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AusPharm news

Scheduling changes up for public comment : 14/04/2011 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has invited public comment on a range of proposed scheduling changes to be considered at the June 22  meeting of the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling.

On the agenda for consideration are a number of 'old' cough and cold preparations (including senega, guaiphenesin, ipecacuanha and phenylephrine) which are proposed to be upscheduled to S2. Other items include a proposal to reschedule loperamide in packs of eight dosage units or less, up to a maximum of one days' supply, from Schedule 2 to unscheduled, thereby allowing sale in grocery and a proposal to add 10mg rabeprazole to Appendix H, allowing it to be advertised direct to consumers.

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Greater consideration needed before ordering vitamin D tests : 13/04/2011 :

Testing for vitamin D has increased more than tenfold in the last five years, with test orders rising at a faster rate than any other medical test. This surge is likely due to increased GP interest in vitamin D deficiency, media reports of its high prevalence in Australia and its suggested role in a range of health conditions.

Asa result of this NPS’s latest education program for health professionals provides guidance around common questions being asked about vitamin D deficiency including who is at risk, when is testing of value and appropriate supplementation for those who are deficient.

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Poll: how professionally satisfying will pharmacy be in 10 years? : 13/04/2011 :

The recent talk of pharmacists working on prescription treadmills and of (mostly younger) pharmacists canvassing options for  retraining has us wondering how 'listers view the medium term future.

What will community pharmacy be like in 10 years time, in 2021? More or less professionally satisfying? Please let us know what you think by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 13/04/2011 :

AFL Round 3
 
AFL Round 3 was another good one for tippers with 22 selecting all the 8 winners. With 2 tippers selecting the correct margin it came down to cumulative margin to decide the prize. Terry Phillips from St Leonards Pharmacy is this weeks prize winner with Mark Robert Smith from Merriwa Pharmacy a close 2nd. In 3rd place was Gary Wakeling.

NRL Round 5

NRL Round 5 saw 7 tippers select all 8 winners correctly. Alan Malouf from Malouf's Manly Pharmacy tipped the perfect margin and wins the weekly prize. In 2nd place was Gretchen Gillie from Bellinghams Pharmacy with Scott Davies of Medicross Pharmacy Ipswich in 3rd spot.

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Royal Society promoting the profession to the UK public : 12/04/2011 :

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain has launched the first in a series of short films explaining to the UK public “what pharmacists do.”

The RPSGB films will cover the activities of pharmacists working in community, hospital and primary care settings as well industrial pharmacists and, in this first video, an academic pharmacist.

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PBS arrangements for remote living Aboriginals to be examined : 12/04/2011 :

The Senate has agreed to a motion from Senator Rachel Siewert (Greens, WA) that the supply of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme medicines to remote area Aboriginal Health Services via an S100 arrangment be referred to the Senate Community Affairs Reference Committee.

The Terms of Reference seek comment on a range of issues largely to do with whether Quality Use of Medicines and equity standards are being met.

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Pharmacy Alliance outraged by API actions : 12/04/2011 :

Pharmacy Alliance Chairman Simon Reynolds yesterday launched an scathing attack on wholesaler Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (API) following approaches to Pharmacy Alliance member pharmacies by API seeking to establish individual contracts with them.

The API action follows a Pharmacy Alliance decision to put the wholesaling needs of its members out to open tender.

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Entries for Student Business Plan competition now in : 12/04/2011 :

13 teams from six pharmacy schools will compete for this year’s 2011 National Student Business Plan Competition prize. Several schools had multiple registrations and two schools, which had not participated in recent years – Charles Sturt University and Canberra University – also registered teams this year.

The competition, which commenced in 2006, is designed to encourage innovation among pharmacy students.

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New PharmaSave iPhone app : 11/04/2011 :

Pharmacy group PharmaSave has followed in the footsteps of Chemist Warehouse and introduced a new app for smartphones and the iPhone.

The app features the PharmaSave catalogue, a store locator that includes a Google map, the pharmacy phone number and store trading hours.

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Ads for award winning product breach Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code : 11/04/2011 :

Advertising for an award winning complementary medicine marketed as a sleep aid has been found by the independent Complaint Resolution Panel to be in breach of a number of sections of the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code.

The advertising for Sanofi-Aventis "Nature's Own Complete Sleep” won a 2010 Australian Marketing Institute (AMI) Award for Marketing Excellence and appeared on the company's website and on some pharmacy websites.

