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AusPharm news

TGA: don't use codeine in children younger than 12 : 09/10/2015 :

A TGA safety review into codeine use in children and rapid metabolisers has recommended that codeine not be used for any indication in children younger than 12 years and should also not be used in children aged 12-18 years after adenotonsillectomy for obstructive sleep apnoea.

The review acknowledges that children who metabolise codeine to morphine rapidly are at a higher risk of accidental morphine overdose and that children are more susceptible to respiratory problems than adults due to their immature airway anatomy.

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Mental Health Week – pharmacists looking after pharmacists : 09/10/2015 :

The 2015 Mental Health Week concludes tomorrow - Saturday 10th October - with World Mental Health Day. 

The Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) is a service which focuses on the mental health of Australian pharmacists, interns and pharmacy students.  PSS is just a phone call away and can help you if you are stressed, are concerned about your mental health or just need a listening ear. 

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TPP effect on pharmacy / PBS seen as positive by pharmacists : 09/10/2015 :

Despite a poor voter turnout (n=73) and a high level of unfamiliarity with the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement as it effects pharmacy and the PBS, those who did vote in this week's AusPharm poll were clear that the agreement is to be welcomed as it 'will help keep the PBS affordable'.

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Pharmacy Council of New South Wales elections : 08/10/2015 :

The Pharmacy Council of New South Wales has called for nominations from pharmacists whose principal place of practice is NSW to fill five (5) positions on the Council.

The nomination must be made in writing, signed by the candidate and shall contain the full names, residential addresses and signatures of at least two (2) nominators (other than the candidate) who are also local pharmacists.

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 08/10/2015 :

The MIMS October 2015 Monthly Medicine Update is now available. Click the link to read it now.

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Risky nomads coming to a pharmacy near you : 08/10/2015 :

Grey nomads, particularly first-timers, may be putting their health at risk because of a lack of planning, preparation and education about their health and the medications they need.

In the cover story for the October issue of Australian Pharmacist, Catherine Waterman explores the world of grey nomads and the health challenges they carry with them on their migratory journeys around Australia.

Grey nomads are well known older people who hire or buy caravans or motor homes to travel. However, due to a lack of precautions and understanding, first-timers can get caught in less-than-desirable and often-dangerous situations.

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AusPharm CE: RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin Digest Issue No.86 : 08/10/2015 :

The next in our 2015 series of continuing professional development activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 86.

This CPD activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins, Volumes 59-4 --> 59-7 (July 2015).

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Push for national real time Recording and Reporting of Controlled Drugs : 08/10/2015 :

A number of Australia’s peak medicine, pharmacy and consumer bodies have today called for the urgent implementation of a national system for the Electronic Recording and Reporting of Controlled Drugs (ERRCD).

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Mark Hooper new NPSA President : 08/10/2015 :

Sigma Pharmaceuticals CEO Mark Hooper, pictured at right, has been elected as the new President of the National Pharmaceutical Services Association (NPSA), the peak organisation representing full-line pharmaceutical wholesalers in Australia.

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Guild to push for deferral of codeine scheduling decision : 07/10/2015 :

The Pharmacy Guild said yesterday it will be arguing for the TGA decision on whether or not to up-schedule non-prescription codeine containing products to prescription only status to be deferred for at least 12 months.

The interim decision of the TGA's Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS), released last Thursday, would see all non-prescription codeine containing products, including cough and cold relief products, available on prescription only from June 2016. A final decision is due in mid November.

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Poll: TPP outcome - good or bad? : 07/10/2015 :

The final Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement has retained the status quo regarding Australian data exclusivity periods (5 years) for innovative medicines, including biologics, despite a longer time period being sought by the USA.

As noted above, this outcome was criticized by peak innovative medicines body, Medicines Australia, as `a missed opportunity to stimulate and grow the Australian biopharmaceutical industry` but welcomed by peak generic and biosimilar group, the Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association, because it `adequately balances innovation for new medicines with market access for affordable medicines`.

What do you think? Good, bad, balanced, don`t know? Please let us know what you think by voting in today`s AusPharm poll.

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Big pharma: TPP outcome disappointing. GBMA pleased : 07/10/2015 :

The outcomes of the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership are 'a disappointing outcome and a missed opportunity to stimulate and grow the Australian biopharmaceutical industry' says peak innovative medicines body Medicines Australia (MA).

