Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pharmaceutical Project Management

Major pharmaceutical companies rely on intensive drug development exercise in order to face competition and grow. Drug development is costly consumes time and unpredictable. The matter becomes worse for a company whence patent runs out and generic competition begins. Being R&D intensive the revenue flow out is substantial. There is increasing pressure on drug companies to reduce cost and come up with new drugs in order to compete in the markets.

The industry is facing challenges in product discovery, development and subsequent manufacture. This is where efficient project management provided by outsourced firms comes into the picture. 

Phenomenal amount of investment is required for drug development and promotion. Subsequently the number of new products entering the market is decreasing rapidly. Hence strategic planning has become imperative for pharma majors. This calls for a new manner in which projects are managed. But it is important to optimize process with regulatory framework. The safety requirements have to be paid heed as well.

Most of the drug development activity is being outsourced to countries like India. Expertise in project management from pharmaceutical consultant is the need of the hour. They are better able to handle specific issues. There expertise leads them to a proactive approach.

Outsourcing drug development contract research through project managers benefits the companies. They take advantage of the strength of the organizations. Proper and careful project management is a prerequisite if advantage is to be gained through collaborations.

In project management the weight age is on marking out the co relation between various process for starting, planning and successful completion of the projects. On many instances projects fail due to the inefficiency of the project managers.

The newly developed products are highly expensive and their consumptions is limited to developed countries. Never the less developing economies like India and China will provide larger scope for marketing these drugs.

With technology transfers and contract research being outsourced to third World countries and small players there should be more producers of new drugs. The paradigm shift is required in order for the industry to survive and produce new drugs for the service of the people. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Pharmacy Locum Tips

1) Getting Started.
It is desirable that you have some community experience. If not, approach large city centre pharmacies, they often employ two or more pharmacists and several technicians. You will be the second pharmacist and carrying out clinical and final checks. If you are out going, they will be pleased if you are the 'front' man/woman dealing with customer queries and handing out completed scripts.

If you have some experience, simply create a CV and a card and walk around local pharmacies to introduce yourself. Give dates available and remember that they will want someone for Weekends/Bank Holidays for starters.

2) First time at new pharmacy.
If possible, ask to visit during 'quiet' time to see dispensary lay out and PMR system. Always 'phone day before to confirm and ask re parking, hours, lunch time closure etc. Would be good to obtain seniors home 'phone or mobile and give your own. Useful if stuck on the motorway.

3) Information exchange.
Ask for notes to be left. Even if they say dispenser will be there, she could be away ill that day. Leave notes for your successor (In diary is best). Nothing more annoying than the patient to come in and say something was promised and you know nothing about it. Phone the following day to resolve any queries. If something permanent ie flavour of Gaviscon, put a note into PMR.

4) Be punctual.
I was usually first to arrive. Remember to sign in as RS. With regard to SOPs, many companies have these available as PDFs and will email to you on request (could be 6mb or more).

You cannot expect to have detailed knowledge of SOPs, but check critical areas: Eg: Handling of CDs. Owings, 'loans', emergency supplies. Generally fall in with 'custom and practice' unless you consider there is danger.

5) Get accredited in the various PCTs.
These will usually mean studying a CPP course and attendance at a PCT organised meeting. I have had to stay away on some occasions. All training costs such as mileage and accommodation can be claimed against tax. List any accreditation in your letters eg:

PCT Accreditations:
Cambridgeshire: Smartcard, MUR, EHC PGD, Impetigo PGD, Smoking Cessation
Suffolk: Smartcard, MUR, Smoking Cessation.
Norfolk: Smartcard, MUR.

6) Locum co-ordinators etc
These can be obtained by 'phoning local pharmacy and asking for details.
Write an introductory letter with details of experience etc, accreditations etc.
List available dates for three months ahead and each month confirm existing bookings and give dates available on rolling three month basis. Most co-ordinators like to communicate by email. Keep two diaries, one personal and one desk sized to be the master diary. Reconcile at least once a week.

7) Average Pharmacy Locum Wages.
Many companies have standard rates for locums, however, you should set your own standard wage and use that as default.
Monday to Friday 8-7 £23/hour
Saturday £26/hour
Sundays/Bank Holidays Rota £43.50 for first hour
Christmas, Easter, New Year's Day £59 for first hour, Sunday rate thereafter.

You could negotiate your own rate for emergencies, ie booked on day.

