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AusPharm news

Latest edition of Australian Prescriber published : 05/10/2011 :

The October 2011 issue of Australian Prescriber is now available online. Topics featured in this issue include:

  • The right to prescribe: towards core prescribing competencies for all prescribers
  • Medical management of mesothelioma

It also contains the most recent Medicines Safety Update.

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Australia's annual ADR statistics published : 04/10/2011 :

The TGA's annual report of adverse drug reaction statistics for 2010, as provided for the Department of Health and Ageing's publication Australian Statistics on Medicines, has been released. In 2010 the TGA received approximately 14,200 ADR reports. The breakout of report sources was:

  • 43% pharmaceutical companies
  • 10% hospitals
  • 9%  GPs
  • 38% other sources (e.g. State/Territory Health Departments, general public, community pharmacists, specialists)

As seen in 2009, the was again a very big increase in report numbers in 2010 from 'other sources' and pharmaceutical companies.

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Personally controlled electronic health records - comments invited : 04/10/2011 :

The Department of Health & Ageing has invited comments by 28 October 2011 on the exposure draft legislation for introduction of a personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR) system.

The PCEHR draft Bill sets out the proposed legislative framework to support the implementation and operation of the PCEHR system as described in the Concept of Operation – Relating to the introduction of a PCEHR system. The proposed Bill includes provisions on participation in the PCEHR system, access to information, obligations on users, penalties for inappropriate use, and functions and responsibilities of the PCEHR system operator.

In releasing the draft legislation for consultation, Minister Roxon emphasised its benefits and some of the attributes of the system

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Generate your personal AusPharm CPD report : 04/10/2011 :

Now that the first Pharmacy Board CPD year has ended, 'listers who have been doing the Australian Pharmacy Council accredited AusPharm Continuing Education activities might like to generate a report of the activities they've done.

The report lists activity titles, accreditation numbers, the number of CPD points awarded for each activity and totals the points. In addition, for those of you who intend to claim Group 1 CPD points by virtue of your participation in AusPharmList, there is an option to list the number of times you've posted to AusPharmList.

To generate your own personalised report, visit the AusPharm Continuing Education page, or click here to go directly to the report page.

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PSA: time to move on : 04/10/2011 :

In a letter to PSA National President, Grant Kardachi, the Chief Executive Officer of Blackmores, Christine Holgate, said, “The ['coke and fries'] comment I made has unfortunately been used widely in the media and taken out of context.  Any suggestion that this comment reflects a lack of respect for pharmacists and their role in the community could not be further from my intent.”

Mr Kardachi said while the comment had been damaging to the profession, it was time to move on.

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August PBS numbers up : 03/10/2011 :

PBS statistics for August 2011 have been released by Medicare Australia.

Script numbers were up 15.5% compared to August 2010 (17.1 million v 14.8 million) and absolute dollars were also up ($719 million v $609 million).

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PBS deferrals to list on 1 December, but not Pradaxa : 03/10/2011 :

The medicines and price increases recommended by the PBAC and PBPA in November and December 2010 respectively and which were subsequently deferred by Government in February 2011, will be listed on the PBS from 1 December 2011.

The Department of Health & Ageing has struck an agreement with the GMIA, CHF and Medicines Australia not to defer any drugs that cost under $10 million a year for the coming year, while they work with all parties to discuss how to manage deferrals in the future and deliver further savings for the Government. This process will be completed by 12 December 2011. A further consideration of potential savings in light of the 2014 expiration of the current MOU between the prescription industry and the government, is due to be completed in June 2013.

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SHPA Continuum of Care grant to Erica Tong : 03/10/2011 :

Congratulations to Erica Tong, on being awarded 2011's SHPA sanofi-aventis Pamela Nieman Continuum of Care Research Grant of up to $10 000.

Erica is a senior clinical pharmacist in the General Medical Unit at Melbourne's The Alfred Hospital and will use the grant to implement a trial extending clinical pharmacy services to the outpatient follow-up clinic.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Treating behavioural symptoms in frontotemporal dementia : 03/10/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Treating behavioural symptoms in frontotemporal dementia.

"Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is characterised by disturbances in behaviour or language. Patients with the frontal variant of FTD typically present with marked changes in personality and behaviour, including apathy, disinhibition and inappropriate social behaviour, which can be difficult to manage. Although there is currently no approved drug treatment for the behavioural symptoms of FTD and only a limited number of clinical trials have been conducted in this area, various medications have been used to ameliorate these symptoms. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class of antidepressants which act on the serotonergic system, are the most commonly studied drugs used to treat FTD. The use of these agents is supported by the finding of a dysfunctional serotonergic system in patients with FTD."

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

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Blackmores Companion range: the evidence. Comments from Harvey, Rigby, Moses : 03/10/2011 :

Responding to the controversy surrounding the recent announcement of the agreement that may see Guildcare software prompt pharmacists to consider recommending one of four Blackmores' products to patients receiving certain prescription medicines, Blackmores released a summary of the research for the products late on Friday night.

