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AusPharm news

New dextropropoxyphene supply rules to come into effect 1 January, 2014 : 09/12/2013 :

On 1 November we reported that the new conditions around the supply by pharmacists of the dextropropoxyphene containing pain-killers Di-Gesic and Doloxene were required to be implemented by product sponsor, Aspen Pharmaceuticals, by 7 January 2014.

The company has now announced that the implementation date will be 1 January 2014. Prior to that date, scripts should be written in the usual way for scheduled (S4) products.

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Sigma sells Melbourne property : 09/12/2013 :

Major pharmacy wholesaler, Sigma, announced on Friday that, in July 2014, it expects to complete the sale of a property it owns at Centre Rd, Clayton for a sale price of just over $25 million.

The company says it expects to book a one off profit of between $8 to $10 million from the sale to Cedar Woods Limited.

Cedar Woods will be using the site for a residential development.

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NPS Medicinewise, AusDoc publish statin, cardiovascular disease, cholesterol FAQs : 09/12/2013 :

With statins continuing to make headlines last week, NPS MedicineWise announced on Friday that it has reviewed the latest clinical evidence and published a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to address people’s concerns.

The questions and answers range from how a statin medicine can help and who should be prescribed them, to the side effects statins can cause and what the evidence is behind their use.

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Pharmacist appointed to Ministerial Advisory Council : 09/12/2013 :

Canberra pharmacist Patrick Reid, CEO of Leading Aged Services Australia, has been appointed as one of five new experts to the ACT Government’s Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing.

ACT Branch President of the Society, Associate Professor Greg Kyle, said the appointment was significant.

"Having Patrick Reid as a member of the council brings the expertise of the CEO of the age services peak body, combined with that of a pharmacist, to the table in this very important area," Associate Professor Kyle said.

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Pharmacy organisations welcome Board ruling on pharmacist immunisation : 09/12/2013 :

Both the Pharmacy Guild and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia have reacted favourably to last week's announcement by the Pharmacy Board that it considers vaccination to be within the current scope of practice of a pharmacist.

Both groups highlighted that there was strong evidence to support the provision of vaccination services by pharmacists and that this was already the practice in many overseas countries.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Abiraterone for castration-resistant prostate cancer : 09/12/2013 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Abiraterone for castration-resistant prostate cancer.

"For locally advanced or metastatic prostate cancer, androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), either surgically (bilateral orchiedectomy) achieved or medically via the use of GNRH agonists or GNRH antagonists either alone or in combination with antiandrogens, is usually considered first line treatment. Although a significant proportion of patients achieve castration-consistent levels of testosterone, most hormone dependent cancers become refractory to therapy after a period of time, and are known as “castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC)” or “hormone refractory”. While they are no longer responsive to the initial ADT regimes, these cancers still show some reliance upon androgen-based pathways to drive tumour growth."

Click here to read the bulletin in full. The E‑Bulletins are archived on the AusPharmList website here.

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Guild, PSA respond to call for establishment of a schedule of recommended fees for professional pharmacy services : 09/12/2013 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Pharmacy Guild have responded cautiously to calls from the pharmacy profession for the establishment of a schedule of recommended fees for professional pharmacy services. This follows the publication of the results of last week's AusPharm poll, which showed widespread pharmacist support for the idea.

While both organisations see some merit in the idea, both also see a number of barriers that would first need to be overcome.

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TGA warns on duloxetine and serotonin syndrome : 06/12/2013 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration is warning health professionals to be mindful that duloxetine can precipitate serotonin syndrome after receiving 21 reports of the syndrome in which duloxetine is the sole suspected drug.

The advice is contained in the December Medicines Safety Update, published this week.

While serotonin syndrome is commonly associated with concomitant use of two or more serotonergic drugs, it can occur with a single drug. To reduce the risk of serotonin syndrome, says the TGA, duloxetine should be used with caution with other serotonergic drugs, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, opioids, tryptophan and St John's wort.

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Pharmacists want a schedule of recommended fees for professional pharmacy services - 'bring it on' : 06/12/2013 :

This week's poll asked 'listers whether they would find a schedule of recommended fees for professional pharmacy services useful.

The poll followed comments posted earlier in the week by Peter Crothers and John Bronger calling for such a fee schedule.

The poll result is quite clear - 86% of all pharmacists voting in the poll (n=203) said they would find such a fee schedule useful. 3/4 of those voting said they would 'absolutely' find it useful - 'bring it on'.

