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AusPharm news

CHC defends fish oil : 14/07/2013 :

The Complementary Healthcare Council of Australia (CHC) is disputing the findings of recent US research, reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, linking Omega-3 and prostate cancer. The study was the subject of widespread mainstream media coverage ove the weekend (eg here and here).

CHC says that, because the study was not specifically designed to look at the exact relationship between omega-3 fatty acid intake and prostate cancer, no firm conclusions can be drawn from this study.

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Australia helps out in Operation Pangea : 14/07/2013 :

Last month the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS), the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) once again took part in the annual week-long international crackdown on fake and illegal medicines purchased over the Internet called Operation Pangea.

Operation Pangea is a worldwide operation which aims to disrupt the organised crime networks behind the online trade of fake and illicit medicines. Coordinated by the World Customs Organization and Interpol, Operation Pangea VI brought together customs, health regulators, national police and private sector agencies from over 100 countries.

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TGA compounding consultation deadline extended : 12/07/2013 :

The Therapeutic Goods administration is currently conducting a consultation on options for reform of the regulatory framework for pharmacy compounding.

The deadline for the submission of comments has been extended from 17 July to 29 July, 2013. Our previous story (6/6/13) on the consultation is here.

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New institute awards inaugural pharmacy fellowship : 12/07/2013 :

Ms Kristen Anderson has been named the CHARMING Institute’s Advanced Primary Care Pharmacist (APCP) Fellow (2013 – 1015).

The fellowship, funded to an amount in excess of $100,000, provides the opportunity for a registered pharmacist to undertake advanced research and clinical training in the field of primary care. The APCP Fellowship is indoctrinated with the CHARMING Institutes philosophy of co-ordinated, patient centred, integrated, multidisciplinary health care.

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NAPSA and SHPA forging stronger links : 11/07/2013 :

The National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA) and the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) have announced plans to formalise and strengthen collaboration between the two organisations.

SHPA President Sue Kirsa said “SHPA is excited at the prospect of formalising and strengthening the ties between NAPSA and SHPA - we think it’s important that the student organisation and the organisation representing pharmacists in the hospital and related sectors work together. SHPA has much to offer pharmacy students, even those not contemplating a career in the hospital sector, and is also keen to get feedback from the student body about what SHPA can do for them.”

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Learning can be fun! : 11/07/2013 :

In the midst of an excellent line-up of speakers illuminating serious professional topics and offering their views on pharmacy issues of the day, the Australian College of Pharmacy national conference in Brisbane on the weekend reminded delegates that learning can be fun.

In a twist to the usual conference panel session debate, the College conference staged a pharmacy-oriented trivial pursuit with a state-of-origin twist, demonstrating that mixing quality education with light entertainment works well and offers a useful break in the rhythm of serious speakers and topics.

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Poll voting manipulated but the question was a bit of a rhetorical one anyway.... : 11/07/2013 :

This week's AusPharm poll asked 'listers whether they thought employer pharmacist union, the Pharmacy Guild, and employee pharmacist union, Professional Pharmacists Australia, should 'sit down together (as soon as possible) and start discussions to improve minimum award rates of pay and conditions for employee pharmacists?'

Voting 'anomalies' became apparent as the morning progressed yesterday and we finally pulled the poll down at about 11.30AM. Clearly, the word had been put about that people should vote for the 'Yes (I am an employee)' option. As for who might want to do that, in order to manipulate the poll outcome, who are we to say?

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2013 IMS Health - College Young Pharmacist Innovation Grant winner announced : 11/07/2013 :

The winner of the 2013 IMS Health-College Young Pharmacist Innovation Grant is Lisa Kouladjian of Sydney. The $5,000 grant was presented at the Australian College of Pharmacy's 24th Annual Conference and Exhibition, held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre last weekend.

First awarded in 2008, the grant allows younger pharmacists to be introduced to the 'world of organisational pharmacy' and has supported innovative young pharmacists to attend the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Congress, this year being held in Dublin.

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Poll: Should the Guild, PPA work together to lift award rates and conditions? : 10/07/2013 :

In his monthly AusPharm feature yesterday PSA National President, Grant Kardachi, wrote "The question of salary scales for pharmacists is one which has long vexed the profession, and one which we have to address to ensure we maintain the standards of excellence which are a feature of pharmacy in this country. The issue is that in the main, pharmacists are not paid adequate remuneration that recognises their years of study, their skills and their responsibility."

If this situation is to change, at least with respect to community pharmacists who make up the bulk of the pharmacist workforce, the two organisations most likely to bring change about are the Pharmacy Guild, representing employers, and employee pharmacist union Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA).

Should these two groups sit down together (as soon as possible) and start discussions to improve minimum award rates of pay and conditions for employee pharmacists? What do you think? Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm online poll.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 10/07/2013 :

AFL Round 15

Round 15 of the 2013 AFL season commenced with a Friday night blockbuster at the MCG between Carlton and Collingwood. Both teams fought hard, however, the Pies took the win by a convincing 41 points.

NRL Round 17

Round 17 of the 2013 NRL Season commenced with the Storm smashing the Broncos at AAMI Park 32-0, and the Sharks defeating the Wests Tigers 36-22. Other games for the round saw the Roosters overpower a scoreless Dragons outfit (36-0), the Panthers outclassing the Titans by 22 points at TIO Stadium (40-18), and the Raiders overcoming the Cowboys 26-18.

