s PSA Media Releases for May 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 May 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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31 May 2010


The Pharmacy Australia Congress poster presentations last year were so well received and of such high standard that organisers are repeating the sessions which are sure to be a highlight of PAC10 and future congresses.

Posters are an important method of communicating pharmacy practice and research work and at PAC10 will be displayed in a designated area of the purpose-built Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

They also provide a unique opportunity for the presentation of ideas and concepts which may not otherwise be viewed by such a targeted audience.

To ensure PAC maintains the highest quality of poster presentations, abstracts are now being sought from researchers and practitioners within the field of pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical science.

The Congress Organising Committee is particularly interested in receiving submissions from practitioners who wish to share their own work without necessarily having undertaken structured research.

All abstracts must conform to the following requirements:

* a short title (up to 20 words)

* the authors’ names (*asterisk the presenting author)

* structured with the headings:

o Background

o Methods (or discussion in case of a practice pearl)

o Results

o Conclusions

* maximum length 250 words

* presenting author’s contact details including institution, address, email and telephone.

Special poster presentations sessions have been set aside during the middle of the day so delegates can attend without impacting on their other Congress attendances.

PAC10 is being held in Melbourne from 28-31 October this year, PAC10 will feature a range of pharmacy and business specialist speakers, workshops, social functions including the Welcome Reception being held on Thursday 28 October, a trade exhibition as well as other activities which will ensure there is something to interest and educate all delegates.

To register your abstract online go to www.pac10.com.au. Congress registrations and full details of PAC10 (including program) are also available at www.pac10.com.au


24 May 2010

The program and registration form for this year’s Pharmacy Australia Congress are now available on the congress website, www.pac10.com.au.

Interested pharmacists and others in the pharmacy profession are able to examine the program and then register online for the congress being held in Melbourne from 28-31 October this year. In addition, poster abstracts can also be made online with submissions closing on 29 July 2010.

PAC10 looks at the future of pharmacy in the context of the World Health Organisation’s declaration 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.

This is encapsulated in WHO’s ‘Seven Star Pharmacist’ principles which are the basis of the PAC10 theme.

A range of expert speakers will present on topics examining how this goal fits in with the Australian experience and how the profession can best prepare for the future in light of these principles.

The detailed concurrent clinical sessions and workshops, presented by experienced professionals, will complement the plenary sessions and further expand the knowledge and expertise of delegates who attend.

In addition, PAC10 will include 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.

A broad and entertaining social program also has been developed to help ensure the PAC10 experience is one to remember.

The social program will commence on Thursday, 28 October at 5.00pm with the PAC Welcome Reception.

To register or for more details, go to www.pac10.com.au


21 May 2010

Australia’s health system is under pressure from a variety of factors including an ageing population, increasing levels of chronic disease, health workforce shortages and concerns over the safety and quality of services, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia says.

The signing of the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement and recently released Government responses to several high-profile reports herald future changes to the health system and present challenges to the roles played by pharmacists and other health professionals.

National President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett, said that in light of these and other factors, there was a need to take stock of where the pharmacy profession is now and where the profession wants to head. The first step in this process is the PSA’s Issues Paper on the Future of Pharmacy.

Launching Issues Paper on the Future of Pharmacy, Mr Plunkett said it identified the emerging issues for pharmacy and was intended to stimulate debate regarding the challenges and opportunities facing Australian pharmacy.

“This is a PSA-led, all of the pharmacy industry consultative process that is designed to result in a White Paper for the Pharmacy Profession in 2011, which will articulate a vision for pharmacy in Australia and help to shape discussion around the future directions for the profession,” he said.

“Some of the issues we will need to examine are change and change management, remuneration, the workforce and health reform processes to name but a few.

“The changes and challenges for pharmacy are not unique to Australia and other countries have similarly sought to establish a vision for the future of pharmacy which will undoubtedly have some lessons for the Australian experience.”

Mr Plunkett urged stakeholders and interested parties to participate in the consultative process.

“It is critical for all sections of pharmacy to provide input so that we can achieve the optimal outcomes from this paper, a paper that will benefit greatly through the contribution of the broadest possible range of views and suggestions,” Mr Plunkett said.

“Change is coming whether we like it or not. Resisting the inevitable is not an option and to try to do so is not what we expect of a mature profession that is ready to grasp the challenges of a reforming health system.”

19 May 2010

Proposals by the Coalition to abolish eHealth measures if it wins Government would be detrimental to the health of Australian consumers, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia says.

The Shadow Minister for Finance and Debt Reduction, Andrew Robb, said today that a Coalition government would scrap the planned $467 million eHealth strategy.

However, National President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett, urged the Coalition to think beyond politics when making health policy.

“There is no doubt that the development of the eHealth policy has been overly expensive and its implementation delayed far too long but at this stage it would be unwise to simply abolish this strategy,” Mr Plunkett said.

