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AusPharm news

2012 Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award goes to Dr Jason Roberts : 05/11/2012 :

Dr Jason Roberts has been awarded the Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award for 2012.

The Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award is awarded by the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) Federal Council annually to a member of SHPA in recognition of outstanding contributions in the area of clinical pharmacy practice. Dr Roberts received an inscribed plaque and a stipend of $2500.

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Pharmacy Board to review registration standards : 05/11/2012 :

As part of the AHPRA 2011/12 Annual Report, published last week, the Pharmacy Board of Australia reported on its activities during the period and highlighted its agenda for the comming year.

The Board's areas of focus during 20112/12 included a Review of the extemporaneous dispensing (compounding) guideline and a Review of accreditation standards for pharmacy programs.

It has flagged its intention to commence a review of its registration standards and guidelines by 30 June 2013.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Exanatide and weight loss : 05/11/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Exanatide and weight loss.

"The efficacy of exenatide compared to long-acting insulin regimen was discussed in a previous E-bulletin 42(3) and the role of exenatide in the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus and its pharmacological action was evaluated in E-bulletin 31(10). This E-bulletin will focus on emerging evidence regarding the use of exenatide and the attainment of weight loss for patients with or without type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). A systematic review from January 2012 by Vilsbøll et al included 25 studies published between January 2004 and May 2011, and assessed patients treated with exenatide or liraglutide (another GLP-1R analogue) compared against placebo, oral antidiabetic drugs, or insulin and evaluated weight loss for patients with a body mass index of ≥ 25...

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

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Australian researchers awarded Gates grant for inhaled oxytocin work : 05/11/2012 :

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded $1 million funding to an Australian research team from Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Science (MIPS), through its Grand Challenges Explorations initiative which fosters innovation in disease prevention. The MIPS team is working on developing an inhaled oxytocin technology, as an alternative to injected oxytocin in preventing post-partum haemorrhage. The technology has the potential to help save the lives of 150,000 mothers each year around the world.

This 2012 funding will go towards phase II trials of an inhaled oxytocin. The team hopes to move to human clinical trials in 2013.

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Second Productivity Commission Review of Pharmacy ownership flagged : 05/11/2012 :

In a speech delivered to the Economic and Social Outlook Conference, 'Securing the Future' in Melbourne on 1 November 2012, Productivity Commisison Chair, Gary Banks, flagged that a second National Competition Policy Review of pharmacy ownership remains on the Commission's 'to do' list.

Mr Banks listed pharmacy ownership as one area among many where a 'second, more focussed' review would serve a purpose saying [competition policy driven reform] "progress has stalled or even reversed in some policy areas". 

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2013 Australian influenza vaccine composition set : 02/11/2012 :

The Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee (AIVC) met recently in Canberra to review the data relating to recent influenza strains circulating in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere, responses to the 2011-2012 vaccines, and the availability of candidate vaccines viruses and reagents for the 2013 influenza season.

The committee determined the September WHO recommendations are appropriate and, therefore, that the trivalent influenza vaccine components for the Australian 2013 influenza season should contain the following:

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Follow the MM2012 Conference on your phone : 02/11/2012 :

The MM2012 Conference, now undwerway in Canberra, has a conference app - it can be found at http://eventmobi.com/mm2012/.

Type the address directly into your phone or other device and the app will download automatically.

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Is Pfizer still on the nose with pharmacists? Well, yes... : 02/11/2012 :

According to this week's AusPharm poll,  the antagonism felt by pharmacists towards pharma company Pfizer over its February 2011 decision to introduce an exclusive, direct to pharmacy, supply model has not, to any extent, abated in the 21 months since.

The poll was a repeat of polls we ran in September 2011 and again in February 2012. 51% told us they felt 'highly antagonistic' towards the company compared to 52% in February and 55% in the September 2011 poll. 

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 02/11/2012 :

The MIMS November 2012 Monthly Medicine Update is now available. Click the link to read it now.

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Fred celebrates 20 years of innovation : 01/11/2012 :

Fred IT Group celebrates its 20th birthday this November, kicking off a year of celebrations to mark the milestone.

The company’s launch in 1992 to develop pharmacist-friendly dispensing software led to Fred Dispense, now the dispensing choice of more than 53% of all Australian pharmacies. It has also seen the company take a leadership role in some of the biggest shifts to hit the industry over the past two decades, including the transition to PBS Online, the development of national electronic prescriptions with eRx, and leading the creation of the national medicines repository backbone of the PCEHR (MedView).

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New aged care facility medication management guidelines released : 01/11/2012 :

An updated edition of the Guiding principles for medication management in residential aged care facilities was released by the Department of Health and Ageing yesterday.

