s Something’s Fishy About Macular Degeneration Fish Oil Studies | I2P: Information to Pharmacists - Archive
Publication Date 01/12/2013         Volume. 5 No. 11   
Information to Pharmacists

Editorial

From the desk of the editor

Welcome to the December edition of i2P-Information to Pharmacists.
As we wind down in 2013 for the holiday period we will be filing some updates, but at a little more leisurely pace.
Where has the year gone?
Certainly the rate of change for 2013 has been more than hectic and there has been little time to organise thoughts and set appropriate directions.
This is the season for hard negotiations for the 6CPA but there is little left to squeeze.
Pharmacy has had the equivalent of bariatric surgery.
Government has taken it all, as usual.
As current price changes work their way through the pharmacy cash flow cycle, for some there will be insufficient- and heartburn.
Crunch time is that there will be more bankruptcies over 2014.
Media reports that some pharmacies have received free shop refits as a form of payment for purchasing a specific generic drug range is certainly not obvious, as the average pharmacy is in need of some renovation or repair and looking a bit jaded.

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Recent Comments

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News Flash

Newsflash Updates November 2013

Newsflash Updates


Regular updates from the global world of pharmacy.
Access and click on the title links that are illustrated.

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Newsflash Items for December 2013 and January 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

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Feature Contribution

How to Avoid Becoming a Commodity

Chris Foster

These days more than ever the competitive advantage pursued by many is to discount and commoditise an industry.
The prime example of this is warehouse pharmacy stores.
However, this is not unique to pharmacy, but too many industries out there, including electrical retailing and hardware.
As a result, the relentless pursuit of being the cheapest product and service provider has meant that the smaller, service focused business is eventually forced out of business.

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A Clinical Services Pharmacy Design (Canadian Style)

Fiona Sartoretto Verna AIAPP

Editor's Note: This pharmacy design would suit an Australian pharmacy set up for clinical services and for survival over the next five years. Pharmacists interested in adapting this design to suit their local market should contact Neil Johnston at neilj@computachem.com.au for an introduction to Sartoretto Verna design services.

Villagio Market Pharmacy -St- PerreJolys , Manitoba, Canada Technical Data

Total area: 90 sq.m.
Area open to public: 75 sq.m. Area open to public / total area: 83%
Exposure: 39 lm
The task was to create a pharmacy inside the market in St -Pierre Jolys , a rural village which is situated not far from Winnipeg, Canadian province of Manitoba.
In recent years, the owner Mark Duddridge has transformed a simple grocery into a full-service drugstore that it is visited approximately by 400 visitors per day.
Sartoretto Verna was asked to create a pharmacy that can boast an excellent design with thorough attention to details.

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A Peaceful Christmas and a Productive New Year

Neil Johnston

The editor ans staff of i2P e-magazine would like to wish all of its readers the best wishes for a peaceful Christmas and a productive New Year.

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PGA Moves Into Primary Care

Neil Johnston

This week I received a pleasant surprise in the form of a PGA news item endorsing a range of primary health care services, an area that had been progressively abandoned from as far back as 1978, but in particular, within the last decade.
Importantly, the PGA has recognised that the current pharmacy business model has reached its “use by” date by stating:
 “The Guild’s National Council has recognised that the successful and widespread integration of these primary health care services into pharmacy businesses is likely to require significant changes to the traditional pharmacy operating model, including in relation to workflows and the roles and responsibilities of pharmacists and other staff.”

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Building a clinical services model in a difficult marketplace

Peter Sayers

It seems to me that there is a confluence of events overtaking pharmacy.
On one hand there is a genuine disappointment by health consumers that they have not been able to access pharmacists for basic primary care services, and on the other, there are a host of pharmacy critics and academic advisers that have a range of solutions, none of which are compatible with a community pharmacy environment.
And in the middle are a host of dedicated pharmacists working and piloting a range of solutions while simultaneously being torn apart, as unreasonable chunks of cash flow and profitability disappear from its business heart.

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My Best Team

Gerald Quigley

Quite coincidentally, over the last few months, I’ve been thinking about where we’ve been in our profession, and where we’re headed.
Some recent comments within this fine publication have cemented my thoughts on how we can recover some ground in our perceived role of “do what other health professionals tell you to do, and don’t dare step outside those parameters or your world will end.”
At the end of each football season, “expert” commentators rate their “best 18” (in the AFL) or the “best 11” (in cricket).
Lists like this often precipitate vigorous debate.
I’m no expert, but each of us has our professional heroes.
Some of mine are still with us, and some have gone to that big professional healthcare practice in the sky.
Within that latter group, I wonder what they are thinking.

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Continuity of care in residential care

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

In February 2011 I wrote on the topic of continuity of care with regard to hospital discharge (Volume 3 No. 2).
At that time I was working in hospital pharmacy practice.
Now I am sitting on the other side of the fence working in residential care undertaking medication reviews and I see just how fragmented care can be in the community.
The situation is exacerbated as the patients are usually elderly and they and their families are not always able to communicate important health information to the various health care providers involved.
This puts these patients at significant risk of medication misadventure and adverse outcomes. Some examples follow. All of these scenarios are based on real cases.

