s PSA Media Releases for January 2013 | I2P: Information to Pharmacists - Archive
Publication Date 01/02/2013         Volume. 5 No. 1   
Information to Pharmacists


From the desk of the editor

Well 2013 has certainly begun and I must admit it has been hard to get out of “holiday mode” and back into “pharmacy mode”.
This year is looking quite challenging as many issues left in abeyance in 2012 are bubbling over , so I don’t anticipate a restful year.
One important issue we will cover for some time yet is the quality of drug  evidence in the Australian setting, and to kick off the debate the feature article  “Sense About Science”describes what is happening in the UK to help tidy up science in that country.
Comparisons have been made with the Australian experience and it seems that we have a long way to go before it can be regarded as “tidy”,

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News Flash

Newsflash Updates for February 2013

Newsflash Updates

Regular weekly updates that supplement the regular monthly homepage edition of i2P. 
Access and click on the title links that are illustrated.

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Feature Contribution

Sense About Science – or Up To Your Ankles in Waste Water

Neil Johnston

My recent holiday reading included catching up on subjects that have slipped off my radar, mainly because the issues themselves have adopted a lower profile.
Then an article in the 6Minutes e-publication caught my eye.
It concerned a UK initiative by a group called Sense About Science”, that has started a campaign to have all clinical trials registered and have the results published, while simultaneously urging the patients to boycott trials if the researchers cannot guarantee the findings will be made public.
They have published a petition (found at www.alltrials.net) and are encouraging people to sign it.
The petition has the support and backing of the BMJ, the James Lind Alliance and Ben Goldacre (author of Bad Pharma) and is designed to put pressure on researchers, pharmaceutical companies and institutions who are in a position to bury research data that may reflect on reputations and drug company profits.

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Face of Priceline - Australian of the Year 2013

Peter Sayers

Few would not recognise Ita Buttrose, an iconic Australian well-deserved of the Australian of the Year Award for 2013. The award was presented in Canberra on Australia Day (January 26 2013), by PM Julia Gillard.
And there must be a lot of backslapping going on in the Priceline camp for their recent signing of her to front for their 200 member pharmacy franchise.
Ita’s profile was already stellar, but with the added impetus of the Australian of the Year Award, the Priceline brand will now increase in value considerably.

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Determining needs and wants…

Joseph Conway

In pharmacy media commentary, I often come across the idea that we need to give people advice on what they need as opposed to what they want. This is understandable given that we have specialist knowledge on medication therapy and live our lives discussing health issues with patients and dispensing their medication. We get to know very intimate details about people and many pharmacists working in community pharmacy get to follow people as they grow older and are a tiny (but important) part of their lives sharing their health issues over ongoing chats at the dispensary counter if they choose to shop at our store.

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Is the ‘weekend’ an anachronism whose usefulness and relevance has passed?

Neil Retallick

When I taught Sunday School, which seems to be about a hundred years ago but was only about forty, we learned from the Bible that on the seventh day, God rested.
After all, he had been busy for six days.
I do not wish to belittle anybody’s religious beliefs in these comments but use them to focus attention on just how much our society has changed.
At the same time I was teaching Sunday School, the shops all closed at mid-day on Saturday and at 5.30pm during the week.
A trip into town to shop on the weekend meant getting up bright and early on Saturday morning and being at the bus stop by 8.30am at the latest.

Comments: 1

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Fitting Your Pharmacy for the Future - Funding & Depreciating for Best Tax Effect

Chris Foster

Editor's Note:
I2P will be developing a series on pharmacy designs - ideas and concepts in respect of clinical services spaces.
In designing such spaces it was realised very early in the exercise, that to be properly integrated in an Australian pharmacy setting it could not be just an “add-on” but a whole of pharmacy redesign.
Similarly with the introduction of automated dispensing machines (original packs and dose administration aids) it is important to design workflows properly to capture efficiencies, and this also entails a “whole of pharmacy” redesign.
2013 may be the year of decision in terms of the type of pharmacy design to house your market offering. To survive you need to be different and there is not a lot to differentiate one pharmacy from the other, even if you belong to a marketing group.

