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The feature articles below are "opinion" pieces and reflect the views of the individual authors. They are not the views of AusPharm.net.au P/L, its directors or editorial group unless explicitly stated to be so.


Opinion

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Pharmacy and Health Reform Unscathed In “Get A Job” Budget :: Stephen G. Greenwood : 11/5/2011 : The 2011 Federal Budget could hardly be called a tough Budget given the $49.4 billion deficit that the Government has to rein in over the next two years but it has set the scene for what most commentators see as a plausible basis for returning the Budget to surplus by 2012-13 as promised. It will be some task. 

There are a number of major health measures in this Budget which may in time impact on community pharmacy but few which target pharmacy directly which weren’t already known. That’s both a relief and a plus for the pharmacy organisations - the PSA and the Guild which had feared that the Government would introduce a range of new co-payment increases on PBS medications.   More... premium


Talking Tough without Causing Panic :: Robin Tang : 5/5/2011 : While it is sometimes tempting  to use words like "disastrous”, “hopeless” or “catastrophe” when talking about certain events  or delivering bad news, the time to tell people the sky is falling is .... never.  

In times of crisis, leaders choose their words wisely in order to convey calm and confidence.  Leaders need to be able to communicate their messages strongly and effectively without creating panic.   More... premium


I want to speak to the boss! :: Veronica Nou : 3/5/2011 : Young Sydney pharmacist Veronica Nou bought her first pharmacy a few years ago. In today's (premium only  ) feature article she shares with us a new part of her ownership journey.

"I am a pharmacy business owner, and therefore, it seems, public enemy number one. I'm also Gen Y, which means apparently I am spoilt, unaware, technologically savvy, impatient and just generally trouble. Both of these things put together can really be damaging to your self esteem, but fortunately I am still wrinkle-free enough to get away with not declaring myself the pharmacy owner if I don't want to be harried, shouted at, or asked for donations."   More... premium


Building Bridges :: Robin Tang : 28/4/2011 : In the age of interconnectivity, there is a demand and a need to build networks effectively. Whether you’re looking for a new job or for new business leads, it pays to build your networks carefully and to keep them intact. You’ll find that people's generosity is amazing if you treat them respectfully.  

Here are some tips to create and maintain effective networks. These relate to a job seeker but the principles apply equally whatever the goal.    More... premium


Speak Well and Sell Ideas :: Robin Tang : 20/4/2011 : In your present role, do you ever need to motivate, inspire, or persuade others? Perhaps addressing your team during a staff meeting?  Giving a morale-boosting speech to your team?  Selling ideas to the pharmacy owners?  Negotiating business deals with account managers?  

At some point, you'll probably have to move people to action.  While there are certainly those who seem to inspire and deliver memorable speeches effortlessly, the rest of us can learn how to give effective presentations too.    More... premium


Collaboration with PSNZ will produce tangible results :: PSA National President: Warwick Plunkett : 19/4/2011 : The historic signing of a strategic alliance between PSA and our counterparts in New Zealand, the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand, marks the start of what promises to be a long and rewarding relationship whose main beneficiaries will be pharmacists on both sides of the Tasman.

This alliance is not simply a feel-good exercise; it is a strategic approach to areas of mutual interest, as well as ways of approaching areas of mutual concerns.

When entering into this relationship, PSA realised that to get the most out of it, we had to target some very specific areas where working together can produce some very tangible results.   More... premium


Manage People in 15 Minutes a Day :: Robin Tang : 13/4/2011 : The need to stay cool under pressure can arise at any time - whether you are put on the spot while attending a staff meeting, presenting a proposal to your boss, selling an idea, or answering questions from a customer, articulating your thoughts in unanticipated situations is a skill.

Here are some tips.   More... premium


Supermarkets and Pharmacy: Five Minutes and Counting :: Stephen G. Greenwood : 12/4/2011 : A few weeks ago the Financial Review’s economics writer Alan Mitchell put a cat among the pigeons by calling for the deregulation of pharmacy and opening of ownership up to the supermarkets.

