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AusPharm news

Top gong goes to remote pharmacy : 09/03/2012 :

Cape York Guardian Pharmacy in Weipa, Far North Queensland, is the QCPP Pharmacy of the Year for 2012.  The announcement was made by the Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek at the Australian Pharmacy Professional (APP) conference on the Gold Coast yesterday.

Owner pharmacist Scott McCahon, who accepted the award on behalf of his team, explained why he entered this competition this year. “The pharmacy had reached a point where I was proud of where we’d come from. The community has embraced us since we’ve come here and I wanted to show the town that we deliver a level of service, and a pharmacy, that is comparable with anywhere in Australia.”

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Weight Watchers launches in pharmacy : 09/03/2012 :

The Weight Watchers company has launched a pharmacy only range of weight management products.

Three information kits will be made available to consumers in pharmacies, catering to those who want to attend Weight Watchers meetings, those who prefer an online format and those who choose an 'at home' format. The kits have been endorsed by Guild subsidiary Gold Cross.

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Number of new cancer cases expected to reach 150,000 by 2020 : 09/03/2012 :

According to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), the number of new cancer cases diagnosed in Australia each year is predicted to rise by almost 40% from 2007, mainly due to the ageing of the population and growth in population numbers.

The report, Cancer incidence projections, Australia 2011 to 2020, examines trends to 2007 to estimate the number and rate of new cases (incidence) in Australia to 2020.

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Most pharmacies have good reference libraries : 09/03/2012 :

This week's AusPharm poll tells us that most pharmacies have good reference libraries.

58% of respondents told us they had 'the full Pharmacy Board recommended list'. Another 22%, while not having everything still had a 'pretty good' selection.

Of concern is that up to 20% have inadequate references.

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Cross replaces Will Delaat as Chair of industry group : 08/03/2012 :

Following the retirement of Pharmaceuticals Industry Council (PIC) chairman Will Delaat, pictured right, last week Dr Martin Cross, Managing Director of Alphapharm and Chairman of the Generic Medicines Industry Association, has been appointed as the PIC's interim chairman. Mr Delaat had served as the PIC chairman since its founding in 2006.

"I leave at a time when the industry is well placed to capitalise on key opportunities. Growth in PBS expenditure is extremely low, export earnings remain relatively high and meaningful progress is being made, albeit very slowly, to improve Australia's competitiveness as a destination for globa clinical trials," said Mr Delaat.

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Swisse ads pulled : 08/03/2012 :

The Swisse vitamin company has been told to withdraw a series of TV ads promoting its products because the ads make claims that are unable to be substantiated by the evidence.

In a finding handed down this week the Complaints Resolution Panel (CRP)  ruled 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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CVD risk factors examined : 07/03/2012 :

The topic of CVD risk factors will be examined in detail by Professor David Colquhoun as part of his cardiovascular presentations at the 2012 Offshore Refresher Conference being held in Istanbul from April 26-May 3.

Ever since the concept of risk factors for heart disease was introduced in 1959 by the researchers of the American Framingham Study, there has been debate as to how important these factors are and whether they are epiphenomena or targets of therapy.

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Use Training to Build your Business : 07/03/2012 :

What defines a good business from an owner's perspective?  What defines it from a customer’s perspective?  What brings customers back to your pharmacy rather than the health food store down the road, or the supermarket aisle?

The primary aspect is good service says business advisor, Jane Sugden, pictured right.

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Asthma first aid charts launched : 07/03/2012 :

The National Asthma Council Australia has updated its popular First Aid for Asthma chart and launched a new paediatric Kids’ First Aid for Asthma chart, with advice reflecting the latest evidence and medications. The chart is developed by a multidisciplinary panel of medical experts including respiratory physicians and primary care health professionals.

Both charts outline the established four step process for handling an asthma attack using typical reliever medications such as Ventolin, Asmol or Airomir, as well as practical advice on how to help someone in physical distress use their asthma inhaler correctly.

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Cross replaces Will Delaat as Chair of industry group : 07/03/2012 :

Following the retirement of Pharmaceuticals Industry Council (PIC) chairman Will Delaat, pictured right, last week Dr Martin Cross, Managing Director of Alphapharm and Chairman of the Generic Medicines Industry Association, has been appointed as the PIC's interim chairman.

Interim PIC chairman Dr Martin Cross paid tribute to Mr Delaat "I want to thank Will for his many years of dedicated service. He has been an outstanding advocate for this industry, and we will miss his leadership. I am delighted to have had the opportunity to work with Will and also to be named the PIC's interim chairman".

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Global medicines industry updates Code of Practice : 07/03/2012 :

The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) has announced the revision and expansion of its Code of Practice.

The Code of Practice, which Medicines Australia helped draft, is aimed at ensuring that engagements with healthcare professionals are undertaken ethically.