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Ransomware - The New Kid on the Block

Steve Jenkin

Editor's Note:
Late in 2012, a medical practice on the Gold Coast of Queensland came under cyber attack in a unique way.
Instead of patient data being stolen, it was kidnapped in place, by encrypting all practice data so that it could not be read.
A key was then offered at a price so that the data could be opened.
Thus was born "Ransomware", and a a new threat had emerged.
i2P asked Steve Jenkin, our resident IT expert to give some insights to this new threat and what precautions we might all need, to eliminate this new approach to hacking.
If you need an incentive, just imagine if your PBS claim data was locked up for a week and your ability to generate a claim was locked up for six weeks, plus all attendant costs in restoring your data.
Would you survive in your business?
This reference article by Steve is important enough to use as a checklist for your IT provider or for your IT consultant to utilise in the next complete review of your entire system.
Steve's comments follow:

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Workplace Pressure in Pharmacy

Kay Dunkley - BPharm, Grad Dip Hosp Pharm, Grad Dip Health Admin, MPS, MSHPA

The psychological definition of stress is a feeling of strain and pressure.  Small amounts of stress may be desired, beneficial, and even healthy.  Positive stress helps improve performance.  It also plays a factor in motivation, adaptation, and reaction to the environment.  Excessive amounts of stress may lead to many problems in the body that could be harmful.  Symptoms may include a sense of being overwhelmed, feelings of anxiety, overall irritability, insecurity, nervousness, social withdrawal, loss of appetite, depression, panic attacks, exhaustion, high or low blood pressure, skin eruptions or rashes, insomnia, lack of sexual desire (sexual dysfunction), migraine and gastrointestinal difficulties (constipation or diarrhoea).  It may also cause more serious conditions such as heart problems.

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Arm Yourself For The Battle For The Mind

Barry Urquhart

Social media, and the internet in general, are largely “blind” media.
They can be frustrating, time-wasting and inefficient.
Entries and enquires about wide-ranging but pertinent topics, products and services elicit countless responses, most of which are irrelevant and unappealing. Information overload abounds.Use of SEO's (Search Engine Optimisers) simply cluster companies, brand and service names, among large, often spuriously ranked groupings.Being on the shopping list has very little quantifiable and lasting value. Nor does the standing of being “first amongst equals”.
Establishing and sustaining unique, differentiated presences in the marketplace is difficult.
In the brave and new world of digital, mobile, on-line, multi or omni-channel reality, the importance, nature and value of effective branding is deepened and broadened.

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Positive thinking has no negatives

Harvey Mackay

One of life's great annoyances is the tendency of folks who ask you to perform an impossible task, list the issues they foresee and the problems that have plagued previous attempts -- and then admonish you to "think positive."
Wow! Does that mean you are so good that you can achieve what no one else has? Or are you being set up to fail?   
Because I am an eternal optimist, I prefer to believe the first premise. Positive thinking is more than just a tagline. It changes the way we behave. And I firmly believe that when I am positive, it not only makes me better, but it also makes those around me better. I think that good attitudes are contagious. I want to start an epidemic!

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Feasting on Fat

Loretta Marron OAM BSc

With the Christmas and New Year opportunities to over-indulge, it was easy for girths to increase a little.
If so, it might be very difficult to lose those extra kilos.
Many advertised products and services allegedly help us lose fat without diet and exercise.
Most will fail; some might even be dangerous.

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Hanukkah, Oxygen Masks and Christmas

Mark Neuenschwander

I've been thinking about Hanukkah, oxygen masks, and the Christmas presents I am duty bound to muster for my kids and grandkids. Thank God dad asked for pajamas.
Today I’m flying from Las Vegas to Seattle. About the only thing I liked about Sin City was the fountain show at Bellagio, the Elvis Christmas songs that popped up here and there, and a pretty good keynote address by Bill Clinton. Just thinking of shopping makes me wonder if the cabin isn’t losing its pressure.

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Antioxidants Prevent Cancer and Some May Even Cure It

Staff Writer

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, January 24, 2013

Antioxidants Prevent Cancer and Some May Even Cure It

Commentary by Steve Hickey, PhD

(OMNS Jan 24, 2013) It is widely accepted that antioxidants in the diet and supplements are one of the most effective ways of preventing cancer. Nevertheless, Dr. James Watson has recently suggested that antioxidants cause cancer and interfere with its treatment. James Watson is among the most renowned of living scientists. His work, together with that of others (Rosalind Franklin, Raymond Gosling, Frances Crick, and Maurice Wilkins) led to the discovery of the DNA double helix in 1953. Although his recent statement on antioxidants is misleading, the mainstream media has picked it up, which may cause some confusion.

