s PSA Media Releases for September 2012 | I2P: Information to Pharmacists - Archive
Publication Date 01/07/2014         Volume. 6 No. 6   
Information to Pharmacists

Editorial

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
http://aca.ninemsn.com.au/article/8863098/prescription-drug-warning

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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 September 2012

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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25 September 2012

ADVICE FOR ECPS LOOKING TO BE PHARMACY OWNERS

Early Career Pharmacists looking to fulfil a dream of owning a community pharmacy can get some useful pointers and advice at this year's Early Career Pharmacist Breakfast being held as part of PAC12.

Simon Carroll, a practising pharmacist for 25 years, pharmacy owner for 15 years and now Senior Professional Practice Pharmacist at PSA,   will speak on the subject of Hurdles to be addressed when considering ownership during which he will address the findings from a recent survey of PSA Early Career Pharmacists   that highlighted concerns and issues relevant to pharmacists aspiring to pharmacy ownership. 

Approximately 50 per cent of ECPs who responded to the survey expressed an interest and ambition of owning a pharmacy at some stage in their career. 

All respondent's raised concerns around ownership, with several common themes emerging. 

Drawing on Mr Carroll's personal experience and qualifications, combined with commonsense business principles; participants will interactively discuss issues such as the financial cost of buying a pharmacy, management experience/inexperience, marketplace competition and deregulation. 

In addition models of ownership will be explored with the pros and cons and potential pitfalls elaborated upon. 

For many pharmacists a first venture sole ownership is a rare occurrence because of the cost of buying a pharmacy business, the tightening of credit by major lenders and the lack of opportunity to be a "player" in a pharmacy sale transaction. 

There are alternatives to sole ownership and as with any investment it is wise to enter with your eyes as wide open as possible.  If you are considering ownership this session is not to be missed.

Also at the session, pharmacist and lecturer Bill Suen will expand on the subject by presenting on What are some of the other options for my career.

The ECP  Breakfast will be held on Saturday 20 October from 7.8.30 and will attract 1.5 group 2 CDS credits.

PAC12 will be held at the Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre from Friday 19 October 2012 to Sunday 21 October 2012.

Full program information, CPD allocation and online registration is available at www.psa.org.au/pac

18 September 2012

THE SUSTAINABILITY OF THE SUPPLY CHAIN - LESSONS FROM THE EU

Recent developments in Australia's pharmacy supply chain model have raised concerns about margins and sustainability in community pharmacies.

Australia's concerns are not isolated, and recent developments across Europe have underscored   some of the issues being raised in this country.

The European experience will be the subject of a presentation by keynote speaker John Chave, Secretary General of the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union which represents community pharmacists in 32 European countries, who will speak on the topic of How secure is the supply chain during one of the new business and management stream sessions on Saturday, October 20 from 1:15pm to 2:45pm, on the topic of Have you got what you need?

Mr Chave will address the issues of increased use of generics, reduced margins, the redirecting of supply chains, mail order and online pharmacies "all of which are having a major impact on traditional supply chains."

"In recent years, Europe has seen a number of evolutions in the supply chain which have raised questions over its future sustainability," Mr Chave said.

"These include the implementation of policies to increase the uptake of generics and reduce generics prices, including tendering of generics; the increased distribution of some medicines from secondary care settings rather than community pharmacies; the increased availability of medicines from internet or mail order sources; and the adoption of direct to pharmacy distribution schemes and /or the imposition of market quotas by the pharmaceutical industry.

"Negative consequences for pharmacies have been seen in terms of declining revenues, difficulties in sourcing some medicines because of shortages and increased administration time and costs.

The presentation will explain the ˜state of play" of the European supply chain, the impact of recent changes on community pharmacy, and the prospects for the future.

Mr Chave's presentation will complement those  of Norman Thurecht who will look at The financial impact of generic pricing reforms, and Bruce Annabel who will present on Getting the product mix right.

PAC12   will be held at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre from Friday 19 October 2012 to Sunday 21 October 2012. Full program information and online registration is available at www.psa.org.au/pac

 

17 September 2012

PSA's CPExpo returns in 2013

The PSA's Clinical & Practice Expo will return to the Hordern Pavillion, Moore Park (Sydney) from 31 May to 2 June 2013.  The announcement was made by NSW President John Bronger OAM at a launch for pharmaceutical industry and media representatives on Friday, 14 September at Woolwich.

