Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist March 2013 Contents 12 Australian Pharmacist March 2013 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
Multivitamins are medicines
In light of research showing more
than half of Australians who take
multivitamins don't know they are
medicines, NPS MedicineWise has
reminded people that complementary
medicines are medicines too. NPS
MedicineWise clinical adviser
Dr Andrew Boyden says that people
often consider complementary
medicines, including herbal remedies
and multivitamins, to be less powerful
than prescription medicines. But they
can still cause side effects in some
people, and may interact with
other medicines and food. 'There is
the potential for side effects or
interactions when taking medicines
available over-the-counter or from
supermarkets, health food shops or
other shops, herbalists, naturopaths
and the internet,' Dr Boyden said.
US pharmacist jailed for
A 50-year-old pharmacist who owned
and operated 26 pharmacies in the
metro-Detroit area has been sentenced
to 17 years in prison. Babubhai 'Bob'
Patel was sentenced on 26 convictions
for a health care fraud conspiracy, a
drug conspiracy, and related fraud and
drug violations. Evidence presented
at the trial concluding in August
2012 showed between 2006
and 2011, the pharmacies billed
Medicare and Medicaid more than
$57 million. At least 25% of those
billings were for drugs that were
either medically unnecessary
or never dispensed. Additional
amounts were fraudulently billed
to private insurers. The pharmacies
operated on a business model that
paid kickbacks to physicians in
exchange for writing prescriptions for
that only 4% of Australians were
vaccinated against the flu in 2012.2
'When we launched our Flu Clinics
last year, our research indicated that
consumers were looking for more
convenient ways to access the flu
vaccination service. As one of the most
accessible health care professionals, our
pharmacists can help increase public flu
vaccination rates -- this year we have a
goal to vaccinate 8,000 Australians.
'We are focusing our efforts on improving
the service and offer; and strengthening
our communications strategy to make it
easier for more people to be vaccinated
against the flu.' Ms Fala said.
Chemmart has again partnered
with Apotex to deliver the service in
the lead-up to the 2013 flu season.
Participating Chemmart Pharmacies
offer one-day in store clinics which are
run by accredited nurse immunisers.
Each person vaccinated will receive a
vaccination record card that they can
provide to their doctor to include in their
medical records. The flu vaccination will
be available in Chemmart Pharmacies
from Monday 8 April. Customers can book
their appointment online, via mobile or
in-store from Thursday 21 March.
1. National Centre for Immunizations Research & Surveillance
(2012), Influenza Fact Sheet - available at http://www.ncirs.edu.
2. Department of Health (2012), Influenza Vaccines delivered
2012 - available at http://docs.health.vic.gov.au/docs/
Sports Medicine Australia, has urged
anyone considering taking unknown
supplements to think again.
The recent news that an AFL club may have
allegedly provided players with potentially
illegal performance-enhancing substances
highlights the need for caution to be
exercised when dealing with supplements.
Sports Medicine Australia spokesperson
and sports physician, Dr Peter Larkins, said
with the prevalence of supplements at an
all-time high, anyone considering this path
needs to realise the dangers associated
with dealing with such products before
'There are a lot of people using
supplements in the belief of enhancing
their sporting performance. Quite often
they are unaware what the products may
contain and are putting themselves at risk
of ingesting banned substances such as
anabolic substances and amphetamines.
'Sportspeople, whether at an elite or
community level considering purchasing
supplements of any kind should be
aware that supplements should always
be discussed in consultation with a
suitable sports medicine practitioner or
This will ensure that what is purchased
and used will not be detrimental to one's
health and not be a banned substance,'
Dr Larkins said.
Sports Medicine Australia has developed
the CleanEdge website: www.
cleanedge.com.au which provides
information on all aspects of enhancing
Pharmacist numbers rise
The number of registered pharmacist in
Australia has risen by more than 900 over
the past year.
Pharmacy registrant data released by the
Pharmacy Board of Australia in late January
indicates that there were 27,425 registered
pharmacists in Australia in December 2012,
up from 26,521 in March 2012.
The profession continues to become
younger. In December 2012 almost 10%
of registered pharmacists under the age
of 26 years (9.64%), 22.25% between the
ages of 26 and 31 years, 16.75% between
the ages of 31 and 35 years and 10.76%
between the ages of 36 and 40 years. In all
59.4% of registered pharmacist are aged 40
At the other end of the scale 17.42%
of registered pharmacists were aged
60 years or older, with 6.98% of registered
pharmacists aged 70 years or older.
When it comes to gender, 57.74% are
female and 39.72% are male with the
remaining 2.54% of registered pharmacists
not stating their gender.
Links Archive February 2013 Australian Pharmacist April 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page