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AusPharm news

18 teams to compete for Student Business Plan prize : 23/05/2012 :

Registrations for the 2012 National Student Business Plan Competition are now closed, with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia pleased to announce that 18 teams will compete for this year’s prize.
 
This year’s excellent registration result follows the success of the 2011 competition and includes multiple registrations from several schools and registration from first-time entrant University of South Australia.

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Poll: what brand(s) of generic atorvastatin? : 23/05/2012 :

Generic atorvastatin continues to be the topic of the year in community pharmacy. Last week saw the revelation that Ranbaxy is giving it away, presumably in order to 'flood' the market with stock to delay pharmacies from purchasing other brands. The Guild is said to be furious with the move, fearing repercussions for pharmacy in the PBAC statin cost-effectiveness review, due to report in July. Also, as reported on AusPharm yesterday, from June 1 there will be 11 brands to choose from.

What is your pharmacy going to do next? Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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Debate over Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing continues : 23/05/2012 :

The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) yesterday called for the development of Australian evidence-based guidelines on PSA testing.

The call came after the recent release by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) of new guidelines which recommend against PSA based prostate cancer screening in men of any age group.

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MMR course comes with 2hrs free mentoring from Debbie Rigby & Geraldine Moses : 22/05/2012 :

Two hours free mentoring from either Geraldine Moses or Debbie Rigby will be offered to every attendee at the MMR Stage 1 preparatory training course which is being run as a special interest stream at the Australian College of Pharmacy 23rd Annual Conference 2012.

Both Geraldine and Debbie are well known and highly qualified facilitators of Medication Management Review Accreditation Workshops and offer a wealth of experience and practical insights.

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New report: Australia is second most expensive country for investing in clinical trials : 22/05/2012 :

The 2012 KPMG Competitive Alternatives Report shows that of the 14 countries under review, only Japan is a more expensive country in which to invest in clinical trials.

The report shows Sydney ranks 111th out of 113 in the list of most expensive cities – more expensive than every city except Tokyo and Osaka. Brisbane ranks 110th, Melbourne 108th and Adelaide 103rd.

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It's a depression, but is an antidepression indicated? : 22/05/2012 :

Depression is only second to hypertension as the most common chronic problem seen by Australian GPs. With two thirds of these consultations for depression resulting in a prescription for antidepressants the use of these medicines continues to rise in Australia.
 
The latest therapeutic program from NPS, Depression: Challenges in primary care, encourages GPs to carefully assess the severity of depressive symptoms in patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder and then consider whether an antidepressant is necessary.

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Problem with yesterday's premium version (e)news : 22/05/2012 :

A coding error in yesterday's premium version AusPharm(e)news resulted in some people receiving a truncated version of the e(news).

This error was corrected during the day. Those of you who would like to see it can download a complete version here.

Our apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.

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Australian College of Pharmacy QLD Chapter Smart Business Series launches with Don Meij, Dominos Pizza : 21/05/2012 :

Next Tuesday 22 May (tomorrow), from 7:00pm to 9:00pm, the Australian College of Pharmacy Queensland Chapter will launch the first of the Smart Business Series seminars with guest speaker Don Meij (pictured right), CEO, Dominos Pizza.

Presenting on the topic Delivering results: Using the internet to grow your business, Don will share his expertise on the power of the internet and how it can move your small business forward, including how to harness innovation to drive operational efficiency and effectiveness.

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June 1 PBS schedule : 21/05/2012 :

The June PBS Schedule is now available

New brands of Atorvastatin are APO-Atorvastatin, Atorvachol GM, Atorvastatin GH, Atorvastatin Sandoz, Chem mart Atorvastatin, Lorstat AF, Terry White Chemists Atorvastatin and Torvastat QA so that brings the total to 11 brands!

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Rural Health Education Foundation: Parkinson’s : 21/05/2012 :

The topic of tomorrow night's (May 22) Rural Health Education Foundation broadcast is Parkinson’s: The Latest Approaches.

Join Dr Norman Swan, as he chairs a leading panel, discussing the latest advanced in diagnosis, treatment and ongoing management of Parkinson’s disease.

With no known cure, treatment aims to minimise the impact of the symptoms on the person’s quality of life and management can be enhanced by the holistic and ongoing care of a multidisciplinary healthcare team.

Full details are here.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Antipsychotic-induced weight gain : 21/05/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Antipsychotic-induced weight gain.

