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AusPharm news

Poll: is your pharmacy prepared for a disaster? : 30/01/2013 :

This week's news that the Queensland floods have left large numbers of pharmacies without power and / or telephones if not actually inundated has us wondering how well prepared pharmacies are to deal with events like this.

Does your pharmacy have contingency plans to deal with a 'disaster'.

Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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Flood damage severe for some pharmacies : 30/01/2013 :

While details remain sketchy due to communication diufficulties, AusPharm understands that up to 15 Queensland pharmacies have been inundated with flood waters this week with some in the worst affected areas, such as Bundaberg North, Gayndah, Mundubbera, Maryborough, Burrum Heads, experiencing major damage.

In addition, up to 40 pharmacies may be without power until Thursday and up to 5 pharmacies have cleared fixtures and fittings from the pharmacy in preparation of expected floods. According to the Pharmacy Guild, the majority of these pharmacies are currently closed. 

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Complementary medicine sector seeks industry-wide plan : 30/01/2013 :

In a 2013/14 federal budget submission, the Complementary Healthcare Council of Australia (CHC) has called for funding of $500,000 to develop an industry-wide plan for the sector.

CHC Executive Director Dr Wendy Morrow said yesterday “Industry and government need to develop a meaningful plan and framework, that moves away from a one size fits all regulatory approach to one that recognises the differences between complementary and prescriptions medicines, respectively”.

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PBS spend up 10.7% in 2012 : 29/01/2013 :

PBS statistics released by Medicare on Friday reveal that PBS dollar costs rose by 10.7% in 2012 compared to 2011. Prescription volumes were up 10.4% for the same period.

Script numbers for the December 2012 were down by 8.21% compared to December 2011 (12.70 million v 13.84 million). Script dollars also down - by 9.7 5% ($533 million v $590 million).

Year to date script numbers to 31 December 2012 were 218.7 million, up 10.4% on the equivalent period in 2011 (198.0 million). In dollar terms the increase was 10.7% ($9.18 billion v $8.29 billion).

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Medications and electroconvulsive therapy : 29/01/2013 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Medications and electroconvulsive therapy.

"Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a medical procedure performed under a general anaesthetic involving the delivery of an electric current to induce generalised seizure activity. It is prescribed primarily for major depression, particularly when the presentation is acute or when there has been inadequate response to other treatments. For select patients, it may be used in the treatment of mania, psychosis and other neuropsychiatric conditions. Individualised patient assessment regarding risks and benefits is required prior to commencement of a course of ECT. An essential component of this assessment is a thorough evaluation of the patient’s current medication regime as the potential exists for medications to contribute to adverse effects or decrease efficacy of treatment.”

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

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Former Guild NSW President honoured : 29/01/2013 :

Former Pharmacy Guild NSW Branch President John Sidgreaves was posthumously honoured with an OAM in the 2013 Australia Day honours. The honour was bestowed for service to pharmacy and to the community.

Acknowledging the honour the Pharmacy Guild said Mr Sidgreaves, who passed away on 16 December 2011, was a deeply respected and valued pharmacist and distinguished community contributor.

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PSA pitches for new pharmacist roles in Budget submission : 29/01/2013 :

In its 2013 federal Budget submission the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has detailed a plan that would see $7.94 million spent over two years to conduct and evaluate its proposed Diabetes Education and Medication Management Service.

The submission also seeks funding for a Pharmacist Anticoagulation Management Service (PAMS) - which aims to enhance health outcomes for consumers on warfarin.

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NAPSA signs new agreement with Guild : 29/01/2013 :

The National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA) has signed a new three-year sponsorship agreement with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.

The agreement supersedes NAPSA’s previous three-year agreement with the Guild and its associated companies – Gold Cross, Guild Insurance, FRED Dispense and also now includes the addition of GuildLink.

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Flooding and its current impact on pharmacy operations : 29/01/2013 :

Over 300 pharmacies in Queensland are currently affected by flooding.

From an operational perspective, communications are particularly difficult in northern and central Queensland, as the Telstra fibre line and its back up line are down. Pharmacies that are Telstra customers and located north of Gladstone in Queensland will be unable to make calls (including 000 calls) or send orders to wholesalers while this situation continues. It may be some days before Telstra can helicopter crews in to repair cables. The Guild is in contact with both Telstra and pharmacy wholesalers on this issue. Social media (e.g. Facebook) is being used as an alternative route of communication, although in addition to loss of landline there is also considerable loss of broadband, 2G, 3G and 4G mobile services across central and northern Queensland.

The Guild also advises that emergency provisions for prescriptions in Queensland have been activated by Medicare.

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NPS Medicinewise launches new diabetes Pharmacy Practice Review : 28/01/2013 :

NPS MedicineWise has published a new Pharmacy Practice Review to assist pharmacists with their management of people with type 2 diabetes.

