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AusPharm news

What are Blackmores spruiking? : 26/10/2011 :

Last week we drew 'listers attention to the events detailed below (click for a larger version) at which Blackmores had planned to promote their new 'Companion' range to pharmacists. Given that the range has been killed off following adverse publicity we wondered what the company might be planning to talk about at these events.

Now that they have commenced, if any 'listers have attended, we'd love to hear what the company had to say.

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Fairfax press keeps up the attack : 26/10/2011 :

In the washout from the recent Guild / Blackmores debacle AusPharm predicted that more anti pharmacy stories would follow. This proved to be correct with the Pfizer / Guild deal occupying the Fairfax media's attention over the last week.

More follows today with another story from Fairfax journalist Mark Metherell, this time over GSK’s and MDS's involvement in Mirixa compliance programs with Seretide and Janumet / Januvia.

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CPA5 funds innovative mental health research project : 25/10/2011 :

Funding was announced last week – through the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement (5CPA) Research and Development Program – for research that will help inform future community pharmacy practice when working with people with mental health problems.

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More Indigenous Australians accessing targeted health services : 25/10/2011 :

There was a significant increase in the use of services targeted at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in 2009-10 compared with the previous year, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

These Commonwealth-funded services include primary health care services (such as access to doctors, nurses and medical specialists), stand-alone substance use rehabilitation and treatment services, and Bringing Them Home and Link Up counselling services.

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PBS supply to Aboriginal Health Services : 25/10/2011 :

The Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs has made ten recommendations in its recently released report on supply of PBS medicines to remote area Aboriginal Health Services (AHS). The committee's recommendations relate to:

  • release of information to facilitate the effectiveness of the service
  • evaluating whether increased medicine supply has any clinical impact
  • specific funding for dose administration aids
  • becoming more flexible to enable more direct access of AHS to pharmacists
  • standardised systems for accurate and legible labelling and recording of medicines
  • publishing information on status of prior report recommendations
  • participation in section 100 process
  • integration of existing services

The committee's brief from the Senate was to look into the effectiveness of the special arrangements established in 1999 under section 100 of the National Health Act 1953, for the supply of PBS medicines to remote area Aboriginal Health Services.

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November 2011 PBS schedule : 25/10/2011 :

The November 2011 PBS Schedule and the ‘Summary of Changes’ are now available.

Download the Full PBS schedule

Download the PBS Summary of changes.

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War of words over Pfizer / Guild deal rolls on : 25/10/2011 :

Pharmacist employee union APESMA CEO Chris Walton launched a blistering attack on Pfizer and the 'Pharmacy owners' Guild' yesterday saying that the drug company had been "caught out enlisting the support of an organisation it funds to help justify its program to pay pharmacy owners $7 for each patient they sign up to Pfizer’s email list."

Mr Walton said that despite recent comments by Medicines Australia's it was not the role of large drug companies to provide independent advice about drug use.

"Pharmacists are the best people to give individual and independent advice about pharmaceutical drugs," Mr Walton said.

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Pharmacists do not *love* Pfizer : 24/10/2011 :

Friday's AusPharm poll picked up on a Pfizer marketing project said to be currently under development.

One of AusPharm's spies reported that company reps are visiting pharmacies with a request that pharmacists pose for a photo holding a card which says "I *love* Pfizer" (with a heart symbol = love). Our spy sent along two versions and our poll asked 'listers which they preferred. Unsurprisingly 86% (n=163) chose the version on the right.

While the poll question was to large degree rhetorical  we still had 14% tell us they preferred the other version. This represents about one half of 'listers with pfizer.com email addresses Wink.

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Enrolments opening for the PSA National Intern Training Program : 24/10/2011 :

If you are a pharmacy intern looking to further your career and develop your practice knowledge the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s specialist National Intern Training Program (NITP) is what you are looking for. 
 
Enrolments for the 2012 First Intake will open on 1 November 2011.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Asenapine : 24/10/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Asenapine.

"Asenapine (Saphris ®) is a new antipsychotic drug belonging to the dibenzo-exepino pyrrole class, and in Australia has approved indications for the treatment of adult schizophrenia along with the treatment and prevention of acute manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar 1 disorder. The mechanism of action for asenapine is not entirely clear though probably relates to its effects on several receptors, particularly dopamine (D2) and serotonin (5-HT2A) antagonist activity. Other receptors affected include 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B, 5-HT2C, 5-HT6, 5-HT7, D3 and alpha 2 adrenergic receptors. Similar receptor binding characteristics are displayed by other atypical antipsychotics, such as olanzapine and quetiapine, though asenapine generally shows highest binding affinity."