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HMR Moratorium – Killing Jobs in Pharmacy

Joseph Conway

It’s no secret that the Pharmacy Guild has called for a moratorium on HMRs until the alleged abuse of a tiny minority of Independent Pharmacists potentially rorting the system is investigated and the system is changed to reduce the possibility of such rorting.
They say that this is necessary as the budget for HMR’s has been overrun and any potential rorting could put the viability of future pharmacy-centric programs at risk too.
The Guild want payments stopped so that the business rules behind HMR’s are “tightened” to stop this apparent rorting.
If there is actually rorting going on, then I think that it’s in all pharmacists’ interest to “fix” this issue.
I for one have nothing against tightening the rules to stop pharmacists “Warehousing” HMRs?
This is great.

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Part one -HMR Evolution

Neil Johnston

With the furore created when the PGA went to print stating that the funds available for HMR’s were almost exhausted, it created an instant “blame game” and conjecture as to what really lay behind the belated PGA announcement.
I came to a conclusion early that it was a result of PGA mismanagement as the immediate problem, but also coupled with an underlying systemic flaw that was the major problem.
Between them they impact and threaten the long term development and survival of the consultant pharmacist program.
It has prompted me to create an analysis of some aspects of the program to evaluate what has gone wrong.

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Part two - Fixing the HMR Flaws

Neil Johnston

The PGA has succeeded in upsetting a broad spectrum of pharmacists that includes all accredited pharmacists, some employer pharmacists (with designs on creating a business model with professional services at the core), and employee pharmacists who see job opportunities being squandered.
It is obvious that the “engine room” for consultant pharmacists (The Australian Association of Consultant Pharmacy) needs urgent reform and a new focus, or be replaced completely.
And the PGA should stop its interference.

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Part three - a Better Umbrealla Organisation

Neil Johnston

Because a workable umbrella model for management consultants already exists, it is suggested that this model be adapted for consultant pharmacist use.
The existing umbrella model established for consultant pharmacists would need to be altered dramatically and be opened up to other organisations e.g Consumer Health Forum, APESMA)
Or an entirely new organisation could be developed from scratch.
This is, in fact happening and is unrelated to any of my activities.
However, I am suggesting that the umbrella model of organisation provided by the Institute of Management Consultants (Australia) provides an excellent reference to adapt to a consultant pharmacist version.

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Thought Bubbles From a Book Group Refugee

Gerald Quigley

Editor's Note:
One night recently, I received the following email from Gerald:
"My wife has a book-group here. I’m locked in my study and inspired to write!"
That's good news for an editor/publisher - getting copy in on time well in advance!
Then followed (the same night), three separate and disparate thoughts that were not directly concerned with a pharmaceutical issue.
But they all had application for pharmacy improvement, with a bit of applied creativity.
As these "thought bubbles" wafted in over the Internet I began to wonder how I might splice them together with some editorial ingenuity.
The following is the result.

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What Really Causes Kidney Stones (And Why Vitamin C Does Not)

Staff Writer

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, February 11, 2013

What Really Causes Kidney Stones
(And Why Vitamin C Does Not)

(OMNS Feb 11, 2013) A recent widely-publicized study claimed that vitamin C supplements increased the risk of developing kidney stones by nearly a factor of two.[1] The study stated that the stones were most likely formed from calcium oxalate, which can be formed in the presence of vitamin C (ascorbate), but it did not analyze the kidney stones of participants. Instead, it relied on a different study of kidney stones where ascorbate was not tested. This type of poorly organized study does not help the medical profession or the public, but instead causes confusion.

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For health's sake, time to take on food giants

Staff Writer

Food Industry marketing practices are increasingly being brought under the spotlight as are various other worrying problems regarding additives to manufactured food products, also how food is grown using genetically modified seed and the range of toxic herbicides and pesticides.
These latter substances now pollute the entire food chain and not enough is being done to protect our food chain.
Many illnesses can be traced back to ingestion of unnatural substances over a long period of time.
It's time to grow your own.

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Consultant Pharmacists Should Lead The Way - But They Have No Leaders.

