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Regular updates from the global world of pharmacy.
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Practical experience is hard to acquire once you have finished your academic studies.
It is a process we all have to experience at one stage of our career.
The transition from being a student to a practising pharmacist can be a difficult time and unless early career pharmacists equip themselves for the new challenges they face, they may not be maximising their career opportunities.
It is also the type of program that could earn incentive payments for the workplaces providing the experience in the community.
The Pharmacy Council recently promoted a discussion document to encourage feedback from the health care environment on the impending legislative changes that are intended to provide the opportunity for pharmacists to prescribe.
The proposed legislation will enable suitably qualified postgraduate educated and skilled clinical pharmacists to prescribe from the drug tariff for patients under their care.
These pharmacists will have to work as part of a primary health care team and it is expected they will become an integral part of that team.
All very exciting for our profession to witness that there is a recognition that pharmacists are capable of stepping up to the mark and are worthy of greater responsibilities.
Pharma-Goss for August 2010
When selecting a team to participate in a primary health care review of the diagnosis and management of hypertension patient one would hope that a pharmacist would be a natural selection.
But in the case of a paper published recently in Australian Family Physician (http://www.racgp.org.au/afp/201007/201007howes.pdf) a pharmacist did not rate a mention in the panel set up to identify the problems associated with diagnosing hypertension and maintaining a dose that suited the needs of the patient with maximum adherence.
On the surface it seemed like a reasonable statement to make.
It read: “Clarification - in the March 2010 edition of Pulse+IT it was reported that the electronic prescribing service operated by eRx Script Exchange had received 7.5 million scripts "sent to the eRx script hub by prescribers" as of the middle of January.
Omitted from the article was reference to a workflow that allows pharmacists to send repeat prescriptions to the hub for later retrieval by any pharmacist connected to the eRx system.
The volume of transactions quoted in the March 2010 article included such scripts, in addition to scripts sent to the hub directly by prescribers.”
In The Australian Friday 23 July (Political creed: do no harm) Emma Connors reported that “sometime in the next four weeks both Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott are likely to sign a letter promising their support to a group of 5000 small business owners whose public standing allows them to extract an extraordinary pledge.”
She reported that the Guild had “asked the leaders of both sides of politics to agree that the terms of the recently enacted Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement will be upheld, including the all-important promise to keep supermarkets out of pharmacy”.
Editor's Note - 15th November 2012:
When this article was first published in August 2010, Gollman-Bouw had entered into liquidation following a very turbulent period under the stewardship of Mark Bouw, managing director of the Australian enterprise.
Since that date the automated dispensing market has settled down and is now demonstrating steady and solid growth.
New people have entered into an agreement with German company Gollmann Systems and they have no relationship with any of the people associated with the former entity.
Many of the initial teething problems have been overcome and a better understanding of the Australian pharmacy market has emerged.
Gollmann Systems are globally competitive and contain innovations not seen in some of their competitors.
Any prospective purchaser should short-list this product when seeking a solution for their pharmacy.
Since the global financial crisis began to bite, Australians have shifted more of their weekly purchases into private label.
In respect of the $70 billion pa food market, private label currently accounts for 23%, with the prospect of moving to 30% within five years.
Many foods have health giving and medicinal properties.
Indeed, i2P reports frequently in its Preventive Medicine section, regular discoveries where food can be used to support various health conditions.
For example, raw beetroot juice has recently been found to be effective in treating high blood pressure (it contains nitrates) and is as effective as some antihypertensive drugs. Cinnamon is another food that is useful for diabetics, where cinnamon appears to have effects similar to metformin i.e. it sensitises insulin.
Ayurvedic medicine, developed in India over centuries, encompasses the use of many delicious foods enhanced with herbs and spices.
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian healing system. The central philosophy is that illness is caused by an imbalance of the body's three vital energies, or 'doshas'. Ayurveda uses a range of treatments including yoga, massage, acupuncture and herbal medicine.
