s Vaccine Lobby Threatens Professional Independence | I2P: Information to Pharmacists - Archive
Publication Date 01/07/2014         Volume. 6 No. 6   
Information to Pharmacists

Editorial

From the desk of the editor

Welcome to the July 2014 homepage edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) E-Magazine.
At the commencement of 2014 i2P focused on the need for the entire profession of pharmacy and its associated industry supports to undergo a renewal and regeneration.
We are now half-way through this year and it is quite apparent that pharmacy leaders do not yet have a cohesive and clear sense of direction.
Maybe the new initiative by Woolworths to deliver clinical service through young pharmacists and nurses may sharpen their focus.
If not, community pharmacy can look forward to losing a substantial and profitable market share of the clinical services market.
Who would you blame when that happens?
But I have to admit there is some effort, even though the results are but meagre.
In this edition of i2P we focus on the need for research about community pharmacy, the lack of activity from practicing pharmacists and when some research is delivered, a disconnect appears in its interpretation and implementation.

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News Flash

Newsflash Updates for July 2014

Newsflash Updates

Regular weekly updates that supplement the regular monthly homepage edition of i2P. 
Access and click on the title links that are illustrated

Comments: 1

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Feature Contribution

Woolworths Pharmacy - Getting One Stage Closer

Neil Johnston

It started with “tablet” computers deployed on shelves inside the retailer Coles, specifically to provide information to consumers relating to pain management and the sale of strong analgesics.
This development was reported in i2P under the title Coles Pharmacy Expansion and the Arid PGA Landscape”
In that article we reported that qualified information was a missing link that had come out of Coles market research as the reason to why it had not succeeded in dominating the pain market.
Of course, Woolworths was working on the same problem at the same time and had come up with a better solution - real people with good information.

Comments: 5

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Intensive Exposition without crossing over with a supermarket

Fiona Sartoretto Verna AIAPP

Editor's Note: The understanding of a pharmacy's presentation through the research that goes into the design of fixtures and fittings that highlight displays, is a never-ending component of pharmacy marketing.
Over the past decade, Australian pharmacy shop presentations have fallen behind in standards of excellence.
It does not take rocket science - you just have to open your eyes.
Recently, our two major supermarkets, Woolworths and Coles, have entered into the field of drug and condition information provision - right into the heartland of Australian Pharmacy.

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The sure way to drive business away

Gerald Quigley

I attended the Pregnancy, Baby and Children’s Expo in Brisbane recently.
What an eye and ear opening event that was!
Young Mums, mature Mums, partners of all ages, grandparents and friends……...many asking about health issues and seeking reassurances that they were doing the right thing.

Comments: 1

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‘Marketing Based Medicine’ – how bad is it?

Baz Bardoe

It should be the scandal of the century.
It potentially affects the health of almost everyone.
Healthcare providers and consumers alike should be up in arms. But apart from coverage in a few credible news sources the problem of ‘Marketing Based Medicine,’ as psychiatrist Dr Peter Parry terms it, hasn’t as yet generated the kind of universal outrage one might expect.

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Community Pharmacy Research - Are You Involved?

Mark Coleman

Government funding is always scarce and restricted.
If you are ever going to be a recipient of government funds you will need to fortify any application with evidence.
From a government perspective, this minimises risk.
I must admit that while I see evidence of research projects being managed by the PGA, I rarely see community pharmacists individually and actively engaged in the type of research that would further their own aims and objectives (and survival).

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Organisational Amnesia and the Lack of a Curator Inhibits Cultural Progress

Neil Johnston

Most of us leave a tremendous impact on pharmacies we work for (as proprietors, managers, contractors or employees)—in ways we’re not even aware of.
But organisational memories are often all too short, and without a central way to record that impact and capture the knowledge and individual contributions, they become lost to time.
It is ironic that technology has provided us with phenomenal tools for communication and connection, but much of it has also sped up our work lives and made knowledge and memory at work much more ephemeral.

