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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 P/L, its directors or editorial group unless explicitly stated to be so.


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Pharmacy relocation - some hidden traps :: John Clayton : 30/10/2007 : In today's AusPharm feature from Cropper Parkhill lawyer John Clayton he tells the story of one young pharmacist's journey through the regulatory maze she needed to negotiate when looking to open her new pharmacy.

"....A young pharmacist identifies an opportunity to start a pharmacy in a new medical centre in a large city. The centre is less than 1.5 kilometres from the nearest pharmacy and so there is no possibility of seeking a new pharmacy approval under the Pharmacy Location Rules. However, the centre is more than 500 metres from the nearest pharmacy and so it may be possible to relocate a pharmacy approval number to the centre."    More... premium

What's the way forward? :: Roy Stevenson : 25/10/2007 : "...pharmacies should be implementing the range of cognitive services now available in some cases (e.g. HMRs and RMMRs) and soon to be available in others (e.g. asthma and diabetes disease state management programs, medication profiling and dose administration aids assistance)."

So said Bruce Annabel in a recent presentation to delegates at the Pharmacy Australian Congress Industry.

How many times do we have to hear this before the majority of us recognise the state of urgency that exists for change?   More... premium

Invest in a pharmacy? Or just buy shares or property? :: Mark Nicholson : 18/10/2007 : A 'lister emailed AusPharm a week or two back and posed the question above.

Who better to answer, we thought, than AusPharm writer Mark Nicholson, from JR Pharmacy Services.

"The BHP share price on October 1, 2002 was $9.10. Five years later, on October 12, 2007 it was $46.20. This represents an amazing annual growth rate of 38.4%!"    More... premium

Plans for the future in 'Pharmacy 210' :: Rowan Lowe : 9/10/2007 : A team from the Griffith University School of Pharmacy recently won the Pharmacy Guild of Australia's National Pharmacy Business Plan Competition. Rowan Lowe was part of the winning team and in today's AusPharm feature he tells us a little of how the team went about their task.

"Pharmacy exists in a competitive marketplace and differentiating one's business from those in the surrounding area can help to ensure a prosperous enterprise for years to come. How does a business owner discover a market segment that is yet to be utilised in your local area? It all comes down to research."   More... premium

Guidelines schmuidelines! No good unless you read them. :: Dr Geraldine Moses : 4/10/2007 : Have you read this month's Veteran's Mates Therapeutic Brief (VMTB) entitled Antipsychotics in Dementia? It's excellent.

Durrh, I hear you say? Or guidelines schmuidelines, I'm drowning in guideli   More... premium

Sloppy PIs and CMIs - now it's getting serious and it's time to do something about it! :: Ron Batagol : 2/10/2007 : In todays feature article Ron Batagol challenges us all to set up and maintain "a high-quality independent, peer-review and validated, alternative to CMIs."

Ron makes some compelling arguments in this article. AusPharm looks forward to the day that Ron's challenge becomes a reality.    More... premium

When Do You Know That It's Time To Go? :: Veronica Nou : 20/9/2007 : In today's AusPharm feature recent graduate Veronica Nou recounts the story of a young colleague and asks: "When do you know that it's time to go?"

"Apparently there's been an oversupply of pharmacists in recent times looking for work in Sydney.

Of course, for a well-educated health care professional, the experience of not being able to find work is going to be a tad unpleasant, especially when up till now it's always been the other way around. Does that mean pharmacists are going to accept poorer work conditions?"
   More... premium

Against my better judgement I picked up the telephone and dialled Telstra/BigPond :: Irwin Lowe : 18/9/2007 : There are many, many reasons not to be a Telstra customer in the 21st century, not the least of which has to do with their service and their price.

I suspect that I was one of Telstra's first ADSL customers in Heidelberg back at the turn-of-the-century: my account number was HEID01, and I ditched them as soon as my contract expired.   More... premium

Unsung heroes :: Archana Haria : 13/9/2007 : Archana Haria reflects on her 'rural' placement in WA's Geraldton.

It's the quiet heroes of our time that make life all the more worth living. I sit back and think of the last few months and how much the meaning of life has become richer. The experiences I've had in that time are second to none.

The feeling of frustration that comes from being helpless to assist people who really need all the help they can get feels like the life being sucked out of me and yet these are the very things that help define me. All of this in our own backyard.....   More... premium

FREE you say? How much does it really cost? :: Mark Nicholson : 6/9/2007 : Having two young school age children, I am regularly badgered into taking them to a fast food chain outlet for what is anything but a "happy meal".

It is common to see much of the purchased food go uneaten (probably a good thing) and the accompanying "free" toy provides a minor period of enjoyment. But the "free" and ever changing toy is a powerful hook. Moreover it costs the outlet nothing as it is provided by a third party as part of a promotional release.

It is therefore with both amusement and concern that I read the regular comments of AusPharmlisters concerning the provision of free services to customers.   More... premium

'But the pharmacist said'......the sin of offering unsolicited health advice. :: Dr Geraldine Moses : 4/9/2007 : On the helpline last week I learned of a case that illustrated the negative impact that unsolicited health advice can have on patient care. It concerned a woman, let's call her Mrs T, who was being discharged from hospital after a 3-week ordeal of serious illness, psychiatric instability and police involvement.

When the family collected her discharge meds from the hospital dispensary, the pharmacist made an unsolicited comment about her medications interacting, which then set them off on a wild goose chase looking for answers. Here's how they saw the story........   More... premium

The Getting of Wisdom or the Impression Thereof :: Bruce Moffat : 28/8/2007 : On occasion, in my dealings with the doe-eyed Bright Young Things that trusting Schools of Pharmacy place in my care or perhaps for the benefit of my staff when they find it politic to actually listen to me, I get to bang on about all the clever things I know and stuff I have learnt while glossing over the things of which I never really got a hold.

