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AusPharm news

External causes responsible for most deaths in younger age groups, chronic disease in older : 17/01/2014 :

The most common causes of death vary substantially at different ages, according to new analysis released yesterday by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The AIHW Deaths snapshot presents the latest data on deaths in Australia including information on age at death, trends over time, causes of death and life expectancy.

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Complementary medicines not strongly represented in pharmacist clinical interventions : 17/01/2014 :

The results of this week's AusPharm poll suggest that while few pharmacists believe they should not be claiming for clinical interventions involving complementary medicines (CAMs), few actually do claim.

The poll asked 'listers how many clinical interventions involving complementary medicines they had made in the past month.

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Souvenaid: help for people with Alzheimer’s disease? : 17/01/2014 :

Probably not according to an article in the latest edition of NPS Medicinewise publication Health News and Evidence.

Souvenaid is a dietary supplement marketed as a daily drink that contains a range of nutrients including omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), phospholipids, choline, uridine monophosphate, vitamins E, C, B12, B6, folic acid and selenium.

It was launched onto the Australian market in 2013 and is available online, from the Souvenaid website, and through pharmacies.

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January CPD catchup: Medication use in the 'very old' independent person : 16/01/2014 :

Are you using the holiday season to catch up on some CE? One of our most popular CE activities of 2013 was Medication use in the ‘very old’ independent person, put together for us by Dr Jenny Gowan.

"How old is very old? Does calendar age equal biological age?(1) There is a large variation amongst individuals and medication and social needs vary. Categorisation should be avoided, and respect is paramount. Guidelines for older people vary and may include people over 50 years of age or over 65 years of age. Where do the over 85 years of age - the 'very old' fit in? This article looks at some of the issues pharmacists need to address."

This activity has been accredited for 1 hour of Group One CPD (1 CPD Credit) that may be converted to 2 Group Two CPD Credits upon successful completion of the corresponding assessment for inclusion on an individual pharmacist's CPD Record. Accreditation number: A1302AP0.

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AMA questions safety of pharmacy vaccinations : 16/01/2014 :

Guild: AMA should 'get with the times'.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has written to the Queensland Government’s Chief Health Officer raising what it says are serious patient safety concerns about the upcoming Queensland trial of community pharmacists providing flu vaccinations.

The Pharmacy Guild, however, says the AMA's criticisms are not driven by concerns about patients but by their preference to retain control over all aspects of the health system, even if it means reduced access for patients.

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Gerard Stevens AM one of three new honorary members of NPS MedicineWise : 16/01/2014 :

Webstercare Managing Director Gerard Stevens has been named as one of three new honorary members of NPS MedicineWise.

As well as Mr Stevens, Dr John Aloizos AM and Mr Tony Wade were invited by NPS MedicineWise Board to become honorary members of NPS MedicineWise.

NPS MedicineWise Board Chair, Dr Janette Randall, says the three new honorary members have each made significant contributions over many years to the quality use of medicines in their chosen fields.

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Chemist Warehouse launches the House of Wellness : 16/01/2014 :

News Corp Australia and Chemist Warehouse have together launched a new custom publication - The House of Wellness - focused on health, beauty and pharmaceuticals.

The 24 page print insert, published monthly, will be available in all News Corp’s Sunday metropolitan newspapers as well as the company’s Saturday regional titles such as Geelong Advertiser and Gold Coast Bulletin.

It will also be distributed nationally through Chemist Warehouse stores and to an additional three million households via a letterbox campaign.

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Poll: Do you claim for clinical interventions involving complementary and alternative medicines? : 15/01/2014 :

Controversy surrounds what pharmacists are claiming as clinical interventions. Alterations and additions to patient’s therapy should be supported by evidence and often the evidence surrounding complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) is lacking.

Should CAMs be excluded as clinical intervention claimable items? Or conversely, should pharmacists be able to make this decision based on available evidence and their clinical judgement?

So tell us: Do you claim for clinical interventions involving complementary and alternative medicines?

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Professor Andrew McLachlan awarded 2013 APSA Medal : 15/01/2014 :

Sydney University's Professor Andrew McLachlan is the recipient of the 2013 Australasian Pharmaceutical Science Association (APSA) Medal. The medal is APSA’s highest award and recognises an individual who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy practice.

Professor McLachlan was presented with the award at the Australasian Pharmaceutical Science Association Conference held at the University of Otago, Dunedin in December.

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If you could repeal a pharmacy related law - what would you choose? : 14/01/2014 :

More than 8000 laws will be repealed on a single day if the federal government pushes ahead with plans for a "repeal day" in parliament in March (link).
 
If you could repeal a pharmacy related law - what would you choose?

