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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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The product you need to sell is you! (Part 1) :: Frank Morgan : 7/9/2006 : In today's article from Frank Morgan (part 1 of 2 parts), he covers territory which, to some, might seem to be stating the bleeding obvious.

"Whether you have a business with a few staff or one with a cast of thousands you are the conductor in your business and your orchestra (your staff) are watching your every move and relying are on you to help them produce a great symphony. Your customers see you in the same role and they want to communicate with you and know more about you."    More... premium


CPE in the 21st century :: Ron Batagol : 5/9/2006 : In todays' AusPharm feature Ron Batagol looks at the role AusPharm(list) might play in helping pharmacists access CPE.

"...if the professional organizations were to stop pretending that they have some sort of inalienable and exclusive right to provide CPE, and seize this opportunity to work with an interactive website group, with a large captive audience of pharmacists like AusPharmList, everyone would win!"    More... premium


'Mystery' me this, mystery man :: Irwin Lowe : 1/9/2006 : In today's AusPharm feature, Irwin the evil chemist has a bit to say about a 3/10 result on a QCPP 'mystery shop'.

'Mystery' me about the resuscitation we did for a patient who suffered acute penicillin anaphylaxis. 'Mystery' me about how I diagnosed (yes, diagnosed) a patient's cervical cancer from her husband's descriptions of her bleeding. 'Mystery' me how I cured a patient's asthma because her ophthalmologist put her on a beta-blocker. 'Mystery' me about the patient whose life we saved because we spotted that her medication cocktail prolonged her QT interval. 'Mystery' me about the heart attack patient on whom I performed CPR.

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Are you ready for IT? :: Michelle Lynch : 23/8/2006 : In AusPharm's latest feature from PSA Councillors Victorian State Councillor Michelle Lynch looks at some pending advances in IT in pharmacy.

"Information Technology (IT) seems to influence every aspect of our life with the intent to make everything streamlined, uncomplicated and more accessible. This impact can range from the PDA we use to check our emails or contact people to downloading podcasts of our favourite music or radio programs. So if we have embraced IT in our day-to-day personal activities, have we equally explored its potential application in our professional lives and are we ready for it?"   More... premium


Would you like to have a medical practice adjoining your pharmacy? :: Mark Nicholson : 16/8/2006 : Mark is the managing partner of JR's Pharmacy Services. In today's AusPharm feature he looks at the options for pharmacy in colocating with a medical centre.

"You probably all know a pharmacy that enjoys the significant benefits that flow from the creation or expansion of an adjoining medical practice. Despite appearances it is unlikely these 'success stories' have happened by accident."   More... premium


Protect the head or the body will die :: Michael Page : 10/8/2006 : In today's AusPharm feature article Michael Page looks critically at what defines pharmacy as a profession.

"Protecting our profession means striking out in bold new directions with the goal of finding a unique role for which we have unique knowledge. This necessarily excludes any more ‘initiatives’ sold on the basis of saving our allegedly heroic, busy general practitioners’ precious time.....The pharmacy profession will die an undignified death if it does not find something unique and useful to occupy its efforts. And once the profession dies, we will have very little argument left for protection of the industry built around it."   More... premium


Extemporaneous dispensing - compounding interest, or past its use-by date? :: Wendy Morton : 2/8/2006 : "What happens in your pharmacy when a patient walks in bearing a prescription for an extemporaneous preparation? Do the pharmacists leap the counter to ensure they are the chosen one to indulge their skills in the pristine corner of the pharmacy set aside for just such a purpose, selecting from a wide range of galenicals which have been purchased in living memory, to weigh on a sparkling balance? Or do you whistle for the pre-reg and leave them alone for an angst-ridden half hour in a dank and dusty little back room.....?"

In today's AusPharm feature Wendy Morton asks whether it is time to critically review the place extemporaneous dispensing holds in both our businesses and our universities.   More... premium


Unexpected falling objects :: Irwin Lowe : 12/7/2006 : In this week's AusPharm feature Irwin the evil one writes about keeping your cool under trying circumstances.

