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AusPharm news

NPS updates tool to assist consumers make sense of generics : 03/05/2012 :

NPS has updated its online Medicine Name Finder tool with a new feature to help consumers make choices between medicine brands.

The new feature enables users to type in either the active ingredient or brand name of their medicine and, after selecting their prescribed dose, view a list of bioequivalent PBS-listed brands which they may be offered at pharmacies.  The tool has a quick and easy-to-use interface where users can type in the name of their medicine to find out more about the active ingredient and brands available, plus a link to the Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) leaflet.

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Guild: pharmacies get it right on substitution : 03/05/2012 :

Responding to reports of inappropriate behaviour from individual pharmacies on generic substitution for atorvastatin, the Pharmacy Guild says these reports relate to a 'tiny minority' of pharmacies.

In a letter to members yesterday the Guild refers members to the range of resources available to assist both pharmacists and consumers deal sensibly with issues around substitution.

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Australian and New Zealand Boards establish common standards : 02/05/2012 :

Acknowledging the professional mobility made possible by the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement the Pharmacy Board of Australia (PBA) and the the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand (PCNZ) have moved to establish “essentially equivalent” standards for the pharmacy profession in the two countries which are consistent and equivalent.

The two organisations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formalise the terms of this cooperation.

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Medicines Australia appoints new chairman : 02/05/2012 :

The Board of Medicines Australia yesterday announced the appointment of Mr Mark Masterson, pictured right, as its new chairman.

Mr Masterson was formerly chief executive at I-MED Network, Australia's largest private diagnostic imaging network. This followed a 20-year career in international and Australian roles in the medicines industry as vice president, Asia Pacific Africa at Abbott and General Manager ANZ at Abbott Laboratories. He succeeds Will Delaat, who retired as independent chairman of Medicines Australia after 14 years on the board and six as chairman.

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Final NMS 2012 program now available : 02/05/2012 :

Delegates attending next month’s National Medicines Symposium (NMS 2012) will be spoilt for choice with a full and diverse program, available from www.nps.org.au/nms2012.

Over the two-day conference more than 60 presenters will cover topics ranging from improving medication safety to new technologies, and the role of specific medicines in treatment regimens.

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Policy on the use of social media by pharmacists : 02/05/2012 :

Pharmacists will soon need to abide by an AHPRA policy on the use of social media. The policy will confirm that all registered health practitioners must abide by the relevant laws and their Board’s codes and guidelines when they use social media.

The policy, as it related to pharmacists, will include advice that when using social media, registered pharmacists should comply with the National Law, the Code of Conduct for Registered Health Practitioners and the Board’s advertising guidelines.

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Poll: is it appropriate for pharmacies to run flu vaccine clinics? : 02/05/2012 :

There has been some recent mainstream media coverage of the Priceline Pharmacy group's decision to offer flu vaccines in some the group's pharmacies.

A Courier Mail article quotes AMA President Steve Hambleton as saying "This fragments the health record because then we have patients coming into the GP to say they had some kind of needle at a chemist. The AMA has a lot of concerns with pharmacies offering vaccinations.'' (Read more here).

What do you think? Is it appropriate for pharmacies to be offering this service? Or are pharmacists encroaching on turf more legitimately 'owned' by GPs.

Please let us know what you think by voting in this week's AusPharm online poll.

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Vale Denise Kelly : 30/04/2012 :

'Listers may recall a number of posts to AusPharmList from Denise Kelly during 2011 in which she kept her AusPharm friends informed about her battle with cancer.

Sadly, Denise passed away in the early hours of Friday morning, in Adelaide.

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SHPA Clinical Seminars: expand your knowledge – develop your skills – build your confidence : 30/04/2012 :

With tutors who are experienced clinicians and experts in their field, SHPA Clinical Seminars offer you up-to-date information that will improve your knowledge and skills and help you in your day-to-day practice.

Attending an SHPA Clinical Seminar is a great addition to your resumé; it can equip you for the next step in your career.

What do you get?

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Priceline pushes $30 in store flu vaccine : 30/04/2012 :

As part of the promotional strategy for its $30 in store flu vaccine, the Priceline pharmacy group is highlighting the popularity of instore vaccination overseas.

According to Priceline, in the United States, pharmacies are the second most popular place for people to get a flu vaccination (18.4%), outnumbered only by a doctor’s surgery (39.8%). Comparably, in Australia the majority of respondents to a recent survey by Priceline Pharmacy said that they received a flu vaccination either from their GP (74%) or at work (21%).