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Pharmacists: The best kept secret in health care : 11/04/2011 :

A recent survey conducted by the Pharmacist Coalition for Health Reform (PCHR) sought pharmacists' thoughts on some initial creative ideas PCHR has developed for a campaign to raise the profile of pharmacists in the community.

By far the most support was shown for a creative idea featuring two generations and the tagline ‘Pharmacists: The best kept secret in health care’.

Another key finding was that many pharmacists think it is time for the profession to abandon the white coat.

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Pharmatopia: A virtual reality learning resource for pharmacy students : 11/04/2011 :

Pharmacy students at The University of Queensland (UQ) are learning how to do drug dosing calculations by working in a three-dimension virtual world.

UQ's School of Pharmacy is one of 10 universities from around the world that has collaboratively developed an innovative pharmacy learning resource using online virtual reality platform ‘Second Life'. More....

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RGH E-Bulletin: Agomelatine: a new antidepressant : 11/04/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Agomelatine: a new antidepressant

"Agomelatine (Valdoxan®) is a melatonin receptor (MT1 and MT2) agonist and 5HT2C receptor antagonist indicated for treatment of major depression in adults. The mechanism of antidepressant action for agomelatine is not clear. It is hypothesized that the effect on melatonin receptors corrects the abnormalities of circadian rhythm in patients suffering from depression, however the serotonin 5-HT2C receptor antagonist activity may confer its antidepressant effect by leading to increased dopamine and noradrenaline in the frontal cortex via disinhibition."
 
Click here to read the bulletin in full. The E‑Bulletins are archived on the AusPharmList website here.

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TGA needs a hand - change of closing date for expressions of interest : 10/04/2011 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration's Advisory Committee on the Safety of Medicines (ACSOM) is looking for new members.

ACSOM is a statutory committee under the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990. It is responsible for the provision of advice to the TGA on the safety aspects of medicine regulation and pharmacovigilance.

Expressions of interest are being sought for positions on ACSOM.

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Majority of pharmacists see vaccination as part of their role : 08/04/2011 :

The results of this week's poll suggest that most pharmacists now see routine vaccination as an appropriate part of pharmacy practice.

73% of respondents to this week's poll told us that they think suitably accredited pharmacists should be permitted to administer routine vaccinations in community pharmacies. This is significantly higher than the result obtained in an identical 2002 poll. Only 17% of respondents though that this was not a suitable role for pharmacists.

So, how does pharmacy make it happen?

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Student Register up and running : 08/04/2011 :

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) announced this week that a national register of health science students, including pharmacy students, is now in place.

The role of the 10 National Health Practitioner Boards in relation to students is limited to student health impairment matters or when there is a criminal conviction of a serious nature, either of which may adversely impact on public safety.  The Student Register is not public.

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Nicabate factory goes up in smoke : 08/04/2011 :

GSK announced yesterday that a fire at its UK factory will see Nicabate transdermal products largely unavailable to Australian pharmacies for approximately 3 months.

The company has asked GPs to stop prescribing Nicabate P during this time.

Supplies of Nicabate gum, lozenges and Minis are unaffected by the fire.

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Corum Group belted : 08/04/2011 :

Corum Health Services parent company Corum Group  announced to the ASX yesterday that it may need to pay former Executive Director, Michael Rowley, an amount of money approaching $1 million after a legal case brought by Mr Rowley went against the company.

Mr Rowley's company Oliveprince P/L sued Corum for the termination of a consultancy agreement entered into for 4 years from September 2005.

Corum has not yet decided whether it will appeal the judgement.

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TGA Transparency Review extended at request of Review Panel : 07/04/2011 :

At the request of the chair of the Therapeutical Goods Administration (TGA) Transparency Review panel, Professor Dennis Pearce, the Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King, has extended the panel’s reporting date to 30 June 2011.

“The purpose of the review was to improve public knowledge of regulatory decision-making and to enhance public understanding of the benefits and risks of therapeutic goods so that the Australian community can understand how the TGA operates and the reasons for its key decisions. It was to report to me in April 2011," Ms King said.

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Antimicrobial resistance: no action today no cure tomorrow : 07/04/2011 :

Australians are being warned to be medicinewise with antibiotics this winter or risk not having antibiotics that work in the future.

NPS MedicineWise is joining the voices of the World Health Organization and ReAct Group to raise awareness of the ramifications of misusing antibiotics as part of World Health Day 2011 today.

Antibiotic resistance has emerged as one of the greatest global health challenges to be addressed in the 21st Century. The risk of widespread antibiotic resistance threatens to negate the positive changes made in modernizing healthcare systems; therefore, fresh approaches are essential, as well as new and effective antibacterial drugs.

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