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AusPharm news

ACP and Dr. Reddy’s to run Stage 1 Medication Management Review workshops : 30/08/2013 :

Commencing in September, the Australian College of Pharmacy, in partnership with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Australia,  will be staging a series of Medication Management Review (MMR) Stage 1 workshops around Australia.

The workshops will be presented by Debbie Rigby and Dr Geraldine Moses and will satisfy the Stage 1 training requirements for MMR accreditation with the Australian Association of Consultant Pharmacy. Attendees will be awarded 14 Group 2 and 6 Group 1 CPD Credits.

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APLF to publish Compounding discussion paper : 30/08/2013 :

Pharmacy compounding is, at present, the subject of both a Pharmacy Board review of the compounding registration standards and guidelines and a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) consultation on the regulatory framework for pharmacy compounding.

The Australian Pharmacy Liaison Forum (APLF) believes there may be an opportunity for the profession to develop an audit mechanism to regulate compounding pharmacies and hospitals. It has agreed to form a working party to develop a discussion paper on the regulation of compounding practices within the profession that will be presented to the Pharmacy Board and the TGA as part of their reviews.

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NSW PATY finalist named : 30/08/2013 :

Richelle Welsh from United Discount Chemist, Banora Point, will represent New South Wales at The Pharmacy Guild of Australia / GlaxoSmithKline National Pharmacy Assistant of the Year Award (PATY) 2013 in October.

The Pharmacy Assistant of the Year Award is the most prestigious award for pharmacy assistants in Australia, with over 400 nominations received this year.  Across the country, pharmacy assistants take part in a state-based workshop and judging day where they demonstrate their pharmacy knowledge and know-how and are given the opportunity to display their skills in customer service and leadership.  One candidate from each state and territory is then chosen to compete in the national judging day held on the Gold Coast in October.

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SHPA calls for new pharmacy remuneration model : 29/08/2013 :

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists believes the time has come to radically restructure the manner in which professional pharmacist services are funded and how PBS medicines are reimbursed.

SHPA President Sue Kirsa said yesterday “SHPA believes that consumers must be at the centre of all healthcare service delivery. There should be a clear separation of the funding of medicines and pharmacist professional services so that there is transparency around how taxpayers’ dollars are spent.”

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Pharmacy petition heading for half a million : 29/08/2013 :

The 'Save our local pharmacy' petition, currently being promoted in community pharmacies has collected 350,000 signatures and is on track to reach 500,000 before the 7 September federal election.

The petition calls on the House of Representatives to take whatever action is required to address the impact on jobs and patient services of the election-eve decision to change Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme pricing arrangements.

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New MMR software integrates with MIMS database : 29/08/2013 :

New MMR software - Pillpedia - written by a clinical pharmacist, will launch this month.

Pillpedia features a MIMS drug interactions plug-in which provides the ability to cross-check drug to drug interactions and drug to patient allergies.

According to MIMS' Dinah Graham this is the first time the MIMS data base has been used in this type of application.

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Guild claims latest Dunlevy attack on pharmacy based on a falsehood : 28/08/2013 :

The Pharmacy Guild says that a report in News Limited newspapers yesterday by reporter Sue Dunlevy wrongly cited an amount of $340,000 as 'pocketed by pharmacy'.

The relevant passage in the Dunlevy piece reads "Melbourne University Economics Professor Philip Clarke has analysed price cuts to hundreds of medicines already delivered under this [price disclosure] policy to calculate chemists were pocketing on average $340,000 in overpayments in the last three years. While this money is now being saved for the taxpayer after the government cut the price it pays for medicines, we're still not getting drugs at world best prices, he says."

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 28/08/2013 :

AFL Round 22

Round 22 of the 2013 AFL season commenced with a Friday night blockbuster at the MCG between Collingwood and West Coast. Both teams fought hard, however Collingwood charged through with a convincing 62 point win. Saturday saw the Crows defeating the Demons by 68 points, the Hawks narrowly defeating the Roos by 14 points...

NRL Round 24

Round 24 of the 2013 NRL Season commenced with the Panthers defeating the Broncos at Centrebet Stadium (28-12), and the Rabbitohs taking the win against the Bulldogs 28-20 at ANZ Stadium. Other games for the round saw the Wests Tigers defeat a determined Dragons outfit (34-18)...

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Australians seeking help for drug use aged mainly between 20 and 39 : 28/08/2013 :

More than half of people seeking help for drug use are aged between 20 and 39, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2011–12, presents data on government-funded agencies and the episodes of treatment they provide.

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Poll: what does your pharmacy charge for an S3 Ventolin inhaler? : 28/08/2013 :

In a post to AusPharmList today Richard Churchward writes: "I have been trying to recall the price to the customer of a Ventolin inhaler when I first started practising in 1987. My recollections are a bit hazy but the figure of around $4 seems to ring a bell. In my work as a locum the cost of a Ventolin is a sort of marker for how hard a business has to compete on price in his/her local area. Many businesses are charging around the $6 to $7 mark. Not a great increase over a 25 year period!"