More information can be found at the Australian government site - HealthInsite. http://www.healthinsite.gov.au/topics/Ayurvedic_Medicine
For Ayurveda diet and health information that can get you started, try this site http://www.joyfulbelly.com
People involved in e-health are bitterly disappointed with the "hung parliament" result.
At least Labour had a vision with its national broadband roll-out, even if it wasn't properly articulated in regard to cost.
Some proponents argue that the cost matters little - it is the advantage given to Australians who want to be pioneers in e-health. Opportunities could be lost and they may be priceless.
i2P went looking for some informed comment on the subject and found some excellent commentary written by Paul Budde, a telecommunications analyst.
His commentary follows:
Researchers have collected venom from octopuses in Antarctica for the first time, significantly advancing our understanding of the properties of venom as a potential resource for drug-development.
The study, conducted by an international team of researchers from the University of Melbourne, the Norwegian University of Technology and Science and the University of Hamburg, provides the first insight into the properties of Antarctic octopus venom.
It has also revealed the existence of four new species of octopus.
The effects of diabetes on organs such as the heart, eyes and kidneys are relatively well known, but women are now being warned of its potential to cause damage in another way – to sexual performance.
Victoria University’s Professor Lily Stojanovska and Dr Michael Mathai are conducting a study to assess the potential for improving sexual function in women with type 2 diabetes by taking a supplement from a plant traditionally used for this purpose in Peru.
The root of the plant Maca (Lepidium meyenii), which grows in the Peruvian Andes, has been used by locals for centuries, where it is reported to enhance fertility and to boost energy levels.
Some years ago an Australian hospital pharmacist pioneered wound management in Australian hospitals and went on to develop courses to train community pharmacists interested in setting up a specialty wound management clinic in their pharmacy setting.
This type of service initially established itself in a restricted number of pharmacy settings, but gradually faded away due to the pressure of PBS dispensing.
Now the opportunity is reappearing in WA at Curtin University with a purpose built facility established to train all health students (including pharmacy).
And here is the dilemma.
Many pharmacists would like to be involved in this type of activity but most community pharmacies are not physically designed to accommodate this service.
However, with the future development of Primary Health Care Organisations (PHCO's) under way, it may be possible for pharmacists to be part of the wound management team in that type of organisation.
Nicola Roxon is contributing $380,000 towards the project and is expected to be operational within three months.
University of Adelaide researchers are a step closer to finding a link between genetic susceptibility to cerebral palsy and a range of environmental risk factors during pregnancy, including infections and pre-term delivery.
During National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Week (August 1-7), Professor Alastair MacLennan from the University's Robinson Institute says their research shows that pregnant women who are genetically susceptible to infections and other environmental hazards could trigger cerebral palsy in their unborn babies.
Prescription vending machines are being deployed in the UK Sainsbury pharmacy chain. This is being done in conjunction with the normal in-store pharmacy service,
and is being promoted as an additional service for those who would prefer it.
It is not an automated dispensing solution.
Why do we grow old and what can we do to stop it? This is the question asked by many, but it appears that we are now closer to an answer thanks to new research published by Monash University researcher Dr Damian Dowling.
According to the research published in the August edition of the prestigious journal, The American Naturalist, a small set of genes in mitochondria (a membrane-enclosed organelle found in most eukaryotic cells), passed only from mothers to offspring, plays a more dynamic role in predicting life expectancies than ever previously anticipated.
In a shrewd management decision, the Board of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has announced the appointment of Liesel Wett as the organisation’s new Chief Executive Officer.
Ms Wett, who is currently Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of the Australian General Practice Network, is expected to take up her appointment on 1 October 2010.
Given that the PSA will need to develop closer and stronger ties with GP organisations, this appointment may well prove to be critical for the future professional development of pharmacists.
Pharmacists will be enabled to get inside and understand GP thinking, guided by Liesel Wett.
Inflammation-causing cells in fat tissue may explain the link between obesity and diabetes, a team of Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researchers has shown.
The discovery, by Professor Len Harrison and Dr John Wentworth from the institute’s Autoimmunity and Transplantation division, opens the way for new anti-inflammatory treatments that prevent insulin resistance (where the body is unable to respond to and use the insulin it produces) and other complications associated with obesity.
