s PSA Media Releases for January 2010 | 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 Releases for January 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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January 29, 2010


Emergency Contraception – its safety, effectiveness and availability is the theme of this year’s Sexual Health Awareness Week.

Sexual Health Awareness Week (SHAW) will be held in South Australia from 14-21 February to encourage people to look at the social, cultural, environmental and behavioural factors that can influence their own health.

Sexual Health Awareness Week is an annual initiative of SHine SA (Sexual Health information networking and education SA). Targeting 18-30 year olds, this year’s campaign aims to increase knowledge in the South Australian community about the safety, effectiveness and availability of emergency contraception by providing accurate information and “busting the myths”.

Recognising the importance of this issue, the South Australian Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is supporting the event through activities and promotions. Acting National President of the PSA and President of the SA PSA, Grant Kardachi, said pharmacy was the most accessible source of advice and information on health matters, including emergency contraception, and consumers were encouraged to go to their pharmacist for relevant, timely and accurate facts.

“There are many urban myths circulating about emergency contraception and to help dispel these PSA is proud to be actively involved in Sexual Heath Awareness Week this year,” he said.

Activities PSA is conducting include:

· 2 February –CPD lecture by Neil Hotham, Senior Drug Information Pharmacist, Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital (Drugs in Breastfeeding and Pregnancy) to be held at Enterprise House, Unley. SHine SA staff will be on hand to promote SHAW and its focus on emergency contraception.

· 22 February – PSA SA President Grant Kardachi will be part of a panel of health professionals for an Emergency Contraception Forum; and

· 24 February – an Early Career Pharmacist educational event on Emergency Contraception will be held at the PSA SA Branch.

Recent research conducted at LaTrobe University suggests that the issues of stigma and privacy can be important barriers to Australian women approaching a pharmacist to ask about emergency contraception. Where there is no opportunity to speak to a pharmacist in a confidential manner about this sensitive matter, there can be a significant barrier for access to emergency contraception.

SHine SA has developed the “Emergency Contraception Wallet Card” which asks: “Can I talk to you about Emergency Contraception?” This can be handed over the pharmacy counter, helping to open a sensitive conversation. SHine SA will be working with the PSA to promote this resource amongst its members and in the wider community, during SHAW and throughout 2010.


25 January 2010


Osteoporosis is a major public health issue in Australia today and will be the subject of a special presentation during the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s 2010 Annual Offshore Conference being held in Beijing and Shanghai from 28 April to 7 May this year.

The presentation will discuss the micro-architecture of bone, bone mineral density, the importance of calcium and vitamin D in bone health, and the place of bisphosphonates, strontium and parathyroid hormone analogues in the treatment of osteoporosis.

The session will be presented by Dr Michelle Tellus, a consultant rheumatologist who has been in private practice since 1996 and whose interests focus on the inflammatory diseases of the joints and muscles, and in the field of osteoporosis.

Dr Tellus has worked at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in the Bone and Mineral Unit as a Clinical Assistant, at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, as a Research and Clinical Assistant in the area of Juvenile Chronic Arthritis, and at the Essendon Hospital as part of the Bone and Metabolic Unit Outpatients Team.

She has published papers in the areas of Juvenile Chronic Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoporosis.

Dr Tellus currently practises fulltime in Kew, Victoria, and has also held rheumatological training posts at St. Vincent's Public Hospital in Melbourne, the Austin and Repatriation Hospital and at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

She is a member of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Australian Rheumatology Association. She has taught medical students through her training years, and has also taught post-graduate and overseas doctors in preparation for their exams.

Dr Tellus will also present a session on pain and pain management at the Offshore Conference describing the different pain pathways and discussing the differences between nociceptive pain and neuropathic pain. Targets of therapy will be discussed, and options given for the treatment of both nociceptive and neuropathic pain states including the use of analgesic adjuvants. The role of the pharmacist in the management of patients with chronic pain will also be addressed.

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

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


24 January 2010


Prominent Queensland pharmacist Karalyn Huxhagen has been honoured in the Australia Day awards with an Achievement Award for service to Queensland health and the community.