Mark Coleman

Isn’t it time that consultant pharmacists took control of their own direction and carved out a future?
Or is the current system of a single-product (HMR) service controlled by the PGA and the PSA, sufficient to provide an interesting and creative future?
How can the aspirations of consultant pharmacists be serviced by an organisation controlled by two major pharmacy-political bodies, when one of them (PGA) is directly working against consultant pharmacist interests.

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APESMA Campaigns for Pharmacist Lunch Hour Entitlements

Staff Writer

Australian pharmacists have been warned to carefully check exactly how much compensation they are getting for routinely working through lunch after an APESMA survey found 28 per cent of Australian pharmacists reported that they receive no financial compensation at all for the lack of a lunch break.
CEO of APESMA Chris Walton said working through every lunchtime was an unacceptable practice that could cause dangerous levels of fatigue.
APESMA has advised pharmacists who have signed any agreement to remove their lunch breaks to immediately ask their employer to itemise any compensation they are being paid in lieu of all award entitlements such as their lunch breaks.

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CHC Emphasises the Importance of Research

Staff Researcher

In light of a recent paper published in the Royal Society's Open Biology journal, proposing a theory that antioxidants can be detrimental in the late stages of cancer treatment, the Complementary Healthcare Council (CHC) of Australia emphasises the importance of clinical trials and studies into the prevention and treatment of cancer. Executive director of the CHC, Dr Wendy Morrow, highlighted this theory as being interesting and warranting more research.

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Advancing our understanding and treatment of motor impairment

Staff Researcher

NeuRA has secured significant funding to expand research into motor impairment, a problem that arises from many diseases and aging, and a growing public health challenge.
Everything the human body does requires movement, but our muscles—and our brain and nerves that control them—are often the first tissues attacked by a long list of disorders that includes stroke, spinal cord and brain injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, musculoskeletal injury and cerebral palsy.Prof Simon Gandevia is an expert in the brain’s control of human movement at NeuRA (Neuroscience Research Australia) and will spearhead the nearly $7 million multidisciplinary program of study, funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.

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Peter Waterman

Media releases issued from the office of Tania Pliberseck and the PSA arrived this morning.
What follows is the PSA take on recent events surrounding HMR managent.

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Pharmedia - The Vaccine Poll Hijacked by Pharmacists?

Neil Johnston

Editor's Note:
Professional services development was stymied when the AMA reneged on an agreement to support pharmacist vaccination clinics.
It has caused anger and unprofessional behavior has evolved on both sides.
It also appears that while the professional bodies of the AMA and the PGA attempt to disrupt each other, patients at large will become the eventual losers.
The PGA is central to other clinical service disruptions, even those within pharmacy involving contractor pharmacists.
This is damaging to an orderly development of clinical services in a pharmacy setting and demonstrates that current leaders of the PGA and the AMA are not fit to claim the title of "leader".
We asked Mark Coleman to provide commentary on an article recently published in Australian Doctor.

Comments: 2

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PSA Media Releases for January 2013

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 0487 922 176.

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30 January 2013


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and The National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association have renewed their Memorandum of Understanding which aims to further develop the strong working relationships between the two organisations.

The MoU also is structured to ensure that pharmacy students are well supported and that their interests are well represented.  It also sets out the basis for ongoing support in the pharmacy profession after they graduate from university.

The objectives of the MoU are to:

·         assist NAPSA Executive in the efficient administration of the organisation;
·         assist NAPSA in accessing PSA products and services; and
·         offer NAPSA members professional development opportunities through the PSA.

National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said the re-signing was a significant development in the ongoing growth of relations between PSA and NAPSA. 

“I am delighted that PSA and NAPSA are continuing this relationship which recognises the pharmacists of the future, and the pharmacy leaders of the future, as well as the role PSA can play in building their careers and practices,” Mr Kardachi said.

“Over many years now the relationship between PSA and NAPSA has grown and developed into one which is of great benefit to the profession as a whole.

“With   members covering every sector of the pharmacy profession, PSA represents the vast majority of pharmacists practising in this country.

“Partnering with NAPSA gives the pharmacists of the future access to resources and skills to help them build their career and move into the profession after they complete their studies. 

“I addition, this MoU complements PSA’s free student membership which gives pharmacists of the future access to the Society’s broad range of  resources to help further their career. ” 

“This is a great beginning for students who then transition into the wider collegiate PSA family which supports them throughout their entire professional career.”