The UK has started a new phase in private prescription discounting – no mark up on the drug and 50% off the dispensing fee.
“Millions could be saved every year if private prescription mark ups are abandoned, according to the Superdrug superintendent pharmacist.
Superdrug will dispense all private prescriptions with no mark up on the cost of the medicine, the company announced this week (3 August 2010).
It is also halving its minimum charge for dispensing medicines to £2.25.”
An opinion provided by the University of Sydney
By Professors Ben Eggleton and David Moss
Those who think our country can do without the national broadband network clearly do not fully understand the potential such a network offers to Australians. While other countries scramble to find ways to meet this exploding demand for global bandwidth, the opposition is wringing its hands and debating the need.
The network will do three things for Australia: it will pay for itself, it will stimulate the innovation economy and it will have multiple applications.
A University of Adelaide study shows that aged garlic extract may help lower blood pressure in the 3.7 million Australians who suffer hypertension.
Research trials by Dr Karin Ried and her colleagues from the University's Discipline of General Practice show that garlic could be used as an adjunct to conventional drugs for hypertension.
However, raw or cooked garlic, and garlic powder are not as effective in treating high blood pressure as aged garlic extract.
The world's first solar-diesel power station has opened in Western Australia's Pilbara region at Marble Bar, known for its record high temperatures.
WA's Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore opened Horizon Power's Pippunyah Solar Diesel Power Station on Friday.
The new $34 million station is powered by the biggest sun-tracking solar panel farm in Australia.
Recently, a research report was published online in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine that highlighted Australian consumer attitudes towards complementary medicines and pharmacists selling complementary medicines.
An abstract is published below.
Consumers have indicated in earlier surveys that they wanted pharmacists to be the primary source of information for them and to keep a range of products that they could feel safe with.
The profession initially responded to those needs with the PGA setting up a College of Clinical Nutrition and many pharmacists (including this editor) completed the Advanced Diploma of Clinical Nutrition (Pharmacy).
Unfortunately, the college was closed and an alternative resource was never re-established.
People who did receive training in the use of nutritionals gained a new perspective in respect of practicing their profession and tended to work in the area of preventive medicine when an opportunity presented itself.
We have again asked Mark Coleman to comment on the survey and his report appears below the article abstract.
Barry Urquhart, Managing Director of Marketing Focus, Perth. Barry is an internationally recognised conference keynote speaker, facilitator of strategic planning workshops and marketing business coach.
Success waits for no one. Moreover, everyone needs to value success for it to be attainable and sustainable. Nothing is inevitable! Just ask the players from the soccer (football) teams which were eliminated early from the World Cup series in South Africa. Similar lessons were had for the 127 losers in each of the respective men’s and women’s Wimbledon Tennis championships.
Dispel immediately the myth that the Global Financial Crisis is behind us and that we will all profit from the inevitable cyclical upturn which is bound to arrive shortly.
The best laid plans of men and mice, complemented by analysis of each competitor, account for little if one’s strategies are too predictable, risk averse and mainstream. Some else was at play.
Success waits for no one. Moreover, everyone needs to value success for it to be attainable and sustainable.
Nothing is inevitable! Just ask the players from the soccer (football) teams which were eliminated early from the World Cup series in South Africa. Similar lessons were had for the 127 losers in each of the respective men’s and women’s Wimbledon Tennis championships.
The fundamental attributes of success in the contemporary, dynamic marketplace are flexibility, malleability, responsiveness, anticipation, assertiveness and above all else, spontaneity and a better understanding of the values of those with whom one wishes to deal.
In short, set game plans have limited application. Centralised decision making is slow, cumbersome and disadvantageous. Delegated authority is a virtue.
Deftness of foot and mind are to be valued, for it will be rewarded.... on the football ground, around the tennis court and in offices, shops and plants throughout the world.
The fluidity of current market forces has been instrumental in an orientation to the “Why” and “What”, rather than the “How” focus in business transactions.
