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AusPharm news

PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 07/09/2011 :

AFL Round 24

AFL Round 24 saw 8 tippers select all the 8 game winners. John Brinklow from Lancelin Pharmacy tipped the perfect margin and wins the final weekly prize for PHARMeFOOTY season 2011. In 2nd place was David Hunt from Torrens Road Gordon with Lara McNeill of Marden Amcal in 3rd position.

NRL Round 26

NRL Round 26 saw just 2 tippers select all 8 winners correctly. Michael Bates from City Pharmacy - MLC Centre tipped the perfect margin and wins the final weekly prize for PHARMeFOOTY season 2011. In 2nd place was Tony Kelly with Andrew McMurtrie of TWC Mackay in 3rd position.

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Boehringer Ingelheim: dabigatran a better option : 07/09/2011 :

More than 3,500 'debilitating, often fatal and entirely unnecessary' strokes will be suffered by Australians with atrial fribillation this year, according to a report to be released today. The report was commissioned by Pradaxa (dabigatran) manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim and conducted in associatin with Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute, the Florey Neuroscience Institutes and Deloitte Access Economics.

The report says that up to 700 lives will lost to ‘preventable’ strokes in 2011 because of a widespread failure to provide effective stroke prevention and suggests that the limitations of the most common stroke prevention therapies on the PBS, warfarin and aspirin, is in part responsible for the high rate of preventable strokes amongst atrial fibrillation sufferers.

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Nurofen TV ad likely to be pulled : 07/09/2011 :

Following the upholding of a complaint lodged with therapeutic goods ad 'referee' the Complaints Resolution Panel (CRP) by Adelaide University Professor of Clinical Pharmacology, Professor Paul Rolan, a Nurofen TV ad which claims that Nurofen provides “targeted relief from pain” and “goes straight to the source of the pain” is likely to be taken off the air.

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Poll: saying no : 07/09/2011 :

In a recent post to AusPharmList, frequent flyer David Haworth, wrote:

"Unusually today I refused supply twice to inapropriate and unsafe requests. Young pharmacists should recognise, with careful thought and consideration, that sometimes the best option is to say no, I will not supply that to you."

Perhaps the most frequently inappropriately requested product in pharmacies is Mersyndol (and clones). How often do you decline a request to supply this product?

Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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Board issues advice : 06/09/2011 :

In a statement released yesterday the Pharmacy Board of Australia gave notice of a number of decisions made at its August 26 meeting.

Amongst these were a number of changes relating to the references required to be held by pharmacist and, in particular, the removal of specific emphases against references which indicated that they were "for pharmacists undertaking medication reviews. 'The Board removed this statement as it believed it had the potential to cause confusion as the Board intends that all references must be accessible to all pharmacists undertaking clinical assessment, reviewing, dispensing and counseling processes'.

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FIP awards 2011 : 06/09/2011 :

A number of awards were presented during the opening ceremony of the 71st World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Hyderabad, India.

The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) believes it is important to support and recognise individuals who, through their vision and commitment to their profession, are making outstanding contributions to the fields of pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical sciences worldwide. As such, each year FIP honours those who have demonstrated commendable work and dedication in areas which parallel the overall FIP mission of advancing pharmacy practice, science and education for the betterment of global health.

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Indian President opens FIP 2011 Congress : 06/09/2011 :

The President of India, Mrs. Pratibah Devingsingh Patil, has opened the 71st World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Hyderabad, India.

Nearly 2000 participants from 98 different countries are attending this years's FIP Congress for a programme centered on increasing the safety and quality of medicines and patients on a global level.

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Oxyc*done causing grief, real time monitoring of opioid dispensing advocated : 06/09/2011 :

A study and an accompanying editorial published in this week's Medical Journal of Australia highlight increasing morbidity and mortality associated with the use of prescription opioids, and in particular Oxycontin, in Australia in recent years. The study authors report that there were 465 oxycodone-related deaths recorded Australia wide during 2001–2009.

The MJA editorial makes four recommendations.

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Bonus points for seeking a pain medicine consultation : 05/09/2011 :

Priceline is currently conducting a national awareness campaign encouraging people to see a pharmacist in one of their 180 or so pharmacies to discuss use of analgesics and pain management. 

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PSA Board going Blue : 05/09/2011 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is a partner in this year’s Blue September initiative, and a new video just uploaded on PSA’s website shows how committed the Society’s Board is to this important event.
 
Each year, more than 22,000 Australian men die of cancer, with the most common types causing death in men being lung, prostate, bowel, melanoma and testicular. These figures mean men are twice as likely as women to die from cancers that in many cases can be prevented, with at least one in three cancer cases being preventable.

