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AusPharm news

Pharmacy channel health insurance start-up secures venture capital funding : 17/10/2013 :

Past South African Businessman of the Year, now Australian resident, Izak Pretorius has taken on the role of Executive Chairman in unique health cover comparison website start-up, Covad.

Covad, the first ever private health aggregator to leverage the bricks and mortar pharmacy channel, in-store and on-line, launches its’ consumer site at the end of the month in pharmacies nationally.

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Herbal medicines sold legally in Australia assured of high quality : 17/10/2013 :

Consumers can continue to have confidence in the quality and safety of complementary medicines that are legally sold in Australia, says the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI).

ASMI’s comments follow a study published recently in BMC Medicine which showed herbal medicines that are available in North America frequently contain unlisted ingredients that could pose health risks.

“Consumers can be assured that the Australian complementary medicines industry is one of the most tightly regulated in the world, with all products subject to stringent regulations relative to their risk profile. Unlike many other countries in the world, Australia ensures that complementary medicines are manufactured safely and only contain approved, safe ingredients," said ASMI Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Director, Steve Scarff.

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Broken Hill Pharmacist wins PSA QUM in pain management award : 17/10/2013 :

Broken Hill community pharmacist Alex Page has won the 2013 PSA Award for QUM in Pain Management.

Mr Page has witnessed the effects of chronic pain in communities and the widespread and extensive use of codeine containing analgesics in these communities.

Presenting the award at PAC13, PSA National President Grant Kardachi said Mr Page decided to tackle this issue head on and so he obtained a Masters in Pain Management from the University of Sydney to allow him to highlight adequate pain management as a priority for Broken Hill.

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Pharmacy employment agency launches app : 17/10/2013 :

The Pharmaceutical Locum Company has launched a new app for job seekers.

It is available for IPhone, Ipad, Android and tablet platforms.

Both job seekers and employers are able to access the Emergency Locum Service through the app.




Poll: who do you think would make the best leader for the profession? : 16/10/2013 :

Last month we called for nominations from 'listers for pharmacists who are best lead the profession forward.

We said that nominations should be based on a person's vision for the profession, their ability to communicate that vision, their integrity and their ability to lead.

The nominations received, in alphabetical order, are:

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CHF CEO Carol Bennett moves on : 16/10/2013 :

Consumers Health Forum CEO, Carol Bennett, has announced she is stepping down from the role.

"After five rewarding years as CEO during which time CHF has cemented its position as Australia's pre-eminent advocate for health consumers, I believe the time has come for me to move to fresh challenges," Ms Bennett said.

Ms Bennett and CHF have been highly vocal critics of price disclosure policy in recent years, arguing that the process should be drastically speeded up.

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Consumers asked to return unwanted medicines to their pharmacy : 16/10/2013 :

As part of this week's Be Medicinewise Week, NPS MedicineWise is asking consumers to clean out their medicine cabinets today and rid their homes, cars and offices of unwanted, unnecessary and potentially harmful out-of-date medicines.

Be Medicinewise Week
ambassador Dr John D’Arcy said yesterday “Medicines use in Australia is just about universal. Chances are we’ve all got a few medicines lying around the house, stuffed in a draw at work, hiding in the glove box or stashed in our bags. But when was the last time you checked whether those medicines were still safe to use?"

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Terry White: Medicare should fund pharmacy services : 15/10/2013 :

Terry White Chemists Chairman, Terry White, has called on new federal Health Minister Peter Dutton to broaden the Medicare provider base to allow consumers to claim a rebate for pharmacy-based professional health services.

He made the call directly to Mr Dutton who is speaking at the TWC group’s annual conference, currently underway on the Gold Coast.

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Ketoconazole 200mg tablets to go : 15/10/2013 :

Following concerns about hepatotoxicity, oral ketoconazole 200 mg tablets are to be removed from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods, commencing 1 December 2013.

The TGA is advising health professionals that commencing treatment with oral ketoconazole for new patients is not recommended. The agency says, if a patient is already being treated with oral ketoconazole, prescribers should consider switching them to an alternative antifungal therapy. Monitoring of liver function is also strongly advised.

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Applications for 2014 rural pharmacy student scholarships open today : 14/10/2013 :

Students from rural and remote locations who are studying pharmacy or are intending to study pharmacy can apply for scholarships, each worth up to $40,000.

The Rural Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme provides financial support to encourage and enable students from rural and remote communities to undertake undergraduate or graduate studies in pharmacy.

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Tambassis sees a collaborative future for pharmacy : 14/10/2013 :

Speaking at the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia's PAC13 conference on Friday, incoming Guild President George Tambassis, said that while there had been 'issues' between the Society and the Guild in the past he expected 'with transparency and a little bit of collaboration I don't think there will be problems' in the future.

