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Australian Journal of Pharmacy : April 2005
news news Project Pseudo ramps up attack on ‘drug runners’ I Nan effort to stave off threats that may see common cold and flu medicines being up-scheduled as prescription drugs, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia has ramped up efforts to reduce the illegal diversion of pseudoephedrine-based products. Project Pseudo asks all Guild members to rigorously follow a number of guide- lines that have been developed to make it more difficult for ‘drug-runners’ to buy large quantities of these products. These new measures tighten existing guidelines even further. The guidelines include: • storing ‘out of reach and out of sight’ all solid dose ‘pseudoephedrine plus decongestant’ and ‘single entity’ pseudoephedrine products including sustained release single ingredient products; • storing ‘out of reach’ all solid dose ‘pseudoephedrine plus analgesic’ products; • reduce stock holdings (ordering one weeks normal sales volume at a time is ideal’) and orders on an ‘as needs’ basis; • supplying only one pack of the ‘out of reach, out of sight’ range and only two packs of any pseudoephedrine product, and make a record of supply in any compelling circumstances; • not promoting excessive use of these products via marketing activities; and • advising all staff of their roles in the campaign. For more information, contact the Guild’s Project Pseudo officer on (02) 6270 1888 or visit the website (www.guild.org.au/pse). s (L–R): NSW police officer detective inspector Paul Willingham, director of research and development at Pfizer Consumer Healthcare Mark Bowden, and regional director Pfizer Consumer Healthcare Joseph Saad at the launch of Sudafed PE at the Day and Night Chemist Crows Nest, Sydney. One of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare’s responses to the challenge of retailing pseudoephedrine-based products has been to launch a product that replaces pseudoephedrine with phenylepherine. Sudafed PE contains 10mg of phenylephrine and is scheduled as a pharmacy medicine (S2). Detective inspector Willinghams said: ‘Initiatives such as these are likely to help the professions focus on their core business and will ease the pressure on pharmacists from being “pseudo” police and police from being “pseudo” pharmacists. ‘The new Project Pseudo guidelines...are to be commended. The successful implementation by community pharmacy could be an important factor in future scheduling decisions. The challenge lies with pharmacy.’ Government reports: complementary medicine I NDUSTRY groups have welcomed the Federal Government’s backing of the recommendations of a high-level review of herbal and other complemen- tary medicines. The aim of the review was to enhance public confidence in alternative medi- cines, according to the Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Christopher Pyne. The Pharmaceutical Society of Aus- tralia (PSA) said that of specific impor- tance to the Society was the Govern- ment’s recognition of the need for greater awareness among health professionals to assist in informing consumers about the potential risks of complementary medi- cines arising from herb-drug interactions. ‘Pharmacists are well positioned to advise consumers on the safety, quality and efficacy of complementary medi- cines, because the pharmacist is the per- son who knows the medical history of their patient, and knows what medica- tions they are taking,’ said PSA spokesman John Bell. s ‘As more people turn to complemen- tary medicines, it is essential for con- sumers to know that they can turn to their local pharmacies for advice.’ 226 ? THE AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACY VOL 86 APRIL 2005 Lesley Braun, final year lecturer at Mel- bourne College of Natural Medicine, said, ‘Considering the majority of Aus- tralians use complementary medicine, it is vital that all healthcare providers have some knowledge about this area of medi- cine in order to be able to make informed and appropriate recommendations to their patients’. ‘Pharmacy in particular is in a great position to expand its expertise and offer people good advice about the effective- ness and safety of complementary medi- cine. ‘Supporting and funding further research into complementary medicine is essential, and will be good for industry, practitioners and the public. ‘This is extremely welcome, as comple- mentary medicine research has been sti- fled by a lack of available funds and exper- tise, so support of this area should see some great gains in the next few years.’ The Complementary Healthcare Council said it looked forward to working with the Government and the Therapeu- tic Goods Administration in implement- ing the recommended improvements to the regulatory system. s