s PSA media releases March 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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Recent Comments

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News Flash

Newsflash Updates for July 2014

Newsflash Updates

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

Comments: 1

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Feature Contribution

Woolworths Pharmacy - Getting One Stage Closer

Neil Johnston

It started with “tablet” computers deployed on shelves inside the retailer Coles, specifically to provide information to consumers relating to pain management and the sale of strong analgesics.
This development was reported in i2P under the title Coles Pharmacy Expansion and the Arid PGA Landscape”
In that article we reported that qualified information was a missing link that had come out of Coles market research as the reason to why it had not succeeded in dominating the pain market.
Of course, Woolworths was working on the same problem at the same time and had come up with a better solution - real people with good information.

Comments: 5

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Intensive Exposition without crossing over with a supermarket

Fiona Sartoretto Verna AIAPP

Editor's Note: The understanding of a pharmacy's presentation through the research that goes into the design of fixtures and fittings that highlight displays, is a never-ending component of pharmacy marketing.
Over the past decade, Australian pharmacy shop presentations have fallen behind in standards of excellence.
It does not take rocket science - you just have to open your eyes.
Recently, our two major supermarkets, Woolworths and Coles, have entered into the field of drug and condition information provision - right into the heartland of Australian Pharmacy.

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The sure way to drive business away

Gerald Quigley

I attended the Pregnancy, Baby and Children’s Expo in Brisbane recently.
What an eye and ear opening event that was!
Young Mums, mature Mums, partners of all ages, grandparents and friends……...many asking about health issues and seeking reassurances that they were doing the right thing.

Comments: 1

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‘Marketing Based Medicine’ – how bad is it?

Baz Bardoe

It should be the scandal of the century.
It potentially affects the health of almost everyone.
Healthcare providers and consumers alike should be up in arms. But apart from coverage in a few credible news sources the problem of ‘Marketing Based Medicine,’ as psychiatrist Dr Peter Parry terms it, hasn’t as yet generated the kind of universal outrage one might expect.

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Community Pharmacy Research - Are You Involved?

Mark Coleman

Government funding is always scarce and restricted.
If you are ever going to be a recipient of government funds you will need to fortify any application with evidence.
From a government perspective, this minimises risk.
I must admit that while I see evidence of research projects being managed by the PGA, I rarely see community pharmacists individually and actively engaged in the type of research that would further their own aims and objectives (and survival).

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Organisational Amnesia and the Lack of a Curator Inhibits Cultural Progress

Neil Johnston

Most of us leave a tremendous impact on pharmacies we work for (as proprietors, managers, contractors or employees)—in ways we’re not even aware of.
But organisational memories are often all too short, and without a central way to record that impact and capture the knowledge and individual contributions, they become lost to time.
It is ironic that technology has provided us with phenomenal tools for communication and connection, but much of it has also sped up our work lives and made knowledge and memory at work much more ephemeral.

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Academics on the payroll: the advertising you don't see

Staff Writer

This article was first published in The Conversation and was written by Wendy Lipworth, University of Sydney and Ian Kerridge, University of Sydney
In the endless drive to get people’s attention, advertising is going ‘native’, creeping in to places formerly reserved for editorial content. In this Native Advertising series we find out what it looks like, if readers can tell the difference, and more importantly, whether they care.
i2P has republished the article as it supports our own independent and ongoing investigations on how drug companies are involved in marketing-based medicine rather than evidence-based medicine.

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I’ve been thinking about admitting wrong.

Mark Neuenschwander

Editor's Note: This is an early article by Mark Neuenschwander we have republished after the soul-searching surrounding a recent Australian dispensing error involving methotrexate.
Hmm. There’s more than one way you could take that, huh? Like Someday when I get around to it (I’m not sure) I may admit that I was wrong about something. Actually, I’ve been thinking about the concept of admitting wrong. So don’t get your hopes up. No juicy confessions this month except that I wish it were easier for me to admit when I have been wrong or made a mistake.
Brian Goldman, an ER physician from Toronto, is host of the award-winning White Coat, Black Art on CBC Radio and slated to deliver the keynote at The unSUMMIT for Bedside Barcoding in Anaheim this May. His TED lecture, entitled, “Doctors make mistakes. Can we talk about it?” had already been viewed by 386,072 others before I watched it last week.

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Dispensing errors – a ripple effect of damage

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

Most readers will be aware of recent publicity relating to dispensing errors and in particular to deaths caused by methotrexate being incorrectly packed in dose administration aids.
The Pharmacy Board of Australia (PBA), in its Communique of 13 June 2014, described a methotrexate packing error leading to the death of a patient and noted “extra vigilance is required to be exercised by pharmacists with these drugs”.
This same case was reported by A Current Affair (ACA) in its program on Friday 20 June

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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 March 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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23 March 2010

The health debate between Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was primarily about addressing the health of the system, and not the health of Australians, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia says.

