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AusPharm news

Webstercare wins WorldStar Award for the Personal Medication Planner : 28/12/2012 :

The World Packaging Organisation has awarded Webstercare its prestigious WorldStar Packaging Award in the Medical and Pharmaceutical Category for the company's Personal Medication Planner (PMP).

In its 44th year, the WorldStar Competition is only open to entry by organisations who have won in an approved national competition. Webstercare's Personal Medication Planner was eligible following its two recent wins at the Packaging Council of Australia Awards.

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Poll: end of year Rx stockpiling : 28/12/2012 :

This week's AusPharm poll asked 'listers to let us know how they feel when end of year safety net script hoarders make their pitch for 'whatever I can get thanks'.

As is often the case with our polls there was a fairly even split of responses.

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Poll: 'I'll have whatever I can get thanks' : 27/12/2012 :

Those of us working in community pharmacy will be only too familiar with the statement 'I'll have whatever I can get thanks'.

It is uttered often at this end of each calendar year as the punters try to take advantage of their safety net entitlement before it expires at midnight December 31. Experienced 'listers will be familiar with some of the tactics used such as having two or more sets of scripts and many will also have encountered people they've never seen before in their pharmacy present scripts for each of their 8 chronic meds.

How does this make you feel when it happens? Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll, the last for 2012.

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99% of pharmacists re-register by Christmas : 27/12/2012 :

96% of Australia's pharmacists submitted their application for renewal of registration to AHPRA on time, by 30 November 2012, according to the Pharmacy Board of Australia.

Pharmacists who did not renew their registration by 30 November 2012 are now in the late renewal period - in order to keep practising, these pharmacists must apply to renew by 31 December 2012. Late registration renewal is still available online but incurs a late payment fee in addition to the registration renewal fee. AHPRA has issued reminders for late registration renewals and, as of 24 December, a further three percent of pharmacists have renewed.

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Some batches of Ventolin and Asmol inhalers recalled : 27/12/2012 :

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Alphapharm, in consultation with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), are undertaking a voluntary recall of several batches of Ventolin and Asmol inhalers due to a fault in the delivery mechanism of a small number of inhalers within each batch. This can lead to less than the full dose being delivered for each puff.

The affected batches are:

Ventolin: KN7170, KN7173, KN7178, and KN7179
Asmol: KL6790, KL6795, KL6796, KL6797, KL6798, and KL6799

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Best wishes from AusPharm for the festive season and for 2014 : 24/12/2012 :

Please accept, with no obligation, implied or implicit, our best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non addictive, gender neutral celebration of the summer solstice holiday practiced with the most enjoyable traditions of religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice with respect for the religious / secular persuasions and / or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all .

We also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2013, but not without due respect for the calendar of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make our country great ( not to imply that Australia is necessarily greater than any other country ) and without regard to the race, creed, colour.....

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Christmas Edition – Best wishes for the festive season : 24/12/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Christmas Edition – Best wishes for the festive season.

"As we enjoy the festive season, it is important to reflect upon the state of the world we live in, acknowledging that many people don’t enjoy the comforts and privileges that we have. One through provoking way of understanding this is the global village concept. This approach involves the imaginary representation of the entire planet’s population as a village of 100 people. If the world was compressed into a village of 100 people, it has been estimated that there would be 51 female villagers, and 49 male – of these 26 would be children, as well as 8 adults aged 65 or older. There would be 60 people of Asian ethnicity, 15 Africans, 14 from the Americas, 10 Europeans and one from the South Pacific.

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

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AusPharm over the Christmas / New Year period : 24/12/2012 :

As always, AusPharm will publish every weekday that isn't a public holiday over the Christmas / New Year period. The AusPharm(e)news will go out as usual on these days.

We are much more flexible with regard to what we interpret as 'relevant to pharmacy' over this period so, if you've got something you've wanted to get off your chest, now's the time to send it along!

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November PBS stats show continued growth in costs : 24/12/2012 :

PBS statistics for November 2012 were released on Friday by Medicare Australia.

Script numbers for the month increased by 21% compared to November 2011 (18.1 million v 15.0 million). Script dollars also increased - by 19.5% ($784 million v $649 million).

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Medicines Australia Board accepts umpire's decision on 2 year term : 24/12/2012 :

The Medicines Australia Board, meeting on Friday, agreed to accept the ACCC’s decision to authorise its new Code of Conduct for only two years.

The ACCC wishes to see in the next version of the Code the declaration of payments and sponsorship made by pharmaceutical companies to individual healthcare professionals. The new Code only requires companies to report aggregate amounts for payments and sponsorships.

