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AusPharm news

September 1 PBS schedule : 24/08/2012 :

The September PBS Schedule is now available.

Download the Full PBS schedule

Download the PBS Summary of changes

Download the Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy – S100 Arrangements Supplement

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Only antibiotics to affect pill are rifampicin and rifabutin : 24/08/2012 :

NPS yesterday released information for consumers about taking antibiotics when also using hormonal contraceptives, explaining that there are only two antibiotics, rifampicin and rifabutin, that affect how hormonal contraceptives work.

 There are many misconceptions regarding the impact of antibiotics in our bodies, says NPS MedicineWise clinical adviser Dr Philippa Binns.

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Two $2,500 pharmacy student scholarships : 23/08/2012 :

Once again in 2012, Pharmacy Cricket is funding two pharmacy students scholarships, each worth $2,500.

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New study shows chronic disease deaths are underestimated : 23/08/2012 :

Traditional analysis of causes of death in Australia (which focus on one underlying cause of death rather than multiple causes of death) can underestimate the contribution of some chronic diseases, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Multiple causes of death: an analysis of all natural and selected chronic disease causes of death 1997–2007, uses multiple causes of death statistics, for the first time, to describe patterns of chronic disease mortality in Australia. Multiple causes of death occur when two or more diseases or conditions are reported as contributing to a death.

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TGA admits error in paracetamol OD advice : 23/08/2012 :

The TGA admitted yesterday that it had made a mistake in an article published in the August 2012 issue of Medicines Safety Update (MSU) (vol 3; no 4, 2012). The MSU article incorrectly stated 'In a study of 662 patients with severe paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity, 48% had not exceeded the recommended maximum daily dose of 4g'.

The text should read 'In a study 662 patients with acute liver failure, 275 were cases of severe paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity. 131 (48%) of these 275 cases were the result of an unintentional overdose and 19 (7%) of the 275 patients had not exceeded the recommended maximum daily dose of 4 grams '.

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Guild pushing for greater role for pharmacy in flu vaccination : 23/08/2012 :

Citing poor flu vaccine coverage in some demographic groups and a bad 2012 flu season the Pharmacy Guild said yesterday it is actively seeking the support of stakeholders for the implementation of a community pharmacy influenza vaccination service.

Community pharmacy has traditionally been involved with the distribution of vaccines and is well placed to participate in vaccine administration and community immunisation programs in a number of ways says the Guild.

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NPS encourages consumers to explore brand costs : 22/08/2012 :

NPS is reminding consumers to explore different medicine brands to keep their costs down. The NPS message reinforces that "while the cost of a medicine may differ from brand to brand, if the active ingredient and size of the dose are the same then the medicine will work the same in their body."

NPS chief executive Dr Lynn Weekes said the "brand you choose is ultimately up to the medicine user..."

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Medscheck, Diabetes Medscheck guidelines for PSA members : 22/08/2012 :

The PSA has released comprehensive online guidelines for use by pharmacists providing medicines use review (MedsCheck) and diabetes medication management (Diabetes MedsCheck) services.
 
The guidelines have been developed to support the 5th Community Pharmacy Agreement rollout of the programs which began on July 1, 2012.

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Priceline promotes pain management credentials : 22/08/2012 :

Until September 19, Priceline pharmacies are offering free pain management health consultations at each of the 195 Priceline Pharmacy stores across Australia.

According to Priceline its pharmacists are equipped with the latest knowledge about pain management and can provide advice about the most appropriate treatment options for individuals.

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Poll: is practising pharmacy more professionally satisfying today than it was 10 years ago : 22/08/2012 :

We've been running our weekly polls for just over 10 years now. This gives us the opportunity to do some interesting 'then and now' comparisons.

Almost exactly 10 years ago we ran a poll that asked 'listers whether they thought 'practising pharmacy will be more professionally satisfying in 10 years time than it is now'.

In today's poll we ask how you think things are, 10 years on. Please tick the box that best represents your view in today's poll below.

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Students rally in Sydney : 22/08/2012 :

Over 100 pharmacy students from Sydney University and UTS gathered outside Tanya Plibersek’s office yesterday to show their disapproval of the recent price disclosure changes.

They are deeply concerned about the effect this will have both on their future employment prospects and on their future patients.

