s PSA Media Releases for February 2010 | 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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Recent Comments

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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
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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PSA Media Releases for February 2010

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 0419 260 827

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March 1st 2009
Pharmacists’ Support Service – Announcement

 A new structure and independence for the Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS)

The Pharmacists’ Support Service has taken the first step to becoming a fully independent service which is funded to service pharmacists throughout Australia by becoming an Incorporated Association.  Members met in February and voted to accept Articles of Association and a new independent Committee of Management representing a wide range of national pharmacy organisations.

The steps have been taken with the approval of the Pharmaceutical Society of Victoria who would like to see the PSS model developed so that the service can be provided to pharmacists around Australia.  Mark Feldschuh, the President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Victoria (PSV) and PSA Victorian Branch said “This service has been providing support to Victoria pharmacists since 1995.  It is now time for the service to be developed on a national scale.”  Mark also said “For the service to expand we needed external funding from the broader profession.  Victoria money has been used to establish this valuable service and we have welcomed the support provided by national pharmacy organisations which will enable the service to develop further.”

The new Committee of Management includes the following representatives:

 

President                      John Coppock (Pharmaceutical Defence Limited delegate)

Vice President               Michael Scavone (PSV delegate)

Treasurer                       Valda Comber (PSS member)

Secretary                      Kay Dunkley (Program Coordinator)

Ordinary members         Val Constable (PSS member)

                                    Mike Jury (Australian Friendly Societies Pharmacy Association delegate)

                                    Michael Woger (Guild Group delegate)

                                    Paul Gysslink (Pharmacists’ Division of APESMA delegate)

                                    Bill Thomson (Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia delegate)

 

PSS also has another 16 members who mostly comprise the volunteers who provide the service.  These volunteers, who remain anonymous, have all undertaken extensive and ongoing training to provide support to callers over the telephone in a similar manner to Lifeline volunteers.

The new President of PSS, John Coppock said “We are providing continuity of management during our transition by keeping outgoing Chairman, Michael Scavone, in the role of Vice President.”  John also said “The next step in the expansion process is to introduce the service to Tasmanian pharmacists and we hope that this will be in place before the middle of 2010.  We then would like to bring South Australia on board later in the year.  We are planning a gradual state by state expansion but we will need increased funding to extend further.”  John noted “Although the service is provided by volunteers, an adequate infrastructure is required to ensure that the service meets appropriate standards.  Adequate ongoing training as well as policies and procedures are essential aspects of the service.”

Victorian pharmacists can access PSS on the toll free number 1300 244 910.  PSS provides discreet support for pharmacists by pharmacists over the phone.

Media enquiries to John Coppock 0417 054 181

24 February 2010

‘LEARNING CAN BE FUN’ A PROVEN PHILOSOPHY OF PSA OFFSHORE CONFERENCE

The opportunity to improve your knowledge base and meet peers to exchange ideas and information with are the big attractions of the annual Offshore Conference for Springwood, NSW, pharmacist Peter ‘Pedro’ Roberts.

Mr Roberts has attended 18 Offshore Conferences and says they always live up his expectations and to their philosophy of “learning can be fun”.

“At the Offshore Conference you learn in a relaxed environment and also get the chance to meet your peers,” Mr Roberts said.

“It’s not just meeting your peers that proves valuable – it’s the exchange of ideas and information that shows you how others are doing things and how you can perhaps improve your own procedures.

“I also find that I am able to apply the knowledge I gain at the Offshore Conference to my day-to-day pharmacy business when I get back home.”

Mr Roberts said he also found the mix of business and clinical subjects offered to be a great attraction.

“The business sessions always give me very good ideas on how to organise and run my pharmacy and I really look forward to these,” he said.

“The drug updates are also very useful as they refresh your memory and also provide you with the latest information and research findings.

“The Offshore Conference really is the complete package.”

Mr Roberts said he will be attending the upcoming 2010 Annual Offshore Conference in Beijing and Shanghai from 28 April to 7 May 2010.

