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AusPharm news

Another honour for Rhonda White : 03/11/2015 :

Prominent Queensland pharmacy figure Rhonda White AO has been announced as the winner of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s (PSA) most prestigious pharmacy award in Queensland, the Bowl of Hygeia.

The award recognises exceptional service to the profession. It is awarded to acknowledge a consistently high standard of professional practice in support of the principles of pharmacy service to the community. It can be awarded for excellence and innovation in practice development, services development, advocacy or education.

The PSA Queensland Branch President, Bruce Elliot, presented the award at the PSA Queensland President’s Dinner and Awards Night on Friday evening (30 October) at The Moreton Club in Brisbane.

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PBS OTC items recommended for 1 January de-listing : 03/11/2015 :

The full list of PBS items to be delisted from the PBS because they are available without a prescription at low cost was released yesterday.

On the list are antacids such as Mylanta P and Gastrogel, 100mg aspirin tablets, some laxatives and both 500mg and 665mg paracetamol tablets.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Treatment options for relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma : 02/11/2015 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Treatment options for relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma.

"Multiple myeloma (MM) is the second most common haematological malignancy, and of those patients who survive initial treatment relapse the need for further therapy is inevitable. Treatment options for patients who have relapsed or have refractory disease include haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT), a rechallenge with the previous chemotherapy regime or a trial of a new regime. Factors that determine choice of therapy include risk stratification for myeloma (i.e. high, or standard risk disease), prior treatments used and the duration of response to these treatments. Other factors to consider include side effect profiles of medicines and patient co-morbidities. Haematopoietic cell transplant will not be discussed further here."

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

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Board comments (sort of) on Canberra CW dispensing error case : 02/11/2015 :

The Pharmacy Board has responded to a request from AusPharm to comment on the case of a Canberra Chemist Warehouse employee pharmacist reprimanded by the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal after dispensing Lanoxin 250mcg instead of the prescribed Lasix 250mg bd.

The case has generated widespread comment on social media with much of the comment focusing on whether the pharmacy's high workload contributed to the error and, if so, whether the phamacy's owners should share the blame. Some comment has suggested the Pharmacy Board needs to do more to address workload issues in pharmacies.

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NSW pharmacist deregistered for drug offences : 02/11/2015 :

NSW pharmacist Nicholas Orr has been deregistered as a pharmacist after misappropriating large quantities of Schedule 8 opioids from the Newcastle pharmacy in which he was working.

He did this by falsifying drug register records relating to both deliveries of Schedule  drugs received from suppliers and prescription records.

The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal found Mr Orr suffered from a very serious and long standing drug addiction, primarily to opiates.

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EBOS acquires healthcare communications business : 02/11/2015 :

Symbion parent company EBOS has bought healthcare communications business ZEST, a company with extensive experience in medical education, digital solutions, patient services, strategic consultancy, health service development, research and evaluation.

EBOS Group Chief Executive Officer Patrick Davies said the acquisition would add valuable new specialised healthcare resources to complement the range of existing distribution and market access services in the Group.

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ASMI Conference less than two weeks away : 30/10/2015 :

Registration for the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) Conference is closing soon.

The conference, to be held on 11 November 2015 at Sydney's Waterview Convention Centre is to be hosted by media personality and political activist Julie McCrossin.

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Blackmores infant formula to lead China expansion : 30/10/2015 :

In partnership with Bega Cheese Ltd, vitamin manufacturer Blackmores has announced plans to produce infant formula for the Chinese market.

The company yesterday reported strong growth for the first quarter of financial year 2015/16, propelling it into the ASX 200 - the list of Australia's top 200 companies by market capitalisation.

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A bit on the side : 30/10/2015 :

Only 35% of the respondents to this week's AusPharm poll work in just their regular job with the rest indulging in some form of extra-curricular employment.

One in 5 pharmacists (19%) run a small business as well as working their regular job and 15% work a second part time job.

A similar number (16%) work a number of part time jobs and 14% do something else - perhaps volunteering, as suggested by Kay Dunkley.

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Advance your pharmacy career with UQ's Clinical Pharmacy program : 29/10/2015 :

If you are looking to gain new skills, improve how you practice and advance your career as a pharmacist The University of Queensland has a range of postgraduate courses to suit your needs.

Offered completely online, UQ’s Clinical Pharmacy programs are designed to meet the demands of working pharmacists in hospitals and other healthcare settings.

