s PSA Media Release for Nov./Dec. 2011 | I2P: Information to Pharmacists - Archive
Publication Date 01/07/2014         Volume. 6 No. 6   
Information to Pharmacists


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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News Flash

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

Comments: 1

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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

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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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PSA Media Release for Nov./Dec. 2011

Peter Waterman

articles by this author...

Keeping you up to date with PSA activities.

Information made available from the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia by Peter Waterman. 
Peter Waterman is the Public Affairs Manager for the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. 
He may be contacted by telephone(02)62834782, or on mobile phone
0487 922 176.

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29 November 2011


Bendigo hospital pharmacist Bruce Gould was awarded the 2011 Victorian Pharmacist Medal at the annual dinner on Friday 25 November. 

The Medal is Victoria’s most prestigious pharmacy award and was presented in recognition of Mr Gould‘s service to the Victorian community as a community pharmacist for nearly 30 years, and more recently, as a hospital pharmacist. 

His passion for the pharmacy profession has driven him into taking a proactive role in the education and training of students, interns and pharmacists for more than 15 years. 

Accepting his award, Mr Gould said he believed pharmacy was a great profession which was not generally recognised for its pivotal role in healthcare.  He was excited by the enthusiasm and ability of the many young pharmacists, interns and students he meets and he hoped to continue to be involved in education for years to come.

The Annual Victorian Pharmacists Dinner was well attended by leaders of Victorian pharmacy organisations including the Pharmacy Guild, the Society of Hospital Pharmacists, the Victorian Pharmacy Authority, heads of Monash, La Trobe and RMIT pharmacy schools, and the Victorian Minister for Health the Hon Mr David Davis.  PSA National President Grant Kardachi and NSW Branch President Charlie Benrimoj also attended.

Other Victorian Pharmacists who were recognised on the night included life members Alan Hildebrand, Ayron Teed, Peter Shepard, Peter and Elizabeth Ross. 

Professors Colin Chapman and Kenn Raymond were recognised for their exceptional contribution to pharmacy education, together with community pharmacists Samson Chan, Leon Hain, John Nguyen, Marsha Watson, and retiring Branch Committee member Bronwyn Flanagan.

Victorian Branch President Mark Feldschuh said he was pleased to see that the young generation in the pharmacy profession was also recognised with the Victorian Early Career Pharmacists group awarded a certificate of appreciation for its proactive work in the training and career mentoring of young pharmacists and students.

Pharmacy Intern of the Year Elisha Ted, interns Aida Alihodzic and Lucy Mc Dougall, and pharmacy student of the year Sarah Carminati were all recognised for their outstanding efforts. 

The annual Victorian Pharmacists Dinner is supported by PDL, Willach, Monash University, Rose Partners, MIMS, Westpac Bank, Medibank, Tungsten Wine, Minuteman Press and Zodiac Catering.


27 November 2011


The Queensland Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s recent annual dinner was the occasion for the presentation of a number of prestigious awards including Intern of the Year and Graduate of the Year.

The Gold Medal was awarded to Peter Mayne for his outstanding contribution and exceptional service to the Pharmacy profession and to PSA.

The award is normally made to a member who has demonstrated at least 20 years continuous service to PSA that includes service at the state and/or national levels.

Some of Peter’s work includes time on the PreReg Training Committee, being a Member of the Queensland Branch Council then Committee, holding the position of Treasurer for seven years and receiving the Bowl of Hygeia award in 2005.

He also was Chair of Organising Committee for PAC 2006 in Cairns, author  of the Guide to Regulated Restricted Drugs in Qld since 2002 and organised and ran the Queensland Pharmacy Student of the Year  final for many years.

The Gold Medal is the most prestigious PSA Queensland Branch award and only five previous Gold Medals have been awarded.

 It is the “overall good guy” award and this year’s recipient was named at the event as Madeline Orange from the Queensland University of Technology.

The Intern of the Year for 2011 is Andrew Heathcock  from the Redbank Plains Day and Night Pharmacy. Andrew was selected for his overall work and for his wide-ranging community projects which he manages to fit in on top of his remarkable pharmacy service delivery.

The award of Life Fellow, which marks 50 years or more continuous membership of the society, was presented to Stella O’Donnell AO.

23 November 2011


ACT Branch President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Professor Gabrielle Cooper, has been elected to the first ACT Medicare Local Board.

Professor Cooper, who is Professor of Pharmacy, Associate Dean Clinical Engagement at the University of Canberra, was elected to one of the two primary health-care clinician positions on the Board.