“Every single day Australians use electronic means to access their sensitive financial and banking details and there is no reason why we can’t do the same with our health records.

“The security and privacy will be assured because of the technology to be used and the robust protocols involved.

“The reality is that eHealth is the missing link in enabling genuine collaborative primary health-care teams to work effectively and improve the wellbeing of all Australians.

“It will give pharmacists access to essential patient health information to allow better outcomes to be delivered by the pharmacy profession. Through eHealth, the delivery of e-prescribing is now within our grasp with little additional investment required.

“We have already had far too many delays in the introduction of eHealth and any further delays are unacceptable.”

Mr Plunkett said one benefit of eHealth records was that it would help primary health-care teams to provide the best possible service for patients by allowing attending heath professional access to common information. It is important to note that under current plans, access to information in the e-health record is at all times under the control of the patient.

“The increased use of collaborative primary-health care teams is vital to the sustainability of Australia’s health care system. eHealth is the way of the future and the way that patients will receive the best and most cost-effective health care available,” Mr Plunkett said

“This issue is far too important for politicians to play politics with. It’s about patients, not politics. Rather than abolish this worthwhile initiative, the Opposition should be thinking of ways to make it even better.”


14 May 2010


The Practice Change Program is offering education and training sessions to support pharmacists as they navigate the changing communication needs in community pharmacy.

As the scope of community pharmacy broadens, there are increasing opportunities for pharmacists to provide professional services to the community. Effective communication is essential to the delivery of these services, and to building cooperative and collaborative relationships with patients and other health care professionals, including general practitioners.

The aim of this training course is to enhance and increase the knowledge and confidence of community pharmacists in the area of communication, people and interaction skills. Pharmacists will also practicably cover the topics of understanding others, building relationships, managing conflict and negotiation skills.

The training sessions will be given by Wendy Poyser from syncHRonicity and Gabriella Horak from Facilitrain. Wendy has extensive experience in the area of business management and human resources, and teaches pharmacy management and business skills in the pharmacy school at the University of Sydney. Gabriella has many years experience in the corporate training sector, designing and delivering programs in communication, interpersonal and negotiation skills.

In most states and territories the course will be run over two sessions, each of 2.5 hours duration. Sessions begin at the end of May. Attendance is free for all courses run before 30 June 2010.

The Practice Change Program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing as part of the Fourth Community Pharmacy Agreement, and managed by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia with the support of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

To register please contact Celia Hui at practice.support@psa.org.au or on 029431 1114.

Western Australia: Sunday 30 May (Perth)

New South Wales: Monday 31 May & 7 June (Newcastle)

Wednesday 2 & 9 June (Wollongong)

ACT: Sunday 6 June - all day (Canberra)

Queensland: Tuesday 15 & 22 June (Brisbane) Wednesday 16 & 23 June (Gold Coast)

Tasmania: Thursday 17 & 24 June (Hobart)

Victoria: Tuesday 15 & Wednesday 16 June (Melbourne) Thursday 17 & 24 June (Melbourne)

South Australia: Tuesday 22 & Wednesday 23 June (Adelaide)


11 May 2010

The Federal Budget is a good one for pharmacy with details of the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement showing total funding of $15.4 billion over the five years, up from $11.6 billion in the Fourth Agreement, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia says.

Importantly this now includes $660 million for professional services.

National President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett, said the increased funding has primarily been allocated to patient-focussed professional programs and is a direct result of representations made by PSA.

“PSA had a series of meetings with the Minister’s Office and the Department of Health and Ageing. As a result, some 4CPA programs have been retained after public indications they would be discontinued. Some new professional programs were also introduced which will prove a fillip for the profession and consumers,” he said.

“This funding represents a 17 per cent increase on the previous Agreement and includes new programs such as clinical interventions, medication continuance, medicines use reviews, staged supply of medicines and supply and PBS-claiming from medication charts in aged care facilities.”

Mr Plunkett said the inclusion of sustainable clinical interventions through pharmacy in the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement was a great step forward in the implementation of a preventive health strategy in Australia.

Mr Plunkett said the Government had recognised and seized the opportunities that lie under the umbrella of professional health services which PSA has long said are pivotal to the Government’s commitment to an integrated health-care system with an emphasis on primary and preventive health.

PSA also welcomed the implementation of recommendations from the primary and preventive health reports delivered to the Government last year, but would like to see provision for pharmacists to be integrated into the primary health-care team.

In addition, the funding commitment of $467 million to implement personally controlled electronic health records was welcomed.

“PSA welcomes this positive start to the development of an integrated health-care system and looks forward to working further with the Government to ensure its success,” Mr Plunkett said.

“We look forward to working with the Government to develop and implement governance arrangements to ensure the programs are implemented and managed to their full potential.”


