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AusPharm news

Hospital medication safety essential : 13/02/2013 :

Highlighting anecdotal information it has received that recent significant cuts to funding to hospitals in Victoria and Queensland is impacting at ‘the bedside’ SHPA yesterday urgedg all state and territory governments to ensure that medication safety is a priority in hospitals and that hospital funding is sufficient to support and sustain the services required to ensure patient safety.

SHPA’s Federal President Sue Kirsa said that “while to date these cuts have ‘protected’ front-line staff, there is a risk that the systems that support and monitor good clinical care will be considered as ‘administrative tasks’ and therefore be cut. This would leave front-line staff unsupported and they will need to add these tasks to their workload.”

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2013 Annual Therapeutic Update – March Weekend
Chronic conditions – when optimal treatment is not a cure
: 12/02/2013 :

The NSW Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia's Annual Therapeutic Update provides the firm foundation for your work in pharmacy to achieve quality outcomes for your patients.

It is about advancing clinical knowledge and medication management to enhance professional practice. The 2013 conference will focus on ‘Chronic conditions – when optimal treatment is not a cure'.

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Health Minister rejects call for HMR funding moratorium : 11/02/2013 :

Health Minister Tanya Plibersek has rejected calls from the Pharmacy Guild for a moratorium to be imposed on Home Medicines Review funding saying that reducing preventable medication misadventure is too important.

In a post to AusPharmList today, reproduced in full as today's Post of the day, Ms Plibersek puts her case for the maintenance of HMR funding and provides some detail of year to date HMR expenditure.

In addition, Ms Plibersek confirms that the government and the Guild are working urgently to implement measures that will '..support HMRs being conducted within the intent and spirit of the programs'.

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TGA updates safety advisory for dabigatran : 11/02/2013 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has updated its dabigatran safety advisory.

Dabigatran (Pradaxa) is an oral anticoagulant and, as with any anticoagulant, including warfarin, there is a risk of bleeding when using it.

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CDU gets a new Professor of Pharmacy : 11/02/2013 :

Professor Patrick Ball has joined Darwin's Charles Darwin University as its new Pharmacy theme leader.

Professor Ball has just left a post at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga where he was Foundation Professor of Rural Pharmacy for almost eight years

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Big Pharma calls for patent extensions on new meds : 11/02/2013 :

Patent terms for new medicines should be extended to compensate for increasing delays in regulatory approval, Medicines Australia (MA) CEO Dr Brendan Shaw told a Federal Government review of Australia’s patent system at a public hearing yesterday.

Pharmaceutical patents are currently granted up to five years’ extension to account for regulatory delays but MA says there exists a strong argument to for increasing patent term extensions given that TGA approval processes have lengthened significantly since 1998, when patent term extensions were introduced, and delays in listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme have almost doubled.

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Chemotherapy drug access to be examined in Senate inquiry : 11/02/2013 :

Independent Senator for South Australia, Nick Xenophon, and DLP Senator, John Madigan, successfully moved on Friday for the establishment of a Senate Inquiry into the supply of chemotherapy drugs in Australia.

The move was promted by concerns raised by patients, community pharmacies and public and private hospitals following the 1 December 2012 price disclosure related cuts to the price paid to pharmacies for supplying some cytotoxic drugs, principally docetaxel.

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S3 chloro decision confirmed : 11/02/2013 :

Ocular chloramphenicol products are to remain 'pharmacist only' medicines following confirmation on Friday of the interim decision made by the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS) at its October meeting and announced in January.

The decision is based around the ACMS's view that that quick and easy access to this substance is a 'vital issue for patients'.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Strontium - a new option for osteoporosis treatment in men : 11/02/2013 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Strontium- A new option for osteoporosis treatment in men.

"Osteoporosis is a common condition affecting over one million Australians. While it is seen predominantly in women (especially after menopause), almost a quarter of patients with osteoporosis are men. Bone fragility and low trauma fractures are the ultimate consequence of undiagnosed or untreated osteoporosis in both genders, the effects of which can be debilitating, painful and take lengthy periods of time and significant resources to recover from. As such, it is important that adequate treatment is afforded to both sexes."

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Moves afoot for new pharmacy body for accredited pharmacists : 11/02/2013 :

In light of recent threats to HMR funding a view has emerged in sections of the accredited pharmacist community that the larger organisations do not adequately represent the specific needs of accredited pharmacists conducting medication reviews.

Moves are now afoot to canvas the need for the establishment of a new group to represent these specific needs.

Last Thursday, accredited pharmacist Dr Peter Tenni called for expressions of interest from fellow accredited pharmacists to form such a group and, to date, has received nearly 200 positive responses.

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HMRs - a GP perspective : 10/02/2013 :

Dr Ian Williams is a Brisbane GP who has a consultant pharmacist (2011 PSA Young Pharmacist of the Year Chris Freeman, pictured at right) within his practice. Here's Dr William's take on recent events.

