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AusPharm news

Poll: have you been threatened / intimidated / held up at work : 04/07/2012 :

In a post to AusPharmList yesterday, a 'lister sought advice following a recent pharmacy hold up. Her post has attracted some high quality responses today.

Have you been the victim of a violent incident in the last 12 months?

Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in this week's AusPharm online poll.

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Final day: PDL to support intern attendance at College conference : 04/07/2012 :

Pharmacy Defence Limited (PDL) has generously offered to support ALL intern registrations to the Australian College of Pharmacy’s 23rd Annual Conference in Brisbane on 3-6 August 2012.

The offer is for all interns Australia-wide and (subsidised) intern registrants can attend the Saturday and Sunday sessions and the welcome reception on Friday 3rd August. To be eligible interns must register before close of business Friday 13 July, 2012.

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Over 18,500 people accommodated every night by homelessness services : 04/07/2012 :

Most pharmacies, particularly those operating any level of opioid pharmacotherapy program, will have homeless people as patients.

On average, 18,574 people were accommodated by specialist homelessness agencies on any given night from October to December 2011, according to the latest information on homelessness services released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

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Complaints panel finds against undoit : 04/07/2012 :

In an as yet unpublished finding dated 29 June 2012, seen by AusPharm, the Complaints Resolution Panel (CRP), has determined that consumer advertising for weight loss product Undoit ('have your cake and eat it too'), breached numerous sections of the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code.

The CRP determination is a response to a complaint lodged by public health physician Dr Ken Harvey in February, alleging breaches of the Code. The CRP can only make 'requests' of product sponsors but has the power to refer non compliance with requests to the TGA for further action. In its determination, the CRP has made a number of requests of product sponsor undoit.com.au Pty Ltd.

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Blackmores acquires BioCeuticals : 03/07/2012 :

The Blackmores company announced yesterday that it is to purchase practitioner focused vitamin and supplement company BioCeuticals.

BioCeuticals was founded in 1993 and develops and markets a range of nutritional supplements to integrative medicine practitioners, natural health professionals, pharmacists and health food stores primarily in Australia and New Zealand. FIT-BioCeuticals’ main brands are BioCeuticals® and IsoWhey®, with a number of smaller brands including a biotechnology and research arm.

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Monash pharmacy right up there : 03/07/2012 :

Listers my have seen the link in yesterday's AusPharm to the report in the Australian newspaper that Monash University has been ranked the sixth best university in the world, and the best in Australia, at which to study Pharmacy and Pharmacology. The University yesterday provided further information.

The QS World University ranking comes following last year’s Australian Research Council ERA report which ranked Monash’s research in the fields of pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences, and nanotechnology, as 5/5 indicating that the research is "well above world standard".

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New labelling of cough and cold medicines commences : 03/07/2012 :

Following a 2009 review of the labelling of children's cough and cold mixtures the TGA now requires that these products not be labelled for use in children under 6 years of age and that, for children between 6 and 12 years of age, labelling should reflect that the advice of a pharmacist or doctor should initially be sought before giving the products.

Over coming months, pharmacies will see cough and cold products containing antihistamines, antitussives, mucolytics, expectorants and decongestants  transitioning their labelling in accordance with the TGA decision.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 03/07/2012 :

AFL - Round 14

Round 14 of the 2012 AFL season commenced with a Friday night blockbuster featuring the Hawks and the Blues, the final outcome was the Hawks dismantling a worn out Blues outfit by 50 points.

Other highlights of the round included the Magpies winning their 10th game in a row, defeating a promising Fremantle team by 29 points at the MCG. Other results for the round saw Adelaide defeat a courageous Tigers team by just over 3 goals and the West Coast Eagles obliterating the Suns by a colossal 126 points at Patterson's Stadium.

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MSD seeks injunction against Apotex on Nasonex generic : 03/07/2012 :

MSD in Australia has applied to the Federal Court of Australia for an injunction to stop Apotex marketing a generic version of MSD's  Nasal Spray in Australia.

MSD believes that Apotex's plans to launch the generic from September infringe MSD's Nasonex patent, which expires in 2015. MSD says it plans to vigorously defend its rights.

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SHPA Seminar in Aged Care: Adelaide July 28/29 : 02/07/2012 :

An SHPA Seminar in Aged Care has been scheduled for Adelaide on July 28/29, 2012.

The 1.5 day interactive course, designed for community and hospital pharmacists, will provide an understanding of the consequences of ageing in respect to drug management in the elderly. The topics to be covered represent common problems encountered in the geriatric population. The sessions will focus on aims of treatment in the elderly, issues of drug selection and patient monitoring.

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ACP launches new membership option for pharmacy businesses : 02/07/2012 :

This week the Australian College of Pharmacy announced a new membership category, Corporate Membership for pharmacy businesses.