Attendance at the Offshore Conference provides the opportunity to achieve substantial CPD points ready for the new registration requirements.

To register or for further details go to the 2010 Annual Offshore Conference website at http://www.psa.org.au/conference

 

20 February 2010

PSA WELCOMES NEW ASMI HEAD

The appointment of Dr Deon Schoombie as the new Executive Director of the Australian Self-Medication Industry has been welcomed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett, said Dr Schoombie, who is currently Scientific Director of ASMI, would bring wide-ranging and diverse experience to the role.

“Dr Schoombie has a passionate commitment to the health-care sector and is a general medical practitioner with a long history of experience in the pharmaceutical industry,” Mr Plunkett said.

“He brings to the role of Executive Director of ASMI wide experience in public policy, advertising, marketing and regulatory issues.

“In addition, he has worked in international medical publishing and hospital management and undertaken post graduate training in traditional Chinese medicine.”

Mr Plunkett said the health-care sector faced challenging times and Dr Schoombie was well-equipped to vigorously further the causes of ASMI and the interests of Australian health consumers.

“I would also like to express my gratitude to the outgoing Executive Director, Juliet Seifert, who has announced her resignation effective from August,” Mr Plunkett said.

“Ms Seifert has headed ASMI and its predecessor organisation for the past 21 years and has done so with enthusiasm, commitment and dedication.

“I would like to express my sincere thanks to Juliet for her outstanding contribution to the industry over many years.

“She has given the industry a lot and I wish her every success in the future.

“I look forward to continuing the PSA’s close association with ASMI and to working with Dr Schoombie in the challenging times ahead.”

 

18 February 2010

OPPORTUNITY FOR OFFSHORE CONFERENCE DELEGATES TO VISIT EXPO 2010 SHANGHAI

Delegates to the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s 2010 Annual Offshore Conference will have the opportunity to include a visit to the remarkable Expo 2010 Shanghai.

The Offshore Conference is being held in Beijing and Shanghai from 28 April to 7 May and a highlight will be the opportunity to visit Expo 2010 Shanghai on Thursday 6 May, only days after the long-anticipated event has officially opened.

Some 70 million visitors are expected to visit the vast Expo site which spans both sides of the Huangpu River, with 3.93 sq km in Pudong and 1.35 sq km in Puxi.

A total of 192 countries and 50 international organisations are exhibiting, with national pavilions ranging from the strikingly modern to very traditional styles.

The average daily number of visitors is expected to be 400,000 and each day at Expo there will be around 100 different cultural and recreational activities.

This year’s Annual Offshore Conference program will focus on respiratory, rheumatology and business management.

There will also be detailed sessions covering a range of therapeutic updates and these sessions are traditionally a feature of this annual event.

PSA National President Warwick Plunkett said the conference was designed to ensure pharmacists were kept up to date on current issues.

“The 2010 Offshore Conference will also examine the likely professional and business impacts on a practice arising from the fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement,” Mr Plunkett said.

Attendance provides the opportunity to achieve substantial CPD points ready for the new registration requirements.

To register or for further details go to the 2010 Annual Offshore Conference website at http://www.psa.org.au/conference.

15 February 2010

PSA CALLS FOR $294.5m NATIONAL PHARMACY HEALTH SERVICES PROGRAM

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has called on the Federal Government to support the development and delivery of national preventive health programs aimed at reducing the burden of chronic disease and preventable conditions by investing $294.5 million over four years in a National Pharmacy Health Services Program

In its 2010-11 Budget Submission, the PSA says demand for health services is predicted to increase exponentially due to a range of factors including ageing of the population, advances in medical science and technology, and higher incidence of chronic diseases. Chronic diseases, including cancers, are estimated to be responsible for more than 80 per cent of the burden of disease and injury.

“Greater investment in preventive health programs has been recognised as a means of improving the efficiency of and saving expenditure on Australia’s health system. Current spending on public health programs and activities accounts for just over 2 per cent of total health expenditure,” the PSA submission says.