Ms Huxhagen was nominated by the Mackay Health Service District for outstanding dedication to improving the health, and health knowledge, of the community.

The citation with the award particularly noted Ms Huxhagen was being recognised for performing this service in her personal time.

Ms Huxhagen said she was greatly honoured by the award, which had been totally unexpected.

"It really was a surprise, but a very wonderful one and I am extremely pleased to receive this significant award," she said.

Acting President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Dr Lisa Nissen, congratulated Ms Huxhagen on being named a recipient of the Australia Day Achievement Award.

Dr Nissen, the first woman to head the PSA, said Ms Huxhagen had many areas of health specialty including community, Aboriginal and Island Health Services, primary health care, and diabetes.

"She also is prominent in many of the Community Pharmacy Agreement programs including Medication Reviews and quality use of medicine in Aboriginal health services," Dr Nissen said.

"She has a great depth of experience and is constantly looking to new ways to improve her ability to add to the wellbeing of the community she serves.

"At present, she practices in a community pharmacy that provides a very wide range of services including working with a qualified Naturopath."


20 January 2010


The Queensland Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia will hold its inaugural evening lecture for 2010 on February 2 on the subject of New Directions in Diabetes.

 The lecture will be held at the Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence (PACE), the world-class research, education, clinical practice and industry precinct where the new headquarters of the Queensland Branch of PSA is co-located with the University of Queensland’s School of Pharmacy.

The lecture will be presented by Dr Gary Deed, President of Diabetes Australia.

 Having developed type 1 diabetes, Dr Deed became active in supporting diabetes charities in1995 and has been National President of Diabetes Australia since November 2006.

He is an Australian member to the International Diabetes Federation Western Pacific Region and also a Board member of the Diabetes Australia Research Trust.

Dr Deed is a medical practitioner working in Brisbane and has worked in primary care for many years. He also has a background of study and qualification in herbal medicine and is the current President of the Australian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine.

He has been active in many educational forums to improve the knowledge and evidence base surrounding complimentary medicine.

The Inaugural Evening Lecture at PACE will held from 7.30-8.30pm and will be chaired by PSA Queensland Branch President Dr Lisa Nissen.

Dr Nissen said the lecture would give pharmacists the opportunity to learn about some of the important new developments in the treatment of diabetes.

“Pharmacists are at the front line in providing advice and professional services to treat diabetes and this lecture will give them an edge and also show them what they can expect in the future,” Dr Nissen said.

“I recommend this as a very valuable educational opportunity, presented by one of the foremost experts in this field.”

20 January 2010


A focus on pharmacists delivering preventive health programs will help to address anticipated workforce participation declines arising from the ageing population the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia says.

President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett, said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd pointed out this week that the Third Intergenerational Report, due to be released soon, showed that by 2050 there would be only 2.7 working-age Australians for every one aged 65 or more. There are now about five working-age Australians for each citizen over 65. Four decades ago there were 7.5.

The report predicts the proportion of the population aged 65 and over will jump from about 14 per cent now to about 23 per cent by 2050.

“Clearly preventive health is an area that can boost workforce participation and thus improve productivity in the future when there are fewer taxpayers supporting a much larger ageing population,” Mr Plunkett said.

“Having a population that is healthier and more able to contribute will greatly ease the burden on health costs.

“Medications also play a critical role in preventive health and improving the quality of life of ageing patients with pharmacists playing a pivotal role in ensuring their cost-effective use. It is time the Government gave meaningful support to extending remunerated medication management services by pharmacists.”

Mr Plunkett said total expenditure on health goods and services in Australia reached $104 billion (or $4874 per person) in 2007–08, with spending on public health programs and activities accounting for only $2.3 billion, or just over 2%, of total health expenditure.

“The National Preventative Health Taskforce reported that approximately 32% of Australia’s total burden of disease can be attributed to modifiable risk factors associated with obesity, tobacco and alcohol,” Mr Plunkett said. “It estimated that the cost to the health-care system alone associated with these three risk factors is in the order of almost $6 billion per year, while lost productivity is estimated to cost almost $13 billion.

