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AusPharm
Online poll

26/11/2014 : Should pharmacists be subject to random workplace drug and alcohol testing?
no, drug and alcohol related misadventure in the industry is rare
no, it`s not appropriate in a `professional` workforce
yes, in the interests of equity and fairness
yes, the level of drug and alcohol use by pharmacists is high
I`m undecided

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AusPharm news

PAC: skin disorders in children : 17/08/2011 :

Identifying and treating common skin disorders that children experience will be examined in detail in a Self Care presentation at PAC11.

During the concurrent session on Sunday morning, delegates will be given educational information and tips on these skin diseases and how to treat them.

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Dispensing doctors write fewer scripts : 16/08/2011 :

A study published in this week's MJA showed that dispensing doctors (DDs) in Australia write significantly fewer prescriptions than their non dispensing colleagues.

During the study, DDs issued fewer prescriptions per 1000 patients (9452 v 15 057; P = 0.003) but issued significantly more Reg.

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Pharmacy’s night of stars : 16/08/2011 :

The stars will be out for the PSA’s NSW Pharmacy Dinner this year which features a fresh look and feel that will see the function once again become the social event for the pharmacy profession in New South Wales.
 
Announcing the September date for the 2011 event, NSW President Charlie Benrimoj said, “There is no doubt, the NSW Pharmacy Dinner is a popular event for the profession’s family and friends to get together for a great night out in good company. 

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Melbourne biotech company aiming for the big time : 16/08/2011 :

Melbourne biotech company Starpharma Holdings Limited yesterday announced the commencement of a Phase 2 study of VivaGel® for the prevention of bacterial vaginosis (BV). 

The prevention of BV is the second area of investigation of the VivaGel® product for this condition.  In May 2011, Starpharma announced the positive results of its first study of VivaGel® for the treatment of BV, which showed that the product successfully treated patients suffering the illness, with very high levels of patient acceptability. 

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Medicines Partnership of Australia: PBS costs slowing : 16/08/2011 :

According to the latest analysis of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) undertaken by the Medicines Partnership of Australia, PBS expenditure is slowing and remains well under control.

The group says that the research should allay any concerns the Federal Government may have about the sustainability of the PBS.

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Sensaslim defamatation case thrown out : 16/08/2011 :

The defamation claim brought by the Sensaslim company against Dr Ken Harvey was finally dismissed in the NSW Supreme Court yesterday.

Costs were awarded to Dr Harvey but it is unlikely he'll see any money as the Sensaslim cupboard is now said to be bare.

As reported yesterday, a new defamation writ was last week lodged in the Qld Supreme Court by Sensaslim Australia director Peter O'Brien. While the writ appears certain to fail, it does prevent, for the time being, consideration by regulatory authorities of the numerous claims made about the advertising of the Sensaslim product.

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PAC 2011 to feature early career pharmacist forum : 16/08/2011 :

Early Career Pharmacists have been invited to submit topics for discussion at the inaugural ECP forum being held as part of PAC11 in October.
 
The forum will give ECPs a unique opportunity to hear about developments within the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia's ECP Working Group, in addition to discussing matters of particular relevance to ECPs.

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Perhaps pharmacists do have a role in mental health? : 15/08/2011 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has announced that it will shortly commence a review and revision of the Statement of Mental Health Care Capabilities for Pharmacists 2009.
 
Led by PSA Vice-President Claire O’Reilly, the project will update the current Statement to reflect the 2010 revision of PSA’s Competency Standards for pharmacists. 

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No pharmacists among new appointees to Indigenous Health Council : 15/08/2011 :

The Australian Government last week announced the new membership of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equality Council.

The council's role is to advise the Australian Government on the development and monitoring of health-related goals and targets to support initiatives to close the life expectancy gap and reduce the unacceptably high rates of child mortality among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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Sensaslim fighting to the death : 15/08/2011 :

The Sensaslim v Dr Ken Harvey case is up for consideration again today in the NSW Supreme Court. Dr Harvey's legal team is hopeful that the defamation claim lodged against him by the company will be finally thrown out by the court today.

If the Court does finalise the proceeding this would normally leave the way open for regulatory authorities to make a determination in the complaints lodged by Dr Harvey and several others in respect of therapeutic claims made by the company in its promotional material however the Complaints Resolution Committee is prevented from considering complaints while legal action is being undertaken.

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Spiriva program to launch on GuildCare : 15/08/2011 :

Boehringer Ingelheim and GuildCare will this month launch the Spiriva Compliance Program. This medication compliance program will help ensure COPD patients are taking their Spiriva medication daily and long term.

The 2-session program will be delivered through the GuildCare suite and will attract $25/patient of professional services revenue. For consistency, the currently available Spiriva New to Therapy Program will now offer greater remuneration - meaning Session #1 will increase from $5 to $10 and Session #2 from $10 to $15. 