"....nothing, nothing, prepared me, as a 21-year-old graduate who had very little social contact with the opposite gender (boys’ school offers very little opportunity for this sort of thing), to be suddenly faced with a young female customer with a rash on her chest. “What does it look like,” asked I, expecting her to describe it to me. What I didn’t expect was her to suddenly remove her top to show me. “Um, are you crying?” she asked. I barely kept my cool in that circumstance, and asked my preceptor to come and help me diagnose the problem. He, too, kept his cool."

I laughed til I cried.....   More... premium


And I think to myself……'what a wonderful world'! :: Ron Batagol : 5/7/2006 : In today's AusPharm feature, Ron Batagol looks back fondly on his days as a pharmacy student and as a pharmacy apprentice 40 odd years ago.

"Recently, I had the good fortune to attend the unveiling of the plaque to commemorate the site of the old Victorian College of Pharmacy (pictured), in Swanston Street, Melbourne, as part of the 125th. anniversary year celebrations of the College. And, boy, did the memories come flooding back!"   More... premium


Why are some consumers missing out on HMRs? :: Karalyn Huxhagen : 21/6/2006 : In this week's AusPharm feature Karalyn Huxhagen asks whether pharmacy is missing the boat with HMRs.

"There has been much dispute between pharmacy bodies and accredited pharmacists as to the viability of providing these services within community pharmacy. The fourth agreement is the last chance to make this program the flagship of pharmacy that many believe it could be. Currently HMRs can only be generated by the patient’s GP and the payment for services MUST come through a community pharmacy. While I agree with this model I think it is only one possible way to do things. We are in great danger of missing the opportunities for pharmacy of this program."   More... premium


If it’s NOT a legal requirement, then I am NOT going to give you my personal details! :: Irwin Lowe : 14/6/2006 : In today's feature from Irwin the evil chemist he talks about 'schedule 3', its history in Victoria, its meaning in practice and how its implications are handled in his pharmacy.

"Much like the MCC Members suddenly and unexpectedly mooning the Sri Lankans during a Test Match, the Pharmacy Board (Victoria) suddenly and unexpectedly rescinded the “recordable” part of Schedule 3. It’s not every day we experience fin de siecle, but there you have it. The lame justification Chinese-whispered at the time was that the minor disparity in price at the Victoria / NSW border was solely due to Board requirements for pharmacists to record. Therefore, labelling just had to go."   More... premium


Pharmacy as a contradiction :: David Haworth : 7/6/2006 : In today's AusPharm feature occasional feature writer David Haworth talks about the difference between what some pharmacies do and what they *say* they do.

"Even the state of the art modern pharmacy will have a dump bin with a sign saying “Bonus Gift”. I cringe when I see a $150,000 brand spanking new shop fit with planogrammed neat, tidy and well stocked shelves, a shiny new counter with a smoking cessation display next to a display outer of “Oxygen Therapy”. Pharmacy as a contradiction? Don’t get me started……"   More... premium


Community pharmacy involvement in research :: Shane Jackson : 31/5/2006 : In the next of our regular features from PSA National councillors, Tasmanian councillor and recipient of the 2005 PSA Silver Medal award for excellence, Dr Shane Jackson talks about the importance of community pharmacy involvement in research.

"I would encourage academics to actively engage with practitioners for involvement in research and I would encourage community pharmacists to be involved in research where possible. I am interested to hear of AusPharmers’ experiences of involvement in research, their perceptions about how it could be improved and how we can foster a closer relationship between academics and practitioners."   More... premium


There is as much risk in doing nothing as in doing something :: Frank Morgan : 24/5/2006 : Frank's been a pharmacist for over 50 years now, and has seen a few things in his travels.

