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AusPharm news

PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 30/05/2012 :

AFL Round 9

Round 9 of the 2012 AFL season commenced with the Bulldogs and the Cats fighting it out at Etihad Stadium, however the Cats pulled it together to win. Other highlights of the round included the Tigers thrashing the Hawks by an epic 62 point, the Power lighting up Metricon Stadium to hand the Suns a 48 point defeat, the Saints defeating the Swans by 28 points and Essendon proving to powerful for Kevin Sheedy's GWS Giants defeating them by 66 points.

NRL - Round 12

Round 12 of the 2012 NRL season saw the Storm defeat the Broncos at AAMI Park to win 34-10 and many other interesting outcomes. Highlights for this week included the Rabbitohs doubling the score of the Roosters defeating them 36-18, the Titans defeating the Knights 24-14 at Hunter Stadium and the Dragons narrowly defeating the Eels to take the win 14-12.

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Poll: My pharmacy (department)'s principal supplier of generic prescription medications is.... : 30/05/2012 :

Back in 2007 we ran a poll to determine what market share each of the generic suppliers had. That poll told us that, in 2007, Alphapharm had just over a third of the market and led the pack. 5 years on, no doubt things will have changed.

Who is your pharmacy (department)'s principal supplier of prescription generic medications? Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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Industry disputes calcium cardiac risk finding : 29/05/2012 :

The Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI), the industry body representing consumer healthcare products, said yesterday that a study recently published in the journal, Heart, which found that taking calcium calcium supplements nearly doubles the risk of having a heart attack, contained a number of deficiencies which place a question over the strength and validity of its conclusions.

ASMI Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Director, Steven Scarff, said that there was good evidence that calcium supplements reduced the risk of fractures and hence played a useful role in the treatment of osteoporosis and that the association with heart disease remained controversial.

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CPE expo 2012 a resounding success : 29/05/2012 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) says that it is delighted with the success of its first Clinical and Practice Expo (CPExpo) held in Sydney at the weekend.
 
PSA’s NSW President, Professor Charlie Benrimoj, said that the event attracted more than 1,100 delegates and exhibitors.

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Review of PBS listed anti-dementia drugs : 29/05/2012 :

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) has commissioned a new Review of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme anti-dementia drugs to treat Alzheimers Disease, and is inviting submissions to the Review.

According the the PBAC, an initial review of cholinesterase inhibitors to treat Alzheimers disease in 2010/11 indicated that these medicines were being prescribed to a much larger population for longer periods of time than was originally agreed as cost-effective by the PBAC. In March 2012, to ensure these medicines continue to be used appropriately and to ensure their ongoing cost-effectiveness, the PBAC recommended a post-market review of all PBS listed anti-dementia drugs.

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NPS launches Prescribing Competencies Framework : 29/05/2012 :

A new competency framework outlining the skills, knowledge and behaviours required for safe and effective prescribing was launched by NPS last week at the 2012 National Medicines Symposium in Sydney.
 
The framework was developed following 12 months of consultation with health professionals and representative groups from around Australia.

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‘What works’ in Indigenous school health, sexual health programs : 29/05/2012 :

According to a paper released today by the Closing the Gap Clearinghouse, school-based health education programs can help ‘close the gap’ between young Indigenous people and other young Australians.

The paper, Engaging Indigenous students through school-based health education, suggests the most effective health education programs for young Indigenous Australians are those that are embedded in the core school curriculum, provided by trained and well-resourced teachers, and informed by parents, community members and local health professionals.

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PBS costs flatline : 28/05/2012 :

PBS numbers for April 2012, just released by Medicare, show that costs remain contained.

In April 2012 16.1 million PBS/RPBS scripts with a government reimbursement value of $688 million were dispensed across the country. This represents a decline of 0.6% on the 2011 figures of 16.2 million items and an increase of 1.6% in the 2011 dollar spend of $677 million.

The graph below depicts actual dollars for the last 6 months, un-adjusted for CPI increases.

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Medscheck programs on track for a July 1 start : 28/05/2012 :

The MedsCheck and Diabetes MedsCheck programs, funded  under the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement (5CPA) and piloted in 276 pharmacies since last year, is on track for a national rollout of the two in-pharmacy services on July 1.