“The implementation of targeted and effective preventive health programs through community pharmacy, the most accessible of all health professionals, will play a major role in addressing these issues and in helping the Government deal with the dynamics foreshadowed in the Third Intergenerational Report.

“In addition, a comparatively small investment by Government on an implementation framework for community pharmacies would facilitate the uptake and delivery of a number of preventive health programs through pharmacy. Programs in the areas of smoking cessation, weight management, health education and minor illness have already been successfully developed by PSA and trialled in pharmacy and shown excellent cost-effective results.”

14 January 2010


National Prescribing Service research has highlighted the need to improve the availability of information about complementary medicines with a view to raising awareness among Australian health professionals and consumers.

In line with this view, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is launching a series of online modules, presentations and podcasts to support pharmacists in helping their patients make better-informed decisions around the quality use of complementary medicines.

Responding to the demand for high-quality information about complementary medicines, PSA engaged experts at the Herbal Medicines Research and Education Centre at the University of Sydney to develop the modules.

From Friday 15 January, PSA members will have access online to the overarching modules on the quality use of complementary medicines.

After this, a new module will be released each month, addressing a different medicine.

January’s module focuses on glucosamine.

Assessments for pharmacists are associated with each module.

Following successful completion of the module, CPD credit points will be automatically captured on their member record.

This process will streamline efforts by pharmacists to meet the mandatory CPD requirements being introduced with national registration on 1 July 2010.

Members can access the modules via the Professional Development Materials area of the PSA Members website.

13 January 2010


The announcement by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia of a broad framework for the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement will provide a platform for negotiations to begin on the detailed structure of the Agreement, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia says.

President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett, said the Society would begin negotiations with the Guild shortly and would be looking to increased professional services forming a key part of the Agreement.

“It is essential that the Agreement delivers meaningful impetus and incentives for an increased number of professional services to ensure the ongoing viability of pharmacy,” Mr Plunkett said.

“It is disappointing that the announcement apparently excludes a range of existing professional services aimed at reducing the burden of chronic diseases.

“In addition, the PSA has long advocated an extension of patient-focussed professional services. This approach accords with the recommendations of the Government’s key reports which are behind its forthcoming health reform agenda.

“PSA welcomes the initiative of the inclusion of important programs such as Medications Use Reviews and will now work to ensure they are adequately funded.

“The Pharmacy Guild’s announcement relates to the broad framework of the Agreement and is a starting point for PSA-Guild negotiations on the detail. PSA will now be strongly advocating the inclusion of more professional services including clinical interventions to help improve the wellbeing of health consumers.

“The inclusion of such professional services with a sustainable and appropriate funding mix is pivotal to the success of the health reform agenda.”

Mr Plunkett said PSA supports previous comments made by the Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon indicating the Government’s desire for patient-focussed outcomes.

“The range of professional services sought by the PSA will help the Government achieve its aim. We look forward to their inclusion in the Agreement and the commitment by the Government to these programs through adequate and sustainable funding,” Mr Plunkett.

“The announcement highlights the Guild’s focus on the supply aspects of pharmacy in the Agreement and now PSA will be emphasising the professional side of the Agreement, particularly for the future of the profession and patients.”

13 January 2010


A session examining drug interactions, with particular reference to those which may occur in the community pharmacy setting including the "Triple Whammy" and the "Serotonin Syndrome", will be a feature of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s 2010 Annual Offshore Conference this year.

The session, presented by Professor Peter Carroll, will look at strategies to help pharmacists prevent these occurring, as well as addressing the differences between pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic drug interactions.

In another presentation at the Offshore Conference, Professor Carroll will give an update on gout and hyperuricaemia, with emphasis on the risk factors for developing gout and how these may be minimised.

He also will look at the current guidelines for the treatment of gout, including both pharmacological and non-pharmacological options, and the role of the pharmacist in the management of a patient with both acute and chronic gout.

Professor Carroll is Honorary Professor, School of Medical Sciences, Discipline of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney, and has been Education Director of the Offshore Conference for the past 16 years.

In addition, he has been a regular contributor to continuing professional education activities for pharmacists in Australia and overseas for the past 31 years and is highly regarded as a popular and practical lecturer who has the ability to present topics in a logical and easy-to-understand manner.

