Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist March 2015 Contents Australian Pharmacist March 2015 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
A report published in some News Ltd
outlets last month misled readers by
omitting a key fact about a Brisbane
pharmacy, according to the Pharmacy
Guild of Australia (PGA). The story
focussed on Super Pharmacy Plus in
Stafford, suggesting that the fact it
contains a small IGA Xpress outlet
contradicts the Pharmacy Guild's stand
against pharmacies being co-located
within supermarkets. The PGA said
the Super Pharmacy Plus at Stafford
is accredited under the Quality Care
Pharmacy Program (QCPP), and as
such it is bound by a requirement that
it will not sell alcohol or cigarettes.
The IGA Xpress at Super Pharmacy Plus
at Stafford sells neither alcohol nor
cigarettes -- a fact conveyed to the News
Ltd reporter, but omitted from the story.
CMA welcomes result
Complementary Medicines Australia
(CMA) has welcomed results from a
study which shows equivalent benefits
of taking glucosamine and chondroitin
for osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee as
taking the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib
(Celebrex). The MOVES study included
606 patients with moderate-to-severe
pain, and found that six months of
treatment with glucosamine and
chondroitin was associated with a
50.1% decrease in pain as measured
on the Western Ontario and McMaster
osteoarthritis index (WOMAC),
compared with a 50.2% decrease among
patients given Celebrex. Carl Gibson,
CMA chief executive said: 'This study
adds to the increasing evidence in
favour of the use of glucosamine and
chondroitin in OA of the knee.'
Minister begins CPA
The Federal Government has begun discussions with health and
consumer groups in the lead up to the next community pharmacy
The Minister for Health, Sussan Ley,
last month hosted the first of a series of
discussions as part of the Government's
commitment to being open and
consultative on health policy.
Ms Ley said the talks were a 'positive
and constructive start' and thanked all
participants for their contribution.
This was another example that the
Abbott Government was committed
to consulting to ensure it developed
well-rounded health policy, she said.
'The Australian Government recognises
the important role that community
pharmacists and pharmacies play
in supporting our health system,'
Ms Ley said.
'However, the cost of purchasing and
subsidising medicines is an expensive
exercise for everyone in the supply
chain. For example, $1.5 billion worth of
new medicines were recommended for
listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits
Scheme (PBS) in November 2014.
And just like our Medicare consultations,
we want to ensure all relevant voices
are heard ahead of the next Community
Pharmacy Agreement as well.
'That means pharmacists together with
consumers, doctors and medicines'
manufacturers. I want to hear from
a range of voices about the best
ways patients can continue to access
medicines when and where they need
them at a price both they and taxpayers
can afford,' the Minister said.
Incentive program expanded
Symbion has expanded and refined
Pharmacy Choice Incentive Program
Pharmacy Choice National Manager,
Luke McKinnon, said the Incentive
Program, now in its eighth year, was a
strong point of difference for stores.
'The Program is succeeding in helping
stores grow their businesses -- making
them more efficient, increasing
basket size and driving profitability,'
Mr McKinnon said.
'It is our role to help our members'
businesses improve and become
more resistant to market forces and
the Incentive Program is a great way
to reward their efforts. The program is
unique in that we don't just promote
positive retail behaviour, we also
reward it. While mastering our Five
Steps to business success, pharmacies
are earning points which can be put
towards a range of exciting auction
prizes and five star luxury holidays.'
The Incentive Program takes a
structured scorecard approach, with
stores awarded for their commitment
to the Five Steps -- buy better, improve
layout, ramp up marketing, train for
better results and streamline operations.
Last year participating stores grew
on average 5.5% in retail sales in a
challenging retail environment.
A record 450 pharmacies, including
94 new stores and 14 first-time winners,
participated in the program in 2014.
Thirty of these pharmacies won trips to
either Dubai or Hamilton Island.
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