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More Pharma Abuse

Judy Wilyman

Editor's Note: The corrupt nature of Big Pharma's evidence-base to justify the marketing of bad medicine is slowly unraveling through courts of law around the world.
The corrupt medical academics who fuel this process through allowing themselves to be "bought" by a number of creative means will also be similarly addressed.
Different levels of government are also tainted when it is seen that mandatory vaccination is being used to drive corrupt health policies, even when evidence exists to the contrary.
i2P supports true evidence-based arguments or best evidence where something has had traditional use and is waiting for evidence support to occur.
We do not support the claims made by Skeptic extremists that permeate the landscape, that tend to support corrupt evidence even though it may have been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
How the medical fraternity and Big Pharma will sort out this absolute mess remains to be tested.
And they must realise that they are no longer trusted or respected by members of other health professions, simply because of this unprincipled and illegal behaviour.

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Medical Debate Censorship Attempt by NSW Government

Staff Writer

Editor's Note: Until today, I had never heard of the organisation Avaaz.
Avaaz—meaning "voice" in several European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages—launched in 2007 with a simple democratic mission: organize citizens of all nations to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want.
Avaaz empowers millions of people from all walks of life to take action on pressing global, regional and national issues, from corruption and poverty to conflict and climate change.
The Avaaz model of internet organising allows thousands of individual efforts, however small, to be rapidly combined into a powerful collective force. (Read about results on the Highlights page.)
The Avaaz community campaigns in 15 languages, served by a core team on 6 continents and thousands of volunteers.
Avaaz takes action -- signing petitions, funding media campaigns and direct actions, emailing, calling and lobbying governments, and organizing "offline" protests and events -- to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform the decisions that affect us all.

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Why is WHO guilty of WOO?

Loretta Marron OAM BSc

Acupuncturists claim that they can treat many serious illnesses, including depression, dysentery, osteoarthritis and whooping cough. As 'evidence', they even refer to the World Health Organisation (WHO) website.
What does WHO claim acupuncture can cure?
Does this match the evidence?

Comments: 1

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Unselfishness has a special place in business

Harvey Mackay

Bill Bradley recently spoke to a group of Minnesota Timberwolves season ticketholders.  The topic wasn’t his stellar career, basketball strategy or memorable wins.  Instead, he talked about unselfishness.  After 40 years of traveling America as a Hall-of-Fame basketball player and a U.S. Senator, the Rhodes Scholar has a lot of stories to tell about the remarkable unselfish accomplishments of people both famous and unknown.  He features them during his weekly American Voices program on Sirius/XM Radio.

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I’ve been thinking about, Boston, Belichick, UPS, and transporting properly prepared IVs to the right patients on time

Mark Neuenschwander

I’ve been thinking about, Boston, Belichick, UPS, and transporting properly prepared IVs to the right patients on time.
Boston is my favorite public transit city. I’m like a kid while being transported by user-friendly Charlie through the labyrinth beneath her historic streets.
It’s not uncommon for outsiders to say Bostonians are not so user friendly. Stereotyping suggests they are not terribly diplomatic, sometimes condescending, and always in a rush.
Sort of the way the Patriot’s Coach Belichick comes across on Sports Center’s post-game interviews.

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Big Data - A Business Power Shift

Barry Urquhart

Season’s greetings.

With the increasingly cosmopolitan nature of Australian society and its people the Christmas festive period is becoming progressively less dominant, particularly for businesses.
However, the Christian values of love, compassion, sharing and understanding are relevant at all times for all people.
We all benefit and should enjoy embracing the sense of family... Australians are all part of one cohesive, extended family. This year we should make the time and effort to reflect, reach out, respect and value the sense of virtue of family.
In commerce the same commitment should be given to virtues of quality customer service.
The following text highlights why. And remember, there is no holiday or break in the need for and advantages of service excellence.

Kindest Personal Regards

Barry Urquhart

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‘All Trials’, Marketing Based Medicine, and the fight for clinical transparency

Baz Bardoe

Editor's Note: i2P would like to introduce a new writer named Baz Bardoe, an experienced writer with an interesting background.
He joins our small group of writers looking at the ethics behind drug and other medical evidence that pharmacists rely on for their advice and recommendations to their patients.
Much of this evidence has been found to be fraudulent and will take decades to sort out.
This type of fraud also permeates other industries to the extent that information adverse to the interests of these industries (Big Pharma, Big Agriculture, Big Tobacco, Mainstream Media and Big Pesticide and Herbicide Manufacturers), is suppressed.
But they all seem to conspire using a similar methodology to the extent that human health is adversely affected through lack of information or publicising false information, or distributing misleading information.

