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AusPharm news

RGH E‑Bulletin: Heart failure and diabetes mellitus (part one) : 25/11/2013 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Heart failure and diabetes mellitus (part one).

"The prevalence of diabetes mellitus amongst people with heart failure is increasing. Diabetes causes alteration to cardiac function affecting intracellular calcium release and myocardial lipid metabolism, and impairs endothelial cell function. Heart failure commonly affects elderly adults. The presence of co-morbidities in heart failure patients has been studied recently, and the research included a comparison of those with preserved ejection fraction and those with reduced ejection fraction. The presence of co-morbidities of cardiac and non-cardiac origin influences the management of the individual patient, and is associated with poor outcomes. Unfortunately, in this context, evidence-based recommendations to use as a basis for management are limited."

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

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GSK recalls Panadol with possible miscalibrated dosing syringe : 23/11/2013 :

Following the circulation on social media during the week of a photo appearing to show a miscalibrated Children’s Panadol Baby Drops measuring syringe, GSK has commenced a voluntary recall of the product.

The company says that, following initial investigations, the miscalibrated syringe appears to be a rare incident and a low safety risk. However, says GSK, in the best interests of consumer safety and in consultation with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), it has decided to undertake a voluntary recall.

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Miscalibrated Children's Panadol Baby Drops syringes in circulation? : 22/11/2013 :

The photo at right of an apparently miscalibrated Children's Panadol Baby Drops syringe is currently doing the rounds on social media websites. Click the photo to see a larger version.

AusPharm contacted Panadol manufacturer GSK for comment yesterday and was referred to a statement on the GSK website.

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Promising start for continued dispensing : 22/11/2013 :

One in 6 pharmacists working in a setting where the 'continued dispensing' option is now available have made use of it.

While this may not seem like much of a response some 10 weeks after the program launch, pharmacy organisations will likely be pleased with the takeup to date.

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CHF applauds Minister on price disclosure : 22/11/2013 :

The Consumers Health Forum (CHF) has applauded Health Minister Peter Dutton's decision, reported in this week's Forefront, to deny pharmacies compensation to counter the impact of the 2 August changes to price disclosure.

The Guild estimates that, in 2014-15 alone, price disclosure will result in an average reduction of $90,000 in gross profit for a community pharmacy, with the actual impact depending on prescription mix and volume.

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Lipidil approved for diabetic retinopathy : 21/11/2013 :

Lipidil (fenofibrate) has been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration to slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy. Lipidil is the first oral preparation approved for this indication.

“Vision impairment and vision loss are life-changing complications of diabetes,” said Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology and Eye Health at the University of Sydney, Paul Mitchell.

“Large international trials have shown that Lipidil can prevent progression of diabetic retinopathy to more advanced, vision threatening stages. The availability of Lipidil provides a non-invasive treatment option for patients who are showing signs of diabetic retinopathy,” he added.

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Swisse goes global : 21/11/2013 :

The Swisse vitamin company has teamed up with PGT Healthcare in a deal that will see the company's range of vitamins and supplements available in Europe, Asia and Latin America over the next few years. The deal is one of the biggest licensing deals ever involving an Australian company.

Melbourne, Australia will remain the global headquarters of Swisse - where the company began and has operated from its inception in the 1960’s. The global expansion is expected to result in job creation for Swisse in Australia.

Procter & Gamble and Teva Pharmaceuticals formed the PGT Healthcare joint venture in November 2011. PGT Healthcare manufactures and markets more than 200 consumer healthcare brands in more than 70 countries around the world.

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Professor Nick Shaw awarded 2013 Bowl of Hygeia award : 21/11/2013 :

Leading Queensland pharmacy figure Professor Nick Shaw has been awarded this year’s prestigious Bowl of Hygeia Award which recognises an exceptional individual service to the pharmacy profession.

The award was announced at the annual dinner of the Queensland Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia by Branch President Professor Lisa Nissen.

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Neo-mercazole replacement available from today : 20/11/2013 :

Link Healthcare will be supplying Carbimazole ARISTO 5mg to pharmacies from today (20 November 2013). The product has been authorised for supply by the Therapeutic Goods Administration as a replacement for Neo-Mercazole.

Carbimazole ARISTO 5mg is available in the normal way for a Schedule 4 medicine. It does not require the use of the Special Access Scheme. Pharmacies do not need to submit SAS Category B applications for its supply.

Link Healthcare says patients can take their prescriptions to their pharmacy as normal from 20 November 2013.

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Professor Michael Dooley new SHPA President : 20/11/2013 :

Professor Michael Dooley, Director of Pharmacy at Alfred Health, and Professor of Clinical Pharmacy, Centre for Medicine Use and Safety, Monash University, has been elected as the new President of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA).

Michael is a Fellow of SHPA, the International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners and the Australasian Association for Quality in Health Care. His work and achievements have been recognised by SHPA as the recipient of the Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award in 2004 and the GlaxoSmithKline Medal of Merit in 2003; and by others – he received the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards Gold Medal in 2005.

