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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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Mens Sana* - a series on topics in mental health :: Chris Alderman : 10/3/2011 : Suicide, antidepressants and children – will the facts ever be established?

Suicide involving a child is always terribly sad, and has a lasting and profound impact on family, friends, classmates, and healthcare workers. The issues relating to the possible relationship between suicide and antidepressant use by children have been controversial. Evidence of benefit from antidepressants for children has been difficult to firmly establish, and some evidence seems to point to possible harm. But if a young person is seriously depressed, what are the options if non-pharmacological treatment doesn’t work?   More... premium


More formal process needed for minor ailment treatment, referral :: PSA National President: Warwick Plunkett : 8/3/2011 : A new report on care provided to chronic cough patients by pharmacists has underpinned the importance of having a more structured approach to the treatment of minor ailments in pharmacies.

The report, just published in The Annals of Pharmacotherapy, entitled Provision of Primary Care to Patients with Chronic Cough in the Community Pharmacy Setting, makes it clear that this is a failing that imperils the reputation of pharmacists as providers of minor ailment treatment, particularly where a referral to a medical practitioner is deemed necessary.   More... premium


Management moments (4) :: Robin Tang : 3/3/2011 : Here's the fourth installment of our new weekly AusPharm 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.

Getting mentored

There are times we get bogged down with situations where we feel desperately in need of assistance. At these times it would be good to sit down and go through the issues logically and systematically with someone who keeps you focussed, someone who helps you solve business challenges and avoid common pitfalls.

These seasoned experts are under-rated allies you can turn to and, usually, won’t cost you too much. If you don’t have a mentor, start looking now.   More... premium


Disaster recovery :: Teresa Hooper : 28/2/2011 : Following on from a difficult 2010 retail environment, Queensland and Victoria experienced turbulent weather events with the recent devastating floods and cyclones. Nobody has been left unaffected and it will take many months before things begin to approach some kind of economic normality.

With JR Pharmacy Services' own experience top of mind JR partner Teresa Hooper provides an up to date look at what should be in a basic Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) so that businessses can stay in communication with staff and customers from the initial stages of a disaster and get back to trading as soon as possible thereafter.   More... premium


Management moments (3) :: Robin Tang : 24/2/2011 : Here's the third installment of our new weekly AusPharm 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.

Can I get some change?

We often hear about change management in mergers & acquisitions at the corporate level. Change management involves shifting from a current state to a desired state at an individual, team and organisational level.  Ideally and in a perfect world, employees are empowered to accept and embrace changes in the current environment.  However, change (management) does not just happen.

How can we facilitateo change in our current environment effectively?   More... premium


Community pharmacist wages – fueling the debate :: Justin Lee : 22/2/2011 : Anecdotal reports continue to suggest that community pharmacist wages are on the decline and, in some instances, younger pharmacists are being offered an hourly rate just above the (ridiculously low) award rate.

In today's feature Chair of the PSA Early Career Pharmacists Working Group, Justin Lee, has a look at what might be done to change this.   More... premium


Mens Sana* - a series on topics in mental health :: Chris Alderman : 18/2/2011 : Traumatic times will touch the lives of pharmacists

In the wake of floods and the aftermath of Cyclone Yasi in Queensland, and devastating bushfires in Victoria and Western Australia, the lives of many Australians have been changed forever. In the meantime, Australian military forces remained deployed in international hotspots such as Iraq and Afghanistan. It is timely to reflect upon the psychological damage that follows in the wake of war, disasters and other sources of anguish.

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious and common mental illness, with symptoms identified in writings dating back to pre-Biblical times. PTSD is unique amongst all psychiatric disorders, in that the diagnostic criteria specify that the person must first be exposed to an event before the diagnosis can be made.   More... premium


Management moments (2) :: Robin Tang : 17/2/2011 : Here's the second installment of our new weekly AusPharm 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.

Get ideas approved

When you have a great idea, sometimes your colleagues and team members may not share the same enthusiasm for it. If the idea is genuinely great and is worth proposing, how do you get it approved and acknowledged?  There is a very common thought that whether a recommendation or proposal is approved is often less about the value of the idea itself than how it is presented.    More... premium


PSA President speaks out on Pfi*er :: PSA National President: Warwick Plunkett : 15/2/2011 : The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has come out in strong opposition to Pfizer's new direct distribution model. In today's AusPharm feature PSA President Warwick Plunkett explains why.

Pfizer’s new product distribution system has now come into effect and this has once again turned the spotlight onto the viability of the wholesaler system currently in place in this country, a system we have built into our individual business models and into our financial planning.   More... premium


A “mere researcher and scribe” responds to Stephen Greenwood :: Terry Barnes : 8/2/2011 : Last week AusPharm published a stinging response from former Guild Executive Director, Stephen Greenwood  , to Terry Barnes recent Financial Review article expressing regret at the outcome of the 2000 Pharmacy Ownership Review, which he 'co-authored'.

In today's feature, Terry Barnes responds.

I appreciate the chance to respond to former Pharmacy Guild Executive Director Stephen Greenwood’s critique of my recent article in the Australian Financial Review about what I called the “retail pharmacy settlement”.  Mr Greenwood also made some colourful but unimportant comments about me and my career, but some of his views on matters of principle and policy do need a considered response in the interests of promoting balanced debate.   More... premium


Management moments :: Robin Tang : 3/2/2011 : Today sees the launch of a new weekly AusPharm 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.

