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AusPharm news

RGH E‑Bulletin: Farnesyltransferase inhibitors in Hutchinson-Gilford progeria. : 15/10/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Farnesyltransferase inhibitors  in Hutchinson-Gilford progeria.

"Farnesyltransferase inhibitors (FTIs) are a new class of biologically active agents originally developed as potential anti-cancer drugs, and are currently unavailable in Australia. FTIs inhibit the enzyme farnesyltransferase, preventing the farnesylation and hence activation of a wide range of target proteins, including Ras (which is mutated in 30 % of all human cancers), ultimately resulting in cell growth arrest. In preclinical models, farnesyl transferase inhibitors showed great potency as a novel anti-cancer agent; yet in clinical studies, the early potential of FTIs were not realised. This was attributed to several reasons: the molecular pharmacology and biology of FTIs had not yet been fully elucidated, an escape mechanism for the inhibition by FTIs was discovered (known as geranylgeranylation) and a well-defined proof of the concept of clinical studies was lacking.

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

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TGA Consultation: Australian regulatory guidelines for complementary medicines : 15/10/2012 :

The TGA is seeking comments from interested parties on the draft document Australian regulatory guidelines for complementary medicines (ARGCM) Part A: General guidance.

The ARGCM, first published in 200, provides information for manufacturers, sponsors, healthcare professionals and the general public on the legal arrangements for the supply and use of complementary medicines in Australia.

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Submissions & TGA response: Australian Regulatory Guidelines for Over-The-Counter Medicines : 15/10/2012 :

The TGA recently called for written comments on a proposed update to the Australian Regulatory Guidelines for Over-The-Counter Medicines (ARGOM) - Stage 1.

A number of submissions were lodged, including from the Consumers Health Forum and from the Australian Self Medication Industry.

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Monash Faculty of Pharmacy launches SABER : 15/10/2012 :

Monash University’s Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has recently led the development of a new web based resource, SABER (Sharing and Building Education Resources), a networking site which houses contributed pharmacy resources and makes them freely available to the pharmacy and pharmaceutical science community.

SABER is free, internationally accessible and contains resources for teaching staff and the wider pharmacy community that may not be otherwise accessible.

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Vale Dick Clampett : 15/10/2012 :

Respected pharmacy 'elder' Richard (Dick) Blackmore Clampett passed away peacefully in his sleep in Adelaide on Sunday 7 October.

Dick was the Secretary of the Pharmaceutical Society of SA and the Registrar of the Pharmacy Board of SA for many years. He was also Secretary of the old PAANZ organisation which was the forerunner to PSA. In that role he was also editor of the APF and Prof Ron Anderson from NSW and Dick basically published the APF between them.

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Pharmacists an obliging lot : 12/10/2012 :

The results of this week's poll tell us that pharmacists will go out of their way to keep their customers (satisfied).

Our poll question this week asked 'listers to tell us how they'd handle a request from a customer for a loan of a supply of a box of blood pressure tablets 'until I get to the doctor', this in the absence of any contact with the doctor.

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Improving after-hours healthcare options : 12/10/2012 :

The ACT Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has been granted funding through the ACT Medicare Local (ACTML) to develop an education program which will more fully utilise the skills and extend the knowledge of pharmacists in producing better health outcomes for the capital region.

ACTML Chair Dr Rashmi Sharma said ACTML's After Hours Program was about enhancing access to after-hours primary healthcare services and ensuring Canberrans were aware of where they could receive after-hours care that was urgent and required medical attention before the next day.

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New Australian clinical trials website : 12/10/2012 :

A new clinical trials website  was launched yesterday by Health Minister Tania Plibersek and Industry Minister Greg Combet.

The website recognises the important role that clinical trials play in Australia, both in improving the health of Australians and in the Australian economy.

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Calling all Sydney community pharmacists : 11/10/2012 :

Community pharmacists in Sydney are invited to participate in a study that aims to explore pharmacist’s views of patient safety management.

Health care errors where medicines are involved continue to occur and result in preventable harm to patients despite the best intentions of health care professionals and despite policy and practices that support the safe use of medicines.

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Stockpilers could benefit from MedsCheck : 11/10/2012 :

As the end of the year draws closer, the number of patients reaching their Safety Net limit increases. Patients who reached the Safety Net limit are sometimes tempted to visit their pharmacy to have as many prescriptions as they can dispensed at the discounted rate.

However, this stockpiling can cause confusion with the medications they have at home and can increase the risk of multiple dosing, one of the drug related problems that the new MedsCheck incentive is trying to address.

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Vale: Emeritus Professor Thomas (Tom) R Watson : 11/10/2012 :

Respected pharmacy academic Professor Tom Watson passed way last week.

