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2015-03-04 : In my workplace prescription generics are arranged:
in strict alphabetical order by generic name - as are all products
in strict alphabetical order by generic name but original brands are arranged alphabetically by brand name
next to the originator brand(s)
by manufacturer
alphabetically, completely separately from originator brands
none of the above

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AusPharm news

September PBS stats show slow year on year growth : 31/10/2011 :

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

While script numbers were the same compared to September 2010 (17.0 million) absolute dollars were up 2.67% ($709.2 million v $690.8 million).

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Pharmacist Coalition critical of Gold Cross endorsement of MyGene : 31/10/2011 :

The pharmacy profession must remain transparent at all times and must not be tarnished by commercial deals, the Pharmacist Coalition for Health Reform has said following reports that the Pharmacy Guild has set up a deal with MyGene which provides genetic tests as a means of screening for tailor made weight loss programs.

PCHR spokesperson and Chief Executive Officer of The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA), Yvonne Allinson said it is crucial that pharmacist’s advice is evidence based and in the best health interests of the patient.

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NAPSA Vampire Cup 2011 : 31/10/2011 :

From August 29th until October 7th this year, NAPSA members, family and friends across the country were rolling up their sleeves to participate in the annual Vampire Cup.

This year, the NAPSA Vampire Cup blood drive achieved record results, a testament to the substantial efforts across 13 Branches participating; a total of 253 donations were registered during the Vampire Cup.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Medication safety in pregnancy : 31/10/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Medication safety in pregnancy.

"In pregnancy, the use of medications (both prescription & over-the-counter) is often managed with great caution. The issue can be compounded by an increased need for medications, as pregnant women can be affected by ailments such as constipation, haemorrhoids, nausea, nasal congestion, heartburn, hypertension, oedema, and an amplification in general aches and pains.  An increased risk of birth defects or miscarriage caused by drugs is a common concern for both parents-to-be and practitioners involved in their care."

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

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Chemist Warehouse re-signs with SIGMA : 28/10/2011 :

In an announcement to the ASX yesterday SIGMA Pharmaceuticals CEO Mark Hooper told investors that the company has finalised protracted negotiations with the Chemist Warehouse / My Chemist Group with the outcome being that a new four year supply agreement has been signed.

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Pharmacy highly computerised : 28/10/2011 :

No surprises in this week's AusPharm poll which tells us that the 'average' pharmacy has approximately 10 computers with a spread of between about 5 and 15 for approximately 75% of pharmacies.

Good thing they no longer cost what they did when they first entered the pharmacy workplace in the early 1980 when your average system cost well in excess of $10,000.

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Blackmores juggernaut rolls along : 28/10/2011 :

Blackmores yesterday reported a record sales result for its first quarter results for financial year 2011/12. The company recorded a net profit after tax of $7.8 million on the back of sales of $67 million, up 10% of the corresponding period for 2010/11.

Commenting on the result, CEO Christine Holgate said "This signals a continued move for Blackmores into new categories with quality, evidence based health products that benefit peoples' health'.

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Harvey refers pharmacists to Board over Sensaslim ads : 28/10/2011 :

Public health physician Dr Ken Harvey has lodged a complaint with the Pharmacy Board of Australia over internet advertisements being run by four Australian pharmacies.

The basis of the complaint is that the pharmacies are continuing to promote Sensaslim with therapeutic claims that have, according to Dr Harvey, been shown to be false, misleading and deceptive by Federal Court Orders and TGA Complaint Resolution Panel determinations. Dr Harvey alleges that the ads contravene Subdivision 4, S. 133 of the National Law Act.

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Spending on health exceeds $120 billion : 28/10/2011 :

Over $120 billion was spent on health goods and services in Australia in 2009–10, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

This was 9.4% of Australia’s gross domestic product (GDP) and averaged out at $5,479 per Australian.

The largest component of the increase in expenditure in 2009-10 was a $1.5 billion rise in spending on public hospitals, followed by spending on medications, which grew by $1.0 billion. 

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Opportunity in child safety products for pharmacy : 27/10/2011 :

Tee Zed Products Pty Ltd last week announced the appointment of Crossmark to manage sales of the market leading brand Dreambaby® into the Australian Pharmacy sector.

