s SHPA Media Releases | 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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SHPA Media Releases

Staff Writer

articles by this author...

Editing and Researching news and stories about global and local Pharmacy Issues

About SHPA and JPPR

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) is the national professional organisation for over 3,000 pharmacists, pharmacists in training, pharmacy technicians and associates working across Australia’s health system. SHPA is the only professional pharmacy organisation with a core base of members practising in public and private hospitals and other health service facilities.

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SHPA is committed to facilitating the safe and effective use of medicines, which is the core business of pharmacists, especially in hospitals. SHPA supports pharmacists to meet medication and related service needs, so that both optimal health outcomes and economic objectives are achieved for Australians, as individuals, for the community as a whole and for healthcare facilities within our systems of healthcare.

The Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research is the official journal of SHPA – but has complete editorial freedom in terms of content and is not under the direction of SHPA or its Council in such matters. It provides a forum for exchange of knowledge and ideas between pharmacists practising in hospitals and related settings. The Journal has a commitment to science-based articles that assist in the development of the profession and invites submissions on any aspect of contemporary pharmacy practice. The primary objective of the Journal is to publish original pharmacy research but also welcomes review and pharmacy practice articles on topics of interest or importance to hospital pharmacists. All articles undergo an external peer-review process. It is published quarterly.

SHPA announces new Editor of the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research

SHPA is delighted to announce that Dr Chris Alderman is the new Editor of SHPA’s journal – the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research. Chris replaces Professor Jo-anne Brien who stepped down from this role at the end of 2012 after seven years.

Chris is the Director of Pharmacy at the Repatriation General Hospital in South Australia, where he also provides clinical pharmacy services to the Psychiatric Unit, and is Associate Professor (Pharmacy Practice), School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia. Chris comes to the Journal with valuable experience in a broad range of disciplines relevant to contemporary pharmacy practice as well as extensive involvement in pharmacy and medical education.  Chris has been widely published in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and as an author of a book.

Chris has had a long association with SHPA having served on Federal Council, including a term a Federal President, and on the South Australia/Northern Territory Branch Committee.  He is a member of the SHPA Education Reference Group, and is a Fellow of SHPA.  Chris’s contribution and commitment to the pharmacy profession has also been recognised by SHPA; Chris was awarded the Glaxo Medal of Merit in 1993 and the Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award in 1998 – two of SHPA’s highest honours. He is also a member of the JPPR Editorial Advisory Board.

Chris was the first Australian pharmacist to be certified as a psychiatric pharmacy specialist by the US Board of Pharmacy Specialties and was also first Australian pharmacist to be certified by the US Commission for Certification in Geriatric Pharmacy.

On the announcement of his appointment, Chris said “I am very much aware of the quality of the people who are my predecessors in this role – professional leaders who have been role models for many, who have shaped the directions and evolution of the Journal in its journey. In particular, I acknowledge with much gratitude all that Professor Jo-anne Brien has achieved in her tenure as Editor of the JPPR.”

SHPA President Sue Kirsa also said “SHPA is so pleased to have a pharmacist of Chris’s calibre to take up this role that is important not only for SHPA but for Australian pharmacy practice.  I would also like to pay tribute to the dedication and commitment of Professor Jo-anne Brien who served the Journal so well during her time as Editor. The Journal remains one of the most highly valued benefits of SHPA membership as the members recognise the importance of this avenue for sharing their research, pharmacy practice knowledge and as a conduit to professional development.”

Of the future for JPPR, Chris says “We now have a tremendous opportunity to progress the Journal to another stage – all options are on the table, creative strategies to expand the readership and the diversity of publications will be analysed and implemented.

The value and esteem afforded to the Journal by the readership is well established. We will be building on the momentum that has been achieved, seeking to create new avenues to develop the JPPR while ensuring that it remains accessible, relevant and valued.”

