s PSA Media Releases forJuly 2010 | I2P: Information to Pharmacists - Archive
Publication Date 01/08/2010         Volume. 2 No. 7   
Information to Pharmacists

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News Flash

Newslflash updates for August 2010

Neil Johnston

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

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Feature Contribution

From Intern to Practising Pharmacist - PSA's New Vision

Neil Johnston

Practical experience is hard to acquire once you have finished your academic studies.
It is a process we all have to experience at one stage of our career.
The transition from being a student to a practising pharmacist can be a difficult time and unless early career pharmacists equip themselves for the new challenges they face, they may not be maximising their career opportunities.
It is also the type of program that could earn incentive payments for the workplaces providing the experience in the community.

Comments: 1

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Pharmacist prescribing in NZ flags other issues

Neil Johnston

The Pharmacy Council recently promoted a discussion document to encourage feedback from the health care environment on the impending legislative changes that are intended to provide the opportunity for pharmacists to prescribe.
The proposed legislation will enable suitably qualified postgraduate educated and skilled clinical pharmacists to prescribe from the drug tariff for patients under their care.
These pharmacists will have to work as part of a primary health care team and it is expected they will become an integral part of that team.
All very exciting for our profession to witness that there is a recognition that pharmacists are capable of stepping up to the mark and are worthy of greater responsibilities.

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Is a pharmacist in your team selection?

Neil Johnston

Pharma-Goss for August 2010
When selecting a team to participate in a primary health care review of the diagnosis and management of hypertension patient one would hope that a pharmacist would be a natural selection.
But in the case of a paper published recently in Australian Family Physician (http://www.racgp.org.au/afp/201007/201007howes.pdf) a pharmacist did not rate a mention in the panel set up to identify the problems associated with diagnosing hypertension and maintaining a dose that suited the needs of the patient with maximum adherence.

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Guild’s eRx clarification camouflages the facts!! Why hide the truth?

Neil Johnston

The thought that first struck me after reading ‘the clarification’ about the eRx Script Exchange on the editorial page of the May Issue of the Pulse+IT magazine was - Why is this clarification so necessary?
On the surface it seemed like a reasonable statement to make.
It read: “Clarification - in the March 2010 edition of Pulse+IT it was reported that the electronic prescribing service operated by eRx Script Exchange had received 7.5 million scripts "sent to the eRx script hub by prescribers" as of the middle of January.  
Omitted from the article was reference to a workflow that allows pharmacists to send repeat prescriptions to the hub for later retrieval by any pharmacist connected to the eRx system.
The volume of transactions quoted in the March 2010 article included such scripts, in addition to scripts sent to the hub directly by prescribers.”

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Guild Takes Aim at Gillard & Abbott Over 5TH CPA

Neil Johnston

In The Australian Friday 23 July (Political creed: do no harm) Emma Connors reported that “sometime in the next four weeks both Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott are likely to sign a letter promising their support to a group of 5000 small business owners whose public standing allows them to extract an extraordinary pledge.”
She reported that the Guild had “asked the leaders of  both sides of politics to agree that the terms of the recently enacted Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement will be upheld, including the all-important promise to keep supermarkets out of pharmacy”.

Comments: 4

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The failure of Gollmann-Bouw: Are their products what our market wants?

Neil Johnston

Editor's Note - 15th November 2012:
When this article was first published in August 2010, Gollman-Bouw had entered into liquidation following a very turbulent period under the stewardship of Mark Bouw, managing director of the Australian enterprise.
Since that date the automated dispensing market has settled down and is now demonstrating steady and solid growth.
New people have entered into an agreement with German company Gollmann Systems and they have no relationship with any of the people associated with the former entity.
Many of the initial teething problems have been overcome and a better understanding of the Australian pharmacy market has emerged.
Gollmann Systems are globally competitive and contain innovations not seen in some of their competitors.
Any prospective purchaser should short-list this product when seeking a solution for their pharmacy.

Comments: 4

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Private Labels Finding Favour

Neil Johnston

Since the global financial crisis began to bite, Australians have shifted more of their weekly purchases into private label.
In respect of the $70 billion pa food market, private label currently accounts for 23%, with the prospect of moving to 30% within five years.

