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AusPharm news

Fair Work Ombudsman to conduct national audit of community pharmacies : 21/09/2012 :

The Fair Work Ombudsman, Nicholas Wilson, pictured at right, has flagged his intention to audit community pharmacies for their compliance with workplace relations laws during 2013.

The announcement of a national audit follows a targeted audit in Queensland community pharmacies in 2011 that uncovered numerous breaches.

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Guild takes up the fight on HMR integrity : 21/09/2012 :

Concerns were recently raised by PSA President Grant Kardachi (here) and other industry players about the alleged proliferation of Home Medicines Reviews (HMRs) said to be being conducted in doctors' clinics rather than in a patient's home. As the name suggests, this is what the model is designed (and funded) to do.

Guild President Kos Sclavos has now joined the call to put a stop to this practice, which does not accord with the HMR Business Rules. According to Mr Sclavos, the continuation of the practice would put at risk the funding for the HMR program.

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Pharmacists need to get advice right on cough and cold medicines for children : 21/09/2012 :

NPS MedicineWise is urging pharmacists to review the recent Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) advice about the use of cough and cold medicines in children under 11 after reports from the NPS Medicines Line suggest consumers are receiving conflicting advice from pharmacists.    

NPS Head of Programs Ms Karen Kaye says that despite the TGA advice, there are reports some pharmacies are continuing to sell cough and cold medicines for children under 6 years, while others are refusing to sell these medicines for children over 6 years without a prescription.

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Kennett: customer relationships the key : 21/09/2012 :

Former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett says that the key to sustaining the community pharmacy model into the future is to have a clear vision for where pharmacy needs to be in twenty years’ time and that the key point of difference must be community pharmacy’s relationship with customers. A key objective for community pharmacy, he says, is to make a difference by providing primary health care services and contribute to the Government’s aim of keeping people out of hospital.

Mr Kennett's comments came during a speech at the recent Australian College of Pharmacy Victorian Chapter dinner.

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Priceline launches instore diabetes checks : 21/09/2012 :

Priceline Pharmacy has launched a free diabetes health-check program across each of its 200 Priceline Pharmacy stores.

The program sees pharmacists providing a blood pressure test and a blood glucose test. Pharmacists will also be able to provide free medication reviews and advice about patients’ medications and ways that they can better control hypo and hyperglcaemia.

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Pfizer wins pharmacy customer service award : 20/09/2012 :

In a shock result and despite ongoing, although declining, angst among pharmacists around the country over the decision by Pfizer to bypass wholesalers with an exclusive distribution system for its products, the company has won the 2012 AJP Service Industry Award for a Branded Prescription Company.

Pfizer’s move to develop its own system of exclusive distribution to pharmacies was part of the company’s strategy to minimise commercial losses once its Lipitor patent had lapsed. The company’s stated strategy to work more closely with pharmacy was thought to have backfired considering the volume of complaints from pharmacists who were upset with the impact of exclusive distribution to their customers and businesses.

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PSA's CPExpo returns in 2013 : 20/09/2012 :

The PSA's Clinical & Practice Expo will return to the Hordern Pavillion, Moore Park (Sydney) from 31 May - 2 June 2013.  The announcement was made by PSA NSW committee member John Bronger OAM at a launch for pharmaceutical industry and media representatives on Friday, 14 September at Woolwich.

In making the announcement Mr Bronger said, Following the overwhelming success of Clinical and Practice Expo 2012 (CPExpo) earlier this year I am proud that the PSA will present yet another clinical and practice focused conference of unparalleled quality in 2013.

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Cancer survival has improved over time in Australia : 20/09/2012 :

Cancer survival rates are improving in Australia, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Cancer survival and prevalence in Australia: period estimates from 1982 to 2010, shows that 5-year survival from all cancers increased from 47% to 66% in the period 1982-1987 to 2006-2010.

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Poll: do pharmacist have management skills? : 19/09/2012 :

Pharmacists often find themselves in management positions - this can taken many forms ranging from managing a community pharmacy to managing a government department to holding down a management position in a pharmacy group. It may be simply managing a dispensary.

Traditionally, pharmacists have had little or no management training but is this still the case? Please help us find out by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll below.

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The sustainability of the supply chain lessons from the EU : 19/09/2012 :

Recent developments in Australia's pharmacy supply chain model have raised concerns about margins and sustainability in community pharmacies.

Australia's concerns are not isolated, and recent developments across Europe have underscored some of the issues being raised in this country.