The group said yesterday that the increasing data exclusivity periods sought by the US but not in the final agreement would have had no negative impact on Australian’s access to the latest medicines and would not have increased the prices patients pay through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

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Medicinal cannabis to be legalised In Victoria : 07/10/2015 :

Medical cannabis products for use in exceptional circumstances will be legal in Victoria from 2017, provided they are grown and processed in Victoria.

The Victorian government said yesterday that eligibility to receive the products is likely to be based on the following conditions and symptoms:

  • Severe muscle spasms or severe pain resulting from multiple sclerosis
  • Severe pain, nausea, vomiting or wasting arising from cancer, HIV/AIDS (of the treatment thereof)
  • Severe seizures resulting from epileptic conditions where other treatment options have failed or have intolerable side effects
  • Severe chronic pain with the approval of two specialists

Access to medicinal cannabis for children with severe epilepsy will be prioritised.

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Choosing Wisely Australia: now is the time for a national conversation about appropriate health care : 06/10/2015 :

Last week's Four Corners TV program investigating unnecessary testing and treatments is a timely reminder of the need for both clinicians and consumers to question low-value care in the Australian health system according to members of the Choosing Wisely Australia initiative.

Choosing Wisely Australia aims to bring the medical community together to raise the quality of healthcare by improving conversations and decision making to consider tests, treatments, and procedures where evidence shows they provide no benefit or, in some cases, lead to harm. Since launching in April 2015, 13 professional medical colleges and societies - including The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) - have joined the movement.

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Naloxone to be available without a script : 06/10/2015 :

In addition to recommending the up-scheduling of codeine at its August meeting, a number of other (interim) scheduling decisions were made public last week by the TGA's Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS), including that opioid overdose treatment naloxone be made available without a prescription.

The ACMS reasoned that because naloxone is a well-tolerated life-saving medicine with minimal side effects, the benefits outweigh the risks. It also said that the evidence suggests that easier availability of naloxone is likely to decrease the proportion of opioid overdoses which result in death.

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PSA launches GP-Pharmacist Connect : 06/10/2015 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s proposed model to integrate pharmacists into GP practices has received such great support, says PSA, that it has launched a new service - GP-Pharmacist Connect - to link General Practices with pharmacists.

Chief Executive Officer of the PSA, Dr Lance Emerson, said GP-Pharmacist Connect had been developed in response to demand from general practices requiring pharmacist clinical services.

“PSA has been contacted by GP practices interested in the concept asking PSA to help them to find a pharmacist for their practice,” Dr Emerson said.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Antipsychotic use in insomnia : 05/10/2015 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Antipsychotic use in insomnia.

"Insomnia, the most commonly encountered sleep disorder in the general population, is the subjective perception of difficulties with sleep initiation, duration and quality despite sufficient opportunities. A diagnosis of insomnia requires evidence of daytime dysfunction, which may include fatigue, difficulties concentrating, demotivation, irritability, tension or even cognitive changes. Insomnia potentially contributes to decreased quality of life, risk of accidents (e.g. motor vehicle, work-related), decreased work productivity and increased burden on healthcare resources. "

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

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Owler: Pharmacists in general practice: the way forward : 05/10/2015 :

In an editorial in the current (September) issue of the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research, AMA President Professor Brian Owler makes the case for the inclusion of pharmacists into general practices saying it would reduce fragmentation of patient care by utilising pharmacists’ complementary skills within the practice, rather than outside of it.

"Pharmacists would be able to work directly with GPs and their patients in delivering quality patient care," he wrote.

Professor Owler makes it clear that, from the AMA's perspective, the role of the general practice pharmacist "would not include dispensing or prescribing medication, or issuing repeat prescriptions.

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New global report details trend in advanced roles for pharmacists : 05/10/2015 :

A new report co-authored by Australian pharmacist Kirstie Galbraith, which details the extent of the advanced and specialised roles that pharmacists are undertaking, and the mechanisms supporting these developments, was presented at the FIP Congress last week.

The report - Advanced practice and specialisation in pharmacy: Global report - was produced by the International Pharmaceutical Federation Education Initiative (FIPEd).

 

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CHF: Taking codeine off the shelves not the answer : 05/10/2015 :

Responding to last week's interim decision by the TGA's Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS) to rid pharmacy shelves of non-prescription codeine containing products the Consumers Health Forum (CHF) said on Friday the move 'is a very blunt instrument to address what is a complex issue - we need a more holistic approach'.

“Clearly we have a problem of misuse and overuse of codeine, and we need to take action to address this. However, moving codeine products to prescription-only medicines is not the most effective way to do it,” said Jo Root, Acting CHF CEO.

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