Pharmacys can enrol up to three pharmacists and up to two other pharmacy staff.

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Sansom AF therapy review issues paper released : 02/07/2012 :

An Issues and Options Paper for the Sansom Review of Anticoagulation Therapies in Atrial Fibrillation was released to the public on Friday.

The release of the paper follows the commissioning last year of former PBAC Chair, Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom AO, to conduct a review of anticoagulation therapies in atrial fibrillation. The commissioning of the review was, in part, a response to the government decision not to PBS list new anticoagulant dabigatran (Pradaxa), despite a March 2011 PBAC recommendation to do so.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Riluzole and motor neurone disorder : 02/07/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Riluzole and motor neurone disorder.

"Riluzole is a neuroprotective agent used in the treatment of motor neurone disease. The precise mechanism of action of riluzole is unclear, however evidence supports a reduction in glutamate-induced excitotoxicity by three mechanisms: non-competitive blockade of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptors, inhibition of the release of presynaptic glutamic acid, and inactivation of voltage-dependent sodium channels. Motor neurone disease (MND) is a neuromuscular disorder that progressively results in widespread muscle weakness, leading to death within 3-4 years of onset. The two major forms of MND are amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) where muscles controlling the limbs are affected first, and Progressive Bulbar Palsy (PBP) whereby bulbar muscles are affected first."

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

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Few pharmacists conscientiously object to dispensing oral contraceptives : 29/06/2012 :

This week's AusPharm poll followed a Herald Sun news story which cited a Monash University study that found 'one in five pharmacists think it's reasonable for their religious beliefs to influence their decision to provide the pill.'

According to journalist Susie O'Brien "Pharmacists are there to serve customers, not to dispense moral advice, or impose their conservative Christian views on their customers."

We thought the 'one in five' figure sounded high so we set out to find out. The result tells us that only 3% of respondents (or about one in thirty) 'have religious / moral concerns and decline to supply' prescribed oral contraceptives. Another 9% 'have religious / moral concerns but do not decline to supply'.

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Harvey takes aim at Nature's Own sleep products : 29/06/2012 :

Following this week's launch of Nature's Own new sleep product 'Complete Sleep Advanced', public health advocate Dr Ken Harvey has immediately lodged a complaint with the Complaints Resolution Panel (CRP) alleging that advertising for the product breaches numerous sections of the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code 2007 and the Therapeutic Goods Act.

He has also requested the TGA 'immediately initiate a post-marketing review on this product with the view of removing it from the ARTG because of serious advertising and regulatory violations.'

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PBS costs surge in May : 28/06/2012 :

In what may be a statistical anomaly, PBS costs spiked heavily in May. This is the first month on month rise for at least the last 9 months (see chart below).

18.8 million PBS claimable scripts were dispensed in May 2012 at a cost to government of $839 million. This represents a rise in script numbers of 17.5% on May 2011 (16.0 v 18.8 million) and in absolute dollars of 27.3% on May 2011 ($839 v $659 million).

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Medicines Australia: Greens threats premature : 28/06/2012 :

Following threats this week from Green's health spokesperson, Senator Richard Di Natale, to legislate to clamp down on inducements to doctors from the pharmaceutical industry, peak pharma group Medicines Australia said yesterday that the Green's threats are premature.

“Medicines Australia has now almost completed an 12 month review of its Code of Conduct, which sets the rules for these relationships.  This review is an extensive process and is followed by a six month review by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission which is about to commence," said Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 27/06/2012 :

AFL Round 13

Round 13 of the 2012 AFL season commenced with a Friday night show down at the SCG between the Swans and the Cats, the Cats fought gallantly however the Swans flew away with the game by a goal.

NRL Round 16

Round 16 of the 2012 NRL Season commenced with the Titans and the Dragons, in a very close game it was the Dragons that were victorious 8-6 at WIN Stadium. Other results of the round included the Broncos defeating a determined Rabbitohs outfit 26-12.

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Poll: do you decline to supply oral contraceptives on religious / moral grounds? : 27/06/2012 :

A recent Herald Sun news item claimed that 'some pharmacists are refusing to follow the law and sell the pill because of their personal beliefs.'  Margaret Topp posted a comment to AusPharmList about the news item and there have been a number of further posts.

But just how common is this? Are there many pharmacists declining oral contraceptive supply on religious/moral grounds?

Please help us find out by voting in today's AusPharm online poll.

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Government spends on new PBS listings : 26/06/2012 :

Eleven new medicines are to be PBS listed from August 1. Some are entirely new listings and others are new indications for existing medicines already on the PBS.

“The listing of these medicines on the PBS will offer patients access to new, affordable treatments which will directly benefit their health,” said Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek, announcing the listings.

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