NPS clinical adviser Dr Philippa Binns says the online Pharmacy Practice Review for pharmacists helps guide a best practice approach to management. It also places an emphasis on empowering patients to be in control of their condition, including taking an active role in regular monitoring, having a better understanding of the medicines they use, and understanding the importance of adherence to their management plan and ongoing lifestyle changes.

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Ita Buttrose signs on as a Priceline ‘Health Sister’ : 25/01/2013 :

Priceline Pharmacy has welcomed renowned journalist, author, editor, social commentator and beloved Australian icon, Ita Buttrose as its new ‘Health Sister’.

Joining Ada Nicodemou, of Home & Away fame, Buttrose will be integrated across a range of Priceline campaigns throughout 2013, including Priceline’s new Better Health initiative. Click below to watch the new Better Health TV ad, featuring Ita.

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TGA consultation: Australian regulatory guidelines for complementary medicines : 24/01/2013 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is currently reviewing and restructuring the Australian regulatory guidelines for complementary medicines (ARGCM) to increase the useability of the guidelines and to ensure the information provided is reflective of current regulatory requirements. It has invited comments from interested parties on the Review.

The ARGCM, first published in 2001, provides information for manufacturers, sponsors, healthcare professionals and the general public on the legal arrangements for the supply and use of complementary medicines in Australia. It is being reviewed and updated in response to the Auditor-General's recommendations following the ANAO audit of TGA regulation of Complementary medicines and is part of the overarching Complementary medicines regulatory reforms package.

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Horses for courses helps ignite pharmacy careers : 24/01/2013 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is taking an innovative approach to assisting early career pharmacists become future health leaders.

The use of horses in a special workshop aims to accelerate learning for ignite leadership program participants to further develop their skills in communication, team building, relationship development and trust.

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Dental workforce stats released : 24/01/2013 :

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) today released a report, Dental workforce 2011, which shows the number of dentists employed in Australia increased by 22.4% between 2006 and 2011, with increases in all geographical areas.

The report also shows that there were around 18,800 dental practitioners in Australia in 2011, including 1,145 dental prosthetists, 1,206 dental hygienists, 1,165 dental therapists and 1,108 oral health therapists.

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Poll: incentives as part of pharmacist employment packages : 23/01/2013 :

Last week's AusPharm poll determined that, for the last quarter of 2012, community pharmacy's Clinical Intervention rate, expressed as a percentage of scripts dispensed, averaged about 2.5%, although there was wide variability apparent in individual pharmacy's numbers.

In response to this, we are running a related poll. How prevalent in remuneration packages is incentivisation in driving Clinical Interventions or generic substitution?

Please help us find out by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm online poll.

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Union goes on the attack over lunch breaks : 23/01/2013 :

The 2012 APESMA survey of community and hospital pharmacists has revealed that 62.3 per cent of community pharmacists work through their lunch breaks. By comparison, 37.9 per cent of hospital pharmacists work through lunch.

Commenting on the survey finding, which attracted 1300 responses, CEO of pharmacist union, APESMA, Chris Walton said forcing pharmacists to work through lunch without additional pay was an illegal practice and a further example of 'unscrupulous pharmacy owners exploiting pharmacy professionals'.

Responding to the union comments a Guild spokesperson pointed out that the Pharmacy Industry Award 2010 has a provision for an on-premise meal allowance.

"The Pharmacy Guild supports full compliance with the terms and conditions of the Award. As usual, APESMA has chosen to distort the facts."

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2013 CPD by the SEA - NSW Convention well supported : 23/01/2013 :

2013 is off and running and within weeks the first ‘must attend’ CE event for the year, CPD by the SEA – NSW Convention, will take place at the Novotel Manly Pacific.

Get a head start on your 2013 CPD Credits with both Group 1 and Group 2 available over the 2 days of the Convention & Exhibition.

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Australia’s medical workforce continues to grow : 23/01/2013 :

Australia'a medical workforce is continuing to grow, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Medical workforce 2011, provides information on the demographic and employment characteristics of medical practitioners who were registered in Australia in 2011. In 2011, there were 87,790 medical practitioners registered in Australia, and about 85% of them responded to the workforce survey.

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Labelling and packaging practices: A summary of some of the evidence : 23/01/2013 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is currently conducting a review of the requirements for the labelling and packaging of medicines supplied in Australia.

This review is primarily concerned with the presentation of the information on the medicine containers or on the boxes within which they are supplied. Of particular interest are the visual aspects that contribute to the usability of the information provided and facilitate the safe use of the medicine by health care professionals and consumers.

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AusPharm CE: Discontinuation of medications - Deprescribing : 22/01/2013 :

As advised last week, as a special treat for our basic level members we'll be making selected AusPharm Continuing Education activities available to you through January.

We'll only make them available one at a time and only leave them open for a week.

This week's activity is Discontinuation of medications - Deprescribing. It was prepared for AusPharm by Debbie Rigby and first published in June 2012.

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