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Academics on the payroll: the advertising you don't see

Staff Writer

This article was first published in The Conversation and was written by Wendy Lipworth, University of Sydney and Ian Kerridge, University of Sydney
In the endless drive to get people’s attention, advertising is going ‘native’, creeping in to places formerly reserved for editorial content. In this Native Advertising series we find out what it looks like, if readers can tell the difference, and more importantly, whether they care.
i2P has republished the article as it supports our own independent and ongoing investigations on how drug companies are involved in marketing-based medicine rather than evidence-based medicine.

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I’ve been thinking about admitting wrong.

Mark Neuenschwander

Editor's Note: This is an early article by Mark Neuenschwander we have republished after the soul-searching surrounding a recent Australian dispensing error involving methotrexate.
Hmm. There’s more than one way you could take that, huh? Like Someday when I get around to it (I’m not sure) I may admit that I was wrong about something. Actually, I’ve been thinking about the concept of admitting wrong. So don’t get your hopes up. No juicy confessions this month except that I wish it were easier for me to admit when I have been wrong or made a mistake.
Brian Goldman, an ER physician from Toronto, is host of the award-winning White Coat, Black Art on CBC Radio and slated to deliver the keynote at The unSUMMIT for Bedside Barcoding in Anaheim this May. His TED lecture, entitled, “Doctors make mistakes. Can we talk about it?” had already been viewed by 386,072 others before I watched it last week.

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Dispensing errors – a ripple effect of damage

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

Most readers will be aware of recent publicity relating to dispensing errors and in particular to deaths caused by methotrexate being incorrectly packed in dose administration aids.
The Pharmacy Board of Australia (PBA), in its Communique of 13 June 2014, described a methotrexate packing error leading to the death of a patient and noted “extra vigilance is required to be exercised by pharmacists with these drugs”.
This same case was reported by A Current Affair (ACA) in its program on Friday 20 June
http://aca.ninemsn.com.au/article/8863098/prescription-drug-warning

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Take a vacation from your vocation

Harvey Mackay

Have you ever had one of those days when all you could think was, “Gosh, do I need a vacation.”
Of course you have – because all work and no play aren’t good for anyone.
A vacation doesn’t have to be two weeks on a tropical island, or even a long weekend at the beach. 
A vacation just means taking a break from your everyday activities. 
A change of pace. 
It doesn’t matter where.
Everyone needs a vacation to rejuvenate mentally and physically. 
But did you also know that you can help boost our economy by taking some days off? 
Call it your personal stimulus package.

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Explainer: what is peer review?

Staff Writer

This article was first published in the Conversation. It caught our eye because "peer review" it is one of the standards for evidence-based medicines that has also been corrupted by global pharma.
The article is republished by i2P as part of its ongoing investigation into scientific fraud and was writtenby Andre Spicer, City University London and Thomas Roulet, University of Oxford
We’ve all heard the phrase “peer review” as giving credence to research and scholarly papers, but what does it actually mean?
How does it work?
Peer review is one of the gold standards of science. It’s a process where scientists (“peers”) evaluate the quality of other scientists' work. By doing this, they aim to ensure the work is rigorous, coherent, uses past research and adds to what we already knew.
Most scientific journals, conferences and grant applications have some sort of peer review system. In most cases it is “double blind” peer review. This means evaluators do not know the author(s), and the author(s) do not know the identity of the evaluators.
The intention behind this system is to ensure evaluation is not biased.
The more prestigious the journal, conference, or grant, the more demanding will be the review process, and the more likely the rejection. This prestige is why these papers tend to be more read and more cited.

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Dentists from the dark side?

Loretta Marron OAM BSc

While dining out with an elderly friend, I noticed that he kept his false tooth plate in his shirt pocket. He had recently had seven amalgam-filled teeth removed, because he believed that their toxins were making him sick; but his new plate was uncomfortable. He had been treated by an 'holistic dentist'. Claiming to offer a "safe and healthier alternative" to conventional dentistry, are they committed to our overall health and wellbeing or are they promoting unjustified fear, unnecessarily extracting teeth and wasting our money?