Chris Braithwaite, National President of NAPSA, said, “NAPSA is proud to continue the fantastic relationship we have with the PSA that has been developed over many years.

“The PSA plays a critical role in our profession and to expose students to its functions and services through NAPSA only eases the transition from student to pharmacist. 

“To announce this at our annual Congress was a fantastic opportunity for our members to be exposed and involved in this relationship. We look forward to the coming two years and implementing the objectives and initiatives of the agreement."


30 January 2013


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has rejected calls for a moratorium on Homes Medicines Reviews and pointed to moves it initiated last year to investigate ways to improve the business rules surrounding the delivery of HMRs

National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said the PSA saw improvements to HMR business rules as being part of the solution to ensuring the program remained viable and sustainable. 

“The HMR program is producing major benefits for consumers and is improving health outcomes across the nation,” Mr Kardachi said.

“A moratorium would deprive consumers of a very valuable and worthwhile service.  Any suspension of the program may see it very hard to reactivate at a later date.

“PSA last year identified some areas which we felt could be improved in the HMR program and contacted the Department of Health to initiate talks on implementing such improvements. We believe those talks will begin in the very near future.”

Mr Kardachi was responding to calls for action to address an apparent over-spend in the HMR budget.

“Because of the very positive results for consumers, the HMR program has experienced a very high level of uptake,” Mr Kardachi said.

“The HMR program budget was negotiated as part of the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement and from the outset PSA raised concerns at the limited budget allocated to this essential service.” 

Mr Kardachi said PSA looked forward to working with all stakeholders to find options to address any issues which may be identified.

“There are always a range of options to be investigated and jumping to an easy option such as a moratorium on HMRs may in fact be a long-term disservice to our profession,” he said. 

“It would also negatively impact consumers and other healthcare professionals. We need to think through possible solutions.”


30 January 2013



MIMS Australia has signed on as the major sponsor and supporter of the PSA NSW Branch’s Intern of the Year Award for 2012.

Nominations are now open with a closing date of 8 February 2013.  Online nomination forms can be found on the PSA website (www.psa.org.au).

The sponsorship builds on MIMS Australia’s previous support for the NSW Intern of the Year award and the provision of complimentary eMIMS to all PSA Interns since 2008.

Welcoming the sponsorship agreement, PSA NSW Branch President John Bronger said, “The PSA is pleased to have MIMS Australia as our major sponsor for the NSW Intern of the Year award. Both our organisations share the same starting premise.  We are both about quality, independent and evidence-based practice.  This partnership is a natural fit.”

Dinah Graham, MIMS Australia Business Development Manager agreed, stating, “The PSA is the premier provider of professional development and practice support to the pharmacy profession and MIMS  is committed to assisting, wherever possible, the PSA in developing pharmacy’s future leaders and innovators.

“With 50 years of experience and developing Australia’s most trusted medicine information products for the industry, MIMS is proud to support this goal through our sponsorship of the NSW Intern of the Year award.”

The NSW Intern of the Year will be chosen from the 2012 intern cohort enrolled and completing the PSA’s National Intern Training Program (NITP).  The award recognises the achievements of interns who demonstrate outstanding skills in the supervised registration training year.  It showcases those who are striving to raise standards and who through their professionalism provide a model of practice standards.

The winner of the 2012 Intern of the Year award will be announced at the NSW Branch’s Annual Therapeutic Update weekend at Terrigal on the Central Coast from 1–3 March 2013.

The Intern of the Year award is run in conjunction with the PSA’s National Intern Training Program.  The PSA has more than 20 years experience in intern training, more than the combined experience of other providers.

MIMS Australia’s support for interns extends to all PSA’s NITP registrants, with all receiving a complimentary eMIMS subscription.


26 January 2013

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has presented the Government with proposals to more fully utilise the skills and knowledge of pharmacists to help reduce the impact of chronic disease in Australia.

The PSA Budget submission addresses two key chronic conditions: type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and atrial fibrillation (AF), which are estimated to cost the Australian economy   in the order of $7.25 billion each year.

In its Budget submission, the PSA advocates a total of $7.94 million be spent over two years to conduct and evaluate its proposed Diabetes Education and Medication Management Service.

The National President of PSA, Grant Kardachi, said the proposal would result in improved consumer understanding of their condition through education and provision of support material, as well as improved medication adherence through educating consumers about their medicines.

