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AusPharm news

$15,000 Prize Pool for Pharmacy National Student Business Plan : 31/01/2008 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia recently launched its second National Student Business Plan Competition – an Australia-wide challenge promoting creative and innovative entrepreneurship among students preparing for a career in community pharmacy.

The competition, which was announced at the Pharmacy Student Congress at the University of Sydney recently, is open to all pharmacy schools in Australia, with $15,000 in cash and prizes going to winning teams and their school of pharmacy.

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Poll: pharmacists and medical certificates : 30/01/2008 :

Last week the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia jointly released guidelines (click here) they had developed for pharmacists issuing medical certificates for short periods of sick and carers leave.

When this idea was first floated early in 2006 AusPharm ran a poll asking 'listers what they thought their pharmacies would charge to see a patient, assess them and then, if appropriate, issue them with a medical certificate. Now that the relevant protocols are in place we think it's a good time to repeat the poll. Please let us know what's likely to happen in your pharmacy by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

What dose administration aids (DAAs) meet the requirements for the new DAA Program? : 30/01/2008 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia says that it has received a number of enquiries regarding the availability of DAA products that meet the DAA Program specifications.

According to the Guild, there are various DAA devices on the market that meet the Program specifications as described in the DAA Pharmacy Readiness Kit (PRK) (click here to see). No particular product is endorsed as a part of the program.

The Guild advises participating pharmacists to refer to the DAA PRK to ensure they understand what is required and to contact individual suppliers directly to investigate which product best accommodates their needs.

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Young Bill Arnold's prescription : 29/01/2008 :

Last week we asked 'listers to 'translate' a prescription that contained three items that were prescribed for a young Bill Arnold on September 20, 1948 (click the image at right to see a larger version). Two AusPharm pens were on offer, one for the best effort from an under 50 and the other for the best effort from an over 50.

 The winner in the 'under 50' category was Murray Felstead (50 exactly). For the over 50s we were unable to split the entries from Ron Batagol and Terry Irvine so we'll give them each one of our pens.

To read Murray's entry click here. For Ron's click here and for Terry's click here.

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NSW wins the cricket but Tasmanian batsman steals the show : 28/01/2008 :

NSW won the Chemists Interstate Challenge Cricket Shield held on the NSW southern tablelands last week. The final, between NSW and Western Australia, was played at the Chater Oval, Mittagong, on Australia Day.

NSW captain David Sidgreaves won the toss and elected to bat. The NSW team batted very well and scored 9/251 from their 50 overs with John Obaid getting 77, Tim Sidgreaves 61 and Peter Mikhail 77. In reply WA were dismissed for 115 in 28 overs. The best of the NSW bowlers was Chris Georges who captured 6/17. Chris won the award for "Bowler of the Carnival'. David Sidgreaves is pictured above accepting the Shield from Aussie cricket legends Neil Harvey (on the right) and Sam Loxton (at rear).


The highlight of the carnival, however, came on Thursday when Tasmania played hot favourites for the title, Victoria, winners of the Shield for the last three years.

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AusPharm Continuing Education Program commencing soon : 26/01/2008 :

As foreshadowed late in 2007 AusPharm will commence providing online Continuing Education activities in 2008. The first of these, 'Insomnia', will be published on Tuesday February 5. We will be publishing further CE activities on most Tuesdays throughout 2008.

Half of our CE activities will be prepared for AusPharm by the good folk at the Unit for Medication Outcomes Research and Education (UMORE) at the School of Pharmacy, University of Tasmania. Click the image below to visit the UMORE website and learn more about UMORE or the individual authors.

The rest of our CE activities will be prepared by Debbie Rigby and Dr Geraldine Moses.

Each activity will be followed by self assessment questions. When these are completed immediate feedback is provided and a personalised Certificate of Participation can be printed out for your CE portfolio.

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Poll results: DD book : 25/01/2008 :

This week's poll asked 'listers how up to date the DD was kept in their pharmacies.

It seems pharmacists are, in the main, very diligent about this with 92% of respondents saying that their DD book was 'always' or 'mostly' up to date. The strong response to this poll (183 respondents) suggests to us that the common theme for each of the options (bring on an electronic and automated system) is one that holds great appeal for pharmacists.