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Planning for Profit in 2015 – Your key to Business Success

Chris Foster

We are now entering a new financial year and it’s a great time to reflect on last year and highlight those things that went well and those that may have impacted negatively in the pursuit of your goals.
It's also a great to spend some time re-evaluating your personal and business short, medium and long term goals in the light of events over the last year.
The achievement of your goals will in many cases be dependent on setting and aspiring to specific financial targets. It's important that recognise that many of your personal goals will require you to generate sufficient business profits to fund those aspirations

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ReWalk™ Personal Exoskeleton System Cleared by FDA for Home Use

Staff Writer

Exoskeleton leader ReWalk Robotics announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the company’s ReWalk Personal System for use at home and in the community.
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk.
ReWalk, the only exoskeleton with FDA clearance via clinical studies and extensive performance testing for personal use, is now available throughout the United States.

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Attracting and Retaining Great People

Barry Urquhart

Welcome to the new financial year in Australia.
For many in business the past year has been described as a challenging period.
Adjectives are a key feature of the English language.  In the business lexicon their use can be, and often is evocative and stimulate creative images.  But they can also contribute to inexact, emotional perceptions.
Throughout the financial pages of newspapers and business magazines adjectives abound.
References to “hot” money draw attention and comment.  The recent wave of funds from Chinese investors, keen to remove their wealth from the jurisdiction and control of government regulations is creating a potential property bubble in Australia.

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Updating Your Values - Extending Your Culture

Neil Johnston

Pharmacy culture is dormant.
Being comprised of values, unless each value is continually addressed, updated or deleted, entire organisations can stagnate (or entire professions such as the pharmacy profession).
Good values offer a strong sense of security, knowing that if you operate within the boundaries of your values, you will succeed in your endeavours.

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Evidence-based medicine is broken. Why we need data and technology to fix it

Staff Writer

The following article is reprinted from The Conversation and forms up part of our library collection on evidence-based medicines.
At i2P we also believe that the current model of evidence is so fractured it will never be able to be repaired.
All that can happen is that health professionals should independently test and verify through their own investigations what evidence exists to prescribe a medicine of any potency.
Health professionals that have patients (such as pharmacists) are ideally placed to observe and record the efficacy for medicines.
All else should confine their criticisms to their evidence of the actual evidence published.
If there are holes in it then share that evidence with the rest of the world.
Otherwise, do not be in such a hurry to criticise professions that have good experience and judgement to make a good choice on behalf of their patients, simply because good evidence has not caught up with reality.

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Laropiprant is the Bad One; Niacin is/was/will always be the Good One

Staff Writer

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, July 25, 2014
Laropiprant is the Bad One; Niacin is/was/will always be the Good One
by W. Todd Penberthy, PhD

(OMNS July 25, 2014) Niacin has been used for over 60 years in tens of thousands of patients with tremendously favorable therapeutic benefit (Carlson 2005).
In the first-person NY Times best seller, "8 Weeks to a Cure for Cholesterol," the author describes his journey from being a walking heart attack time bomb to a becoming a healthy individual.
He hails high-dose niacin as the one treatment that did more to correct his poor lipid profile than any other (Kowalski 2001).

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Culture Drive & Pharmacy Renewal

Neil Johnston

Deep within all of us we have a core set of values and beliefs that create the standards of behaviour that we align with when we set a particular direction in life.
Directions may change many times over a lifetime, but with life experiences and maturity values may increase in number or gain greater depth.
All of this is embraced under one word – “culture”.
When a business is born it will only develop if it has a sound culture, and the values that comprise that culture are initially inherent in the business founder.
A sound business culture equates to a successful business and that success is often expressed in the term “goodwill” which can be eventually translated to a dollar value.

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ReWalk™ Personal Exoskeleton System Cleared by FDA for Home Use

Staff Writer

Exoskeleton leader ReWalk Robotics announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the company’s ReWalk Personal System for use at home and in the community.
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk.
ReWalk, the only exoskeleton with FDA clearance via clinical studies and extensive performance testing for personal use, is now available throughout the United States.