A network of national-wide Medicare Locals is a key component of the Australian Government’s National Health Reforms and they are designed to coordinate primary health-care delivery and tackle local health care needs and service gaps.

They will drive improvements in primary health care and ensure services are better tailored to meet the needs of local communities.

Professor Cooper said she was honoured at being appointed to the Board and looked forward to adding the expertise and knowledge of pharmacists to that of the other health professionals on the Board.

“All too often in the past the expertise that pharmacists have in the provision of primary health care has been overlooked but the  Medicare Local system means that contribution can now be integrated more consistently in team-based care,” Professor Cooper said.

“Pharmacists are one of the most accessible of all heath-care professionals in Australia which means they have some unique face-to-face interactions with patients and consumers.

 “Consumers and patients walk in and speak to pharmacists about health issues, often before they speak to other health professionals. 

“Pharmacists regularly triage and refer to other health professionals to ensure patients’ needs are effectively addressed.

“I am delighted to be able to add this knowledge and experience to the workings of the ACT Medicare Local to improve the health outcomes of everyone in the ACT Medicare Local region.”


22 November  2011


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia will work cooperatively with all stakeholders in any Senate inquiry into the Community Pharmacy Agreements process to ensure the best possible outcomes for the community, the pharmacy profession and Australia’s health system.

National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, was commenting after the call today by the Greens Parliamentary Spokesman on Health, Dr Richard Di Natale, for a Senate inquiry into the structure of the Community Pharmacy Agreements and how they are negotiated.

Mr Kardachi said PSA’s focus throughout any inquiry would be on improving the health outcomes of consumers through the professional focus and activities of pharmacists and on the sustainability of the pharmacy profession.

“Pharmacists need to be able to provide the best possible advice and services based on their extensive knowledge  and experience, and to use these skills in the best health interests of the patient,” Mr Kardachi said.

“It is clearly in the interests of the community that programs and services provided under the Community Pharmacy Agreements are developed by leaders from across the profession who should work transparently with the Government, consumers and other health professionals.”

Mr Kardachi said pharmacy was a foundation of Australia’s health-care system and it was important to maintain the fabric of the community pharmacy system and the services it provided.

“Pharmacists are the most accessible of all health professionals and enjoy a very high trust rating from consumers across the country,” Mr Kardachi said. 

“If a Senate inquiry takes place we would like it to reinforce to consumers that their pharmacist is there to provide service and advice, and that when they enter their pharmacy they are entering a health-care destination.

“We will work to help ensure that the Community Pharmacy Agreement process is not only strengthened but that it delivers a broader range of targeted professional services to the consumer. The Agreement is a pillar of Australia’s health system so it is vital that we make it work to its full potential.”

18 November 2011


The role pharmacists can play in helping to manage hay fever has been highlighted by new figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) showing that about 3.1 million Australians, or 15% of the population, suffer from the condition.

According to AIHW, this makes it one of the most common chronic respiratory conditions in Australia.

National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Grant Kardachi, said despite the alarming figures, the good news was that hay fever can usually be very well managed with medicines, that can be purchased over-the-counter in pharmacies.

“Hay fever most commonly affects people aged 25–44 and is slightly more common in women than men,” Mr Kardachi said.  “Severity can range from mild to severe and can greatly interfere with the sufferer’s sleep, affect their daily routines and have a very negative impact on their quality of life.

“Identifying the triggers for hay fever is often a key to better managing it, and while pharmacists can help patients in this regard, they can also advise on the best medicines to treat their condition. This can include preventive measures such as advising patients to take their medicines the night before forecast high-risk days.”

 Advice from pharmacists could extend beyond supplying antihistamines, most of which are non-sedating and therefore allow people to work normally, drive and go about their daily routines as usual.

“Pharmacists will advise on suitable antihistamines, which are the mainstay of treatment, as well as other treatment options such as nasal sprays and eye drops for more severe cases,” Mr Kardachi said. 

Mr Kardachi said that apart from helping consumers select the most appropriate medicines, PSA Self Care pharmacies could provide more detailed information on how best to manage the condition through the Self Care Hay Fever Fact Card. 

“This very informative Fact Card gives consumers tips and hints as well as explaining hay fever so sufferers can fully understand it and take appropriate steps to manage it,” Mr Kardachi said.  “Hay fever sufferers should speak to their pharmacist who will provide advice and refer them to their doctor when necessary.”


11 November 2011


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s NSW Branch officially launched its Clinical and Practice Expo (CPExpo) today at a small function before key stakeholders and industry.

The CPExpo is an exciting new professional development and practice support event incorporating practical innovations and a patient focus  to be held at the Hordern Pavilion, Sydney 25 – 27 May 2012. 

