s PSA News Releases - November 2009 | I2P: Information to Pharmacists - Archive
Publication Date 01/12/2009         Volume. 1 No. 7   
Information to Pharmacists


From the desk of the editor

Welcome to the December 2009 edition of i2p - Information to Pharmacists E-Magazine.
When i2P first began in February 2000, it was decided that a fortnightly publication might prove to be the optimum publishing cycle.
This thought was soon dispelled as it was found that having sufficient content to maintain this cycle became a problem.
Oh for those quieter times!
The cycle then became monthly and has been maintained up to now.
The problem is now coping with the volume of news and opinion that is generated on a daily basis.
Very much the reverse of the year 2000 - a statement for our time and how the pace of pharmacy life has increased.

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Recent Comments

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For some pharmacists the truth will be ‘inconvenient’. WHY is it so??

James Ellerson

Sir Winston Churchill said “Truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it, but, in the end, there it is.”
Elvis Presley said “Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't goin' away.”

At the PAC 2009 Conference John Menadue’s forthright messages made it abundantly clear that the sun was shining very brightly indeed.
Here are the ‘message sticks’ that resonated with me:

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About that "Un-Invitation"

Dr John Dunlop (PGDipPharm, MPharm, DPharm(Auck), FACPP, FNZCP, FPSNZ, MCAPA)

It was interesting reading John Menadue’s speech given at the Pharmacy Australia Congress in Sydney in October.
It was even more interesting to read of the UN-invitation by the Queensland branch of the College of Pharmacy Practice and Management, the stance taken by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the Pharmaceutical Society, to support only pharmacy activities provided from within a community pharmacy.
How draconian is that?
Research has demonstrated, as has the low uptake of new professional services from within a community pharmacy, that the existing community pharmacy model is not compatible with the implementation of these new professional opportunities.
The two major arguments put forward are ‘lack of time’ and ‘lack of funding’.

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A Green Pharmacy is Gold

Neil Retallick

Simon Divecha, Director of GreenMode, a consultancy that assist business and people to find their carbon and sustainable advantages spoke at the recent Pharmacy 2009 Conference.
Simon has assisted businesses including BP Solar, Origin Energy, Lend Lease, ANZ and IAG.
His challenge to community pharmacy is to identify and take advantage of the opportunities that exist for businesses that have such close relationships with their local communities.

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What are we doing to ourselves?

Heidi Mahon

Over the last months, I've noticed the position taken by both the Guild as well as individual pharmacists on our on-line forums.

In his recent address Mr John Menadue poses the question - are pharmacists the most change-resistant health profession?

And if so, what is our future likely to hold?
What can we do about it?

Personally, I have to agree with him - if we as a group - and not just the Guild, DON'T take innovation as a prerequisite for how we practice our profession, then in 20 years time, what will we have left?

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Picture - the wood for the trees

Pat Gallagher

Another year has gone by and what have we done with technology in the health sector?
A good question that deserves a long and detailed review as a written dissertation by somebody learned and influential in health informatics, government, consulting or from the many agencies, departments and committees engaged in delivering e-health service to the Australian public; notably as a value proposition for the tax payers in the greater voting public cohort.

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Advancing Self Care

Neil Johnston

Imagine a pharmacy that had a range of eye catching kiosks that utilised easy to use touch screen technology.
Not passive kiosks, but kiosks that are interactive with customers/patients to efficiently provide a perceived need.
It’s not a new idea, but the marketing of health care through kiosks certainly represents an organised method of transferring information to customers/patients and assisting them to make good health decisions.
One current form of kiosk that is beginning to take hold in Europe and the US is the vision kiosk.

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Wind Farm will Power Sydney's Desalination Plant

Staff Writer

Source: AAP NewsWire

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Communications Technology - a nudge from the big end of town

Staff Writer

National Health IT assumed prominence recently when the National Business Council of Australia wrote directly to prime minister, Kevin Rudd, urging him to create a focus on communications technology and to invest appropriate funds.
I wonder if they were aware of the organisational performance 0f NEHTA and their inability to date, to actually deliver suitable infrastructure and systems.
And with $'s millions already wasted by NEHTA I am sure there is hesitancy by government to spend even more, given the dismal track record to date.
Health communications is stuck in a deep groove.
But it is interesting to note that the Business Council of Australia see productivity and investment opportunities in health if only the primary health players could integrate better and talk to one another.
Shared health communications underpins this potential benefit as the many writers for i2P have continually pointed out.
With the big end of town taking more interest, maybe government and health professionals can align themselves more fluidly.
A read of David More's blog article from a NEHTA insider in this edition of i2P, leaves you still wondering how an alignment can take place without removing the NEHTA structure completely.