Mileage is usually paid after 40 miles total. Ie 44 miles, you can claim for 4 miles. As this constitutes part of your fee, you will be taxed and therefore the total mileage ie 44 can be claimed against tax (currently allowance is 40p/mile).

Some companies require you to fill in an invoice on a form, others on the computer. Issue an internal invoice for your accounting. For a good locum form go to

7) Taxation and Accounts
You can start your financial year at any time. However, I was advised to start on May 1st. This meant I had best part of two years to prepare accounts. I would strongly advise use of an accountant. One advertises on this and other forums, another advertises specifically to locums in the PJ. The PDA have just started offering accountancy. If you are a full time locum, consider becoming a limited company and pay yourself the minimum wage and take the rest as dividends which carry lower tax rate.

Tax is paid twice a year, July and January. Make sure payment is on time. You should set aside approximately 25% income to cover tax. This can be deposited in a fixed interest account, I put mine into Premium Bonds.
If your wife/husband/partner is not working, then pay them to look after the diary/phone and maybe do some book keeping.

8) Records
It is essential to keep your personal money completely separate. I originally had a business account at the bank but found charges excessive. I then changed to a NationWide Business Account and they make no charges and pay interest. However, you will need £5,000 as initial deposit. Most of this can be drawn out when account opened. You will receive a bank statement each month and it is vital that your records match this exactly. I maintain three accounts inside Sage: Cash payments, Bank payments and Bank receipts. Inside each account are various nominal acts and each payment or receipt can be allocated to specific nominal code ie Petrol is 7300.

9) Accountants
As said before, advice is essential. Accountants advertise in the forum and in the PJ. Some will accept Sage accts, others want figures set out on Excel spreadsheet. One you have your master set, fairly easy to present as your accountant requires. Remember that you could be investigated at any time by IR. Accounts should be preserved for six years. Use of an accountant will mean that investigation risk is minimised, they have their reputations to safeguard.

10) Pharmacy Cross Platform Accreditation
There are many different types of PMR systems. Often when starting it can be quiet confusing and difficult to adjust. We have created a course which is recognized by all major locuming firms which trains you to use all the different major PMR systems. Click the link below to join up or follow this link to learn more about the Pharmacy Cross Platform Accreditation. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Starting Your Own Independent Pharmacy

Many licensed pharmacist are seeking to venture into entrepreneurship by utilizing his or her talents to create their own pharmacy. In addition to possibly increasing their earning potential, independent pharmacist have the reputation of providing better comprehensive service and consultations to their patients according to studies. Essentially, by providing improved one-on-one interactions, patients usually remain loyal and committed. Independent pharmacies are usually owned and operated by licensed pharmacist who typically acts of the sole pharmacist. On average, independent pharmacies are open 60 hours per week, hence owners are required to put in as much as 20 additional hours per week to serve their patients. Nonetheless, these long hours are usually rewarded with a substantial salary increase depending on the various services offered. Among the services and products offered by independent pharmacies include sterile and non-sterile compounding, durable medical equipment and medication management therapy. So, how exactly does one go about owning their own pharmacy?

The first option in obtaining your own pharmacy is purchasing an existing business. There are many advantages to purchasing an established pharmacy. First, an established pharmacy will most likely have existing patients who frequent the store and systems in place which outlines suppliers, pricing, etc. When looking for a pharmacy to purchase, look at businesses with an established relationship in the community, good organizational structure, and great financials. Visit the business and monitor the day-to-day operations to ensure that they correlate with your vision. 

Next, you have the option of starting your pharmacy from scratch. This option requires more work then the previous plan, however can prove to be more rewarding in the long run. Once you have decided to start your own store, a business plan need to be created. This business plan should include your company’s mission statement, organizational goals, competitor analysis, location, legal structure, marketing plan to name a few. It is imperative to have an air-tight business plan that can be flawlessly executed to ensure the success of your new endeavor.

The road toward being an entrepreneur is challenging yet regarding at the same time. While starting your own pharmacy will surely expose many challenges, be sure to focus purely on your ultimate goal.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Heart Healthy Tips: Medical Care, Physical Activity And Stress Management

Physical activity, stress management and standard medical care combine to make the best heart healthy wellness plan. Since heart disease is a leading cause of mortality this prescription is good health promotion advice for everyone. February is National Hearth Health Month so let’s look more closely at these three components and tips for developing a heart healthy wellness routine.