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ASMI: ignore JAMA systematic review / meta analysis : 18/09/2012 :

Responding to a recent negative review published in respected journal JAMA, the Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI) put out a statement yesterday claiming that the the overwhelming weight of evidence still supports the use of omega-3 fatty acid supplements in patients with heart disease.

The JAMA Systematic Review and Meta-analysis, published last week, concluded that "Overall, omega-3 PUFA supplementation was not associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality, cardiac death, sudden death, myocardial infarction, or stroke based on relative and absolute measures of association".

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Professional recruitment through Sydney Pharmacy Indigenous Camp : 18/09/2012 :

As part of the University of Sydney's Wingara Mura-Bunga Barrabugu Indigenous strategy, the Faculty of Pharmacy is running an indigenous pharmacy camp in January 2013. The camp will incorporate pharmacy workshops, lab sessions and field trips to give Year 10/11 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students a taste of university education and a career in pharmacy. The cost of the four-day camp (SydPIC), including travel, will be fully funded by the Pharmacy Faculty.

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GMIA keeps the pressure on for discounted co-payments on generics : 18/09/2012 :

Highlighting the results of a recent survey it sponsored the Generic Medicines Industry Association (GMiA) yesterday repeated its call for a discount to be applied to the PBS co-payment for generic medicines.

GMIA argues that a PBS copayment discount would support the increased use of generic prescription medicines thereby saving the economy millions of dollars.

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Priceline opens 200th pharmacy store : 18/09/2012 :

Priceline has opened its 200th pharmacy store with the opening of Priceline Pharmacy Whyalla on September 13.

Commenting on the milestone, API managing director and CEO, Stephen Roche, said “Pharmacists face increasing competition from the likes of the major supermarkets and PBS revenue continues to decline. In this cut-throat environment, Priceline Pharmacy is an increasingly compelling proposition for pharmacists. Australian women love the Priceline brand and that’s why our Sister Club loyalty program now has over 3.9 million members.” said Mr. Roche.

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October 1 PBS schedule : 17/09/2012 :

The October PBS Schedule is now available

Download the Full PBS schedule

Download the PBS Summary of changes

Download the Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy – S100 Arrangements Supplement

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New MMR accreditation pathway : 17/09/2012 :

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) and the National Alliance for Pharmacy Education (NAPE) have banded together to create a new accreditation pathway for pharmacists wishing to perform residential or home medication management reviews (MMRs).

From 1 October 2012 SHPA will recognise NAPE-credentialing as a pre-requisite for accreditation under the SHPA system. NAPE credentialing is in addition to the existing SHPA pathways that recognise certification from the US-based Commission for the Certification of Geriatric Pharmacists (CCGP) and Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS).

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South Australians win National Student Business Plan Competition : 17/09/2012 :

A team from the University of South Australia has won the Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s National Student Business Plan Competition for 2012.

The competition is an Australia-wide challenge promoting creative entrepreneurship among students preparing for a career in community pharmacy.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Perioperative use of Complementary and Alternative Medicines : 16/09/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Perioperative use of Complementary and Alternative Medicines.

"Complementary and alternative medication (CAM) use is now common in Australia and elsewhere, but use during the perioperative period warrants consideration of the safety of this practice, as patients are at higher risk of complications in the context of increased usage of medications and changes in physiological state caused by surgery. CAMs can potentially adversely impact upon surgical procedures by a variety of mechanisms including interference with platelet aggregation, dysregulation of blood glucose levels, blood pressure, changes in serotonin levels, stimulant effects, central nervous system depression and metabolic drug interactions.

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

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White coats rule : 14/09/2012 :

This week's poll asked 'listers what they wear to work in the roles as pharmacists. This poll was a repeat of identical polls run in 2004 and 2007 and followed an AusPharm hunch that we were seeing more white coats about the place.

Indeed we are. 38% of respondents to thjis week's poll report that they wear a white coat to work  - much greater than the 26% who reports this in 2007.

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Wholesalers up to their old tricks on trading terms? : 14/09/2012 :

A Bell Potter client newsletter, seen by AusPharm last week, suggests that some pharmacies are once again receiving up to 90 days extended credit from their wholesaler.

The stockbroker's newsletter also reports that liquidator sales of former Pulse group pharmacies are not getting the desired sale prices with the implication that Sigma, with most 'skin in the game' will suffer more damage to its balance sheet when it next reports to the market.

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