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Pharmacy Board: vaccination within a pharmacist's scope of practice : 06/12/2013 :

Following work undertaken on its behalf by the Advanced Practice Framework Steering Committee the Pharmacy Board said yesterday it believes vaccination is within the current scope of practice of a pharmacist.

However, said Board  Chairman Stephen Marty, further work around competencies, standards, training and where vaccination may take place will need to be completed before pharmacists will be able to vaccinate.

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Dental Association Award of Merit to Geraldine Moses : 06/12/2013 :

Dr Geraldine Moses was honoured last week by the Australian Dental Association’s Queensland branch with their Award of Merit.

This award is conferred on a person who has made a substantial and meritorious contribution to the profession of dentistry, but is not a dentist themself. The award is made only occasionally, the most recent being in 2008. Geraldine was recognised for her long-standing relationship to the Australian Dental Association providing educational services advice and her recent creation and provision of a national drug information service for the ADA as a member benefit.

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Bykes for tykes : 06/12/2013 :

Christmas came early for some excited children from Camp Quality and the staff of APHS last weekend.

Participating in a team building exercise, staff from APHS worked together to complete challenges and build a bicycle. The bikes were gifts for some very deserving Camp Quality kids.

Bikes for Tykes is a program run by Corporate Challenge – a company that organises team building activities with specific objectives that are important to individual organisations.

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December Australian Prescriber : 05/12/2013 :

The December 2013 issue of Australian Prescriber is now available online. Topics featured in this issue include:

  • Off-label prescribing
  • Drug treatment for anxiety
  • Top 10 drugs

It also contains the most recent Medicines Safety Update.

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Jackson: fundamental shift in pharmacy payment structure needed : 05/12/2013 :

A fundamental shift in the remuneration process for community pharmacy is needed, says Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Tasmanina President, Shane Jackson, 'otherwise the profession will continue to be attacked from inside and outside because of the perception that the consumer, taxpayer and the Australian Government are not getting value for money'.

Dr Jackson's comments were contained in an opinion piece in this week's PSA Presidential Forum.

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Prescription drug scheme under control : 04/12/2013 :

Great article on the current state of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in today's Australian from Guild Executuve Director David Quilty.

The fact is, far from being out of control and ripe for relentless trimming, the PBS is well contained and sustainable. Forget what you may have read in those early intergenerational reports. The notion that our ageing population and an unbridled pharmaceutical sector is going to break the bank is just plain out of date.

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Poll: does community pharmacy need a schedule of recommended fees for professional services? : 04/12/2013 :

In a recent post to AusPharmList Peter Crothers wrote "There should be a Guild/PSA (don't care which) recommended fee for every single thing we do, so that we don't have to rely on someone else telling us what our work is worth."

These sentiments were subsequently endorsed in another AusPharmList post by former Guild national President and current PSA NSW President John Bronger.

What do you think? Would you find such a list useful? Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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Robert Jamieson Awarded 2013 Victorian Pharmacist Medal : 04/12/2013 :

Victoria Police pharmacist Robert Jamieson has been awarded the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s 2013 Victorian Pharmacist Medal. The award recognises the contribution of pharmacists at the grassroots’ level in improving health outcomes and the general wellbeing of the community. 

Victoria State President of the PSA, Michelle Lynch, said that through the award, the PSA Victorian Branch Committee sought to tell the stories of the work of many quiet achievers within the pharmacy profession.

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Widespread support for opt-out PCEHR : 03/12/2013 :

In a rare show of unity on an issue, the Australian Medical Association, the Pharmacy Guild, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) and the Consumers Health Forum (CHF) all agree the Personally Controlled Electronic Health record (PCEHR) should be an opt-out system for patients, rather than the current opt-in arrangement.

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Another Panadol recall for GSK : 03/12/2013 :

For the second time in a fortnight, GSK has recalled a Panadol Children's product.

Two batches of Children’s Panadol 1-5 years Suspension are being recalled after testing showed a small proportion of bottles could have a higher amount of paracetamol than the permitted specification. This recall comes 10 days after the recall by GSK of Panadol Baby Drops following the identification of miscalibrated measuring syringes.

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One in nine Australians on atorvastatin or rosuvastatin : 03/12/2013 :

75 out of every 1000 Australians are taking atorvastatin. Another 41/1000 are taking rosuvastatin. The statistics are revealed in the December issue of Australian Prescriber, published yesterday.

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