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A Tribute to Nelson Mandela

Neil Johnston

Nelson Mandela had little to do with pharmacy (except that he was involved in action to obtain access to cheap HIV medications for his country) but his personal code of conduct was admired universally.
His strength of character and leadership style certainly avoided what might have become a blood-bath in South Africa.
His recent passing was a loss to the World Community and i2P decided to acknowledge this great man within its pages.
I also began to think about what his personal reaction might have been to some current issues in Australia and its health system, and how our leaders compare with his standards.
For example, would he have signed up to the current proposed version of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and would he have endorsed the actions of Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, Big Agriculture, Big Herbicide/Pesticide where it involved human health?
I am sure the answer would have been a resounding NO!
The following is a statement he made and observed:

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”


The following synopsis of his life has been extracted from the Nelson Mandela Foundation website:

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Good Manners Create Good Communications and Illustrate Respect and Care

Peter Sayers

Pharmacy has always “won its stripes” utilising its ability to be able to relate to individuals in an empathetic manner.
Patients have always reacted positively in accepting what pharmacists have offered to them as a health benefit.
Trouble is, the health benefits have not expanded progressively and pharmacists have become less visible under the mountain of PBS paperwork, bureaucracy and sundry critics that drown out pharmacist voices.
Now the price is about to be paid as government payments to pharmacists will reduce according to their view of the value of a pharmacist, which will be seen as almost non-existent.
And pharmacists, being survivors, will have to limit their time-investment in the PBS because it will not represent good value to them or their patients.

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Primary Health Care Teams – Will Community Pharmacists be Participants?

Neil Johnston

In the hospital setting pharmacists work well with nurses and doctors. Possibly because of close working proximity and the opportunity for social interaction, there is a better understanding of the role of each profession.
Politically, within a hospital setting, pharmacists feel disadvantaged.
It is a numbers game.
Nurses and doctors have the largest number of people on the ground and the strongest “hands-on” contact with patients.
Pharmacists have a lower profile with the patient, coming in later with an educational role that does not have the same sense of immediacy.

Comments: 1

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Something’s Fishy About Macular Degeneration Fish Oil Studies

Staff Writer

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, December 11, 2013

Something’s Fishy About Macular Degeneration Fish Oil Studies
by Bill Sardi

(OMNS Dec 11, 2013) Just seven months ago National Eye Institute researchers claimed fish oil “doesn’t seem to help macular degeneration,” (1) a sight-robbing eye disease that plagues adults in their senior years.
So how could another newly published study produce exactly opposite results?
In fact, fish oil didn’t just slow down the insidious progression of this eye disease, it restored vision to every patient placed on high-dose fish oil. It was therapeutic and curative, not just preventive.

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Vitamins, Minerals Reduce AIDS Mortality - Ignoring Supplements Means Unnecessary Deaths

Staff Writer

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, December 17, 2013

Vitamins, Minerals Reduce AIDS Mortality - Ignoring Supplements Means Unnecessary Deaths
Commentary by Andrew W. Saul, Editor

(OMNS Dec 17, 2013) Twenty-six years ago, I worked with a client (woman, late 20s) who was HIV positive.
She was a heavy drinker and drug user, a smoker, had a terrible diet, and a series of bad personal relationships.
Her health was deteriorating.
Desperate, she decreased her drug and alcohol use.
She still smoked, ate a poor diet, and was under great stress.
She took multivitamin/multimineral supplements irregularly.
But she took a lot of vitamin C very regularly, for over two decades.

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Multivitamins play a key role in health and wellbeing for people with vitamin and mineral deficiencies

Marie Kelly-Davies

Australian consumers can continue to have confidence in the wealth of evidence that exists on the role of multivitamins in providing overall health and wellness benefits and filling dietary gaps in combination with healthy lifestyle choices, the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) said today.

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What are we worth?

Gerald Quigley

I’ve been following the bleatings by many about the fee we “deserve” to be paid for aspects of our professional expertise, which the consumer doesn’t actually know we have.
What puzzles me more is that we are even speaking about a “fee” before asking the end-user (the patient) whether or not they feel they need this particular service.

Comments: 1

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Vitamins Help Prevent Alzheimer's Disease News Media Ignores Supplement Benefits . . .Again

Staff Writer

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, December 20, 2013

Vitamins Help Prevent Alzheimer's Disease. News Media Ignores Supplement Benefits . . .Again

(OMNS Dec 20, 2013) Nutritional supplementation with antioxidants and the B-complex vitamins has been shown to help prevent dementia. Half of all cases of Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia, could be attributable to known dietary and lifestyle risk factors, and at least one fifth of current cases could be prevented right now.

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Tracking Down Human Rights - Is Anyone at Home?

Judy Wilyman

Editor's note: For some time I have been following the arguments in support of official vaccination policy, and the other side of the argument as well.
Having been trained in pharmaceutical science and its objectives to align itself with “evidence-based medicine”, I have to admit that I have lost heart both in the process itself and the arguments in support of medical products that have supposedly  been submitted to testing, using orthodox and recognised processes.
The entire system of checks and balances has been torn apart.

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The New Battlegrounds

Peter Sayers

As pharmacists commit further to the expansion of clinical services over 2014, it will not take long for the local GP’s to begin the predictable strategy of reprisal.
In the past, that usually took the form of “channelling” prescriptions to opposition pharmacies (including Internet pharmacies).
However, PBS prescriptions are now so commoditised and cash flow disruptive, that they can no longer be part of the real growth platform of pharmacy’s future and therefore have less impact when channelled by a GP.
Similarly, nursing home business that has always been vulnerable to either GP pressure or a cut-price pharmacist competitor is no longer a concern, unless the pathway to “profitless prosperity” is part of a business model needing expanding cash flow volume at the expense of profit.

