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2015-01-28 : With regard to pharmacy conference attendance in 2015:
I`ll be attending several as part of my job
I`ll be attending several - I love conferences
I`ll go to one or two
Maybe, not sure yet
No, no time
No, too expensive
No, crowds frighten me

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AusPharm news

'Hot headed' Sclavos nation's top lobbyist : 06/12/2011 :

Crikey offshoot The Power Index yesterday labelled Guild President Kos Sclavos the most powerful lobbyist in the country.

Author of the Sclavos profile, Matthew Knott, has it that "if you're looking for power that's concentrated, power that's embedded in our political system and power that's wielded through intimidation, not just persuasion, then Kos is your man."

The Power Index's assessment of the Guild President is worth a read - take a look for yourself here.

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AMA President calls for pharmacy reforms : 06/12/2011 :

In an opinion piece published on doctor website Medical Observer yesterday Australian Medical Association President Dr Steve Hambleton called for a number of reforms to the community pharmacy environment. Chief among these was the abolition of the pharmacist only ownership rules and the location rules.

According to Dr Hambleton these rules should be lifted so "so the health system can truly provide ‘joined up’ care in the primary care setting," adding that the current rules "make it difficult for younger pharmacists to establish their own businesses. They also prevent doctors from owning pharmacies. It is curious that pharmacists can own medical practices, but not the other way around."

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Award winning NPS iPhone app now includes a medicines reminder function : 06/12/2011 :

NPS has introduced a range of new features to its award-winning  Medicines List iPhone app that allow people to schedule in reminders to prompt them to take their medicine.

As part of the upgrade, people can also record whether they took their medicine on time — and if not, why not, which may be useful information to share when they next see their doctor or pharmacist.

NPS clinical adviser Dr Danielle Stowasser says the scheduling functions are a lifesaver for those who have trouble taking their medicines as recommended by their health professional.

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TGA set to announce reform agenda : 05/12/2011 :

The federal government is set to announce its response to several major reviews of the Therapeutic Goods Administration undertaken in the last 18 months, and will soon launch a consolidated response in the form of a blueprint for the TGA's future.

The response is expected to be released on Monday 12 December 2011.

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December NPS Radar Review : 05/12/2011 :

The December issue of NPS RADAR ­ which independently reviews new medicines recommended for listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) ­ includes in-depth reviews of new medicines to treat schizophrenia, bipolar 1, severe chronic pain,  COPD and acute coronary syndrome.
 
Asenapine (brand name Saphris), a new antipsychotic medicine to treat schizophrenia and bipolar 1 disorder, is reviewed in this edition of NPS RADAR. Asenapine could be a better fit for a person with unacceptable weight gain or hyperprolactinaemia from other antipsychotics. However, this sublingual medicine is ineffective if swallowed and has a higher incidence of extrapyramidal side effects than that with olanzapine.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Evaluating recommendations for dietary sodium restrictions : 05/12/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Evaluating recommendations for dietary sodium restrictions.

"Dietary sodium is found in most foods as sodium chloride (salt), but also as sodium bicarbonate and monosodium glutamate in processed foods, and in food additives as sodium phosphate, sodium carbonate and sodium benzoate. The majority source of sodium for the Australian population is sodium chloride. Patients with hypertension, diabetes and chronic kidney disease and greater age exhibit more salt sensitivity with consequent blood pressure raising effects. The recommendation to reduce sodium intake is based on evidence from published reviews assessing the effects of this approach as a means to lower blood pressure. It has been assumed there are ongoing benefits for reduced cardiovascular morbidity and mortality."

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

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SHPA comments on Pharmacist Coalition for Health Reform : 02/12/2011 :

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Ausralia yesterday issued a statement reaffirming its position on the role of pharmacists in health and on its membership of the Pharmacist Coalition for Health Reform (PCHR).

The SHPA statement follows the withdrawal this week of peak student body NAPSA from PCHR and comments from both NAPSA and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia that PCHR comments supporting Australian Green's Senator Richard de Natali's call for a Senate inquiry into the 5th Community Pharmacy Agtreement were made without thier consent.

We've published the SHPA comment below, in full and unedited.

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APLF has more legitimacy than PCHR : 02/12/2011 :

Yesterday I wrote about the concerns that trouble me as a pharmacist.

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 02/12/2011 :

The MIMS December 2011 Monthly Medicine Update is now available. Click the link to read it now.

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Bill Charman separately recognised by Monash University and The University of London : 02/12/2011 :

Potentially life-saving malaria research and the establishment of Australia's pre-eminent pharmaceutical science institution have earned two significant honours for Professor William Charman, Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Director, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University.
 