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Food as Medicine

Neil Johnston

Many foods have health giving and medicinal properties.
Indeed, i2P reports frequently in its Preventive Medicine section, regular discoveries where food can be used to support various health conditions.
For example, raw beetroot juice has recently been found to be effective in treating high blood pressure (it contains nitrates) and is as effective as some antihypertensive drugs. Cinnamon is another food that is useful for diabetics, where cinnamon appears to have effects similar to metformin i.e. it sensitises insulin.
Ayurvedic medicine, developed in India over centuries, encompasses the use of many delicious foods enhanced with herbs and spices.
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian healing system. The central philosophy is that illness is caused by an imbalance of the body's three vital energies, or 'doshas'. Ayurveda uses a range of treatments including yoga, massage, acupuncture and herbal medicine.
More information can be found at the Australian government site - HealthInsite. http://www.healthinsite.gov.au/topics/Ayurvedic_Medicine
For Ayurveda diet and health information that can get you started, try this site http://www.joyfulbelly.com

Comments: 2

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Hung Parliament Means Listen to the People

Neil Johnston

People involved in e-health are bitterly disappointed with the "hung parliament" result.
At least Labour had a vision with its national broadband roll-out, even if it wasn't properly articulated in regard to cost.
Some proponents argue that the cost matters little - it is the advantage given to Australians who want to be pioneers in e-health. Opportunities could be lost and they may be priceless.
i2P went looking for some informed comment on the subject and found some excellent commentary written by Paul Budde, a telecommunications analyst.
His commentary follows:

Comments: 1

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Scientists tap into Antarctic octopus venom

Neil Johnston

Researchers have collected venom from octopuses in Antarctica for the first time, significantly advancing our understanding of the properties of venom as a potential resource for drug-development.
The study, conducted by an international team of researchers from the University of Melbourne, the Norwegian University of Technology and Science and the University of Hamburg, provides the first insight into the properties of Antarctic octopus venom.
It has also revealed the existence of four new species of octopus.

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Peruvian plant offers hope for sex lives of diabetic women

Neil Johnston

The effects of diabetes on organs such as the heart, eyes and kidneys are relatively well known, but women are now being warned of its potential to cause damage in another way – to sexual performance.
Victoria University’s Professor Lily Stojanovska and Dr Michael Mathai are conducting a study to assess the potential for improving sexual function in women with type 2 diabetes by taking a supplement from a plant traditionally used for this purpose in Peru.
The root of the plant Maca (Lepidium meyenii), which grows in the Peruvian Andes, has been used by locals for centuries, where it is reported to enhance fertility and to boost energy levels.

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Clinical Training for Health Profesionals

Neil Johnston

Some years ago an Australian hospital pharmacist pioneered wound management in Australian hospitals and went on to develop courses to train community pharmacists interested in setting up a specialty wound management clinic in their pharmacy setting.
This type of service initially established itself in a restricted number of pharmacy settings, but gradually faded away due to the pressure of PBS dispensing.
Now the opportunity is reappearing in WA at Curtin University with a purpose built facility established to train all health students (including pharmacy).
And here is the dilemma.
Many pharmacists would like to be involved in this type of activity but most community pharmacies are not physically designed to accommodate this service.
However, with the future development of Primary Health Care Organisations (PHCO's) under way, it may be possible for pharmacists to be part of the wound management team in that type of organisation.
Nicola Roxon is contributing $380,000 towards the project and is expected to be operational within three months.

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New hope for cerebral palsy prevention

Neil Johnston

University of Adelaide researchers are a step closer to finding a link between genetic susceptibility to cerebral palsy and a range of environmental risk factors during pregnancy, including infections and pre-term delivery.
During National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Week (August 1-7), Professor Alastair MacLennan from the University's Robinson Institute says their research shows that pregnant women who are genetically susceptible to infections and other environmental hazards could trigger cerebral palsy in their unborn babies.

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UK Vending Machines Trialled

Neil Johnston

Prescription vending machines are being deployed in the UK Sainsbury pharmacy chain. This is being done in conjunction with the normal in-store pharmacy service,
and is being promoted as an additional service for those who would prefer it.
It is not an automated dispensing solution.

Comments: 2

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Research breakthrough on the question of life expectancy

Neil Johnston

Why do we grow old and what can we do to stop it? This is the question asked by many, but it appears that we are now closer to an answer thanks to new research published by Monash University researcher Dr Damian Dowling.
According to the research published in the August edition of the prestigious journal, The American Naturalist, a small set of genes in mitochondria (a membrane-enclosed organelle found in most eukaryotic cells), passed only from mothers to offspring, plays a more dynamic role in predicting life expectancies than ever previously anticipated.