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Vitamin D supplements needed for many mothers and babies

Staff Researcher

Many pregnant women in New Zealand should be taking vitamin D supplements to ensure their babies are not at risk of rickets.
Young breastfed infants of Maori or Pacific Island women, or infants of women with dark skin or who are often covered or veiled when outdoors, are at the greatest risk of having low vitamin D levels.
The mother’s vitamin D level during pregnancy determines the vitamin D status of her newborn baby and remains an important determinant of vitamin D status while the infant remains exclusively breastfed.
A study to determine the optimum vitamin D dose for pregnant women and infants has recently been completed in Auckland and was published this month in the American Academy of Pediatrics journal ‘Pediatrics’.

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Monoculture Pharmacy - How to Rise Above It

Neil Johnston

The problem with modern Australian community pharmacy is that it has evolved to become a monoculture that is lacking in diversity and depth.
The term is commonly used in agriculture to describe the production of one crop over vast quantities of land, with all the resultant havoc that such practice plays on the soil, water, native flora and fauna, and, to be perfectly clear, on the climate system as well.
For havoc in pharmacy read government induced profit losses leading to career opportunity loss for individuals, lack of suitable forward vision and direction, disruption in education and workforce planning - and the list goes on.
And that is a perfect analogy for pharmacy at the close of 2013.
In its extreme form monoculture becomes monomania and we would know it as the PBS and managed care, as we have all been brainwashed into believing that it is the world’s best health system.
What a joke!

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How to make New Year's resolutions you'll keep

Harvey Mackay

It is New Year's Eve and Charlie Brown says to Lucy:  “Next year I am going to be a changed person.”
“That's a laugh,” says Lucy sarcastically.

“I mean it,” says Charlie, “I'm going to be strong and firm.”
“Forget it,” says Lucy.  “You'll always be wishy-washy.”
“Well,” answers Charlie defensively, “One day I will be wishy and washy the next.”
Like Charlie Brown, most of us set New Year’s resolutions that are a little vague – lose some weight, spend more time with family and friends, quit smoking, quit drinking, enjoy life more, get out of debt, help others, get organized and on and on.
Just think, if everyone kept their New Year’s resolutions, the world would be a lot different:  We’d have healthier people that would show up for work on time, smoke and drink less and be more organized.

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Remove barriers to medication reviews for aged-care residents

Staff Writer

Written by Suzanne Newman from SHPA
An article by Amanda Vanstone in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald this week highlights important issues in the aged-care sector in relation to medicine use.
In her article, Ms Vanstone described a resident of an aged-care facility being prescribed medications that she did not require.
SHPA believes that this case highlights why regular medication review by accredited pharmacists is an important service for all residents of aged-care facilities.

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Orthomolecular News Service January 3 & January 7 2014

Neil Johnston

Editor's Note:
The unnecessary war that is waged on vitamins and other nutritional supplements is continually and routinely engaged.
Is it because they offer a genuine alternative to mainstream medicine? Or a cheaper treatment? Or a safer treatment?
In the war of continuous disinformation it gets harder to separate truth from fiction particularly when it is generated through Big Pharma sources - the same sources that have had massive fines levied against them for publishing fraudulent research, not just once, but multi-times.
Will government ever legislate in this area?


Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, January 3, 2014

No Deaths from Vitamins. None.
Supplement Safety Once Again Confirmed by America's Largest Database
by Andrew W. Saul, Editor
PLUS

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, January 7, 2014

Regulation of Vitamins: Politics As Usual

Commentary by Rolf Hefti

Comments: 1

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Gradually, and Then Suddenly- a Lesson in Life

Neil Johnston

I started publishing i2P in February 2000 because I was personally aware that community pharmacy policy was not going in an optimum direction and was becoming divisive within the profession.
At that stage there was only one writer (me), but I was soon tackled by other pharmacists with similar thoughts and very strong views, so I decided there was room for a “thought leadership” role for my then fledgling publication, and I invited my detractors/supporters to fill an Internet page that was theirs to manage and to write their own researched thoughts, without censorship or heavy editing (except for potential libel and grammatical errors).
So was born a publication that could publish completely opposite viewpoints simultaneously, creating a form of a “think tank” for all pharmacists.

Comments: 3

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Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, January 16, 2014 - Top 20 vitamin D papers for 2013

Staff Writer

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, January 16, 2014

Top 20 vitamin D papers for 2013

by William B. Grant, PhD

(OMNS Jan 16, 2014) There were 3774 papers published in 2013 with vitamin D in the title or abstract according to pubmed.gov, up from 3099 in 2012.
Among the top 20 vitamin D papers chosen to highlight for 2013 were 11 reviews, five observational studies, one geographical ecological study, one trial, one laboratory study, and one analysis of data from published results.
The papers were chosen in part by the number of times they have been cited in other works as reported by Scholar.Google.com and in part based on expert opinion by vitamin D researchers.
The fact that two-thirds of the papers were reviews is an indication of the relative maturity of the field. However, as noted in the discussion, the weak link in the vitamin D story is the limited number of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) reporting beneficial effects of vitamin D.
As discussed in the paper by Heaney [2013], the primary reason for this result is that vitamin D RCTs have been poorly designed and conducted in general; researchers have generally designed vitamin D RCTs based on the pharmaceutical drug model, which assumes no other source of the agent and a linear dose-response relation. These conditions are not satisfied for vitamin D. As a result, many of the trials enrolled people who had relatively high serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels and gave them too little vitamin D to produce a beneficial effect.

