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AusPharm news

AusPharm CPD: Medication use in children : 31/10/2013 :

The latest AusPharm CE topic is Medication use in children - it’s been put together for us by Ella van Tienen.

After completing this activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Recognise factors impacting on safely selecting and using medications in children
  • Describe the issues surrounding the pharmacokinetic differences between paediatric patients and adults
  • Discuss the importance of prescribing guidelines when using medications in children.

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 pharmacists CPD Record.
Accreditation number: A1311AP0.

Click here to do this CE activity. You might like to take a look at our other CPD activities here.

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ABC TV Catalyst stories on cholesterol, statins cause a stir. Part 2 to screen tonight : 31/10/2013 :

Last week's Catalyst, on ABC TV, suggested that saturated fat and cholesterol may not play the role in heart disease commonly accepted by health professionals.

There was some discussion on AusPharmList about this and significant coverage in the mainstream media. The Chair of the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Medicines, Dr Elizabeth Banks, asked the ABC not to screen tonight's follow up program on statins, saying that it could lead to more cardiovascular disease events and deaths. The ABC says the program will go to air and 'it is an important contribution to medical debate.'

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$20 million Cabinet threshold for PBS listing implemented : 31/10/2013 :

The Federal Minister for Health, Peter Dutton, announced yesterday that he will now be able to personally approve
the PBS listing of medicines that will cost $20 million or less to subsidise in each of the first four years of listing.

Since 2001, medicines that were expected to cost more than $10 million in any one of the four years of the forward estimates were required to be approved by Federal Cabinet before they could be listed on the PBS.

“The Coalition Government is streamlining approvals processes to improve access for patients and give business more certainty," said Mr Dutton.

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Vaccination within pharmacists' scope of practice : 31/10/2013 :

The pharmacy profession's Advanced Pharmacy Practice Framework Steering Committee (APPFSC) has completed a mapping process designed to show that the competencies required of an authorised nurse immuniser can be adequately matched to those of a pharmacist.

APPFSC Chair Dr Shane Jackson told AusPharm he believes the mapping exercise highlights that, notwithstanding there would need to be additional competencies addressed in the area of injection technique and process, along with dealing with adverse reactions, it is within the scope of practice of a pharmacist in Australia to vaccinate, provided they have conducted appropriate training'.

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NPS Medicinewise advice on statins and CVD risk : 31/10/2013 :

In light of the controversy provoked by the recent ABC TV Catalyst programs NPS Medicinewise has published information for health professionals summarising up to date information on the use of statins.

NPS Medicinewisee says, from its perspective the guidelines are clear and the evidence is strong — statins remain one of the most effective strategies for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, but patient selection is key.

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New online interactive case study on type 2 diabetes : 30/10/2013 :

The latest NPS MedicineWise case study Type 2 diabetes: tailoring ongoing treatment has been published on the NPS Medicinewise website. The case study, in a new online format, focuses on available treatment options for a 75-year-old male with type 2 diabetes and offers continuing professional development (CPD) points for pharmacists, GPs and nurses.

NPS MedicineWise clinical adviser Dr Andrew Boyden says the new online case study offers an interactive, engaging and flexible online learning experience.

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Poll: how does your pharmacy measure up against the Victorian Pharmacy Authority dispensing workload guidelines? : 30/10/2013 :

The Victorian Pharmacy Authority (VPA) recently published guidelines on what constitutes 'excessive dispensing workloads'.

In brief (full details below), these suggest a single pharmacist, working without a dispensary technician, should dispense no more than 150 scripts in a standard 9AM - 6PM working day. VPA considers a 'dosing' event to be the equivalent of one script. Up to 220 scripts a day, says VPA, can be dispensed with the assistance of two dispensary technicians. Any more, and a second pharmacist is required, at least for part of the day.

How does your pharmacy measure up against the VPA guidelines? Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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More MMR payment delays : 30/10/2013 :

Medicare announced this week that, once again, pharmacists can expect delays in having their RMMR and HMR claims paid.

The agency says it has received an increased number of claims and will be conducting additional ad-hoc payment runs to meet the current demand.

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Perth: MMR Stage One Workshop, 9-10 November : 29/10/2013 :

The Australian College of Pharmacy, in partnership with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Australia, is conducting a Stage 1 Medication Management Review  workshop in Perth on 9-10 November, 2013.

The workshop also aims to enhance the skills of participants that are applicable to aspects of community pharmacy practice including MedsCheck and PPIs.

