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AusPharm news

CDU students all signed on with PSA : 16/03/2012 :

Charles Darwin University (CDU) has initiated an innovative scheme under which it will pay for all its pharmacy students to join up with the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.
 
The Pharmacy School at the CDU is the first to offer its students this benefit, which acknowledges the value of the early integration of upcoming pharmacists into the broader pharmacy community.

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Last days to register for the Brisbane accreditation standards workshop : 15/03/2012 :

The Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) is currently undertaking a review of the Accreditation Standards for Pharmacy Degree Programs. The Accreditation Standards are applied to pharmacy schools in Australia and New Zealand and govern the quality and content of pharmacy programs.

To ensure that the review process involves wide consultation from a broad range of stakeholders, a number of public consultation workshops have been scheduled in Australia and New Zealand over the next few months. Through this process the APC is seeking feedback from the pharmacy profession including preceptors, interns and pharmacy students. 

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April 1 PBS schedule : 15/03/2012 :

Watch this space on Monday.

We'll have a link to the April PBS schedule, including details of all the new (lower) prices.

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The Guild: 'We are Community Pharmacy' : 15/03/2012 :

Those of you who were at APP (all 4,000 of you) will have viewed with interest the video that ran in the lead up to each session, showcasing community pharmacy.

For those of you who weren't there, here it is.

Dover Pharmacy, from which the first AusPharmList email went out on January 31, 1996, gets a run about 4 minutes in.

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Swisse case not settled yet : 15/03/2012 :

The Swisse case for an injunction against the publication of the Complaints Resolution Panel (CRP) report requesting the withdrawal of its TV ads was up for consideration in the Federal Court in Melbourne yesterday. Hearing of the merits of the case was put off pending a full trial scheduled for Friday week, March 23, 2012.

The CRP agreed to continued suppression of its report until close of business on that date. While the CRP's report has been taken down from its website, AusPharm understands that a cached version of the report may still be accessible via Google.

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Earn 16 CPD credits online with NPS : 14/03/2012 :

NPS has launched its first online Pharmacy Practice Review, offering pharmacists the opportunity to reflect on their practice and provide current evidence based advice to patients prescribed a statin and/or ezetimibe.
 
The online activity builds on the 2011 paper version of the activity, Pharmacy Practice Review: Reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. When using the the online version pharmacists immediately receive tailored feedback and individual patient management plans to support ongoing care for their patients.

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PIDG: April 1 price reductions not expected to cause drama : 14/03/2012 :

As part of PBS reform the Government agreed in 2011 to the creation of a stakeholder group, the Pharmaceutical Industry Discussion Group (PIDG), to discuss the potential and actual impacts of PBS pricing reform, including the April 1 PBS price reductions. The group, whose membership includes the Guild, wholesalers, consumers and the generic manufacturers, was asked to identify and examine potential unintended consequences of the reforms.

The report of the first PIDG meeting, tabled in Parliament yesterday, notes that no unintended consequences of reforms implemented had so far beene reported to the PIDG. It added however that concerns have been expressed around the possible impact of the 1 April price reductions.

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Poll: how often do you refer to the APF? : 14/03/2012 :

The Australian Pharmaceutical Formulary and Handbook (APF) 22nd edition has just been released. It's top of the list on the Pharmacy Board's 'List of References' guideline.

With the release of APF22 it seems timely to ask whether the APF is something you actually use in your practice as a pharmacist.

Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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TGA to publish new evidence guidelines for listed products : 13/03/2012 :

The TGA guidelines for the levels and kinds of evidence sponsors must hold for their Listed products to support the indications and therapeutic claims made for them are to be updated.

The update will incorporate findings from stakeholder consultation which are scheduled to be undertaken in April 2012. The update, due for release in July 2012, will include guidance for the makers of weight loss products, often the subject of complaints to regulatory agencies on the basis that the claims made for the products are not supported by the evidence.

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Drug interaction module part of GuildLink's new HMR program : 12/03/2012 :

The Thomson Reuters Healthcare Medication Advisory Screening (MAS) Drug Interactions module is to be incorporated into the new GuildLinks (formerly Healthlinks) Home Medicine Review HMR module.

Following the announcement, made at APP2012 last week, Ross Gallagher, CEO of GuildLink, said that that the opportunity to host the MAS Drug Interaction module as an addition to their current suite of GuildCare Programs for pharmacists is a great win as it complements GuildLink’s core objective of powering the better use of medicines through medicines information and software programs for frontline health services at the point of dispensing by community pharmacists.

