Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist March 2014 Contents Australian Pharmacist March 2014 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd. 21
A touch of gold
The National Australian Pharmacy
Students' Association ended its annual
congress on 30 January with a touch of
gold themed Gala Ball at the Bendigo
Congress Chair John Traynor said:
'The enthusiasm amongst the delegates
was infectious. Every time a student was
presented with an opportunity, they had
the full support of 250 other students
helping them make the most of it'.
NAPSA President Xavier Agostino said
he was impressed by how well delegates
were educated on the major issues that
face the pharmacy profession such
as accelerated price disclosure and
the administration of vaccinations in
He said it was encouraging to see
members comfortably discuss and
debate these issues throughout the
week. It was even more encouraging
to see delegates come together to
workshop solutions to these issues.
Jamie Pisani from Charles Sturt
University won the Pharmacy Student
of the Year (PSOTY) NAPSA wildcard
round. Jamie will now compete against
the other state finalists for the national
title at the Pharmaceutical Society of
Australia Pharmacy Australia Congress in
Canberra in October.
At the Gala Ball all delegates united to
support the South Australian Pharmacy
Students' Association's (SAPSA) drive
to raise money for the National Breast
Cancer Foundation (NBCF).
Mr Agostino described SAPSA's campaign
as the best community initiative
undertaken by any of NAPSA's affiliated
branches in the organisation's history.
More than $5000 was raised on the night,
bringing the total raised to $6254.
PSA National President Grant Kardachi
who addressed the Congress was full of
praise for the delegates.
'I spent a lot of time talking to students
during the NAPSA Congress and one
recurring theme to emerge strongly
ˆ NAPSA National President Xavier Agostino and
ACCC acts against P zer
The Australian Competition and Consumer
Commission (ACCC) has instituted Federal
Court proceedings against Pfizer for
alleged misuse of market power and
exclusive dealing in relation to its supply
of atorvastatin (Lipitor) to pharmacies in
contravention of the Competition and
Consumer Act 2010.
Before the loss of patent protection
in May 2012, Lipitor was prescribed to
more than a million Australians, with
annual sales exceeding $700 million.
The ACCC's allegations relate to offers
made by Pfizer to pharmacies in early
2012 for the supply of Lipitor and Pfizer's
own generic atorvastatin product.
The ACCC alleges that Pfizer offered
significant discounts and the payment
of rebates previously accrued on sales
of Lipitor, conditional on pharmacies
acquiring a minimum volume of up to
12 months' supply of Pfizer's generic
Pfizer issued a statement saying: 'Pfizer
believes strongly that the offers referred
to by the ACCC were competitive. We
will vigorously defend the proceedings.
As the matter is before the court, it is
inappropriate for us to comment further'.
The offers were first made before
Pfizer's loss of patent protection when
other generic medicine suppliers were
prevented from making competing
offers to supply a generic atorvastatin
product to pharmacies.
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said: 'The ACCC
alleges that Pfizer engaged in this conduct
for the purpose of deterring or preventing
competitors in the market for atorvastatin
from engaging in competitive conduct,
as well as for the purpose of substantially
'This case also raises an important public
interest issue regarding the conduct of a
patent holder nearing the expiry of that
patent and what constitutes permissible
The ACCC is seeking pecuniary penalties,
declarations and costs. A directions
hearing has been set for 18 March.
was their desire to have access to strong
and knowledgeable mentors to support
them in their journey through pharmacy
whether it is as an accredited pharmacist
or pharmacy owner or other area of
practice,' he said.
'I was very impressed by the level of
debate and discussion at NAPSA about
the profession's way forward and the
recognition by these students of the
importance of professional activities
such as immunisation, counselling
and minor ailments, and also their
recognition that asking for help is not a
weakness but a strength.
'They want to avoid the pitfalls and
mistakes which many older pharmacists
may have navigated and they want
to learn from the lessons of the past.
They want us who have been in the
profession for a while to help guide
them into the future.
'As a profession I believe we must
answer their call and find ways to
cultivate their abilities and guide them
in their early years as pharmacists.
If we don't we are in danger of losing
some of the best and brightest young
pharmacists at a time when the
profession needs them most'.
The 2015 NAPSA Congress will be
held on the Gold Coast.
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