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Pharmacist immunisation pilot for Qld this flu season : 14/01/2014 :

A pharmacist immunisation research pilot will be conducted across a number of community pharmacies in Queensland during the 2014 flu season. It will target consumers not currently covered by the National Immunisation Program.

The announcement of the pilot - made jointly yesterday by the Qld Branches of the PSA and the Guild - comes following the granting of legal approval for the trial by the Qld Department of Health.

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Mystery object - the winner is... : 14/01/2014 :

Yesterday we posted a picture of a mystery object (click the pic for a larger image) and said that we'd reward the 'lister who provided the 'best' explanation of the object is with one of our schmicko AusPharm keyring torches. We added that the 'best' explanation need not necessarily be the most accurate - rather, we'd choose the one that most appeals to us for whatever reason!

We've given the prize to Trish Stott (although it was a tight call as a few 'listers got it right) as she was first in with the right answer and also sent her own picture along.

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Mystery object - win an AusPharm torch : 13/01/2014 :

After the interest shown by 'listers in recent publication of the 1952 prescriptions, we thought we'd test you with a 'Mystery object' competition.

We'll reward the 'lister who provides the 'best' explanation of what today's mystery object with one of our schmicko AusPharm keyring torches.

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New arrangements for the supply of dextropropoxyphene : 13/01/2014 :

The requirement for pharmacies to sight and collect a completed and signed Prescriber Confirmation Form before dispensing an initial supply of a prescription for Di-Gesic or Doloxene came into force on 1 January 2014.

Presumably some 'listers will now have seen Prescriber Confirmation Forms and will have dispensed dextropropoxyphene under the new arrangements.

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Applications now open for two SHPA grants : 13/01/2014 :

Applications are now open for two Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia grants, the Fresenius Kabi Cancer Services Pharmacist Grant and the SHPA Emergency Medicine Grant.

The SHPA Emergency Medicine Grant, valued at $10,000, will be awarded to SHPA member(s) to undertake research that aims to improve the quality use of medicines in patients who present to an emergency department.

Details are available on the SHPA website, here. The closing date for applications is 31 May, 2014.

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ASMI: Role of vitamin D, in combination with calcium, indisputable for bone health : 13/01/2014 :

Despite the current debate surrounding vitamin D, its role in maintaining good bone health and protecting against osteoporosis, in combination with calcium, is indisputable says the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI).

The organisations comments follow a recent editorial in The Lancet which argues that large clinical studies are needed to properly assess the effects of vitamin D for health conditions such as heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, dementia and inflammatory diseases.

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Wales gets consultant pharmacists : 13/01/2014 :

Welsh pharmacists will soon be able to assume advanced roles in patient care, be research active and contribute to teaching  in their designated area of expertise following the anouncement of plans by the Welsh Health Minister to introduce the role of 'consultant pharmacist' to the NHS in Wales.

Consultant pharmacists will be required to provide leadership within the profession and ensure the highest level of pharmaceutical expertise is available to patients.

Although similar posts already exist in the managed sector in England, the establishment of consultant pharmacist posts in primary care as well as the managed sector in Wales will be a UK first.

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Glitch when posting to AusPharmList using Internet Explorer : 10/01/2014 :

We are aware that 'listers using the newest version of Internet Explorer may be encountering difficulties when attempting to post online to AusPharmList.

We are aware of the issue and are working with our webmaster to fix the issue.

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Quilty stays on song on pharmacy viability : 10/01/2014 :

Pharmacy Guild Executive Director David Quilty repeated yesterday what is likely to be the Guild's mantra through 2014 in the lead up to 6th Agreement negotiations - that PBS price disclosure policy has placed the viability of 40% of Australian community pharmacies in question.

Mr Quilty's comments were made in a letter to the Financial Review in response to one the previous day from Medicines Australia CEO, Brendan Shaw, highlighting the impact of PBS reforms on jobs in the pharma sector.

According to Mr Quilty, price disclosure policy will mean each of Australia's 5,300 pharmacies will lose between one and two full time jobs.

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SHPA: Remove barriers to medication reviews for aged-care residents : 09/01/2014 :

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has called for a review of the funding and referral model for Residential Medication Management Reviews (RMMRs) so that all residents of aged-care facilities can have regular reviews of their medicines by an accredited pharmacist. This, says SHPA, will improve the safety and quality of their care.

The SHPA call follows the publication in the Sydney Morning Herald earlier this week of an article by former Howard Government Minister Amanda Vanstone that highlighted the ease with which inappropriate polypharmacy can occur in the aged care setting. SHPA believes the case Vanstone highlighted demonstrates why regular medication review by accredited pharmacists is an important service for all residents of aged-care facilities.

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