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Liesel Wett - the new CEO for the PSA

Neil Johnston

In a shrewd management decision, the Board of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has announced the appointment of Liesel Wett as the organisation’s new Chief Executive Officer.
Ms Wett, who is currently Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of the Australian General Practice Network, is expected to take up her appointment on 1 October 2010.
Given that the PSA will need to develop closer and stronger ties with GP organisations, this appointment may well prove to be critical for the future professional development of pharmacists.
Pharmacists will be enabled to get inside and understand GP thinking, guided by Liesel Wett.

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Inflammation in Fat Cells Causes Insulin Resistance

Neil Johnston

Inflammation-causing cells in fat tissue may explain the link between obesity and diabetes, a team of Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researchers has shown.
The discovery, by Professor Len Harrison and Dr John Wentworth from the institute’s Autoimmunity and Transplantation division, opens the way for new anti-inflammatory treatments that prevent insulin resistance (where the body is unable to respond to and use the insulin it produces) and other complications associated with obesity.

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Cost Price Prescriptions - The Next Step?

Neil Johnston

The UK has started a new phase in private prescription discounting – no mark up on the drug and 50% off the dispensing fee.
“Millions could be saved every year if private prescription mark ups are abandoned, according to the Superdrug superintendent pharmacist.
Superdrug will dispense all private prescriptions with no mark up on the cost of the medicine, the company announced this week (3 August 2010).
It is also halving its minimum charge for dispensing medicines to £2.25.”

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The country can't face the technological future through copper wire

Neil Johnston

An opinion provided by the University of Sydney
By Professors Ben Eggleton and David Moss

Those who think our country can do without the national broadband network clearly do not fully understand the potential such a network offers to Australians. While other countries scramble to find ways to meet this exploding demand for global bandwidth, the opposition is wringing its hands and debating the need.
The network will do three things for Australia: it will pay for itself, it will stimulate the innovation economy and it will have multiple applications.

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Garlic may play vital role in treating hypertension

Neil Johnston

A University of Adelaide study shows that aged garlic extract may help lower blood pressure in the 3.7 million Australians who suffer hypertension.
Research trials by Dr Karin Ried and her colleagues from the University's Discipline of General Practice show that garlic could be used as an adjunct to conventional drugs for hypertension.
However, raw or cooked garlic, and garlic powder are not as effective in treating high blood pressure as aged garlic extract.

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Solar Diesel Power Station - World First in WA

Neil Johnston

The world's first solar-diesel power station has opened in Western Australia's Pilbara region at Marble Bar, known for its record high temperatures.
WA's Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore opened Horizon Power's Pippunyah Solar Diesel Power Station on Friday.
The new $34 million station is powered by the biggest sun-tracking solar panel farm in Australia.

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Complementary Medicines Surveyed

Neil Johnston

 Recently, a research report was published online in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine that highlighted Australian consumer attitudes towards complementary medicines and pharmacists selling complementary medicines.
An abstract is published below.
Consumers have indicated in earlier surveys that they wanted pharmacists to be the primary source of information for them and to keep a range of products that they could feel safe with.
The profession initially responded to those needs with the PGA setting up a College of Clinical Nutrition and many pharmacists (including this editor) completed the Advanced Diploma of Clinical Nutrition (Pharmacy).
Unfortunately, the college was closed and an alternative resource was never re-established.
People who did receive training in the use of nutritionals gained a new perspective in respect of practicing their profession and tended to work in the area of preventive medicine when an opportunity presented itself.
We have again asked Mark Coleman to comment on the survey and his report appears below the article abstract.

Comments: 12

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PSA Media Releases forJuly 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 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (02)62834782      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, or on mobile phone 0419 260 827.

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29 July 2010

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has established a dedicated area on its website for Early Career Pharmacists.

The website provides an avenue for ECPs to monitor the progress of the PSA’s ECP Working Group projects, submissions and activities. It also provides a link to the ECP Facebook page.

Chair of the ECP Working Group, Justin Lee, said the projects section of the site contains the results of the recent ECP survey that was conducted earlier in the year.