The Government is expected to respond to the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission (NHHRC), the National Primary Health Care Strategy (NPHCS) and the National Preventative Health Taskforce (NPHT) reports in 2010 with a comprehensive health-reform strategy which is expected to include the pharmacy profession.

“PSA believes that a significant opportunity resides in the existing community pharmacy network and infrastructure for the implementation of a range of effective national preventive health programs delivered through community pharmacies in partnership with other members of the primary care team,” the submission says.

“The expertise of pharmacists in the provision of preventive health services and chronic disease management can, and should, be utilised widely and more effectively.”

As part of its submission, PSA proposes that the Australian Government partner with PSA by supporting a national roll-out of the Pharmacy Self Care program.

The program maximises the opportunities for health interventions presented in the community pharmacy setting by uniquely integrating: preventive health information for the public, including improving levels of health literacy; education for pharmacists and their staff; promotion of health and the important role of pharmacy; and facilitating referral from the pharmacy to other members of the primary health-care team.

“It is well accepted that preventive health interventions work and will provide savings to health outlays over time. It is accepted also that health interventions by pharmacists work and can save scarce health dollars. PSA’s proposal offers the opportunity for the Government to move beyond the ad hoc, limited-reach projects that have characterised much of Australia’s preventive health initiatives to date,” the submission says.

 

15 February 2010

TOP CHINESE OFFICIALS AT OFFSHORE CONFERENCE

The Vice Chairperson of the National People's Congress and President of the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association, Professor Sang Guowei, will officiate at the opening ceremony for the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s 2010 Annual Offshore Conference.

Announcing the move, National President of the PSA Warwick Plunkett, said Professor Sang’s presence is an indication of the regard in which the conference is held by the Chinese Government and the Chinese pharmacy profession.

“I hand delivered the invitation in Beijing and Professor Sang responded quickly to say he would be delighted to attend our official opening and give a welcome to delegates on behalf of Chinese pharmacists,” Mr Plunkett said.

“We have also invited Professor Chen Zhu, the Chinese Minister for Health, which is one of the Ministries that reports to Professor Sang.

“Our presence in China has been warmly welcomed by the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association which sees this as an opportunity to strengthen relations with Australian pharmacy and help progress their professional advancement.

“We have reciprocated by inviting 15 nominated members of the CPA to attend the conference as our guests”

Mr Plunkett said the Australian Embassy had been enthusiastic about the development of such a relationship between the two countries’ professional pharmacy organisations and had been most supportive in facilitating interaction between the two groups.

“The Australian Ambassador, Dr Geoff Raby, will also address the conference during the opening ceremony and is hosting a reception for senior officials from both organisations.”

The conference, being held in Beijing and Shanghai from 28 April to 7 May 2010, has also been given special recognition from the Chinese Government by being granted permission to hold the Welcome Dinner in the Great Hall of the People - a rare honour.

Attendance at the Offshore Conference provides the opportunity to achieve substantial CPD points ready for the new registration requirements.

For registrations or further details go to the 2010 Annual Offshore Conference website at http://www.psa.org.au/conference

15 February 2010

PSA ON FACEBOOK

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has launched a Facebook site which is quickly gaining an increasing number of fans.

The site keeps fans updated with news and information on PSA activities as well as providing them the opportunity to comment and provide feedback.

National Vice-President of the PSA, Dr Lisa Nissen, said the decision to create a Facebook site reflected the Society’s growing recognition of the changing demographics of the pharmacy profession.

“A growing proportion of today’s pharmacists are of the generation which uses social media extensively,” Dr Nissen said.

“It is important that the vast range of services and offerings available to PSA members is widely publicised and we have found the Facebook site has gained very quick and strong acceptance among PSA’s members.

“It is indicative of the forward-thinking view that PSA has and its willingness to embrace the technology that is widely used throughout the community today.”

Dr Nissen said fans could use the site to check on professional development opportunities, catch up on pharmacy news and events, or use it to link through to other PSA sites.

“I am very excited that our Facebook site has been so widely accepted so quickly,” Dr Nissen said.

“I am confident that it will further the opportunities for our members to further their development opportunities and become leaders in their profession.