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Guild, consumers welcome new PBS listings : 29/10/2013 :

Both the Pharmacy Guild and the Consumers Health Forum yesterday welcomed new Health Minister Peter Dutton's announcement that '50 new and amended medicines and technologies to treat cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and a range of other debilitating diseases will be subsidised by the government'.

“About 230,000 people will now be able to receive new and improved medicines they may otherwise not have been able to afford,” Mr Dutton said.

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Pharmacy Board consultation: English language skills and Criminal history registration standards : 28/10/2013 :

Pharmacy Board of Australia parent body AHPRA has commenced a public consultation on two of the registration standards health professionals must meet in order to register with AHPRA.

These are the English language skills registration standard and the Criminal history registration standard.

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Clarification : 28/10/2013 :

Our Friday story on the previous day's launch of the eRx Express app noted it is 'the free app that for the first time allows people to order scripts from their pharmacy using their smart phone'.

The claim that it is the first has been challenged by pharmacist and developer of the Send a Script app, Fabian McCann. Send a Script was awarded a Golden Mobi prize as Best Design Studio Start-Up App and a Best in Medical category award in the recent 2013 Australian Mobile Awards.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Patient-centered barriers and enablers of deprescribing : 28/10/2013 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Patient-centered barriers and enablers of deprescribing.

"Research suggests that between 20 and 60% of elderly patients are taking at least one inappropriate medication (defined as a medication where the potential risks associated with its use outweigh the potential benefits). Inappropriate medication use (IMU) is associated with negative patient outcomes, including an increased risk of adverse drug reactions, hospitalization and mortality. One concept that has been explored in recent literature is that of “deprescribing” – a systematic approach to the withdrawal of medications from a patient’s treatment regimen under supervision of a clinician."

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

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2013 Pat Clear Award : 28/10/2013 :

The 2013 Pat Clear Award, the Australian medicines industry’s most prestigious award, has been won by Sara Pantzer, Head of Government Affairs and Policy, Amgen Australia.

The Award is presented annually to recognise an outstanding performance and contribution by an individual, group or team who work in the industry.

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Don't let your patients stockpile when they reach their safety net limit : 28/10/2013 :

Medicare Australia is asking pharmacists to help keep the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) affordable for everyone by reminding customers not to get more medicines than they need.

The advice is contained in the latest Pharmacy Bulletin Board.

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Anthony Tassone named Guild Victorian Branch President : 25/10/2013 :

The Victorian Branch of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia today named Anthony Tassone as its new Branch President.

The announcement follows the confirmation on Monday of previous Victorian President George Tambassis as the new National President.

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Pharmacists have mixed views on the Guild's new leadership team : 25/10/2013 :

In light of the recent 'changing of the guard' at the Pharmacy Guild - the Guild has a new National President and Executive Director as well as new Branch Presidents and Branch Directors in the two most populous States of NSW and Victoria - we asked 'listers whether they think the new team will be 'good for pharmacy'.

42% of respondents expressed the view that things would stay pretty much the same. Of the remaining 58% approximately equal numbers agreed and disagreed that the new team would be good for pharmacy.

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Priceline Sister Club membership tops 4.3 million : 25/10/2013 :

Priceline's Sister Club membership has grown to over 4.3 million. The loyalty program is thought to be the largest of its kind in the country.

The number was revealed by Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (API) CEO and Managing Director Stephen Roche at the company's Full Year Financial Results presentation in Sydney yesterday. Mr Roche also confirmed that there are now 363 Priceline Pharmacies around the country. Priceline Pharmacy sales growth was up 4.3% for the year ending 31 August 2013.

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eRx Express app launched : 25/10/2013 :

eRx Script Exchange has launched eRx Express, a free app that allows people to order scripts from their pharmacy using their smart phone.

The new app was launched last Thursday at Exhibition Pharmacy in Melbourne by Federal member for Higgins, Kelly O’Dwyer, and Guild President George Tambassis..

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Community pharmacy steps up to the plate to help communities affected by bush fires : 25/10/2013 :

The current bushfire emergencies in NSW have seen community pharmacy once again come to the fore in supporting local communities in times of need says NSW Pharmacy Guild Branch President Paul Sinclair.

The NSW Branch of the Guild, in partnership with the Asthma Foundation of NSW and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), has put in place measures to make available emergency supplies of asthma medication and spacer devices for those people directly affected by the current bushfire emergencies.

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