Pharmacists must be thinking it doesn’t rain but it pours. After all they have had enough to worry about what with price cuts, cuts to wholesaler rebates, the impact of Pfizer’s exclusive direct supply arrangements and the Government’s undermining of the Memorandum of Understanding with Medicines Australia by requiring Cabinet approve all drugs likely to be added to the PBS.

The last thing they need is Woolworths or Coles trying to take more of their business.   More... premium


Staying cool under pressure – thinking on your feet :: Robin Tang : 7/4/2011 : Here's the next installment of our weekly feature - Management moments - authored by Robin Tang, that aims to give readers a 60 second management or business tip.

The need to stay cool under pressure can arise at any time - whether you are put on the spot while attending a staff meeting, presenting a proposal to your boss, selling an idea, or answering questions from a customer, articulating your thoughts in unanticipated situations is a skill.

Here are some tips.   More... premium


Mens Sana* - Watch for bleeding with SSRIs :: Chris Alderman : 7/4/2011 : Early observations of an adverse drug reaction with an understandable theoretical basis can sometimes prompt more careful investigation. The first report of abnormally increased bleeding time associated with SSRI treatment was published in the early 1990s, and at that time the authors noted that these antidepressants were know to diminish granular storage of serotonin in platelets.

At the time, it was suggested that this effect that might be the basis for a drug-induced defect in haemostasis. Shortly afterwards, multiple case-reports began to emerge, mostly describing various forms of abnormal bleeding. Two reports involving fluoxetine (at that time the SSRI that was most widely prescribed) documented a fatal intracranial haemorrhage, and also a case where a patient developed a reversible defect in platelet aggregation demonstrated with a specific laboratory investigation after the commencement of the drug.   More... premium


The On-Line Experience :: Norman Thurecht : 5/4/2011 : Irrespective of the intentions of large Australian retailers in the recent press, their gripes have highlighted how some of them have failed to embrace the on-line environment and adapt their business to consumer’s wants and desires.  

The point that seems to have been missed by many is that the GST argument has little to do with the real reasons people shop on line.

In today's AusPharm feature JR Pharmacy Services' Norman Thurecht looks at pharmacy's options for an online presence.   More... premium


Business on a platter :: Irwin Lowe : 30/3/2011 :  

There has been some discussion on AusPharmList in the last week or so about the merits of servicing a nursing home.

Well, Irwin the evil chemist's back with a vengeance, and he has an opinion on this....

"I finally got the opportunity to put words into actions with owing prescriptions. I refused to do them. There was no way that any patient running short of medication was going to be my fault. The average time for the facility to follow up a medication query was six weeks and even then it was half-arsed or made no sense."   More... premium


Success With Professional Services – Taking the First Steps :: Aaron D'Souza : 29/3/2011 : There are pharmacies which will go backwards in 2011.  Their slide may be seen in the form of lost revenue but the underlying cause will be the very damaging disease of ‘irrelevance’.

Of the pharmacies which will succeed this year they will realise their growth through a differentiated and relevant offer including developing their professional services.   More... premium


Using the system to improve your wages and conditions :: Geoff March, President, Professional Pharmacists Australia : 28/3/2011 : There has been much discussion in the industry recently about the award rates of pay in the Federal pharmacy award and concerns have been expressed about falling wages. There has been some criticism of the union that represents employer pharmacists, APESMA. In this article I would like to discuss the options for improving the industrial relations component of employee community pharmacists’ pharmacy practice.

The AusPharmList discussion again underscored the lack of knowledge and understanding amongst employee community pharmacists of the current industrial system, and a lack of appreciation of other methods of organising your workplace relations.   More... premium


Compete with a Competitive Pricing Policy :: Robin Tang : 24/3/2011 : Here's the next installment of our weekly feature - Management moments - authored by Robin Tang, that aims to give readers a 60 second management or business tip.