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PSA flood relief funds distributed : 15/08/2011 :

The Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) yesterday announced the distribution of financial support for pharmacists affected by the floods, via the funds raised by the joint Pharmacists’ Support Service Inc and Pharmaceutical Society of Australia flood appeal.

PSS is an independent incorporated association which includes representation from the following pharmacy organisations - AFSPA, APESMA, PDL, PSA, PSV Ltd and SHPA. 

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RGH E-Bulletin: Antidepressant augmentation : 15/08/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is ThereValproic acid and hyperammonaemia.

"Hyperammonaemia can occur as a result of valproic acid (VA) treatment. It is usually asymptomatic in most patients but in some patients it can lead to hyperammonaemic encephalopathy which is characterized by a reduced level of consciousness, cognitive decline, lethargy, ataxia, vomiting, focal neurological deficit, increased seizure frequency and coma. There are various other causes of hyperammonaemia; urea cycle enzyme deficiencies such as ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency or carnitine deficiency, congenital lactic acidosis, liver diseases (Wilson’s disease, biliary atresia), renal diseases (urinary tract infections with Proteus mirabilis, Staphylococcus, corynebacterium), Reye’s syndrome, and the influence of other drugs (e.g. 5-Fluorouracil, aspirin) etc."

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

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Video: UK New Medicine Service : 12/08/2011 :

On Wednesday AusPharm reported on a new UK professional pharmacy Service, the New Medicine Service, set to commence on October 1, 2011.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) yesterday released a very slick video, promoting and explaining the service to pharmacists. The video focuses on the importance to the process of communicating with local GPs.

The RPSGB also launched a new resource page, to assist its members in delivering the service.

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New School of Pharmacy formally launched in Sydney : 12/08/2011 :

The University of Technology in Sydney formally launched its new pharmacy degree course this week. The School will offer post graduate entry level Masters of Pharmacy and well as PhD degrees. Ex Sydney Uni Head of Faculty Professor Shalom (Charlie) Benrimoj will head the new school.

This will bring to 19 the number of pharmacy degree courses now on offer in Australia.

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No role for pharmacists in mental health? : 12/08/2011 :

The Mental Health Council of Australia yesterday hosted a forum for mental health consumers, carers, community workers, counsellors, doctors and nurses to provide input to the Coordinated Care measure announced in this year's budget.

Speaking in Canberra, the CEO of the Mental Health Council of Australia, Mr Frank Quinlan said, “Having achieved some pretty significant investments in the most recent Commonwealth budget, we are eager to ensure that the money is spent wisely and effectively. The best way to do that is to bring those making the policy together with those affected by the policy.”

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Healthy workplace initiative launched : 12/08/2011 :

The Department of Health and Ageing and peak employer and union bodies last week signed a Joint Statement of Commitment with Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon to promote healthier workplaces and healthier workers.

“Australians spend a lot of our time at work so it’s important that healthy habits are promoted and encouraged there.” Minister Roxon said.

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40% of pharmacists frustrated with Project STOP usability : 12/08/2011 :

2/3 of pharmacists responding to this week's AusPharm poll told us they use Project STOP every time a supply of a pseudoe*hedr*ne product is made. This is despite the tool's idiosyncrasies which make it difficult to use at times - 40% of poll respondents expressed frustration with the decision support tool's usability.

Project STOP has been in operation in Queensland since 2005 and was rolled out nationally in April 2007. The AusPharm poll response suggests that it is now time for the tool's user interface to be upgraded and, ideally, integrated with dispensing software..

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 11/08/2011 :

AFL Round 20

AFL Round 20 was a good one for tippers with 44 selecting all the 8 winners. Emanuele Chessari from Tallangatta Pharmacy had the best margin tip and is the weekly winner. In 2nd place was Sean Dodd with Julie Blackmore of Creswick Pharmacy in 3rd position.

NRL Round 22

NRL Round 22 saw just 1 tipper select all the 8 winners correctly. Cathy Spagnolo from Torrens Road Gordon tipped the only perfect round and is the weekly winner. In 2nd place was Geoff Oliver with Ken Montgomery of Pharmasol in 3rd position.

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Scheduling - have your say : 11/08/2011 :

At its October 19 meeting the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (the old NDPSC) will consider a number of scheduling proposals. Public comment on these is invited with a cutoff date of September 9.

Up for consideration is a proposal for a Schedule 3 oral famciclovir product for the treatment of cold sores and a proposal to list adrenaline in Appendix H, thereby allowing its direct to consumer advertising. Also up for discussion is whether to include synthetic cannabinoids (eg Kronic) in Schedule 8 or Schedule 9.

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