“The ECP Working Group is currently considering larger-scale and longer-term projects in response to the results of the ECP survey,” Mr Lee said.

“Once these projects are commissioned by the working group, they will be added to the website.

“With this ongoing information constantly being added to the site it will prove an invaluable resource for Early Career Pharmacists.”

The ECP Working Group was established last year to support pharmacists in the early stages of their career and represents students, interns and registered pharmacists with up to 10 years of experience.

The objectives of the Working Group include identifying the needs of early career pharmacists in relation to professional development, practice support and advocacy, and then to advise the PSA on how to address these needs.

“The new area on the website is a method by which we are letting ECPs know of the work we are undertaking and the results we are achieving,” Mr Lee said.

“The ECP Working group is a very active and forward thinking and this site is a way of developing two-way communication between the group and pharmacists.

‘I envisage new ideas to result from this interaction, as well as the further development of exiting projects and programs.”

The new site is available at http://www.psa.org.au/ecp


29 July 2010

Early Bird Registrations for PAC10 close today so there is still time to get a special deal and take advantage of the wide range of sessions and activities available.

One area of particular interest is the introduction of mandatory continuing professional development for pharmacists under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme which has raised many issues and a question often asked is, “How is this going to work for me?”

To help answer this question, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s Pharmacy Australia Congress this year is holding a session dedicated to the subject.

Titled Mandatory CPD: Making it Work for You! the session on Friday, October 29 from 11am-12.30 is an outcomes-focused workshop which will guide pharmacists through:

· Understanding life-long learning in the context of career development and the pharmacist’s professional role in delivering health services.

· Comparing their own professional capabilities and work practices with existing standards and guidelines.

· Developing a plan of action for addressing professional development and learning needs.

· Applying learning to extend or advance professional practice.

Chair of the PAC10 organising committee, Alistair Lloyd, said the special session was developed in response to questions from pharmacists as to how to make the most of the new system.

“Pharmacists realise that their working environment has changed significantly under the NRAS and want to make the best use of the mandatory CPD system which is now in place,” Mr Lloyd said.

“Attending the Mandatory CPD: Making it Work for You! session goes a long way to helping answer that question.

“No matter what a pharmacist’s area of practice, where they are in their career, or what they wish to achieve, pharmacists will leave this workshop well-equipped to meet the Pharmacy Board registration standard on CPD, and in a manner that will add value to their everyday practice.

“Attendance can help start the CPD ball rolling for pharmacists by earning them six Group 2 CPD credits.”

Being held in Melbourne from 28-31 October this year, delegates to PAC10 can also earn Continuing Professional Development credits which are mandatory under the NRAS.

To register or for more details visit www.pac10.com.au.

23 July 2010

Just two weeks into its national walk-a-thon, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia staff have walked the equivalent of the distance from the Society’s National Office in Canberra to Hobart and have turned around and are heading back north.

The aim of the walk-a-thon is for PSA staff across the country to see how many times they can walk the distance around Australia before the Society’s annual Pharmacy Australia Congress in October.

A personal goal for each participant is to see how many times they can walk from their home location to Melbourne, where PAC10 is being held from 28-31 October.

Participants and observers are being kept up to date on progress of the walk-a-thon through PSA’s Facebook page. After last week’s first post about the walk-a-thon, a number of Facebook followers joined the health initiative and new participants are welcome at any time.

This week, the staff have walked a staggering 776.48km.

In the Facebook update narrative, which is accompanied by a progress map, followers are told, “We had a slight hiccup along the way when we had to leave our fruit at the fruit fly checkpoint at NSW and Victoria border. We safely made it to the PSA Vic Branch where Bill and the staff provided us with a much needed cup of tea.

“We visited the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre to check that arrangements for PAC10 were coming along; which they are. After a bumpy ride across the bite we arrived in Tasmania, albeit slightly green from sea sickness.”

The walk-a-thon is based on the Department of Health and Ageing’s Measure Up program with participants trying to meet the department’s guide of a healthy lifestyle recommendation of a minimum of 10,000 steps (or about 8km) a day.

The results of the walkathon will be announced at PAC10. The PSA walk-a-thon began on Monday 12 July and finishes on Friday 15 October. You can follow the staff’s progress on Facebook

23 July 2010


Next week marks a number of important milestones for pharmacists planning to attend, or participate in, the Pharmacy Australia Congress (PAC) in Melbourne during October.

