s Why we can't live forever: understanding the mechanisms of ageing | 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

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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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Why we can't live forever: understanding the mechanisms of ageing

Staff Writer

articles by this author...

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

Professor Christopher Thomas is a physician and a scientist. His work links the complex disciplines of biochemistry and biology to the real needs of real people.His research laboratory is situated at the JDRF/ Danielle Alberti Memorial Centre for the study of Diabetes Complications at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne. 
His work is focused on reducing the burden of diabetes and kidney disease in Australia. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Diabetes Australia, the Australian NHMRC, Kidney Health Australia and the National Heart Foundation also support his work.

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Dr Thomas has published over 180 articles in many of the worlds leading medical journals. He is also author of the book ‘Fast Living, Slow Ageing’ which provides an opportunity for the general public to get into the mind of a real scientist; to discover how things really work and how to make the most of our choices based on evidence and understanding.
Their work is focused on reducing the burden of diabetes and kidney disease in Australia. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Diabetes Australia, the Australian NHMRC, Kidney Health Australia and the National Heart Foundation also support his work.
Dr Thomas has published over 180 articles in many of the worlds leading medical journals. He is also author of the book ‘Fast Living, Slow Ageing’ which provides an opportunity for the general public to get into the mind of a real scientist; to discover how things really work and how to make the most of our choices based on evidence and understanding Ageing is the sum of many processes acting in concert to produce the signs and symptoms we know as “getting old”.
Of course, there’s no way to stop the ageing process, but a better understanding of the different mechanisms of ageing can help us slow it and enjoy better health as the years advance.

Perhaps one of the most easily recognisable features of ageing is that of loss – whether loss of memory or a full head of hair. When we look in the mirror, many of the features we identify as “old” are simply a threshold. Although the time it takes to reach any arbitrary threshold can be considered “ageing”, many other factors can shorten or extend this time.

Greying hair

Ageing hair greys when the cells that pigment the hair become damaged. By the age of 50, half of all hair follicles in half of all men have lost their pigment.

 

Practical Owl

 

But ageing is not the only factor involved; smoking, sunlight exposure, inflammation, stress and other factors all act on the hair to shorten the time it takes for the grey to take over. This is how we can appear to get older faster, because it takes less ageing time to reach a point when all the dark hairs have gone.

More importantly, by preventing or reducing these modifiable lifestyle factors, we can appear to age more slowly, even if we never change our ageing speed. Consequently, slowing ageing does not mean stopping time, but stepping away from the edge so that time is no longer the enemy.

Injury and mileage

With ageing comes an accrual of injury. As Indiana Jones once quipped about his lack of stamina, “It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage.” The human body accumulates a lot of “natural shocks” over a lifetime, which ultimately threatens its integrity and underlies many of the phenomena we recognise as ageing.

A good example is damage to the genetic code, which is known as “mutations”. These errors become more common and more significant the more times a sequence has been copied and recopied, and eventually they can change the way cells function.

But while overuse may be an important factor, atrophy from lack of use is another contributor to ageing. All cells require stimulation for healthy growth and activity. Hearing or visual loss, for instance, seems to speed up when people are deprived of stimulation.

By contrast, those who continue to be active physically, mentally, socially and spiritually not only retain the greatest quality of life, but find the impacts of ageing seem to slow.

Repairing the body

Some parts of the body may be more susceptible to ageing because they have limited abilities for repair. Other parts defend stoutly, at least initially. But as we age, these repair mechanisms can become less effective, so that any stress potentially becomes more injurious.

As we get older there are a number of ways to compensate, to keep things ticking over normally. The appearance of ageing can be the physical manifestation of these compensations, like a walking stick or hearing aid. These compensations may also be evident in the ageing body.

The ageing heart, for instance, adapts – getting bigger and contracting longer to maintain function despite the extra demands of stiff vessels. The atria also work harder and faster to fill the heart. This augmented atrial contraction can sometimes be heard as a fourth heart sound (called a “gallop” rhythm) if you listen with a stethoscope in an elderly patient.

Can we live forever?

Our design is incompatible with indefinite survival. As is the case with a toaster, lifespan is limited. Given reliability of components, some toasters will survive longer than others, although they do roughly the same job. But eventually, one morning your toast will not pop.

Similarly in humans, some parts simply can’t be replaced. We have a complement of specialised (post-mitotic) cells that have very limited or no capacity to divide. These include the neurons of the brain, the beating muscle of the heart and the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. They cannot be replaced, which is why the effects of ageing may be more important and more obvious in these cells and the functions that they serve.

 

You can slow the signs of ageing by being physically and mentally active, but you can't stop them altogether. funadium

 

Is ageing a disease?

In most people’s minds, ageing is synonymous with having more disease. But it’s not the same thing.

Take, for example, our bones. From about 20 years of age, our bones get progressively thinner. At some point, bone loss becomes so significant that its integrity is compromised, leading to an increased risk of fractures. This point (or disease) is called osteoporosis.

While bone loss is not separate from ageing, it is not the same thing. A number of other factors (such as smoking and inactivity) can also contribute to bone loss and therefore osteoporosis (disease). Ageing just moves you closer to the edge in a way that makes it easier for other factors to push you over and initiate disease. Equally, preventing disease can slow the impacts of ageing.

Ageing is the sum of life

Ultimately, ageing is not one factor but the sum of many: some damaging, some protective. In youth, these forces are kept in balance. But with the passage of time there is an accrual of injury and the memories of its effects.

Although our design is incompatible with indefinite survival, it does not mean that we can’t shift the odds in our favour with smarter choices in our diet and lifestyle. Plan to take the long way home.

This is an edited version of an article that appears in the latest issue of Perspectives, an opinion-led journal published by Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute.

Merlin Thomas is an author of the book "Fast Living, Slow Ageing" and affiliated with its publisher, Mileage Media

The Conversation

This article was originally published at The Conversation. Read the original article.

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