Emeritus Professor Watson who was one of the first recipients of the Sydney University Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Pharmacy, in 1956.

Professor Watson joined the then Department of Pharmacy as a lecturer, before becoming Head of the Department of Pharmacy in 1967. He remained at the helm of the Department for many years, steering its transition into the modern day. He is recognised for the many developments that he brought about, such as leading the change in the undergraduate pharmacy course which included a dramatic change in the curriculum.

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AusPharm CE: RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin No 52 : 11/10/2012 :

The next in our 2012 series of continuing education activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 52

This CE activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins (Volumes 47-6 - 47-9  --> August - September 2012).

After completing this activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Understand the relative risk for arterial thrombotic events associated with combined oral contraceptive use
  • Discuss the clinical features and drug treatment of Huntington's disease
  • Specify considerations that need to be taken into account when crushing solid oral dose forms
  • Describe clinical issues relevant to atypical fractures associated with bisphosphonate use.

This activity has been accredited for 1 group 2 CPD credits suitable for inclusion in an individual pharmacist’s CPD plan. Accreditation number: A1210AP1.

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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TGA says free generic Lipitor ad OK : 11/10/2012 :

'Listers will recall the uproar caused by the Chemist Warehouse 'Free Generic Lipitor' newspaper ads run in early June this year.

The TGA were asked by a number of interested parties to investigate, with a view to determining whether the ads breached the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.

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Dr Martin Cross Confirmed as Chair of the Pharmaceuticals Industry Council : 11/10/2012 :

Dr Martin Cross, Managing Director of Alphapharm and Chairman of the Generic Medicines Industry Association, has been confirmed as the chair of the Pharmaceuticals Industry Council (PIC). Dr Cross, who was appointed the PIC's interim chair following Mr Will Delaat's retirement in March, will hold this position until at least June 2013.
 
Dr Cross said he is delighted to be named the PIC's chair.

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Poll: do you 'lend' your patients S4s : 10/10/2012 :

In the 'good old days' when Mrs Smith ran out of her blood pressure tablets it was common practice for her pharmacist to advance her a box pending her next trip to the doctor. This is, of course, illegal although most (all) states' legislation allows for a small 'emergency supply' to be provided, typically three days worth.

AusPharm's sense of things is that supplying the whole box is much less common in 2012 than in days gone by. But is it? Let's see.

Please tick the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll below.

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NPS launches new tool to help patients manage HbA1c unit changes : 10/10/2012 :

NPS MedicineWise has launched a new online HbA1c converter tool to help people with diabetes understand changes to the way their HbA1c test results are reported in Australia.
 
NPS clinical adviser Dr Danielle Stowasser says that some people with diabetes who are used to tracking their HbA1c levels might have noticed that the units for measuring this test have changed, with the numbers looking different from what they were before.

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$6.3 billion spent on mental health services in 2009–10 : 10/10/2012 :

Over $6.3 billion, or $287 per Australian, was spent on mental health-related services in 2009–10, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

The report, Mental health services: in brief 2012, summarises new information on the AIHW’s interactive Mental Health Services in Australia website including mental health-related expenditure, facilities, hospitalisations and prescriptions.

About 31.1 million prescriptions for mental health-related medications were dispensed in 2010–11, three-quarters of which were PBS subsidised. 
Almost two-thirds of these were for antidepressants.

The updated information and report have been released to coincide with today’s World Mental Health Day.

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Advice for ECPS looking to be pharmacy owners : 09/10/2012 :

Early Career Pharmacists looking to fulfil a dream of owning a community pharmacy can get some useful pointers and advice at this year's Early Career Pharmacist Breakfast being held as part of PAC12.

Simon Carroll, a practising pharmacist for 25 years, pharmacy owner for 15 years and now Senior Professional Practice Pharmacist at PSA,   will speak on the subject of Hurdles to be addressed when considering ownership during which he will address the findings from a recent survey of PSA Early Career Pharmacists   that highlighted concerns and issues relevant to pharmacists aspiring to pharmacy ownership. 

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Australian pharmacy luminaries at FIP : 09/10/2012 :

A number of high profile Australian pharmacy identities were among the 5,500 delegates who have been attending the FIP Centennial Congress, currently drawing to a close in Amsterdam.

Thanks to Bill Arnold for sending along the photos below.

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Blackmores and WWF Sustainable Fish Oils Partnership : 09/10/2012 :

Vitamin and supplement company Blackmores announced last week that it has partnered with the global conservation organisation WWF to launch the Blackmores and WWF Sustainable Fish Oils Partnership.

This is a three-year engagement which Blackmores says will help it achieve the highest possible standard for sustainable fish oils by 2015. The company says it represents Blackmores’ commitment to fulfilling a vision of healthy oceans, healthy communities and sustainable business practices.

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