Those planning to attend PAC10 have only until next Thursday, July 29, to save up to $250 on their registration fees through the PSA Early Bird Price offers.

Under the offers, delegates can pay a fee which represents substantial discounts on the $850 standard registration fee.

Due to the Spring Racing Carnival being held the same weekend as PAC10, some of the accommodation reservations made for PAC delegates must be released back to a number of hotels at the end of next week. To ensure delegates receive their hotel of choice it is recommended that hotel bookings be finalised by July 30.

Another milestone next week is the closing of submissions of poster abstracts for presentation at PAC10. This is the second year PAC has featured posters as part of the pre-eminent pharmacy event and follows the overwhelming success of the poster presentations last year.

The Congress Organising Committee is keen to receive submissions from practitioners who wish to share their own work without necessarily having undertaken structured research.

To ensure maximum exposure of poster submissions, special poster presentations sessions have been set aside during the middle of the day so delegates can be present without it limiting their attendance at other Congress sessions and events.

PAC10 is being held in Melbourne from 28-31 October this year and will feature a range of pharmacy and business specialist speakers, workshops and social functions including the Welcome Reception being held on Thursday 28 October.

The major trade exhibition as well as other activities will ensure there is something to interest and educate all delegates.

PAC10 delegates can also earn up to 35 Continuing Professional Development credits which are mandatory under the national Registration and Accreditation Scheme for health professionals which came into effect on 1 July.

To makes sure you don’t miss out on the Early Bird Price offers register now at the PAC10 website at www.pac10.com.au.


21 July 2010


The National Registration and Accreditation Scheme which came into effect on July 1, 2010, requires pharmacists across Australia to complete continuing professional development (CPD) which is relevant to their scope of practice.

Under the NRAS, the initial requirement for CPD credits is 20 credits for the period ending 30 September 2011, increasing 12-monthly to 40 credits for the period ending 30 September 2013.

An ideal way for pharmacists to earn CPD credit points is through attendance at the Pharmacy Australia Congress in Melbourne form October 28-31.

During the congress (Thursday to Sunday), delegates have the opportunity to earn up to 35 CPD credits. These can be earned through the following:

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Military Pharmacy Special Interest Group 6 Group 1 CPD credits

Pharmacy in Health Forum (open session) 3 Group 1 CPD credits

Pharmacy in Health Workshop 6 Group 2 CPD credits

Pharmacy Practice in Government 3 Group 1 CPD credits

Mandatory CPD – Making it Work for You 6 Group 2 CPD credits

AACP Accredited Pharmacist Forum 12 Group 2 CPD credits

Friday, 29 October 2010

Opening Plenary Session 1 Group 1 CPD credits

Concurrent Sessions: Morning 1.5 Group 1 CPD credits

Concurrent Sessions: Afternoon 1.5 Group 1 CPD credits

PSOTY 1.5 Group 1 CPD credits

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Plenary Session: Practicing Professionally 1.5 Group 1 CPD credits

in a Commercial Environment

Concurrent Sessions: Morning 1.5 Group 1 CPD credits

Plenary Session: Pharmacists as 1.5 Group 1 CPD credits


Concurrent Sessions: Afternoon 1.5 Group 1 CPD credits

Motivational Interviewing Workshop 6 Group 2 CPD credits

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Breakfast: Marketing for Pharmacists 0.5 Group 1 CPD credits

Concurrent Sessions: Morning 1.5 Group 1 CPD credits

Plenary Session 2 Group 1 CPD credits

Concurrent Sessions: Afternoon 1.5 Group 1 CPD credits or

3 Group 2 CPD credits

Motivational Interviewing Workshop 6 Group 2 CPD credits

For details of sessions or to register visit the PAC website at www.pac10.com.au.


16 July 2010


Pharmacy has welcomed the representation of the profession on the Australian Government’s Indigenous Allied Health Australia Incorporated (IAHA), a peak national body established to improve the health of indigenous Australians.

The IAHA has been launched by the Minister for Indigenous Health, Rural and Regional Health and Regional Service Delivery, Hon Warren Snowdon, and will represent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health professionals and students.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) congratulates Trangie pharmacist Faye McMillan on her appointment as the pharmacy representative on the IAHA Board of Directors.