"We see this as a real opportunity for pharmacies to take a share of the growing child safety segment," commented Barry Mulligan, National Sales & Marketing Manager for Tee Zed Products, adding that "Child Safety has again been in the news for all the wrong reasons with children suffering accidents that can be easily avoidable."

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HIV/AIDS consortium wins Pat Clear award : 27/10/2011 :

A consortium of pharmaceutical companies working with NGOs to combat the rise of HIV/AIDS in Papua New Guinea has won the 2011 Pat Clear Award – the Australian medicines industry’s most prestigious accolade.

The Collaboration for Health in PNG brings together five companies: Pfizer, MSD, GlaxoSmithKline, Boehringer-Ingelheim and Gilead.

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Codral, Sudafed to move into grocery : 27/10/2011 :

News broke late yesterday that J&J are planning to release Codral and Sudafed branded cough and cold products into grocery, commencing in the second quarter of 2012.

A company source told AusPharm that the established cough and cold market in grocery is worth $130 million and that as many consumers choose to buy cough and cold products exclusively via the grocery channel the company has made the decision that it needs to be represented there. AusPharm understands the Codral product will be called 'Codral Relief'.

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Move to full payment disclosure : 26/10/2011 :

The Guild's wholly owned subsidiary healthlinks.net said yesterday that it will move to ensure disclosure to consumers of all professional or administration fees paid to pharmacists by sponsor pharmaceutical companies for IT facilitated professional programs.

According to healthlinks.net, some patient consent forms already disclose that payments from pharmaceutical manufacturers may be made in some cases, but the specific payment amounts are not listed because they vary across programs and in some cases do not apply at all. The Guild says it believes the professional payments and the small administration fee which applies to the Pfizer patient support program are appropriate and could not be deemed excessive.

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Poll: how many PCs? : 26/10/2011 :

In a post to AusPharmList today David Haworth looks to find out what's the most number of PCs in operation in a single pharmacy (and we've offered a prize for the 'winner').

Today's AusPharm polls aims to find out what the spread is across the industry.

How many PCs are there in your pharmacy? Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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What are Blackmores spruiking? : 26/10/2011 :

Last week we drew 'listers attention to the events detailed below (click for a larger version) at which Blackmores had planned to promote their new 'Companion' range to pharmacists. Given that the range has been killed off following adverse publicity we wondered what the company might be planning to talk about at these events.

Now that they have commenced, if any 'listers have attended, we'd love to hear what the company had to say.

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Fairfax press keeps up the attack : 26/10/2011 :

In the washout from the recent Guild / Blackmores debacle AusPharm predicted that more anti pharmacy stories would follow. This proved to be correct with the Pfizer / Guild deal occupying the Fairfax media's attention over the last week.

More follows today with another story from Fairfax journalist Mark Metherell, this time over GSK’s and MDS's involvement in Mirixa compliance programs with Seretide and Janumet / Januvia.

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CPA5 funds innovative mental health research project : 25/10/2011 :

Funding was announced last week – through the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement (5CPA) Research and Development Program – for research that will help inform future community pharmacy practice when working with people with mental health problems.

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More Indigenous Australians accessing targeted health services : 25/10/2011 :

There was a significant increase in the use of services targeted at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in 2009-10 compared with the previous year, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

These Commonwealth-funded services include primary health care services (such as access to doctors, nurses and medical specialists), stand-alone substance use rehabilitation and treatment services, and Bringing Them Home and Link Up counselling services.

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PBS supply to Aboriginal Health Services : 25/10/2011 :

The Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs has made ten recommendations in its recently released report on supply of PBS medicines to remote area Aboriginal Health Services (AHS). The committee's recommendations relate to:

  • release of information to facilitate the effectiveness of the service
  • evaluating whether increased medicine supply has any clinical impact
  • specific funding for dose administration aids
  • becoming more flexible to enable more direct access of AHS to pharmacists
  • standardised systems for accurate and legible labelling and recording of medicines
  • publishing information on status of prior report recommendations
  • participation in section 100 process
  • integration of existing services

The committee's brief from the Senate was to look into the effectiveness of the special arrangements established in 1999 under section 100 of the National Health Act 1953, for the supply of PBS medicines to remote area Aboriginal Health Services.

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November 2011 PBS schedule : 25/10/2011 :

The November 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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