22 March 2013
SHPA welcomes DoHA commitment to HMR Hospital Referral Pathway

Yesterday the Health Minister, The Hon. Tanya Plibersek announced that the Department of Health and Ageing and the Pharmacy Guild had reached an agreement on the continued funding of HMRs, announcing that there will be no change to the professional service fees for HMRs. This means that accredited pharmacists will be able to continue this vital service to Australian consumers.

In her statement, Minister Plibersek said “The agreement will make sure that consumers can access these important medication services, at no cost. They also make sure that you, the pharmacists, continue to be fairly paid to deliver these services”.

She also stated that the HMR Hospital Referral Pathway will commence later this year and SHPA will be actively involved with other stakeholders in assessing the program, saying “I have agreed research is needed to make sure the targeting of the HMR program is appropriate. This will happen as part of the HMR Hospital Referral pathway that will commence later this year. However, the research will not just involve the Guild and Department – both the PSA and SHPA will be actively involved, and other peak stakeholders will be consulted to ensure we get it right.”

SHPA President Sue Kirsa said “SHPA welcomes the announcement of the commencement of the Hospital Referral Pathway for HMRs and is very pleased that SHPA is specifically included in the evaluation of this program”.

SHPA has sent a letter to the Health Minister welcoming this announcement and to also express concerns about a range of issues regarding the new HMR business rules. SHPA has also recommended an urgent meeting of the 5CPA Program Reference Group.

20 March 2013
Senate Inquiry into chemotherapy funding

SHPA notes today’s meeting of the Professionals for Safe Cancer Treatment to investigate and document the actual impact of the changes to chemotherapy funding that came into effect from 1 December 2012 and further changes that will come into effect 1 April 2013.

Private hospitals and their pharmacy services agreed to continue to provide chemotherapy after 1 December 2012 whilst negotiations continued with the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA); however changes to the funding of paclitaxel from 1 April will remove a further $10 million (annual) from chemotherapy services in private hospitals.

The cumulative effect of changes to remuneration for preparing and dispensing chemotherapy is threatening the viability of private hospital pharmacy services that provide almost 60% of chemotherapy to cancer patients.

SHPA believes that unless a sustainable funding model is agreed upon some chemotherapy pharmacy services will no longer be financially viable, particularly those in rural and regional Australia. The supply of chemotherapy through affected hospitals and their entire oncology service would be in jeopardy. The public hospital system would then be at risk of being deluged with patients exiting the private system to continue their chemotherapy - up to 209,000 same-day episodes per annum.

SHPA says that all patients undergoing treatment for cancer must be able to access the chemotherapy they need at a centre most convenient to the place they live. Services provided to cancer patients should be consistent across the country. Viable chemotherapy and clinical pharmacy support services should be available from both public and private health services.

Last November SHPA called on the Commonwealth Government to ensure that after 1 December 2012,

·         all cancer patients have continued safe access to their life-saving chemotherapy, at no additional cost, at an accessible location, particularly in rural and regional areas, and

·         that the clinical pharmacy services necessary to support the safe and effective use of that chemotherapy are funded. 

In its submission to the Senate inquiry SHPA has made the following key points:


·         That revenue generated by hospital pharmacy services must cover the costs of delivering chemotherapy medicines safely supported by an appropriate clinical pharmacy service and infrastructure, as well as doing business with Medicare Australia.

·         A revised and transparent model for chemotherapy is required; one that clearly identifies the four component costs: the cost of the chemotherapy medicine, the cost of consumables/devices (if any) used in the preparation of each medicine, a preparation and reconstitution fee and a clinical pharmacy professional services fee.

·         Timely access to many chemotherapy medicines is compromised in private hospitals due to onerous authority requirements. These issues had previously been addressed in the public sector through the Chemotherapy Pharmaceuticals Access Program (CPAP), and were carried through into the Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy for public hospitals program. This program should be offered to all private hospital pharmacy providers.

·         All features of the Paperless Claiming Trial (initiated in July 1998 but currently available in only seven private hospitals) should be made available to all pharmacies licensed to supply PBS medicines in private hospitals irrespective of the medicine, type of hospital or care facility or the type of pharmacy service accessed by the consumer.


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