“Our submission would also see improved consumer self-management through education including individualised blood glucose testing requirement and need for regular glycated haemoglobin testing,” Mr Kardachi said. 

“Importantly it would also result in greater collaboration with other primary care health professionals and in particular the consumer’s general practitioner, and improved health outcomes for consumers with type 2 diabetes mellitus.”

Mr Kardachi said the other focus of the submission was for a Pharmacist Anticoagulation Management Service (PAMS) which aimed to enhance health outcomes for consumers on warfarin, an anticoagulation medicine subsidised through the PBS. 

“This proposal integrates pharmacists into the care of consumers on warfarin given the strong primary health care role and medication management expertise of pharmacists,” he said. 

“The service will ensure safe and appropriate use of warfarin and optimise the long term benefits of warfarin therapy for consumers thereby delivering savings to the health budget and provide timely access to health professional intervention to tailor the consumer’s medication needs.

“It will also contribute medication management expertise in a manner that supports the GP’s ‘whole-of-person’ care delivery and enhance quality use of medicines for the individual consumer and for the wider health care community.” 

Mr Kardachi said the proposal addressed priorities and recommendations identified in recent reports to the Australian Government.


22 January 2013


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is taking an innovative approach in educating early career pharmacists to become future health leaders.

The use of horses in a special workshop will accelerate learning for ignite leadership program participants to further develop their skills in communication, team building, relationship development and trust.

Experiential learning with horses is a powerful and effective way to learn.

Working with horses is a somatic experience designed to increase an awareness of self and help to activate the creative thinking of those involved.

Importantly, it enables participants to develop their non‑verbal communication, which forms up to 80% of all communication.

ignite is PSA’s new leadership program which aims to develop high-performing early career pharmacists into future leaders who will drive strategy, change and innovation in all sectors of the pharmacy profession.

The program offers a unique leadership development experience that broadens the understanding of leadership and aims to develop leadership skills; taking into account the personal leadership goals of those taking part in the program.

The program combines interactive workshops, experiential learning, distance learning, inspirational speakers, personal mentoring, networking opportunities and a practical workplace project to develop participants as future leaders.

The name ignite was chosen because PSA feels that “leaders ignite the spark to inspire and influence others"

This innovative program has been made possible through the support of Alphapharm and PDL.

Full details of the program, including an application pack, are available on the PSA website, http://www.psa.org.au/education/leadership-program


15 January 2013


The appointment of a pharmacist to the ACT Human Research Ethics Committee has been welcomed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia as recognition of the diverse roles pharmacists play throughout the community. 

Pharmacist Lyn Todd joins a group of other professionals on the committee which aims to protect the welfare and rights of participants involved in research.

HRECs review research proposals that involve humans, monitor the conduct of research and deal with any complaints and issues that may arise from research.

National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Grant Kardachi, said the appointment of Ms Todd was important given the work the PSA is undertaking in the area of ethics.

“The HRECs play a central role in the Australian system of ethical oversight of research involving humans. HRECs review research proposals involving human participants to ensure that they are ethically acceptable and in accordance with relevant standards and guidelines,” Mr Kardachi said.

“The appointment of Ms Todd brings to the HREC an area of knowledge and experience which will be invaluable to its work.

“The absence of a pharmacist on HRECs in the past has left a gap in the expertise available to them.

“The appointment of Ms Todd follows recommendations and advocacy by the PSA ACT Branch to consider including a pharmacist on the committee to strengthen its role and ensure it has the best possible expertise and advice available on which to base its decisions.

“This year PSA is launching a pilot ethics advisory service so clearly the issue of ethics and ethical behaviour is a very important one for us and for the pharmacy profession as a whole,” he said.

Professor Gabrielle Cooper the ACT PSA Branch President and National Board Member said that the inclusion of an experienced pharmacist such as Ms Todd recognised the expertise and experience pharmacists can add to high-quality research.

“In addition, experienced pharmacists can inform and improve the design of trials involving pharmaceuticals to ensure the quality use of medicines and the minimisation of harm to consumers,” she said.


14 January 2013


The importance of the work undertaken by pharmacists and other health professionals in rural and regional areas across Australia will be highlighted in the first Medicines in the Bush workshop, to be held on Sunday April 7th immediately prior to the opening of the 12th National Rural Health Conference in Adelaide.

