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AusPharm news

New labelling of cough and cold medicines commences : 03/07/2012 :

Following a 2009 review of the labelling of children's cough and cold mixtures the TGA now requires that these products not be labelled for use in children under 6 years of age and that, for children between 6 and 12 years of age, labelling should reflect that the advice of a pharmacist or doctor should initially be sought before giving the products.

Over coming months, pharmacies will see cough and cold products containing antihistamines, antitussives, mucolytics, expectorants and decongestants  transitioning their labelling in accordance with the TGA decision.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 03/07/2012 :

AFL - Round 14

Round 14 of the 2012 AFL season commenced with a Friday night blockbuster featuring the Hawks and the Blues, the final outcome was the Hawks dismantling a worn out Blues outfit by 50 points.

Other highlights of the round included the Magpies winning their 10th game in a row, defeating a promising Fremantle team by 29 points at the MCG. Other results for the round saw Adelaide defeat a courageous Tigers team by just over 3 goals and the West Coast Eagles obliterating the Suns by a colossal 126 points at Patterson's Stadium.

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MSD seeks injunction against Apotex on Nasonex generic : 03/07/2012 :

MSD in Australia has applied to the Federal Court of Australia for an injunction to stop Apotex marketing a generic version of MSD's  Nasal Spray in Australia.

MSD believes that Apotex's plans to launch the generic from September infringe MSD's Nasonex patent, which expires in 2015. MSD says it plans to vigorously defend its rights.

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SHPA Seminar in Aged Care: Adelaide July 28/29 : 02/07/2012 :

An SHPA Seminar in Aged Care has been scheduled for Adelaide on July 28/29, 2012.

The 1.5 day interactive course, designed for community and hospital pharmacists, will provide an understanding of the consequences of ageing in respect to drug management in the elderly. The topics to be covered represent common problems encountered in the geriatric population. The sessions will focus on aims of treatment in the elderly, issues of drug selection and patient monitoring.

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ACP launches new membership option for pharmacy businesses : 02/07/2012 :

This week the Australian College of Pharmacy announced a new membership category, Corporate Membership for pharmacy businesses.

Pharmacys can enrol up to three pharmacists and up to two other pharmacy staff.

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Sansom AF therapy review issues paper released : 02/07/2012 :

An Issues and Options Paper for the Sansom Review of Anticoagulation Therapies in Atrial Fibrillation was released to the public on Friday.

The release of the paper follows the commissioning last year of former PBAC Chair, Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom AO, to conduct a review of anticoagulation therapies in atrial fibrillation. The commissioning of the review was, in part, a response to the government decision not to PBS list new anticoagulant dabigatran (Pradaxa), despite a March 2011 PBAC recommendation to do so.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Riluzole and motor neurone disorder : 02/07/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Riluzole and motor neurone disorder.

"Riluzole is a neuroprotective agent used in the treatment of motor neurone disease. The precise mechanism of action of riluzole is unclear, however evidence supports a reduction in glutamate-induced excitotoxicity by three mechanisms: non-competitive blockade of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptors, inhibition of the release of presynaptic glutamic acid, and inactivation of voltage-dependent sodium channels. Motor neurone disease (MND) is a neuromuscular disorder that progressively results in widespread muscle weakness, leading to death within 3-4 years of onset. The two major forms of MND are amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) where muscles controlling the limbs are affected first, and Progressive Bulbar Palsy (PBP) whereby bulbar muscles are affected first."

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

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Few pharmacists conscientiously object to dispensing oral contraceptives : 29/06/2012 :

This week's AusPharm poll followed a Herald Sun news story which cited a Monash University study that found 'one in five pharmacists think it's reasonable for their religious beliefs to influence their decision to provide the pill.'

According to journalist Susie O'Brien "Pharmacists are there to serve customers, not to dispense moral advice, or impose their conservative Christian views on their customers."

We thought the 'one in five' figure sounded high so we set out to find out. The result tells us that only 3% of respondents (or about one in thirty) 'have religious / moral concerns and decline to supply' prescribed oral contraceptives. Another 9% 'have religious / moral concerns but do not decline to supply'.

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Harvey takes aim at Nature's Own sleep products : 29/06/2012 :

Following this week's launch of Nature's Own new sleep product 'Complete Sleep Advanced', public health advocate Dr Ken Harvey has immediately lodged a complaint with the Complaints Resolution Panel (CRP) alleging that advertising for the product breaches numerous sections of the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code 2007 and the Therapeutic Goods Act.

He has also requested the TGA 'immediately initiate a post-marketing review on this product with the view of removing it from the ARTG because of serious advertising and regulatory violations.'

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PBS costs surge in May : 28/06/2012 :

In what may be a statistical anomaly, PBS costs spiked heavily in May. This is the first month on month rise for at least the last 9 months (see chart below).