10 May 2010

The announcement of a Programs Reference Group (PRG) to provide advice on the policy dimensions of new and continuing professional programs under the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement has been welcomed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

The PRG is designed to ensure there is wider input into professional programs and to provide a structured capacity to enable stakeholder views to be taken into consideration.

The PRG, which replaces the Fourth Agreement’s Professional Programs and Services Advisory Committee (PPSAC), also will provide advice to the Minister and the Agreement Consultative Committee (ACC).

Acting National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said the establishment of the new group with broader reference criteria was a positive for 5CPA.

“It is clear 5CPA is a major part of the Government’s broader health reform agenda which incorporates a far more integrated health system,” Mr Kardachi said.

“The PRG will enable greater liaison between the health sector, Government and the community with the aim of improving the wellbeing of consumers.

“We have yet to see the terms of reference for the group, and how it will interact with the Agreement Consultative Committee, but at first glance it seems to be a very constructive development which promises positive outcomes.”

Mr Kardachi said that governance of programs under 5CPA was an issue which had to be addressed following the identification of some shortcomings in governance procedures under 4CPA.

“The PSA considers that the programs delivered and still being delivered under 4CPA were adversely affected by the governance arrangements, such as late contract agreements,” he said.

“We are confident that given the right tools and resources, the PRG will facilitate delivery of 5CPA programs in the most efficacious and cost-effective manner.

“It is important the PRG focuses on ensuring patients receive the best possible outcomes from professional services delivered in this Agreement.

“PSA looks forward to using its position on PRG to ensure 5CPA programs are given the chance to make a real difference to the health of Australians.”


5 May 2010


The Chief Executive Officer of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Bryan Stevens, has announced his resignation.

Mr Stevens has led the PSA through the complex process of unification.
Acting National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said Mr Stevens had come to the PSA at a difficult time for the Society.

“Bryan came to PSA at a time when we had to be brought together into a single unified body, rather than the State and Territory-based organisation we had been,” Mr Kardachi said.

“This was a complicated and difficult process, and one which Bryan has thoughtfully and successfully implemented with the result that today PSA is a unified body which is stronger than it has ever been.”

Mr Kardachi said Mr Stevens’ leadership had also seen PSA develop into a strong and highly respected voice of pharmacy.

“PSA is now a strong advocate for the profession and has gained a reputation for delivering credible and pragmatic advice and solutions.This was reflected in Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement signed this week which, following representations form PSA, now includes a strong emphasis on professional programs.
“On behalf of the Board of PSA I thank Bryan for his dedication, enthusiasm and commitment in helping to make the PSA the organisation it is today.”

Mr Stevens said a lot had been achieved in the unification of the PSA over the past two years and some more initiatives will be undertaken over the next few months in order to ensure that the PSA is a highly relevant, effective and influential organisation.

“This is due to the outstanding efforts of staff and officials at PSA and I look forward to working with them for the remainder of my time as CEO.”

Mr Stevens said his resignation was to take effect on Tuesday, 5 October.

3 May 2010


The announcement of an increased emphasis on professional programs and services in the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement has been welcomed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

Policy details of the new Agreement-in-principle were announced by Health and Ageing Minister Nicola Roxon today.

Acting National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said the Minister’s statement recognised the value of professional services provided by pharmacy in improving and maintaining the wellbeing of consumers.

“While funding details are yet to be revealed, the continuation of many programs from the Fourth Community Pharmacy Agreement, and the introduction of a range of new programs such as clinical interventions and Medicines Use Reviews under the new agreement is a very positive development,” Mr Kardachi said.

“It is critical that the funding for these programs is sufficient to provide an incentive for greater uptake by pharmacists, which in turn will ensure the programs are sustainable. This will see a greater involvement by pharmacists in primary and preventive care in Australia, both areas which are pivotal to the Government’s health reform process.”

PSA particularly welcomes the new Practice Payment Incentive program that will require pharmacists to meet measurable targets and outcomes in order to qualify for payments.

“This agreement is aimed at optimising the quality of service available through pharmacy and PSA is pleased to see that a new Patient Service Charter will be developed to be displayed by pharmacists so that consumers are better able to make the best use of the pharmacists’ professional knowledge and skills,” Mr Kardachi said.

Mr Kardachi said that under the previous Agreement, shortcomings in governance had become evident in the implementation and oversight of some professional programs.

“With the increased focus on professional programs under the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement, PSA urges that a process be put in place from the beginning of the Agreement to ensure good governance of all programs,” Mr Kardachi said.
“PSA looks forward to working with the Government to help develop, implement and manage these governance arrangements so that the professional programs are able to reach their full potential and improve patient outcomes.

“Early public details of the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement concerned PSA because the emphasis on professional programs appeared to be inadequate. PSA has been most concerned to ensure that a range of sustainably funded professional programs form a core component of the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement. PSA welcomes today’s announcement which shows these concerns appear to have been acted upon.”



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