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ASMI president urges pharmacists to partner with non-prescription products sector : 12/03/2012 :

Pharmacies should work in closer partnership with the over-the-counter (OTC) and Complementary medicines (CM) sector in order to lift profitability and offset declining returns from their dispensary business, says the President of the Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI), Mr Lindsay Forrest.

Speaking at last week's APP2012 Conference on the Gold Coast, Mr Forrest said that some pharmacies are ignoring the earnings potential in the OTC sector, at a time of subdued growth in the prescription medicines business.

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Medicines Australia, GMiA fear further PBS reform : 12/03/2012 :

In response to questions during a panel session at APP2102 last Friday the CEOs of both Medicines Australia and the Generic Medicines Industry Association (GMiA) expressed concerns that government intervention into the PBS may not be over.

GMiA CEO Dr Martin Cross said that even though there was no apparent fiscal need to deliver a budget surplus in 2012/13 a political imperative existed to deliver it. Dr Cross and MA CEO Dr Brendan Shaw both commented that, despite significant PBS savings already being delivered by the sector via the various PBS reforms introduced over the last year or so, including the MoU between MA and the government, the PBS remained a 'soft target' and further reforms could not be ruled out.

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Many pharmacies in financial distress : 12/03/2012 :

300 pharmacies are in financial distress and on 'bank watch lists' according to Guild President Kos Sclavos.

Speaking during the panel session at APP2012 last Friday the Guild President said this followed more than 100 pharmacy bankruptcies in 2011.

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Pharmacy Guilds sign memorandum of understanding : 12/03/2012 :

The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), aiming to strengthen the relationship between the organisations.

The MOU renews calls to work more closely together while pursuing common interests for community pharmacists.  For example, developments in Australia around e-health initiatives may influence pharmacy in New Zealand.

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Sclavos: national wages audit likely : 12/03/2012 :

Following the release last week of the Fair Work Ombudsman's report showing high levels of staff underpayment in Queensland community pharmacies a national audit is likely says Guild President Kos Sclavos.

Mr Sclavos expressed this view in response to a question posed during a panel discussion at APP2012 last Friday.

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Harper: Government has lost control of PBS distribution : 12/03/2012 :

The Federal Government has lost control of a key element of National Health Policy and can no longer guarantee the timely and reliable supply of taxpayer funded medicines, according to a leading economist from Deloitte Access Economics.

Speaking at APP2012 on Saturday, Professor Ian Harper said the Government had reneged on its long-standing commitment to patients and allowed a global pharmaceutical company to control the distribution of key PBS medicines.

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New group aims for quality use of complementary medicines : 12/03/2012 :

A coalition drawn from the healthcare profession, industry and consumer groups and led by academics from Monash University are to conduct a project that aims to to identify the elements required to develop an appropriate complementary medicines (CM) version of the quality use of medicines (QUM) regime, similar to that currently applying to pharmaceutical medicines.

The initiative was outlined by Dr Ken Harvey, Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Public Health, La Trobe University, at a private function at APP2012 over the weekend.

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Swisse fights back : 12/03/2012 :

As reported on AusPharm last week, the Swisse vitamin company has been asked to withdraw a number of TV ads for its products because the ads make therapeutic claims that are unable to be substantiated by the evidence.

However, the company is contesting the Complaints Resolution Panel (CRP) finding that the ads, which featured celebrity 'endorsements', made claims that were either misleading or were likely to arouse unrealistic expectation in consumers.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Dopamine dysregulation syndrome : 12/03/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Dopamine dysregulation syndrome.

"Dopaminergic replacement therapies such as laevodopa and dopamine agonists are a mainstay in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. As well as motor symptoms such as motor fluctuations and dyskinesias, dopaminergic drugs can cause behavioural adverse effects such as mood fluctuations, psychosis, and impulse control disorders. Dopamine Dysregulation Syndrome (DDS) is a recently described complication of long-term dopaminergic therapy for Parkinson’s disease. Patients with DDS develop a pattern of addictive and excessive use of dopamine replacement therapy. Medication use is often escalated by the patient without doctor’s advice and the doses taken are in excess of those required to control motor symptoms."

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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Government won't support Senate Inquiry : 09/03/2012 :

In her keynote address at the APP2012 conference yesterday Health Minister Tanya Plibersek made it clear that the government would not be supporting Greens Senator Richard di Natale's proposed inquiry into the 5th Community Pharmacy Agreement.

The Minister praised the benefits of the Community Pharmacy Agreement for health consumers saying that the recently legislated continued dispensing measure was “good for patients”. She also described the fact that over 4700 pharmacies had become quality assured by the end of the first year of the Agreement as a “real success story”.

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