Mr Tambassis' presentation, on the subject of "one profession" reflected on the full range of pharmacy organisations that represent the profession, and the fact that while they sometimes have diverse and conflicting interests the potential exists to work together to achieve common objectives.

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Bert Newton to launch MedicineWise Week : 14/10/2013 :

On behalf of NPS MedicineWise, Australian show business icon Bert Newton will today launch Be Medicinewise Week 2013 and urge everyone to take part in a national medicinewise challenge.

Now in its third year, Be Medicinewise Week 2013 will focus on the Australia’s ageing population, giving older Australians the tools and information they need to get wise about their health and their medicines.

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Gowan, Wilkinson, Hayes honoured : 14/10/2013 :

Victorian pharmacist Jenny Gowan, pictured at right, has been named the PSA Pharmacist of the Year for 2013 for her work in advancing pharmacy practice and for her innovation and new ideas.

Tasmanian pharmacist Katie Hayes is the recipient of PSA’s Young Pharmacist of the Year award  for 2013 for her commitment to the pharmacy profession and to ensuring pharmacists make a noticeable difference in the community

Australian pharmacy 'elder' and author of the Wilkinson Review of Pharmacy Owneship in Australia, Warwick Wilkinson, is the 2013 recipient of the PSA Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Pharmacists' expanded role needs to align with skills, competence : 14/10/2013 :

Health professionals, including pharmacists, working in primary care should ensure that what they do in their clinical practice is in alignment with their skills and competence, believes Deputy Chair of the AMA Council of General Practice, Dr Brian Morton.

Dr Morton was speaking during a panel discussion - One health system, one patient, many professionals - at the PAC13 conference in Brisbane on Saturday. His comments were part of a discussion centred around the recommendations of a recent Grattan Institute report which concluded pharmacists may have an expanded primary care role to play in rural areas underserviced by GPs.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Overview of the relationship between drugs and food : 14/10/2013 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Overview of the relationship between drugs and food.

"Coadministration of drugs with food can significantly influence both the rate and extent of drug absorption after oral administration. For many drugs the relationship with food is not a clinically important one, but for certain drugs it can produce clinically significant consequences. Food can alter the rate of drug absorption via a number of mechanisms. Meals delay gastric emptying, commonly resulting in delayed drug absorption. In the majority of instances these food-drug interactions are rarely of clinical importance (as long as the overall amount of drug absorbed is unaffected)."

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

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La Trobe University student wins Pharmacy Student of the Year award at PAC13 : 14/10/2013 :

Victorian Rebecca Boschert, from La Trobe University, was named the Pharmacy Student of the Year during a ceremony at the Pharmacy Australia Congress in Melbourne on Saturday night.

The award followed her excellent performance in the student 'counsel off' held on Friday afternoon at the PAC13 conference. Ms Boschert also picked up the audience choice award for the event.

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Fair Work Commission rejects award variations : 14/10/2013 :

The Fair Work Commission has rejected three proposals put forward by the Pharmacy Guild to vary the Pharmacists Industry Award 2010.

In a decision handed down by Commissioner Bernie Riordan on Friday, the Commission rejected Guild applications around:

  • A full time employee being able to full time at something less than 38 hours per week
  • A 90 minute shift for secondary school students in limited circumstances, and
  • An annualised salary clause for PA Level 4 employees

The first of these was rejected by the Commission on the basis that it did meet the modern award objective and would create unecessary ambiguity and confusion in the industry.

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Pharmacists take their CPD responsibilities seriously : 11/10/2013 :

The results of this week's AusPharm poll suggest that pharmacists take their professional development responsibilities very seriously.

In order to meet the Pharmacy Board's CPD registration standard for the year ended 30 September 2013 pharmacists were required to obtain 40 CPD credits, not more than half of which were group 1 credits.

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TGA not to appeal dextropropoxyphene decision : 11/10/2013 :

Following the passing of the deadline yesterday to appeal the recent Administrative Appeals Tribunal decision to impose new conditions on the prescribing and supply of dextropropoxyphene containing products, the TGA has confirmed it did not appeal the decision as an appeal would have delayed the imposition of the new conditions.

The agency said it believes the conditions, which are designed to ensure the safe use of the products, should be in place as soon as possible.

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New research highlights disability impact of arthritis : 11/10/2013 :

New research undertaken by the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales and released for tomorrow's World Arthritis Day (Saturday October 12)  highlights both the enormous but often silent disability burden of arthritis and the need to recognise that arthritis can be a disability as well as a medical condition.

The research also busts the myth that arthritis only affects old people.

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