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AusPharm news

Wash your hands : 06/05/2013 :

Yesterday's World Hand Hygiene Day should serve as a reminder to health professionals about the importance of good hand hygiene in preventing the spread of infectious diseases says NPS MedicineWise.
 
Yesterday marked the fifth annual World Hand Hygiene Day – a World Health Organization (WHO) campaign to promote simple, low cost and effective infection control and prevention in hospitals, primary care settings and the community.

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Alphapharm cans drug info service : 06/05/2013 :

As of today generics company Alphapharm will cease providing medical information about its products direct to consumers and health care professionals, including pharmacists.

The company says that PBS changes has meant it needs to identify "more efficient and even better ways to serve the needs of the pharmaceutical market".

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PSA National Intern Training Program - 2013 second intake now open : 06/05/2013 :

Enrolments for the 2013 second intake of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s (PSA) National Intern Training Program (NITP) are now open.

According to PSA, as the largest and most experienced intern training provider, it is in tune with the needs of interns and preceptors, and  provides 'unsurpassed support, flexibility and professional guidance'.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Oral iron supplementation to correct post-operative anaemia : 06/05/2013 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Oral iron supplementation to correct post-operative anaemia.

"Anaemia is very common after surgery (present in up to 90% of patients) and may be associated with significant fatigue and lethargy, as well as potential functional exacerbation of conditions such as ischaemic heart disease and congestive heart failure. The severity of post-operative anaemia is highly variable and may be dependent on the pre-operative haemoglobin level, the extent of peri-operative blood loss (this is the most common influencing factor), and the use of blood transfusions. Although oral iron supplements are frequently prescribed in the post-operative period to treat anaemia associated with surgery; there does not appear to be a clear consensus on the appropriate approach to treatment of postoperative anaemia."

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

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Alzheimer's food hits the market : 06/05/2013 :

A new Alzheimer's disease nutritional supplement, Souvenaid, will be available in Australian pharmacies from today.

According to the company marketing the product, Nutricia, the "concept behind Souvenaid is to provide a combination of certain nutrients to support synapse formation and function in patients with early Alzheimer’s disease." It says the product is "clinically proven to improve memory in early Alzheimer's Disease".

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A degree counts : 06/05/2013 :

The proportion of university graduates in full time employment three years after graduation has increased from 79% in 2009 to 92% in 2012.

However, according to the recently released 2012 Beyond Graduation Survey (BGS), which contacted individuals three years after they had completed a course of study at an Australian higher education institution in 2009, the full-time employment rate for health professional graduates remained stable at 94.4% (cf 93.3% in 2009).

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Chemotherapy funding impasse resolved .... for now : 06/05/2013 :

A one off, short term, $30 million chemotherapy funding package to cover the period 1 July to 31 December 2013 was announced by Health Minister Tanya Plibersek yesterday.

December price disclosure cuts to chemotherapy drugs, in particular to docetaxel, had placed into question the viability of chemotherapy services provided by community pharmacies through private hospitals. There was a real risk that such services would need to be restricted to public hospitals, thereby increasing the load on an already stretched system.

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Webstercare wins IT award : 06/05/2013 :

Webstercare has been recognised as 'Highly commended' in the 'Implemention of the Year Under 150 Places' category at the 1 May Information Technology in Aged Care (ITAC) Awards Annual Dinner at Melbourne's Crown Casino Complex.

The Awards are open to aged and community providers and companies that have effectively used Information and Communications Technology to improve business and/or care outcomes in the Australian Aged and Community Care environment.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 03/05/2013 :

AFL - Round 5

Round 5 of the 2013 AFL season commenced with the annual Anzac Day clash featuring the Magpies and the Bombers, in a hard game it was the Bombers who flew past the Magpies in the second half to take the win 121-75. Other highlights of the round included the Swans showcasing their talent, defeating the Saints 79-63 at Westpac Stadium.

NRL - Round 7

Round 7 of the 2013 NRL Season commenced with the Roosters and the Dragons. The Roosters fought hard and were victorious 34-10. Other results of the round included the Storm rising to the occasion defeating the NZ Warriors at AAMI Park 28-18, the Rabbitohs defeating the Sea Eagles 20-12 and the Cowboys taking the win from the Raiders 30-12.