Also, over the weekend, NPS posted its own independent assessment of the evidence on the NPS website. While avoiding specific mention of the Blackmores' products, NPS concluded that the evidence supporting the use of supplements in the circumstances under which the Blackmores Companion range would be used is, in three cases, absent and in the fourth Probiotics), limited.

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Still time to register for the premier pharmacy event of the year : 03/10/2011 :

Attendance at PAC 11 gives pharmacists  the opportunity to gain up to 36 CPD credits over the four days of the Congress ­ and there is still time to register for what is widely regarded as pharmacy profession’s premier event.
 
With the extensive range of presentations available, pharmacists who attend PAC11  will have no problem finding sessions that meet their  needs and interests while gaining valuable CPD credits.

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Pharmacists believe Blackmores / Guild deal has damaged pharmacists credibility with consumers 'big time' : 30/09/2011 :

59% of respondents to yesterday's AusPharm poll told us they think their credibility with consumers has been damaged 'big time' by the Blackmore's / Guild deal that may see Guildcare software prompt pharmacists to consider recommending one of four Blackmore's products to patients receiving certain prescription medicines.

In contrast to the previous day's poll, that looked at pharmacists' credibility with doctors, only 4% of respondents (vs 18% with doctors) told us they thought their credibility was already shot with consumers.

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Toni Riley named as member of national Lead Clinicians Group : 30/09/2011 :

Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, yesterday announced The Chair and members of the National Lead Clinicians Group.

One of the members of the group is Bendigo community pharmacist and Guild National Councilor, Toni Riley.

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Pharmacists believe Blackmores / Guild deal damages pharmacists credibility with doctors : 29/09/2011 :

Only 3% of respondents to yesterday's AusPharm poll think that pharmacists' credibility with doctors hasn't been damaged by the Blackmore's / Guild deal that will see Guildcare software prompt pharmacists to consider recommending one of four Blackmore's products to patients receiving certain prescription medicines.

52% of respondents in the poll, which saw a good voter turnout for a single day poll (n=234), told us they thought significant ('big time') damage had been done.

Please vote in today's complementary (no pun intended!) poll that looks at the effect of the deal on pharmacists' credibility with consumers.

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Industry criticism of Blackmores / Guild deal continues unabated. Marcus Blackmore, Guild respond : 29/09/2011 :

Criticism continued yesterday of the Blackmore's / Guild deal that will see Guildcare software prompt pharmacists to consider recommending one of four Blackmore's products to patients receiving certain prescription medicines. 

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The ABC of the PBAC - How medicines get on the PBS : 29/09/2011 :

For medicines to be listed on the PBS, they must first receive a positive recommendation from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee to the Minister for Health, a process that many pharmacists are not familiar with.
 
Outgoing Chair of the PBAC, Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom AO of the University of South Australia, will help clear up any mysteries about the process in his presentation at PAC11.

“The PBAC is required to consider the cost, effectiveness and cost effectiveness compared to the therapy (drug and/or non drug) that the new medicine will replace in practice,” Professor Sansom says.

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Poll (2): has the Blackmore's deal damaged pharmacists' credibility with consumers? : 29/09/2011 :

There has been lots of media coverage this week of the Blackmore's / Guild deal that will see Guildcare software prompt pharmacists to consider recommending one of four Blackmore's products to patients receiving certain prescription medicines.

AusPharm is going to run two snap polls this week to see whether 'listers think this issue has damaged the credibility of pharmacists with:

  • doctors
  • consumers.

Second, consumers. Please let us know what you think by voting in today's AusPharm poll. We'll publish the result tomorrow and, also tomorrow, we'll run another poll asking the same question with respect to consumers.

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High rates of mental health issues and risky health behaviours among Australia’s prisoners : 28/09/2011 :

Australia’s prisoners have high levels of mental health issues and risky health behaviours, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The health of Australia’s prisoners 2010 is the second AIHW report to examine prisoner health in Australia, using National Prisoner Health Indicators. It uses data from the National Prisoner Health Census, which was conducted over a two week period on all prison entrants, except those in New South Wales and Victoria (these jurisdictions will participate in the future).

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Controversy over Guild / Blackmore's deal continues to rage : 28/09/2011 :

Controversy continues to rage over the Blackmore's / Guild deal that will see Guildcare software prompt pharmacists to consider recommending one of four Blackmore's products to patients receiving certain prescription medicines. A number of pharmacy organisations weighed into the debate yesterday and there were also a number of posts to AusPharmList on the subject, not all condemning the deal. In a statement issued last night, a Guild spokesperson defended the deal.

Pharmacist employee union the Pharmacist Division of APESMA (PDA) urged people 'furious' with the Guild's deal with Blackmores to vent their concerns to the two parties concerned, not to employee pharmacists.

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Location rule modifications come into effect October 18 : 28/09/2011 :

A number of changes to the Pharmacy Location Rules are to be implemented with effect 18 October 2011.  Any application to establish a new pharmacy or relocate an existing pharmacy lodged on or after this date will be considered under the new Rules.

The Pharmacy Location Rules - Applicant’s Handbook 2011 has been developed to assist potential applicants in understanding the application process and requirements for relocating an existing pharmacy or establishing a new pharmacy under the new Rules.

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