As you can see, the 'no preposition at the end of a sentence' lesson I not only learned but actually practice and I believe there may be some other stuff of at least equivalent importance that I regularly feel the urge to pass on lest the angst, pain and sometimes acute embarrassment that led to the getting of these pearls (small 'p' to distinguish them from Peter Allen's) be for nought.

So, in the egotistical expectation that anyone actually gives a toss and to save endless reiteration, (and seven separate posts to the 'list) I thought I would pass on the most important things I have learnt in no particular order.   More... premium

A Wonderful World - Reloaded :: Ron Batagol : 23/8/2007 : In anticipation of the Pharmacy History session at this weekend's PAC conference Ron Batagol reminisces about his early career.....

"My first manager's job in the early 60s, in a Pharmacy in inner Melbourne, lasted for a day and a half! On Day One I "sprung" the trusted shop assistant about to post off a heap of dexamphetamine tablets - which was then only S4 - to various valued clientele who never bothered to get scripts for them. She insisted Mr Boss did it "all the time" for his customers, and they really appreciated it. I bet they did!"   More... premium

The Phrenetic Pharmacist :: Andrew Roberts : 16/8/2007 : In today's AusPharm feature Andrew ('Robbo') Roberts talks about how he gets his messages out to his diverse and geographically widespread constituents.

"My work out bush started as a discreetly funded project but after the first year the remote area health service found that I brought something extra to the primary health care team and now they fund my position."   More... premium

Smoke and Mirrors - A reflection on the impact of smoking bans :: Wendy Morton : 14/8/2007 : I have long subscribed to the theory that we should be careful what we wish for in this life, for the best intentions often have unintended and unreckoned upon consequences.

The July 1st introduction of a total ban on smoking in enclosed licensed premises in Victoria may I suspect turn out to be just such a beast for at least one already disenfranchised slice of our community.   More... premium

Pharmacy Location Rules - a two-edged sword :: John Clayton : 9/8/2007 : AusPharm is pleased to welcome John Clayton to our writing team. John is a partner in Cropper Parkhill Solicitors and has considerable experience and expertise in the pharmaceutical and community pharmacy sectors. In his first article for AusPharm John looks at some of the issues that arise in the application of the Pharmacy Location Rules.

"A recent change to the Rules provides an example of how they can have an unintended effect and serves to remind us of the fragility of the system which underpins retail pharmacy."   More... premium

Singing from the bottom of your heart :: Archana Haria : 7/8/2007 : After spending the best part of the last week focusing on the fairly heavy (dry?) subject of the pending PBS Reforms we thought it timely to publish something a little more upbeat from 4th year Curtin University pharmacy student Archana Haria.

"I experienced the most bizarre day on the train this week. You know you've taken your pharmacy degree far when all of a sudden you are subconsciously applying your skills in a different setting."   More... premium

Impact of PBS Reforms on private hospital pharmacy :: Michael Ryan : 2/8/2007 : PharmConsult Director Michael Ryan explains how the effect of the PBS Reforms on private hospital pharmacies will differ to the effect they will have on community pharmacies. The effect will also differ markedly according to the individual characteristics of each individual private hospital pharmacy.

"To understand why and how this will occur, it is useful to understand the financial model on which most private hospital pharmacy businesses are based."   More... premium

Welcome to the PBS Reforms 'Special Edition' AusPharm(e)news :: Wendy Morton : 1/8/2007 : The concept for today's AusPharm(e)news 'Special Edition' sprang from the frustration and confusion expressed by some 'Listers attempting to quantify the effects the new PBS Reforms would have on their livelihood. They expressed a desire to be pro-active in their approach to the reforms, to make informed decisions on whether to sell a business, or put the effort into streamlining it to cope with the new remuneration package. Young pharmacists considering a pharmacy purchase or partnership are keen to know more about the reforms so they could plan in advance, but are currently unable to gain access to the information they need to make decisions based on reliable projections. QCPP recommends at least a 5 year forecast in your business plan, but without timely access to the finer details of this new package, such plans are impossible...

AusPharm initially thought to compile a 'Dummies Guide to the PBS Reforms', but the reforms are complex, and we were concerned by the prospect of inadvertently missing important points. 'Listers wishing to bone up on the detail currently available should check out the Department of Health Fact Sheet on the Reforms.

So we took the initiative to invite contributions from key people in just about every pharmacy sector we could imagine might be affected by the PBS Reforms. Our contributors have been extraordinarily generous in sharing their knowledge and expertise, offered today exclusively to our premium subscribers, together with a selection of comments on the reforms submitted by regular 'Listers, which appear at the end of today's (e)news as AusPharmList posts. Our diverse group of high profile pharmacy figures writing for this issue, in the main, are agreed on one thing - the PBS Reforms will give rise to significant challenges to the operations of many pharmacies, and the time to start planning for the changes is NOW! "You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present." Jan Glidewell

Before introducing you to our contributors for this theme issue, allow me to relate an anecdote from a Pharmacy Industry Briefing Dinner I attended a few months back, at The Athaneaum Club in Melbourne.   More... premium

August 2008 PBS Reforms - A Discount Perspective :: Damien Gance : 1/8/2007 : General Manager of Chemist Warehouse, Damien Gance has reponded to our call to shed a little light on what the PBS Reforms might hold for pharmacies which embrace the discount model.

"With the August 2008 PBS changes, we expect these positive margin-generating sales will be curtailed, inevitably shrinking what is already a slight margin. The discounting game is about to get tougher!"   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 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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