PSA NSW Branch Director Steven Drew said CPExpo was unique as it was designed to bring together pharmacists, patient support groups, patients, allied health professionals and the pharmaceutical industry with the aim of improving Australia’s health through excellence in the practice of pharmacy.

“The PSA is the leading pharmacy professional organisation, renowned for its high-quality clinical, practice-based education practice improvement programs that nurture and grow the pharmacy profession’s capacity and effectiveness,” Mr Drew said.

“CPExpo is destined to become another PSA must-attend event for the pharmacy profession.  This new-look event focuses on the quality use of medicines and therapeutic updates as well as clinical and professional services.” 

Mr Drew said the winning formula of innovation, education and networking along with the exciting initiative of promoting and supporting patient and patient support group collaboration promises to be a big drawcard.

“By pursuing an innovative collaboration between industry, patient support groups and health professionals, CPExpo provides a unique promotional opportunity to present the clinical and practical aspects of your products and services,” Mr Drew said.

“Replacing the outdated ‘trade” show model, this new format provides pharmaceutical companies with myriad options to interact with a key stakeholders, integral to the provision of medicines information and medication management.

Mr Drew said busy but nonetheless committed pharmacists wanting to maximising learning outcomes relevant to their practice would relish the chance to keep up to date with their clinical knowledge, new product information and health initiatives in a single event.


8 November 2011 


The Pharmacy Research Trust of NSW is now seeking applications for its 2012 grants program.

The trust promotes, fosters, develops and assists the pursuit of research and post-graduate education and study in all branches of pharmacy provided the work is related to research into the causes, prevention or cure of disease in human beings, animals or plants. 

A.The trust is seeking applications for grants for:Research project grants from established investigators which may include requests for research maintenance/personnel or scholarships for postgraduate students

B.Seed funding from less established researchers, usually of fewer than three years’ standing, or for support of established investigators in exceptional circumstances (as determined by the Research Committee).  Such projects should be capable of leading to sufficient results to enable subsequent applications for funding to larger granting bodies.

Under the terms of grants, all research projects and seed funding, other than scholarships for postgraduate students, will have a maximum duration of two years. All postgraduate scholarships will have a duration of three years (PhD) or two years (Masters), with a possible extension of six months in the case of PhD scholarships.

When examining applications, the Research Committee will consider:

* The overall quality of the project.
* The quality of the applicant and the successful track record of applicant (as judged by the applicant's experience and research record).
* The case that the research is worthwhile and the likelihood of success within the stated timeframe. * The likelihood that new knowledge will emerge from the research.
* That the level of funding requested is sufficient to achieve the stated outcomes, and whether additional funds have been sought or approved from other funding bodies.
* That the investigator has the capacity to take the project to a successful conclusion.
* Established researchers will be required to justify their need to seek funding from the Pharmacy Research Trust of NSW in preference to any other external funding source.

Applications close on 9 December 2011 and details are available on the PSA website at psa.org.au

7 November  2011


The critical role pharmacists play in ensuring the quality use of medicines is being highlighted over the next seven days in the inaugural National Medication Safety Week.

During the week from 7-13 November, pharmacists are urged to take part in an incident reporting project that will help provide insights into medication safety incidents and how they can be prevented.

Pharmacists can take part by identifying and anonymously reporting preventable medication safety incidents they encounter throughout the week.

National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said that by participating in the project, community pharmacists would be helping to highlight patient safety issues in the primary health care environment in Australia. 

“Pharmacists are the front line in ensuring the quality use of medicines which is a foundation of Australia’s health system,” Mr Kardachi said. 

“By taking part in this project, which is an initiative of the Faculty of Pharmacy of University of Sydney, pharmacists can help to expand the knowledge of the human and systemic factors that can contribute to medication safety incidents in Australia.

“As the most accessible health-care professionals, pharmacists are in a unique position to contribute to improving primary health care through their care and support of patients. It is estimated that in Australia 190,000 medicine-related hospital admissions occur each year, at a cost to the public health system of some $660 million a year. 

“However, it has also been estimated that up to 73% of adverse drug events are preventable and projects like National Medication Safety Week are fundamental to helping reduce the incidence of these preventable adverse drug events.”

Mr Kardachi encouraged pharmacists to take part in the project and report incidents which for the purposes of the project are defined as:  “Any preventable event the reporting pharmacist feels should not have occurred where a medicine is, was, could have or should have been involved.”

For more information and to report an incident visit the National Medication Safety Week web site at: http://australianpharmsafety.org

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