Health info needs urgent technological injection

Source: Industry Search -24/11/2009


Read the BCA letter in full here

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Powering up by osmosis

Staff Writer

An unusual form of renewable energy has emerged recently in a novel format involving the use of fresh water and salt water interaction across a membrane that creates osmotic pressure.
This pressure has been demonstrated to be able to drive a turbine that can produce an electric current.
Osmotic pressure is well known in medicine with adjustments having to be made to eye drop and injection formulas to minimise the pain associated with the administration of these medicine forms.

The process is a more controllable form of natural energy when compared with weather-dependent versions of energy generation (solar, wind, tidal etc) and has a reasonably small and discrete footprint in the environment.
With a bit of imagination it is not too far of a stretch to have the salt water filtered through another form of membrane to create fresh water to be recycled within a closed system.

Norway tries osmotic power to harnessing power of salt

Source: Industry Search


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Insuring the Disabled

Staff Writer

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is to be commended for the initiative in having a look at the feasibility of creating a no fault disability insurance scheme.
Disability can cause disaster to any family structure and can be a constant drain on financial resources that can add to further stresses up to, and involving bankruptcies.
By putting in place a proper financial underpin, each family member is enabled to be productive and self-sustaining. This can create a net gain to the taxation base when viewed globally, to include service providers and industries that can feed off that activity stream.

PM calls for national disability reforms

Source:DPS Guide to Aged Care


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Should patents apply to the natural world?

Staff Writer

I can't but help wonder if the move to be able to patent all things natural is a smart move.
Take for example the Neam tree that grows wild in the northern part of Australia.
The leaves of this tree make a great insect repellent with no known side effects.
An entrepreneurial Australian a few years back, decided to grow these trees and was surprised to have legal documents served on him claiming royalties and damages from some obscure US company that had registered a patent for all things Neam.
Unfortunately, there was no legal defence for the Australian grower.
Now there is an outcry by vested interests because the Australian government has resisted pressures to allow the patenting of human genes.
All sorts of calamities are therefore predicted for the local biotech industries.
But I wonder if these claims will prove to be valid?

Follow the debate in this article:

Ban drives 'biotech industry to its knees'


Source: AAP

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Public Hospitals - Time they were fixed

Staff Writer

Queensland Health struggles through another drama after using instruments that had been used on patients and left unsterilised.
But it's not just Bundaberg Hospital that is sick - the entire Australian hospital system needs a radical overhaul.
The Rudd government had promised to "fix" the problem after taking office, but so far has not made any noticeable progress.
Read about the latest problem.

Qld Health cleaning up after dental sterilisation scare

Source: ABC Online


By Chris O'Brien

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Patient uses initiative to attract nurses

Staff Writer

If anyone has ever been a patient in a hospital and tried the buzzer to get assistance from a nurse, then here is a new innovation to get attention.
Not that the nursing fraternity should shoulder the blame.
It's the politicians and the lack of political will to solve this issue and many others.
Congratulations to the patient and his initiative in dialling triple O.
Read the full story here:

Man rings triple-0 from hospital bed

Source: ABC Online

by Cate Grant


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What's good for climate is good for health

Staff Writer

Health professionals from around the world are slowly waking up to the fact that climate change can induce adverse effects on health.
At i2P we have been carrying messages for just on two years, regarding climate change effects, including research reports from our own writer Con Berbatis, in the hope that official pharmacy would see the need and develop policies and strategies for pharmacists to adopt.
Now, with the formation of the International Climate and Health Council a recognised forum is available to be addressed.
Will pharmacists be given a seat at the table?
Perhaps the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia should find out.

Health Professionals Around The World Launch The International Climate And Health Council

Source: Medical News Today


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Ageing slowly and safely

Staff Writer

The ageing process is relentless with function loss noticeably diminishing over the age of 60.
Supplementation of nutrients holds one key to slowing down some of the processes, in particular the loss of muscle mass and the subsequent aches and pains that follow as the skeletal system is no longer held together in an optimum manner.
This process can be a contributor to falls and more serious damage.
Not being able to adequately stay on your feet as you age, robs you of your independence.
It would seem that a strategy of slowing down slowly might be prudent for the age demographic entering retirement - the "baby-boomers".

Antioxidants could help preserve muscle strength

Source: Reuters Health
By Marilynn Larkin

Found at this link

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Are we planning for future skill shortages?