In a new study, people with heart disease who along with their routine medical care worked out, or took a stress management class, fared better than those who didn't. The results suggest "considerable benefit" from exercise and stress management training, write the researchers from Duke University. Not only did physical activity and stress management lower markers of heart disease, but they were also associated with a reduction in emotional distress. In short, their hearts became healthier, and their mental and emotional states improved. 

A good continuing care retirement community should include stress management as part of their daily activities. But how will they decide what is the best exercise program? For older adults who want to stay healthy and independent, the National Institute on Health recommends balancing four key areas for a well-rounded physical fitness program:

• Endurance: builds your aerobic capacity, gives you more freedom of movement, and strengthens your heart, allowing you to stay active for longer periods of time.
• Strength: builds muscles and increases your metabolism, which helps to keep your weight and blood sugar in check as well as improves overall functional capacity.
• Balance: builds leg muscles, core strength and maintains independence by helping you prevent falls and improve overall balance.
• Stretching: helps maintain flexibility, range of motion and eases joint stiffness.
And what are the best stress management techniques? To help build emotional heart health, experts recommend taking a few minutes everyday to practice relaxation techniques including:
• Breathing: learning proper breathing exercises for relaxation is easy and usually only takes a few simple instructions from a good teacher.
• Meditation: setting aside a few minutes to quiet your mind is like taking a mini-vacation. Prayer, visualization and guided imagery have also shown to reduce stress.
• Attitude: your thinking largely drives your emotions and behavior. Practice positive thinking and use affirmations to build a better attitude.
All too often, we forget to take good care of ourselves and over the long run this neglect can lead to health problems. Fortunately for older adults, a good continuing care retirement community can provide options to offset assisted living costs. For overall wellness and the best heart health, medical experts first suggest regular visits to your primary health care provider. The next step is to participate in moderate level physical activity thirty minutes most everyday including a variety of fitness activities. And last but not least, integrate stress management techniques into your daily routine. Combing these components will give you a personal wellness plan for better overall heart health. A community with great elder care services should be able to provide regular stress management activities as part of personalized wellness plan to help sustain much better living standards for senior citizens. Now, the hard part, and I know you have heard this somewhere before, Just Do It! It is National Heart Health Month and that should be good motivation, and a great reason to start today. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

International Health Insurance: Insure Yourself While In Go

We all will agree that whether we are living in our home country or abroad, our health needs constant care and attention. . It is also our utmost responsibility to ensure the good health of our family members when they are not in their home country. International Health Insurance comes handy at this time of our life. This type of insurance is for those persons who plan to travel abroad for personal or business purposes or even study.

No one can predict their future. Therefore no one can foretell whether some mishaps might happen or not happen at this particular time of life. Accidents, mishaps, illness always come uninvited. The situation becomes even worse if we are not in our home country. The cost of medical treatment might be very high in other countries and a simple treatment can cost you a fortune. Here comes the benefit of international health insurance. This type of insurance ensures that we get the best medical facilities all over the globe. At the same time it guarantees that our pockets are not emptied while paying for the medical bills that we may come across in foreign countries. 
A social health insurance policy may not give you the amount of choice and benefits while you are traveling. Therefore you must go for a private international health insurance policy to give you an extensive coverage and better health facilities.

This type of insurance is also a must for students who plan to go to some other countries for their further studies. Even a healthy person can fall ill at any point of his life. A students life outside is home is even more disorganized and hectic. This makes him susceptible to various illnesses. Therefore it is crucial for every student to own this policy. It is also his/her responsibility to look for a cheap and affordable international health insurance policy.

Some common covers that are under international health medical insurance are:

•Accidental medical/sickness expense:

•Mental and nervous Benefit:

•Accidental death & dismemberment. Accidental Death:.

•Prescription drugs:

•Pre-existing conditions – (though not always)

•Maternity covered

•Emergency 24-hour telephone assistance

•Medical/travel/technical assistance services

•Will guarantee payment and pay claims directly to foreign hospitals when it is an option

But before investing in international health insurance policy it is important to do a little shopping and research. Many insurance companies who provide cheap and affordable international health insurance policies are available in the market. Now with internet facilities it is much easier to shop around and search for the perfect quotes. But you should keep in mind certain things before buying any. They are:

•Make sure the insurance company offers a full disclosure of its principles, rules, regulations, staff, history etc.

•It is also important to look for a company that shows testimonials and experiences of its previous clients.