National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Warwick Plunkett, said the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott both focussed on funding and neither made any mention of the most accessible health-care professionals in Australia - pharmacists.

Mr Plunkett said it was clear that both parties were doctor and hospital-centric in their view of the health-care system.

Pharmacy provides huge opportunities for the health-care system, Mr Plunkett said, and any reform process that does not utilise the pharmacy profession is ignoring one of the greatest resources and assets within the system.

“We have had Government reports urging greater emphasis on primary health care and preventive health, both of which are areas where pharmacy is uniquely positioned to play a critical role,” Mr Plunkett said.

“The primary health-care team was not mentioned.  When does the Government propose to seriously focus on this crucial aspect of health care?” Mr Plunkett said.

“Certainly hospital reform is a huge component of the reform of the health system, but it is not the only component.  There are many other areas of the system which can contribute to helping the Government meet its objectives, and prime among these is pharmacy.”

Mr Plunkett said community pharmacy provides a range of professional services that help to combat some of the pressing health issues facing Australia today, including smoking cessation, diabetes and obesity.

Recognising the need for greater emphasis on preventive health, PSA has made a Budget submission in which it urges the Government to look more closely at increasing the range of professional services available through pharmacy with a view to cutting costs across the board and ensuring the sustainability of the health-care system.

“Utilising the skills and services of community pharmacies, which are the most accessible health-care professionals in Australia with a network extending across Australia, must be one of the main planks in any health policy,” Mr Plunkett said.

22 March 2010

The current health-care debate has highlighted the role of pharmacists as primary health-care providers and key to developing and implementing preventive health measures pivotal to the wellbeing of all Australians.

The Pharmaceutical Society Australia’s Pharmacy Self Care program has been a leader in both fields for more than 23 years and is continually revising and updating the program to meet current and developing needs. 

As Australia’s most successful – and longest running – professional support program in Australia, the program provides the public with authentic, authoritative and unbiased health-care information to empower consumers to make the right health-care choices and to improve their overall health literacy.

PSC has a range of tools and resources to help consumers take control of their health and improve their wellbeing, including Fact Cards which are written in an easy-to-read consumer friendly way designed to improve health literacy and give consumers appropriate information on which to base their health decisions.

More than 85 of the most-frequently-asked-about health topics are covered by the program's Fact Card health information system across 14 categories — each of which is designed to provide essential information for customers.

To ensure the program is kept up to date and relevant, staff at Self Care member pharmacies participate in regular ongoing training so they are best able to provide up-to-date and appropriate health information.

Self Care pharmacies also actively participate in regular health promotion activities which lift the profile of the pharmacy while providing topical information, advice and raising consumer awareness of current health issues.

One of the factors that makes the Self Care program stand above any others is that Self Care education is peer-reviewed and evidence-based, as well as being health condition-focused rather than product specific. 

With more than 1600 pharmacies participating, a Self Care member pharmacy is never too far away and locations can be found by logging on to the pharmacy finder under Pharmacy Self Care at www.psa.org.au

16 March 2010

The Government’s announcement of a substantial boost in GP training places, specialist training places and pre-vocational general practice placements for medical graduates is a welcome development, but other health professions need similar support, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia says.

National President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett, said that in moving to the Government’s preferred primary health-care team model, it was important the difficulties facing the other professions in the primary health-care team were also recognised and acted upon.

“The decision to boost the ranks of doctors and encourage people to become GPs is a very positive first step in improving the health-care scheme and indeed in implementing the health-care reforms which are the basis of the Government’s agenda,” Mr Plunkett said.

“But other professions, like pharmacy, which are similarly pivotal to the primary health-care team, must not be forgotten.

“There also needs to be a focus given to the needs of these professions so that the effectiveness and sustainability of the primary health-care team model is assured.

“Pharmacy, for example, needs additional Government support to not only attract pharmacists to rural and regional areas but also to ensure that when they get there they are able to operate effectively in the best interests of health consumers.

“The very unique needs of pharmacists in these areas must be recognised and acted upon by the Government.”

Mr Plunkett said there were other areas which the Government needed to address, including facilitating clinical placements for pharmacists.

“We need to take action now so that all health professions are properly equipped to assist in the implementation of the Government’s health reform initiatives and to improve health outcomes for our patients.”

