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AusPharm news

Aged care allied health funding rolled over : 12/04/2012 :

Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler announced yesterday that funding for the Day Therapy Centre (DTC) program would be extended until 30 June 2015.

More than 70,000 older Australians will continue to receive subsidised physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and podiatry services for the next 3 years.

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AusPharm CE: RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 45. : 12/04/2012 :

The next in our 2011 series of continuing education activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 45.

This CE activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins (Volumes 45-2 - 45-5  -->  February 2012).

After completing this activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Outline the clinical pharmacology of indacaterol
  • Identify drugs that may cause diarrhoea
  • Discuss the use of bisphosphonates in the context of renal impairment
  • Describe treatments for age-related macular degeneration

This activity has been accredited for 1 group 2 CPD credit suitable for inclusion in an individual pharmacist’s CPD plan. Accreditation number: CX120022D.

Click here to do this Continuing Education activity. Or, if you prefer, you might like to take a look at our other CE activities here .

AusPharm gratefully acknowledges the financial support provided by MIMS.

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Gelatin Pill Mosaics Critique Pharmaceutical Drug Culture : 12/04/2012 :

Artist Andy Diaz Hope uses UV treatments on gelatin pill capsules to create his pill mosaics. The industrial designer begins the process by first digitally photographing locations and people and then inserting the imprints into the capsules, piece by piece.

This series of mosaics, entitled Better Living, addresses drug culture and critiques pharmaceutical company practices.

Take a look here.

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UK pharmacists able to prescribe controlled drugs : 11/04/2012 :

Effective 23rd April 2012, our pharmacist colleagues in England, Scotland and Wales will have extended abilities to prescribe controlled drugs and provide related therapeutic services.

Changes to the Misuse of Drugs legislation enable independent pharmacist prescribers and nurse prescribers to prescribe, administer and give directions for the administration of schedule 2, 3, 4 and 5 controlled drugs. (This precludes use of diamorphine, dipipanone or cocaine for addiction treatment.) Under a Patient Group Direction, all registered pharmacists (and nurses) will be able to supply diamorphine or morphine for the immediate essential treatment of sick or injured patients. The legislative changes also give pharmacists greater ability to compound controlled drug preparations.

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TGA ADR database reaches 250,000 : 11/04/2012 :

The number of valid reports entered into the TGA database of adverse reactions to medicines reached 250,000 in March 2012.

The first report of an adverse reaction to a medicine was received by the Australian regulator in the mid-1960s, and the first case entered into the current database was on 17 November 1971.

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Win a motza: what do pharmacists do? : 11/04/2012 :

Around and about on the web there are a number of 'What I do' pictorial summaries like this one (click the image for a larger version).

AusPharm doesn't think this one is terribly good and certainly doesn't capture 'Australian' pharmacy. We think there is certain to be a 'lister out there who can produce a good, Australian version.

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Growth in Australia’s mental health workforce : 11/04/2012 :

According to new figures released last week by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), the mental health workforce in Australia is growing.

The latest workforce information on the AIHW’s Mental Health Services in Australia website (available here) shows the number of psychiatrists (including psychiatrists-in-training) per 100,000 people increased at an average yearly rate of 1.4% between 2005 and 2009.

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Poll: wholesaler performance post post April 1 : 11/04/2012 :

A news item on AusPharm today has it that the CSO wholesalers performed well under pressure last week, following the April 1 PBS price reductions and the ensuing order surge on Monday, April 2. On a related note however, a few 'listers have reported widespread 'out of stocks' last week.

How did your pharmacy's main wholesaler perform last week? Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm online poll.

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Wholesalers trumpet value of CSO : 11/04/2012 :

Calling the Community Service Obligation (CSO) a “wonderful example” of effective health policy, wholesalers say it was responsible for the fact that there was minimal disruption to pharmacy deliveries following the April 1 PBS price cuts and the ensuing order surges on Monday, April 2. More than 4 million therapeutic items were delivered to pharmacies that day by wholesalers.

They say the well planned and executed response to the widely anticipated spike in orders was made possible by the infrastructure and redundancy arrangements established
under their CSO agreement with the Federal Government.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 11/04/2012 :

AFL Round 2

Round 2 of the 2012 AFL season saw Carlton travel up to the Lion’s Den and have an outstanding victory against the Brisbane Lions. Particularly notable this week were the Kangaroos demolition of the GWS Giants, Essendon defeating Port Adelaide, Collingwood getting over the line to defeat a determined Richmond side and Geelong narrowly defeating Hawthorn by a mere margin of two points.