----------

At the GP12 conference on the Gold Coast I was in a meeting and one of my colleagues was considering what Utopia in General Practice would look like. For him, it would be going to a patient’s medical record and finding the current medication list up to date, including non-prescribed medication. He was shocked when I informed the meeting that I have that experience here and now – courtesy of Home Medicines Reviews.

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APF22 has the answers to the 'drugs in sport' questions : 08/02/2013 :

The Australian Crime Commission’s report Organised Crime And Drugs In Sport highlights the need for greater knowledge as to which substances are banned for athletes and also how to identify athletes who may be taking banned substances.

Chief Executive Officer of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Liesel Wett, said while most athletes are well aware of the list of substances that are banned for their sport, a range of circumstances or outside factors can contribute to an athlete requiring timely advice about banned substances from a pharmacist.

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Text of Neil Naismith Memorial Lecture : 08/02/2013 :

On Wednesday AusPharm reported on Consumers Health Forum CEO Carol Bennett's Neil Naismith Memorial Lecture in which she outlined consumer expectations of pharmacy (here).

The full text of Ms Bennett's speech is now available on the CHF website, here.

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'Unscrupulous' HMR practices confirmed by poll : 08/02/2013 :

While most pharmacists would have little doubt that the accusations of misuse of the HMR program funding are true, the result of this week's AusPharm poll confirms that, in some areas at least, a 'significant problem' appears to exist.

24% of respondents to this week's poll told us 'this is a significant problem in my area' with a further 14% saying the 'extent of this practice is minor'. Only 5% ticked the poll's 'yawn' option, suggesting that, for most pharmacists, this is a genuine issue of concern.

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Cochrane launches iPad app : 07/02/2013 :

The Cochrane Collaboration has launched an iPad edition of the Cochrane Library.

Monthly issues feature Cochrane Systematic Reviews and are edited to provide the best possible iPad reading experience. The reviews are enriched with the addition of multimedia content, including podcasts, videos, and slide decks.

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AusPharm CPD: RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin Digest No 55 : 07/02/2013 :

The first in our 2013 series of continuing professional development activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 55.

This CPD activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins (Volumes 48-6 - 48-9  --> November- December 2012).

After completing this activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Specify the latest Australian targets for cardiovascular risk reduction for people with type II diabetes
  • Outline the manifestations and treatment of familial cold auto-inflammatory syndrome
  • Discuss issues regarding gluten content of oral pharmaceutical products
  • Understand recent evidence that has emerged regarding bleeing risk associated with the use of enoxaparin in patients with moderate renal impairment.

This activity has been accredited for 1 group 2 CPD credits suitable for inclusion in an individual pharmacist’s CPD plan. Accreditation number: A1302AP1.

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

AusPharm gratefully acknowledges the financial support provided by MIMS.

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Medicines industry sets $4.3 billion export record despite industry downturn : 07/02/2013 :

In the face of job losses, falling sales growth, a high dollar, increased costs and a generally difficult business environment, the Australian medicines industry managed to achieve its best export performance on record in 2012, with exports topping $4.3 billion according to new figures just published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The new ABS report shows exports of pharmaceutical and medicinal products were up $578 million or 15 per cent on the previous year. The report also shows that the medicines industry is the Australian manufacturing sector’s biggest high-tech export earner.

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Sigma, Pharmacy Alliance sign Amcal deal : 07/02/2013 :

Sigma Pharmaceuticals and Pharmacy Alliance have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will see at least 30 Pharmacy Alliance stores takes on the Amcal brand durung 2013.

Sigma CEO and Managing Director Mark Hooper said that the deal would deliver 'a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate how the two organisations can combine their core strengths to create improved customer outcomes'.

Sigma's Amcal, Amcal Max, Guardian and Pharmacy Alliance stores now number over 900.

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HMR anomalies - some evidence : 06/02/2013 :

AusPharm has obtained three HMR related documents that apparently depict the kind of situations the Pharmacy Guid has highlighted in recent days as concerning.

The first is an extract from an advertisement seeking a pharmacist to conduct what appears to be clinic based HMRs.

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Poll: are there unscrupulous HMR operators in your area? : 06/02/2013 :

Much of the discussion on AusPharmList in recent days has been around the Pharmacy Guild's call for a moratorium on HMR funding to address budgetary over-runs. According to the Guild there are groups or individuals who are engaging in questionable or unscrupulous* practices, that appear to rank QUM issues below financial concerns.

Are you aware of questionable or unscrupulous* behaviour with regard to HMRs in your area? Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

* Unscrupulous behaviour may include:

- Performing a significant proportion of reviews outside of the patients home
- Medication reviews that lack rigour and are little more than a tick-the-box exercise
- A business model that drives volume of HMR with little regard for quality.

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