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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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I sometimes become a bit more brazen than I should with Sudafed shoppers :: Irwin Lowe : 16/3/2005 : I sometimes become a bit more brazen than I should with Sudafed shoppers: holding a digital camera in their face(s) for an image to forward by email to the drug squad, flippantly announcing that they can have a special if they buy two dozen immediately adding that they should get the hell out of my shop and following (at a safe distance) to observe what vehicle they use, again to inform the drug squad. I sometimes, after being read the shopping list of “this in the red packet” or “that in the yellow packet” or “the other without paracetamol because I'm allergic to it”, just declare: “Nope, bad luck!”.   More... premium

Floating the Price of PBS Co-Payments Threatens QUM :: Kos Sclavos : 9/3/2005 : The Minister for Health and Ageing the Hon Tony Abbott MHR spoke to pharmacists at the Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference on 4th March 2005. In a detailed presentation he raised many issues. Mr Abbott said he saw no reason why a pharmacist should not be able to charge less than the PBS co-payment.    More... premium

Then and now: pharmacy ownership in NZ and Australia :: David Haworth : 28/2/2005 : Back when I went to pharmacy school in the mid 70's, being a pharmacist seemed like a licence to print money.... and probably was if you ask anyone over 55. Less competition, expanding population, babies were big (not literally), and pharmacy was expanding. Indeed many of my generation went to pharmacy school with the explicit desire to BE an entrepreneur and become well off. I'm sure to others it happened by default.    More... premium

MEDIA 'BEAT-UP' - SSRI's IN LATE PREGNANCY - DID THEY REALLY SAY THAT? :: Ron Batagol : 23/2/2005 : I tell you guys, I nearly choked on my cornflakes this morning!

The end of another crazy, hectic week, a free Saturday morning, just settling down to a relaxing brekkie and a browse through the weekend papers, and there it is!

Almost jumped out of the page to bite me - the "hot news story" in 'The Weekend Australian', with the heading:

" Mum's antidepressants put new-borns at risk".    More... premium

Bright Young Things: A breath of fresh air :: Brian Grogan : 15/2/2005 : I saw the future face of pharmacy at the superb National Australian Pharmacy Students' Association (NAPSA) Congress and I'm sure the profession will be in good hands in coming years.   More... premium

Life, the Universe and the Australian Taxation Office :: Irwin Lowe : 9/2/2005 : The intricacies of taxation law are perplexing to the point of being nonsensical. This is a universal inevitability, because an easy and straight forward system would put a profusion of accountants and public servants in the dole queue. And of course this world would not function were it not for the incessant shuffling of small pieces of paper from one department to another. Whilst removing my tongue from my cheek, we take the example of the recent implementation of our ‘New Tax System’. The whole shebang is so ludicrously complicated so as to make PhD hyper-brain topics, like the relationships of the quantum universe and string theory, seem Sesame Street-like in comparison.   More... premium

MAKING CONCESSIONS – BROTHER CAN YOU SPARE A DIME? OR A DOLLAR? OR MORE? :: Wendy Morton : 1/2/2005 : For any of you at a loose end these summer holidays, please feel welcome to join my latest research project. Participation will be voluntary and entirely at your own peril and expense, lacking, as it is, any approvals from pesky institutions or ethics committees, however, I would be genuinely interested to hear of your experiences in the following scenario...   More... premium

The pharmacists of (the day after) tomorrow... :: Kieren Po : 27/1/2005 : I was fortunate enough to be given the recent opportunity to coordinate the student volunteer contribution, within the Faculty of Pharmacy, at the University of Sydney's Information day. If my colleagues are the pharmacists of tomorrow, then the prospective students we talked to are the pharmacists of the day after tomorrow.   More... premium

A POX ON THE COX'S? - NO - IT'S JUST OUR LOUSY POST-MARKETING SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM - STUPID! :: Ron Batagol : 17/1/2005 : I guess it all started with thalidomide, which was touted in the late 1950's and early 1960's as the "wonder drug" for sleep and sedation, and then found favour in the relief of "morning sickness" in pregnant women. Then suddenly in 1961, McBride in Australia then Lenz in West Germany independently discovered the awful truth- that when taken in early pregnancy, thalidomide could cause gross and crippling limb reduction deformities in infants born to the mother who had taken the drug.   More... premium

What is a miracle? :: Irwin Lowe : 12/1/2005 : What is the quality that constitutes a miracle? To many of us the consideration of matters both natural and supernatural is not where we throttle-up the bulk of our brain power, lending our cognitive processes towards more mundane matters such as: “Who the hell stole my parking spot?”, “Where the hell did I put my keys?”, and “What the hell shall I have for lunch today?”    More... premium

