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AusPharm news

PSA National President receives South Australian Guild Branch's highest honour : 03/10/2013 :

National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Grant Kardachi, has been awarded the Pharmacy Guild's South Australian Branch’s highest honour for his work in pharmacy.

Mr Karachi was presented with the Barry Schultz Medal for Excellence in Pharmacy by the Pharmacy Guild’s National President, Kos Sclavos at a ceremony in Adelaide on Tuesday night.

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NSW Guild Branch gets a new President : 02/10/2013 :

Paul Sinclair is the new President of the NSW Branch of the Pharmacy Guild.

Mr Sinclair, pictured at right, is a Sydney community pharmacist and National Councillor of the Guild, having been elected to that position in 2007. In 2010, he was elected to the Community Pharmacy Section Executive Committee of FIP.

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Telstra acquires 50% of FRED : 02/10/2013 :

Telstra has acquired a 50% share in market leading pharmacy IT company the FRED IT group.

Fred IT Group CEO and pharmacist Paul Naismith, said “This new strategic partnership with Telstra underpins Fred’s core commitment to providing IT innovation and leadership for pharmacy and pharmacy customers over the long term. It allows us to continue to invest strongly in eHealth and cloud computing which are vital in improving patient health and safety, creating new ways for pharmacy to service its customers and run its business. Our commitment to, and focus on, pharmacy remains our absolute priority.”

Telstra’s Head of Health, Shane Solomon said the investment was part of Telstra’s ongoing focus on building capability in the health sector.

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Poll: an expanded role for pharmacists in rural Australia? : 02/10/2013 :

A new Grattan Institute report widely reported this week in both mainstream and pharmacy press -  Access all areas: new solutions for GP shortages in rural Australia - suggests that pharmacists may have a greater role to play in health in areas where GP shortages exist. The report proposes that pharmacists:

  • give vaccinations
  • issue and fill repeat prescriptions
  • take a greater role in managing medications for people with chronic conditions

Is this a good idea and is there any chance the proposal will actually be implemented? Please let us know what you think by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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Government hits pharmacy with $25,000 bill : 01/10/2013 :

After admitted to claiming the Medscheck incentive without complying with the requirements of the program a pharmacy has been billed over $25,000 for incorrect claims.

The case is highlighted in the Department of Human Services 2013-15 Compliance Program, which outlines the key departmental compliance activities for the period.

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The future of pharmacy: UTAS combines practical skills and research theory in new pharmacy course : 01/10/2013 :

Early career pharmacists are given greater opportunities with the Bachelor of Pharmacy with Professional Honours course at the University of Tasmania

The new Professional Honours course offered by the School of Pharmacy at the Faculty of Health Science builds on the practical skills of budding pharmacists that are learnt during their intern year. Course Coordinator Mr Colin Curtain has high hopes for the course.

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Time to renew your pharmacist registration : 01/10/2013 :

Over 25,700 pharmacists with general or non-practising registration are due to renew their registration with the Pharmacy Board by 30 November.

Last year over 90 per cent of all health practitioner registration renewals due by 30 November were submitted online.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Dapagliflozin in management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus : 30/09/2013 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Dapagliflozin in management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

"Dapagliflozin (Forxiga®) is a drug which belongs to a class of agents which actively inhibit the sodium-glucose transporter 2 (SGLT2) – another drug in the same class, canagliflozin, was discussed previously in an earlier E-bulletin this year (Volume 50(9)). Currently these drugs are marketed to improve glycaemic control in the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). SGLT2 is the predominant transporter expressed in the kidneys responsible for reabsorbing glucose back into the circulation."

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

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Children’s Panadol 1-5 years suspension soon back on pharmacy shelves : 30/09/2013 :

Children’s Panadol 1-5 years suspension will soon be back on pharmacy shelves after the lifting of a federal court injunction preventing its sale.

The injunction was put in place by the court following an application by Nurofen makers, Reckitt Benckiser, who alleged a patent infringement over the Panadol product's syringe-based dosing device.

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Win a PAC VIP pass valued at more than $2000 : 30/09/2013 :

PSA is offering one full three-day delegate to PAC13 in Brisbane a VIP Pass worth more than $2000.