During the last two weeks, Professor Charman has been appointed as a Sir John Monash Distinguished Professor at Monash University and awarded a prestigious Doctor of Science degree (honoris causa) by The School of Pharmacy, University of London – one of the leading pharmacy schools in the world.  

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New Medicines Safety Update published : 02/12/2011 :

The December 2011 issue of Medicines Safety Update (the old 'ADRAC' Bulletin) has been published on the TGA website.

It was included as part of the December issue of Australian Prescriber. but can also be downloaded as a stand alone document (here).

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Latest Edition of Australian Prescriber published : 02/12/2011 :

The December 2011 issue of Australian Prescriber is now available online. Topics featured in this issue include:

  • The prescribing cascade
  • Appropriate primary prevention of cardiovascular disease: does this mean more or less statin use?
  • New drugs for osteoporosis

It also contains the most recent Medicines Safety Update.

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Pharmacists depressed about the future : 02/12/2011 :

This week's poll was an exact repeat of a poll we first ran in 2006 and then again in January this year. It followed, as PSA CEO described recent events in a PSA member communication yesterday, "a very difficult week for pharmacists and for the profession."

Pharmacists' outlook has become much more pessimistic since 2006 with a significant deterioration in 2011 alone.

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Pharmacy Board CPD audits - will your number come up? : 01/12/2011 :

The Pharmacy Board of Australia conducted two focus groups with practitioners in November to test the communications materials for the practitioner CPD audits, which will begin early next year.

Pharmacists will be randomly selected for the audit, which will assess whether they have met the Board's CPD requirements. Those fortunate to be chosen will be notified that they are being audited in a letter, which also outlines what they need to do to comply.

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Board Compounding Working Party : 01/12/2011 :

The Pharmacy Board of Australia has established a Compounding Working Party to advise it on compounding issues and to develop policy, codes and guidelines on compounding, including more complex compounding than the extemporaneous preparations contained in the Australian Pharmaceutical Formulary.

At its October meeting, the Working Party discussed with Working Party members, which currently includes the Editor of the APF, Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom, options for suitable definitions for complex compounding and associated nomenclature. The next APF is expected to be published in February 2012 and the Board proposes to adopt definitions in its guidelines which are consistent with definitions published in the APF.

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New Government figures show PBS growing at just 1.6% in real terms : 01/12/2011 :

The latest Commonwealth annual review of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme shows that the program grew by just 5.2 per cent in 2010-11 – or 1.6 per cent in real terms.

This follows yesterday’s MYEFO, showing lower PBS growth this financial year.

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Victorian Pharmacists Honoured : 01/12/2011 :

Bendigo hospital pharmacist Bruce Gould was awarded the 2011 Victorian Pharmacist Medal at the annual dinner on Friday 25 November. 

The Medal was presented in recognition of Mr Gould‘s service to the Victorian community as a community pharmacist for nearly 30 years, and more recently, as a hospital pharmacist. 

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AusPharm CE: RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 42 : 01/12/2011 :

The next in our 2011 series of continuing education activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 42.

This CE activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins (Volumes 43-12 - 44-3  -->  October 2011).

After completing this activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Discuss drug therapy use for management of behavioural disturbance in patients with frontotemporal dementia
  • Understand the current guidelines for pharmacotherapy in heart failure
  • List drugs for which the likelihood of adverse reactions in increased by Gilbert’s syndrome
  • Describe the clinical pharmacology of asenapine

This activity has been accredited for 0.5 group 2 CPD credit suitable for inclusion in an individual pharmacist’s CPD plan. Accreditation number: CX110022T.

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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Poll: the future of pharmacy : 30/11/2011 :

We regularly run polls (most recently in January this year) asking 'listers how they view 'the future of pharmacy'.

There's no mistaking that pharmacy has had a torrid last couple of months, both in the media and in the rarified atmosphere of pharmacy organisational leadership. AusPharm's phone and email has been running hot with stakeholders wanting to pitch their side of the story. On a more positive note, a number of CPA5 professional programs are now in place, hospital pharmacist have a clearly defined clinical role and the transition towards a service (rather than product) based profession continues.

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

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Union pushes Senate Review : 30/11/2011 :

Pharmacist employee union the Pharmacists' Division of APESMA continues to press for a Senate Inquiry into the 5th Community Pharmacy Agreement, yesterday proposing new Terms of Reference to replace those proposed in the Senate Notice Paper (page 33) on November 25.

APESMA CEO Chris Walton said “A Senate Inquiry is the best way to review the current arrangements and make sure that we deliver a better system for patients and pharmacists – not just the pharmacy owners’ guild.”

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