At present he works in community pharmacy and also teaches Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacy Practice at the University of Sydney.

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

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

11 January 2010


The World Health Organisation believes that the appropriate, efficient and cost-effective use of resources should be the foundation of a pharmacist’s work, regardless of which sector of the profession the pharmacist is engaged in.

Arriving at this goal requires the ability to evaluate, synthesise and decide on the most appropriate action and to achieve this objective WHO decided that contemporary and future pharmacists must possess specific knowledge attitudes, skills and behaviours in support of their roles.

The roles behind the WHO drive are summarised in ‘the seven star pharmacist’ whose elements are:

* Care-giver - the pharmacist provides high quality caring services, integrated and continuous with the health care system.

* Decision-maker - the pharmacist should be able to make decisions to achieve appropriate, efficacious and cost effective use of resources.

* Communicator - the pharmacist’s ideal position between physician and patient requires them to be knowledgeable and confident while interacting with health professionals and the public

* Leader - the pharmacist is obligated to assume a leadership position in the overall welfare of the community.

* Manager - the pharmacist must effectively manage resources (human, physical and fiscal) and information.

* Life-long-learner - pharmacists should be committed to learning throughout their careers.

* Teacher - the pharmacist has a responsibility to assist with the education and training of future generations of pharmacists.

Recognising the importance of the application of these principles, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s Pharmacy Australia Congress will use the Seven Star Pharmacy principles as the basis of its over-arching theme of Star Performance - the future for pharmacy at the event this year.

Being held in Melbourne from 29-31 October this year, PAC 2010 will feature a range of pharmacy and business specialist speakers, workshops, social functions, a trade exhibition as well as other activities which will ensure there is something to interest and educate all delegates.

It is an event not to be missed and for further details go to www.psa.org.au.

11 January 2010


The appointment of Dr Brendan Shaw as the new Chief Executive of Medicines Australia has been welcomed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett, said Dr Shaw’s extensive experience would be a great asset to Medicines Australia and would be invaluable in the very challenging period that the health-care industry in Australia faces both in the near term and the long term.

“Dr Shaw has earned great respect over the past six years that he has led the Health Policy and Research area of Medicines Australia,” Mr Plunkett said.

“In this capacity he has worked closely with all stakeholders, including PSA, as well as the Government and bureaucracy.

“He has earned great respect and admiration for his work and his willingness to get across so much of the detail which is often crucial in securing outcomes in the health-care sector.”

Before joining Medicines Australia, Dr Shaw was an adviser to the then Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry and Trade, Dr Craig Emerson.

“He has also worked in academia, consulting and different areas of the Australian Government and so brings to the position extensive and diverse experience in many facets of industry, health care, and Government and how these different areas can work together,” Mr Plunkett said.

“I look forward to continuing the PSA’s close association with Medicines Australia and to working closely with Dr Shaw on areas of mutual benefit to the members of both our organisations, and to the Australian health consumer.”

11 January 2010


The pharmacy profession has been ranked by different independent research of the Australian public as being amongst the most highly respected and trusted professional groups by the Australian public.

This ranking over many consecutive years has been achieved through highly positive experiences the public encounters when dealing with pharmacists and their support teams.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia recognises the important roles pharmacy assistants play in the pharmacy teams and is determined to support and enhance their effectiveness.

In 2010, the Victorian Branch has organised a number of continuing professional development lectures to be held throughout the year, as well as a primary health-care weekend in August, for both pharmacists and pharmacy assistants so that the pharmacy team can learn and understand how to better work together effectively.

The Victorian Branch also offers a work place Pharmacy Assistant Certificate II and III program and many pharmacy assistants would qualify for full Government subsidy for doing the course.

The PSA Diploma of Management offers pharmacy managers and senior pharmacy assistants the opportunity to development relevant management skills, with the possibility to articulate into a Chifley Business School MBA, which would almost certainly open up vast range of career opportunities for those taking part.

Pharmacy assistants also are invited to join PSA as an affiliate member, not only to participate in activities, but to drive those activities that shape the future of pharmacy assistants.