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Dutton: chemotherapy funding will not be sourced from within Agreement : 20/11/2013 :

Ongoing funding for chemotherapy services provided by community pharmacies will not be sourced from within 5th Agreement funds.

Speaking at the Pharmacy Guild's annual dinner, held in Canberra last night, Health Minister Peter Dutton said that although he was not yet in a position to make a formal announcement "it is not the Government's intention to take funding for chemotherapy therapy from the existing community pharmacy agreement".

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Poll: have you dispensed a prescription using the 'continued dispensing' option? : 20/11/2013 :

In a post to AusPharmList yesterday David Haworth asked whether any 'listers had yet dispensed a script using the 'continued dispensing' option.

Continued dispensing became a supply option for pharmacies from 1 September 2013 and is now possible in all states and territories except Queensland and the Northern Territory, where enabling legislation has not yet been passed. Continued dispensing allows for the supply of oral contraceptives and statins in some situations where the patient does not have a prescription.

Have you dispensed a prescription using the 'continued dispensing' option? Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in this week's AusPharm poll.

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Whole of profession approach needed for pharmacist prescribing : 20/11/2013 :

A whole of profession approach is needed to ensure that pharmacist prescribing is appropriately and effectively implemented in a way that integrates with the health system, the healthcare team and optimises outcomes for our patients believes Dr Lisa Nissen, Professor, School of Clinical Sciences at Queensland University of Technology.

Dr Nissen was commenting after the public release this week of the report of the Health Professionals Prescribing Pathway (HPPP) project. The HPPP, endorsed by all State and Territory Health Ministers last week, sets out five steps to safe and competent prescribing by all health professionals, including pharmacists.

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December 2013 PBS schedule : 19/11/2013 :

Download the Full PBS schedule

Download the PBS ‘Summary of Changes’

Download the Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy – S100 Arrangements Supplement

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Pharmacist confidence level drops : 19/11/2013 :

The third UTS Pharmacy Barometer, released on Monday 18 November, suggests that community pharmacists' level of confidence in the future viability of their industry has declined in the last 12 months.

The UTS Pharmacy Barometer is designed to track the perceptions of pharmacists’ business confidence and, for the current (September 2013) Barometer, was based on a pharmacist survey sample of 226. The September 2013 score was 61.2, compared to the October 2012 result of 86). The weighted score is in the range 0 to 200, where 200 represents maximum confidence and 100 a neutral score.

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Consumer expectations of antibiotics needs reshaping : 19/11/2013 :

Marking the start of Antibiotic Awareness Week, NPS MedicineWise is urging all health professionals to pledge their commitment to preserve the miracle of antibiotics and re-shape consumer expectations of these lifesaving medicines.

Antibiotic resistance is globally recognised as one of the greatest threats to human health today and Clinical Advisor at NPS MedicineWise, Dr Philippa Binns, says all health professionals need to be champions for the safe and appropriate use of antibiotics.

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HWA report on non medical prescribing published : 19/11/2013 :

The final report of Health Workforce Australia's Health Professionals Prescribing Pathway (HPPP) Project has been published on the HWA website.

The HPPP, endorsed by all State and Territory Health Ministers last week, sets out five steps to safe and competent prescribing by all health professionals, including pharmacists.

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New ezetimibe / atorvastatin combo pack PBS listed : 19/11/2013 :

From 1 December 2013, a new ezetimibe / atorvastatin composite pack will be PBS listed for patients with hypercholesterolaemia at high risk of heart disease whose cholesterol is uncontrolled on a statin.

The new ATOZET Composite Pack, manufactured by MSD, contains two tablets side by side in the one pack. The calendar-pack format aims to simplify administration as the two separate medications are packed together. This is designed to support compliance by helping patients on dual therapy to remember to take both tablets at the same time.

The Composite Pack will attract one PBS co-payment instead of the two previously required for the separate packs.

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Rigby: pharmacists need to 'contribute more to society' : 18/11/2013 :

Australia's ageing population with its increasing burden of chronic disease and high rate of medication-related problems creates an environment where pharmacists need to contribute more to society than just a dispensing role believes prominent Brisbane based consultant clinical pharmacist, Debbie Rigby.

Her comments were included in a article published in the October issue of Health Voices, the journal of the Consumer's Health Forum of Australia (CHF).

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J&J picks up awards for Nicorette QuickMist : 18/11/2013 :

Johnson & Johnson’s Nicorette QuickMist took out the top award at last Friday's ASMI Diamond Awards in Sydney. The smoking cessation mouth spray was named Overall ‘Supreme’ Winner for 2013 and also received the award for Best New Product Launch.

The ASMI Diamond Awards were presented across six categories: Best New Product Launch, Best Large Budget Campaign (>$500k), Best Small Budget Campaign (<$500k), Best Healthcare Professional Campaign, Quality Use of Medicines and Overall ‘Supreme’ Winner.

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