Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist July 2012 Contents 512 Australian Pharmacist July 2012 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
NEWS NATIONAL MEDICINES SYMPOSIUM
Best News Feature Article award in
Lindy Swain accepted the award
on behalf of her colleagues at the
The Northern Rivers Career Link Pharmacy
Program. CareerLink works with members
of the indigenous community, selecting
and training young Aboriginal people
to train to be pharmacy assistants, and
providing pharmacists with indigenous
cultural awareness training (for more on
Career Link see page 534).
The National MedicineWise Awards
recognise the high quality of work being
done by companies and individuals to
assist and educate both consumers and
health professionals. The winners were
announced by Parliamentary Secretary
for Health and Ageing Catherine King and
NPS CEO Dr Lynn Weekes.
Ms King said that the Awards are an
opportunity to recognise the excellent
work being undertaken to promote
quality use of medicines by consumers
and health professionals.
'QUM improves the health of patients,
reduces waste and ine ciency and helps
to prevent long term problems such as
Dr Weekes said the award winners
represent the breadth of QUM activities
happening in the community.
'Consumers need to be at the centre of
all we do in building a MedicineWise
community, and each of the National
MedicineWise Award winners
demonstrates one way in which health
outcomes can be positively impacted
through quality use of medicines activity.'
Making the patient
By Andrew Daniels
Prescribing is an act made under great
uncertainty, according to Professor Nick
Barber from the School of Pharmacy,
University College London.
He told the 530 delegates at the National
Medicines symposium that prescribers
can only hope to 'get the prescription
right-ish' rst time. After that feedback
systems need to be introduced to deal
with the unknowable and the changing.
Waterman wins again
By Andrew Daniels
Australian Pharmacist featured in the
NPS Medicinewise awards announced
at the National Medicines Symposium in
PSA Public A airs Director Peter
Waterman won the award for the Best
Media Report of a Medicines story and
Australian Pharmacist columnist Lindy
Swain and her colleagues from the
Northern Rivers Career Link Pharmacy
Program were joint winners of the
Building A MedicineWise Community:
Consumer Program award.
It was the third time Australian Pharmacist
has won awards at the National Medicines
Symposium. In 2004 the Continuing
Professional Development Section won
the Media QUM Award and in 2008 Dr
Lisa Nissen won the Media Award for
her Old Drug New Indication column in
Overall, many pharmacists were among
the award winners.
Peter Waterman received his award for
a cover story in Australian Pharmacist
-- Even accidental counsellors have to
be brave. The article provides unique
insight into the various roles pharmacists
perform in the area of mental health,
moving it from an 'accidental counselling
role' to a more structured and cohesive
model, highlighting the need for further
education, skills and knowledge so
pharmacists can help the growing
number of people su ering mental health
issues. The article also won the 2011
National Press Club/Medicines Australia
'We must make the patient's experience
central to the process ... meet the patient's
problems with understanding.'
who is well known
from his appearances
in the BBC Victorian
series, said that
on analysis of the
whole 'system' of
medicines use in primary care it could
be argued that reducing inappropriate
nonadherence is the most e ective rst
step toward improving quality care.
He described a new English service
-- the New Medicines Service -- that
pharmacists can o er which aims to
reduce nonadherence and avoidable
He said that if safety is a systems issue,
what was the system and how do we
Professor Barber suggested two ways
of tackling this, one being 'polishing
the cog', or working on the drug but
not the system, and the second being
redesigning the system.
'When we looked at the system we were
advised to look at the largest cause of
error the closest to the consumer which
led to nonadherence. No-one seemed to
have studied when it started.'
He said that a study of 272 patients
showed that after 10 days two-thirds
had problems with their medicines and
32% were nonadherent. To address this,
his team developed an intervention
which brought together several concepts.
The rst concept was seeing the patient
as a person. Interviews with patients
showed a number of misunderstandings
because patients felt they were not being
listened to or understood.
'If you're treated as a person who has
options and choices and are listened
to, then you feel engaged and you
are more able to relate to things and
hopefully have fewer problems,' Professor
The other concept was that medicines are
new technologies which take time to get
used to and learn how to use. How much
Peter Waterman (centre) accepts his award from the
Hon. Katherine King (left) and Dr Lynn Weekes (right).
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