The document is a revision of the 2002 version published by the former Australian Pharmaceutical Advisory Council (APAC). An evaluation of the Guidelines, undertaken in 2007, showed that they were widely used, but required revision in certain areas to reflect contemporary contexts and practice.

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TGA releases guidelines for the sale of banned products : 01/11/2012 :

Following recent media attention on pharmacies continuing to sell complementary medicines that the TGA has removed from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods, the TGA yesterday released guidelines on what pharmacy's responsibilities are with respect to these products.

The TGA says that where a product has been cancelled from the ARTG, depending on the circumstances, a product that was available for retail supply at the time of cancellation may continue to be sold by retail outlets. It adds the caveat, however, that it may contravene state law to supply therapeutic goods that are not included in the ARTG.

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Pfizer, still on the nose? : 31/10/2012 :

It was announced by Pfizer Australia last week that Pfizer Direct architect and company CEO, John Latham, will soon be leaving the company.

21 months on from the introduction by the company of its direct to pharmacy exclusive supply model we're wondering to what extent Pfizer is still on the nose amongst pharmacists.

Please let us know how you feel about Pfizer and its exclusive supply arrangements, 21 months on, by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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PSA, Japanese Pharmacy Association Sign MoU : 31/10/2012 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and Japan’s Ueda Pharmacists Association have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop and foster a strategic alliance which aims to develop and promote the professional role of pharmacists in the primary health-care team.

The MoU is also designed to strengthen collaboration and cooperation between the Ueda Pharmacists Association and PSA while identifying potential products and services that may form the basis of commercial licensing agreements between the two groups.

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Free PSA membership for pharmacy students : 30/10/2012 :

Pharmacy students across Australia will now be able to access PSA member benefits free of charge under an initiative aimed at helping students build for their careers outside university.
 
Announcing the new offer at PAC12 recently, PSA National President Grant Kardachi said the PSA had decided to introduce the free student membership so that young pharmacists emerging into the workforce would be better equipped for the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead.

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Tributes flow for Alan Russell OBE : 30/10/2012 :

As reported yesterday pharmacy icon Alan Russell OBE passed away late last week.

Both PDL Chair Dean Schulz and Guild President Kos Sclavos paid tribute to Mr Russell yesterday.

"The profession of pharmacy has lost an icon with the sad passing of Alan Russell," said Mr Schulz.

"I don’t believe we have ever before, or will ever again, see any one person contribute so much to pharmacy, both nationally and internationally."

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Pharma: medicines a winner in Asian century : 30/10/2012 :

Following the weekend release of the federal government's Australia in the Asian Century white paper, both Medicines Australia (MA) and the Generic Medicines Industry Association (GMiA) have stressed that a major opportunity exists for Australia to engage with the emerging markets in the Asian region.

According to Medicines Australia CEO Dr Brendan Shaw “The Australian medicines industry is already helping to drive Australia’s engagement with the Asian region and there are further opportunities ahead.”

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Management of obsessive compulsive disorder. : 29/10/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Management of obsessive compulsive disorder.

"Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder with a lifetime prevalence of approximately 2.5%. It is characterised by obsessions, which cause marked anxiety or distress, and/or compulsions, which serve to neutralize the anxiety triggered by the obsession. To make the diagnosis, the behaviour must consume more than an hour each day or significantly interfere with functioning. The enormous disability and global impact of this disease is often underestimated. Although acute cases have been documented, obsessive compulsive disorder generally runs a chronic course with periods of remission and relapse.

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

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Plibersek: 2011/12 PBS growth would have funded 15,000 hip replacements : 29/10/2012 :

Speaking at the Medicines Australia Industry Conference Dinner, held in Sydney last week, Health Minister Tanya Plibersek told the pharma industry delegates present that even though last year's PBS growth came in at 3.6 %, lower than the 6.1% the previous year, it was $340 million - a significant amount, equivalent in dollar terms to 15,000 hip replacements.

The Minister pointed out that the slowdown in growth is in part attributable to a number of block buster drugs coming off-patent, with the resulting brand competition triggering PBS pricing policy measures - most notably atorvastatin in April 2012.

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Senior Australians and Prescription Medicines : 29/10/2012 :

A new report released by National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre has found that prescription medicines are currently used by 81% of Australians over the age of 50, with 24% taking five medicines or more. No surprise to pharmacists here.

More than half of people surveyed for the report, Senior Australians and Prescription Medicines said there would be a significant impact on their functioning (46%) or they could not function in the workplace and everyday life at all (7%) if they were unable to take their prescription medicines.

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