"How about an AusPharmList survey about the price being asked of customers for a Ventolin inhaler?"

Sure thing Richard - it makes a nice change from the serious stuff of the last few weeks.

What does your pharmacy charge for a Schedule 3 Ventolin (brand) Inhaler? Please tick the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll.

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Chemists overpaid $340,000 in generic medicine rort : 27/08/2013 :

In her latest spray against community pharmacies, News Ltd writer Sue Dunlevy says that pharmacies have been 'pocketing an average $340,000 each in overpayments for generic medicines, money that could have funded 86,000 hip replacements or 63,000 coronary bypass operations'.

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Guild rejects Consumers Health Forum 'Open letter to community pharmacists' : 27/08/2013 :

The Pharmacy Guild has slammed the 'Open letter to community pharmacists' released yesterday by the Consumers Health Forum (CHF), in which the consumer group attempts to elaborate on its recent public comments on community pharmacy remuneration.

In the letter CHF says it 'recognises and respects the vital role that pharmacists play' in the health system but calls for a remuneration framework for pharmacy that sees pharmacies paid 'for the provision of quality health services' rather one in which payments are 'linked to the price of off-patent pharmaceuticals'.

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Travel health research project : 26/08/2013 :

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Obesity and enoxaparin dosage for VTE prophylaxis : 26/08/2013 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Obesity and enoxaparin dosage for VTE prophylaxis.

"The prevalence of obesity and overweight Australians has been steadily increasing for the past 30 years. In 2011-12 around 25% Australian adults were obese (60% classed as overweight or obese). This may have implications for drug dosing, where clinical trials have not included adequate representation of obese patients. This is particularly relevant with enoxaparin where VTE may be the consequencae of sub-therapeutic dosing. Although the manufacturers of the Clexane® brand of enoxaparin comment on the cautious use of the drug in patients <45kg, there is no specific recommendations regarding dose adjustment for VTE prophylaxis relating to excess patient weight. "

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

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Return of Unwanted Medicines (RUM) Project: success will need greater efficiency in the pharmacy : 26/08/2013 :

In the wake of record collections of unwanted and expired medicines for the year to 30 June 2013, RUM Project Manager, Mr Simon Appel, has called on pharmacies to do more to minimise the volume of material that goes into the yellow RUM bins.

"Retail pharmacies and pharmaceutical wholesalers are to be congratulated on their support for this important nationwide program" said Mr Appel.

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Guild welcomes ALP shift on small business : 26/08/2013 :

The Pharmacy Guild has welcomed the Rudd Government’s foreshadowed change in payment arrangements for small business under its paid parental leave scheme.

Community pharmacies, along with others in the small business sector, have been asking for the rules to change so they do not have to spend their own resources as paymasters for the Government scheme.

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Guild President elect, George Tambassis, to present at PAC : 26/08/2013 :

George Tambassis, Interim Council Nominee for the position of National President, The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, will be speaking at this year's PAC on the topic of One Profession - his presentation is being billed as 'further highlighting the close collaboration within the profession'.

A community pharmacist of 25 years standing, Mr Tambassis is a partner in five pharmacies in Victoria. He will assume the role of Guild President when current President, Kos Sclavos, stands down in October.

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Chemist Warehouse rules : 26/08/2013 :

Roy Morgan Research last week published data that will send pharmacy owners of non Chemist Warehouse pharmacies weak at the knees.

In the five years to March 2013, the proportion of Australians aged 14+ who shopped at Chemist Warehouse in an average four-week period has more than doubled from 10% to 21%. The only other banner group to show any increase at all was Discount Drug Stores. All other banner brands in the survey (AMCAL, Soul Pattinson, Chemmart, Guardian, Priceline, Terry White) declined.

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Most pharmacists see no merit in consumer 'cheaper medicines' campaign : 23/08/2013 :

2/3 of pharmacists voting in this week's AusPharm poll believe the Consumers Health Forum led 'Cheaper Medicines' campaign is without merit although more than half of this group think it 'it was predictable. This is pharmacy's payback for the atorvastatin generic discount windfall.'

30% of respondents believe the campaign is 'disgraceful', as it has been branded by the Pharmacy Guild, who say it grossly misrepresents the Guild's position on price disclosure.

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Guild issues election wish list : 23/08/2013 :

The Pharmacy Guild yesterday circulated a draft 'letter of support' from Prime Minister Rudd to the Guild, outlining the pre-election commitments the Guild would like Mr Rudd (and Tony Abbott) to make to pharmacy.

AusPharm understands this was done to pre-empt the publication this morning of News Ltd Sue Dunlevy's latest anti pharmacy spray.

In election campaigns for some twenty years, pharmacists have received such letters of support from political leaders of all persuasions. These letters are seen by the Guild as very important in reaffirming the bipartisan support of Australia’s much valued community pharmacy network.

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