have been released, the new funding that commences from 1 January 2014 removes the immediate concerns of SHPA members regarding the delivery of chemotherapy medicines.

read more
open full screen

Professional Pharmacists Thank Sue Kirsa for her Contribution to Pharmacy

Professional Pharmacists Australia Spokesperson

Professionals Pharmacists Australia today paid tribute to the hard work and vision of Sue Kirsa who recently resigned as President of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists Australia.
CEO of Professional Pharmacists Australia, Chris Walton said Ms Kirsa worked tirelessly to see pharmacists better able to utilise their skills to improve community health.

read more
open full screen

A Tribute to Nelson Mandela

Neil Johnston

Nelson Mandela had little to do with pharmacy (except that he was involved in action to obtain access to cheap HIV medications for his country) but his personal code of conduct was admired universally.
His strength of character and leadership style certainly avoided what might have become a blood-bath in South Africa.
His recent passing was a loss to the World Community and i2P decided to acknowledge this great man within its pages.
I also began to think about what his personal reaction might have been to some current issues in Australia and its health system, and how our leaders compare with his standards.
For example, would he have signed up to the current proposed version of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and would he have endorsed the actions of Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, Big Agriculture, Big Herbicide/Pesticide where it involved human health?
I am sure the answer would have been a resounding NO!
The following is a statement he made and observed:

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”


The following synopsis of his life has been extracted from the Nelson Mandela Foundation website:

read more
open full screen

Debbie Rigby to lead SHPA’s new accredited pharmacist group

Staff Writer

From Natalie Collard
SHPA is pleased to announce that Debbie Rigby will chair the SHPA Accredited Pharmacists Reference Group. Debbie is a highly regarded consultant clinical pharmacist, and comes with much experience in education, research, governance and communication. She is a Director at NPS MedicineWise and was the inaugural AACP Consultant Pharmacist of the Year in 2008. Debbie has much to offer.
SHPA President Professor Michael Dooley said “SHPA is fortunate that Debbie has agreed to chair this important group. Under her leadership this group will consolidate SHPA’s support for pharmacists who provide medication reviews and guide SHPA and our members through changes in pharmacy practice such a post-discharge hospital referral pathway for HMRs, which is on the horizon.”

read more
open full screen

Support for pharmacists throughout the holidays Call 1300 244 910 to talk it over with a colleague

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

Not everyone enjoys this time of the year. Work pressures in pharmacy can be substantial with the end of the year “safety-net” rush, Boxing Day sales, holiday crowds in tourist areas and limited access to other health services.
Many pharmacists do not have the opportunity to relax with family and friends.
A sense of isolation can be exacerbated, especially if those around you are relaxing and celebrating and you are not.

read more
open full screen

ASMI supports voluntary move to add front-of-pack warnings to S3 codeine-containing analgesics

Marie Kelly-Davies

The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) has today confirmed that it supports industry-wide measures for a voluntary front-of-pack warning statement to be added to S3 codeine-containing analgesics, and that ASMI members who supply these products have agreed to implement the voluntary label changes as soon as possible.

read more
open full screen

PHARMACY OWNERS CAUGHT UNDERPAYING HUNDREDS OF EMPLOYEE PHARMACISTS IN NEW AUDIT

Professional Pharmacists Australia Spokesperson

One quarter of Australia's pharmacy owners are breaking workplace laws, including underpaying their pharmacists and other staff, according to a shocking new Fair Work Ombudsman's audit report released today.
CEO of Professional Pharmacists Australia, Chris Walton, said the PPA's campaign to establish the audit was justified after it found 599 cases of pharmacists and other staff being underpaid, and more than $280,000 had to be paid back to pharmacy employees.

Comments: 1

read more
open full screen

Contact Lenses- a Platform for Glucose Measurement by Google

Staff Writer

Editor's Note: There is no doubt that health services are undergoing a revolution in the form of mobile apps and wearable technology.
The process is disruptive in terms of potential reductions in visits to various health professionals, including pharmacists,
Opportunity exists for pharmacists who can provide (for a fee) bridging technology and supporting information and advice to enable a patient to self manage their condition.
There is also a general movement in health development to create a self care environment with barriers being progressively removed e.g. S3 advertising.
Pharmacists need to develop also a recognisable and marketable patient mentoring service.