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Third-dose role in HPV vaccination? : 10/07/2013 :

Involving pharmacists to boost the number of people who take the third HPV vaccination dose and complete the course would be a welcome initiative according to Dr Julia Brotherton, Medical Director of Australia’s National HPV Vaccination Program Register.

Dr Brotherton, who addressed the recent Australian College of Pharmacy conference in Brisbane on the topic ‘Is cervical cancer a disease of the past?’, told delegates that the National HPV Vaccination Campaign was meeting its goals and resulting in a fall in the prevalence of cervical HPV in young women aged 18-24 and a decline in reports of genital warts.

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CRP: Nurofen 'targeting' claims misleading : 10/07/2013 :

The Complaints Resolution Panel (the Panel), the body that assesses complaints lodged about advertisements for OTC and complementary medicines, has ruled that claims made in advertisements for a number of Nurofen products which suggest the products 'target' a particular area of the body are misleading and likely to arouse in consumers unwarranted expectations about the products.

The ruling is in response to two complaints lodged about the products in 2012 - one anonymously, the other by Dr Ken Harvey - and, in essence, rejects the suggestion in the advertisements that the Nurofen products act on or 'target' specific parts of the body.

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New NAPSA executive announced : 09/07/2013 :

RMIT University pharmacy student Xavier Agostino is the new National President of peak Australian pharmacy student association the National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA).

Xavier will be leading an Executive Committee of Vice President Adam Livori (Latrobe University), Secretary Elleicia Box (University of Queensland) and Treasurer Matthew Tom (Charles Sturt University).

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Cyclists raise over $25,000 for charity : 09/07/2013 :

Victorian pharmacist Peter Haywood was one of a group of 14 cyclists who recently completed a mammoth fundraising ride which saw each of them cycle over 2,100 kilometers over 19 days from Maryborough in Victoria to Maryborough in Queensland.

The adventurous troop - all over the age of 45 with half over 60 - raised over $25,000 to support Alzheimer’s Australia Vic.

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Community pharmacy market still robust despite tougher trading conditions : 09/07/2013 :

While the market for community pharmacies might be ‘tougher in the future than in the past and management will be crucial going forward’, community pharmacy is still a very good business to invest in, according to pharmacy business expert Frank Sirianni.

Mr Sirianni, who spoke at the Australian College of Pharmacy national conference in Brisbane on the weekend, told delegates that community pharmacies were relatively thinly traded at the moment, with about 200 sales per annum compared to an historical figure of about 500.

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PSA, Guild join calls for education expenses tax cap to be scrapped : 09/07/2013 :

Both the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) and the Pharmacy Guild have joined with a wide range of professional and industry peak bodies to urgently seek an end to Government plans to impose a $2,000 cap on education expenses. Both organisations were present at a meeting held in Canberra yesterday of fifteen peak bodies opposed to the measure.

The $2000 cap was announced in the Federal Budget and covers all costs associated with education expenses including all travel, accommodation, conference and tuition fees.

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Nick Logan: Identifying the enemy within : 08/07/2013 :

The enemy within pharmacy has been characterised by greed, apathy, fear, recklessness and dependence on government by award-winning pharmacist and pharmacy owner, Nick Logan, at the Australian College of Pharmacy conference in Brisbane over the weekend.

Mr Logan, whose small Pharmacists’ Advice Artarmon pharmacy has been recognised for its commercial success in delivering patient-centred care and health solutions, told delegates he conducted his own pharmacy survey, from students and salaried pharmacists to owners and pharmacy peak bodies, when he was invited to talk on the topic. Their responses led him to categorise their complaints and concerns into these five characteristics.

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PSA: pharmacists can do more on chronic disease : 08/07/2013 :

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) President, Grant Kardachi, says pharmacists have the potential to play a much greater role in the management of chronic disease.

Speaking after PSA's launch on Friday of Australians stay healthier: PSA's call to action on chronic disease Mr Kardachi said that, in the leadup to this year's federal election, all politicians, candidates and health stakeholders should read the document.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: High risk medications in hospitals : 08/07/2013 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is High risk medications in hospitals.

"Managing the risk associated with the use of medications is an important way to reduce the possibility of iatrogenic harm, irrespective of the context for medication use. In the community-based setting, various partnership approaches can be used - a good example is the implementation of Home Medicines Reviews (HMRs), a collaborative approach involving the patient, their doctor, and a pharmacist. HMRs have been proven to deliver benefits that include decreased risk of major adverse drug events and aversion of hospital admission. Mitigating the risks associated with medications in the hospital setting is a major task requiring concerted effort by hospital administration,"

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

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Jane Caro: Connecting your business with your customers : 08/07/2013 :

‘Forget about segmentation and demographics,’ says author, lecturer, TV personality communications consultant and award-winning advertising writer Jane Caro when explaining her views on marketing to delegates at the Australian College of Pharmacy Conference in Brisbane on the weekend.

Ms Caro said she asks her marketing clients three questions: Who are you talking to? What do you want to say to them about you? What do they want to hear?

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