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Vaccinations Still Have Problems in 2014

Judy Wilyman

Welcome to the first Vaccination Decisions newsletter for 2014.
I would like to provide you with information about the HPV vaccine that is given to all Australian adolescents in government funded school programs to prevent cervical cancer. This vaccine has had the highest number of reactions globally and thousands of girls (and now boys) have become permanently disabled after receiving this vaccine.

Comments: 3

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Leadership is a State of Mind

Neil Johnston

Leadership is often confused with management.

While it embraces management it is nonetheless ,an entirely different process.
An organisation that does not have a leader is an organisation that is going nowhere.

It is a follower.

It is a long time since I have seen a leader of our profession that really stood out – one who was not frightened to really speak up about their thoughts and actively defend them.

You are more likely to see someone who waits for someone else to “do something”, and then slavishly copy them. In the interim those pseudo-leaders fade into the background because they can never be original.

Certainly examine some other person's work, but only to see what deficiencies exist so that your version might be greatly improved.

But in researching and value-adding a leader will come up with an essentially new approach that will give his organisation a point of difference. And he will launch his product as an incomplete (eighty-percent) version to be refined “on the run”.

That leader gets to achieve his goal before the rest of the pack.

That leader will stand out.

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ASMI welcomes community pharmacy support for S3 information-based advertising

Marie Kelly-Davies

The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) is encouraged by strong signals of support from community pharmacy to expand the range of Pharmacist Only (S3) medicines as well as its widespread support of an information-based communications approach to consumers for S3 medicines, as demonstrated by the UTS Pharmacy Barometer released this week.1
Prescription to non-prescription reclassification (‘Rx to OTC switch’) and lifting the current advertising restrictions on S3 communication are key issues that remain high on ASMI’s agenda.

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Nearpod helps revolutionize medical education teaching using mobile devices

Staff Writer

One of the most impressive apps for medical education purposes is Nearpod.
The premise behind nearpod is simple–to bring the classroom to life with interactive mobile presentations that teachers can create and customize themselves.
Nearpod relies on a  cloud based system to distribute interactive presentations to students in a classroom. It is particularly well suited for institutions that own or use tablets regularly (although you can use a phone).

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New discoveries in quest for better drugs

Staff Researcher

A new crystal structure of a GPCR bound to both an activating molecule and a drug
Two studies into alternative drug recognition sites on G protein-coupled receptors have been published in Nature.
Scientists have combined cutting edge computer modelling, structural biology, pharmacology and medicinal chemistry to reveal new insights into how the body interacts with novel drug treatments, in research that could lead to the creation of drugs that are more targeted and with fewer side effects.

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SHPA’s new president to champion excellence in medicines management

Staff Writer

Story by Suzanne Newman

At a meeting of SHPA’s Federal Council on the weekend, Professor Michael Dooley, Director of Pharmacy at Alfred Health, and Professor of Clinical Pharmacy, Centre for Medicine Use and Safety, Monash University, was elected as the new President of SHPA.

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SHPA welcomes prescribing pathway for health professionals

Staff Writer

Story by Suzanne Newman

SHPA welcomes the news that the Health Professionals Prescribing Pathway has been approved by Australian health ministers.
The Health Professionals Prescribing Pathway project has been undertaken by Health Workforce Australia (HWA) to develop a nationally recognised approach to prescribing. SHPA has been involved in this project from the outset: contributing feedback on a draft version and being represented in workshops and other settings by SHPA representatives including former President Sue Kirsa, CEO Helen Dowling, Yvonne Allinson and Greg Weeks. SHPA member, Dr Lisa Nissen, has been a clinical advisor to the project.

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Prime Minister announces new funding to support delivery of chemotherapy

Staff Writer

Story by Helen Dowling

SHPA welcomes the announcement on 30 November 2013 by the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott of more than $82million additional funding to support the delivery of chemotherapy medicines in Australia’s public and private hospitals.
Although few details have been released, the new funding that commences from 1 January 2014 removes the immediate concerns of SHPA members regarding the delivery of chemotherapy medicines.

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Professional Pharmacists Thank Sue Kirsa for her Contribution to Pharmacy

Professional Pharmacists Australia Spokesperson

Professionals Pharmacists Australia today paid tribute to the hard work and vision of Sue Kirsa who recently resigned as President of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists Australia.
CEO of Professional Pharmacists Australia, Chris Walton said Ms Kirsa worked tirelessly to see pharmacists better able to utilise their skills to improve community health.