Chair of the PSA’s Rural Special Interest Group, Karalyn Huxhagen, said the IAHA would bring together for the first time indigenous allied health professionals such as pharmacists, physiotherapists, dieticians, occupational therapists and optometrists, and students in these professions, from around the country.

“Over the many years of the Rural Pharmacy program there has been a concerted effort to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to choose pharmacy as a career,” Ms Huxhagen said.

“However, there have been many barriers to achieving these goals and pharmacy has worked very hard to overcome them.

“But many issues were out of the scope of what pharmacy organisations alone could rectify so PSA welcomes the opportunity to work with the Indigenous Allied Health Australia Incorporated partnership on achieving the goals of the National Indigenous Health Workforce Training Package.”

Ms Huxhagen said the barriers were not specific to pharmacy so the opportunity to address the overall issues of education of indigenous health professionals was a very positive and welcome step.

“PSA is also very pleased that non–indigenous health professionals are being provided with culturally appropriate education and training to enable them to work in indigenous communities,” Ms Huxhagen said.

16 July 2010

A central aim of Australia's National Medicines Policy is the quality use of medicines which aims to ensure that all medicines are used appropriately, safely and effectively by consumers.

The pharmacist, as an important and well-placed member of the health-care team, has a pivotal role in promoting health and wellness in the community, particularly through the quality use of medicines.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s Practice Support Unit is committed to developing health promotion presentations as an easy-to-use tool for community pharmacists wishing to run local information sessions.

These sessions are aimed at ensuring the quality use of medicines and optimal health outcomes for consumers.

A number of specially designed presentations are now available on the PSA website for pharmacists to download and use in their practice environments. Reviewing the downloads available will afford one CPD point per hour.

The presentations cover a range of topics including:

* Asthma: managing your child's medicines

* Dose administration aids

* Home medicines review

* Head lice

* Weight management

Each presentation pack includes a ready-made PowerPoint presentation as well as a presenter guide with notes and a participant handout (both in Adobe Acrobat.pdf file format).

More presentations will be available in the coming months.

The health promotion presentations are a free resource for PSA members. They can be accessed from the Nationally-Developed Materials link in the Professional Development Materials section of the PSA members-only website.


15 July 2010

The passing today of Judith Liauw, PSA member and President of the Tasmanian Branch of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, is a loss that will be felt by the profession throughout Australia, the President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Warwick Plunkett, said this afternoon.

Ms Liauw was a community pharmacist who had been director and manager of Westside Pharmacy, Ulverstone, Tasmania since 1985.

She was President of the Tasmanian Branch, as well as a National Councillor, of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and held other positions including the Chair of the Guild’s Women and Young Pharmacists Committee.

She was also a Member of the Pharmacy Board Tasmania and the Chair of the Australian Association of Consultant Pharmacy from July 2008. Her contribution to the AACP was a very important part of helping to progress the profession and her efforts are greatly appreciated.

Ms Liauw also held the position of Chair of the Pharmacy Board of Tasmania Competency Committee, and was the only pharmacist on the 13-person External Resource Group for the Department of Health and Ageing’s National Primary Health Care Strategy.

Mr Plunkett said Ms Liauw was an untiring advocate for the pharmacy profession both in Tasmania and nationally.

“During her Guild presidency in Tasmania, the PSA and the Guild worked closely and constructively for the profession and Judy was always very supportive of PSA programs,” Mr Plunkett said.

“Throughout her years of practice in Tasmania, Judy was unstinting in supporting and promoting rural pharmacy as well as doing everything she could to help early career pharmacists become established.

“On top of her work for the profession broadly, Judy was well known to her customers for her commitment and dedication as a community pharmacist who represented the very best that the profession has to offer.

“Her death is a sad loss to the profession.

“On behalf of the PSA, its Board and all its members I extend to Judy’s family our condolences and our best wishes during this difficult time.”

12 July 2010

Pharmacists across Australia will today begin receiving the new Practice Improvement Training Program (PITP) kits which aim to help pharmacists train their staff in the supply of non-prescription medicines and help ensure pharmacies achieve quality use of medicines and optimal health outcomes.

The PITP encourages pharmacists to embrace their leadership role by equipping them to be trainers in their pharmacy. The program also enables pharmacists to be positive role models and meet professional obligations through evaluating and improving their own performance in the provision of non-prescription medicines.