"Weight gain is a well recognised adverse effect of atypical antipsychotics. The propensity for weight gain varies between agents, as does the extent of weight gain and the time course over which it occurs. Data from trials involving patients with psychotic illness and clinical experience indicates that weight gain (defined as >7% increase from baseline) occurs most frequently with olanzapine and clozapine, and least frequently with amisulpride, aripiprazole, asenapine and ziprasidone."

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

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Pharmacists head Queensland Hospital Boards : 21/05/2012 :

Two pharmacists have taken leadership roles in the new Queensland government's re-working of hospital and health governance across the State. Congratulations to well-known pharmacy figure, Terry White, on his appointment as head of the South Metro (Brisbane) Hospital and Health Board, and to community pharmacist and owner Mr Scott McCahon, appointed as head of the Cape York Hospital and Health Board.

The appointments comes as part of the new Queensland government's prompt move to return delivery of health services to local control, with board appointments being made for 15 regions across Queensland.

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Further funds via Medicare Locals to boost eHealth roll-out : 21/05/2012 :

Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek has announced a further $50 million funding over 2 years to Medicare Locals to help educate and support GPs and other front line health professionals in adopting the new eHealth records system. The funds are also to be used to build consumer awareness of the value of eHealth records.

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Tax time – a donation to PSS is a gift to your profession and a deduction for you : 20/05/2012 :

As the end of the financial year approaches the Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) is inviting Australian pharmacists to consider making a tax deductible donation to support the work of PSS. PSS is an independent incorporated association and relies on the generosity of the profession to continue its work.

According to Natalie Collard, Vice President of PSS, “PSS provides a listening ear and support to any pharmacist, pharmacy student or intern wishing to call on the toll-free number. All members of the pharmacy profession should support this service.”

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AusPharm CE: Issues around drug dosing in women who are pregnant : 19/05/2012 :

The latest AusPharm CE topic is Issues around drug dosing in women who are pregnant - it’s been put together for us by Ella van Tienen.

Whether to use a medication during pregnancy can be a source of concern for both patients and healthcare providers.  It is estimated that around 59% of women are prescribed a medication other than vitamins at some time during their pregnancy,1 and it is expected that an even greater proportion take over the counter preparations.

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Medicine Brand Choices: Pharmacy Resource Pack in the mail : 18/05/2012 :

This week all community pharmacies around Australia will receive a pack of NPS resources. The resources are designed to support conversations with consumers about choosing a medicine brand, reduce confusion about multiple medicine brands and improve medicine safety.

The Quick Guides in the new pack have been designed specifically for pharmacy assistants who begin most of the conversations with consumers about medicine brand choices.

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More on the Trovas treasure : 18/05/2012 :

Responding to yesterday's revelation on AusPharm that it is gifting large amounts of free Trovas to its supporting customers, generics company Ranbaxy said that while "the reward package is similar for all Trovas supporters, there are different structures to accommodate the needs across independent and pharmacy groups".

Ranbaxy Australia MD Alex Evans said that “The Australian launch of Ranbaxy’s Trovas has been incredibly successful for the company”  adding that " An AusPharm poll, run about a month ago just as Trovas listed on the PBS, indicated that Trovas was then, already, the most dispensed atorvastatin molecule. In the short time since launch, Trovas has been purchased by more than half of all retail pharmacies".

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Sensaslim dead, but not buried : 18/05/2012 :

A report in yesterday's Medical Observer suggests that, even though Sensaslim has been removed from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods, the company is free to sell its remaining stock of the product.

While the company is banned from advertising, manufacturing, importing or exporting its product, it seems that onselling it to retailers is not illegal, provided the product is not advertised.

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Pharmacy web presence growing : 18/05/2012 :

The number of Australian pharmacies with a 'fully e-commerce enabled, interactive web site that generates significant business' has doubled in the last year according to the results of this week's AusPharm online poll.

13% of respondents to this week's poll (n=126) told us they have a sophisticated web presence compared to 7% of respondents in an identical poll in August 2011 (n=166). 

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Treasure Trovas : 17/05/2012 :

Makers of atorvastation generic Trovas, Ranbaxy, are handsomely rewarding pharmacists who supported the company by purchasing Trovas at launch, by gifting them almost $15,000 worth of free Trovas.

It is unclear how many pharmacies have received the free gift however AusPharm has had a number get in touch over the last few days.

We asked Ranbaxy for a comment yesterday but our email went unanswered. Here is the email the favoured pharmacies are receiving. It's been edited to remove personal details.

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