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AusPharm news

New Accreditation Standards for Pharmacy Degree Programs released : 15/04/2013 :

The Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) has now publicly released the revised Accreditation Standards for Pharmacy Degree programs, which will be implemented from 1 January 2014.

The revised standards build on previous accreditation standards and include a comparison against international standards. The Pharmacy Board approved the revised standards in March, but the Standards themselves were only released last week.

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Critics attack Swisse over renamed 'weight loss' product : 15/04/2013 :

The Swisse vitamin company has come under attack over its move to replace ARTG delisted product Swisse Ultiboost Appetite Suppressant with Swisse Ultiboost Hunger Control and over its use of celebrity endorsements.

In an opinion piece published in online journal The Conversation on Friday Michael Vagg, Clinical Senior Lecturer at Deakin University School of Medicine, takes a swipe at the company after it "evaded an attempt by TGA to ban its appetite suppressant product by registering a new product with the exact same ingredient," adding that "This Indian cactus extract has no scientific validity as an appetite suppressant".

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Pharmacists put on notice over dextropropoxyphene : 15/04/2013 :

As reported on AusPharm last week, Aspen's dextropropoxyphene containing products, Di-Gesic and Doloxene, are to remain on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG), subject to the implementation of conditions to promote their safe use.

The TGA reported on Friday that negotiations on the conditions and monitoring arrangements will be held between Aspen and the TGA and that a process will be put in place to ensure that any conditions imposed to mitigate the safety risks can be effectively monitored.

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CPExpo 2013 conference app now available : 13/04/2013 :

The NSW Branch of PSA has developed an app to support its upcoming CPExpo 2013. The app is iOS, Blackberry and Android compatible and is available for download now at www.psa.org.au/cpexpo. It allows simple, portable electronic access to the complete conference handbook.
 
CPExpo is to be held in Sydney from 31May-2 June. Delegates who register for CPExpo before Friday 17 May have the chance to win a 2-day package to PharmacyLIVE 2013.

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Fair Work Ombudsman audit : 12/04/2013 :

By now many pharmacies will have received notification from the Fair Work Ombudsman that they've been selected for an assessment as part of the National Pharmacy Campaign.

If you've been wondering what's involved, read on.

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Overwhelming support for pharmacist award wage reform : 12/04/2013 :

96% of the 461 respondents to this week's AusPharm poll believe it is time for employee pharmacist union, Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA), the Pharmacy Guild and other stakeholders to work collaboratively to try to get the minimum employee pharmacist wage raised to at least $30/hr.

Of interest is that the result was exactly the same for both pharmacy owners (n=118) and non owners (n=343).

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PSA and RACGP renew MoU : 12/04/2013 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) yesterday signed a second Memorandum of Understanding to further strengthen collaborative efforts between the two organisations.

The newly agreed framework focuses on the commitment and cooperation of both organisations to look at ways of working together in order to improve patient health outcomes within the context of health services delivered in a primary healthcare setting.

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ACT after hours program well supported : 12/04/2013 :

The launch of the After hours Health Care in the ACT program for pharmacists and their staff has been very positively received, with immediate high uptake of the educational workshop which is an integral part of the program.

The initiative, developed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) ACT Branch, in conjunction with ACT Medicare Local (ACTML), consists of two components; a one-day workshop and a special edition Self Care health campaign for all ACT pharmacies.

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Another 'weight loss product' bites the dust : 11/04/2013 :

The Therapeutic Goods Adminstration (TGA) announced yesterday that it has removed the product 'Swisse Ultiboost Appetite Suppressant' from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG).

The reasons cited are that 'there was insufficient evidence to support the indications for the product and the presentation of the product was unacceptable.'

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Guild v PSA in NSW : 10/04/2013 :

Monday's AusPharmList carried a post from NSW pharmacist Roy Stevenson which called on NSW Guild president Si Banks and NSW PSA president John Bronger to 'kiss and make up'.

His comment followed a Si Banks editorial published in the Guild's NSW newsletter critical of PSA and a response from John Bronger in an email to PSA NSW members.

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Poll: time for a new pharmacy award wage? : 10/04/2013 :

Much has been written in recent years on AusPharmList and elsewhere about declining pharmacist wages. Some pharmacists are said to be working for $23-25/hr, which is the minimum specified by the Pharmacy Industry Award.

Despite the icy relationship that exists between the Pharmacy Guild and employee pharmacist union, the recently rebadged Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA), it has been suggested to AusPharm that it would be in the best interests of the profession as a whole for the two groups to work together (with other stakeholders) to try to have the minimum award wage set at a level that better reflects the tertiary qualifications pharmacists possess and the responsibilities they carry, perhaps to $30/hr.