Robin is the Director of Empowerconsul, an independent pharmacy consulting business that seeks to empower both pharmacists and independent pharmacies with competitive advantages in the current pharmacy landscape.

Compete with a Competitive Pricing Policy

In a competitive retail environment, pharmacies must be able to keep up with increasing consumer demands.  This is evidenced by both the emergence of low cost pharmacies and consumer awareness of them.  However, further lowering prices to counter such threats may not be a sustainable long term solution.  Neither is ignoring such threats by not doing anything.  So how do you effectively communicate your offer to your customers?   More... premium


Decision point :: Justin Lee : 22/3/2011 : It has become amazingly simple to place an opinion in the public domain. Where in the past a letter to the editor was the best way of getting an opinion across, this can now be done with a few keystrokes on internet forums, Twitter and Facebook. While many early career pharmacists (ECPs) make full use of these channels to offer an opinion, they are often left frustrated when nothing appears to change – that they are considered too inexperienced to participate in decision-making in the profession.

Yet, many ECPs do not realise that they can play a vital role in decision-making in the profession through their pharmacist organisation.   More... premium


Management moments (6) :: Robin Tang : 17/3/2011 : Here's the sixth installment of our weekly feature - Management moments - authored by Robin Tang, that aims to give readers a 60 second management or business tip.

Robin is the Director of Empowerconsul, an independent pharmacy consulting business that seeks to empower both pharmacists and independent pharmacies with competitive advantages in the current pharmacy landscape.

Turn around your performance

No one likes to be an underperformer.  However, failing to meet expectations doesn’t mean the end of the world.  We've all beene through times when we're under-performing.  These are the steps that I take to turn performance around:   More... premium


Time to cure sick pharmacy system :: Mark Dunn : 15/3/2011 : The Financial Review yesterday ran the latest in a series of anti (community) pharmacy articles. What made yesterday's piece a little different was that it was penned by the paper's economics editor, Alan Mitchell. This suggests that an anti pharmacy stance is Financial Review 'policy'.

The editorial ran the usual line that community pharmacy was a highly protected industry that has benefited for decades from sweetheart deals with a succession of federal governments of both persuasions. The solution is to open ownership up to supermarkets (and, presumably, others) in order to improve productivity.   More... premium


Discounting the co-payment can be counterintuitive :: Stephen G. Greenwood : 15/3/2011 : In January this year just before the Australia Day holiday and in the middle of the Queensland floods, the Chemist Warehouse Group took advertisements in The Sunday Mail offering the public “All Generic Prescription’s (sic) $4.99 At All Queensland Chemist Warehouse Stores”.

The advertisement offer appealed to nationalism and was set against a background of a patriotic Australian National Flag with the heading “Chemist Warehouse Helps Queensland Back to Full Health”. The offer was only available until 31 January and the ad claimed the offer complied with all PBS regulations and excluded all private prescriptions.   More... premium


Management moments (5) :: Robin Tang : 10/3/2011 : Here's the fifth installment of our weekly feature - Management moments - authored by Robin Tang, that aims to give readers a 60 second management or business tip.

Robin is the Director of Empowerconsul, an independent pharmacy consulting business that seeks to empower both pharmacists and independent pharmacies with competitive advantages in the current pharmacy landscape.

Delivering bad news

No one likes to hear bad news, especially your boss! The thought of muttering and spluttering with the sinking feeling of despair is not a pretty one. However, there are ways to overcome this. 

Sometimes we can sit on problems, rather than putting them out in the open but usually that makes matters worse.  Next time you have to tell your boss that something has gone wrong, try this:   More... premium




About this page 

This features page will be updated with new opinion pieces regularly. Unlike the hard copy publications that publish all their content once each week/fortnight/month we will publish on a rolling basis.


Got something to say? Fancy yourself as a features writer? 

At AusPharm.net.au we are always on the lookout for people with an opinion to express. If you think you fit the bill, contact Mark Dunn to express an interest or to get further information.


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