In making the announcement Mr Bronger said, “Following the overwhelming success of Clinical and Practice Expo 2012 (CPExpo) earlier this year I am proud that the PSA will present yet another clinical and practice focused conference of unparalleled quality in 2013.

In excess of 1300 individuals attended CPExpo 2012 which featured 84 professional development workshops and presentations, 55 expert presenters and integrated learning space with 12 patient support groups and more than 40 pharmaceutical companies.

"CPExpo's format proved to be particularly useful for pharmacists and exhibitors and have resulted in huge demand for the event to be repeated next year. We will build on the strengths of the first CPExpo so it continues to deliver on its promise of ˜Connecting practice to patient outcomes," he said.

Professor Charlie Benrimoj, Chair of the CPExpo Committee, said that CPExpo will be bigger and better than this year, and would be targeted at the changing needs of pharmacists throughout Australia.

"The focus on the quality use of medicines, therapeutic updates, clinical and professional services will be maintained and built upon," he said.

"CPExpo will continue to offer a fully comprehensive clinical education program while continuing to provide an enhanced interactive and integrated learning space."

Professor Benrimoj said the interactive and integrated learning space would provide those attending CPExpo the opportunity to build on the educational and practice experience through engagement with patient support groups, community and public health organisations.

"Delegates will also have great access to interact with the medical information and pharmacovigilance departments of major pharmaceutical companies,” Professor Benrimoj said.

"CPExpo is a dynamic response to the changing and expanding needs of PSA members and the profession."

14 September 2012

PSA, INDONESIAN PHARMACISTS ASSOCIATION IN STRATEGIC ALLIANCE

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Indonesian Pharmacists Association (IAI) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop a framework for commitment and cooperation to support the work of both organisations in serving their members.

The MoU will also strengthen the communication, liaison, collaboration and cooperation between the IAI and PSA in policy development, education and training, political action, and commercial arrangements where there is mutual benefit.

Signing the MoU on behalf of the PSA, National Board member John Jackson said success of the alliance would be characterised by cooperation, communication, responsiveness, transparency, and close planning on any joint projects between the two organisations.

"The MoU is the expression of a spirit of cooperation," Mr Jackson said.

"There are some clear similarities of purpose between the IAI and the PSA. Both are non-partisan organisations that represent the professional interests and aspirations of their respective pharmacist memberships.

"In working towards successful outcomes for the respective members of both organisations and for the health consumer, there are potential mutual benefits and increased possibilities of successful outcomes in the two organisations working together collaboratively and cooperatively.

"Key to the work of both IAI and PSA is the relationship with members.

"Offerings of value that add to both memberships are key to delivering sustainable services that enhance the role of pharmacists in the delivery of quality use of medicines, consumer health outcomes, and attracting new members."

Mr Jackson said the MoU would also promote collaborative arrangements and exchange of information on specific, mutually agreed issues, as well as on the promotion of the major events and conferences of both organisations.

"This is an exciting strategic alliance between our two organisations which will see benefits for the nearly 30,000 members the two organsiations represent," Mr Jackson said.

 

13 September 2012

R U OK?DAY HIGHLIGHTS ROLE PHARMACISTS CAN PLAY IN MENTAL HEALTH

The pivotal role pharmacists can play in helping people with mental health conditions is one of the areas being highlighted with the national awareness campaign being conducted today.

Today is national R U OK?Day, a mental health initiative dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of connection and encouraging people to reach out to each other.

National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Grant Kardachi, said pharmacists, because of their accessibility and ability to communicate with patients, were often the first health professionals people suffering from mental health conditions came into contact with.

"Community pharmacists are in a position to notice symptoms of mental health problems in consumers, and to then offer advice and refer them for further consultation when needed", Mr Kardachi said.

"We are also closely involved in the day-to-day management of these patients.
Every day, pharmacists across Australia interact with people who suffer from psychological or mental health problems and therefore we are in the prime position to help and advise this group of patients."

"As it is R U OK?Day  today, the PSA encourages pharmacists to ask consumers they are concerned about ˜r u ok" as part of this important initiative."

Mr Kardachi said the PSA was in the final stages of developing a Framework for pharmacists as partners in the mental health care team which would detail the services provided by pharmacists in the delivery of mental health care as well as defining future opportunities. 

