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AusPharm news

April NPS RADAR now out : 08/04/2013 :

The April issue of RADAR is now available on the NPS website.  It contains reviews of:

  • Pregabalin (Lyrica) for neuropathic pain: An alternative analgesic adjuvant for refractory neuropathic pain
  • Imiquimod cream (Aldara) for superficial basal cell carcinoma: An alternative topical treatment for low-risk lesions
  • Sitagliptin with simvastatin (Juvicor) fixed-dose combination therapy for type 2 diabetes and hypercholesterolaemia: A fixed-dose combination medicine for treating two different conditions

as well as a number of 'in brief' news items.

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Board seeks input on advertising, social media, mandatory notifications policies and on Code of Conduct : 08/04/2013 :

Along with the 13 other National Health Professional Boards, the Pharmacy Board has released a consultation paper relating to:

  • revisions to the Guidelines for advertising (common to all Boards)
  • revisions to the Guidelines for mandatory notifications (common to all Boards)
  • a social media policy (common to all Boards), and
  • revisions to the pharmacy specific Code of conduct

The consultation paper is here.

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Searching for quality CPD with a clinical focus? : 08/04/2013 :

Keen to hear a series of evidence-based presentations on a wide range of therapeutic topics to bring your knowledge up to date and earn up to 30 group two CPD credits?

Register now for pharmacy’s pre-eminent clinical pharmacy seminar, ConPharm 13 at the Hilton Hotel Adelaide from Friday 7 to Sunday 9 June 2013. Immerse yourself amongst a group of dedicated and passionate pharmacists who are really making a difference to patient’s lives with their medication reviews.

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Probiotics over-recommended? : 05/04/2013 :

This week's AusPharm poll tried to get a sense of how often 'probiotics' are recommended by pharmacy staff for patients who are prescribed antibiotics.

15% of respondents told us this happens 'frequently' in their pharmacies with a further 37% saying it happens 'sometimes'. 27% told us that prpbiotics are only recommended by pharmacists and only in scenarios where there is good evidence to support the practice. 21% of respondents never recommend probiotics to people taking antibiotics.

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Baby Boomer Boozers- Risky drinking under the spotlight : 05/04/2013 :

It has been described as an ‘invisible epidemic’, an epidemic that is often either misdiagnosed or simply not recognised by many health professionals but one which threatens to blow out into a major health issue for Australia as our population rapidly ages.

The epidemic is alcoholism and at-risk drinking among the elderly and the problem can be compounded by the fact that it is often harder to diagnose because the symptoms of alcoholism can be very similar to the effects of old age.

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 05/04/2013 :

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

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 04/04/2013 :

AFL - Round 1

Round 1 of the 2013 AFL season commenced with a Friday night blockbuster featuring the Dons and the Crows in an intense match. It was the Dons who broke away to defeat the Crows by a convincing 35 points. Other highlights of the round included the Dockers firing up to defeat their rivals, the Eagles, by 28 points and the Tigers defeating a flat Blues outfit by a slim 5 points.

NRL - Round 4

Round 4 of the 2013 NRL Season commenced with the Sea Eagles and the West Tigers, it was the Sea Eagles that were victorious defeating a scoreless West Tigers outfit. Other results of the round included the Bulldogs slipping and narrowly going down to the Rabbitohs 17-12, the Storm outplaying the Broncos 32-26 and the Dragons defeating the Sharks 25-12.

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More older people hospitalised after a fall, particularly women : 04/04/2013 :

The number of older people in Australia hospitalised after a fall continues to rise, with older women accounting for more fall cases than men, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Hospitalisations due to falls by older people, Australia 2009-10, shows that there were 83,800 hospitalised injury cases due to falls in people aged 65 and over in that year.

Women accounted for most of the hospitalised fall injury cases, making up 69% of cases. The rate of fall cases was higher for women than for men across all age groups.

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Students at APP : 04/04/2013 :

The National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA) had a stand at the recent Australian Pharmacy Professional (APP) Conference.

NAPSA surveyed conference delegates visiting the stand and says it aims to use the results of the survey to gain a better understanding of the industry’s opinion of issues affecting pharmacy students, and to compare these concerns to those identified by NAPSA members.

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New pharma stats published : 04/04/2013 :

The latest Medicines Australia Facts Book, released yesterday, shows the Australian innovator medicines industry continues to face challenges.

Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said the report highlighted the impact of a challenging and unpredictable policy environment.

“There’s no way to sugar-coat it, 2012 was a tough year for the Australian medicines industry,” Dr Shaw said.

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Poll: concurrent use of probiotics with antibiotics : 03/04/2013 :

Last week, one of AusPharm's In the news items quoted infectious diseases doctor Dr David Look's comment 'Antibiotics kill off the normal flora of the bowel that protects us', he says adding this shows we disturb our own human flora at our peril.

