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AusPharm news

Large majority of pharmacist believe intern year still needed : 17/08/2012 :

We usually can't tell when one of our weekly polls will strike a chord with 'listers and elicit a strong voter turnout but that was certainly what we got this week with 442 'listers telling us their views on whether an intern year was still necessary for graduate pharmacists.

The response to our poll question was an emphatic 'yes, graduates do need a full year of supervised (intern) practice'  (86%). Only 9% of respondents supported the proposition that the intern year should be dropped.

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Nominations for PSA Excellence Awards close in two weeks : 17/08/2012 :

Nominations for the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Awards for Excellence close in two weeks’ time, August 30.
 
Widely regarded as the pharmacy profession’s most prestigious and sought-after awards the PSA’s Pharmacist of the Year, Young Pharmacist of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Awards represent the profession’s pinnacles of achievement.

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Board releases budget details for 2012/13 : 17/08/2012 :

The Pharmacy Board and its parent body AHPRA have for the first time published the Health Profession Agreement that describes the relationship between the two bodies.

AHPRA and the Boards are required to operate in a ‘transparent, accountable, efficient, effective and fair way” hence the decision to make the agreement public.

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Guild to get a new Exec. Director : 16/08/2012 :

The Executive Director of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Wendy Phillips, is to retire from the position on 1 December 2012, after twenty years with the Guild.

Her replacement has been named as David Quilty, former Group Managing Director of Public Policy and Communications at Telstra and, before that, chief of staff to former Minister for Communications Senator Richard Alston, and senior adviser to Prime Minister John Howard.

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NAPSA launches ePlacebo : 16/08/2012 :

The National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA) has launched its new online newsletter ePlacebo, replacing the previous hard copy format.

ePlacebo will be emailed to every NAPSA member monthly, and will feature executive, chair and branch updates, as well as relevant news from the profession.

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AusPharm CE: The Management of Neuropathic Pain : 16/08/2012 :

The latest AusPharm CE topic is The Management of Neuropathic Pain - it's been put together for us by Angus Thomson.

"Optimising management of pain has become an increasing priority for many health professionals and health systems around the world. One of the major drivers for this is the high prevalence of pain, in particular chronic pain which is estimated to affect around 1 in 5 of the population, both in Australia and overseas"

The Learning Objectives for this activity are:

  • Describe the typical presenting features of neuropathic pain
  • Outline the advantages and disadvantages of key therapy options for neuropathic pain
  • Identify opportunities to optimise the management of neuropathic pain.

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 the sponsors of our CE program, MIMS.

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No cough and cold meds for under 6's : 16/08/2012 :

The TGA has completed its review of the safety and efficacy of OTC cough and cold medicines in children and recommends that they not be used at all in children under 6 and, in children aged 6-12 years, only on the advice of a doctor, pharmacist or nurse practitioner.

The 2009 review examined all of the available data in the literature and the TGA records relating to the safety and efficacy of OTC cough and cold medicines containing one or more of the active ingredients listed here for the treatment of symptoms of coughs and cold in children aged less than 12 years. A full list of the affected products is available here.

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Use of insulin pumps rising among people with Type 1 diabetes : 15/08/2012 :

The use of insulin pumps to manage Type 1 diabetes is increasing and more people are starting on a pump sooner after diagnosis, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Insulin pump use in Australia, shows that at 30 June 2011 there were 10,510 insulin pump users in Australia, representing 10% of people with Type 1 diabetes. The report shows almost 50% of all insulin pump users were under 25 years old and over 60% were female.

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Medicines Australia sets up 'transparency' taskforce : 15/08/2012 :

Medicines Australia has invited the AMA, the Royal Australian College of Physicians, the Consumers Health Forum and other key healthcare and consumer organisations** to join a newly established Transparency Working Group.

The Transparency Working Group, to be chaired by Medicines Australia Board member Dr Dominic Barnes, will develop new measures to increase transparency of pharmaceutical company payments to healthcare professionals.

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Poll: get rid of the intern year? : 15/08/2012 :

In his feature article yesterday (and in a previous feature last year) Justin Lee canvassed the idea that Schools of Pharmacy could be producing graduates who are ready to enter the workforce as registered pharmacists. According to Justin, this could be done by beefing up the time spent in clinical placements and would remove the need for an intern or 'pre-reg' year. This might go some way, he argues, towards redressing the rural / urban maldistribution of pharmacists.