Over to you Boards and software providers.

More pharmacy (script) history - win an AusPharm pen : 24/01/2008 :

After last week's 'translate the old 'script' competition proved so popular we've got another one for you this week. The script at right (click the script for a bigger version) contains three items that were prescribed for a young Bill Arnold on September 20, 1948.

Two AusPharm pen's are up for grabs, one for an under 50 year old 'lister and one for an over 50 year old (NB (Tony and Ritche) last week''s winners aren't allowed to win again). But what do I have to do I hear you ask?

We'd like a full transcript of the script including price (hint ANTOM SULPH ), likely indications and any other comments you might like to make. Click here to submit your entry. You have until midday Monday to get it in and we'll announce the winner on Tuesday.

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Direct to consumer advertising of S4s : 23/01/2008 :

A 'lister noticed the online ad below for Yaz® (Yasmin® in Australia) while looking at a US web site. There is a matching TV ad screening in the US as well. The last line of the TV ad exhorts people to 'Talk to your health care professional and find out if Yaz if right for you'. So, how do Australian pharmacists feel about fielding such queries, particularly with the small margins that seem to be available on such heavily promoted products these days?

Click the image below to visit the online ad. Click here to see the TV ad.

Click the More..... link to see a bigger version of the ad.

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Pharmacy cricket starts today : 23/01/2008 :

The Chemists Interstate Challenge Cricket Shield begins today in and around Bowral on the NSW Southern Highlands. The first match is on the Bradman Oval and is between South Australia and Queensland.

This year's Carnival will be a truly national pharmacy event, featuring teams from all Australian states (but not the ACT or NT) and will be the centenary of the 'Chemists Interstate Challenge Cricket Shield' first contested in Melbourne in 1908. The year 2008 also celebrates the 100th birthday of the late Don Bradman.

AusPharm's Mark Dunn will be at the cricket both as a player (for Tasmania) and on behalf of AusPharm. We'll bring you a carnival 'wrap' next Tuesday.

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Schedule 8 drug registers - time for a change? : 23/01/2008 :

In a discussion with some colleagues this week AusPharm the issue of paper based schedule 8 (DD) drug registers arose (again). 'Listers may recall the AusPharmList discussion thread on this back in September 2006. At the time Tony Soffer wrote: "One would have thought in the year 2006 an electronic version of the DD Book or something a bit more modern could be produced rather than [a larger version of] something which to be is very antiquated in era of rapid technology change."

AusPharm agrees. In our travels as a locum we see lots of DD books and it is not uncommon for pharmacists to be weeks (or months) behind in writing them up, this despite the very dim view the Boards take of this. How good is your pharmacy at keeping its DD book up to date. Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

PCA NU Systems acquisition to boost competitiveness for pharmacies : 23/01/2008 :

PCA NU Systems Pty Ltd has acquired Sydney-based Vertikls Business Solutions Pty Ltd, a Microsoft Dynamics partner specialising in total solutions for managing retail business operations.

 According to Paul Naismith, CEO, PCA NU Systems, Pharmacies are increasingly seeking expertise in running a retail business, including business management, planning and operations, and Vertikls’ specialist knowledge in business planning software systems will be of real value to pharmacy.”

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The Australian Academy of the History of Pharmacy : 22/01/2008 :

The Australian Academy of the History of Pharmacy was formed in 1996, bringing together the existing Australian State Chapters of Pharmacy History. The Academy has the objectives of fostering interest, research, knowledge, understanding and appreciation of pharmacy history and pharmacy in history.

The Academy publishes its Journal, PHARMACY HISTORY Australia, three times a year and it has kindly agreed to allow AusPharm to republish an article from each issue.

Chemists Interstate Challenge Cricket Shield

As the 2008 Chemists Interstate Challenge Cricket Shield commences this Wednesday in Bowral, it seems appropriate to kick off with an article on the Shield from the November 2007 issue of the Journal.

Click the More.... link below to read the article Bowling a maiden over by 'Dick E.Bird'.