Neil Johnston

National Seniors Agency have published a report indicating that Australia will have a shortfall of 1.4 million workers by 2025.
This shortage will also be reflected in the profession of pharmacy.
It is pointed out that a smart move would be to match an improved workplace to match specific requirements for mature-aged employees and thus retain them for longer periods..
APESMA has recently published an online survey in an endeavour to poll employed pharmacists on the issues that affect them specifically. Obviously, this is a move in the right direction, and much of what they are polling has a direct relationship to mature-aged employees.

So what is community pharmacy doing to retain their senior pharmacists?

Very little, it seems.

i2P asked Mark Coleman to comment and his commentary appears below the news item:

Comments: 1

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PSA News Releases - November 2009

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 November 2009


Pharmacists and supporters packed the Cossar Hall at the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s Victorian Pharmacists Dinner last week. Passions and emotions filled the hall when stories of dedication, selflessness and the determination of Victorian pharmacists, young and old, were unfolded.

Master of ceremony was Geoff Sussman and Victorian PSA President Mark Feldschuh opened the event by thanking all area coordinators and immediate past councillors Paul Gysllink and Dimitra Tsucalas for their ongoing support.

David Todd, Gordon Muntz, Sue and Ian Kirkam were recognised for their 50 years of remarkable service to the community as a pharmacist. It was noted that Ian Kirkam passed away earlier this year and the audience extended its sadness and support to Sue.

James Yeung, Ian and Sandy Scholes were thanked for their voluntary work in a number of pharmacies affected by the Victorian bushfires. All present were deeply touched when the story on the devastations from the bushfires was told.

Retiring Pharmacists Support Service volunteer Joy Burman came out from her anonymity and was presented with a certificate of appreciation for her ongoing contribution to the service that helped many fellow pharmacists in crisis for more than10 years.

Proprietor pharmacist Anthony Klinkatsis was recognised for his leadership in pioneering forward pharmacy while newly qualified hospital pharmacist Viki Lui was recogised for her voluntary work to improve pharmaceutical services in Fiji.

Friends and colleagues also celebrated the exceptional contribution retiring pharmacist Keith Moyle made to the profession through his role in public service.

Presentations were made by Mark Feldschuh, Victorian PSA President, John Coppock of PDL and Paul Hedley of JPH Accountants.

In concluding the night, Mark Feldschuh announced that the Victorian Pharmacist Award would be presented annually to recognise the many quiet achieving pharmacists that work tirelessly to better the lives of many.

20 November 2009


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has welcomed comments by the Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, emphasising the role pharmacy can play in the Government’s health-care reform agenda.

Ms Roxon said at the Pharmacy Guild dinner in Canberra this week that pharmacy was in a unique position that was not lost on the Government. She highlighted the role pharmacy can play in primary care and preventive care that are the foundations of much of the Government’s reform agenda.

President of the PSA Warwick Plunkett said the recognition of pharmacy’s unique position and its ability to play a crucial role in a reformed health-care system was encouraging.

“Ms Roxon’s focus on preventive health is an area in which the PSA is well placed to provide valuable assistance and indeed, through Pharmacy Self Care, is already providing many of services fundamental to an efficient and sustainable preventive care infrastructure,” Mr Plunkett said.

“In her address, Ms Roxon also pointed to the need for more and better health information for consumers and a more consistent standard of service delivery.

“Again, these are areas in which PSA has already established ground-breaking protocols and systems which can be fully utilised by the Government.

“There is no need for the Government to enter into a costly exercise of establishing infrastructure and services which already exist under Pharmacy Self Care.

“Rather the Government should be looking to build on what PSA and Pharmacy Self Care have painstakingly developed and refined over the past 22 years to be a model that is internationally held in the highest regard.”

Mr Plunkett said PSA had in the past stated its commitment to work with the Government to help ensure better health outcomes for all Australians through the provision of a sustainable health-care system.

“This is what the Government wants to achieve through its reform agenda and I reconfirm our readiness, and that of our members, to help deliver on some of these important and exciting initiatives.”

19 November 2009


A Griffith University Masters of Pharmacy graduate has been announced as this year’s PSA Qld Branch Pharmacy Graduate of the Year at a ceremony in Brisbane tonight.

Lisa Goldsmith was presented the award by Branch President Dr Lisa Nissen during the annual President’s Dinner and Awards.

Dr Nissen said the award recognised the achievements and contributions a graduate made during their years at university.

“Lisa has certainly been outstanding in her leadership at the university’s pharmacy school and among pharmacy students at the State and national levels,” Dr Nissen said.