The results of recent polls in AusPharmList highlight to me that some pharmacists need a kick in the seat of their pants so that they may become more innovative and creative when it comes to managing and growing their businesses now and in the future.   More... premium


NO, TELL ME HONESTLY... DOES MY ATTACHMENT LOOK BIG IN THIS?? :: Wendy Morton : 17/5/2006 : OK, as of this week I have officially had a gutful. I am thoroughly over padding down my little cyberpath each morning to the edge of the information super highway, only to discover my mailbox has yet again been stuffed to overflowing by people who I reckon really should either know better or employ people who know better.
Read Wendy Morton on 'netiquette' and how some in pharmacy do (much) better than others.   More... premium


Paroxetine and teratogenicity. Is this just a lousy D-grade assessment by TGA or is it another post-thalidomide knee jerk reaction? :: Ron Batagol : 10/5/2006 : In his latest feature for AusPharm Ron Batagol makes out a persuasive case that the TGA should urgently re-convene its Drugs and Pregnancy expert group.

"Since the disbanding of the ADEC Advisory Committee, following the publication of the 4th. Edition of the "Medicines in Pregnancy" booklet, there have been numerous examples of drugs for which appropriate expert advice, widely disseminated, would have assisted health professionals and patients to have a better understanding of the risk/benefit, and even more importantly, would ultimately also avoid unnecessary terminations....."   More... premium


Why are pharmacy values holding up? :: Mark Nicholson : 26/4/2006 : Mark is the managing partner of JR's Pharmacy Services. Mark's colleague at JR Pharmacy Services, Norman Thurecht, also had input into today's feature. In it they comment:

"The multiples applied to Pharmacy earnings to calculate a sale price have not fallen. This is so despite the reality and continued risk of falling remuneration. Why, we may ask?

The signing of the 4th Guild Government Agreement late last year should have signalled some certainty to owners about the next four and a half years. However, the ongoing issue of generics and other incomplete matters such as the location rules (still being finalised with Government) provide anything but certainty."
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This conversation may be recorded for quality control purposes :: Irwin Lowe : 21/4/2006 : In today's AusPharm feature, from Irwin the evil one, he looks at how difficult 'chatty" customers can be. "And no matter what you do, none of the ordinary social signals which indicate a total disinterest in the topic, or the person, are successful in ending the conversation: general busyness, proximate staff waving for your attention, yawning, closing your eyes, snoring, even oscillating your head laterally forwards, backwards and clucking are all futile. The customer often doesn’t even draw breath for long enough for you to slip in: “I think I heard a 747 crash – I had better investigate”.

Then he moves on to the main game; the customer relation skills of his (current) second line wholesaler. "I have all sorts of customers. Big ones. Small ones. Irritating ones. I know what it is to sack a customer, and it is not something that is done lightly. Otherwise, I gotta keep them all happy, not just the big ones and important ones."   More... premium


APP2006: What a weekend for pharmacy :: Wendy Morton : 7/4/2006 : In today's article, published in full on the AusPharm website, Wendy Morton looks at the weekend that was......

"Of surprise to some that it was the seemingly disinterested Coles Myer who breached the citadel after a near silent skulk through the undergrowth, rather than the brasher Woolworths who made regular stop-offs whilst crashing through the scrub for a photo-op and bugle fanfare.

From a few shocked and disbelieving whispers over coffee on Friday afternoon, the tale of Coles Myer's acquisition of Pharmacy Direct rapidly gathered momentum to pretty much dominate conversations by the time the Welcome Reception rolled around on Friday night."
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NSAIDs and the 'Triple Whammy': out of sight but, hopefully, not yet out of mind! :: Ron Batagol : 22/3/2006 : In his latest feature Ron shares with us his attempts to get the TGA to better highlight to consumers the 'triple whammy' risk:

"My suggestion is that all CMIs for ACE inhibitor/angiotensin receptor antagonist products and all NSAID products have a statement in plain English, specifically warning of the risks of the “triple whammy”. I believe that this change is essential because the “triple whammy” is a serious, life-threatening iatrogenic hazard that is completely preventable if the appropriate advice is given to the patient.    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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