Any pharmacy assistant who has, or in the process of acquiring a Certificate II or above, is eligible to join.

Information on PSA Victorian Branch pharmacy assistant activities is available on www.psa.org.au/site.php?id=5039

A free lecture for pharmacy assistants will be held on Tuesday 16 February at PSA Victorian Branch at 6:30pm to launch the exciting 2010 Pharmacy Assistant Program. All pharmacy assistants are invited. For details phone: (03) 9389 4000.

7 January 2010


Queensland early career pharmacist Lisa Goldsmith has been appointed to the Queensland Branch Committee of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. Ms Goldsmith replaces Dr Geraldine Moses who has recently resigned from the Committee.

A graduate from Griffith University on the Gold Coast, Ms Goldsmith was the 2009 Pharmacy Graduate of the Year. She is also the chair of the Queensland Early Career Pharmacist Group of the PSA and is currently undertaking her internship at The Prince Charles Hospital.

Ms Goldsmith was also president of the National Australian Pharmacy Students' Association and was Treasurer of the Griffith University Association of Pharmacy Students Committee.

Welcoming her to the Branch Committee, Queensland Branch President Dr Lisa Nissen said Ms Goldsmith would be a great asset, bringing with her as she did a voice for young pharmacists who were the future of the profession.

“Lisa’s demonstrated commitment to the profession and to her colleagues through her work with NAPSA and PSA will be greatly valued on the Branch Committee which is constantly looking to further the careers of PSA members,” Dr Nissen said.

“Being an early career pharmacist herself, Lisa is in a unique position to give voice to the needs, concerns and aspirations of this group who make up a very large proportion of the PSA membership.

“Her work at NAPSA and in other pharmacy bodies equips her well for her responsibilities as a Branch Committee member and her vision and enthusiasm will be greatly valued and appreciated.”

Dr Nissen also thanked Dr Moses for her work and commitment to the PSA.

“Geraldine Moses has made an outstanding contribution to the Queensland Branch, of the PSA, having served nine years as a Branch Councillor and Branch Committee member,” Dr Nissen said.

Ms Goldsmith said she was honoured and excited by the appointment.

“I am looking forward to my work on the Branch Committee and to being able to have input into decisions which will help direct the future of the profession for many of my colleagues who are early career pharmacists,” Ms Goldsmith said.

“It is important that this large group knows they have representation at the highest level and that they are not taken for granted. I hope that I can bring a younger voice to the Branch Committee while continuing to learn from the wealth of experience already at the table.”


4 January 2010


A clear responsibility for pharmacists during their career is the need to continually maintain and grow their professional practice and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s extensive Professional Development and Practice Support programs are specifically designed to facilitate this.

To further help members of the PSA access the programs and plan their professional and business development activities for the year, the 2010 Guide to PSA programs has been released which details the wide range of activities and offerings under the PSA programs.

President of the PSA Warwick Plunkett said the responsibility for pharmacists to grow their careers was at the heart of the development of the PSA’s offerings which enable pharmacists to develop and improve their knowledge and skills base through activities tailored to their particular practice and professional needs.

“PSA has supported the development of pharmacists as health professionals for many years but 2010 sees these CPD and Practice Support programs re-launched with a national focus to meet the needs of today’s pharmacists,” he said.

Mr Plunkett said the publication brings together for the first time the entire scope of PSA’s professional development and practice support offerings in the one guide, giving members an easy-to-access reference of what is available, where it is available and when it is available.

“The pharmacy profession is constantly developing and changing to meet the needs of the environment in which it operates,” Mr Plunkett said.

“The PSA’s Professional Development and Practice Support programs have been developed to ensure Members have a professional and practice edge and are best able to meet the demands they face in their careers, regardless of which sector of the pharmacy profession they operate in.”

The new guide is available online under the “What’s New” section at www.psa.org.au

Members will receive a hard copy with their January edition of the PSA journal, Australian Pharmacist.

“I urge all pharmacists to go through the guide and plan their activities for the year to ensure they are well placed for the future,” Mr Plunkett said.

“Having the comprehensive listing of all that is on offer in the one guide makes it easy and accessible for all pharmacists.”



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