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AusPharm news

Guild: Vital training must continue : 16/08/2013 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia believes that the recent decision by the Federal Government to further cut training incentives will have a significant and negative impact on community pharmacy and poses a risk to the community’s health.

The Government’s Economic Statement released on 2 August signalled the end to completion incentive payments for pharmacies who undertake training of existing pharmacy and dispensary assistants.

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Fee assistance available for for PSA Graduate Diploma students : 15/08/2013 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has gained Government approval to offer VET FEE-HELP for participants in its new Graduate Diploma of Applied Pharmacy Practice.

VET FEE-HELP is a loan program to help eligible students enrolled in higher-level vocational education and training (VET) courses at approved VET providers to pay their tuition fees.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 15/08/2013 :

AFL Round 20

Round 20 of the 2013 AFL season commenced with a Friday night blockbuster at Etihad Stadium between Hawthorn and St Kilda. Both teams fought hard however, Hawthorn got over the line with a convincing 46 point win. Saturday saw many results being recorded with the Tigers defeating the Lions by 23 points.

NRL Round 22

Round 22 of the 2013 NRL Season commenced with the Storm smashing the Rabbitohs at AAMI Park (26-8), and the Eels narrowly defeating the Wests Tigers 26-22 at Parramatta Stadium. Other games for the round saw the Roosters defeat a determined Raiders outfit (28-22), the Knights overcome the Sharks (18-1)...

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Guild: News Ltd media reports on medicine pricing just plain wrong : 15/08/2013 :

A story published in News Limited newspapers and online yesterday on medicine pricing is just plain wrong says the Pharmacy Guild, and is an outrageous slur on Australia’s 5,200 community pharmacies.

The story by reporter Sue Dunlevy (here) alleges that patients are “missing out” on government price cuts to Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme medicines because of a “secret additional charge” imposed by pharmacists.

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Community pharmacy under threat - a message from Kos Sclavos : 15/08/2013 :

Guild President Kos Sclavos has posted a YouTube video explaining why patients should sign the 'Save your pharmacy' petitions and urging pharmacists and pharmacy assistants to encourage them to do so.

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Poll: will the pharmacy price disclosure compensation campaign work? : 14/08/2013 :

As part of its campaign to to get pre-election commitments from both sides of politics to compensate pharmacy for the 2014/15 revenue it will lose as a result of the changes to PBS price disclosure policy announced in the government's recent economic statement, the Pharmacy Guild this week launched a consumer focused 'Save our pharmacy' petition. 

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Bennett advises consumers not to sign Guild petition : 14/08/2013 :

Consumer Health Forum CEO Carol Bennett says consumers should not sign the Guild 'Save my local pharmacy' petition but should instead let their local MP know they 'want cheaper drugs not richer pharmacy owners!'.

Ms Bennett's comments were included in a Twitter post in response to a question from Croakey's Melissa Sweet (see below).

There have since been a number of tweets in response including one from Tasmanian PSA President Shane Jackson who wrote: "Not quite as simple as that, thousands of jobs on the line because of these changes."

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Students worried by price disclosure changes : 13/08/2013 :

If adjustments to pharmacy remuneration are not made to offset the impact of the government’s proposed price disclosure policy changes, pharmacy students are likely to be one of the biggest losers, the National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA) believes.

NAPSA National President, Xavier Agostino, said yesterday the government’s failure to accompany the price disclosure changes with appropriate adjustments may force many pharmacies to stop hiring interns and young pharmacists.

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Webstercare and NPS Medicinewise team up on new reporting mechanism for antipsychotic use in aged care : 13/08/2013 :

NPS MedicineWise and Webstercare have collaborated for the first time on a project to assist in the review of antipsychotic medicine use in residential aged care facilities.

The new functionality in the Webstercare Medication Management Software (MMS) allows pharmacists to produce a report on the use of antipsychotic medicines in each residential aged care facility for which they supply medicines.

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Professor Ian Frazer to detail the Gardasil journey : 13/08/2013 :

The story behind the research and development of Gardasil® with all its challenges, obstacles and ultimate triumphs - is one of the most fascinating and inspiring sagas to be found in modern healthcare.

Now delegates to PAC13 will be able to hear Professor Ian Frazer present the Alan Russell Oration during which he will talk about the Gardasil Journey and the trials, tribulations, sacrifices - and ultimate successes - he experienced in his amazing quest and ultimately successful search cofounding a cervical cancer vaccine.

