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AusPharm news

Is it any good and does it matter? : 20/09/2011 :

The art of deciphering evidence and talking to patients about it will be the subject of a special workshop at PAC11 this year.
 
The Critical Appraisal Workshop, or Is it any good & does it matter? will be held on Sunday 9 October and explore the key elements of a structured critical appraisal process. It will also help provide the skills for pharmacists to apply a structured critical appraisal approach to a research paper, which can sometimes seem like a daunting process.

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National Health Performance Authority legislation passed : 20/09/2011 :

A new national watchdog for Australia’s health system will soon be formed after legislation to establish the National Health Performance Authority passed the Senate yesterday.

The authority will monitor, assess and report on the performance of hospitals and health networks and will give state governments 45 days' notice of the results before they are released to the public.

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New Resource to Get Australians Talking About Donation Wishes : 19/09/2011 :

Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King yesterday launched a new resource to help Australians overcome barriers to discussion about organ and tissue donation.

The DonateLife Guide for Community Speakers includes a step-by-step presentation, case studies, and background on organ and tissue donation, DonateLife and the Gillard Government’s National Reform Agenda.

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Pharmacist Coalition calls for greater inclusion in chronic disease services : 19/09/2011 :

Latest AIHW statistics predicting an 80% increase in new cases of end-stage renal disease by 2020 have prompted a further general call by the Pharmacist Coalition for Health Reform (PCHR) for greater involvement of pharmacists in service provision for chronic disease.

Commenting on the economic imperative behind the management of such disease states, PSA CEO and PCHR spokesperson Liesel Wett declared that pharmacists need to be involved in Medicare Locals to help better co-ordinate healthcare services for chronic disease. She also stated that “New models need to be developed to allow pharmacists to be funded to consult with patients in their pharmacy, or during home visits, to review, monitor and educate them about their medicines."

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SA Pharmacist of the year named : 19/09/2011 :

A community pharmacist from Port Augusta, Helen Flannery, has been named the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s South Australian Pharmacist of the Year.

Ms Flannery’s work in a rural area involves close community consultation with both patients and other health-care professionals to ensure the best health outcomes for consumers and patients.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Mirtazapine-related blood dyscrasias : 19/09/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Mirtazapine-related blood dyscrasias.

"Many psychotropic medications are known to be associated with blood dyscrasias such as leucopaenias and agranulocytosis – implicated agents are known to include clozapine, olanzapine, chlorpromazine, carbamazepine and imipramine. Mirtazapine, a tetracyclic antidepressant, has also been rarely associated with reports of serious blood dyscrasias. The manufacturer’s product information acknowledges leucopaenia, granulocytopaenia, agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia, pancytopaenia, anaemia, aplastic anaemia, eosinophilia and coagulation disorders as rare but potential adverse effects. It also states that although granulocytopaenia or agranulocytosis is reported to occur during treatment with mirtazapine, but that the rate is no greater than that of the background population. In pre-marketing trials, an incidence of agranulocytosis (absolute neutrophil count, ANC<0.1 x109/L) or severe neutropaenia (ANC<0.5x109/L) was observed for 11 of 10000 subjects (0.11%)."

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

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Pfizer still on the nose with pharmacists : 16/09/2011 :

This week's poll picked up on recent comments that Pfizer's exclusive direct to pharmacy supply model continues to anger pharmacists and sought to confirm these sentiments.

And confirm them they did, with 87% of respondents to the poll telling us they felt either 'highly antagonistic' (55%) or 'negative' (32%) towards Pfizer.

If pharmacists' sentiments remain the same, Pfizer will struggle with its generic offer once  blockbuster drug Lipitor comes of patent in Australia in 2012.

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Spring Medicare Bulletin Board published : 16/09/2011 :

The Spring edition of the Medicare Bulletin Board has been published on the Medicare website.

It includes articles on:

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SHPA Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award 2011 : 16/09/2011 :

The recipient of the 2011 SHPA Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award is Greg Roberts.

Greg Roberts has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of clinical pharmacy practice in South Australia and beyond. Greg’s achievements are a prime demonstration of this and are a culmination of many years dedication to the cause of maximising patient care and medication safety.

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New report highlights the burden of chronic kidney disease for Indigenous Australians : 16/09/2011 :

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a serious and common health problem among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Chronic kidney disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2011, presents, for the first time, detailed analysis of CKD in Indigenous Australians.