This is in addition to the free seven-inch tablet they receive for registering for the three days of Australia’s premier pharmacy conference.

PSA Chief Executive Officer Liesel Wett said the competition was open to all full three-day registrants.

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Year on year PBS costs drop : 30/09/2013 :

The Government's Final Budget Outcome 2012-13 statement, released on Friday, reveals that government spending on PBS medicines fell by 3.5% in 2012-13.

Peak pharma group Medicines Australia (MA) pounced on the figures with CEO  Dr Brendan Shaw declaring "Today's figures prove once and for all that the key issue for the PBS is ensuring that the savings from price disclosure are used to list new medicines."

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Generic medicines sector releases new edition of Code of Practice for public consultation : 30/09/2013 :

The Generic Medicines Industry Association (GMiA) has released a draft third edition of the GMiA Code of Practice.

The third edition incorporates a number of amendments, including the recommendations from the Working Group on Promotion of Therapeutic Products that reported to the then Parliamentary Secretary, Catherine King, in March 2011.

The composition of the Code Complaint Committee has been adjusted to make the Committee more independent with al industry representatives removed. Members will continue to report on educational events and non-price benefits.

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Penalty rates about right? : 27/09/2013 :

While it's always possible to interpret a poll result in a multitide of ways, we think the result of this week's AusPharm poll, which asked 'listers their opinion on pharmacy employee penalty rates, shows most pharmacists think the existing penalty rates are about right.

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Pfizer plant closure won't impact on pharmacy or patients : 27/09/2013 :

Pfizer Australia has announced the closure of its Sydney manufacturing plant, which will cease operations by the end of 2015. Up to 140 employees may lose their jobs as a result of the closure.

According to Pfizer, the closure will not impact on pharmacies and there will be no impact on the supply of medicines to patients.

The company also said the decision is unrelated to Pfizer Direct, which "is going well, currently averaging 36,000 orders per month with a 99%+ on time delivery rate."

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Loratadine to remain pharmacy only : 27/09/2013 :

Loratadine products are to remain pharmacy only following a decision made by the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling at its July meeting.

A proposal was before the committee to reschedule loratadine from Schedule 2 to unscheduled in oral preparations containing 10 mg or less in packs containing not more than 5 daily doses.

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Pharmacy student of the year competition a highlight : 26/09/2013 :

One of the highlights of PAC is the annual Pharmacy Student of the Year competition finals, an event which sees the best student pharmacists from each state and territory vie for the national title.

This year the finals will be held on Friday with the winners – the judges’ choice and the people’s choice – announced during the Gala Dinner on Saturday night.

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Victorian College of Pharmacy Class of 1983 30-Year Reunion : 25/09/2013 :

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Poll: are pharmacy employee penalty rates excessive? : 25/09/2013 :

Much has been made in recent years of the pressure penalty rates are putting on the viability of businesses, including community pharmacies.

In pharmacies, these see pharmacy assistant employees earning time and a half on Saturdays and double time on Sundays. Loadings also apply for hours worked before 8AM and after 7PM. The same rates apply to pharmacist staff covered by the award although many pharmacists have wage agreements that specify other arrangements. However, higher rates of pay usually still apply on weekemds and after hours.

Do you think the existing penalty rate arrangements are appropriate in community pharmacy? Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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Over $140 billion spent on health in 2011–12 : 25/09/2013 :

More than $140 billion was spent on health in Australia in 2011–12, according to a report released yesterday by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Health expenditure Australia 2011-12, shows health spending was estimated to be $140.2 billion in 2011–12—up from $132.6 billion in 2010–11 and from $82.9 billion 10 years earlier in 2001–02 (after adjusting for inflation).

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Today is World Pharmacist Day : 25/09/2013 :

Wednesday 25 September  is World Pharmacist Day and, as part of the international celebration of the valuable contributions of pharmacists to the public, pharmacy students from pharmacy schools in Victoria and Canberra will be conducting public health awareness campaigns focusing on Quality Use of Medicines.

Victorian pharmacy students from all pharmacy schools in Victoria will be handing out consumer health information leaflets in Melbourne CBD and Bendigo city and Canberra pharmacy students will be at the Canberra Bus Interchange to talk to consumers about all the services pharmacists provide in addition to dispensing medicines.

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