Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist July 2015 Contents Australian Pharmacist July 2015 I © Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
More than 300 delegates chose to
attend this year’s Offshore Refresher
Course (ORC40) in Berlin and Paris,
coincidentally around the same number
of delegates who were attracted to
the first Offshore in Noumea. Not the
same 300 of course – several thousand
pharmacists have attended at least
one Offshore Refresher Course of the
past 40 years. However, there were
12 delegates at ORC40 who were part of
the original 1977 delegation. And they
hadn’t aged a bit – well not that you’d
have noticed with a quick glance.
As always, the accommodation was of
a superb standard. The venue for the
Berlin section of the conference was the
legendary, luxurious Adlon Kempinsky
Hotel, situated on the main central
Berlin boulevard, Unter den Linden,
and adjacent to the Brandenburg Gate.
The Adlon was all but destroyed during
the Second World War, but remarkably
rebuilt to once more achieve its iconic
status in the 1990s. In Paris our group
stayed at the conveniently located
Westin Vendome, just a few minutes’
walk across the Tuileries Gardens to the
Louvre or the Place de la Concorde.
Not surprisingly, there were gala
celebratory events in both Berlin and
Paris. And dressing-up must be part of
a pharmacist’s DNA. Sartorial splendour
and elegance were matched in equal
measure by inspiration and invention.
Whilst the enjoyment of the Refresher
Course conferences is undoubtedly
enhanced by the social events and
activities, their success is ultimately
determined by the standard of clinical
presentations and workshops. In this
regard the 2015 Course did not disappoint.
Melbourne-based Phillip Rosengarten
works in the Faculty of Medicine,
Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash
University. His primary work is in general
paediatrics and undergraduate teaching.
As a speaker, Phillip had attended two
previous ORCs, in 2001 and 2008. After a
further seven years it seemed reasonable
for Phillip to spend his ‘sabbatical’ with
us. This time in Continental Europe
(Ireland and South America were his
previous speaking venues). Amongst a
range of childhood medical conditions,
Phillip spoke about ADHD and autism.
The incidence of autism spectrum
disorder has increased significantly,
he said, from around one in 2,500 in
1960 to an estimated one in 88 in 2014.
Better diagnosis, heightened awareness,
changing diagnostic criteria, parents’
ages, extremely premature babies and
even environmental factors, may all play
a part, he said.
Anthony French, a consultant
geriatrician from Brisbane spoke at the
Washington/New York conference last
year. So popular were his presentations
that he was invited to return to give a
series of talks and workshops in Paris and
on the post-conference cruise. His topics
were the management of older people
with cognitive and behavioural issues
and analgesic use in older people.
Pain management was also the focus of
the presentation given by Paul Kubler,
Director of Clinical Pharmacology and
Rheumatology at the Royal Brisbane and
Women’s Hospital. In his ‘musculoskeletal
stream’ Paul tackled a number of issues
common to pharmacy practice including
gout, osteo and inflammatory arthritis,
and polymyalgia rheumatica. Paul talked
about the new and emerging treatments
for RA and said that, over the next
five years, the ‘hot topic’ with regard
to immune system-related conditions
would be the role of our gut flora.
Fortuitously, the human microbiome,
and particularly how it is affected by
antibiotics, was the subject of talks by
Tom MacDonald. Tom is Professor of
Immunology and Dean of Research
at Barts and the London School of
The Offshore Refresher Course
still a resounding success
40 years on
BY JOHN BELL
Beginning with what the organising committee back in 1977 thought
would be a modest experiment in offshore education, the annual
PSA Offshore Refresher Course has become, for many, a must-attend
conference on the Australian CPD calendar.
The East side gallery of the Berlin Wall
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