To read more about The Academy (and to get the info you need to join - it's only $35 a year) click here.

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Trend forecaster to present at APP Industry Symposium : 22/01/2008 :

One of Australia foremost social researchers will present to pharmacy industry leaders and leading pharmacists at APP’s Industry Symposium on the Gold Coast in March.

Mark McCrindle, a leading forecaster in demographic and social change, will identify the key issues, opportunities and emerging trends that relate to the pharmaceutical industry and provide insight into how the industry can adapt to these changing trends.

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Buscopan aiming to rope in new customers : 22/01/2008 :

In its new advertising campaign Buscopan will be using a distinctive rope to represent symptoms a person may suffer.

The new campaign will combine televison spots with print and point of sale material as well as pharmacy assistant training.


Pharmacists: medical certificates for sick and carer’s leave : 22/01/2008 :

Pharmacists across Australia are now able to provide medical certificates for short periods of sick and carers leave.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and The Pharmacy Guild of Australia have just released their joint Guidelines on Pharmacists Issuing Medical Certificates which specify the circumstances under which the certificates can be issued.

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Symbion commits to PHARMX ordering gateway : 21/01/2008 :

PharmX Pty and Symbion announced on Friday that Symbion will be using the PharmX ordering gateway.

Graham Cunningham, Chairman of PharmX commented: 'We are extremely pleased to have reached agreement with Symbion Health. In providing the PharmX capability to both the Symbion Pharmacy Distribution and Consumer divisions. We look forward to assisting Symbion deliver increasing efficiency in their supply chain. We are also delighted to provide further point of sale support with the integration of PharmX with Symbion's pharmacy software solution; Minfos.'

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Medicines Australia appoints educational event auditor : 21/01/2008 :

Medicines Australia (MA) announced on Friday that it had appointed international business consulting firm Deloitte to review all educational events conducted by pharmaceutical companies for doctors over the period 1 July to 31 December 2007.

In 2007 the ACCC imposed a requirement on Medicines Australia member companies that they report the details of their educational events for publication on the Medicines Australia website. Deloitte will undertake an independent and objective evaluation of reported events, enabling Medicines Australia to assess the level of compliance with the industry Code of Conduct.

MA CEO Ian Chalmers said 'The appointment of an independent auditor recognises concerns held by some in the community that there is a lack of transparency in the interactions between pharmaceutical companies and doctors.'

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Poll results: keeping your cool : 18/01/2008 :

This week's poll asked 'listers whether they made an active effort to keep the temperature of their pharmacies under 25° during these hot summer months.

While only 31% of respondents said that they run their air conditioners overnight, another 30% have been prompted by our poll to have a think about this with a further 14% saying that it never gets above 25° in their pharmacies anyway.

AusPharm still wonders what latitude is (officially) permitted here. What does 'Store below 25°' actually mean anyway?


Mrs Arnold's prescription : 17/01/2008 :

Thanks to those (mostly OFs) who sent in their entries for our competition. We asked 'listers to translate the script below complete with directions on how you would make the preparation and, also, to say what you think the patient charge for this was and what you would charge to make it in 2008. Click the image to see a full size version of the script.

It was very difficult choosing a winner as there werea number of good ones, however, we had to choose one and Tony Knight got the nod. Thanks for a fine effort Tony (and thanks to al the others who submitted entries)!


Although it’s now 50 years ago, I believe I can recall making emulsions very similar to this in my apprenticeship days.

The prescription:

Mrs Arnold

Zinc Oxide ......................... 4 drachms (240 grains or ½ an apothecary ounce)
Aq. Calcis [Lime Water].... 3 fluid drachms (180 minims; 3/8 a fluid ounce )
{This is a saturated solution of Calcium Hydroxide}
Adeps Lanae [Wool Fat].... 4 drachms
{Our lecturer always took pleasure to point out that this is not really a fat at all, and ought to be named Wool Wax}
[It seems now to be often called Anhydrous Lanoline]
Ol. Olivae [Olive Oil]........... 3 fluid drachms

Misce [Mix] Sig [Label] Apply as directed

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