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Asthma experts urge: take action in Asthma Week : 05/09/2011 :

As part of this year's Nation Asthma Week Australia’s asthma experts are urging the two million plus Aussies with asthma to make sure they have an up-to-date written asthma action plan.

According to National Asthma Council Australia chairman, Dr Noela Whitby, asthma prevalence in this country is relatively high and hundreds of people die unnecessary deaths from asthma each year.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Lamotrigine and skin reactions : 05/09/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Lamotrigine and skin reactions.

"Lamotrigine is an anti-epileptic medication which may also be used as a “mood-stabiliser” in the treatment of bipolar disorder. It is known to have the potential to cause skin reactions varying in severity from mild rashes to serious, potentially life-threatening reactions such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrosis. Serious skin reactions occur in about 1 in 1000 adult patients and 1 in 50-300 children, and usually manifest within the first eight weeks of lamotrigine treatment. Other rare but serious side effects of lamotrigine that can present with a rash include multi-organ hypersensitivity syndrome and aseptic meningitis."

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

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2011 AJP Awards : 04/09/2011 :

The  24th Annual AJP Awards were presented at a ceremony in Sydney last week.

The AJP Awards celebrate and recognise the best products, advertising and promotional campaigns involving pharmacies during the past financial year and highlight the role that pharmacists play in supporting the health of their customers.

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Pharmacy Practice in Government : 02/09/2011 :

The large volume of reviews, reforms and new policy directions in primary health care, preventive health, hospitals and the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement are having significant and multiple impacts on the work of pharmacists in State and Commonwealth government.
 
To support the increasing number of pharmacists working in these areas, PAC11 will again hold a special pre-congress meeting titled Pharmacy Practice in Government.

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New Director of Guild's Quality Assurance and Standards Division appointed : 02/09/2011 :

The Pharmacy Guild has announce the appointment of Andrew Matthews as its new Director of the Quality Assurance and Standards (QAS) Division at the organisation’s National Secretariat in Canberra.  The appointment is effective immediately and follows the recent departure of Jenny Bergin from the role.

Mr Matthews joined the Guild in August 2009 as National Manager Accreditation and Standards and has been Acting Director of the division in recent months.

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Erbitux, Gilenya and other medicines listed on the PBS : 02/09/2011 :

Twenty-one (21) new listings on the PBS come into effect yesterday.

The new listings include:

  • the expansion of the listing of cetuximab (Erbitux®) to include the treatment of patients with late stage bowel cancer and 
  • the listing of Gilenya for the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. It is the first oral treatment for MS.

More detail is available on the PBS website at www.pbs.gov.au.

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Location rule reform : 02/09/2011 :

Predictably, this week's AusPharm poll on location rule reform found that 6 times as many non-owner pharmacists as owner pharmacists believe the location rules are in need of major reform. Conversely, about 3 times as many owner pharmacist as non owner pharmacist believe that the rules are fine as they are. Equal numbers of owner and non owner pharmacist think the rules need 'tweaking'.

As the location rules are part of the Community Pharmacy Agreements, one wonders how they might be changed other than as part of this framework.

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Auditor General urges CAM regulatory reform : 01/09/2011 :

The Australian National Audit Office has released its Review into the regulation of complementary medicines (CAMs) by the TGA in Australia.

The review concludes that while the system for the regulation of complementary medicines rightly has a ‘light touch’, due to the relatively low risk ascribed to the majority of complementary medicines, post-market monitoring of compliance with regulatory requirements needs to be beefed up to counter the high incidence of non compliance with the rules and regulations by some sponsors of CAMs in Australia.

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Australia's new Chief Medical Officer announced : 01/09/2011 :

Professor Chris Baggoley has beenconfirmed as new Australia’s Chief Medical Officer. Professor Baggoley is a respected clinician and public health specialist with a national and international reputation in the field of emergency medicine.

Professor Baggoley has been acting in the position of Chief Medical Officer since April this year and was a former Chief Medical Officer and Executive Director with the South Australian Department of Health. His most recent role was Chief Executive, Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, since August 2007.

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Long-term outlook and predictability key to successful medicines policy, conference told : 01/09/2011 :

A predictable regulatory and reimbursement environment, and a long-term policy outlook are essential if patients are to continue to have access to new medicines, Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw told a key policy conference in Canberra today.

Speaking at the Third Joint Medicines Policy Conference, jointly staged by Medicines Australia and the Department of Health and Ageing, Dr Shaw said policymakers needed to consider the impact policy signals would have on manufacturers.

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