Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist November 2014 Contents Australian Pharmacist November 2014 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
Schedule 3 (S3) advertising restrictions constrain the ability of sponsors
to make consumers aware of medicines available without a prescription .
As a result regulatory reform is long
overdue, according to the Australian Self
Medication Industry (ASMI).
Speaking at the Pharmacy Australia
Conference (PAC14) in Canberra last
month, ASMI Executive Director Dr Deon
Schoombie proposed a new regulatory
model of consumer communication for
S3 medicines, based on a structured
framework to provide information in a
'The two main objectives of the
proposed model are to create consumer
awareness of therapeutic options in the
S3 category in a structured, balanced
and responsible way, and to encourage
consumers to seek counselling from
pharmacists,' Dr Schoombie said.
'All S3 medicines should be permitted to
be advertised, as is the case in a number
of comparable markets overseas,
although provision needs to be made
for exceptions, on a case-by-case basis,
where it can be demonstrated that
direct-to-consumer advertising would
not be in the public interest, such as for
products containing pseudoephedrine
and codeine containing analgesics.'
Dr Schoombie proposed a structured
communication format comprising three
• Information about the condition,
which aims to inform consumers
about the symptoms and/or condition
for which the product is indicated.
• Mandatory intervention by a
pharmacist: this component of the
aims to promote and reinforce the
professional role of the pharmacist.
It would emphasise the need for
counselling to determine whether the
product is appropriate for a particular
condition and/or consumer and aims
to clarify that a product request does
not automatically result in the supply
of that product.
• Branded product information: the
brand awareness component is a
critical element to make the model
viable, but it takes a secondary role
to the more important educational
aspects of the communication.
'Removing restrictions on consumer
communication about S3 medicines
should help to expand the professional
role of pharmacists, who are well-placed
to play a greater part in the delivery
of primary healthcare. The ageing
population and increasing burden of
disease pose enormous challenges for
continuing to provide health services
at sustainable levels. Empowering
consumers to take more responsibility
for their health and measures to make
better use of scarce healthcare resources
are some of the policy responses to
these challenges,' Dr Schoombie said.
Sedrak complaints proven
The NSW Civil and Administrative
Tribunal has ruled that three
complaints against pharmacist
Maged Sedrak -- one of professional
misconduct and two of unsatisfactory
professional conduct -- are proven.
Sedrak supplied supplements to sports
scientist Stephen Dank during his
tenure with the Cronulla Sharks. The
tribunal's findings included dispensing
drugs in excessive quantities, without
lawful scripts and a failure to record
The complaints involved, among
other conduct, Sedrak's relationship
with a Dr Wilcox, who had previously
been subject to a medical inquiry
about the purchase of large quantities
of steroids. Sedrak told the tribunal
Wilcox would itemise drugs to be
dispensed on a card, when Wilcox
was not permitted to prescribe
steroids, and that more than 95%
of his pharmacy practice included
dispensing different steroids.
Sedrak's pharmacy was raided in 2011
by the NSW police, who found 'large
amounts of metformin and zolpidem',
the tribunal said.
Victorian community pharmacist
George Tambassis has been re-elected
unopposed as National President of
the Pharmacy Guild of Australia for a
three-year term. Mr Tambassis, first
became National President in October
last year. He has been in community
pharmacy for 25 years as a Melbourne-
based pharmacist, joining the Guild
Victorian Branch Committee in 2005,
and becoming State President in 2011.
Mr Tambassis said he looked forward
to working with his fellow national
councillors to support Australia's
network of 5,400 community
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