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Pharmacy 2014 - Pharmacy Management Conference

Neil Johnston

The brave new world of health and wellness is not the enemy of Pharmacy, it is its champion.
Australian futurist, Morris Miselowski, one of the world's leading business visionaries, will present the Opening Keynote address on Pharmacy's Future in the new Health and Wellness Landscape at 2.00pm on Wednesday July 30.
Morris believes the key to better health care could already be in your pocket, with doctors soon set to prescribe iPhone apps, instead of pills.
Technology will revolutionise the health industry - a paradigm shift from healthcare to personal wellness.
Health and wellness applications on smartphones are already big news, and are dramatically changing the way we manage our personal health and everyday wellness.

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Generation and Application of Community Pharmacy Research

Neil Johnston

Editor’s Note: We have had a number of articles in this issue relating to pharmacy research.
The PGA has conducted a number of research initiatives over the years, including one recently reported in Pharmacy News that resulted from an analysis of the QCPP Patient Questionnaire.
Pharmacy Guild president, George Tambassis, appears to have authored the article following, and there also appears to be a disconnect between the survey report and its target audience illustrated by one of the respondent comments published.
I have asked Mark Coleman to follow through, elaborate and comment:

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Vaccine Lobby Threatens Professional Independence

Judy Wilyman

articles by this author...

I have many years of experience as a science teacher and I have lectured in environmental health issues. I began a PhD in environmental health policy at Wollongong University in 2007 and lectured and researched in Environmental Health at Murdoch University from 2008 – 2010. I am currently completing my PhD at Wollongong University.

On the 9th August 2013 an article in the Australian Doctor (on-line journal) informed the public that the Chiropractic Board of Australia has ordered all chiropractors to remove any 'anti-vaccination' material from their waiting rooms and websites.
This directive classes all 'risks' to vaccines as 'anti-vaccination' material - if it is not described on the Vaccination Information Sheet (VIS) that is provided to health practitioners with each vaccine. 

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In the medical journals and government documents there are many articles describing the 'risks' of vaccines and many of these known risks have not been listed on the VIS provided to your doctor/health practitioner. The VIS is being prepared by the Immunisation Action Coalition (IAC) for the global education of health professionals on vaccines. The funding for this body is from the CDC - a body that is dominated by industry interests and industry funding (Krimsky 2003, Angells 2005, Michaels 2008). It is this body that is providing educational material on vaccination for health practitioners globally and if doctors and other practitioners are regulated to 'only present the information provided on these sheets' then it is possible to select the information that is used to educate doctors and consumers.

This directive to chiropractors means that even valid scientific information is now labelled 'anti-vaccination' material if it is not included on the VIS. 
Doctors /chiropractors/HP's in Australia are regulated by their professional boards to support government vaccination policies and to only present the information on vaccines that is provided to them in their education. Health Professionals risk de-registration if they do not adhere to their 'obligations in the prevention of disease' in the community.

Below is a link to the guidelines for Good Medical Practice in Australia set by the Medical Board of Australia for the registration of doctors. It indicates that Health Practitioners in Australia are required to 'be aware of their obligations in disease prevention' (which requires them to support government vaccination policies) and to be 'immunised against relevant communicable diseases'. This means that doctors are no longer free to assess medical information on vaccination for themselves and present the risks of vaccination that are not listed on the VIS. 

This is a concern because the information can be 'selected' to present the benefits of vaccines and to reduce the risks. In addition, the media is not presenting the risks of vaccination and many journalists are telling the public 'there is no other side to the vaccination debate'. This information has become indoctrination and not health promotion and unless Australians stand up for their right to be informed about vaccines from different sources of information - and with the participation of consumers in the debate - then their will be no-one to represent the public interest in policy development. Government vaccination advisory boards have many medical and industry representatives but they do not include equal public representation of the public who would present the risks of this procedure.

Australians have allowed vaccination to become the default position for many diseases that have not been demonstrated to be a threat to the majority of the population. 11 vaccines in a one year old infant is too many - particularly when the combination of the ingredients in infant bodies has not been proven safe and parents are not informed of the ingredients of this combination of 11 - 16 vaccines.

I would suggest that parents ask their doctors for the VIS that comes with each vaccine (it is your right to have this information) and to ask if your doctor knows all the ingredients of vaccines. Please also ask them if they are free to present medical information on the risks of vaccines that is not listed on the VIS without risking de-registration from the profession.

