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AusPharm news

Final decision due on removing dextropropoxyphene from ARTG : 14/03/2013 :

A final decision is expected soon on whether all brands of dextropoxyphene will be removed from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.

In December 2011, the TGA issued a web statement publicising the decision to cancel all pain-killers containing dextropropoxyphene - Capadex, Di-Gesic, Doloxene and Paradex - from the ARTG, effective 1 March 2012.

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Interpol / pharma align to fight counterfeiters : 14/03/2013 :

Interpol and the global medicines industry have formed and alliance to combat the trade in counterfeit medicines.

The alliance between Interpol and 29 pharmaceutical companies to create a Pharmaceutical Crime Program will focus on preventing counterfeiting of medicines, dismantling organised crime networks and raising public awareness.

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PSA: HMRs underfunded. Separate negotiating process needed for professional programs : 13/03/2013 :

Responding to what is says are false accusations of blame from the Pharmacy Guild, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) said yesterday that the current overspend in the HMR budget is the result of a failure to have the program adequately funded in the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement (CPA5).

In a newsletter issued late yesterday, PSA President Grant Kardachi reminded PSA members that the Guild agreed to a $1 billion funding cut over five years for CPA5 and that it had done so with no input from the profession generally. This is now having a negative impact on the whole of the pharmacy profession, and community pharmacists in particular, says Mr Kardachi.

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Super gonorrhea spreads to parliment house : 13/03/2013 :

NPS MedicineWise launched its policy priorities in Canberra last night, spreading 'super gonorrhea' toys around Parliament House to highlight the importance of fighting antibiotic resistance.

Speaking at the launch, CEO of NPS MedicineWise, Dr Lynn Weekes, said “Globally, antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to human health.” 

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Poll: the future of pharmacy : 13/03/2013 :

AusPharm regularly runs polls asking 'listers how they view 'the future of pharmacy'.

There's no mistaking that pharmacy has had a torrid last couple of months, in the media, in the rarified atmosphere of pharmacy organisational leadership and, most recently, we've seen funding priority differences emerge amongst different sectors of the workforce. AusPharm's phone and email has been running hot with people wanting to pitch their side of the story.

How do you view pharmacy's future right now? Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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Guild: HMR funding overrun must be dealt with this financial year : 12/03/2013 :

Following AusPharm's publication yesterday of news that significant professional service fee cuts were being considered to address HMR budget overruns the Pharmacy Guild says it has received hundreds of emails from members objecting to the proposed cuts to in-pharmacy programs such as Medschecks and Diabetes Medschecks.

The Guild says it is 'grossly unfair' that community pharmacies now face having remuneration cuts because "the Guild's repeated calls to bring the HMR program under control have gone unheeded for so long".

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Aspirin and macular degeneration : 12/03/2013 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Aspirin and macular degeneration.

"Recent reports in the media have publicised the purported link between aspirin use and neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The reports are based on a recently published analysis from a prospective cohort study examining the prevalence, incidence and risk factors for eye disease, based in the Blue Mountains of Australia (Blue Mountains Eye Study). Similar studies from Europe (European Eye Study) and the United States of American (Beaver Dam Eye Study), have also reported similar associations recently."

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

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2013 seasonal influenza vaccines : 11/03/2013 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has confirmed which influenza vaccine brands have been approved for the 2013 Australian influenza season.

Four brands have been approved for use in children from the age of 6 months - Agrippal (Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics), Fluarix (GlaxoSmithKline), Influvac (Abbott) and Vaxigrip (Sanofi-Pasteur). Influvac and Vaxigrip also have a paediatric ('junior') presentation registered for use in children aged 6 to 35 months.

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Professional service fee reductions put on hold... for now : 11/03/2013 :

In the wake of changes to the Home Medicines Review program announced by Health Minister Tanya Plibersek on Friday information has surfaced that significant fee reductions for the HMR and other professional programs have been proposed to address the HMR funding shortfall.

A source told AusPharm that fee reductions have been proposed that would see:

  • the HMR fee go from $200.92 to $140 (-30%)
  • the RMMR fee go from $101.60 to $81.28 (-20%)

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PSA: follow CI guidelines to ensure program sustainability : 11/03/2013 :

The need for pharmacists to be sure of the status of services they are delivering is important to ensure that funding for services is both used appropriately and is sustainable, the Acting President of the PSA, Joe Demarte, said.

