Home' Australian Pharmacist : June 2011 Contents Vol. 30 -- June #06
The steady increase in MMR
(Medication Management Review)
accredited pharmacist numbers in
Australia over recent years has been
reflected in the official register of
AACP accredited pharmacists reaching
2,050 in April.
While annual growth in numbers has
been small but steady, there has been
a 25% increase in total numbers of
accredited pharmacists from 1,549 in
2005 to the current number of 2,050
in April 2011.
Pharmacists are actively pursuing
the MMR credential although there
has been some decrease in interest
following the cessation of the MMR
Incentive program in July last year.
However, new applications are being
received by the AACP on a regular
basis and 2011 has seen the highest
jump of accredited pharmacist
numbers in recent years.
The AACP website (www.aacp.
com.au) provides MMR program
information to pharmacists
considering MMR accreditation. The
website also includes a list of MMR
preparatory courses delivered by
organisations such as the PSA, ACP
and the Pharmacy Guild.
eSelf Care trial starts
Self Care took a giant leap into the
future last month with the first eSelf
Care kiosk being installed in the
Nubeena Chemmart Pharmacy on
the Tasman Peninsula in southern
The kiosk is the first of six being rolled
out in a pilot trial. Other kiosks will be
installed in pharmacies in Queensland,
Victoria and NSW in coming weeks.
Self Care Manager Deborah Cracknell
delivered the kiosk to the pharmacy
and showed pharmacy staff how it all
She said the 12-week trial is a
practical road test of the kiosks to
iron out any bugs there may be and to
The kiosk allows customers to look at
the Fact Cards on a computer screen
and then print off the one they want.
It dispenses with the need for display
racks of the old hard copy Fact Cards.
It also has more Fact Cards as it
includes a number of 'niche' cards that
are only available electronically.
Deborah said, 'this version is only the
first step, in the future we are looking
to make the kiosk more interactive
with the ability for customers to
email the information directly to
themselves and to be able to view
small animations on important topics
such as how to use an inhaler.
New male contraceptive
A discovery that oxidation causes
damage to sperm has led to work on a
chemical male contraceptive that can
block sexually transmitted infections,
and a new technique to address male
infertility, according to Professor John
Aitken, a new Fellow of the Australian
Academy of Science.
Professor Aitken's team has received
funding from the Bill and Melinda
Gates Foundation for their work on a
family of compounds that can block
male fertility by rendering sperm
immotile, while preventing the spread
of sexually transmitted infections
(STIs) such as Chlamydia.
"There has been no radical new
form of contraception since the
contraceptive pill was introduced in
1959, based on the biochemistry of
" Professor Aitken said.
"Current research is aimed at refining
the chemical composition of these
contraceptive agents and determining
their mechanism of action.
The effect of oxidation on sperm
has also led to a new technique to
address male infertility. The technique
is about to be subjected to large-scale
The new technique allows fertility
specialists to select the least
damaged sperm by isolating
the sperm with the highest net
negative charge and smallest size.
These qualities make for sperm most
likely to achieve conception.
GSK transparency move
GlaxoSmithKline has announced its
intention to publish by this month the
total amount of fees paid to Australian
health-care professionals for speaking
and consulting services during 2010.
The final figure will include all
grants, donations, consultancy fees
and sponsorships made to health
care professionals for research
programs, advisory committee work
and educational projects. This figure
will be updated and made available
publicly on a regular basis.
According to Deborah Waterhouse,
General Manager GSK Australia, the
initiative is consistent with GSK's
long term commitment to increase
transparency around commercial
relationships with health-care
professionals and other third parties.
"In Australia, GSK will be the first
pharmaceutical company to disclose
a total amount of payments made
to health care professionals. This
initiative builds on a number of recent
steps relating to greater transparency
of our activities,
" she said.
"These include our clinical trial
register, our disclosure of commercial
arrangements with patient groups
and our commitment to ensure timely
publication of all clinical research
results in the scientific literature.
"Our relationship with health care
professionals is interactive and
educational. We provide opportunities
to increase medical knowledge and
The latest Medicare Australia data
shows that the Pharmaceutical
Benefits Scheme is growing at less
than the rate of inflation.
According to Medicare Australia,
the PBS grew by 2.8% in the year to
March 2011. This compares with the
latest inflation figure of 3.3%, also
released yesterday by the Australian
Bureau of Statistics in the Consumer
Price Index for the year to March 2011.
Medicines Australia chief executive
Dr Brendan Shaw said the latest
data confirmed that PBS spending
was under control and was not
Self Care Manager, Deborah Cracknell explains
how eSelf Care works to pharmacy assistant
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