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A Tribute to Nelson Mandela

Neil Johnston

Nelson Mandela had little to do with pharmacy (except that he was involved in action to obtain access to cheap HIV medications for his country) but his personal code of conduct was admired universally.
His strength of character and leadership style certainly avoided what might have become a blood-bath in South Africa.
His recent passing was a loss to the World Community and i2P decided to acknowledge this great man within its pages.
I also began to think about what his personal reaction might have been to some current issues in Australia and its health system, and how our leaders compare with his standards.
For example, would he have signed up to the current proposed version of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and would he have endorsed the actions of Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, Big Agriculture, Big Herbicide/Pesticide where it involved human health?
I am sure the answer would have been a resounding NO!
The following is a statement he made and observed:

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”


The following synopsis of his life has been extracted from the Nelson Mandela Foundation website:

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Debbie Rigby to lead SHPA’s new accredited pharmacist group

Staff Writer

From Natalie Collard
SHPA is pleased to announce that Debbie Rigby will chair the SHPA Accredited Pharmacists Reference Group. Debbie is a highly regarded consultant clinical pharmacist, and comes with much experience in education, research, governance and communication. She is a Director at NPS MedicineWise and was the inaugural AACP Consultant Pharmacist of the Year in 2008. Debbie has much to offer.
SHPA President Professor Michael Dooley said “SHPA is fortunate that Debbie has agreed to chair this important group. Under her leadership this group will consolidate SHPA’s support for pharmacists who provide medication reviews and guide SHPA and our members through changes in pharmacy practice such a post-discharge hospital referral pathway for HMRs, which is on the horizon.”

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Support for pharmacists throughout the holidays Call 1300 244 910 to talk it over with a colleague

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

Not everyone enjoys this time of the year. Work pressures in pharmacy can be substantial with the end of the year “safety-net” rush, Boxing Day sales, holiday crowds in tourist areas and limited access to other health services.
Many pharmacists do not have the opportunity to relax with family and friends.
A sense of isolation can be exacerbated, especially if those around you are relaxing and celebrating and you are not.

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ASMI supports voluntary move to add front-of-pack warnings to S3 codeine-containing analgesics

Marie Kelly-Davies

The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) has today confirmed that it supports industry-wide measures for a voluntary front-of-pack warning statement to be added to S3 codeine-containing analgesics, and that ASMI members who supply these products have agreed to implement the voluntary label changes as soon as possible.

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PHARMACY OWNERS CAUGHT UNDERPAYING HUNDREDS OF EMPLOYEE PHARMACISTS IN NEW AUDIT

Professional Pharmacists Australia Spokesperson

One quarter of Australia's pharmacy owners are breaking workplace laws, including underpaying their pharmacists and other staff, according to a shocking new Fair Work Ombudsman's audit report released today.
CEO of Professional Pharmacists Australia, Chris Walton, said the PPA's campaign to establish the audit was justified after it found 599 cases of pharmacists and other staff being underpaid, and more than $280,000 had to be paid back to pharmacy employees.

Comments: 1

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Contact Lenses- a Platform for Glucose Measurement by Google

Staff Writer

Editor's Note: There is no doubt that health services are undergoing a revolution in the form of mobile apps and wearable technology.
The process is disruptive in terms of potential reductions in visits to various health professionals, including pharmacists,
Opportunity exists for pharmacists who can provide (for a fee) bridging technology and supporting information and advice to enable a patient to self manage their condition.
There is also a general movement in health development to create a self care environment with barriers being progressively removed e.g. S3 advertising.
Pharmacists need to develop also a recognisable and marketable patient mentoring service.


Diabetes is a disease without borders — one in 19 people across the globe deal with this illness that requires constant blood measurements and insulin treatment.
Google might soon make day-to-day care a little easier for diabetics with contact lenses that can read a person’s blood sugar through their tears – bringing new meaning to the popular wearable tech trend.

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Role of vitamin D, in combination with calcium, indisputable for bone health

Marie Kelly-Davies

Despite the current debate surrounding vitamin D, its role in maintaining good bone health and protecting against osteoporosis, in combination with calcium, is indisputable.

While evidence of the potential role vitamin D may play in non-skeletal conditions mounts, the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) agrees with recent editorial comments in The Lancet that large clinical studies would help to properly assess the effects of vitamin D for health conditions such as heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, dementia and inflammatory diseases.1

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Pharmedia: No Benefit in Pharmacist Intervention

Neil Johnston

Editor's Note:
The media item below was recently published in MJA Insights.
It, along with many other articles, is a sample of the ongoing anti-pharmacy sentiment that is being spread by official medicine.
To me it is a nonsense to talk of collaboration between pharmacy and medicine on one hand, and to be professionally insulting on the other.
My view is that the medical profession has a lot of repair work to undertake to purify the drug evidence base that has been damaged beyond belief by its collaboration with Big Pharma, and the ongoing bid to denigrate the profession of pharmacy at every opportunity.
What seems to terrify official medicine about pharmacy and other registered health professionals such as nurses?
I2P asked Mark Coleman to comment on this situation, and his comments appear below the Insights item.

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Something’s Fishy About Macular Degeneration Fish Oil Studies

Staff Writer

articles by this author...

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

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, December 11, 2013

Something’s Fishy About Macular Degeneration Fish Oil Studies
by Bill Sardi

(OMNS Dec 11, 2013) Just seven months ago National Eye Institute researchers claimed fish oil “doesn’t seem to help macular degeneration,” (1) a sight-robbing eye disease that plagues adults in their senior years.
So how could another newly published study produce exactly opposite results?
In fact, fish oil didn’t just slow down the insidious progression of this eye disease, it restored vision to every patient placed on high-dose fish oil. It was therapeutic and curative, not just preventive.