NRL Round 6

Round 6 of the 2012 NRL season saw the Rabbitoh’s defeat the Bulldogs at Mt Smart Stadium and many other exciting results. Highlights for this week included the Broncos narrowly defeating the West Tigers in a close match, the Sharks defeating a scoreless Dragons side, the Storm defeating the Cowboys by a fair margin and the Sea Eagles defeating the Panthers thirty to nil.

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On the Record : 11/04/2012 :

The federal government has published the first in a series of updates on the progress of the national personally controlled electronic health record system.

On the Record will be published monthly and will provide news and updates on the development and rollout of the national eHealth record system.

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April issue of Medicines Safety Update now available : 10/04/2012 :

The April 2012 issue of Medicines Safety Update is now available on the TGA website.

Items covered in the April issue are:

  • Change in the pregnancy category for topiramate
  • Use of 2012 seasonal influenza vaccines in children
  • Dasatinib (Sprycel) and pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • Pulmonary oedema associated with topical phenylephrine


It's online here.

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Ethics awards for pharmaceutical representatives : 10/04/2012 :

Fourteen medical sales representatives from the Australian medicines industry received awards at a ceremony in Sydney last week for achieving the best marks in their compulsory ethics education program.

Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said the mandatory program, delivered by Medicines Australia and the University of Tasmania, demonstrated the medicines industry’s commitment to ethical conduct.

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Guild rejects union claims on application to vary award : 10/04/2012 :

The Pharmacy Guild has rejected outright union claims that its March 6 submission to Fair Work Australia seeking to have sections of the Pharmacy Industry Award 2010 amended is a ploy to legitimise underpayments to pharmacists.

Pharmacists would have their pay cut if the submission gets up, says employee pharmacist union APESMA.

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Marked increase in child asthma deaths : 10/04/2012 :

Parents and carers of children with asthma are being urged to take note of new data which reveals asthma-related deaths among under 15 year olds have more than doubled since 2006.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics’ data recorded 17 deaths in 2009/10 for children under 15 years compared to seven deaths in 2005/06.

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Weekend educational feast at CPExpo : 10/04/2012 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s exciting new pharmacy professional development and practice support event will feature weekend programs allowing delegates to make the most of the educational opportunities being presented.
 
Clinical and Practice Expo 2012 (CPExpo) offers the latest in research and health care at an affordable price, presented by leading clinical experts, with the three-day education program consisting of five diverse and exciting streams covering 51 topics over 80 sessions. Delegates can earn up to 34 Group 2 CPD credits. 

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RGH E-Bulletin: Postural hypotension : 10/04/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Postural hypotension.

"Postural hypotension is defined as a drop in systolic blood pressure of 20mmHg or diastolic blood pressure of 10mmHg within three minutes of standing. Not only is postural hypotension dangerous because of an increased risk of falls, but it is also a risk factor for stroke and myocardial infarction. Postural hypotension is commonly experienced in the elderly, due to decreased baroreceptor activity, reduced salt and water conservation, increased arterial stiffness, diastolic dysfunction, and also reduced parasympathetic response. The elderly are also more likely to be affected by diseases that are associated with postural hypotension, such as Parkinson’s disease and diabetes. Likewise, they are also more likely to be taking medications that can contribute to postural drop, including diuretics, antihypertensives, alpha adrenergic blockers, antipsychotics, and vasodilators."

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

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Would you like one of AusPharm's new 'stay hot' coffee cups? : 10/04/2012 :

Over the weekend, AusPharm finally sorted out the IT issues that have been preventing 'listers from uploading their posts to AusPharmList online (both new posts and replies).

To encourage you to post online, for the next four days (Tuesday to Friday), we're offering one of our new 'stay hot' coffee cups for the 'lister whose post (submitted online) is chosen as Post of the Day.

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Responsible dispensing of generic medicines : 05/04/2012 :

Reports that pharmacists may possibly be dispensing a “pharmacy-preferred brand” of generic drugs without proper consultation with the patient would be contravening the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s Guidelines on Brand Substitution, guidelines which all pharmacists are expected to follow, says PSA President Grant Kardachi.

“These guidelines were set up to protect the best interests of consumers when non-brand medicines are dispensed,” Mr Kardachi said.

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Review of Anticoagulation Therapies in Atrial Fibrillation: submissions published : 05/04/2012 :

In September 2011 Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom AO, the former Chair of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC), was commissioned to conduct a review to inform the Government on options for the use of anticoagulation therapies, including optimising the use of currently available treatments  as well as the future role of newer therapies for the treatment of atrial fibrillation.

This followed the deferral of the PBS listing of Pradaxa after it had been approved for listing by the PBAC.

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