Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist August 2013 Contents 20 Australian Pharmacist August 2013 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
Japanese ties strengthened
The ties of friendship forged as a result
of PSA's memorandum of understanding
(MoU) with the Ueda Pharmacist's
Association in Japan continue
pharmacist Shinano Tsuchiya has become
the first Tasmanian pharmacist to visit the
Ueda Pharmaceutical Association building
on the MoU signed in October 2012.
Earlier this year Shinano helped the
Tasmanian branch by acting as an
interpreter when two young Japanese
pharmacists visited the state. She
introduced them to a variety of community
pharmacies in Tasmania. In turn they invited
her to visit them next time she was in Japan.
Recently, Shinano did just that and visited
Iijima Pharmacy at Ueda in Nagano in
Japan where she was able to observe local
'I was told that Iijima Pharmacy is one of the
most up-to-date pharmacies in Japan but I
couldn't believe amount of equipment they
possess in the pharmacy.
'First of all, I was very surprised when I saw
an HbA1c monitor which was available to
their customers. In Japan, the measurement
can be taken but the result is sent directly
to the doctor. Pharmacists cannot make any
'The other thing that caught my eye was
the fume hood allowing the pharmacists to
prepare IV products within the pharmacy,'
Iijima Pharmacy has a unique form of
medication storage -- they have a tall metal
cabinet with lots of drawers rather than
shelves -- and S4 items are distributed in
a seemingly random order which makes
sense if you follow their special map.
Shinano said, 'Their safe is quite small
considering the size of the dispensary.
Oxycontin, codeine and durogesic are the
main medications kept in it.
'I was surprised that other S8 items such
as Concerta and Ritalin are stored in the
S4 section. Interestingly, dangerous items
such as ethanol and hydrochloric acid are
available to anyone who wants to purchase
them. However, personal details must
'Another difference to Australian practice is
that there were routinely nine pharmacists
in the pharmacy at any one time -- and this
is considered a small Japanese pharmacy!
During the visit, Shinano also met two
5th year students who were completing
their community pharmacy placement.
It was a good opportunity to compare
In Japan, Pharmacy degree is a six year
course. They focus on theory in the first
four years. Fifth year students undergo
two months of hospital and community
pharmacy practice. Sixth year students
concentrate on a graduation thesis.
'Overall, I had a great experience and I
really appreciate all the opportunities PSA
staff offered me to be involved and I also
hope this visit will bring to PSA a positive
outcome in the near future.
On Sunday 23 June, around
30 pharmacists and their staff from
around Victoria gathered the Benalla
Community Health Building to
participate in the Victorian Pharmacy
Pharmacotherapy Training program.
Pharmacists from Echuca, Cobram,
Wodonga, King Valley, Shepparton,
Alexandra, Beechworth, Warrnambool
and Melbourne joined with those from
Benalla for the program which provides
training and support to pharmacy staff
seeking to deliver a pharmacotherapy
service to their community.
Angela Lawrence, local pharmacist and
coordinator of this event, said that she
was very impressed with the level of
interest from local pharmacies in the area,
and all the participants demonstrated
their commitment to, and passion for,
helping their community address this
chronic medical and social issue.
This program is an initiative of the
Victorian Harm Minimisation Working
Group of the PSA Victorian Branch.
The group is chaired by Irvine Newton
OAM, whose Australian honour was
awarded in recognition of his expertise
and exceptional services in harm
minimisation. The working group
is supported by a panel of experts
including pharmacist practitioners, senior
medical adviser Dr Malcolm Dobbin, and
consumer advocate Sarah Lord.
President of PSA, said
that the program
funding and started
in March this year.
She believes that through this program
PSA and the Department will set
and improve the standard of harm
minimisation services, foster service
consistency across the state, and motivate
and entice pharmacists and pharmacy
staff to embrace harm minimisation as a
core function of primary healthcare.
'So far feedback from everyone has been
exceptional, and I am most grateful for all
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