Media articles on the outbreak of measles recently are informing the public that it is because of 'unvaccinated people'. There is no evidence provided for this statement. They have also stated that 'measles was eliminated in 2000' but no evidence was provided for this statement either. I will provide the links for these articles and hope that the public will actively participate in this debate because the public is being misinformed with selective science. I will also include a petition to demonstrate your support for consumers participating in decisions on the use of vaccines in public policy.  

Here is the link to the guidelines for medical registration in Australia

http://www.amc.org.au/index.php/about/good-medical-practice   

Here is the link for the article 'Chiros ordered to ditch anti-vax message' 

http://www.australiandoctor.com.au/news/latest-news/chiros-ordered-to-ditch-anti-vax-message?utm_source=Cirrus+Media+Newsletters&utm_campaign=5411657cec-fe913f1856_57489&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fe913f1856-5411657cec-58702729

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/19/measles-outbreak-queensland-vaccinate-children

Here is the petition to show your support for the right to choose how many vaccines we put in our healthy bodies and our children's bodies

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/My_Body_My_Choice/?cDZEidb

Return to home

Submitted by Jarrod McMaugh on Mon, 23/09/2013 - 20:02.

I suppose I can understand where you are coming from, in that you feel there is an issue with vaccines, and no one else is really looking at it from your point of view. The trouble is that you are really selective in what you think it relevant and what is irrelevant.

1) TGA is funded from money they receive from drug companies listing their products, but this is done in a manner that is very transparent. Paying those fees does not equate to a drug company getting what they want.

2) Chiropracters were asked to remove antivaccination information because it falls outside the realm of their practice. They aren't qualified to administer them, they aren't qualified to discuss them as a health professional. Sure they are entitled to their opinions, but the public give their opinion weight that is not deserved (on this topic).

3) You can't complain about health professionals being on advisory boards for vaccination - advisory boards for any health topic SHOULD and MUST contain health professionals. This doesn't mean they are biased.

4) I am a pharmacist. I do not dispense vaccines (most of the doctors where I practice store their own vaccines and use them directly). As I don't dispense any vaccines, I don't have a vested interest in their use. Yet I still recommend vaccination to everyone, simply because they are immensely effective. The safety profile of vaccines compared to the diseases they minimise the incidence of, is huge.

Yes there are side effects. Many of the "famous" side effects are inaccurately portrayed, especially autism. Some of them are very real and can be quite serious. But the incidence in comparison of deadly diseases, debilitating diseases, and diseases that create a large burden on society is minimised by this practice.

Submitted by Judy Wilyman on Fri, 27/09/2013 - 13:00.

I'd like to point out the selective nature of Jarrod McMaugh's comments.

1) It is the conflicting roles of the TGA that are an issue for this 'industry funded' regulator. This body approves drugs/vaccines for the market and it also monitors their safety in the population. What incentive is there to find fault with the drugs it approves and from which the industry profits?

2) Health professionals and the public do not have to be qualified in the administration of vaccines to discuss the pros and cons of using them. This is control of the science - selective information. Public health policies are enforced on the public and we should be free to discuss this medical procedure with all health professionals. If the benefits are clear there is no need to control the information.

3) Nobody is complaining about health professionals being on the board. The problem is the lack of public representation on the board when there are many industry experts and medical experts on these boards. Each stakeholder protects their own interest in the policy and the public needs to be properly represented to protect the public interest.

4) Stating that vaccines are 'immensely effective' and many of the 'famous side effects are inaccurately portrayed' is a value judgement and not a 'risk/benefit' assessment.The TGA does not have a monitoring system that can determine causal events from vaccines and their frequency in the population. They operate a voluntary reporting system that is estimated to pick up only 10% of adverse events - and not long-term events.
But then its not in the interests of an industry funded TGA to establish an effective monitoring system for determining adverse events to vaccines.

The public should not have to rely on 'faith' that governments are making decisions in the public interest. We have a right to see the evidence of the risk/benefit assessment and this is not being provided and many health professionals are being censored. Why?

Judy Wilyman

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