Confidence in one’s team members enables leaders to address the desired, optimal and minimal “bottom line” and outcomes. Look no further than the Italian and French football (soccer) teams for examples of the relevance and importance of the team cohesion and shared values.
How the goal is achieved is less important, subject to adherence of accepted and established corporate philosophies and principles, together with respect for the prevailing social mores.
An acid test in the measure and comprehension of both the “Why” and “What” and the “How” is the ability of all team members to honestly and accurately respond with, “I understand”.
Many instances of suboptimal performance or inappropriate behaviour arise because teams, groups and individuals “do not understand”.
FAMILY BUSINESS VALUES
The essence of the ongoing success of family based businesses is not ownership, nor appointments to senior positions of family members.
It is the underlying values and sense of family that most contribute to cohesion, stability among the employees, customer satisfaction and sustainable competitive advantage.
People, stakeholders if you will, value and respect a sense of belonging, regardless of the ownership and shareholding structure.
Therefore, more care, attention and effort are needed by business leaders to promote and inculcate family values throughout an entity. The emotional and emotive rewards and returns will be reflected in the attainment of key performance indicators.
Members of better “families” talk, share, support, contribute and exhibit pride in being part. Titles and positional power account for little. Everyone knows who is the boss.
What matters most is doing the right thing ......for everyone. In business parlance that is a “Win-Win” situation.
A POSITIVE PRECEDENT
Within one week of Julia Gillard being installed as Prime Minister of Australia, media reports appeared with the headlines:-
“PM TO CLEAR THE DECKS”
The new incumbent identified the need to finalise or remove from the political agenda the issue of financial stimuli, centring on home insulation, the Better Education Revolution building program and the Emissions Trading Scheme proposal. She also declared intent to negotiate a mutually acceptable resolution with the mining industry regarding the contentious Resource Super Profits Tax legislation. A deadline of 10 days was set for the finalisation of the negotiations.
The expressions and actions reflect the words of a nationalistic song:-
“We are one, we are Australians”
Those are great values.
It is typical for Australians and those of other nationalities to come together in support of their respective national Olympic Games competitors, football, basketball, netball, cricket and general sporting teams. Consequently, it seems little to ask for everyone to “do the right thing” and contribute to the sense of and enjoy the benefits and advantages, which are innate to a “family” sentiment in business.
Sustainable success in business often begins with effective recruitment processes.
In “tight” labour markets, where employment rates are at or near full, it can be difficult to attract appealing job applicants. A strong focus on the available position, its duties, responsibilities, salary and employment conditions can elicit an enormous response from a non selective audience of aspirants.
Astute companies and Human Resource managers are tending towards marketing the company brand and its innate characteristics as a means for people to “self- screen” their appropriateness for the entity and its values, rather than their aptitude and qualifications for the position.
The process continues with the induction of new recruits into the values of a business. Many mining companies have a strong emphasis on, and commitment to safety, better manufacturing entities promote the importance of occupational health and safety. Clearly, respect for and adherence to values ensures a “better fit” of people into a business.
A GLARING GAP
Internationally, marketers are conducting studies into the relative recent declines in the effectiveness of advertising, marketing, merchandising and promotional campaigns.
Research findings have isolated key casual and contributing factors, which of themselves have been the catalysts, for a new field of market research. “Sentiment Mining” involves the isolation and review of the use and application of key words.
Careful analysis of key and common words used on Facebook and YouTube has actually enabled marketers to develop new, unique and effective profiles of existing and prospective clients and customers.
Insights on word-usage, emotions and specific expressions has enabled improved effectiveness and response rates from advertising, marketing and broader communications.
A better understanding of the values which influence and determine interest in and demand for products and services reinforce and endorse the contention that success is a values thing.
Barry Urquhart, Managing Director of Marketing Focus, Perth is an internationally renowned conference keynote speaker, business analyst and author.
He is an in demand facilitator of interactive workshops.
Barry has accepted an invitation to be a Visiting Fellow by the Leeds Metropolitan University, Britain. He will address undergraduates, post graduates and local Leeds business leaders during a speaking tour in November.
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