Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist December 2015 Contents Australian Pharmacist December 2015 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd. 73
Switch momentum growing
Momentum for reform of the switch
environment and Schedule 3 (S3)
advertising policy is building according
to presenters and participants at the
Australian Self Medication Industry
(ASMI's) annual conference in Sydney
ASMI Chief Executive Officer Dr Deon
Schoombie said: 'ASMI's 2015 conference
attracted a distinguished line-up
of international and local thought
leaders, who put the spotlight on the
key drivers of growth for consumer
healthcare -- cutting-edge product and
service innovations, prescription-to-OTC
switch, healthcare regulatory reform
and 'Big Data', which is being used to
better understand and meet the needs of
'ASMI shared a sample mock ad,
demonstrating the proposed consumer
communication model it has been
advocating for Schedule 3 (S3) products.
The advertisement is for a fictitious
brand in an existing S3 category that
cannot be advertised -- 'Brand FAM'
(Famciclovir) for cold sore treatment.
'We have commissioned the Centre
for Health Economics Research and
Evaluation (CHERE) at the University of
Technology, Sydney to test the impact of
this proposed communication approach
on consumers, pharmacists and
pharmacy assistants,' he said.
Switch experts, Dr Natalie Gauld and
Alison Van Wyk, from Green Cross Health,
discussed changes in New Zealand
pharmacy supporting a more innovative
They highlighted Australia's more
conservative approach to switch,
which they said is holding back
innovation in the sector. They
emphasised the need for regulatory
reform in Australia to increase consumer
access to medicines and stimulate
growth in the consumer healthcare
Trisha Garrett, from the Therapeutic
Goods Administration, provided an
update on the latest state of play on
the regulatory front and progress
on reforms impacting the industry,
such as reshaping the Scheduling
Policy Framework, deregulation and the
Labelling and Packaging Review.
Consumer healthcare expert, Robert
Buckeldee from Nielsen Europe, shared
clever ways successful global companies
in the health and care sector are
He said these companies are stretching
their brands and providing a meaningful
secondary benefit to consumers.
They are also making professional grade
experiences mainstream and expanding
new usage occasions.
Quantium Director, Tim Trumper,
explored the shifts in 'Big Data' and
the way companies can leverage it to
increase customer engagement and
He said: 'A combination of great data
and strong analytics delivers powerful
insights, enabling companies to deliver
against current and predicted customer
demands and preferences.'
Convenor of the Self Care Alliance Robert
Lippiatt, said Australia is on the cusp of a
generational change in healthcare policy,
driven by powerful external forces making
governments rethink the way healthcare
services are delivered.
He said this generational change
involved putting people in the centre
of healthcare service delivery and
empowering them to take on more
responsibility for their own health and
welfare in consultation with health
professionals, rather than being passive
recipients of health services.
An integrative medicines expert from
Georgetown University in the USA Dr
Mary Hardy told delegates that evidence
was increasingly important for verifying
the claims made about complementary
medicines. She said research into the
efficacy and safety of complementary
medicines needs to ask the most useful
questions and have the correct design to
add to the body of knowledge about them.
New ASMI Board
The Australian Self Medication Industry
(ASMI) announced its new Board of
Directors last month at its Annual
General Meeting in Sydney.
ASMI Chief Executive Officer Dr Deon
Schoombie said: 'ASMI's new Board
includes the recognised leaders of the
non-prescription medicines industry.
The Board's high level of expertise and
industry knowledge will enable us to
fully embrace tremendous opportunities
and manage challenging issues in the
'This is an exciting time for the industry
as we drive regulatory reform to
enhance consumer access to medicines
and promote the integration of self care
into national health policy.'
Mark Sargent is the interim Chairman
until the first Board meeting. Office-
bearers will be elected at this meeting.
Board Members are: Rob Barnes -- Aspen
PharmaCare; Shayne Byrne -- Perrigo;
Lindsay Forrest - Lindsay Forrest
Consultant; James Jones -- Takeda; Phil
Lynch -- Johnson & Johnson Pacific; Alan
Oppenheim -- Ego Pharmaceuticals;
Elizabeth Reynolds -- GlaxoSmithKline
Consumer Healthcare; Paul Rose -- Pfizer;
and, Mark Sargent -- Bayer Australia.
Medicinal cannabis APP
Neurologist, Dr Dan McLaughlin's session
at APP2016 on 18 March 2016 will focus
on 'medicinal cannabis trials and its use in
specific epilepsy disorders'.
Dr McLaughlin specialises in the treatment
of seizure disorders and has a particular
interest in the pharmacology of anti-
epilepsy drugs. He has more than 20 years'
experience as a clinical investigator in
a number of trials assessing the newer
anti-epileptic drugs and has been an
active member of the Epilepsy Society,
currently serving as President.
Dr McLaughlin's session is sponsored
by Epilepsy Queensland. APP2016 will
run from 17--20 March at the Gold Coast
Convention and Exhibition Centre.
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