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

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Medicines Australia offers support for Pfizer / Guild deal : 24/10/2011 :

Patient support programs play a key role in supporting the quality use of medicines and ensuring patients’ health is improved, Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said on Friday.

Dr Shaw was responding to recent criticisms of the Pharmacy Guild and Pfizer over a patient support program that sees pharmacies receiving $7 for every patient signed up.

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Photo of the week: Do you *love* Pfizer? : 21/10/2011 :

Desperate to improve their company's image with pharmacists Pfizer's marketing group has come up with a novel tactic.

One of AusPharm's spies has reported the company's reps are visiting pharmacies with a request that pharmacists to pose for a photo holding a card which says "I *love* Pfizer" (with a heart symbol = love).

Our spy sent along two versions - which do you prefer?

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Pharmacists want vaccination rights : 21/10/2011 :

This week's poll clearly shows that pharmacists want to be able to administer routine vaccinations in the pharmacy setting.

PSA, others, over to you.

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Sole remaining Sensaslim director facing another contempt of court charge : 21/10/2011 :

The ACCC announced this week that it has commenced further proceedings against Sensaslim director Peter O’Brien alleging contempt of court.

The new proceedings are in addition to separate contempt of court proceedings launched in July and 'misleading and deceptive conduct' charges, also laid in July.

The new proceedings relate to alleged communications sent on 13 August 2011 and 16 August 2011 that 'had a tendency to interfere with the administration of justice'.

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We got it wrong : 21/10/2011 :

Yesterday we reported that the Guild constitution says that "one person can only serve two consecutive terms as President, so this will be Kos's final three year term".

This should have read "one person can only serve three consecutive terms as President" so we may be wrong about this being Kos's final three year term. He is eligible for one more.

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PSA critical of Pfizer support program : 21/10/2011 :

PSA National President, Grant Kardachi, has emphasised that the professional role of the pharmacist is critical to any patient support program.

'PSA prefers an approach where a pharmacist is supported in providing professional advice to the consumer in the pharmacy on issues around adherence, correct use and the benefits and adverse effects of medication,' he said.

Unfortunately PSA doesn’t have access to full details of the arrangement between the Pharmacy Guild and Pfizer but from what is publically known PSA is concerned that a drug company appears to be usurping the role of the pharmacist in providing professional support, advice and ongoing monitoring of the consumer. PSA does not and cannot support this kind of arrangement.'

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Support for Sclavos re-election : 21/10/2011 :

Both the Australian College of Pharmacy and the National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA) have welcomed the re-election of Kos Sclavos as Guild National President.

The President of the Australian College of Pharmacy, Mr Trent Twomey, said that Mr Sclavos brought an experienced and steady hand to the National Presidency.

NAPSA said that Mr. Sclavos’ re-election will allow him to ensure consolidation of the initiatives arising from the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement, such as those elements constituting the Pharmacy Practice Incentives program, which provide opportunities for students and interns to enhance their employment capacity as pharmacists within a primary health care role.

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World Osteoporosis Day Summit : 20/10/2011 :

Health and exercise experts, government representatives and consumer groups will meet in Sydney today – World Osteoporosis Day – to attempt to elevate bone health on the national agenda.

Osteoporosis Australia’s national Building Healthy Bones Throughout Life Summit will set clear recommendations on calcium and vitamin D intake and exercise required to prevent the onset of osteoporosis – which is expected to more than double to a 3 million by 2021 without preventative action.

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Guild in the media spotlight *again* : 20/10/2011 :

Pharmacists once again found themselves in the media spotlight yesterday after the Fairfax press published a negative story about a pharmacy program to sign patients up to a Pfizer support program.

The story claimed that the deal is similar to the recently-dumped deal for pharmacists to market Blackmores dietary supplements with prescription drugs and quoted APESMA CEO Chris Walton ''Just like the failed Blackmores deal, this uses a computer system to try to bypass the advice from a professional pharmacist. Instead of delivering better patient outcomes, this just aims to stuff more money into the Pharmacy Guild.''

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Kos Sclavos re-elected : 20/10/2011 :

Kos Sclavos has been re-elected Guild President for a third term, defeating his NSW opponent Paul Sinclair 9 votes to 6.

During his first term, the Guild constitution was changed so that one person can only serve two consecutive terms as President, so this will be Kos's final three year term.

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