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Articles on Pharmacy

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Patients with life-threatening diseases can legally order drugs available overseas and have them delivered to their local pharmacy. But what are the risks? from

Online ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ promises medications, fast

The Social Medwork is a website that promises patients legal access to medicines from overseas. How does it work? What are the risks? And why are patients turning to it to access the drugs they need?
Look for a warning on the box before you attempt to crush or chew tablets, or cut capsules open. Erin/Flickr

Health Check: is it OK to chew or crush your medicine?

Some people are incapable of swallowing tablets because of physical or psychological reasons. What should they do when the doctor prescribes a drug that comes in tablet form?
Codeine-containing painkillers may soon no longer be available over the counter in Australian pharmacies. Philippa Willitts/Flickr

Why making codeine products prescription-only is a good idea

Australia's drug regulator is looking into reclassifying codeine-based drugs as prescription-only. This is a good idea because the easy availability of these pinkillers is causing substantial harm.
Why are hospitals running out of critical drugs? IV drip via Bhakpong/Shutterstock

Drug shortage crisis puts public health at risk

Hospitals and pharmacies around the country are facing severe shortages of essential drugs. These shortages can limit access to critical medications and compromise patient safety, resulting in serious…
Drug companies invent hundreds of new molecules that they hope to turn into saleable medicines. Keith Ramsey

Can’t pronounce the name of your medicine? Here’s why

Gone are the good old days when medicines had simple, easy to pronounce names such as aspirin, paracetamol and morphine. Nowadays pharmaceutical companies almost seem to revel in giving drugs names that…
The pseudoephedrine found in cold-and-flu tablets is known to be an ‘illicit drug precursor’. Pete/Flickr

Why you have to show ID to buy cold and flu tablets

The process of buying over-the-counter cold-and-flu medicines, and the types of products available, has changed in recent years. Some pharmacies no longer stock pseudoephedrine-based products, and in others…
There’s a conflict between the need for pharmacists to maintain a profitable business and their ethical obligations to the community. Andrew Dubber

Pharmacists should drop products that aren’t backed by evidence

If you look at the shelves of most Australian community pharmacies or browse the pages of local internet pharmacies, you’ll see numerous examples of products making claims that can’t be supported by scientific…
Pharmacists could have an empathetic conversation with women rather than having them fill in an intrusive questionnaire. Tim Parkinson

Note to pharmacists on how not to sell the morning-after pill

The emergency contraceptive pill (morning-after pill) contains a hormone called levonorgestrel and can be bought without a prescription. It’s used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex, but many women…
Counterfeit drugs are an unintended consequence of globalisation. Melanie Tata

Online pharmaceuticals: bricks, not clicks, keep us safe

Antibiotics that are laced with rat faeces and floor polish? Cough syrup that contains more than a dash of antifreeze? Antipsychotics with no pharmacologically active ingredients? Medications for heart…
There’s no requirement for pharmacies receiving taxpayers’ money to do anything more than dispense medicines. Ian Broyles

Pharmacy gravy train drives up the cost of prescription drugs

The retail pharmacy industry in Australia has successfully acquired a monopoly on supplying medicines paid for by the government or consumers. The industry describes this set-up as being the “best subsidized…

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