Here's the first installment.

Promote without self promotion

Telling a story that explains to someone why they should hire you can be uncomfortable.  You need to sell yourself and your skills but you don’t want to sound like    More... premium


AusPharm Dubious Achievement Awards :: Julian A Grouch : 18/1/2011 : Each year in January, Esquire Magazine listed the previous year's dubious achievements. One that they ran every year was a photo of Richard Nixon with the caption 'Why is this man laughing?'

I nominate our TGA for a perpetual raspberry for all the things that it should do, under its charter, but still has not. 'Harmless' quackery let off with a gentle pat, if at all.   More... premium


Realising the potential – pursuing the opportunities :: Justin Lee : 21/12/2010 : In our final feature for 2010, Chair of the PSA Early Career Pharmacists Working Group, Justin Lee looks at looks at how young pharmacists' skills can match opportunities in the marketplace.

"Heavy competition brings with it a need to develop novel methods/strategies to stay ahead of the pack. In the case of looking for jobs, this may mean thinking about different areas where a pharmacist’s skills could be best utilised. To do this requires some contemplation on the body of knowledge possessed and how this can be applied to gaps in service delivery.

Now those are a lot of nice words, but what does it mean to me, the average person with a BPharm/MPharm and little other experience than spending a few months in a community or hospital pharmacy?"
   More... premium


USP: Unique Selling Points - an oldie but a goodie :: Robin Tang : 14/12/2010 : Robin Tang is the Director of Empowerconsul, an independent pharmacy consulting business that seeks to empower independent pharmacies with competitive advantages in the current pharmacy landscape. He is also the fulltime pharmacy manager of Brisbane's Runcorn Plaza Pharmacy.

In his second article for AusPharm, Robin reviews the key steps in identify the unique selling points for your business.

    More... premium


Pharmacists and the Preventive Health Agency agenda :: PSA National President: Warwick Plunkett : 7/12/2010 : As a profession, we should all welcome the fact that finally the Government has passed the necessary legislation to establish the Preventive Health Agency which has been touted as a major plank in the broad health-care agenda. The creation of the agency will no doubt present us with opportunities and for PSA the challenge is to find a place for pharmacists in the agency’s operations.

PSA national president Warwick Plunkett explains why it will be a tough road ahead for pharmacists to win a role within the agenda of the Preventive Health Agency.   More... premium


The One Pharmacy Body Legend - One Ring to rule them all? :: Stephen G. Greenwood : 30/11/2010 : "Recently the hoary old chestnut of establishing one pharmacy body has raised its head. But the fact is the idea is singularly unworkable." Stephen Greenwood, consultant with Greenwood Government Relations Pty Ltd, explains why.   More... premium


Pharmacy As We Know It: Turbulent times or Opportunity for Leadership? :: Vanessa Lontos : 25/11/2010 : I recently read a book called “The Leader Who Had No Title” by Robin Sharma. I loved it. Robin Sharma is a leadership advisor to many of the Fortune 500 companies including Microsoft, Nike, FedEx and even Yale University just to name a few.

The book is no ordinary leadership book in that it comes together through the learnings he's gained through the very real life examples of people he has assisted, worked with, helped and even loved, over a long, abundant career. Each of these people had many lessons to share around leadership. My favourite message from the book is that “turbulent times build great leaders...”.

This inspired my thinking around the turbulent times pharmacists are experiencing currently and the opportunity that we all may have upon us.   More... premium


Channelling the conference buzz – walking the talk :: Justin Lee : 23/11/2010 : Following the motivational atmosphere of PAC10 with regard to actively shaping pharmacy's future in Australia, Justin Lee, National Chair of PSA's Early Career Pharmacists Working Group considers how to maintain the momentum once conference delegate disperse.

"Like many of the other major pharmacist conferences, there was a large focus on how far the profession has come, the state it currently is in and the prospect of what the profession is to face in the future...

...The level of apathy within the grassroots of our pharmacy profession is concerning (by apathy I mean a lack of interest to actively contribute to the change the profession needs; rants on forums do not count.)

However, how do we motivate the masses when nothing seems to ever change?"

Basic level members *click here* to read the article in full.   More... premium


Working for the Future :: PSA National President: Warwick Plunkett : 16/11/2010 : PSA president Warwick Plunkett summarises the challenges and the opportunites that pharmacy is facing in the not-so-distant future. 

"Clearly the profession as we know it is changing, and changing dramatically. Every day you go to work the dynamics change. One of the great drivers of change in this country is the Government’s health reform agenda, of which the development of a sustainable and collaborative primary care model is a foundation..."   More... premium


The year that was for pharmacy business... :: Norman Thurecht : 11/11/2010 : Norman Thurecht, partner with JR Pharmacy Management, looks back at trends in pharmacy business during the last financial year, and the growth opportunities that emerge from this.

The 2010 financial year began quite buoyantly however I am certain most of you would agree that the second six months of the year were somewhat flat. Customers have become more selective about when and where to spend their money with the sleeping issue being the on-line options now available to those customers focussed on 1. convenience and 2. price.   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.


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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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