s NPS Media Releses over June 2014 | 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. 
Access and click on the title links that are illustrated

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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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NPS Media Releses over June 2014

NPS Spokesperson

articles by this author...

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

NPS Media Releases over June 2014

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17 June 2014 
OPTIMISING ASTHMA CONTROL IN CHILDREN: NEW NPS MEDICINEWISE CASE STUDY

A new NPS MedicineWise online case study focusing on management of asthma in children is now available for GPs, pharmacists, nurses and other health professionals.

NPS MedicineWise clinical adviser Dr Andrew Boyden says children account for a large proportion of people with asthma and managing a child’s asthma in a range of respects is different to managing an adult’s.

“There are particular considerations to take into account when managing children with asthma,” he says.

“Making a diagnosis of asthma in children, particularly in younger children can present real challenges, and children display  certain patterns of asthma which need to be recognised as they require specific management approaches.

The case study is designed to assist health professionals stay up to date with the latest evidence base.

It includes recommendations from the recently updated Australian Asthma Handbook, focuses on which inhaled medicines are appropriate for children and the importance of assessing inhaler technique. It also addresses the use of written asthma action plans which are an essential component of good asthma management.

“In children with asthma it’s important to ensure that the delivery device being used is age appropriate and that they are able to follow the recommended steps for using that device. Some children may not have enough inspiratory flow to inhale medicine from some devices,” says Dr Boyden.

“Inhaler technique needs to be checked at each visit as it’s a common cause of poor treatment response and ongoing, poorly-controlled asthma.”

Dr Boyden says that in recognition of the various risks and benefits relating to a wide range of available asthma medications, there are age restrictions on some asthma medicines — for example some should only be used in children aged five and over.

The interactive case study provides participants with instant feedback and enables them to compare with their peers their approach to asthma management with inhaled medicines. It also includes expert commentary from leading Australian paediatric respiratory physician Professor Peter van Asperen.

By completing the ‘Asthma: optimising control in children’ case study, participants will be able to:

* select age-appropriate inhaled preventer medicines and devices

* make treatment recommendations based on asthma classification

* promote use of a written asthma action plan to help patients better manage their asthma

* implement a systems approach to monitor patients’ asthma control.

NPS MedicineWise case studies are free professional development activities for GPs, nurses, pharmacists and other health professionals. Case studies are also recognised for the Quality Prescribing Incentive (QPI) of the Practice Incentives Program (PIP). Case studies offer an interactive format and are accessible on multiple devices, including computers or tablets.

For more information about the case study, visit to www.nps.org.au/casestudy.

5 JUNE 2014
LIVING WITH MULTIPLE MEDICINES: REPOSITORY OF REAL LIFE STORIES

NPS MedicineWise has launched a new web resource to help people understand what it is like living with multiple medicines. Comprising more than 300 videos, audio clips and quotes telling people’s stories of their own experiences with multiple medicines, this resource was developed using the DIPEx method — an evidence-based methodology developed and used in the UK over the past ten years by Oxford University and the Healthtalkonline research group.

NPS MedicineWise spokesperson and manager of NPS Medicines Line Sarah Spagnardi says the Living with multiple medicines hub taps into the lived experience of people who take multiple medications.

“The videos and content will allow consumers to relate to others in similar situations and engage in active decision making about their medicines and health,” says Ms Spagnardi.

“We also encourage health professionals to explore the new web resource to help them get a better understanding of the experience of living with multiple medicines.”
Some of the themes explored through this project include what it is like to adjust to multiple medicines, travelling with medicines, keeping a medicines list, problems people can have and communicating with health professionals. The website also includes an introductory video from Professor Ric Day AM.

This is the first project using the DIPEx method to look at medicines independent of a particular medical condition.

The project was undertaken in conjunction with the University of Sydney, La Trobe University and Monash University.

 

Presenting on the project methodology at a plenary session at the recent National Medicines Symposium 2014 held in Brisbane, Dr Lorraine Smith from the University of Sydney said that people with health problems want high quality information and support to provide answers to their questions.

 

“It’s important for people to be able to tap into the lived experience, to relate to others’ experiences, make decisions about their health management and communicate effectively with health professionals,” she said.

 

“There are web based resources for people with chronic conditions but most are anecdotal and are not derived from research. This is why the new Living with multiple medicines hub, developed using the DIPEx methodology, is so valuable: it’s an evidence-based, free, web-based multimedia resource designed for patients, families, friends, health professionals, carers and policy makers.”

The new Living with multiple medicines hub is available on the NPS MedicineWise website at http://www.nps.org.au/topics/living-with-multiple-medicines

 

2 JUNE 2014
Latest edition of Australian Prescriber out now   

The latest edition of Australian Prescriber is out now and looks at the following topical issues:

Anaphylaxis and anaesthesia – can treating a cough kill?

Patients having surgery have a 1 in 10,000 chance of having an anaphylactic reaction, write Dr Helen Crilly and Dr Michael Rose of the Australian and New Zealand Anaesthetic Allergy Group. This reaction is twice as likely to occur when a muscle relaxant is used. They comment that anaphylaxis to neuromuscular blocking drugs is likely to be under-reported. There is emerging evidence of a link between over-the-counter cough medicine and anaphylaxis under anaesthesia. The authors propose that products containing pholcodine be re-classified to ‘prescription only’ if it is not possible to withdraw them from the market.

Pharmaceutical drug misuse in Australia

Dr Malcolm Dobbin from Monash University writes about the changing pattern of substance misuse in Australia. A new, hidden population dependent on prescribed or over-the-counter opioids is emerging. The author looks at misuse of prescription opioids, combination analgesics containing codeine, and other psychoactive drugs including benzodiazepines and antipsychotics.

The ‘polypill’ in the prevention of cardiovascular disease

Could a daily dose of multiple medicines save lives? In the last ten years significant progress has been made in testing the concept of a cardiovascular ‘polypill’, write Dr Ruth Webster and Professor Anushka Patel of the George Institute for Global Health. Long-term trials of the polypill for prevention are ongoing, write the authors, but there are results that show the polypill in people with established cardiovascular disease is beneficial.

Nutrients and herbal supplements for mental health

Dr Jerome Sarris from the University of Melbourne and Swinburne University of Technology outlines some of the key evidence, or lack thereof, for nutrient supplements and herbal medicines used for mental health disorders. He notes that while patients take a range of supplements, there is evidence for some supplements but no or little data for others. Prescribers should be mindful of differences between the quality and standardisation of supplements, and of their potential interactions with other medicines.

Other articles in this edition of Australian Prescriber include

* Glycated haemoglobin for the diagnosis of diabetes

* Allergen immunotherapy

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

 

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