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AusPharm news

More than 2/3 of AusPharm members reluctant to post to AusPharmList : 22/07/2011 :

Many thanks to 'listers for voting in this week's AusPharm poll which sought to find out what the barriers are to posting a comment on AusPharmList.

More than 2/3 of respondents told us they were edgy about posting for one reason or another, mostly to do with the personal angst it might cause.

One way to increase participation from 'lurkers' might be to allow posting under a 'nickname' rather than insisting (as we almost always do now) that people put their names to posts.

We'll come back to you next week with a proposal on this for discussion.

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ACCC spells out claims against Sensaslim : 22/07/2011 :

As previously reported on AusPharm, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has instituted proceedings against Sensaslim Australia and people associated with the company, namely Peter Foster, Mr Peter O’Brien, Adam Adams and Michael Boyle.

In a statement issued yesterday the ACCC spelled out the allegations it has levelled at the company and its associates. The ACCC is alleging that Sensaslim and several of its officers engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct and made false representations in relation to the identity of Sensaslim officers, the Sensaslim Spray and the business opportunities offered by Sensaslim.

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PDA claims evidence of underpayment : 22/07/2011 :

In a new survey, employee pharmacist union, the Pharmacists' Division of APESMA claims to have uncovered evidence of 84 pharmacy employees working outside normal hours without receiving penalty rates or other compensation.

Jacki Baulch, Senior Industrial Officer of APESMA, said it was yet another example of the wide-spread and illegal underpayment of Australian pharmacists.

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Compounding in community pharmacy : 22/07/2011 :

Compounding was a core activity of pharmacists until the emergence of the pharmaceutical industry.  Nevertheless, almost all pharmacists prepare compounded medications from time to time and in recent years, some pharmacists have adopted compounding as a specialised practice.
 
PAC11 this year will include a special presentation in which the reasons for the emergence of compounding as a specialisation by community pharmacists, and how this differs from traditional practice, will be canvassed.

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Enrolments continue for the PSA national intern training program : 22/07/2011 :

Pharmacy interns looking to further their career and develop their practice knowledge are still able to enrol in the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s specialist National Intern Training Program (NITP).
 
The second intake* of enrolments for 2011 is continuing and provides participants with an online program specifically designed to meet their needs.

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PCHR working hard to keep pharmacists in the Medicare Local equation : 21/07/2011 :

While welcoming yesterday’s decision by the Federal Government to invite the Australian General Practice Network (AGPN) to establish a new national body to oversee the Medicare Local network the Pharmacist Coalition for Health Reform (PCHR) has called for a greater role for pharmacists in the scheme.

PCHR spokesperson and Chief Executive Officer of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Liesel Wett said pharmacists have the knowledge and expertise to contribute to the better use of medicines and in turn, strengthen the service that will be provided through Medicare Locals to the community.

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New information on Varenicline (Champix) inconclusive: NPS : 21/07/2011 :

Uncertainty remains despite new research published this month linking a smoking-cessation medicine to an increased risk of heart attacks, according to NPS.
 
The research, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, suggests that the smoking cessation medicine varenicline (Champix) is linked to a small increase in the risk of serious cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks.

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TGA Transparency Review Released : 21/07/2011 :

The report of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) Transparency Review was publicly released yesterday.

The aim of the Review, commissioned in November 2010, was to improve public knowledge of regulatory decision-making and to enhance public understanding of the benefits and risks of therapeutic goods so that the Australian community can understand how the TGA operates and the reasons for its key decisions.

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Poll: are you edgy about posting on AusPharmList? : 20/07/2011 :

Regular readers of AusPharm will know that relatively few members post their thoughts to AusPharmList. Of our nearly 10,000 members only a few hundred post more than once or twice a year with a much smaller core group posting regularly.

We'd be most interested to see what holds people back. Please help us find out by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll.

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GPs to Coordinate Medicare Locals : 20/07/2011 :

The Department of Health and Ageing yesterday announced plans to invite the Australian General Practice Network (AGPN) to establish a new national body to support and coordinate the network of Medicare Locals.

As the Medicare Local national body, the AGPN will expand its current functions and responsibilities to engage with other health professionals outside general practice, including allied health, Indigenous health and consumers.

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First Fifth Agreement R&D project awarded : 20/07/2011 :

The Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement Research and Development (R&D) Program has awarded the first of six projects.