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April 2013 PBS price cuts revealed : 24/12/2012 :

The list of 63 PBS listed drugs that will be subject to 1 April 2013 price reductions as part of the weighted average price disclosure process were published on the PBS website on Friday.

Molecules to suffer significant (at least from the perspective of community pharmacy) price cuts include pantoprazole (37%), amlodipine (40%), mirtazepine (25%) and alendronic acid (32%). A large number of commonly dispensed drugs will incur smaller, but still meaningful, reductions. These include salbutamol inhaler (14%), tramadol (19.5%), perindopril (16%), lercanidipine (30%) and fentanyl patches (21%). Another cancer drug, paclitaxel, will incur a major cut (87%) on 1 April.

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New app from AIHW: OzHealth : 24/12/2012 :

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has launched an iPhone / iPad app called OzHealth. The app is a condensed version of the thirteenth biennial AIHW health report, the most comprehensive and authoritative source of national statistics and information on the health of Australians.

The OzHealth App provides statistics and fast facts on Australia’s population, life expectancy, births, deaths, international comparisons, population groups, diseases, injury, illicit drug use, tobacco, alcohol consumption, health promotion, organ donation, dietary recommendations, health and medical research, spending on medicines and health, and lifestyle factors that affect health including: physical activity, nutrition, and obesity.

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PSA Ignites pharmacy leaders' careers : 24/12/2012 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has launched a special program aimed at boosting the leadership skills and career opportunities of Australia’s early career pharmacists.

PSA’s ignite: Pharmacist Leadership Program has been especially structured to develop high-performing early career pharmacists into future leaders who will drive strategy, change and innovation.

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Pharmacy ethics push : 24/12/2012 :

At its December meeting the Australian Pharmacy Liaison Forum (APLF), which consists of representatives of all of the major Australian pharmacy organisations, agreed that 'a strong and united call' from the APLF would assist in bringing a 'much needed focus' to adherence to professional and ethical practice by pharmacists.

APLF says the move follows the raising of concerns within the profession during 2012 of instances where pharmacists are required, or are choosing, to work under conditions where the Code of Ethics relevant to their practice is challenged. The APLF did not detail these instances in its December meeting notes, released on Friday.

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Christmas party: boss pays : 21/12/2012 :

This week's poll result (n=217) tells us that, in the main, pharmacy owners cover the cost of the staff Christmas get together.

Further, these events tends to be 'nice' rather than extravagant.

Of possible interest - 10% of respondents to this week's poll ticked the 'Christmas party? Bah humbug' option compared to 2% in 2010, when we ran the identical poll.

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Pharma Code of Conduct issued for 2 years only : 21/12/2012 :

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has given pharmaceutical companies that are members of Medicines Australia two years to improve transparency of payments and sponsorship made by pharmaceutical companies to individual healthcare professionals.

In granting authorisation for edition 17 of Medicines Australia’s Code of Conduct for only two years ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said “Improving transparency around payments to individual doctors will play an important role in promoting community confidence in the integrity of these payments to healthcare professionals.”

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MIMS launches Complementary v Mainstream drug interaction module : 21/12/2012 :

MIMS has partnered with IMgateway to bring an Australian evidence-based Complementary V Mainstream drug interaction module to market, via its eMIMS product.

Research has showen that, for healthcare professionals, the primary barrier to recommending complementary medicines (CMs) is safety concerns around patients on multiple prescription medications or with complex health issues. Also, a lack of knowledge of CMs and a perceived lack of evidence were identified as barriers. The provision of good quality educational materials was seen as important to allow pharmacists to assess levels of evidence for CMs and educate them on their safe and appropriate use.1

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NZ pharmacists to get prescribing rights : 20/12/2012 :

In line with moves already successfully made in Britain, the United States and Canada, clinical pharmacists in New Zealand will soon be able to prescribe restricted medications.

To qualify, pharmacists will need to undergo special training and competency assessments. They will work in a collaborative healthcare environment and be able to prescribe medication to patients under the care of their team.

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Federal Court approves settlement of Sigma class action : 20/12/2012 :

The Federal Court yesterday approved the settlement of a $57.5 million class action brought by law firm Slater and Gordon against Sigma Pharmaceuticals in October 2010.

The class action alleged that Sigma had failed to fully appraise shareholders of relevant facts immediately prior to its 2009 fund raising venture.

The money is expected to be handed over the Slater and Gordon within 7 days. The settlement sees no admission of liability from Sigma.

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Sansom sends dabigatran back to the PBAC : 19/12/2012 :

The Sansom review of anticoagulant therapiess has recommended that the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Comittee (PBAC) review its March 2011 decision to PBS list the new oral anticoagulant dabigatran.

The recommendation (see below) was one of 15 in the report of the review, chaired by Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom, and released by the government yesterday.

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