9 March 2010

The second edition of Case Studies in Practice: Medication Review (the ‘Blue Book’) written by Tim Chen, Rebekah Moles, Prasad Nishtala and Ben Basger is now available through the PSA’s Pharmacy Bookzone.

 The textbook has been completely rewritten and updated with new case studies and index. 

The ‘Blue Book’ is a must for anyone involved in Home Medicine Reviews or even for those who are just thinking about becoming an accredited consultant pharmacist.

The ‘Blue Book’ recognises that the best way to understand the value of medication reviews is through the investigation of actual cases. 

The authors have selected a wide variety of cases to help pharmacists gain an understanding of the complexity of the medication issues involved in a wide variety of different situations and circumstances.

Through reading of actual cases, pharmacists are taught a great deal about medicines, how they work, what they are used for and how pharmacists can help to gain the best possible outcomes for patients.

Study of the ‘Blue Book’ gives pharmacists added investigative and problem-solving skills which can be utilised in the examination of the broader view of why the medicine is needed, how long it should be taken and any evidence of adverse effects.

The ‘Blue Book” is available to PSA members for $80, or to non members for $120.

Go to the Books and Products section at the PSA website (www.psa.org.au) for further details.

9 March 2010

There is still time to register for the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s 2010 Annual Offshore Conference being held in Beijing and Shanghai from 28 April to 7 May 2010.

Conference Chairman Warwick Plunkett said the venue for the 2010 conference is particularly exciting and the conference will feature a diverse range of expert speakers

“A special attraction of the Offshore Conference is the calibre of presentations and the quality of speakers, and the 2010 conference is no exception,” Mr Plunkett said.

“The program this year has been designed with a focus on respiratory, rheumatology and business management.

“There also will be sessions on therapeutic updates which traditionally have been one of the drawcards of this educational event.

 “The Offshore Conference gives pharmacists the opportunity to be brought up to date on issues that affect them clinically and in their business operations.”

Mr Plunkett said of particular interest at this year’s Offshore Conference will be updates on the likely professional and business impacts from the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement.

“All of this is taking place against the backdrop of one of the most exciting countries in the world,” he said.

 “China’s culture and tradition have long been drawcards and its natural wonders are as diverse as they are splendid.

 “The conference program has been structured to enable delegates to get their most out of their visit to China.

“Excursions to the Great Wall of China, the Bund in Shanghai, the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xian and the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River are all included in the program. 

“A special feature will be a dinner in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.” 

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

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

5 March 2010

 A clinical weekend on the subject of Reproductive Health: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly will be held at Lorne, Victoria, on March 20-21.

 The extensive program for the clinical weekend will include evidence-based information on broader issues of sexual and reproductive health including: 

  • sexually transmissible infections
  • contraception
  • conception and
  • pre/post natal care

Leading clinicians from their various fields of expertise have been invited to present the latest clinical information and advice. 

In addition, group workshops facilitated by experts in the areas will complement the presentations, combining to provide a satisfying and interactive professional development experience. 

A highlight of the weekend will be a presentation by internationally acclaimed IVF expert, Professor Gabor Kovacs AM, the Monash IVF International Medical Director.

Professor Kovacs is a sub specialist in reproductive gynaecology and has been a pioneer of the Monash IVF team since his return from postgraduate training in Britain in 1978.

He has been President of The Fertility Society of Australia, Family Planning Australia, Family Planning Victoria, and Chairman of The IVF Directors' Group of Australia. He was a Councillor of the College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology for six years, and chaired its Continuing Education and Women's Health Committees. He is a director of ACCESS, Australia's national infertility network.

He also is professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Monash University and has published more than 130 scientific papers, more than 30 chapters in textbooks, and has written five books for the public and edited four textbooks.

Other speakers at the clinic will include: 

  • Dr Olga Vujovic, Infectious Disease Physician, Victorian HIV Consultancy
  • Dr Terri Foran, Sexual Health Physician, President of the NSW Sexual Health


  • Ms Molika In, QUM Pharmacist, Royal Women’s Hospital
  • Joey Calandra, Pharmacist 

An added attraction of the weekend is that it is being held in Lorne, just two hours’ drive from Melbourne.  Set amongst the of Lorne’s Cumberland Resort, the venue offers an ideal seaside location especially designed to make the most of its Great Ocean Road setting. PSA has negotiated a special conference rate for delegates with Cumberland Resort, but only limited rooms are available.

4 March 2010

The first phase of a swine flu vaccination program trial conducted in Tasmania by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Department of Health and Human Services has proved popular with the community.  Phase II of the pandemic vaccination program will now be rolled out to allow pharmacy-based clinics to support other elements of the swine flu vaccination program.