Squirrels are a pharmacy health hazard- let's eliminate them! :: Ron Batagol : 21/12/2004 : We've all heard of the strange habits of squirrels- especially their predilection for collecting and hoarding- usually nuts! Although not officially found in Australia, I assure you all that squirrels are indeed here, are alive and well, and up to all their worst hoarding habits! But the 'squirrels' I am referring to are, of course, of the allegorical rather than the biological variety. "Squirreling" is term that I coined recently to describe, as a pharmaceutical manifestation, the habits of, usually well-meaning people, who 'hoard' , and those who help them hoard, their old prescription repeats, so that they can 'use them up first'.   More... premium

Looking for pharmacy leadership? Check out your nether regions ... :: Wendy Morton : 15/12/2004 : Recent times have seen Bachelor of Pharmacy courses escape the moorings of their sandstone traditions in Australia, to be offered at universities in Regional Centres, such as Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga NSW (“The first and only non-metropolitan Pharmacy course in Australia...” – suggest your website could do with an update, guys!!), James Cook University in Townsville QLD, and most recently La Trobe University in Bendigo Victoria, established in 2000. Griffith University’s Master of Pharmacy program is poised for a 2005 start as well.   More... premium

Protect your pharmacy's computers :: Kieren Po : 8/12/2004 : Most pharmacists reading this article probably haven't given thought to the security of their pharmacy's computers, or indeed their own computer systems at home. With the increasing uptake of broadband internet (including in pharmacies), it is probably a good idea to be aware of some of the issues regarding computer security and measures that should be taken to protect your computers from attack.   More... premium

Tales of the Unexpected :: Irwin Lowe : 1/12/2004 : Working with the general public opens one’s eyes to a greater perspective of the world than one would normally obtain in, say, an office job. A particular segment of the community has opened my eyes to the realities that face people in often marginalised, sometimes extreme, conditions in an otherwise open and free society.   More... premium

Pharmacy Corporatisation – Now it's here what does it mean? :: Mark Nicholson : 23/11/2004 : The Victorian Parliament passed a new Pharmacy Act on November 10, 2004 which may now have received Royal Assent. On the whole the changes are not dramatic and the industry can be pleased that the actual changes are minimal. In my view one of the most positive changes, is to now allow pharmacists to own their business(es) within a company structure rather than just individually.   More... premium

Focus groups, shmocus groups-but what do we tell Aunty Mabel about her medicines? :: Ron Batagol : 15/11/2004 : Over the past few months on AusPharmList, there has been a very energetic, and often quite passionate, exchange of ideas about the presentation and usefulness to patients, of Consumer Medicine Information Leaflets (CMIs). I must confess to being a prime mover (some may uncharitably say 'stirrer') of some of the discussions, for no other reason than to try to distill some objective collective wisdom about the best way forward on this important issue.    More... premium

Pharmacy Remuneration a Total Package :: Kos Sclavos : 1/11/2004 : If you read the pharmacy press, one could be forgiven for thinking that there is a choice in the next Guild Government Agreement between paying for professional services or paying for the supply of medications. Some go further to say that separate organizations should be negotiating for those two elements of the agreement.    More... premium

Adventures in consumer-land (part 2) :: Irwin Lowe : 26/10/2004 : The mysteries of human behaviour continue to perplex and bewilder this otherwise mild-mannered dispenser of medicines and gratuitous advice. Just the other week, my lipid receptors (5Aiib6, in case any pharmacologists are wondering; alias the ‘Colonel’ receptors) were crying for satiation with some myocardial-infarcting goodness. I sent my shop-boy down to the local fried-chicken-and-saturated-fat-heart-attack outlet to obtain me one dozen nuggets with barbeque sauce. Not a difficult prospect you would imagine.    More... premium

Juggling Family and Pharmacy :: Helene O'Byrne : 19/9/2004 : There is an opinion that the increase in student numbers will not be enough to aid our workforce crisis. This is due mainly to the record numbers of female students and their choice to either stop working when they have their families or continue in a part time capacity.   More... premium

Adventures in consumer-land (part 1) :: Irwin Lowe : 6/9/2004 : Anybody who thinks that they know how to run a customer service business should expose themselves first hand to the kinds of customer service that are available out there. Service standards fluctuate from excellent to appalling. Even more frustrating, the consistency of high levels of service is as dependable as Collingwood footy team’s winning streak, lulling you into the same vain hope that the flag will be yours (theirs) this year.   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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