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AusPharm news

Guild petition tops 800,000 : 19/09/2013 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has now collected well over 800,000 signatures on its Pharmacy Under Threat petition.

The Executive Director of the Guild, David Quilt, said: “This is a feather in the cap to all the pharmacists and pharmacy assistants around Australia who have personally stepped up and contributed directly to this grassroots campaign.

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Consumers Health Forum slams AAT over dextropropoxyphene decision : 18/09/2013 :

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal’s over-ruling of a ban proposed by the TGA on the use of dextropropoxyphene undermines a golden rule of health care - to do the patient no harm - the Consumers Health Forum believes.

“These drugs are already banned in the United States, Britain, Canada, India and Europe due to concerns about the elevated risk they pose in terms of fatal overdoses and heart arrhythmias,” CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, Carol Bennett, said.

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Smoking gets in your joints : 18/09/2013 :

Australia’s peak expert group on bone and joint disease, the Australian Rheumatology Association, is reminding both consumers and health professionals that smoking brings with it an increased risk of pain as well as a serious joint disease.

According to Consultant Rheumatologist at Monash Health, Professor Michelle Leech, “Everyone knows that smoking causes heart disease, stroke and lung cancer, increases the risk of dementia and some know that it shortens your life by up to 19 years if you smoke a pack a day from your teens and don’t quit."

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Sclavos joins TWC Board : 18/09/2013 :

Guild President Kos Sclavos has been appointed to the Board of Terry White Chemists and will take up the appointment when he steps down from the Guild Presidency in October.

Board Chairman, Terry White, said he was proud to welcome Mr Sclavos to the Board, describing him as a 'standout leader'.

"There are few who understand our industry to the depth that Kos does and fewer still who have been quite so proactive over the years. He is highly respected within the Terry White Chemists group and the broader stakeholder network for his commitment to the pharmacy industry," said Mr White.

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Poll: does the new Coalition government make you feel more positive about pharmacy's future? : 18/09/2013 :

Australia has a new federal Coalition government, a new Prime Minister in Tony Abbott, a new Health Minister in Peter Dutton and a new Assistant Health Minister in Fiona Nash.

How does that make you feel about pharmacy's likely fortunes over the next three years? Will the Coalition be a friend to pharmacy or not?

Please let us know what you think by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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Election result brings renewed consumer confidence : 17/09/2013 :

Some interesting pharmacy front of shop (FOS) sales figures arrived in AusPharm's inbox yesterday that show a significant turnaround in consumer spending since the September 7 federal election was called.

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Union: 'We'll work with Quilty' : 17/09/2013 :

Professional Pharmacists Australia President  Dr Geoff March  said yesterday that the union "stands ready to work with David Quilty, the Federal Government and others to find a better system for the future."

His pledge was in response to comments made last week by Pharmacy Guild Executive Director David Quilty. Writing in the Guild's Forefront publication Mr Quilty said "Pharmacies need to realise that traditional ways of doing business will no longer cut it.  They must become multi-functional, community-based health destinations that are highly efficient and truly IT enabled, with pharmacists transforming themselves into personalised medicine services experts rather than just medicine suppliers."

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Dutton, Nash get Health portfolios : 17/09/2013 :

As expected, incoming Prime Minister Tony Abbott has appointed Peter Dutton as Health Minister in his new Coalition government. Fiona Nash has been appointed Assistant Health Minister.

Mr Dutton has been the Member for Dickson in Queensland since November 2001 when, at the age of 30 he defeated Cheryl Kernot. From 2004 to 2006 he was Minister for Workforce Participation in the Howard government. From 2006 - 2007 he was Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer. From 2007 -2008 he was Shadow Minister for Finance, Competition Policy and Deregulation and, in September 2008, he became Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing.

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27,339 pharmacists : 17/09/2013 :

As of 30 June 2013 there were 27,339 pharmacists on the Pharmacy Board of Australia's pharmacist register.

This is a slight increase on the 31 March 2013 figure of 27,226. On 30 June 2012 there were 26,547 pharmacists on the register.

The latest figures are contained the Board's 2013 2nd quarter data profiling Australia’s pharmacy workforce.

Details are here.

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PAC13 highlights opportunitites through advanced practice : 17/09/2013 :

The benefits to pharmacists of pushing practice forward through maximising advanced practice opportunities will be canvassed by leading academic pharmacist, Professor Lisa Nissen, at PAC13 in Brisbane next month.

Professor Nissen will examine what career and practice opportunities may arise from advanced practice and what this may mean for pharmacists as they face the challenges and opportunities of the future.

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Who can best lead the pharmacy profession forward? Get your nominations in : 16/09/2013 :

The recent federal election prompted one 'lister to get in touch and suggest AusPharm run a poll to see which Australian pharmacists are most suited to lead the profession forward in these challenging times.
 