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Push on to PBS list Zytiga : 03/05/2013 :

Janssen Australian has launched a new campaign to try to get its prostate cancer treatment Zytiga PBS listed.

In November 2012, the drug (abiraterone acetate) was recommended by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee for PBS listing. However, the Federal Government has yet to accept this recommendation, having previously indicated it may take up to six months for a decision to be made on when medicines recommended for listing are added to the PBS.

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 03/05/2013 :

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

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Automating PBS safety net records : 03/05/2013 :

Writing in the April issue of the Consumer Health Forum newsletter Health Voices, medicines use researcher Assistant Professor Anna Kemp argues that the time has come to automate PBS safety net administration.

Professor Kemp points out that, as the Commonwealth now collects information on all PBS prescriptions dispensed, collating safety net records is now technically feasible and, as pharmacists know, unless a consumer exclusively patronises a single pharmacy, keeping a safety net record can be a challenge for consumers.

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Pharmacists to punish Labor : 03/05/2013 :

Labor is heading for a route at this September's election if the results of this week's AusPharm poll are anything to go by. No surprises there really as all recent polls show this outcome, although the vote amongst 'listers was even more heavily slanted towards the Coalition than has been evident in other polls.

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PSA membership tops 18,000 : 03/05/2013 :

Membership of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia now stands at more than 18,000 for the first time in PSA’s history.

Acting National President of the PSA, Dr Claire O’Reilly, said that the ongoing strong growth of PSA membership was a reflection of the Society’s mandate to cover all areas of the pharmacy profession as well as recognition of the wide range of services it provides.

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SHPA members can now access EBSCOhost : 03/05/2013 :

SHPA members now have access to EBSCOhost a powerful online reference system which offers a variety of proprietary full text databases and popular databases from leading information providers.

The EBSCOhost package provides access to:

  • DynaMed
  • MEDLINE Complete
  • CINAHL Complete
  • Health Business Elite
  • Health Policy Reference Centre

which includes access to more than 3000 full-text journals, and so much more as part of SHPA membership.

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CHF: Hip pocket pain is hitting Australians hard : 02/05/2013 :

As part of its campaign this week highlighting high out of pocket healthcare costs in Australia, the Consumers Health Forum (CHF) has produced a video pitching its case.

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Poll: who will you vote for? : 01/05/2013 :

The federal election is now about 20 weeks away, barring unforeseen events.

While the various political parties' pharmacy related offers are not yet clear, which party is likely to get your primary vote in the House of Representatives? Please tick the relevant box in today's AusPharm online poll below.

(We'll run this poll again 10 weeks out from the election and again in the week immediately preceding the election.)

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Union calls for retention of penalty rates : 01/05/2013 :

Following media comments from opposition leader Tony Abbott yesterday that a Coalition government would look favourably at penalty rate reform employee pharmacist union Professional Pharmacists Australia has called on all political parties to support the existing penalty rate system.

News reports yesterday quoted Mr Abbott saying “I am confident that if the government were to back, for argument’s sake, applications to the Fair Work Commission for adjustments in this area it may well be successful.”

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Board (slowly) progressing new extemporaneous dispensing (compounding) guideline : 01/05/2013 :

In the face of recent media scrutiny of compounding pharmacies (Drugs in Sport, hormones) the Pharmacy Board says that its Compounding Working Party is progressing the development of a new set of guidelines to cover the activities of compounding pharmacists.

According to a communiqué issued by the Board late last week it has now finalised a practice profile for pharmacists undertaking complex compounding, complete with the mapping of competencies. It says the practice profile is equivalent to an indicative curriculum for complex compounding training courses and is intended to form the basis for the establishment of an accreditation process for complex compounding training courses.

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One in five pharmacists likely to decline to dispense RU486 : 01/05/2013 :

If the result of this week's AusPharm poll is a true reflection of pharmacists' intentions should medical abortion drug RU486 be PBS listed, one in five pharmacists will decline to supply on conscientious objection grounds.

64% of the total number voting said they would dispense the drug with 18% saying they would decline. 17% said they'd 'need to think about this a bit more'.

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