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AusPharm CE: RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 44 : 07/03/2012 :

The next in our 2011 series of continuing education activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 44.

This CE activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins (Volumes 44-9 - 45-1  -->  December 2011- January 2012).

After completing this activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Describe recent findings with respect to the effects of dietary sodium restriction
  • Outline potential adverse interactions between alcohol and a range of medicinal drugs
  • Understand the practical application of the recently promulgated updated “Beers” criteria
  • Discuss the relationship between citalopram treatment and QT prolongation

This activity has been accredited for 1 group 2 CPD credit suitable for inclusion in an individual pharmacist’s CPD plan. Accreditation number: CX120022C.

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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Gillard lauds PBS, industry : 06/03/2012 :

In a speech to last week's Medicines Australia annual parliamentary dinner, Prime Minister Julia Gillard spoke glowingly of the contribution the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme makes to Australia society.

"..the PBS has become an integral and trusted part of Australian life. We cannot imagine this country without it. Affordable pharmaceuticals – backed by scientific rigour – so that illness does not lead families to financial destitution because of the cost of medicines.."

The Prime Minister also spoke highly of the contribution made by the Australian pharmaceutical industry, ranking it alongside mining and manufacturing in importance.

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Board cautions 'unapproved' pharmacies : 06/03/2012 :

In a statement issued yesterday the Pharmacy Board of Australia has put non PBS approved pharmacies on notice that 'any supply arrangements which infringe on patient rights' may attract Board disciplinary action.

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Division of the Department of Health and Ageing has agreed to fund the production of signage to be displayed at pharmacies which, although licensed under relevant State/Territory laws and regulations as pharmacies, are not approved to supply pharmaceutical benefits (’unapproved’ pharmacies). Information leaflets, to be funded by Medicare Australia, will also be produced for patients having their medication dispensed at such pharmacies. These will explain how patients having prescriptions dispensed at unapproved pharmacies may be affected by not having access to the PBS. The Board has instructed unapproved pharmacies to display this signage and make the information leaflets available to their patients.

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Poll: access to references : 06/03/2012 :

Keeping a reference library up to date is an expensive and time consuming exercise and pharmacies / pharmacists do this well to varying degrees.

What's access to references like where you work?

Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in this week's AusPharm poll.

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Guild / PSA set up Professional Programs Working Group : 06/03/2012 :

The Pharmacy Guild and the Pharmaceutical Society have established a Professional Programs Working Group whose main aims are to progress the professional practice programs in the 5th Community Pharmacy Agreement and enhance the professional practice programs continued from the 4th Agreement.

The first meeting of the Working Group was held on 22 February. Two further meetings are planned for later in the year.

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Fair Work Qld pharmacy audit reveals problems : 06/03/2012 :

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) yesterday published the results of an industry audit into the level of compliance with rates of pay, minimum hours of engagement, meal break entitlements and other industrial requirements in Queensland pharmacies.

The audit inspected the records of 575 employers operating pharmacies throughout Queensland and, of the 575 audits completed, 320 (56%) employers were found to be compliant and 255 (44%) to be in contravention. Of the 255 non compliant employers, 298 separate contraventions were identified; the majority of which were monetary contraventions. The program recovered $194,905 for 1,334 employees.

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inPHARMation modules meet QCPP requirements : 05/03/2012 :

Pharmacy staff who complete the Counter Connection modules in selected editions of inPHARMation will be able to complete five hours of refresher training in 2012.
 
That’s more than enough to meet QCPP requirements.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Clostridium Difficile Associated Diarrhoea (CDAD) & PPIs : 05/03/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Clostridium Difficile Associated Diarrhoea (CDAD) & PPIs.

"Clostridium difficile is a bacterium that can cause diarrhoea that does not improve. Symptoms include watery stool, abdominal pain, and fever. Patients may develop electrolyte imbalance, malnutrition and pressure sores. They may go on to develop more serious abdominal conditions. Most people colonised with C difficile remain asymptomatic. Research as demonstrated that the organism can be cultured from the stool of 3% of healthy adults and 35% of hospital inpatients. When normal gut flora is disrupted, usually by antibiotic exposure, clinical disease develops in C. difficile colonised people under conditions that favor C. difficile proliferation within the colon."

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

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Pharmx gateway launches Blackmores : 05/03/2012 :

PharmX is continuing to extend the range of products pharmacies can order online with the addition of Blackmores to its electronic ordering gateway.

Nicole Steven, Retail and Consumer Services Manager, Blackmores, said that improving customer service was the major motivator for moving to electronic ordering. “Our customers have been very interested in the much faster lead times that online ordering provides. Using the gateway, pharmacies can order our products directly through their Point-of-Sale, with the order reaching our warehouse within 15 minutes. If we receive orders by 11 o’clock in the morning, they will usually be received in store the next day, which is a great experience for our customers.”

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