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The study I’m referring to is likely to be dismissed. The study group was small - only 25 patients. There was no inactive placebo pill given to another group of patients for comparison, a requirement for scientific validity. And it’s also possible (but not plausible) that all the patients in the study were abjectly deficient in omega-3 fish oils, producing an atypical effect. But the study group was based in the Mediterranean where fish consumption is high. And it’s not likely any placebo effect was involved.

The study is so convincing, especially when combined with all of the positive fish oil studies conducted over the last decade (see chart below), eye physicians would now be derelict in their duty not to recommend every long-living senior adult to consume more fish, or better yet - take concentrated fish oil capsules, if they want to maintain their sight throughout their retirement years.

Growing evidence

The study I’m referring to was just published in the PharmNutrition journal. (2)
It raises many questions, particularly why has it taken so long to discover high-dose fish oil can restore lost sight to many Americans. The data pointing to fish oil as a dietary agent that can stave off vision loss with advancing age has been growing for over a decade.

Except for one “fishy”study, all other human clinical fish oil studies published over the past 13 years indicate fish oil slows down or prevents macular degeneration, a sight-robbing condition that affects central vision used for reading, driving and face recognition.

The latest published study was more momentous than prior studies as it didn’t just show fish oil slows down the progression of the disease; it actually began to restore vision to patients within days of starting a daily regimen of high-dose fish oil capsules.

Slowing macular degeneration down is one thing, but reversing it is another. There is no cure for the common form of the disease, called dry macular degeneration. Antioxidant dietary supplements recommended for this disease slow down its progression by maybe 10 percent at best.

Macular degeneration patients began experiencing improvement in visual acuity from the get-go. After six months a third of the patients could see letters that were three lines smaller on the eye chart. Another third saw two lines better and the remaining third a single line of improvement.

100% of patients with macular degeneration experienced improved vision when the normal course of the disease is insidiously progressive loss of central vision.

High dose

The dose of fish oil was the highest used in any study so far — 5000 milligrams (3400 mg EPA, 1600 mg DHA), or a bit less than two tablespoons a day. That much fish oil is likely to be costly for retirees on fixed incomes, around two dollars a day. A six-month six-month course would certainly be worth the investment, especially when some seniors might be able to renew their driver’s license or resume activities that help them stay independent.

The one “fishy” negative study was reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association in May of this year. (3)
National Eye Institute researchers said fish oil "doesn't seem to help age-related macular degeneration."

That study compared a low dose of omega-3 fish oil with an antioxidant formula providing lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc and copper (no true placebo group or inactive pill was used). The dose of fish oils in the treatment group was much lower than prior studies.

Some skeptical researchers I have consulted express concerns over the fact this study was conducted largely among well-nourished subjects who likely eat a lot of fish in their diet. I’m informed that the comparison group consumed up to 720 milligrams of fish oil from their daily diet. Also some study subjects in the comparison group may have been supplementing with folic acid which raises blood levels of omega-3 oils. (4) Researchers concede that “study results may not be generalisable, because the study population is a highly selected group of highly educated and well-nourished people.” Was the study rigged to fail?

(Bill Sardi is a well-known nutritional medicine writer and is the founder of Knowledge of Health, Inc. http://knowledgeofhealth.com/ Copyright (C) 2013 Bill Sardi and reprinted with his permission.)

COMPILATION OF STUDIES

Fish Oil/ Age-Related Dry Macular Degeneration Studies
Limited to human studies involving fish oil alone

AMD= age-related macular degeneration

Study published

Type of study

Length of time

# of subjects

Location

Dose of fish oil

Result

PharmNutrition
Dec 2013

Controlled THERAPY

6 mos

25
(40 eyes) 50-85 yrs of age

Cyprus

3400
mg EPA/1600 mg DHA

100% improved at least 1 line visual acuity; avg. 2 lines vision improvement (10 letters1)

Ophthalmology
Aug 2013

Controlled PREVENTION

3 years

263
55-85 yrs of age

France

270 mg EPA/ 840 mg DHA

Highest EPA/DHA blood level = -68% risk reduction for new blood vessel formation. No visual acuity improvement. Note: placebo was olive oil2.

Ophthalmology
May 2013

Dietary intake PREVENTION

5 & 10 yrs

2531

Boston, Mass

Dietary intake

8.1% and 16.9% of healthy eyes progressed (geographic atrophy) over 5 & 10 years; highest intake of DHA = -32% relative reduced risk

J American Med Assn
May 2013

Controlled TREATMENT

4.3-5.1 yrs

4203
73.1 yrs mean age

Multi-center study USA

650 mg EPA/ 350 mg DHA

Omega-3 levels rose in blood but visual improvements were not significant

J. Nutrition
April 2013

Dietary PREVENTION

32 mos avg

963
Age 73+ yrs

France

Dietary intake

Highest blood levels of omega-3 = -38% reduced risk for advance AMD

Investigative Ophthalmology
July 2011

Dietary intake PREVENTION

3 yrs

666

France

Dietary intake

Fish oil intake decreased risk for early AMD (-17%) and advanced AMD (-74%)

