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AusPharm news

Political letters of support for pharmacy : 05/09/2013 :

As has been the norm for the last decade, the major political parties have provided the Pharmacy Guild with letters of support for pharmacy in the leadup to Saturday's federal election. The Guild published these letters on its website yesterday.

Letters have been received from Tony Abbott, (Greens) Senator Richard Di Natale, (Nationals) Warren Truss and Bob Katter. No letter has been forthcoming from Labor although the Guild says it is optimistic it will receive one before polling day.

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Fair Work Commission leaves pharmacy award alone ... for now : 05/09/2013 :

In a decision handed down early this week the Fair Work Commission, in a 'Transitional Review', has declined to make changes to the Pharmacy Industry Award proposed by the Pharmacy Guild.

The Commission said, however, that a scheduled four yearly full review of modern awards (including the Pharmacy Industry Award) is to commence in 2014 and, that as this review will be broader in scope than the Transitional Review, 'at least some of the variations sought, but declined, in respect of annual leave in the Transitional Review may be more appropriate for consideration in that future review.'

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Poll: it's election week; who will you vote for? : 04/09/2013 :

Early in May and again early in July we ran polls to ask 'listers to give us their voting intentions for this Saturday's federal election. We said at the time we'd be repeating the poll a couple of time before the election date. We'll run the poll for the third and final time today.

If the mainstream media polls are to be believed, the Coalition is heading for a victory on Saturday, but the polls haven't always got it right in years gone by.

Who will get your vote on Saturday? Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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AusPharm CPD: RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin CPD Digest - No 62 : 04/09/2013 :

The next in our 2013 series of continuing professional development activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 62.

This CPD activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins, Volumes 50-11 → 51-2 (June/July 2013).

You can access these E-Bulletins individually here or as a group here (this Digest includes the 4 bulletins, the references and the questions).

After completing this activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Describe issues of concerns relating to the use of metformin for people who abuse alcohol
  • Discuss the important aspects of criteria that can be used to assess criteria to identify potentially inappropriate prescribing for elderly people
  • Understand important issues related to adherence amongst people treated with anticoagulants to prevent stroke in the presence of non-valvular atrial fibrillation
  • Identify medications that would be regarded as "high risk" in the hospital setting.

This activity has been accredited for 0.5hr of Group One CPD (0.5 CPD Credits) that may be converted to 1 Group Two CPD Credit upon successful completion of the corresponding assessment for inclusion on an individual pharmacist's CPD Record.
Accreditation number: A1309AP0.

Click here to do this Continuing Professional Development activity.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 04/09/2013 :

AFL Round 23

Round 23 of the 2013 AFL season commenced with a Friday night blockbuster at the MCG between Hawthorn and Sydney. Both teams fought hard, however Hawthorn pushed home with a 12 point win.

NRL Round 25

Round 25 of the 2013 NRL Season commenced with the Knights defeating the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium (26-18), and the Rabbitohs taking the win against the Wests Tigers 32-18 at Allianz Stadium.

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Half a million sign 'Save my pharmacy' petition : 04/09/2013 :

The number of people who have signed the Pharmacy Guild's 'Save my local pharmacy' petition yesterday topped the 500,000 mark.

By contrast the Consumers Health Forum / ACOSS / CHOICE 'Stand up for cheaper medicines' campaign, which encouraged consumers to email politicians expressing their opposition to  the Guild's campaign, has only (as of yesterday) elicited reponses from 2745 people.

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Chemmart Pharmacy awards inaugural Retail Manager of the Year : 03/09/2013 :

Kirstie Rolls of McLaren Vale Chemmart Pharmacy is the winner the inaugural Chemmart Pharmacy Retail Manager of the Year award. Kirstie was awarded the honour for her contribution to retail innovation and excellence, and her commitment to delivering wellbeing solutions to the local community.

Ms Rolls said receiving the prestigeous award is the pinnacle of her career so far and has capped off a memorable decade as Manager of the McLaren Vale store.

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FIP underway : 03/09/2013 :

Irish Health Minister, Dr James Reilly, pictured at right, officially opened the 73rd FIP World Congress in Dublin on Sunday.

Over 3,000 participants from 107 countries are in attendance, including a large number of Australians.

During the ceremony, FIP conferred several awards.

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NPS urges caution with new anticoagulants : 02/09/2013 :

Following the 1 September PBS listing of the newer anticoagulants dabigatran (Pradaxa) and apixaban (Eliquis), NPS MedicineWise has repeated safety messages around the use of the entire new class of anticoagulants.