We like the idea and will give it a run however, we'd like you to choose the pharmacists to be included in the poll.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Clinical issues with the newer oral anticoagulants : 16/09/2013 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Clinical issues with the newer oral anticoagulants.

"Trials assessing the novel anticoagulant agents have been conducted in various settings: venous thromboembolism (VTE) prevention after hip & knee surgery, stroke prevention in non-valvular AF, PE & DVT treatment, and DVT prophylaxis. In AF none of the newer oral anticoagulants have demonstrated superiority over warfarin in preventing stroke or systemic embolization: studies were designed to demonstrate non-inferiority to warfarin, and thus the research was not designed to demonstrate a statistically significant reduction in event rates. Studies assessing the prevention of VTE after orthopaedic surgery found only small differences in efficacy & safety between rivaroxaban, low molecular weight heparins, and dabigatran"

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

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Strict conditions applied to prescribing and dispensing dextropropoxyphene : 16/09/2013 :

Prescribers wishing to prescribe dextropropoxyphene will have to provide pharmacists with a 'Prescriber Form' certifying that they are aware that the product is only approved for use in patients not able to be adequately treated with other analgesics, they have considered the contraindications, they have warned the patient about the appropriate use of the product; and they are satisfied that the patient’s history does not indicate that the patient is at risk of accidental or intentional self-harm.

Pharmacists will not be able to dispense prescriptions for the drug unless they are accompanied by the Prescriber Form. However, this condition will only apply to original prescriptions - pharmacists will be permitted to assume the Form was presented to the pharmacist dispensing the original.

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Early Career Pharmacist focus at PAC13 : 16/09/2013 :

Early career pharmacists will get a unique opportunity to hear one of Australia’s leading motivational speakers, Ben Angel, join leading pharmacy figure Rhonda White to address them on the topic of You and Your Career at PAC 13 in Brisbane this year.

The session will be one of a series of presentations providing practical skills’ development for early career pharmacists. These sessions will provide essential advice about how early career pharmacists can stand out amongst the crowd and grow their professional and business careers.

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NSW Guild gets a new Branch Director : 16/09/2013 :

Ryan Fletcher is to be the new Branch Director of the NSW Branch of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.

Mr Fletcher has extensive government, industry and private sector policy and advocacy experience.

Commenting on Mr Fletcher's appointment NSW Guild President Si Banks said "Ryan has a proven track record in creating simple solutions to complex problems encompassing health care, insurance, governance, competition and risk. The skills required to solve these issues will transfer well into tackling the challenges the Pharmacy Guild and industry as a whole faces.

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Pharmacists more popular than beer? : 14/09/2013 :

The Pharmacy Guild's 'Save my pharmacy' petition, which closes off tomorrow (Saturday 14 September), is on track to becoming the largest petition ever presented to federal parliament.

The number of signatures currently exceeds 700,000 and the Guild expects signed petitions to continue to arrive at its national headquarters until the end of next week.

The largest petition previously submitted to parliament called for an end to rising beer prices and secured 792,985 signatures in 2000.

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Most pharmacies have work to do on e-scripts : 14/09/2013 :

Only about one third of respondents to this week's AusPharm poll told us their pharmacies are already scanning original electronic prescripotions at a rate (>15%) that will see them in the running to claim the recently announced $2,000 Electronic Prescription Scanning Incentive (ePSI).

From the poll it looks like respondents fall evenly into three categories – those that will receive their first incentive payment, those that need to do some more work to get from under 15% to the target level, and those that don’t know their Scan Rate or don’t use eScripts.

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OTC pharma companies continue push for S3 advertising reform : 13/09/2013 :

Reforming the rules around the advertising of Schedule 3 medicines remains high on the agenda of the companies who market them. At present, most Schedule 3 medicines may not legally be advertised direct to consumers.

Peak body, the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI), says it has, for some time, been working with the Pharmacy Guild and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia on an alternative advertising model for S3s, which will permit branded advertising of certain S3 medicines.

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Swisse wants patent like protection for new CAM products : 12/09/2013 :

Vitamin company Swisse has called for all vitamin companies to work together to force legal changes to get better data and intellectual property rights for new complementary medicine products.

Speaking at the Complementary Healthcare Council annual conference in Sydney last week, Swisse Commercial Director George Livery said said: “The science meets the commerce where we need to invest more and more in science and research yet we are denied even the most basic of IP protections afforded to every other class of goods."

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Don't 'dump bin' large packs of paracetamol : 12/09/2013 :

The Pharmacy Board has expressed 'serious concern' about the practice of some pharmacies 'dump binnig' large packs of paracetamol.

In its monthly communiqué the Board referred to the TGA's recent decision to reduce the pack size of unscheduled paracetamol to 20 tablets (available in grocery outlets) because 'paracetamol can cause serious liver damage if taken in high doses. The TGA decision to decrease the pack size was made after considering the risks of different pack sizes in Australia and was amde on the basis that it will result in fewer people requiring medical intervention following a paracetamol overdose.

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