Archives Ophthalmology
July 2011

Dietary intake PREVENTION

–

38022
women- mean age 54.6 yrs

Boston, MA

Dietary intake

1 serving fish/week compared to 1 serving/week reduced relative risk for AMD -42%

Amer J Clinical Nutrition
Dec 2009

Dietary intake PREVENTION

13 yrs

1837

Multi-center study USA

Dietary intake

High intake fish oil 30% less likely to advanced AMD

British J Ophthalmology
Sept 2009

Dietary Intake PREVENTION

8 yrs

2934

Multi-Center Study USA

Dietary intake

Highest intake (=64.0 mg/d for DHA/ =42.3 mg/d EPA) had a significant ~25% decreased relative risk for disease

Archives Ophthalmology
May 2009

Dietary Intake PREVENTION

4 yrs

6734
58-69 yrs of age

Australia

Dietary intake

Highest intake fish oil reduced relative risk for advanced AMD by 15%

Euro J Ophthalmology
Jan 2009

Controlled THERAPY

6 mos

22

France

720 mg EPA/ 480 mg DHA

Improved circulation (“blood enrichment”) observed

Archives Ophthalmology
Jan 2009

Dietary Intake PREVENTION

12-yrs

1837

Multi-Center Study USA

Dietary intake

Highest intake fish oil 30% less likely to develop advanced AMD

Archives Ophthalmology
Sept 2008

Dietary intake PREVENTION

6.3 yrs

2132
71+ yrs

Multi-Center Study USA

Dietary intake

Participants w/highest levels of DHA intake half as likely to experience progression (geographic atrophy)as lowest intake

Archives Ophthalmology
May 2007

Dietary PREVENTION

–

4519
60-80 yrs of age

Multi-Center Study USA

Dietary intake

-46% relative risk reduction for advanced AMD with highest DHA intake

Archives Ophthalmology
July 2006

Dietary PREVENTION

5 yrs

2335
49+ years

Australia

Dietary intake

Highest intake of fish oil reduced relative risk for early AMD 59%

Archives Ophthalmology
Aug 2001

Dietary PREVENTION

–

349
55-80 yrs of age

Boston, MA

Dietary intake

Greater fish consumption reduced risk for AMD

Am J Clinical Nutrition
Feb 2001

Dietary PREVENTION

–

72489
50+ yrs of age

Boston, MA

Dietary intake

Highest DHA intake reduced relative risk for AMD 30%; more than 4 servings of fish/week reduced AMD risk 35%

Archives Ophthalmology
March 2000

Dietary PREVENTION

–

3654
49+ years of age

Australia

Dietary intake

Fish consumption associated with reduced risk for advanced AMD

1 One line of letters on the visual acuity chart = 5 letters

2 Olive oil shown to halve risk to develop advanced AMD in another study (Archives Ophthalmology 127: 674, May 2009), so not wise choice of placebo. Would have narrowed differences between fish oil and olive oil supplemented subjects.

 

References:

1. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130513152403.htm

2. Georgiou T, Neokleous A, Nicolaou D, Sears B. Pilot study for treating dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) with high-dose omega-3 fatty acids. PharmaNutrition, Available online 18 October 2013. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phanu.2013.10.001

3. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) Research Group. Lutein + Zeaxanthin and Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Age-Related Macular Degeneration: The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2013;309(19):2005-2015. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.4997. http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1684847

4. Das UN. Folic acid and polyunsaturated fatty acids improve cognitive function and prevent depression, dementia, and Alzheimer's disease--but how and why? Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2008 Jan;78(1):11-9. Epub 2007 Nov 28. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18054217

Nutritional Medicine is Orthomolecular Medicine

Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information: http://www.orthomolecular.org

 

The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource.

 Editorial Review Board:

Ian Brighthope, M.D. (Australia)
Ralph K. Campbell, M.D. (USA)
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. (USA)
Damien Downing, M.D. (United Kingdom)
Dean Elledge, D.D.S., M.S. (USA)
Michael Ellis, M.D. (Australia)
Martin P. Gallagher, M.D., D.C. (USA)
Michael Gonzalez, D.Sc., Ph.D. (Puerto Rico)
William B. Grant, Ph.D. (USA)
Steve Hickey, Ph.D. (United Kingdom)
Michael Janson, M.D. (USA)
Robert E. Jenkins, D.C. (USA)
Bo H. Jonsson, M.D., Ph.D. (Sweden)
Peter H. Lauda, M.D. (Austria)
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D. (USA)
Stuart Lindsey, Pharm.D. (USA)
Jorge R. Miranda-Massari, Pharm.D. (Puerto Rico)
Karin Munsterhjelm-Ahumada, M.D. (Finland)
Erik Paterson, M.D. (Canada)
W. Todd Penberthy, Ph.D. (USA)
Gert E. Schuitemaker, Ph.D. (Netherlands)
Robert G. Smith, Ph.D. (USA)
Jagan Nathan Vamanan, M.D. (India)
Atsuo Yanagisawa, M.D., Ph.D. (Japan)

 

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