These can be broadly categorised under four phases “health promotion, early detection and intervention, minimising illness and maximising recovery", Mr Kardachi said. "In addition, the framework will explore some of the main barriers and enablers to pharmacists becoming partners in the mental health care team."

Mr Kardachi said the development of the overarching framework was the first stage of a larger project being undertaken by the PSA to integrate pharmacists' skills into contemporary standards of mental health care and consolidate the synergistic and unique roles of pharmacists in the mental health care team.

"The wide-ranging skills and knowledge of pharmacists need to be better utilised in the national health-care system so as to provide better outcomes for patients suffering mental health conditions", he said.

 

7 September 2012

PSA MoU WITH SEXUAL HEALTH AND FAMILY PLANNING AUSTRALIA

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and Sexual Health and Family Planning Australia (SH&FPA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding which will see pharmacists receive special training in the provision of emergency contraception through community pharmacies.

National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said the MoU established a solid framework for commitment and ongoing co-operation between the two national organisations.

“Sexual and reproductive health and rights are important issues and often the pharmacist is the first health professional a person talks  to in regard to such matters,” Mr Kardachi said.

“This agreement establishes a basis for a nationally coordinated and structured approach to the provision of sexual health and contraception services through community pharmacies. It will promote the role of pharmacists as pivotal members of the primary health-care team who will work to improve patient outcomes in the area of emergency contraception.

“It will also strengthen the ties between our two organisations over the development and implementation of training, education and practice tools in regard to emergency contraception. In addition, this MoU will serve to help to identify tools and services which may be of benefit to both organisations and the Australian public.”

Mr Kardachi said the MoU was a further step in the evolution of pharmacies into health destinations where dispensing and the provision of a wide range of professional services went hand in hand.

“At PSA we recognise that the provision of a wide range of professional services is the key to the future of the profession,” Mr Kardachi said.

“This MoU is just one example of how pharmacy is expanding it operations to meet the changing health needs of all Australian consumers.”

The CEO of SH&FPA, Dr Joanne Ramadge, said SH&FPA looks forward to building the relationship between community pharmacies and the sexual health and family planning services.

“Our member organisations lead the way in educating primary health care providers in all areas of sexual and reproductive health, working with community pharmacists is an expansion of this,” Dr Ramadge said.

“There are a lot of myths and misinformation about emergency contraception out there and we look at this as a tool to support pharmacists to provide good quality education to the community. After all, emergency contraception only prevents or delays ovulation – it does not protect against sexually transmitted infections and blood borne viruses; people need to follow up and visit their local clinic to ensure they are on the right contraception for them,” Dr Ramadge said.

4 September 2012

PHARMACY DEREGULATION A CONSTANT CONCERN

The threat of deregulation is one which is ever-present in the pharmacy industry, and one which polarises both public and professional opinion.

Opponents of deregulation point out that the system protects the profession and consumers and ensures access to medicines and professional services.  Supporters of deregulation question why only pharmacies and newsagents are still protect by regulation and suggest greater competition would produce benefits for consumers, the industry and the government.

The issue of deregulation will be under close scrutiny at PAC12 where keynote speaker John Chave, Secretary General of the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (the association representing community pharmacists in 32 European countries) will speak on the topic of professionalism and liberalistaion, and the Great Debate will see six speakers arguing the case both for and against regulation under the topic, “is pharmacy over-regulated.”

Mr Chave will bring his vast knowledge of the European experience to the Congress during his presentation at the Business and management plenary on Saturday, October 20 from 8:45am – 10:15am.

“Over the past 10-15 years, a number of European countries have totally or partially liberalised their pharmacy systems, including the removal of restrictions on ownership, the removal of restrictions on the establishment of pharmacies, and allowing non-pharmacy outlets to sell non-prescription medicines,” he said.

“Certain pharmacy restrictions have also been the subject of legal rulings from the European Court of Justice,” he said, adding his presentation will describe these developments and assess the prospects for future liberalisation, particularly in the light of the economic crisis currently gripping Europe.

“The presentation will offer a critical assessment of the arguments put forward by the pro-liberalisation camp, and consider the impact of liberalisation measures both on the professional practice of pharmacy in general, and the position of independently owned pharmacies in particular,” he said.

“Finally, the presentation will assess the future prospects for European pharmacy both as a profession and a business in the light of these developments.”

PAC12 will be held at the Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre from Friday 19 October 2012 to Sunday 21 October 2012.

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