These are new medication management, professional services, with remuneration on a fee-for-service basis - all community pharmacies should be able to participate as no additional pharmacist accreditation is required. 

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Swisse advertising ban ruling thrown out : 28/05/2012 :

In a decision handed down on Friday, a Federal Court Judge has overturned a March 2012 Complaints Resolution Panel (CRP) finding that resulted in the Swisse vitamin company being told to withdraw a series of ads it was running which claimed that "You'll feel better on Swisse".

Following the CRP ruling, a Swisse spokesperson said "Swisse has expressed its strong disagreement at the recent decision of the Complaints Resolutions Panel. Swisse considers that the review process leading to the decision was fundamentally flawed and is contesting the findings vigorously through appropriate channels."

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Extra care needed with palliative care medications : 28/05/2012 :

Health professionals need to be vigilant to the symptom cascades that can arise in palliative care settings due to adverse effects of medicines, delegates to last week's NPS National Medicines Symposium heard.
 
Presenter Debra Rowett, who has a special interest in pharmacovigilance, said the medicine regime often becomes much more complex as patients near the end of their lives, when symptom control medicines are added to medicines for long term co-morbid disease.

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National Medicinewise award winners announced at NMS 2012 : 28/05/2012 :

The winners of the 2012 National MedicineWise Awards were announced at last week's NPS National Medicines Symposium by Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King and NPS CEO, Dr Lynn Weekes.

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Consultation on medication labelling and packaging : 28/05/2012 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has released a consultation paper on medication labelling and packaging and is seeking comments on recommendations to change the presentation of information on the labels and packages of medicines.

The discussion paper follows a major review of packaging and labelling by the TGA designed to improve information that is presented to patients and consumers on how to take their medicines safely and effectively.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Apixaban for prevention of VTE after hip/knee replacement : 28/05/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Apixaban for prevention of VTE after hip/knee replacement.

"Apixaban functions as an oral anticoagulant by inhibiting the clotting factor Xa, resulting in decreased levels of thrombin. Apixaban is one of three orally active anticoagulants now available for subsidised supply in Australia through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, for the prevention of venous thromboembolism after hip or knee replacement. The others alternative agents are rivaroxaban and dabigatran."

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

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Trovas market share limited post June 1 but Pfizer likely to be happy : 25/05/2012 :

If the results of this week's AusPharm poll are representative of the pharmacy marketplace as a whole Pfizer will retain almost a third of the generic atorvastatin market share after the listing of the new brands on June 1.

This, despite the widespread antagonism towards the company from pharmacists following its decision to move to a direct supply model early in 2011.

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Seeking consumer insight into community pharmacy : 25/05/2012 :

A new research project funded by the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement will look at consumer needs, experiences and expectations of community pharmacy.

The Agreement's Research and Development Program has awarded the research project to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

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Undoit undone .... briefly : 25/05/2012 :

The sponsor of the weight loss product Undoit ('have your cake and eat it too') has cancelled the product's listing on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods. As a result, the TGA's review of the product has been closed.

Undoit was the subject of a complaint lodged with the Complaints Resolution Committee by Dr Ken Harvey alleging that the therapeutic claims made for the product breached numerous provisions of the Therapeutic Goods Act.

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30-year trends show improvement in Aussie kids’ oral health : 25/05/2012 :

According to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), Australian children’s oral health has improved markedly over the last 30 years.

The report, Child Dental Health Survey Australia 2007: 30-year trends in child oral health, describes the oral health status of Australian children examined by school dental service staff in 2007. The report also examines long term trends to 2007.

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Pharmacist / Allied Health collaboration : 23/05/2012 :

One of the 5CPA research projects will explore ways of fostering better collaboration between the allied health professions and pharmacy.

The future health workplace is going to be very different from the one that we work in currently, simply because no government will be able to afford to fund the current approach in the face of the ageing population. The aim will be to have a “flexible, well trained workforce with clear roles and responsibilities built around core competencies, that works together to deliver best care to patients cost-effectively and continues to build their skills through effective training and teamwork”.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 23/05/2012 :

AFL Round 8

Round 8 of the 2012 AFL season started with the Magpies and the Cats, in a close encounter it was the Magpies that got over the line to secure the win by 2 goals. Other highlights of the round included the Crows thrashing a woeful Blues team by a mammoth 69 points at Etihad Stadium...

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