“She was president of the National Australian Pharmacy Students' Association which represents the interests of its undergraduate and masters student members studying at 11 universities across Australia. She also was Treasurer of the Griffith University Association of Pharmacy Students (GUAPS) Committee.

“Despite these commitments she never lagged in her studies and maintained an excellent academic record.”

Dr Nissen said Lisa had developed as a leader of integrity while representing NAPSA and GUAPS to pharmacy profession stakeholders.

“It is no easy task to not only complete the pharmacy course, but to complete it with an outstanding academic record while undertaking a wider role in the pharmacy student community is evidence of Lisa’s skills and commitment,” Dr Nissen said.

“Her application displayed many of the communication skills she has developed as a student representative, while highlighting her respect for confidentiality of others, truthfulness and trustworthiness.

“These characteristics are entirely consistent with the Pharmacy Code of Ethics and combined with Lisa’s demonstrated commitment to the profession make her a most worthy recipient of this award.

“She continues her contribution to the profession as Chair of the PSA Queensland Branch Early Career Pharmacist Working Group.”

Dr Nissen said the Early Career Pharmacist Working Group was a PSA initiative which reflected the Society’s commitment and support for pharmacists in the early stages of their professional career.

19 November 2009


Queensland pharmacy’s most prestigious award, the Bowl of Hygeia Award, was presented to Professor Beverley Glass, Chair of Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy and Molecular Sciences, James Cook University.

The award recognises pharmacists who have demonstrated a consistently high standard of professional practice in support of the principles of pharmacy service to the community. It also recognises an exceptional individual service to the profession.

Presenting the award at the PSA Queensland Branch Annual President's Dinner and Awards, Branch President Dr Lisa Nissen said Professor Glass had had a major influence on the development and ongoing direction of the Bachelor of Pharmacy program at James Cook University.

“Professor Glass was the driver behind the redesign and refining of the integrated curriculum for the BPharm program at JCU as well as being instrumental in the initial development of many of the subjects and resources used within the BPharm pathway,” Dr Nissen said.

“She was also the force behind developing the original accreditation process for the BPharm degree at JCU and now manages the continuing reaccreditation process.”

“Her achievements for the BPharm program are extensive and range from forging and maintaining strong links with the pharmacy profession in north Queensland and elsewhere in Australia at both the state and federal level to pastoral care for the students undertaking the BPharm program.”

Dr Nissen said Professor Glass was a great mentor for the students and also maintained an active involvement in many of the recent achievements of JCU pharmacy students in both state and national competitions.

“Professor Glass has an immense and versatile teaching profile teaching in a wide range of topics and in all of her roles she wholeheartedly applies herself with a strong personal commitment that clearly is often above and beyond the call of duty,” Dr Nissen said.

“Her commitment and dedication to the profession, to her students and to further developing the profession in North Queensland have been exceptional and this award is a fitting recognition of her tireless efforts.

“It is also fitting that this award is presented to the Chair of Pharmacy at JCU on the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the university’s BPharm program.”

5 November 2009


The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia has announced financial support for the Pharmacists’ Support Service, a dedicated support and counseling service for pharmacists who need assistance.

PSS, which is managed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Victoria, is soon to be made available nationally and in light of this, the SHPA has donated $2000 to assist the service in this transition phase.

PSS has been in operation for 14 years and offers support for pharmacists in times of stress and crisis, ranging from financial problems to situations involving trauma such as hold-ups and the recent bushfires.

Chair of the Pharmacists’ Support Service, Michael Scavone, said the SHPA donation of $2000 to the PSS recognised that the service helped pharmacists in all areas of the profession.

“The services PSS conducts are vital and are available equally to pharmacists in all sectors of the profession,” Mr Scavone said.

“The service is operated 24 hours a day by volunteer pharmacists who have been trained in telephone counselling.

“Our volunteers are trained to listen to any problem that pharmacists might encounter and to then help find the most appropriate advice or solution when it is needed.

“The volunteers are supported by an extensive and wide-spread network of professional counsellors and support groups to ensure the distressed caller gets the best advice and help available.”

Mr Scavone said the SHPA contribution followed that of other professional groups and was indicative of the growing recognition of the importance of such a service.

“Quite clearly the service relies on donations and support from groups such as SHPA is appreciated and welcomed,” Mr Scavone said.

Mr Scavone said that to facilitate similar donations in the future, PSS has begun proceedings to move to an Incorporated Association and this will facilitate application to the ATO for Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status.

“Obtaining DGR status will facilitate the process of making donations to the service and also make such gifts more attractive to those wanting to make them,” he said.

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