NPS MedicineWise has developed a new decision tool about switching oral anticoagulants which covers recommended dosing and timing for patients switching from warfarin, to warfarin, or from a newer oral anticoagulant to an alternative newer oral anticoagulant.

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Continued Dispensing gets underway : 02/09/2013 :

The 'Continued Dispensing of PBS Medicines in Defined Circumstances' initiative, funded as part of the 5th Community Pharmacy Agreement commenced operation in some states yesterday (1 September)

Continued Dispensing is the supply of an eligible medicine to a consumer when there is an immediate need for the medicine to continue and it is not practicable to obtain a prescription. It applies initially to 2 classes of drug - statins and oral contraceptives.

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Have your say on pharma transparency : 02/09/2013 :

Peak pharma body Medicines Australia is undertaking a review of its Code of Conduct and is inviting comments from interested people. The current edition of the code, the 17th, was authorised by the ACCC in December 2012 and came into effect on 11 January 2013. The ACCC granted authorisation of the 17th edition of the Code for two years on the basis that further work to improve 'transparency' would be completed by June 2013.

Medicines Australia CEO Dr Brendan Shaw yesterday called on health professionals to Have your say about further transparency measures,as part of the review.

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New incentive funded for electronic prescription scanning : 02/09/2013 :

A new pharmacy incentive payment, worth around $2,000 a pharmacy, has been introduced to boost the uptake of electronic prescriptions.

The incentive will apply for the 2013-14 financial year with funding sourced from the reallocation of existing eHealth funds - it is a cost-neutral change in the context of the overall level of 5CPA funding.

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 02/09/2013 :

The MIMS September 2013 Monthly Medicine Update is now available. Click the link to read it now.

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Town Hall cocktail party and beach party gala dinner all part of PAC13 social program : 02/09/2013 :

Amid the wealth of learning opportunities being presented at PAC13 in Brisbane this year there will be plenty of opportunities to socialise and network with peers and friends.

The PAC13 social program this year has some added features which will boost the overall experience of PAC13 attendance.

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Pharmacy Board highlights dodgy text message ads : 02/09/2013 :

The Pharmacy Board says it is 'particularly concerned' about reports it has received of pharmacists sending text message advertisements with questionable content to consumers.

In its most recent Communiqué, the Board said that the offending messages advised recipients that:

  • due to reforms to the PBS, most suppliers would be out of stock of medications during that month, or
  • due to government price reform, there would be a shortage of medication supplies in subsequent weeks.

The Board said its concern is because 'the content of the advertisements may be false, misleading or deceptive and may directly or indirectly encouraging the indiscriminate or unnecessary use of regulated health services.'

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Memantine: Behavioural/Psychological Symptoms of Dementia : 02/09/2013 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Memantine: Behavioural/Psychological Symptoms of Dementia.

"Dementia is a prevalent problem worldwide, with the most common cause being Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Many people with dementia experience Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD) including agitation and aggression. Symptoms can include shouting, hitting, throwing objects, restlessness, pacing or fidgeting. BPSD are more common in people living in care home settings and have significant impact on quality of life for both patient and carer."

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

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AusDoc price disclosure poll nobbled? : 30/08/2013 :

An Australian Doctor poll has come down heavily in favour of pharmacy, but not before lobbying from pharmacy identities yesterday.

As of 5AM this morning 75% of respondents to the web based poll (n=1187) - which put the question 'Do you support The Pharmacy Guild's fight against the $2 billion cut to funding which pharmacies receive from the government to buy PBS drugs?' -  had chosen the option 'Yes – the funding cuts will affect their ability to offer quality care.'

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Ventolin price competition alive and well : 30/08/2013 :

This week's AusPharm poll reveals a wide range of prices being charged for supply of a Ventolin Inhaler in Australian pharmacies.

While the average appears to be around the $9 mark, significant proportions of pharmacies charge either less than $8 (19%) or more than $10 (19%). The majority, 51%, charge between $8 and $10.

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Android version of Asthma Buddy app now available : 30/08/2013 :

In the lead up to National Asthma Week (September 1 – 7, 2013) the National Asthma Council Australia hass released an Android version of Asthma Buddy, Australia's most popular asthma management app.
 
The Asthma Buddy app (also available as an iPhone app) gives Australians with asthma instant access to actions they and those around them need to take when their asthma symptoms worsen.

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Nexium to Schedule 3? : 30/08/2013 :

A proposal for a new Schedule 3 entry for esomeprazole will be considered by the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling at its November meeting.

The proposal covers oral preparations containing 20mg or less per dosage unit for the relief of symptoms for gastro-oesophageal reflux (heartburn) and symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease in packs containing not more than 14 days supply.

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