“It also gives PSA an opportunity to receive some pertinent and real-time feedback from its members.”

Go to the site at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pharmaceutical-Society-of-Australia/235688174116

8 February 2010

OFFSHORE CONFERENCE EXAMINES RESPIRATORY VIRUSES AND PANDEMICS

In the last century a number of major global pandemics had disastrous effects on the world’s population as well as causing health care professionals to reassess how we deal with such pandemic situations.

More recently, the swine influenza pandemic reminded the world that while pandemics may now be a less-common occurrence, they are still an ever-present threat, despite advances in health and medical science.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s 2010 Annual Offshore Conference from 28 April to 7 May 2010 will feature a special presentation on Respiratory Viruses and Pandemics, presented by leading consultant physician at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Professor Paul Seale.

Professor Seale says the main virus responsible for these pandemics in influenza A, and the main natural reservoir for this virus is water birds.

“My presentation will describe how, through evolution, the influenza A virus has been able to take on characteristics which allow it to be transmitted from human to human,” he says.

“It will also discuss appropriate health measures which can be taken to limit the spread of the virus, and the role of the pharmacist in this endeavour.”

The 2010 conference is being held in Beijing and Shanghai with a focus on respiratory, rheumatology and business management as well as a range of topical therapeutic updates.

The conference sessions will inform pharmacists on current issues and will examine the likely professional and business impacts on a practice arising from the fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement.

Professor Seale is one of a number of featured specialist presenters who will address the conference at which delegates can earn substantial CPD points ready for the new registration requirements.

A feature of the social program of the conference will be a dinner in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, only months after the celebrations for 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Professor Sang Guowei President of the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association and Vice Chairperson of the National People's Congress, and Professor Chen Zhu, the Chinese Minister for Health, have been invited to officiate.

To register or for further details go to the 2010 Annual Offshore Conference website at http://www.psa.org.au/conference

1 February 2010

INTERGENERATIONAL REPORT UNDERSCORES NEED FOR MORE PROFESSIONAL SERVICES IN PHARMACY

The importance of increasing the availability of professional services available through pharmacy has been highlighted by the release of the Third Intergenerational Report.

Launching the report, the Treasurer Wayne Swan said the proportion of Australia’s population aged 65 and over is expected to almost double over the next 40 years. Today there are five working aged people to every person aged 65 and over but by 2050, this ratio will fall to only 2.7 people.

Acting President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Grant Kardachi, said the report clearly pointed to increased spending on pharmaceuticals as the population ages, and a proportionately lower ratio of taxpayers available to carry the cost burden of this higher rate of usage.

“But we can help to reduce the need for medications in the ageing by introducing targeted preventive services through pharmacy which will result in a healthier population less dependent on pharmaceuticals to maintain their wellbeing,” Mr Kardachi said.

“Already pharmacy, working collaboratively with other health professionals, has proved its effectiveness in the delivery of such services as Homes Medicines Reviews and medication services. It also provides programs addressing smoking cessation, weight loss and diabetes – to name but a few.

“Clearly boosting the number of professional services available through pharmacy will go a long way to helping the Government manage the increased cost of looking after the growing ageing population.”

Mr Kardachi said the Government’s own reports driving the health-care reform agenda had clearly pointed to professional services as being a foundation in the development of a more efficient and cost-effective health system.

“The Primary Health Care report and the Preventive Health report both clearly see prevention as preferable to cure and professional services are the frontline in prevention, advice and information for the consumer,” Mr Kardachi said.

“In the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement being negotiated at present, the Government has a unique opportunity to implement these recommendations through professional services.

“This will not only help build a healthier Australia in the future but also help contain the staggering costs forecasts in the Third Intergenerational Report.

”Community pharmacies as the most accessible health professionals in the country are best-placed to implement these services. The infrastructure is in place and the only thing required is for the Government to seize upon this opportunity for the benefit of all Australians.”

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Grant Kardachi (08) 8294 9793 or 0439 833 324

 

Peter Waterman 0419 260 827

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