The programs enable pharmacists to practice at a higher level and improve the quality of care provided to patients by developing their knowledge in clinical pharmacy practice and skills in management and research. 

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PBS CTG reforms will help close the gap : 29/10/2015 :

A range of practical changes to the PBS will boost the numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders accessing appropriate medicines and help close the health gap between Aboriginal and other Australians says the Pharmacy Guild and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO).

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Guild biosimilar policy endorses pharmacy level substitution : 29/10/2015 :

Substitution of biosimilar medicines at the community pharmacy level has been endorsed by the Guild in a new policy position statement released yesterday.

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New CEO for SHPA : 28/10/2015 :

Kristin Michaels has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA).

For the past 10 years Ms Michaels has been CEO of the Eastern Melbourne Medicare Local and the Eastern Ranges GP Association. In addition to her leadership roles she has chaired a range of health-based committees and consortia, and is currently Chair of the Board of the Yea and District Memorial Hospital.

Ms Michaels is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, an Accredited International Partnership Broker and an alumnus of the Harvard Business School.

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Poll: a job on the side? : 28/10/2015 :

In his feature for AusPharm on Tuesday Justin Lee wrote about young pharmacists he knows who, apart from their day job, are 'dabbling in a different business opportunity on the side'.

He cited examples of young pharmacists involved in property development, catering and food export to China.

With employee pharmacist wages as low as they've ever been, are you 'dabbling in a different business opportunity on the side', working a second job as well as your 'day' job or just happily ensconced in one regular job.

Please let us know what you're doing by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll.

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Applications for 2016 rural pharmacy scholarships now open : 27/10/2015 :

Students from rural and remote locations who are studying pharmacy or are intending to study pharmacy can now apply for a 2016 Rural Pharmacy Scholarship.

Applications for the scholarships, worth up to $40,000, opened yesterday (Monday, 26 October) and close on 31 January 2016.

The Rural Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme provides financial support to encourage and enable students from rural and remote communities to undertake undergraduate or graduate studies in pharmacy. Up to 30 fulltime scholarships are available annually valued at $10,000 per annum over a four year period ($40,000 per student over a four-year period).

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More children's meds recalled due to faulty packs : 27/10/2015 :

More brands of children's paracetamol and ibuprofen medicines have been recalled by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) because they have been supplied in bottles where grooves that secure the lids can break off during opening.

If this happens, there is a small risk that pieces of plastic could be ingested, posing a potential choking hazard.

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Guild: Pharmacy Trial Program is about service delivery through community pharmacy and doesn't need to reinvent the wheel : 27/10/2015 :

A Pharmacy Trial Program stakeholder consultation forum held in Canberra yesterday was told by Pharmacy Guild representatives that the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement is clear in its intent that the Pharmacy Trial Program is about trialling new or expanded community pharmacy programs or services delivered through community pharmacy.

It also put its view that, rather than fund additional new research, the priority for the Program should be to implement and evaluate evidence-based patient services that have already been trialled in community pharmacy either in Australia or internationally.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Cannabinoids and their medicinal uses : 26/10/2015 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Cannabinoids and their medicinal uses.

" The cannabis plant was first cultivated and used in Europe and Asia around 5000 years ago, and has been used for medicinal purposes from as early as 2737 B.C. The glandular hairs of the Cannabis Sativa plant contain over 60 types of phytocannabinoids, most of which are believed to act to some extent on human cannabinoid receptors. The cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) is expressed in abundance in the central nervous system and plays a role in modulating motor activity, sensory processing, thought, memory, sleep and appetite, while receptor type 2 receptors (CB2) are generally present on immune cells and tissues and may be related to modulating inflammatory and immune responses."

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

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API profit up, driven by Priceline growth : 23/10/2015 :

Australian Pharmaceutical Industries yesterday reported its annual net profit after tax for the year ending 31 August 2015 was $43.1 million, up 37.6% on the previous year.

It's Priceline and Priceline Pharmacy stores recorded sales of $1.05 billion, up 10.4% on the previous year with like for like store sales growth of 4.5%. During the year the Priceline and Priceline Pharmacy network grew by 30 stores to 420.

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Study: phenylephrine ineffective in relieving nasal congestion : 23/10/2015 :

A new study published in the current issue of the Journal Of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has concluded that phenylephrine, at doses of up to 40 mg every 4 hours, 'is not significantly better than placebo at relieving nasal congestion in adults with seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR).

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