Diabetes is a disease without borders — one in 19 people across the globe deal with this illness that requires constant blood measurements and insulin treatment.
Google might soon make day-to-day care a little easier for diabetics with contact lenses that can read a person’s blood sugar through their tears – bringing new meaning to the popular wearable tech trend.

read more
open full screen

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

read more
open full screen

Pharmedia: No Benefit in Pharmacist Intervention

Neil Johnston

Editor's Note:
The media item below was recently published in MJA Insights.
It, along with many other articles, is a sample of the ongoing anti-pharmacy sentiment that is being spread by official medicine.
To me it is a nonsense to talk of collaboration between pharmacy and medicine on one hand, and to be professionally insulting on the other.
My view is that the medical profession has a lot of repair work to undertake to purify the drug evidence base that has been damaged beyond belief by its collaboration with Big Pharma, and the ongoing bid to denigrate the profession of pharmacy at every opportunity.
What seems to terrify official medicine about pharmacy and other registered health professionals such as nurses?
I2P asked Mark Coleman to comment on this situation, and his comments appear below the Insights item.

read more
open full screen

NPS Media Releases for November 2013

NPS Spokesperson

articles by this author...

Regular information provided by NPS – Better choices, better health - NPS enables people to be medicinewise.

Latest Media Releases

open this article full screen

26 NOVEMBER 2013

Australian Prescriber articles on new class of drugs for diabetes 

Australian Prescriber has published a number of articles ‘online first’ to provide prescribers and other health professionals with information on a new class of diabetes drugs – sodium-glucose co-transporter (SGLT) inhibitors. The first two drugs in this class are dapagliflozin (Forxiga) and canagliflozin (Invokana) and on 1 December 2013 both medicines will be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Sodium glucose co-transporter inhibitors: mechanisms of action

Dr Tilenka Thynne of Royal Adelaide Hospital and Dr Matthew Doogue from the University of Otago explain how these new medicines work and explain the adverse effects and risks. According to the authors, SGLT inhibitors lower plasma glucose and reduce the renal reabsorption of urinary glucose. The reduction in plasma glucose is independent of insulin secretion and insulin peripheral resistance. They write that the long-term effects of SGLT inhibitors are unknown.

Sodium-glucose co-transporter inhibitors: clinical applications

Professor Timothy Davis from Fremantle Hospital discusses the likely place of SGLT inhibitors in clinical practice and explains potential safety concerns. He explains that these drugs improve glycaemic control, have a low incidence of hypoglycaemia, and reduce body weight and blood pressure.

The author writes that SGLT inhibitors have the convenience of once-daily dosing and their mechanism of action means that they can be combined safely with other oral glucose-lowering drugs and insulin. The main adverse effects are increases in genitourinary infections, dehydration-related symptoms including postural hypotension, and raised serum low density lipoprotein cholesterol. Ongoing surveillance including large-scale cardiovascular safety trials should provide objective data on the possible increased risk of stroke, fracture and malignancy.

New drugs: canagliflozin

Indicated for type 2 diabetes, canagliflozin is the second sodium-glucose co-transporter inhibitor to be approved in Australia. A summary of the new drug published on the Australian Prescriber website explains that canagliflozin reduces renal reabsorption of glucose, resulting in increased glucose excretion in the urine. The review includes information about the action of the medicine, its efficacy, and a summary of clinical trials. It explains that canagliflozin is most likely to be used as an add-on therapy when type 2 diabetes cannot be controlled by metformin and a sulfonylurea, in addition to diet and exercise. Dapagliflozin was reviewed in Australian Prescriber in October.

To read the full articles and more visit www.australianprescriber.com

22 NOVEMBER 2013

VACCINATIONS: ONE MORE WEAPON IN THE FIGHT AGAINST ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE ANTIBIOTIC AWARENESS WEEK 18-24 NOVEMBER 2013

During Antibiotic Awareness Week (18-24 November) NPS MedicineWise is urging health professionals to use vaccinations as one important way to limit Australia’s use of antibiotics. 

Doctors, pharmacists and nurses are being asked to encourage their patients to keep up with the vaccinations recommended in the National Immunisation Program (NIP) schedule, as immunisation can help reduce the rates of vaccine-preventable diseases that may have required antibiotics to treat them or their complications.

A new NPS Direct article published this week explains that along with the judicious use of antibiotics, vaccinations are an integral component in the fight against antibiotic resistance.

When vaccination rates are high, the incidence of certain bacterial infections in the community is reduced as is the need for antibiotics.

·         During flu season, it is recommended that people at risk of complications such as pneumonia receive the influenza vaccine – these include people aged over 65, pregnant women, and people with medical conditions like chronic lung disease or heart disease.