What do you think? Should the system be tweaked so that graduates are 'fit to practice' autonomously when they graduate or is the intern year still a necessary part of a pharmacist's education? Please let us know your view by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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Ophthalmic chloramphenicol back to S4? : 15/08/2012 :

At its October 2012 meeting the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS, the old NDPSC) will consider an application to UP-schedule ophthalmic chloramphenicol preparations to Schedule 4.

Other scheduling changes up for discussion at the meeting include a proposal to increase the number of units allowed in a Schedule 3 pack of 20mg pantoprazole from 14 to 28, a proposal to create a Schedule 3 entry for low strength topical mometasone and a proposal to create a Schedule 3 entry to allow a weekly dose of Vitamin D up to 175 micrograms (7000IU) per recommended dose.

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Advanced pharmacy practice framework closer : 14/08/2012 :

Following the release in March of a consultation paper on a draft framework for advanced pharmacy practice the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Framework Steering Committee recently met to consider the submissions received.

While the group acknowledges that the finalisation of an advanced pharmacy practice framework is a primary goal, it has identified the potential for other work on advanced practice, including the establishment of a mechanism or pathway for formal recognition of those pharmacists considered to be practising at an advanced level.

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Aussie students star at IPSF World Congress : 14/08/2012 :

12 NAPSA delegates have just returned from the 58th International Pharmacy Students' Federation (IPSF) Congress, held in Hurghada, Egypt from the 1st to the 11th of August. Over 450 delegates from 50 countries were in attendance.

Bronwyn Jones, NAPSA Secretary (University of Tasmania), Stephen Stanton, Immediate past IPSF Chair (University of Sydney) and Catherine Brown (Monash University) represented NAPSA as official delegates at the IPSF General Assembly.

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eMIMS gets a CAM interaction module : 14/08/2012 :

MIMS has announced plans to include an Australian, evidence based complementary v mainstream drug interaction module in its eMIMS product.

The project to develop the interactions database has been headed up by Sydney University's Professor Basil Roufogalis and Professor Andrew McLachlan, and has been updated and expanded regularly since its inception in 2002. The database includes over 500 entries and, to date, has only been available via the Australian integrative medicines website IMgateway.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Use of LMWH in patients with advanced liver cirrhosis. : 13/08/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Use of LMWH in patients with advanced liver cirrhosis.

"Low molecular weight heparins (LMWH) are commonly used in the prophylaxis and treatment of venous thromboembolic (VTE) diseases. However, there is limited evidence to guide the use of LMWH in patients with advanced liver cirrhosis. It is well known that patients with advanced liver disease are affected by haemostatic alterations that can create a hypocoagulable state. The mechanisms that create this issue are firstly, decreased synthesis of vitamin K clotting factors II, V, VII, IX, X and XI, and secondly, decreased platelet production." 

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

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Dementia the 9th National Health Priority Area : 13/08/2012 :

Dementia has been designated the ninth National Health Priority Area.

The move, decided at a meeting of state and federal health ministers in Sydney last week, is expected to enhance the development of a new National Framework for Action on Dementia, which will contribute to current and future work being undertaken to tackle dementia, including the national research effort.

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15 new headspace sites : 13/08/2012 :

Fifteen new headspace youth mental health service sites have been announced to support young people dealing with depression, substance abuse and other mental health issues.

headspace provides assistance in areas ranging from mental health issues, to drug and alcohol problems, physical health, social and vocational support.

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Drop in average PBS script cost : 13/08/2012 :

Unable to continue with its usual focus on PBS sustainability following the recent release of puzzling June PBS stats, the Medicines Partnership of Australia, representing key PBS stakeholders, has instead highlighted a decline in the average cost to government of PBS prescriptions in its August PBS scorecard.

The drop in average PBS script cost is apparent in the June 2012 PBS data – the first month of data to include the full impact of the major 1 April 2012 price reductions - but the extent to which the anomalous June stats impact the veracity of this data is not known.

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Big turnaround in pharmacist satisfaction levels : 10/08/2012 :

43% of the respondents (n=390) to this week's AusPharm poll say they 'hardly ever' enjoy their work as a pharmacist.

This stands in stark contrast to the result of an identical poll we ran exactly 5 years ago in which only 18% responded that they 'hardly ever' enjoy their work as a pharmacist.

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Rural Pharmacy Scholarship winners announced : 10/08/2012 :

The recipients of the Rural Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme scholarships for 2012 have been announced.

Forty-one students from across the country were awarded scholarships, which provides them with up to $40,000 during their time at university.

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