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Nominations for two pharmacist councillors for the Australian Pharmacy Council : 30/04/2012 :

The Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) is seeking applications from pharmacists for two vacant Councillor positions.

Applications must address the attributes noted below and include curriculum vitae.

Applications must reach the APC Office no later than Wednesday 16 May 2012.

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August PBS price disclosure price cuts announced : 30/04/2012 :

The Department of Health and Ageing last week released details of the August 1 round of PBS price reductions that will occur as part of the ongoing price disclosure system agreed between Medicines Australia and the Government.

The 13 medicines set to take price cuts from August 1 are: Amisulpride (18.27%); Bisoprolol (18.75%); Cefalotin (16.99%); Doxorubicin (32.97%); Escitalopram (36.76%); Levetiracetam (14.15%); Meloxicam (23.62%); Mitozantrone (18.25%); Ondansetron (77.25%); Oxaliplatin (51.76%); Oxybutinin (11.25%); Perindopril (11.59%) and Prochlorperazine (25.55%).

Details are here.

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Industry welcomes consultation on next step to strengthen regulation of complementary medicines : 30/04/2012 :

The Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI), the industry body representing non-prescription consumer healthcare products, has welcomed steps by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to strengthen the regulation of complementary medicines (CMs).
 
Last week, the TGA issued a draft discussion paper, Evidence required to support indications for listed medicines ( here), which outlines the nature of evidence required to support health claims made for CMs.

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Latest Webstercare newsletter : 30/04/2012 :

Every second month our friends at Webstercare produce a newsletter that is distributed to all aged care homes throughout Australia.

They've kindly agreed to make it available to pharmacists too, through AusPharm.

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Hospital admissions rise, particularly in public hospitals : 30/04/2012 :

According to a report released yesterday by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), the number of hospital admissions in Australia continues to rise, particularly in public hospitals.

The report, Australian hospital statistics 2010–11, outlines the change in hospital admissions between 2009–10 and 2010–11.

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PSA Intern Training Program - 2012 second intake now open : 30/04/2012 :

The second intake of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s (PSA) National Intern Training Program (NITP) is now open.
 
The PSA NITP is a high-quality, practically focused program designed to embed the knowledge and skills required to equip students for their working career after years of study. 

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RGH E-Bulletin: Dabigatran – bleeding risk and renal function : 30/04/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Dabigatran – bleeding risk and renal function.

"The oral anticoagulant dabigatran (Pradaxa®) is a direct thrombin inhibitor approved in Australia for the prevention of venous thromboembolism after major orthopaedic surgery, and for stroke prophylaxis in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Dabigatran is primarily renally cleared.  Reduced renal clearance increases drug exposure and the elimination half-life, which can cause an exaggerated anticoagulant effect. There is no antidote or reversal agent for dabigatran induced bleeding, however the drug is dialyzable, meaning that this approach can be considered in severe cases."

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

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 27/04/2012 :

AFL Round 4

Round 4 of the 2012 AFL season saw Fremantle defeat St Kilda at Etihad Stadium on Friday night by 13 points, a great win for Coach Ross Lyon against his old club. Other highlights of the round included Essendon having a 30 point win over a flat Carlton side, the Magpies overpowering Port Adelaide by 4 goals and the Eagles getting over the line to defeat the Hawks by 5 points in an intense, hard and low scoring match.

Due to the ‘Representative Weekend’ there was no NRL Round.

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APLF endorses Vision, aims to progress pharmacist prescribing : 27/04/2012 :

At its recent meeting, the Australian Pharmacy Liaison Forum (APLF) confirmed its support for the Vision for Pharmacists’ Practice in Australia document that was developed in 2011 following wide consultation with the profession (current version available here).

Forum members agreed that it is now timely for the profession to take ownership of the project and a map a way forward. The Forum says it will consider the functions and enablers necessary to realize the Vision at its coming meetings throughout the year.

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NPS board chair Dr Janette Randall address to the National Press Club : 27/04/2012 :

NPS Board Chair Dr Janette Randall yesterday called on the government to take the lead on a cross sectoral approach towards tackling the antibiotic-resistance crisis facing the Australian community.

In an address to the National Press Club in Canberra, Dr Randall said the issue of antibiotic resistance is not restricted to the health sector with veterinary, agriculture and manufacturing all having their part to play.

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