·         Health professionals working in aged care, long-term care and child care facilities are also encouraged receive the flu vaccine to prevent transmission to these at-risk groups, reducing the risk of associated complications requiring treatment with antibiotics.

·         Antibiotic resistant pneumococci is a current challenge in Australia, but following the introduction of widespread pneumococcal vaccination in Australian children, incidence of the disease has declined sharply. Current guidelines now recommend use of a 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (13vPCV) for children at two, four and six months of age, with an extra dose at 12 months for at-risk groups, while the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (23vPPV) is recommended for adults and children aged 4 years and over who are considered to be medically at risk, to prevent invasive pneumococcal disease and pneumonia.

To read the full article go to www.nps.org.au/vaccines-and-antibiotics

For more information about antibiotic resistance and Antibiotic Awareness Week, and to pledge to join the fight against antibiotic resistance, visit www.nps.org.au/antibiotics

 

20 NOVEMBER 2013

DON’T BRING A SUPERBUG HOME AS A SOUVENIR ANTIBIOTIC AWARENESS WEEK 18-24 NOVEMBER 2013

With the holiday season just around the corner and many Australians heading overseas, NPS MedicineWise is urging people to guard against the risk of infection whilst travelling. 

During Antibiotic Awareness Week, Australians are being reminded that the global development and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is one of the greatest threats to human health today. 

NPS MedicineWise clinical advisor, Dr Philippa Binns, says anyone who travels overseas should be mindful of the risks they might be exposed to, and should take care to protect their health and that of their family and friends.

“Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a problem everywhere, and international travel means that they can spread very quickly around the world. Bacteria that are resistant to one or more antibiotics cause infections that are more difficult to treat, last longer and carry a higher risk of complications,” says Dr Binns.

“Travelling overseas can expose you to infectious diseases not generally found in Australia. That doesn’t mean everyone will catch a ‘superbug’ if they get sick overseas, but we should take every precaution to avoid infection.

“And if you are prescribed antibiotics for a bacterial infection at home or while you are away, take them responsibly and exactly as prescribed to help fight antibiotic resistance at home and in the communities you visit.”

In a survey of 1000 Australians released this week^, NPS MedicineWise found that half of travellers have never considered the possibility that they could contract an antibiotic-resistant infection whilst overseas. 

“Antibiotic resistance is everyone’s problem. If we want to preserve the miracle of antibiotics, we must all take steps to prevent the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria while we travel and at home.

Dr Binns said looking after your health and stopping the spread of potentially dangerous bacteria requires a practical approach to preparedness and prevention. 

“Before you travel, make sure your routine vaccinations are up to date and find out what vaccinations are recommended for your destinations. Some vaccinations need more than one dose over a period of time, and your body will need time to build up immunity before you leave; see your doctor at least 6 weeks before your departure.

Dr Binns says there are many ways to avoid the risk of infection - practice good hygiene and safe sex; drink bottled or boiled water if it is from an untreated source; avoid ice; eat fruit you can peel; and don’t eat raw or reheated food.

“Before you jet off, make sure you know what to do if you get sick overseas. If you contract an infection it can be very tempting to buy antibiotics over the counter without a prescription. But it’s critical that you always speak to a qualified health professional who can provide expert advice for your particular situation.

“And if you feel unwell or need to see the doctor once you’ve returned home, be sure to tell them where you’ve been. Open communication with your health professionals is key.”

Join the fight against antibiotic resistance at www.facebook.com.au/npsmedicinewise 

Learn more about antibiotic resistance and appropriate use of antibiotics at www.nps.org.au/antibiotics

Antibiotic Awareness Week 2013 is supported by the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care, the Australian Veterinary Association, the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases, the Australian Society for Antimicrobials, the Australian College for Infection and Prevention Control, the Australian College of Rural & Remote Medicine, the Australasian Medical Writers Association, the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association, the Therapeutic Guidelines, the National Asthma Council Australia, the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia and The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia with NPS MedicineWise as part of our five year campaign to address the spread of antibiotic resistance in Australia.

^Poll of 1000 Australians aged 18 and over conducted by UMR research in July 2013.

18 NOVEMBER 2013

CREATE GREAT EXPECTATIONS IN PRIMARY AND HOSPITAL CARE ANTIBIOTIC AWARENESS WEEK 18-24 NOVEMBER 2013

Marking the start of Antibiotic Awareness Week, NPS MedicineWise is urging all health professionals to pledge their commitment to preserve the miracle of antibiotics and re-shape consumer expectations of these lifesavings medicines.