18.8 million PBS claimable scripts were dispensed in May 2012 at a cost to government of $839 million. This represents a rise in script numbers of 17.5% on May 2011 (16.0 v 18.8 million) and in absolute dollars of 27.3% on May 2011 ($839 v $659 million).

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Medicines Australia: Greens threats premature : 28/06/2012 :

Following threats this week from Green's health spokesperson, Senator Richard Di Natale, to legislate to clamp down on inducements to doctors from the pharmaceutical industry, peak pharma group Medicines Australia said yesterday that the Green's threats are premature.

“Medicines Australia has now almost completed an 12 month review of its Code of Conduct, which sets the rules for these relationships.  This review is an extensive process and is followed by a six month review by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission which is about to commence," said Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 27/06/2012 :

AFL Round 13

Round 13 of the 2012 AFL season commenced with a Friday night show down at the SCG between the Swans and the Cats, the Cats fought gallantly however the Swans flew away with the game by a goal.

NRL Round 16

Round 16 of the 2012 NRL Season commenced with the Titans and the Dragons, in a very close game it was the Dragons that were victorious 8-6 at WIN Stadium. Other results of the round included the Broncos defeating a determined Rabbitohs outfit 26-12.

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Poll: do you decline to supply oral contraceptives on religious / moral grounds? : 27/06/2012 :

A recent Herald Sun news item claimed that 'some pharmacists are refusing to follow the law and sell the pill because of their personal beliefs.'  Margaret Topp posted a comment to AusPharmList about the news item and there have been a number of further posts.

But just how common is this? Are there many pharmacists declining oral contraceptive supply on religious/moral grounds?

Please help us find out by voting in today's AusPharm online poll.

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Government spends on new PBS listings : 26/06/2012 :

Eleven new medicines are to be PBS listed from August 1. Some are entirely new listings and others are new indications for existing medicines already on the PBS.

“The listing of these medicines on the PBS will offer patients access to new, affordable treatments which will directly benefit their health,” said Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek, announcing the listings.

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Board urges students to apply for registration early : 25/06/2012 :

The Pharmacy Board is urging all pharmacy students about to graduate to apply early for registration. AHPRA launched online registration for final year students in May; the online graduate registration service enables students to apply for registration early before they complete their course.

Most students are able to complete their registration application online, while others will need to use the dedicated web pages to be directed to the correct application form. All applications require students to return some supporting documents to AHPRA by mail.

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Medicines industry conference to address implications of an ageing Australia : 25/06/2012 :

Medicines Australia has released the program for the biannual Medicines Australia industry conference, to be held in Sydney on Wednesday 24 October 2012.

The theme of the conference is Living Longer, Living Well: The role of medicines for an ageing Australia.

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SHPA NSW Immunology Symposium, Saturday 18th August 2012 : 25/06/2012 :

Registrations have opened for the SHPA NSW Branch 2012 Immunology Symposium. The one-day event will be held at The University of Sydney on the 18th August and is designed to give pharmacists and interns a therapeutic update in the area of immunology focusing on the use of biological agents.

Pathology results in Immunology will be discussed along with the use of ‘mabs and nibs’ in Oncology, Macular degeneration, Rheumatology and Gastroenterology.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Medications in the lactose intolerant adult : 25/06/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Medications in the lactose intolerant adult.

"Lactose is the carbohydrate naturally found in all kinds of milk, including human milk. Lactose intolerance can occur when person has insufficient lactase, resulting in the inability to break down lactose and causing maldigestion that leads to undigested lactose passing through to the colon."

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

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Painful Truths : 24/06/2012 :

As part of National Pain Week – 22-28 July 2012, Chronic Pain Australia is hosting a specialised ‘pain treatment and management’ workshop – ‘Painful Truths’, for primary healthcare providers working with people with pain. It is being held on July 25, 2012 in The Theatre, Parliament House, Canberra ACT.

It is designed to accommodate all primary care providers including, but not limited to pharmacists, GPs, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, nurses, podiatrists, exercise physiologists, social workers, rehabilitation counsellors – there are no exclusions.

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Diabetes: Tighter Control of Blood Sugar Prevents Nerve Condition, But At What Risk? : 22/06/2012 :

Aggressive control of blood sugar levels in diabetes can help to prevent diabetic neuropathy, according to a new systematic review in The Cochrane Library. However, the review suggests that optimal target levels need to be established to prevent complications.

Up to half of people with diabetes develop diabetic neuropathy, which affects nerves in the feet and legs, making them feel tingly, numb, painful or weak. It is possible to prevent neuropathy by strict control of blood sugar levels through a number of ways including different insulin regimens and diet modification, but evidence for the effects of this approach, known as enhanced glucose control, has not been systematically reviewed until now.

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