After your all queries are answered, make sure you buy an international health insurance policy that is best fitted for you and your family. Whether you are away for 2 weeks, 2 months or even for a longer period, traveling without adequate international health insurance is just not worth the risk. Come online and get the benefits required to make your life better and happier.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Clinical Research In Pharmaceutical Biotechnology

Mankind has forever been taming and controlling many forms of life to serve human purposes. This dates back to basic agriculture and animal farming, where humans created controlled environments to domesticate animals and cultivate plants for nourishment, industry, and eventually medicine. With these older processes, we did not do much to actually alter the biological organisms we worked with.

With advancements in technology, we have learned to biologically alter or modify living organisms to further advance our capacities to feed ourselves and heal ourselves, among other things. This process is known as biotechnology, or biotech for short. It is responsible for many of our greatest achievement in understanding, controlling and treating many medical conditions in the pharmaceutical industry. Because of the complexity and sophistication of this field, it requires extensive clinical research in order to avoid many unpredictable and potentially harmful negative consequences.

Clinical research for biotechnological pharmaceuticals must undergo several extensive phases, all with varying numbers of trial participants, doses, and lengths of time for the trial. Some common phases include pure lab trials, trials on non-human subjects, like animals, small-dose trials on healthy participants, and full-dose trials on participants for whom the trial is aimed to help. Due to these strict procedures for clinical research in biotechnology, much has been learned in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries that have helped develop medicine that is proven to be effective and safe. Here are some examples of bio technologically-produced products:

- Monoclonal antibodies
- Chimeric antibodies
- Fusion proteins
- Microorganisms
- Synthetic insulins
- Synthetic antibiotics

These various developments are used in an extremely diverse spectrum of treatments, from cancer, hepatitis B and C, arthritis, hemophilia, multiple sclerosis, coronary disease, cardiac dysrhythmias, and even cerebrovascular disease such as stroke, and this is only naming a few.

So what is the difference between normal pharmaceuticals and biotechnological pharmaceuticals? The difference isn't just the level of technological sophistication. One of the main differences is actually size. Biotechnological drugs are made up of much larger molecules than regular pharmaceutical drugs. Because of this, the process of having them locate and bind with molecules in the body is much more difficult than orally-taken smaller molecules in traditional pharmaceuticals. This is one reason why clinical research procedures for biotechnological pharmaceuticals is far more extensive than non-biotech ones.

Working in biotechnology requires highly-trained and skilled professionals who take the synthesis of biology and technology extremely seriously. Clinical research training is often the first step to understanding the complexity and seriousness of this modern marriage of two sciences. Being part of a team from the conception of a theory, through its phases, to the completed manufacturing of a new organism made to serve mankind is a great responsibility, and with great rewards not only for the researcher, but for the health of the entire population. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Health Medical Insurance

Subscribing for health medical insurance quotes means you are going in for a number of things. The first of these things is that you are assured of safety net in times of accidents, ailments, not forgetting injuries inflicted in the body through accidents. Another good of this health medical insurance coverage is that, you can carry out laboratory tests, screens with vaccinations inclusive thus seeing into it that you remain calm and in good health conditions.

Due to the increase in the number of people involve in these insurance services, the need for a health and medical insurance quote which are well fitting in your needs, wants and your preferences can never be overlooked. Insurance quotes can be gotten through a number of ways. Searching online for quotes is the first of them. 

A number of reasons accounts for why most insurers have taken up the use of online portal for advertising and selling of their plans. The most important reason for this is that a good number of audiences are reached. Most individuals now our days are looking for a health and medical quote that best fits well into their services; they also go into sources closer to them by enabling them to gain access to information regarding the quotes just by a click of button.

Further more the internet offers an instantaneous and seamless interaction forum. In order to facilitate this, insurers have taken up the used of the internet. Because of the good works of the internet a quote can be debated upon, discuss as well as modified. The last point here is that the internet offers vast opportunities for one to reach as well as compare the various health and medical insurance quotes that you can readily find in the market.
For people who are thinking of acquiring health medical insurance quotes, they should note that there are a number of plans that they will consider. They should take care of indemnity plan. Deemed the most expensive, as concerns this quote it offers a vast variety of services as well as perks for one to choose from. The goal of the health and medical insurance is to provide a safety and net hence you should always make sure that your net is well fixed. To achieved this you will only need an insurance plan that is going to satisfy all your needs