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AusPharm news

PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 18/04/2012 :

AFL Round 3

Round 3 of the 2012 AFL season saw Carlton VS Collingwood at the MCG with over 84,000 attendees witnessing Carlton's 60 point win. Other highlights of the round included Richmond thrashing Melbourne by over 50 points, the Dockers defeating the Lions and the Saints defeating the Doggies by 63 points.

NRL Round 7

Round 7 of the 2012 NRL season saw the Dragons defeat the Knights and many other interesting outcomes. Highlights for this week included the Broncos defeating the Raiders 30-6, the Storm defeating the Bulldogs in a very intense match and the Cowboys demolishing the Roosters 50-12. Particularly notable for the round was the West Tiger’s huge win over the Panthers 30-0.

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Poll: which brand of atorvastatin? : 18/04/2012 :

Two generic versions of atorvastatin have been on the PBS since April 1, Ranbaxy's Trovas and Atorvastatin-Pfizer. Lipitor remains PBS listed.

Which product does your pharmacy favour?

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

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Board issues warning on dispensing multiple repeat prescriptions at once : 18/04/2012 :

Pharmacy Board of Australia Chair, Stephen Marty, said yesterday that the supply of multiple repeats at once by pharmacists is contrary to good pharmaceutical practice.

In a Board Communiqué Mr Marty highlighted that actions by pharmacists to encourage patients to seek the permission of their prescribers to authorise the supply of multiple quantities of particular medicines in order to save money is contrary to the National Medicines Policy and Quality Use of Medicines principles.

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Asthma treatment still inadequate in Australia : 17/04/2012 :

According to the latest edition of Australian Prescriber, the treatment of asthma in Australians remains inadequate, and could be improved by tailoring individuals’ asthma treatment and educating patients on inhaler technique.

Associate Professor Helen Reddel, research leader at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research says many people are prescribed higher doses than necessary. Most people do not use their inhalers correctly, leading to poor clinical outcomes and wasted medicines.

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Sigma publishes annual report : 17/04/2012 :

Sigma Pharmaceuticals yesterday published its annual report for 2011-12.

According to CEO, Mark Hooper, the company is now financially stable and well placed to meet the challenges ahead.

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Monash Pharmacy faculty opens new Professional Practice Suite : 16/04/2012 :

Monash University Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences launched its latest innovative teaching facility, the Professional Practice Suite (PPS), at a function last week.

The $1.8 million education and professional development facility is the latest addition to a range of space, technology and curriculum initiatives implemented by the faculty.

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CHF stays on song : 16/04/2012 :

The Consumers Health Forum (CHF) has repeated its call for a Senate Inquiry to be launched into the Community Pharmacy Agreement.

Speaking at the Future of the PBS conference in Sydney last week, CHF CEO Carol bennett said that The number one issue for Australian health consumers is affordable access to the medicines they need when they need them.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Labeling changes for statin drugs : 16/04/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Labeling changes for statin drugs.

"Statins (or HMG Co-A reductase inhibitors) are the most effective class of cholesterol-lowering medications, also significantly reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease in those patients at high risk. Between 2004 and 2009, the number of patients diagnosed with high cholesterol has doubled, with statins currently the most prescribed of all drugs, in both quantity and cost, on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in Australia. In late February 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved safety label changes for this class of medication. The expansion of advice on the risks of statins relating to memory loss and increased risk of type two diabetes was reported widely in the Australian mainstream media, resulting in concern amongst patients."

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

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Wholesalers performance in early April largely OK : 13/04/2012 :

This week's AusPharm poll tried t get a sense of how well the CSO wholesalers coped with the early April rush from pharmacies to restock their shelves with PBS items.

Despite a poor voter turnout (which usually suggests a lack of interest) indications are that things weren't too bad, with about 2/3 of respondents rating wholesaler performance as 'excellent' or 'not bad'.

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Mouse mats : 13/04/2012 :




Role of pharmacists in men's health : 13/04/2012 :

The crucial role pharmacists play in helping men deal with health issues has been highlighted in the latest edition of the magazine Men’s Health.
 
The feature, titled Good Chemistry says:  “Your pharmacist could be the most underused player on your health team” and suggests ways men can better utilise the services of their pharmacist.

