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AusPharm news

CHOICE honours Harvey : 29/03/2012 :

Dr Ken Harvey has won the 2012 CHOICE Consumer Champion award.

The CHOICE awards aim to 'celebrate the people, products, services and brands that improve the lives of consumers every day'.  Dr Harvey won the Consumer Champion award in part due to his role in having the Sensaslim products removed from the Australian market. After many months of stressful legal goings-on and great personal expense (though costs were ultimately met by supporters) Sensaslim was removed from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.

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Chronic disease risks embedded in Aussie lifestyle : 29/03/2012 :

Most Australians have at least one preventable risk factor for chronic disease, according to a new report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Risk factors contributing to chronic disease, provides a comprehensive picture of the lifestyle behaviours of Australians that can contribute to chronic

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1 in 5 Australians have experienced an adverse effect from their medicine : 29/03/2012 :

As part of Be Medicinewise Week 2012 NPS is highlighting research* that shows 1 in 5 Australians have experienced an adverse effect from their medicine in the past 12 months.

The survey also found medicine use was almost universal, with 95% of the 1205 respondents reporting they had taken a medicine in the past 12 months. Overall 68% had taken a prescription medicine and 76% had taken an over the counter pain relief medicine. More than half (52%) had taken another over the counter medicine, such as eye drops, cold and flu tablets or nasal sprays for hay fever and 56% had taken a vitamin mineral or herbal supplement.

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eScript payments automated : 29/03/2012 :

ePrescribing achieves a major milestone on 1 April with the launch of real time claiming through PBS Online.

eScripts are available at no net cost for pharmacy under the Electronic Prescriptions Payments in the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement. However, until now, these payments have had to be claimed manually. As of 1 April, the 15 cent Electronic Prescription Fee will be assessed and paid in real time through Online Claiming for PBS (PBS Online), which means that pharmacists will no longer need to print, sign and submit paper claim forms in order to receive payment.

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Pharmacists believe supermarkets will get pharmacies : 29/03/2012 :

Only 10% of pharmacists responding to this week's AusPharm poll believe the profession will continue to hold off the 'supermarket threat'.

43% believe we'll see pharmacies in supermarkets 'quite soon' with another 46% responding that the supermarket 'win' may take some time to manifest.

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Fact sheet: Revised Arrangements for the Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy Drugs : 29/03/2012 :

The Department of Health and Ageing has published a new factsheet on the Revised Arrangements for the Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy Drugs.

Get it here.

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Guild / NACCHO work on position paper : 28/03/2012 :

Members of the Pharmacy Guild’s Community Pharmacies for Rural and Indigenous Australia Group are meeting with the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) next week to progress a joint position paper between the two organisations on the s100 Remote Aboriginal Health Services Program (s100 RAHSP).

The s100 RAHSP utilises the network of remote area community pharmacies and their expertise in administering the PBS, and remote area Aboriginal Health Services in their delivery of care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  

 

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Be Medicinewise: Clean out your medicine cabinet today : 28/03/2012 :

NPS is urging all Australians to clean out their medicine cabinets today as part of national BeMedicinewise Week 2012.

New research from NPS found around 1 in 5 people reported ever having taken an expired medicine and additionally that only 20% of people who keep a Medicines List remember to record their over-the-counter and complementary medicines (such as herbs and vitamins) along with their prescription medicines. Furthermore, less than half carry their list with them at all times. 

 

 

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Award compliance checklists published : 28/03/2012 :

Following the release in early March of the Fair Work Ombudsman's report showing high levels of staff underpayment in Queensland community pharmacies Guild President Kos Sclavos warned that a national audit was likely.

At APP 2012 Mr Sclavos said that the Guild would be releasing checklists that would assist employers make sure they are paying their staff in a compliant way. These checklists are now available on the Guild website.

 

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Poll: will supermarkets get pharmacies any time soon? : 28/03/2012 :

The issue of supermarkets being allowed to operate pharmacies, never too far away from the pharmacy psych, arose once again recently with the publication of an opinion article in online news site The Conversation canvassing the possibility.

Will supermarkets 'get' pharmacies? Please let us know what you think by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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57% of Australians make mistakes with their medicines: Be Medicinewise Week 2012 : 27/03/2012 :

New research from NPS has found that 57% of Australians report they have made a mistake with their medicines in the past 12 months.

In a survey of 1205 people, 44% said they had forgotten to take a dose, and 1 in 4 had taken a medication without food when they were directed to take it with food.

