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AusPharm news

Ranbaxy: look to India : 27/04/2012 :

Responding to this week's prediction from Alphapharm’s Medical Director, Greg Pearce, that PBS reforms may reduce generic manufacturers’ ability to offer discounts, Ranbaxy Australia's Managing Director, Alex Evans, said that manufacturers that continue with uncompetitive manufacturing bases, high fixed cost overheads and expensive sales and marketing infrastructures would indeed become non-viable.

"Our low manufacturing cost base and our local purpose designed, centralised, account management infrastructure means that we are well placed to offer the best prices now and in the future. We will continue to support our customers with great pricing and service, long after it is no longer viable for many other generic organisations.”

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Pfizer Direct 'frequently' compromises patient care : 27/04/2012 :

This week's AusPharm online poll asked 'listers whether Pfizer Direct’s delivery policies and performance has resulted in adverse patient outcomes.

Just over half of all respondents (n=178) told us that this happened frequently with another 31% saying that the direct supply model compromised patient care 'occasionally'.

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Pharmacy loses another product to grocery : 27/04/2012 :

The Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS) yesterday released the (interim) decisions from its February 2012 meeting, among them a decision to exempt oral preparations containing 10 mg or less of loratadine in packs containing not more than 5 dosage units for the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis.

The down-scheduling is set to occur by September 2012.

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PBS costs remain contained : 26/04/2012 :

PBS figures for March 2012, released by Medicare yesterday, show that costs remain contained.

In March 2012 17.0 million PBS/RPBS scripts with a government reimbursement value of $739 million were dispensed across the country. This represents a decline of 4% on the 2011 figures of 17.72 million items and a small increase in the 2011 dollar spend of $736 million.

The graph below depicts actual dollars, un-adjusted for CPI increases.

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CPI rise in pharmaceuticals due to PBS safety net : 26/04/2012 :

Always quick to look after the interests of its members, peak pharma group Medicines Australia highlighted on Tuesday that the apparent surge in pharmaceutical prices included in Tuesday’s CPI figures for the March quarter are a consequence of the mechanics of the PBS safety net.

“The CPI pharmaceutical price should be considered in the context of the December 2011 CPI, when pharmaceutical prices fell 6% per cent,” said Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw.

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NPS urges consumers to sign up to be an antibiotic resistance fighter : 26/04/2012 :

NPS has launched a new Facebook page for Australians to sign up and become antibiotic resistance fighters at www.facebook.com/NPSmedicinewise
 
Created as part of a new campaign to tackle antibiotic resistance in the community, NPS is asking Australians to pledge to take three simple steps to combat the development and spread of this global problem. If 35,000 people sign up, Australians could significantly reduce antibiotic resistant bacteria.

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Poll: Pfizer direct: how are they going? : 26/04/2012 :

There have been a number of posts to AusPharmList in recent days bucketing the performance of Pfizer Direct in getting Pfizer's products to pharmacies in a time frame that meets the needs of patients.

How has their performance been in your pharmacy? Please let us know by tickling the relevant box in today's AusPharm online poll.

Please note this poll will only run for 24 hours instead of the usual 48 (we'll publish the result tomorrow) so get your vote in now.

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Pfizer direct: how are they going? : 25/04/2012 :

There have been a number of posts to AusPharmList in recent days bucketing the performance of Pfizer Direct in getting Pfizer's products to pharmacies in a time frame that meets the needs of patients.

How has their performance been in your pharmacy? Please let us know by tickling the relevant box in today's AusPharm online poll.

Please note this poll will only run for 24 hours instead of the usual 48 (we'll publish the result tomorrow) so get your vote in now.

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We'll be back on Thursday : 24/04/2012 :

Along with the rest of Australia, we'll be taking a break from things tomorrow to reflect on on the many different meanings of war.

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NPS Chair to address National Press Club on antibiotic overuse : 24/04/2012 :

Dr Janette Randall, pictured right, chair of the NPS Board, will address the National Press Club in Canberra today.

She will canvas issues relating to antibiotic overuse in the Australian community.

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Board seeks to include references to ethics codes in guideline : 24/04/2012 :

The Pharmacy Board of Australia is proposing to include a pharmacist specific reference to pharmacy codes of ethics in the common Code of Conduct currently applying to all registered health professionals.