During Phase I last month, more than 2500 patients were vaccinated at five pharmacies by nurse immunisers in just one week.

President of the PSA Tasmanian Branch Dr Shane Jackson said the trial clearly demonstrated the value of pharmacies being used as locations for swine flu vaccination clinics.

“Patient feedback from Phase I showed that many respondents said that ‘ease of access’ was a key benefit of pharmacy-based clinics.  Many patients with chronic illness frequent pharmacies and the pilot program allowed them to have a swine flu vaccination in the normal course of their day,” Dr Jackson said.

“This meant a greater number of people received vaccinations than would otherwise have been the case.

“Most patients were able to walk into the pharmacy and have a vaccination without having to wait around for appointments, although based on feedback an appointment schedule will be employed for Phase II.”

Phase II of the trial will run Thursday March 25 to Saturday March 27 in the five original participating pharmacies.  From Thursday April 8 to Saturday April 10 it will be rolled out to a limited number of additional pharmacies based on need and existing local service capacity.

“During Phase II the vaccination clinics will be clustered around after-school hours and weekends which proved to be the most popular times for patients to have their vaccinations during Phase I,” Dr Jackson said.

Suitable pharmacy locations will have a private clinic room, a patient waiting area, and the ability to employ a (program funded) staff member to manage clinic appointments.

The DHHS and the Pharmaceutical Society will be seeking eligible pharmacies located in areas where there has been a low uptake of swine flu vaccinations such as the North-West Coast, the North East and the West Coast of Tasmania for Phase II.

4 March 2010

The Government’s new hospital funding package is a welcome first step in the health reform process, but will be better served when complemented through implementation of  a preventive health strategy to help minimise hospitalisations, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia says.

National President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett, said the Government’s announcement that it will take full policy and funding responsibility for GP and primary health-care services in Australia is promising but there should be a more integrated approach which is focussed on reducing the need for hospitalisations. 

“The Government is rightly looking at ways to ensure the health system in Australia remains sustainable in the face of a growing ageing population and increased incidence of chronic disease,” Mr Plunkett said.

“But PSA believes the announced approach does not adequately look at preventing illness and maintaining the wellbeing of consumers to try to avoid hospital admissions. Hospital admissions should always be regarded as measures of last resort and there are significant opportunities in the Government’s strategy for pharmacy to provide professional services aimed at helping to prevent hospitalisations. We know that 30% of all hospital admissions of the elderly come from medicine-related problems – more than half of which are preventable by pharmacist intervention.

“PSA advocates increased emphasis on self care and professional services by Pharmacy as part of the primary health-care team.

“For its part, the provision of professional services by pharmacy is fundamental to the successful and sustainable implementation of an efficient and workable preventive health system in Australia.

“The infrastructure of community pharmacy is in place and available to ensure the preventive health measures the Government decides upon can be implemented quickly and efficiently across the whole country.”

Mr Plunkett said PSA notes the Government’s announcement is focussed on doctors and is very hospital-centric which seemingly sidelines the Government’s own views that the health system has to be more holistic and adopt a multi-disciplinary approach.

“For example, funding of training for health professionals and the Rural Incentive Scheme should include pharmacists,” Mr Plunkett said.

“There may also the danger of added bureaucracy being built into the system under the funding package and PSA would urge the Government to ensure its new measures for federal policy are indeed practical for regional implementation. The governance arrangements must enable cost-effective delivery of services.”

1 March 2010

Stroke is Australia’s second single greatest killer after coronary heart disease and a leading cause of disability, according to the Stroke Foundation of Australia.

 The statistics also show that in 2010, about 60,000 Australians will suffer new and recurrent strokes – that’s one stroke every 10 minutes – and 1-in-5 people having a first stroke die within one month and 1-in-3 die within a year. About 50 per cent of survivors are left with a permanent physical disability.

 Compounding the problem is Australia’s growing ageing population which means the number of strokes will increase each year unless something is done to reduce the incidence rate.

 ‘Stroke - prevention and treatment’ will be a major presentation at the upcoming Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s 2010 Annual Offshore Conference in Beijing from 28 April to 7 May.

 Presented by Professor Peter Carroll, the session will look at the differences between ischaemic stroke, haemorrhagic stroke and transient ischaemic attacks will be highlighted.

 Professor Carroll will also detail the medications and other strategies used in the primary and secondary prevention stroke. The role of atrial fibrillation in stroke also will be discussed.

Professor Carroll is a well-known presenter at the Offshore Conference and has been Education Director of the event for the past 16 years.

He is Honorary Professor, School of Medical Sciences, Discipline of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney. 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.

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


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