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SIGMA gets up a head of steam, share price bounces : 15/09/2011 :

Sigma Pharmaceuticals yesterday reported half year results for the period ending 31 July, 2011 that showed a net profit of $26.7 million, compared to a net loss of $9.2 million for the corresponding period in 2010. The company attributes the result to market share growth (Pharmacy Alliance) and reduced interest payments.

Excluding the revenue caused by the Pfizer departure from the wholesalers, the company reported 9% year on year growth in sales.

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The Great Debate - Not to be missed : 15/09/2011 :

Issues relating to the size of the pharmacy workforce have increasingly dominated the headlines in the pharmacy media throughout 2011.
 
On the one hand  are calls for a moratorium on new pharmacy schools, claims of underpayment, and concerns about oversupply – particularly since pharmacists were recently returned to the Skilled Occupation List for migration purposes. 

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Hospital in the home could slash health costs and free up beds : 15/09/2011 :

According to research published today by Deloitte Access Economics, hundreds of thousands of public hospital patients could be treated at home at lower cost than traditional institutionalised care.

The Report, commissioned by the Hospital in the Home (HITH) Society of Australasia, found that hospital-quality care in the home delivers equivalent health outcomes, is 32 per cent more cost-effective for governments than in-hospital treatment for the medical conditions examined, and is preferred by patients.

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Big pharma keeps the pressure on for PBS listings : 15/09/2011 :

Speaking at an industry conference in Sydney yesterday Medicines Australia CEO Dr Brendan Shaw repeated peak pharma group Medicines Australia's call for the current government policy of deferring PBAC recommended PBS listings to end.

“The PBS is sustainable once the Government takes into account its own forecasts of modest PBS growth and the headroom being created for new medicines through price disclosure savings and patent expiries," said Dr Shaw.

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RUOK? - a conversation could change a life : 15/09/2011 :

Today is RUOK? Day. RUOK? Day is a national day of action designed to help prevent suicide by asking Australians to connect with someone they care about and help stop little problems turning into big ones.

On this day the 15th, Australians are encouraged to ask family, friends and colleagues: "Are you OK?".

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NPS and e-scripts - clarification : 14/09/2011 :

In yesterday's AusPharm we ran an item that highlighted a coming NPS campaign to raise awareness of electronic transfer of prescriptions (eTP) as a tool for medication management for pharmacies and general practices.

That item included an image of eRx Script Exchange which prompted a few enquires as to whether NPS was in some way 'endorsing' eRx.

This is not the case. NPS is an independent organisation and is not working to promote either of the eTP services over the other, but rather to facilitate uptake of eTP as a whole. 

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HMR rules to change October 1 : 14/09/2011 :

Under the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement, changes are being made to the Home Medicines Review (HMR) Program from 1 October which will:

  • Highlight the importance of the patient’s clinical needs at time of referral
  • Empower the patient to choose the most appropriate pharmacist to interview them at home
  • Enable the GP to refer to either the patient’s preferred community pharmacy or an accredited pharmacist of the patient’s choice

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PharmacyLIVE! Registration Closes Soon : 14/09/2011 :

Registrations for PharmacyLIVE! - the PSA's new, exciting and interactive professional development event  - close soon with places available for a limited number of sessions on both Saturday and Sunday.
 
PharmacyLIVE!, to be held on 17 and 18 September at Sydney Showgrounds, offers a program which focuses on chronic disease management, quality use of medicines and medication adherence.

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Higher rates of treated end-stage kidney disease projected for 2020 : 14/09/2011 :

New cases of end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) treated with dialysis or kidney transplantation are expected to rise significantly over the next decade, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

Australia’s ageing population and increasing rates of diabetes (the most common cause of treated ESKD) are estimated to contribute considerably to the predicted increase.

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Poll: Pfizer, still on the nose? : 14/09/2011 :

In light of the renewed publicity this week on the Pfizer direct to pharmacy exclusive supply model, we're wondering to what extent Pfizer is still on the nose amongst pharmacists. The recent Galaxy poll suggested antagonism towards the company was still widespread but this survey had a very low response rate and may have produced a distorted result.

Let's see what result 'listers produce. Please let us know how you feel about the Pfizer and its exclusive supply arrangements by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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