Mr Demarte's comments follow AusPharm's highlighting of the issue on Friday.
 
“Clinical Interventions, like other services delivered under the PPI Program, are a pivotal part of using community pharmacies to improve health outcomes for the community,” Mr Demarte said.

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Rural locum scheme now open to pharmacists : 11/03/2013 :

The Nursing and Allied Health Rural Locum Scheme (NAHRLS) has recently approved the inclusion of pharmacists in its programme on a trial basis.

There are ten pharmacist placements available for the remainder of this financial year, ending 30 June. 

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AHPRA consultation – data access and research policy : 08/03/2013 :

AHPRA is seeking comment its National Registration and Accreditation Scheme – Data access and research policy. The policy aims to establish a consistent approach to requests for data access and research participation across the National Registration Scheme.

The consultation is in response to an increasing number of data access and research requests to AHPRA and National Boards for access to information, some of which is not publicly available.

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Petone (NZ) Pharmacy School 50 year reunion : 08/03/2013 :

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Rugby tops the poll : 08/03/2013 :

With the start of the season imminent for the Australian winter's two traditional footy codes, aussie rules and rugby league this week's AusPharm poll sought to determine which of all footy codes is the most popular among 'listers.

Somewhat surprisingly, at lease to us the answer is  ....  rugby union, with 29% of the total vote, although we suspect there must be a strong regional flavour to people's preference.

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We'll be here Monday : 08/03/2013 :

While Monday is a public holiday in some states, in some others it's not.

AusPharm will be publishing as usual on Monday.

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Debate sparked over potential harms of comp meds in cancer treatment : 07/03/2013 :

Cancer Council Australia has this week published a new position statement on complementary and alternative therapies which calls on the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) to take a more active role in warning consumers about false claims made in relation to the benefits of complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs).

While supporting the rights of patients to use CAMs, the position statement recommends cancer patients inform themselves about the efficacy, risks, contraindications and the costs associated with the use of CAMs and discuss these with their treating clinicians.

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New national health program kicks off in Shepparton : 07/03/2013 :

NPS MedicineWise has launched a new program called MedicineInsight which aims to facilitate better medicines use and help to achieve better health outcomes across Australia.

The program collects data from a medical practice’s computers and then links it to patient conditions, diagnoses and treatments over time.

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AusPharm CPD: RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin No 56 : 07/03/2013 :

The next in our 2013 series of continuing education activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 56

This CE activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins (Volumes 48-2 - 48-5  --> December 2012- january 2013).

After completing this activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Describe the place of atypical antipsychotic drugs in the management of obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Understand the pharmacological treatment options available for the management of urolithiasis
  • Discuss issues regarding the use of medications during periods of extreme hot weather
  • Describe recent evidence regarding the adverse metabolic impact of antipsychotic drugs.

This activity has been accredited for 1 group 2 CPD credits suitable for inclusion in an individual pharmacist’s CPD plan. Accreditation number: A1303AP0.

Click here to do this Continuing Education activity. Or, if you prefer, you might like to take a look at our other CE activities here .

AusPharm gratefully acknowledges the financial support provided by MIMS.

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CI claim rate: Big Brother is watching : 07/03/2013 :

The Pharmacy Guild and the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) have jointly written to all pharmacies participating in the CPA5 Professional Practice Incentive (PPI) Program, reminding them of what Clinical Interventions (CIs) can and can't be claimed.

The letter highlights activities that are not claimable CIs, for example generic substitutions, CMI provision and last repeat reminders, all examples that have been highlighted in discussions on AusPharmList in recent times.

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MIMS NSW intern of the year goes to Gunnedah intern : 07/03/2013 :

Olivia Cocks of Karen Carter Chemist in Gunnedah has been named the winner of the MIMS Australia 2012 NSW Intern of the Year Award.

Ms Cocks received her award from Ms Dinah Graham, MIMS Australia Business Development Manager, and PSA NSW Branch President John Bronger.

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