Antibiotic resistance is globally recognised as one of the greatest threats to human health today and Clinical Advisor at NPS MedicineWise, Dr Philippa Binns, says all health professionals need to be champions for the safe and appropriate use of antibiotics.

“The overuse and misuse of antibiotics drives the spread of resistance in the community. So whether you prescribe, dispense, or provide advice about antibiotics, you have a responsibility to preserve the miracle of these life-saving medicines,” says Dr Binns.

“Over the past 18 months, we’ve been asking Australian consumers to take a pledge to use antibiotics safely and appropriately – more than 35,000 people answered our call. Now we’re asking every health professional in Australia to make that same public commitment.”

Launched in early November 2013, the NPS MedicineWise antibiotic resistance fighter pledge has already seen around 3,100 health professionals publicly commit to preserve the miracle of antibiotics.

The interactive online tool asks health professionals to champion appropriate antibiotic use and apply the principles of the MINDME antimicrobial stewardship creed in their practice. By entering their postcode, each person who takes the pledge is helping to map the spread of antibiotic resistance fighters across Australia.

“With around 19 million prescriptions written in Australia every year, we are among the highest users of antibiotics in the developed world. If 25,000 health professionals pledge to preserve the miracle of antibiotics, we will be nearer our target to bring Australia in line with the OECD country average for antibiotic prescribing,” says Dr Binns.

“And if we unite as a community of health professionals, committed to changing our own behaviour, then we can bring Australian consumers – and their expectations of quality care – along with us.

“Patient expectations can drive inappropriate antibiotic prescribing. And from our research with consumers, we know that many people ask for, or expect to be prescribed, antibiotics when they have a cold or flu.

“Changing these expectations is a significant part of our challenge in addressing antibiotic resistance but there are simple things all health professionals can do to shape the way we think about and use antibiotics.

“Take the NPS MedicineWise pledge, put yourself on the national map of antibiotic resistance fighters, and then print and display your personalised antibiotic resistance fighter certificate in your workplace.

“Through your public commitment to fight antibiotic resistance in your practice, your patients and customers will expect you to be a champion for the appropriate use of antibiotics when prescribing, dispensing, offering advice or answering questions about these life-saving medicines.”

Take the pledge and join the fight against antibiotic resistance at www.nps.org.au/hppledge

 

1 NOVEMBER 2013

STATINS REMAIN IMPORTANT; PATIENT SELECTION IS KEY

Public debate — sparked by the ABC Catalyst program — on whether management of cardiovascular risk places undue emphasis on blood cholesterol has raised questions about current prescribing practices for lipid lowering medicines and the role of statins in the prevention of cardiovascular events.

High blood cholesterol is one of several well established risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) and lowering levels of cholesterol, especially ’low density’ or LDL cholesterol,  plays an important role in preventing cardiovascular events.

NPS MedicineWise CEO Dr Lynn Weekes says that the guidelines are clear and the evidence is strong — statins remain one of most effective drug strategies for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, but patient selection is key.

“The prescribing of statins should follow national guidelines based on absolute CVD risk assessment. In people who are deemed to have moderate to high risk, statins have an important, clinically proven role to play in the prevention of CVD,” said Dr Weekes.

Dr Weekes also expressed concern that misleading media reports may cause people to stop taking their statins, which may put them at increased risk of a cardiovascular event, particularly if they have already had one previously.

“Statins are not only effective in preventing cardiovascular events in people at high risk but who have never had heart disease but are also effective in preventing recurrence in those who have had previous CVD events. Despite this we know that about 1 in 4 Australians prescribed a cholesterol-lowering medicine stop taking it within the first year,” says Dr Weekes.

“This is often because they don't think the medicine is making a difference, but in fact the benefit is cumulative and statins provide greater protective benefit after the first year of taking them.

“In light of the current debate around this issue, we urge health professionals to ensure they are up to date with the latest evidence and guidelines and work in partnership with their patients to manage their risk of CVD.”

For up to date information on the use of statins, NPS MedicineWise has collated information and resources for health professionals. This information is available at nps.org.au/cholesterol-and-cvd-risk

 

Return to home

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a genuine visitor, to prevent automated spam submissions.
Incorrect please try again
Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

health news headlines provided courtesy of Medical News Today.

Click here to read more...

Practice Development

Information Technology

Preventive Medicine

Aged Care

If any difficulty is found in subscribing, please use the "Contact Us" panel found in the navigation bar with the message "subscribe" and your email address.

Subscribe to our mailing list

Email Format
 

 

  • Copyright (C) 2000-2019 Computachem Services, All Rights Reserved.

Website by Ablecode