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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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Waiter, why is my fillet steak all minced up & stuffed into a length of pig intestine? :: Wendy Morton : 16/11/2006 : Ah, just when you thought we'd run out of allegorical references to the meat market...

"Be careful what you wish for" is a common theme in folklore, and rightly so, for seemingly simple wishes rarely turn out the way one plans. King Midas thought he had things sorted, when he wished everything he touched should turn to gold, but soon discovered the nutritional value of golden food to be at odds with his daily requirements and the kiss of a true "golden child" too cool for his tastes. Even the finest fillet steak can be turned into sausage....   More... premium

*Ab*user pays...a debate beyond the price of toothpaste :: John Chapman : 14/11/2006 : Last week's AusPharm poll on whether pharmacy should engage more in 'social' debate prompted John Chapman to send along an article he wrote back in 1999. It is as relevant today as it was then.

"For our profession to be able to argue matters of cost and benefit then we must develop a view of healthcare and our role in society, a view that places us in the mainstream of health debate, and 'beyond the price of toothpaste'."    More... premium

Forward Pharmacy -- it's the way forward for pharmacy :: Peter Allen : 9/11/2006 : In his article last week, Discount schmiscount , Vox Pharma wrote, in part

"[...]Truth is, I am really looking forward to working for this discount mob again in the next few months. They have a great team, we laugh a lot while we work, everyone is *made* to take regular tea-breaks & a 1/2 hour meal break, there are plenty of dispense terminals, every terminal has its own printer & FUNCTIONAL scanner...."

Now a discount pharmacy may in theory and in practice be no worse or better than the other sort, that's not the main issue. It's the numbers, and it's the counselling. VP's situation sounds like the perfect dispensing situation, right?    More... premium

Yea, blessed be the charcutiers - for verily they are a cut above the sausage makers... :: Wendy Morton : 7/11/2006 : "There has been much discussion and pontification on these pages of late about sausage production and the lowlife butchers who stoop to such pursuits while the rest of the profession allegedly aspires to more lofty goals within the four walls of their tiny boutique charcuteries.

Trouble is, it ain't necessarily so easy to tell the butchers from the purveyors of fine meat in our industry."    More... premium

Discount schmiscount :: : 2/11/2006 : "Like the pharmacist who recently posted anonymously to AusPharmList expressing distress at his or her recent experiences in an unnamed discount pharmacy (click here), I too am a locum who derives my income from working in a diverse range of pharmacy settings.

Truth is, I am really looking forward to working for this discount mob again in the next few months. They have a great team, we laugh a lot while we work, everyone is *made* to take regular tea-breaks & a 1/2 hour meal break, there are plenty of dispense terminals, every terminal has its own printer & FUNCTIONAL scanner...."    More... premium

MethDA - software for 'Dependency Care' :: Jack Zufi : 31/10/2006 : "My name is Jack Zufi and my particular area of professional interest is Drug Addiction and, in particular, the provision of community pharmacy based methadone programmes. I have now retired from retail pharmacy (after 44 years).

MethDA is my solution for dispensing methadone (both types and dilutions), buprenorphine, Suboxone and other daily dosing medications such as benzodiazepines."    More... premium

After Hours :: Veronica Nou : 26/10/2006 : I am Veronica the pharmacist, who burns 200 calories daily by jumping to reach the top shelf, lecturer of high cholesterol sufferers on the benefits of a healthy diet, as her two-piece feed wafts the aroma of deep fried chicken throughout the store.

It's kind of funny how pharmacy just seeps into your whole life......    More... premium

Churning out scripts like a string of sausages creates a health hazard but who really cares? :: Ron Batagol : 24/10/2006 : "Let's be brutally frank. For years now some pharmacy "cowboys" around town have been "churning and burning" scripts like a string of sausages, disregarding all basic safety and professional standards. Most of us have avoided working for them."

Well it seems it's now a thriving industry! In a recent AusPharmList post an employee pharmacist wrote "I worked in a pharmacy as a locum recently. I was chastised for spending too much time talking to the patients (customers). During a 13 hr day, with another pharmacist, we "processed" 1100 scripts!"    More... premium

Pharmacy Corporatisation - now it's here what does it mean? :: Norman Thurecht : 19/10/2006 : "Inevitably the question that will be asked by all owners is, should I own my business in a company? The answer will not always be clear, but here are some of the features you will need to consider when determining whether a company structure will benefit both you and your business."

Today's feature is authored by Johnston Rorke partner, Norman Thurect.    More... premium

Managing quality assurance :: Karalyn Huxhagen : 17/10/2006 : "How many of you have opened the packet containing your QCPP Mk2 material or have more than casually perused the new version of PSA's Professional Practice Standards?"