The PITP includes a resource kit with a variety of training materials to help pharmacists and pharmacy staff. There are six training modules, each about 30 minutes long, to be delivered by a pharmacist. As the PITP is a flexible program, these modules can be delivered in any order in a format that suits the pharmacy.

The training modules will help pharmacists maintain QCCP accreditation, which requires three hours per year of refresher training for all staff who supply or assist with supplying Pharmacy Medicines and Pharmacist Only Medicines.

National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Warwick Plunkett, said the program was tailored so that each pharmacy’s different approach to the delivery of PITP could be accommodated.

 “This invaluable program has also been designed to suit the varying range of experience among staff,” Mr Plunkett said.

“Pharmacies can use the training as an induction tool for new staff, or they could present to groups with a skill mix for more experienced members to guide others in their learning,”

Presentation of the PITP training to pharmacy assistants is recognised under PSA’s Continuing Professional Development and Practice Improvement Program for four points an hour of presentation (for the first presentation of all six modules only if multiple presentations are to be held).

Presenting pharmacists need to complete and return their evaluation form, along with the evaluation forms of the attending pharmacy assistants, to ensure points are included on their record in the PSA database.

The PITP has been developed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia with the support of the Pharmacy Guild and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing as part of the Fourth Community Pharmacy Agreement.

9 July 2010

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia staff across the country are taking part in a health initiative to see how many times they can walk the distance around Australia before the Society’s annual Pharmacy Australia Congress in October.

An added interest is for individuals to calculate how many times they can walk from their home location to Melbourne, where PAC10 is being held from 28-31 October.

The walkathon initiative has been devised by PSA’s Social Club and aims to improve the health of staff while also raising awareness of the need for office-based workers to get more exercise.

Social Club organisers said it was appropriate for a health sector organisation to lead by example.

Staff are also being encouraged to weigh themselves and measure their waistlines so that total losses can be calculated at the end of the walkathon.

Based on the Department of Health and Ageing’s Measure Up program, participants will try to meet the department’s guide of a healthy lifestyle recommendation of a minimum of 10,000 steps (or about 8km) a day.

With Australia’s circumference being 25,760km, all PSA staff are being urged to take part and help circle the continent.

To assist in calculating the distance walked, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, has donated 50 pedometers for staff to wear as they strive to meet their goals.

GSK Marketing Manager ANZ- Expert Marketing, Rod Stosic, said it was heartening to see the initiative being embraced by PSA staff who clearly wanted to set an example while improving their health and meeting individual health goals.

“We are delighted to be part of this initiative and know that pedometers are important as many people are surprised at just how few steps they take during the normal course of their daily routine. Wearing a pedometer gives you an accurate measure and acts as a good motivator,” Mr Stosic said.

The results of the walkathon will be announced at PAC10, The PSA walkathon begins on Monday 12 July and finishes on Friday 15 October. You can follow the staff’s progress on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=lf#!/pages/Pharmaceutical-Society-of-Australia/235688174116


7 July 2010

A highlight of the annual Pharmacy Australia Congress every year is the Australian Association of Consultant Pharmacy Accredited Pharmacists’ (AACP) Forum which attracts accredited and other interested pharmacists from across Australia for a day of educational and informative sessions.

At PAC10 this year, the AACP Accredited Pharmacists’ Forum is titled Clinical and Practical Skills for MMRs, Building your Portfolio on Thursday 28 October from 9.00am – 5.00pm and the day’s program includes a wide range of speakers with a mix of clinical presentations, therapeutic updates, clinical controversies and practice pointers.

Chief Executive Officer of the AACP, Grant Martin, said the AACP Forums continued to grow in popularity and support due to the high quality and relevance of the programs and the outstanding reputation of their speakers.

“The AACP strives to provide pharmacists with up-to-date programs consisting of information that they can take away and incorporate into their day to day practice,” he said.

“The AACP Forum at PAC10 will provide pharmacists with yet another stimulating day of clinical education in keeping with the high standards set by previous forums.”

Presenters include Professor Michael Woodward, Medical Director of Aged and Residential Care Services at Austin Health speaking on the subject of Insomnia in the Elderly.

Christine Culhane of the Victorian Psychotropic Drug Advisory Service will present on Medication Use for Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD) and The Use of Chemical Restraint in Aged Care Facilities. This presentation will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Debbie Rigby, with a group of experts, including Christine Culhane, discussing How is BPSD managed in your Aged Care Facility?