 

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Reduce Salt for Better Health : 27/03/2012 :

On the eve of World Salt Awareness Week. Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King, highlighted the role the food industry needs to play to achieve lower salt intake in the daily diet of the Australian public.

“The National Health and Medical Research Council recommends that Australian adults limit their intake of salt to no more than 6 grams (or 1½ teaspoons) a day but Australians continue to consume too much salt which can lead to high blood pressure, heart attack, kidney disease and stroke.

 

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NPS reappoints two directors : 26/03/2012 :

NPS: Better choices, Better health has reappointed two directors to its board for further terms of three years.

Dr Graeme Killer AO has been reappointed as the Government Class Director, while current Chair Dr Janette Randall was reappointed as Additional Director.

 

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PBS cost decline continues : 26/03/2012 :

PBS figures for February 2012, released by Medicare over the weekend, show a continuation of the recent downwards trend.

In February 2012 13.6 million PBS/RPBS scripts with a government reimbursement value of $573 million were dispensed across the country. This represents a decline of 22% on the 2011 figures of 16.6 million items and a 17% decline in the 2011 dollar spend of $746 million.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Bullous Pemphigoid : 26/03/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Bullous Pemphigoid.

"Bullous Pemphigoid (BP) is the most common autoimmune, blistering disease encountered in the western countries. The prevalence is approximately equally for both genders, and although more common in the elderly this condition can occur in younger adults and children. The clinical presentation involves the appearance of tense blisters on normal-looking or erythematous skin, with mucous membranes involved in about 50% of cases. The degree of associated itch can range from none, through to intense itching, and this may precede the appearance of the blisters by weeks, or in some cases, years."

Click here to read the bulletin in full. The E‑Bulletins are archived on the AusPharmList website here.RGH E-Bulletin: Clostridium Difficile Associated Diarrhoea (CDAD) & PPIs

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Pharmacy organisations lobbying for removal of pharmacists from SOL : 26/03/2012 :

Pharmacy organisations are continuing to lobby for the removal of pharmacists from the migration Skilled Occupations List (SOL) for 2012-13.

The SOL is a list of occupations that are currently acceptable for immigration to Australia. Skills Australia removed pharmacists from the SOL in 2010, but put them back in July last year.

 

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Can Pharmacy thrive beyond the patent cliff? : 26/03/2012 :

By regularly sucking significant sums of dollars out of the cost of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines and their supply, Federal Government PBS reforms such as pricing disclosure are set to trigger significant structural and potentially irreversible changes to the community pharmacy landscape.

That’s according to John Montgomery, formerly President Asia Pacific Mylan Pharmaceuticals and CEO at Alphapharm, who will deliver the Pharmaceutical Defence Limited (PDL) Centenary Lecture on Tuesday 17 April at The Sebel Hotel in Parramatta.

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CHF: consumers support community pharmacy role in health : 26/03/2012 :

Responding to recent criticism levelled at it by the Pharmacy Guild, Consumers' Health Forum (CHF) CEO Carol Bennett maintains that CHF remains remains committed to the role of pharmacy in quality health care service.

Following the publication of an article critical of community pharmacy in last Thursday's Sydney Morning Herald which quoted Ms Bennett as saying the Guild "should concentrate on serving the best interests of Australian consumers rather than pharmacists' profits" the Guild released a statement saying that "Regrettably, the CHF has shown itself to be ideologically opposed to the community pharmacy model which has served Australian health consumers so well for so long."

 

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Pharmacists supportive of 'continued dispensing' : 23/03/2012 :

2/3 of the respondents to this week's AusPharm poll think that 'continued dispensing' will benefit patients with about half of these thinking that this will be a more useful initiative if other drug classes are added.

Only 8% of respondents expressed the view that 'continued dispensing' would go the way of some other professional programs trialed and quietly fade away. About 1/3 of respondents think the initiative unnecessary, there being enough 'emergency supply' options already.

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Registrations now open for NMS 2012; scholarship winner announced : 23/03/2012 :

Registrations are now open for the National Medicines Symposium (NMS), which is being held in Sydney from 24-25 May 2012. An early bird discount is being offered to those who register before 30 March.

This year's theme for the biennial event is 'Building a medicinewise community' and focuses on consumers at the centre of medicines use discussions. NMS brings together allied health professionals and other partners to Australia's National Medicines Policy, along with international representatives to learn, discuss and debate contemporary quality use of medicines issues.

 

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