What do you think? Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 10/04/2013 :

AFL - Round 2

Round 2 of the 2013 AFL season commenced with a Friday night blockbuster featuring the Tigers and the Saints fighting hard for the win; the Tigers held on to defeat the Saints by 17 points. Other highlights of the round included the Swans showing the young guns the Suns how it is done, to win by a convincing 41 point margin; and the Dockers defeating a determined Doggies outfit by 28 points.

NRL - Round 5

Round 5 of the 2013 NRL Season commenced with the Sea Eagles victorious 20-6 over the Bulldogs. Other results of the round included the Broncos defeating the Titans at Skilled Park 32-12; the Eels outplaying the Sharks 13-6; and the Cowboys defeating a scoreless Panthers outfit 30-0. A notable game for the round was the Rabbitohs VS the NZ Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium. The Warriors gave it their all, however, went down 24-22. The last games of the round saw the Dragons defeating the Knights in a close encounter 19-16 and the Raiders going up against the Roosters at Canberra Stadium. Both teams fought, however, it was the Raiders that clenched on to the game to win 24-22.

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Di-Gesic and Doloxene to remain on the market : 10/04/2013 :

In a finding handed down by the the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) on Friday but not yet published on its website, the Tribunal decided that both of Aspen's dextropropoxyphene containing products, Di-Gesic and Doloxene, should remain on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG), subject to the implementation of conditions to promote their safe use.

The AAT’s decision was made after considering the evidence of scientific and medical experts put forward by both the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and Aspen over the course of a week during 2012, and a further hearing in February 2013. The TGA had originally proposed in December 2011 to remove all dextropropoxyphene containing products from the ARTG.

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Organ Donation rates on the increase : 09/04/2013 :

Australia’s official organ donor rates increased to record levels in the first quarter of 2013.

Figures from the Australia and New Zealand Organ Donation Registry show consistent record growth in organ donation and transplantation month on month this year.

“In the first quarter of 2013, the national outcome of 119 donors is a 55% increase on donors for the same period for 2012. This means 70 more people have benefited from a transplant in just the first three months of this year, compared to the same time last year,” said Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing Shayne Neumann.

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Australian Pharmacy Council seeking Council, Committee members : 09/04/2013 :

The Australian Pharmacy Council Ltd (APC) is calling for applications and nominations for membership of its governing Council and two operational committees; the Examining Committee and the Accreditation Committee.

APC has two Councillor (director) positions available from 1 July 2013. Appointments are for an initial three year term, and Councillors are eligible to reapply at the end of that term. The Examining Committee has two new positions available. One is for an early career pharmacist and the second is for a specialist in statistics/psychometrics or assessment. The Accreditation Committee has two positions available for academic members from the second half of 2013.

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Number of new clinical trials continues to fall : 09/04/2013 :

New figures from the Therapeutic Goods Administration show that the number of clinical trials undertaken in Australia has fallen for the fourth time in five years.

The TGA’s latest Half-Yearly Performance Report shows 602 new clinical trials were begun in Australia in 2012, down from 635 trials in 2011 – a decline of 5%.

Clinical trial numbers are down 30% from their 2007 high of 865.

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Older and wiser: promoting safe use of medicines in older people : 09/04/2013 :

NPS MedicineWise yesterday launched a new health professional educational program that looks at the complex issues that contribute to the disproportionate number of medicine-related adverse events and hospital admissions experienced by older Australians.

NPS MedicineWise clinical adviser Dr Philippa Binns says the program will provide effective strategies to assist pharmacists manage polypharmacy and prevent medicine-related problems in patients aged 75 and over.

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FINAL DAY: AusPharm April upgrade special : 08/04/2013 :

 

 

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Biological Disease Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs) : 08/04/2013 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Biological Disease Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs).

"Biologic DMARD agents include anti-tumour necrosis factor-α (anti-TNF-α) agents, which bind to and inhibit the activity of TNF-α (a cytokine involved in inflammatory & immune response) and cytokine modulators, which inhibit activity of the pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-1 and interleukin-6. Therapy may result in increased risk of serious infection (e.g. sepsis) which could be of importance in the event of surgery. All carry a risk of infusion reactions, usually in the form of pruritis, urticaria and flushing."

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

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Guild, PSA CEOs pledge to work together : 08/04/2013 :

Following a meeting this week between the Pharmacy Guild, PSA and the Department of Health and Ageing, the two pharmacy groups say they will work together on a range of key initiatives for the profession.

The Executive Director of the Pharmacy Guild, David Quilty, and Chief Executive Officer of the PSA, Liesel Wett, agreed at the meeting to build on the 'cooperative and collaborative' work being done by both groups in a range of professional and pharmacy practice areas.

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