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New NZ model under spotlight at PAC12 : 21/08/2012 :

PAC12 will bring Australian pharmacists up to date with the new model for pharmacy in New Zealand which will see pharmacists paid to manage patients on chronic therapies, but lose their $5.30 dispensing fee.
 
The NZ Government has reported that all the country’s 947 pharmacies have signed up to the controversial three-year agreement. From July 1, NZ community pharmacy began the three-year transitional Pharmacy Services Agreement which enables pharmacy to make better use of their clinical skills and expertise within the primary health-care team. The deal is aimed at moving pharmacy from being paid solely by a medicine dispensing fee, to a patient-focused payment model, but all pharmacies have been guaranteed their prior year revenue plus a small increase.

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No business like snow business : 21/08/2012 :

The Medici Capital Pharmacy Snow Business Conference was held last week at Victoria's Mt Buller ski resort.

A highlight of the conference was the victory in the Pharmacy Ski Cup by Melbourne pharmacist Greg Goldby. The women’s division saw Cathy Henry take the top spot.

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Dipper to launch Dare for diabetes : 21/08/2012 :

Aussie Rules legend, Robert "Dipper" DiPierdomenico will today launch Dare for Diabetes, an MSD sponsored public awareness initiative encouraging Australians to "dare" themselves or a friend to undertake a positive lifestyle change whilst raising funds for Diabetes Australia.

The program aims to raise awareness of the fast growing problem of diabetes and ultimately, inspire people to take steps towards better health.

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Male urinal bottles - sharp edges : 21/08/2012 :

The TGA yesterday issued a safety alert warning hospital supply departments, health professionals, carers and users to check that male urinal bottles are free of sharp edges, both inside and outside the bottle.

Sharp edges are a defect - any cracks, chips or sharp edges may injure users. If such defects are noticed, the manufacturer or supplier should be contacted, says the TGA. According to the agency, the advice is being issued following the report of a patient receiving lacerations caused by a sharp edge on the inner aspect of a urinal bottle neck.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Hormonal contraception and arterial thrombotic events : 20/08/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Hormonal contraception and arterial thrombotic events.

"The increased risk of thrombotic events associated with the use of Combined oestrogen-progestogen Oral Contraceptive Pills (COCP) was quickly realized after their introduction in the 1960s. Initially, oestrogen doses were reduced, with epidemiological data showing higher doses to be associated with increased vascular risks. However, with further generations of COCP, focus has since turned to comparing the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) associated with “newer” progestogens, such as desogestrel and gestodene, to “older” progestogens, such as levonorgesterel. Despite this focus on VTE risk, there have been limited studies assessing the risk of arterial thrombotic events (thrombotic stroke and acute myocardial infarction) and hormonal contraceptives.

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

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Asthma council updates allergic rhinitis guidelines : 20/08/2012 :

As the 2012 allergy season draws near, the National Asthma Council has updated its Managing allergic rhinitis in people with asthma information paper for health professionals and Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and your asthma patient brochure to reflect the latest evidence and management recommendations.

According to pharmacist Debbie Rigby, who was a member of the expert working group responsible for revising the popular resources, asthma and allergic rhinitis frequently co-exist and the management of each condition can significantly impact the other.

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Symbion contributes to PSS development fund : 20/08/2012 :

The development and expansion of the Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) has been given a boost through a generous donation of $5000 from Symbion.   The donation will be put towards developing and expanding the Pharmacists’ Support Service including establishing a website which will enable PSS to broaden its outreach to pharmacists throughout Australia and will include a host of resources and information to support and assist pharmacists.

Currently PSS only has sufficient funds to provide a telephone service between 8am and 11pm to Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and the Northern Territory.  A website with links to useful information will provide pharmacists throughout Australia with a resource that they can access 24 hours a day.

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GSK sees future in branded products : 20/08/2012 :

Citing PBS reform issues, GSK has announced it has sold 25 of its non-promoted and genericised products in Australia to Aspen.

The company says its future growth will come from patent protected brands and new products in its pipeline.

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NPS updates resource on cough and cold medicines in young children : 20/08/2012 :

Following last weeks' release by the TGA of new advice regarding the use of cough and cold medicines in children, NPS has updated its 'Medicines for coughs and colds' resource page.

A review conducted by the TGA over the last 3 years found that there was little credible research showing the effectiveness of cough and cold medicines, particularly in children, and these medicines should not be given to children younger than 6 years old.

The updated NPS resource page is here.

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