Convened by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Medicines in the Bush will not only showcase the important work of rural and remote pharmacists to other rural health practitioners, but also highlight the collaboration between health professionals working in these areas and the benefits to patients from such collaboration.

It will also explore such issues as prescribing rights and extended practice for rural pharmacists.

Speakers for this workshop will include remote area doctors, rural clinical pharmacists and prescribing nurse practitioners.

National President of the PSA, Grant Karachi said the program had been especially developed for rural and regional health practitioners.

“Topics to be covered include palliative care, Aboriginal health, telehealth, management of complex chronic disease and health practitioner prescribing. A multi-disciplinary panel and audience will ensure a lively and informative discussion,” Mr Kardachi said. 

“If you are a pharmacist interested in multi-disciplinary and extended practice, I encourage you to join your health professional colleagues at this Medicines in the Bush workshop which is being run in conjunction with the National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA) conference on April 8-10.”

Mr Kardachi said the 12th National Rural Health Conference would provide a timely analysis of the health and wellbeing of rural Australia.

“Coupled with the Medicines in the Bush workshop, these two events will give you unrivalled access to information, ideas and networking opportunities to expand your professional practice,” Mr Kardachi said.

“Come along to the Medicines in the Bush workshop, have a say and represent your profession.”

More details on how to register for the workshop and/or the conference can be found at nrha.org.au/12nrhc. The Medicines in the Bush workshop costs just $55.

Early Bird registration for the 12th National Rural Health Conference has officially closed but PSA has organised an extension for pharmacists until January 31. To take advantage of the early bird registration you need to register using the hardcopy form, annotate with Earlybird $990, and fax to the conference organisers. 


10 January 2013

Summer in Australia presents many difficulties for managing the transportation and storage of temperature-sensitive medicines (cold chain).

Some of the challenges faced by pharmacies include power outages resulting from summer storms, bushfires and other natural disasters.

Having a plan in place to deal with cold chain breaches is an important part of any pharmacy business plan and to provide guidance in this important area APF22 has for the first time included a detailed section on cold chain management.

Using the APF22 guidance, pharmacists are advised to review their written procedures for dealing with cold chain breaches and power failures.

The cold chain information is one of the features of APF22 which provides practical, current and evidence-based information which  can be used in the practice setting to quickly find information and guidance on many areas of pharmacy theory and practice, including:

* identifying drug-related issues
* making clinical judgments
* counselling consumers on the safe and effective use of their medicines
* preparing extemporaneous products or modified oral formulations

In addition to the cold chain management information, APF22 contains many new sections, including palliative care, opioid conversion and dose calculations in children.

The content of APF22 incorporates theory and best practice, developed and rigorously reviewed by a range of expert contributors and an editorial board chaired by Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom. 

APF22 can be ordered through www.psa.org.au/apf


9 January 2013


Former PSA Queensland President and National Councillor, Andrew Petrie, has been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree by The University of Queensland in recognition of his outstanding career and his contribution to pharmacy and healthcare at the state and national levels.

The award citation highlighted his involvement with the development of in-hospital teaching of pharmacy students and the establishment of the Queensland Poisons Information Centre.

National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said Dr Petrie was also recognised for his contribution to the establishment of clinical post graduate courses in Queensland and his acceptance of the principles of the National Medicines Policy within Queensland Health.

“In addition, his commitment to and participation in a range of committees and boards involved in policy development and pharmacy practice has been recognised,” Mr Kardachi said.

Mr Petrie said the award was a great honour and recognition of many people he had worked with over the years and he pointed to four principles he had found useful through his career.

“The first is that the pharmacist should be recognised as the expert on medicines and the second is that that everything is a poison; it is the dose that differentiates a poison from a medicine,” Dr Petrie said. 

“The third is to encourage ‘CPR’ in practice – meaning ‘Consistent, Persistent, and Resilient’;  and the fourth is the work of Professor Lloyd Sansom for his work in many areas, but particularly for driving national acceptance of the National Medicines Policy.’

Professor Lisa Nissen, president of the Queensland Branch of the PSA and an Honorary Professor at the University of Queensland said Dr Petrie had made an amazing contribution to the pharmacy profession in both Queensland and Australia.

“He has left an enduring stamp on the profession and is someone that has influenced many pharmacists in this country,” Dr Nissen said.

“He has been a great member of our profession.”

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