In today's AusPharm feature Karalyn Huxhagen tries to plot a path for pharmacist to follow in managing their quality assurance.    More... premium

'Heard it on the Helpline': When is a worrying symptom a side effect? :: Dr Geraldine Moses : 12/10/2006 : In the first instalment of 'Heard it on the Helpline' Geraldine Moses writes:

'One of most frequently asked questions in pharmacy is "Could my medication be causing my %#$@ symptom?" So it stands to reason that an invaluable skill for pharmacists is being able to determine the probability of whether a symptom is drug-induced.'    More... premium

Women in pharmacy :: Stuart Baker : 9/10/2006 :

In his first feature article for AusPharm, Stuart Baker writes......

"A man would have to be a fool to write about women in pharmacy but why let that stop me! I've been prompted to write on the subject by some comments made by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Ageing, Ms Jane Halton, at the Third Pharmacy Women's Congress, which were reported in at least two of the pharmacy publications last month. I think Ms Halton may have a few misconceptions."   More... premium

Is Pharmacy Relevant in Today's World? :: Andrew Roberts : 6/10/2006 : In the washup to "Ask your pharmacist" week Andrew Roberts asks whether pharmacy is still relevant in 2006.

"As pharmacists we stand up and see ourselves as keeping the public safe from dangerous drugs and being the custodian of pharmaceutical knowledge. A few things have recently made me take notice and look past the nice words of politicians designed to keep us apolitical, and see what is occurring on the ground."    More... premium

A New Alliance: Genepharm and Primary Health Care (PHC) :: Anthony Tassone : 2/10/2006 :

Multi-national pharmaceutical company and movers and shakers Genepharm have announced an alliance with corporate medical centre group Primary Health Care.

In a statement released last Wednesday, Genepharm reports that it has 'entered into an alliance with (PHC) to promote Genepharm generics at its medical centres.....PHC will also promote the use of Genepharm products as a preferred supplier at the pharmacy outlets at PHC's large-scale medical centres around Australia."

Is this good business or are there ethical issues at stake here?    More... premium

Is pharmacy ready for Automation? :: Michael Scavone : 28/9/2006 : Michael Scavone has just completed a year working on the development of 'remote dispensing systems.'

"The next wave of consumer demand for pharmacy change will involve how medicines are requested and supplied. The extensive use of information technology (IT) is not daunting to consumers who grew up with laptops in their cots. Consumers will fully embrace the type of IT, engineering and technology used in, for example, remote dispensing systems to access their pharmacist and obtain medication."   More... premium

Pharmacy: The Dominant Gene :: Veronica Nou : 25/9/2006 : 2006 has been a fairly gloomy year for pharmacy with the continued threat of government rule changes, raised interest rates, apparently increasing Medicare Australia 'bastardry' and a perceived threat to the profession from 'big box' style 'chemists' to name but a few of the factors involved. At the start of 'Ask your pharmacist' week it seems timely to remind people that there is also an upside to being a pharmacist.

In today's AusPharm feature, 2005 University of Sydney graduate and community pharmacist Veronica Nou reminds us why many of us do what we do.

"It took me some time but I now understand this is a profession that moulds its members into something of a universal remedy for all our little problems. It's nice to feel needed, and we are; you become someone people come to for things big and small, and it's almost an honour to be invited so intimately into so many peoples' lives."    More... premium

Should I stay or should I go? :: Mark Nicholson : 21/9/2006 : For the old rockers among you, Mick Jones of "The Clash" fame posed the question above and then answered it with "If I stay there will be trouble...If I go it will be double".

And so it is for many owners facing an impending retirement exit from pharmacy ownership. The qualitative implications for life without a business may in fact be a much worse contemplation than a business that probably has profit declining in the current or future market place. After all you can only sell your business once...or can you?
   More... premium

From PRE-REG to DE-REG: are supermarkets really our biggest bogeymen? :: Wendy Morton : 19/9/2006 : "A great deal of effort has gone into keeping the supermarkets out of pharmacy ownership, but as noted in an earlier feature article on CML's acquisition of Pharmacy Direct, there is nought so menacing as the unrevealed threat. Are the supermarkets our worst enemy? Or is it the big bad discounting pharmacies? Or something more subtle and infinitely closer to home?"   More... premium

The product you need to sell is you! (Part 2) :: Frank Morgan : 14/9/2006 : "You have to be super in all that you do in your pharmacy and improve and develop techniques and skills which will guide you all to a clear path for reaching your customers. You are THE PRODUCT that brings people to your pharmacy."

So wrote Frank Morgan in Part 1 of this article. In Part 2, published on AusPharm today, Frank writes about "getting noticed" and shares some effective marketing techniques with us.   More... premium

The ACCC, Medicines Australia and Drug Marketing Wastage :: Ken Harvey : 12/9/2006 : Dr. Ken Harvey points out that the National Prescribing Service currently provides independent and evidence-based education about therapeutics to health workers and consumers. He suggests that the pharmaceutical industry could reduce marketing wastage, improve their image and deliver more cost-effective education by curtailing ineffective &/or offensive marketing practices and transferring some of the money saved to the NPS.    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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