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Paracetamol pack size changes : 13/08/2013 :

The maximum paracetamol pack size allowed to be sold in non pharmacy retailers in Australia will drop from twenty-five to twenty units from 1 September.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration says it expects the change will result in fewer people requiring medical intervention following a paracetamol overdose. It based its decision on evidence that suggests paracetamol pack size is linked to the amount of paracetamol consumed in an overdose. In Australia, the median dose taken in an overdose is 12 g (one packet), while the mean ingestion was 12.5 g.

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Coalition coming to the party on price disclosure compensation? : 12/08/2013 :

The federal opposition has hinted that it might be prepared to compensate pharmacies for the revenue they will lose as a result of the recently announced price disclosure policy changes, according to a story in Saturday's Financial Review.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Degarelix for locally advanced or metastatic prostate cancer : 12/08/2013 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Degarelix for locally advanced or metastatic prostate cancer.

"Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer related deaths in men in Australia. Treatment is stage dependent. In clinically localised disease (Stage I or II), options may include surgery (prostatectomy), radiation therapy or watchful waiting. Extra-prostatic invasion (Stage III or IV) will often require androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) with or without radiation therapy.  ADT involves achieving castrate levels of testosterone, either surgically with a bilateral orchidectomy or medically via the administration of LHRH receptor agonists to achieve a serum testosterone level of < 0.02 nmol/L (0.5 ng/mL). This is often achievable in 90-100% of patients after 7-21 days of LHRH receptor agonist therapy."

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

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PPA critical of Guild's 'extraordinary' call for unity in price disclosure fight : 12/08/2013 :

Professional Pharmacists Australia President, Dr Geoff March, said on Friday it is 'extraordinary' that the Pharmacy Guild is now calling for others to join with it in the price disclosure fight when, at the same time, it 'push(es) everyone away when the deals are being negotiated'.

The union believes that fair remuneration for Australia’s non-owner pharmacists, as well as owner pharmacists, should be the focus of community pharmacy lobbying in response to the recently announced changes to price disclosure.

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MSD Australia Grant for Pharmacotherapeutics in Infectious Diseases : 12/08/2013 :

Acknowledging that infection is a major challenge for the healthcare system and is associated with significantly increased morbidity, mortality and cost, MSD Australia and the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia have provided grant funding of $20,000 to support research by pharmacists that improves usage, prescription and/or dosage of pharmacotherapies in hepatitis, HIV, fungal infections and bacterial infections.

Evidence-based treatment has been shown to reduce the burden of these disease states, although there are many clinically relevant questions where data is not available to guide optimal therapy. Research in the areas of critical care and/or immunocompromised patients or relevance to antimicrobial stewardship are of particular interest.

Details and an application form are available here.

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Guild launches price disclosure petition direct to patients : 12/08/2013 :

In a move designed to obtain commitments from both sides of politics to increase pharmacy remuneration in 2014-15 to offset the recently announced changes to price disclosure policy, the Pharmacy Guild has launched a grass roots campaign to enlist consumer support.

Two days before the September 7 federal election was called, the Federal Government announced changes to PBS price disclosure that the Guild forecasts will cut $90,000 from the average pharmacy’s bottom line in 2014/15. The Guild believes this will threaten the viability of many of its members and will also result in the loss of many pharmacy jobs.

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Coal Tar Solution still in use : 09/08/2013 :

This week's poll asked 'listers how long it had been since they'd used Coal Tar Solution (LPC) in their work as a pharmacist. The poll was a follow on from an AusPharmList post from Eddie Karp implying that LPC's day may well have come and gone.

Somewhat surprisingly (at least to AusPharm who, admittedly no longer works in a dispensing pharmacy) more than half of all respodents told us they had used LPC in the last month, with a quarter having used in in the last week.

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ASMI conference lineup strong : 09/08/2013 :

Virginia Trioli, one of Australia’s best-known journalists, will be the master of ceremonies at the 2013 Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) Conference, to be held in Sydney on 14 November 2013.

Key industry figures, analysts and commentators from Australia and abroad will join delegates from the consumer healthcare industry for a discussion on the role of self care in a consumer-centred healthcare future.

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Pharmacy Cricket scholarships : 08/08/2013 :

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Guild economist paints a bleak picture : 08/08/2013 :

Price disclosure is set to take $90,000 off the bottom line of the average community pharmacy in 2014-15, according to Stephen Armstrong, the Pharmacy Guild's National Director of Health Economics.

Writing in a special edition of the Guild's Forefront publication yesterday Mr Armstrong said the Guild’s analysis of the impact of measures contained in last Friday's mini economic statement shows they will add $150 million in lost revenue in 2014-15, or another $30,000 per pharmacy.

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