The commissioned project, Professional Integration, is a timely and important research project given the context of primary healthcare reform.  The project has been awarded to PricewaterhouseCoopers – in collaboration with the Australian General Practice Network and the University of Technology Sydney – to identify a best practice model for the integration of community pharmacists in the primary health care setting. 

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Academic calls for a moratorium on new pharmacy schools : 20/07/2011 :

Head of the Faculty of Pharmacy at Monash University, Professor Bill Charman, has called for a moratorium on the approval of new pharmacy schools in Australia. He has also called for a review of the process that accredits pharmacy schools.

Professor Charman says that the proliferation of pharmacy schools and courses in Australia is of significant concern with the number of schools increasing threefold to 18 since 1997. The number of pharmacy schools (on a per capita basis) exceeds that in the UK, USA, Canada and Europe.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 20/07/2011 :

AFL Round 17

AFL Round 17 was tough for tippers with just 7 from 8 being the best tipping score. The result came down to cumulative margin with Michael Andersen from Pomona Pharmacy taking the weekly prize. In 2nd place was Carole Downes with  Hamish Crisp of DHHS taking 3rd position.

NRL Round 19

NRL Round 19 was good for tippers with 33 selecting all the 8 game winners.  Jeffry Martin from Torrens Road Gordon had the best margin tip and wins the weekly prize. In 2nd place was Bob Soszynski of Medicare Australia with Michael Broadbent from Torrens Road Gordon in 3rd spot.

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Medicines Australia lodges submission to Senate Inquiry : 20/07/2011 :

Peak pharma group Medicines Australia (MA) has made public its submission to the Senate Inquiry into the government’s administration of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. In its submission MA argues that the recent Cabinet decision to defer PBS listings already approved by the PBAC shows the Australian Government is moving towards a two-tier health system.

“[It] perpetuates a situation where high-income patients can afford better treatments for things like schizophrenia, chronic pain associated with cancer, debilitating excessive sweating and use of combination products, whereas people on lower incomes have to make do. The future access of Australians to medicines is being transformed into a political lottery.”

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A trip into the past of Pharmacy in Australia : 20/07/2011 :

This year, PAC11 has added an extra stream on the History of Pharmacy and its nuances which will feature three speakers who will enthral their audience with their passion and love for the history of the profession.

The session will be divided into three parts.

PAC11 is being held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 6-9 October 2011 and to register, or find out more about this session,  just go to www.pac11.com.au

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Labelling and packaging review : 19/07/2011 :

The TGA has announced that it is initiating a review of the labelling and packaging regulatory framework. The Agency says that consultation documents relating to this review are being prepared.

The review of labelling and packaging requirements will include prescription medicines, over the counter medicines and complementary medicines.

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PAC11 examines new drug pipelines : 19/07/2011 :

The pharmaceutical industry currently faces significant challenges including issues of drug safety, drug pricing, sales practices, investor relations and claims of lack of innovation. Over recent years new product introductions have been in decline and many companies face patent expiries and increasing competition from generic drugs.

The topic of contemporary drug development will be examined in depth at PAC11 in a presentation on New drug pipelines by pharmaceutical physician Dr Guy Gavagna.

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August 2011 PBS schedule : 19/07/2011 :

The August 2011 PBS Schedule and the ‘Summary of Changes’ are now available.

Download the Full PBS schedule

Download the PBS Summary of changes

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PAC11 Early Bird registrations close *TODAY* : 18/07/2011 :

There is still time to save money by registering for PAC11 under the Early Bird Registration offer which closes on Monday 18 July 2011 at midnight.
 
Under the special Early Bird offer, PSA members will pay $775 (a saving of $150), while for non-members the fee is $960 (a saving of $195).  By going to www.pac11.com.au delegates can complete their full Early Bird Registration online.

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'No monopoly on medicines' campaign, Pfi*er responds : 18/07/2011 :

Pfi*er Australia has responded to last week's launch by the wholesalers of their 'no monopoly on medicines' campaign, claiming that the wholesalers have established a series of commercial arrangements with generic manufacturers which favour the generics from those manufacturers over those produced by Pfizer. 

The company says that all it wants to do is 'deliver our own medicines to pharmacies, on time, effectively and efficiently' adding that it is working with the Guild to ensure appropriate standards are upheld.

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