These speakers will be joined by popular presenters Dr. Peter Tenni, speaking on the The Odium of Low Sodium and Dr. Geraldine Moses continuing her series of presentations on eye health with a talk entitled Ophthalmic Effects of Systemic Drugs/Systemic Effects of Ophthalmic Drugs.

Debra Rowett from the Drug and Therapeutics Information Service will conclude the day’s proceedings with an interactive presentation involving a review of current clinical controversies.

Being held in Melbourne from 28-31 October this year, delegates to PAC10 can also earn Continuing Professional Development credits which are mandatory under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for health professionals which came into effect on 1 July.

To register or for more details visit the PAC10 website at www.pac10.com.au.


1 July 2010


Plans by the Federal Opposition to boost mental health services are welcome and arguably overdue, but must not be funded at the expense of other health services and initiatives, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia says.

The Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, has revealed a Coalition Government would spend $1.5 billion to boost front-line mental health services. This would include 80 new mental care facilities, including 60 specially tailored to meet the demands of the younger population.

National President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett said the boost was most welcome but it must not be achieved by slashing funding for other health programs.

“eHealth is the missing link in enabling genuine collaborative primary health-care teams to work effectively and improve the wellbeing of all Australians,” Mr Plunkett said.

“Pharmacists need to be better incorporated into any mental health policy given the dependence of most sufferers on compliance with their medication regimen and the role pharmacists can cost-effectively play in achieving that outcome.”

Mr Plunkett said the Opposition had said it would fund its mental health initiatives through cuts to the bureaucracy and by a range of other measures including scrapping any extra GP super clinics and scrapping aspects of eHealth, including the very important development of eHealth records.

“PSA is particularly concerned at any suggestion that the Opposition would remove funds from eHealth to fund its promises,” Mr Plunkett said.

“The eHealth area is of particular concern. eHealth has been a long time coming and its benefits have been clearly and thoroughly canvassed and identified.

“There is demonstrable evidence that eHealth records will go a long way to reducing hospitalisations and to improving the wellbeing of all Australians.”

Mr Plunkett said that this alone was reason enough not to cut programs or reduce funding for them.

“An added incentive for the Government is that improving the health of Australians and cutting hospitalisations presents cost savings over the short and long term,” Mr Plunkett said.

”Clearly the Opposition needs to rethink its strategy on this issue. The mental health initiative is very much needed, but to implement it at the expense of eHealth is a short-sighted approach which could adversely affect the long-term viability of Australia’s health-care system.”

1 July 2010

Incentive payments of $120,000 to doctors in cities to encourage them to move into rural areas came into effect today in an attempt to overcome the shortage of doctors in rural and remote areas.

However, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia says such incentives must be extended to other health professionals, including pharmacists, to ensure that people in rural and remote areas have access to the full range of health services.

National President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett, said the $120,000 incentive payment to doctors was only one step in the process needed to bring equity and access to health services for people in rural and remote areas.

“The Government must extend the range of its incentive programs and tax concessions to other health professionals like pharmacists who are also critical to the health needs of rural populations,” Mr Plunkett said.

“Doctors cannot be expected to meet the needs of these people by themselves. They need the services of other allied health professionals to complement and support the work they do.

“At present, pharmacists are catered for through the Rural Pharmacy Maintenance Allowance which, while a very positive and effective program, falls short of the incentives being offered to doctors.

”As part of the health-care reform process, the Government has recognised the need for a collaborative and multidisciplinary health system but its rural incentive program seems at odds with this objective. Moreover, the Government is taking an approach which is not consistent with health reform to promote collaboration between health professionals.

“Attracting GPs to rural and remote areas is essential, but they also need pharmacists and other health professionals to deliver effective and sustainable primary health care services to populations in these areas.”

Mr Plunkett urged the Government to urgently review its policies and to offer more opportunities for other health professionals to move out of the cities and meet the demands of non-urban Australians.

“There is clearly a need to have doctors and pharmacists co-located in rural settings, and therefore the need to incentivise both professions where necessary, to ensure patients will receive optimal care and better health outcomes,” Mr Plunkett said.

“Offering a range of incentives to pharmacists and other health professionals will go a long way to easing the acute shortage of health services experienced by people in a number of rural and remote areas of Australia,” Mr Plunkett said.

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