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Influenza vaccine recommended but select the appropriate vaccine : 13/04/2012 :

NPS is encouraging health professionals to recommend their patients receive influenza vaccination, especially those at risk, but to be aware that the choice of influenza vaccine is important, especially for children.
 
NPS Head of Programs, Ms Karen Kaye, says that as the influenza season approaches, it is important for health professionals to advise patients that even healthy people can get severe influenza and vaccination is the single best way to protect against the disease.

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New funding for victorian pharmacists to screen and refer high risk Type 2 Diabetes patients : 13/04/2012 :

Mark Feldschuh, Victorian Branch President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has announced Diabetes Australia-Vic’s  latest initiative to engage pharmacists in the holistic management of diabetes in Victoria.

Diabetes Australia–Vic has been funded for the roll-out of a type 2 diabetes prevention program – Life! The Life! program aims to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by encouraging participants to set behavioural goals and make lifestyle changes based on the adoption of an active lifestyle and healthy diet.

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Medicines Australia repeats its 'Leave the PBS alone' mantra : 13/04/2012 :

The biggest round of price cuts in the history of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, coupled with historically low spending growth have removed any justification for further PBS cuts in the Federal Budget, Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw told the Future of the PBS Conference in Sydney yesterday.

Dr Shaw said the MoU between the Government and Medicines Australia was expected to deliver more than $1.9 billion in savings to the Budget bottom line.

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Aged care allied health funding rolled over : 12/04/2012 :

Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler announced yesterday that funding for the Day Therapy Centre (DTC) program would be extended until 30 June 2015.

More than 70,000 older Australians will continue to receive subsidised physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and podiatry services for the next 3 years.

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AusPharm CE: RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 45. : 12/04/2012 :

The next in our 2011 series of continuing education activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 45.

This CE activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins (Volumes 45-2 - 45-5  -->  February 2012).

After completing this activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Outline the clinical pharmacology of indacaterol
  • Identify drugs that may cause diarrhoea
  • Discuss the use of bisphosphonates in the context of renal impairment
  • Describe treatments for age-related macular degeneration

This activity has been accredited for 1 group 2 CPD credit suitable for inclusion in an individual pharmacist’s CPD plan. Accreditation number: CX120022D.

Click here to do this Continuing Education activity. Or, if you prefer, you might like to take a look at our other CE activities here .

AusPharm gratefully acknowledges the financial support provided by MIMS.

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Gelatin Pill Mosaics Critique Pharmaceutical Drug Culture : 12/04/2012 :

Artist Andy Diaz Hope uses UV treatments on gelatin pill capsules to create his pill mosaics. The industrial designer begins the process by first digitally photographing locations and people and then inserting the imprints into the capsules, piece by piece.

This series of mosaics, entitled Better Living, addresses drug culture and critiques pharmaceutical company practices.

Take a look here.

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UK pharmacists able to prescribe controlled drugs : 11/04/2012 :

Effective 23rd April 2012, our pharmacist colleagues in England, Scotland and Wales will have extended abilities to prescribe controlled drugs and provide related therapeutic services.

Changes to the Misuse of Drugs legislation enable independent pharmacist prescribers and nurse prescribers to prescribe, administer and give directions for the administration of schedule 2, 3, 4 and 5 controlled drugs. (This precludes use of diamorphine, dipipanone or cocaine for addiction treatment.) Under a Patient Group Direction, all registered pharmacists (and nurses) will be able to supply diamorphine or morphine for the immediate essential treatment of sick or injured patients. The legislative changes also give pharmacists greater ability to compound controlled drug preparations.

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TGA ADR database reaches 250,000 : 11/04/2012 :

The number of valid reports entered into the TGA database of adverse reactions to medicines reached 250,000 in March 2012.

The first report of an adverse reaction to a medicine was received by the Australian regulator in the mid-1960s, and the first case entered into the current database was on 17 November 1971.

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Win a motza: what do pharmacists do? : 11/04/2012 :

Around and about on the web there are a number of 'What I do' pictorial summaries like this one (click the image for a larger version).

AusPharm doesn't think this one is terribly good and certainly doesn't capture 'Australian' pharmacy. We think there is certain to be a 'lister out there who can produce a good, Australian version.

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