The proposal is limited to the addition of a single paragraph concerning these codes of ethics and does not extend to the remaining content of the Code of conduct. The proposed paragraph is to be inserted after the Overview on page 1 of the Code of conduct and is as follows.

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Views sought on appropriate levels of evidence for complementary medicines : 24/04/2012 :

The TGA is seeking comment on the draft of a new document ' Evidence Required to Support Indications for Listed Medicines (excluding sunscreens and disinfectants). This document specifies the type of evidence required to support indications made for listed medicines, including weight loss products and most complementary medicines, and is intended to replace the an earlier version of document.

The TGA intends to embed the document within the legislative framework for regulation of therapeutic goods in Australia.

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Another pharmacist thoroughly p*ssed off with Pfizer : 23/04/2012 :

The tales of woe involving Pfizer orders not arriving in pharmacies at the expected time continue to arrive in AusPharm's inbox.

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PAC12 registrations open : 23/04/2012 :

Registrations are now open for Australia’s premier pharmacy education event, PAC12, being held in Melbourne from19-21 October this year.  Registrations can be completed online by going to psa.org.au/pac
 
PAC12’s theme of From Vision to Reality will focus on the changing nature of the pharmacy profession, and help pharmacists prepare to meet and make the most of the challenges and opportunities these changes present.

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Guild, NACCHO publish s100 Remote Aboriginal Health Services Program position paper : 23/04/2012 :

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia have developed a joint position paper aimed at maintaining and improving access to PBS medicines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

As partners in the introduction and ongoing support and delivery of the Section 100 Remote Aboriginal Health Services Program (s100 RAHSP), the Guild and NACCHO have prepared the paper to outline the essential features that need to be maintained, as well as practical ways to assist the program to reach its full potential, consistent with the Government’s commitment to Closing the Gap.

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NSW leg of PDL Speaker Series a hit : 23/04/2012 :

Held in Parramatta last week, the NSW leg of the PDL Speaker Series, staged to celebrate PDL's 100th anniversary, was a great success.

The 115 pharmacists who braved the torrential rain to attend this PDL centenary event saw former Alphapharm CEO John Montgomery explain the complicated recent changes to the PBS and project his view on the future of pharmacy, which he sees as involving pharmacists engaging much more enthusiastically in offering professional services to the community.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Update on triptans & risk of antidepressant interactions : 23/04/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Update on triptans & risk of antidepressant interactions.

"In Australia, there are now five triptans (also known as serotonin 5HT-1 agonists) currently available. These drugs are indicated for the acute relief of migraine. With the exception of naratriptan, the other oral triptans relieve migraine within 30–60 minutes, noting that the same patient may respond quite differently to different triptans. Serotonin toxicity is mainly caused by excess serotonin in the CNS. It results in a variety of mental, autonomic and neuromuscular changes, which can range in severity from mild to life threatening."

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

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May 1 PBS schedule : 20/04/2012 :

The May PBS Schedule is now available

Download the Full PBS schedule

Download the PBS Summary of changes

Download the Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy – S100 Arrangements Supplement

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Delivering and growing pharmacy professional services : 20/04/2012 :

The PSA’s Clinical and Practice Expo (CPExpo) will be held this year at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney from 25-27 May 2102. It aims to prepare and support the pharmacy profession deliver and grow professional services that will produce new and/or expanded income streams, business differentiation as well as provide individual pharmacists even greater levels of professional satisfaction.

A feature of this year’s CPExpo is The Future of Pharmacy stream.  One of the sessions is Pharmacy Issues of Today: impact of price disclosure where the extent of the effects of price disclosure on pharmacists will be detailed and examined.

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Pfizer atorvastatin products retain more than half the market : 20/04/2012 :

This week's poll sought to determine what brand(s) of atorvastatin were in main use in pharmacies following the April 1 PBS listing of two generic products.

The poll result suggests that, despite widespread antagonism towards Pfizer following its decision to remove its products from the CSO wholesalers and go 'direct', pharmacists have not, as threatened, boycotted the company's atorvastatin products.

It will be interesting to see what effect the June 1 listing of further atorvastatin generics has on Pfizer's atorvastatin market share.

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