Subsequent discussion on AusPharmList, referring to the almost universal presence of Inner Health fridges in pharmacies, canvassed the question of whether the concurrent use of probiotics in patients taking antibiotics is useful.

What happens in your pharmacy? Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll.

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Latest Edition of Australian Prescriber published : 03/04/2013 :

The April 2013 issue of Australian Prescriber is now available online. Topics featured in this issue include:

  • Drug-induced sexual dysfunction in men and women
  • Folate for therapy
  • Metformin: myths, misunderstandings and lessons from history

It also contains the most recent Medicines Safety Update.

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Chris Alderman new editor of Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research : 02/04/2013 :

Dr Chris Alderman has been appointed the new Editor of SHPA’s journal – the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research. Chris replaces Professor Jo-anne Brien who stepped down from this role at the end of 2012 after seven years.

Chris is the Director of Pharmacy at the Repatriation General Hospital in South Australia, where he also provides clinical pharmacy services to the Psychiatric Unit, and is Associate Professor (Pharmacy Practice), School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia. Chris comes to the Journal with valuable experience in a broad range of disciplines relevant to contemporary pharmacy practice as well as extensive involvement in pharmacy and medical education.  Chris has been widely published in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and as an author of a book. He is well know to 'listers as the Editor of the weekly RGH E-Bulletins, archived on the AusPharmList website here.

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Consumer group calls for more transparency in pharmacy funding : 02/04/2013 :

Speaking on Thursday to the Senate Community Affairs Committee Inquiry into the supply of chemotherapy drugs, Consumers Health Forum (CHF) CEO Carol Bennett said that CHF want to see a much greater degree of transparency around the funding arrangements currently in place for chemotherapy services and for Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement programs.

Ms Bennett said "CHF understands that, until 1 December 2012, there were elements of the delivery of chemotherapy drugs that were cross-subsidised by the substantial differences between the price paid by Government for drugs such as docetaxel and the market price of these medications."

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Spending on Indigenous health reaches $4.6 billion : 02/04/2013 :

In 2010-11, 3.7% of Australia's total health expenditure, or $4.6 billion, was spent on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, according to a report released last week by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Expenditure on health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2010-11, shows that the $4.6 billion spent on the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in 2010-11 equates to $7,995 per Indigenous Australian. For non-Indigenous Australians, $5,437 was spent per person, representing a ratio of 1.47- that is, $1.47 was spent per Indigenous Australian for every $1.00 spent per non-Indigenous Australian. This ratio was an increase from the 2008-09 figure of 1.39.

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Ethics awards for pharma sales reps : 02/04/2013 :

Thirteen medical sales representatives from the Australian medicines industry recently received industry awards for ethical sales and marketing.

The Medicines Australia Continuing Education Program Awards are presented annually to sales representatives who achieve the best marks in their compulsory ethics education program.

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Females have double the risk of asthma death : 02/04/2013 :

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed that Australian women are most at risk of dying from asthma, with 263 females dying from the condition in 2011 - more than double the number of males. 

In total, 378 deaths were recorded affecting 263 females and 115 males. The majority of deaths occurred in those aged 45 years and over, with women outstripping men in every 10 year age bracket from 45 upwards. 

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Warfarin in the perioperative period : 02/04/2013 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Warfarin in the perioperative period.

"The decision to stop warfarin (if so, and for how long) prior to a surgical procedure is something clinicians often need to consider. The management of warfarin in the perioperative period needs to be based on a balance between the risk of bleeding associated with the surgical procedure and the potential thromboembolic complications associated with the interruption of anticoagulant therapy. Guidelines have been adapted for use in hospitals based upon the American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines 2008 (8th Ed). The guidelines firstly consider the type of procedure a warfarinized patient is undergoing."

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

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Quigley featured on Media Watch : 02/04/2013 :

'Community pharmacist, master herbalist, media health commentator, author' Gerald Quigley was featured on ABC TV's Media Watch program last night in an episode that focused on brand ambassadors.

The program drew attention to Mr Quigley's on air mentions of Bloom's products Wild Red krill oil and Bounce Energy Boost and to the Bio Revive product Nagesic, highlighting his consultancies to the companies.

According to Media Watch, 'Mr Quigley's declined to say whether he’s actually paid to spruik their wares.'

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New HMR strategy - a home away from home... : 01/04/2013 :

A new controversy is likely to flare in the Home Medicines Review (HMR) funding arena, with AusPharm becoming aware on Easter Monday of a bold new GP-pharmacist partnership, HomeClinix, with a business plan focused on generating revenue exclusively from performing Home Medicines Reviews.

HomeClinix is in the process of constructing a series of low-cost, high-density one-bedroom dwellings as venues for the conduct of Home Medicines Reviews.

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