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2014-12-22 : What style of Christmas party is your pharmacy workplace having?
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AusPharm news

Blackmores motors along : 23/02/2011 :

Complementary medicine manufacturer Blackmores continues to provide good value for its shareholders, yesterday reporting an 11.3% increase in net profit for the first half of financial year 2010/11.

The increased profit came on the back of a 7.3% sales increase. The company declared an interim dividend of 44c per share, up 4.8% on the previous corresponding period.

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Vaccination questions? : 22/02/2011 :

A new website, www.myvaccination.com.au, has been launched to provide consumers with  information about vaccine-preventable diseases.

The site, developed by vaccines manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), is based on the Australian National Immunisation Handbook, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention website and is aligned to Australia‟s National Immunisation Program.

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Student Business Plan Competition - deadline extended : 22/02/2011 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has extended the deadline for team or individual registrations in the 2011 National Student Business Plan Competition from 28 February to 1 April, and for business plan submissions from 8 April to 28 April.  

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New National Palliative Care Strategy Released : 22/02/2011 :

A new National Palliative Care Strategy was released last week by The Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler.

According to the Minister the strategy - Supporting Australians to Live Well at the End of Life - will provide the key framework for delivering palliative care services in Australia consistently and in a co-ordinated way.

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Discuss Giving Life During Donatelife Week : 22/02/2011 :

Australia’s first national DonateLife Week was launched last Friday by the Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King.

DonateLife Week aims to encourage families to talk about whether individuals want to become organ donors, after their death. Its theme is: “Any day is a good day to talk about organ and tissue donation, especially this week because it’s DonateLife Week”.

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March 2011 PBS schedule : 21/02/2011 :

The March 2011 PBS Schedule and the ‘Summary of Changes’ are available here.

Download the Full PBS schedule

Download the PBS Summary of changes

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RGH E-Bulletin: Inhaled corticosteroids and risk of diabetes mellitus : 21/02/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Inhaled corticosteroids and risk of diabetes mellitus.

"Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are first-line therapy for asthma and are also commonly used in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), in particular for those patients with moderate–severe disease and frequent exacerbations. They are preferred to oral corticosteroids because of a lower risk of systemic adverse effects, although high doses of ICS have been reported to be associated with adrenal suppression, glaucoma, osteoporosis, cataracts, pneumonia, bruising and decreased growth in children."

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

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AHPRA to get more support : 21/02/2011 :

At a meeting in Hobart last week, state and territory Health Minister agreed to provide the Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Agency (AHPRA) with 'additional support and expertise' to assist them to overcome the problems they have been experience getting health professionals'registrations processed efficiently.

Ministers agreed that action needed to be taken to address concerns and restore professional confidence in the new National Registration and Accreditation Scheme.

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 21/02/2011 :

The MIMS February 2011 Monthly Medicine Update is now available. Click the link to read it now.

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Big pharma puts up clinical trial plan : 21/02/2011 :

Peak pharma group Medicines Australia (MA) has laid out four policy priorities it says will help arrest the decline in the number of clinical trials conducted in Australia.

Speaking at Research Australia’s pre-NSW election Policy Forum MA CEO Dr Shaw told the forum that the number of clinical trials conducted in Australia had declined for the past three years.

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Panamax pricing: as varied as pharmacies themselves : 18/02/2011 :

This week's poll asked 'listers what they charge for 100 Panamax with the results as varied as pharmacies themselves.

The price varies widely, from about $2 to about $6, with no particular concentration at any given price point.

It's no wonder consumers find community pharmacy pricing puzzling at times!

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Chemist Warehouse $4.99 scripts - are individual employee pharmacists at legal risk? : 18/02/2011 :

In two AusPharmList posts yesterday AusPharm made the comment that: "....the expression 'approved pharmacist' in the Qld Guild members' fax refers to the pharmacist(s) who own the business, not the employee pharmacist(s). There is no reference in the fax to employee pharmacists."

This is correct - there is no mention in the original Guild newsletter to Queensland Guild members that employee pharmacists were personally legally exposed if they dispensed (previously PBS) scripts at $4.99.

However, the National newsletter sent out to all Guild members on Wednesday contains this paragraph:

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First past the post in South Australia : 17/02/2011 :

South Australia's Tomeo and Laslett pharmacy group have again demonstrated their industry leadership role in the delivery of professional services by signing on to the expanded Mirixa Australia™ program.

As part of the new Mirixa Australia programs the group’s pharmacies will deliver Blood Pressure Recording, Weight Recording and target patients for their Dose Administration Aid service.  This is in addition to their Compliance and New to Therapy programs already implemented. 

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Pseudoe**edrine advertising to be stopped : 17/02/2011 :

At its December meeting the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling agreed to remove pseudo**hedrine from Appendix H of schedule 3. This has the effect of banning advertising of products containing pseudo**hedrine.

The Appendix H listing was initially allowed back in 2005 when the majority of pseudo**hedrine products went into schedule 3 so that consumers could be informed about the changed supply arrangements relating to the drug. The Committee agreed that this was no longer relevant and that there was no longer a 'public interest' in allowing advertising of pseudo**hedrine products. It set an implementation date of June 1 2011 for the advertising ban.

Details are here.

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Zinc Reduces the Burden of the Common Cold? : 17/02/2011 :

Zinc supplements reduce the severity and duration of illness caused by the common cold, according to a new systematic review published in The Cochrane Library.

The idea that zinc might be effective against the common cold came from a study carried out in 1984, which showed that zinc lozenges could reduce how long symptoms lasted. Since then, trials have produced conflicting results and although several biological explanations for the effect have been proposed, none have been confirmed.

The new review updates a previous Cochrane Systematic Review, carried out in 1999, with data from several new trials.

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Comments invited on PSA draft Code of Ethics : 17/02/2011 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has released a Consultation Draft of the PSA Code of Ethics for Pharmacists. The new code is the outcome of an extensive review of the PSA Code of Professional Conduct.

The structure of the revised Code is similar to the existing one with nine Principles, each supported by Obligation statements. One of the new features is the association of each principle to one of five main areas of focus: the patient, the community, the pharmacy profession, business practices and other health care professionals.

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Pharmacist amongst 100 honoured indigenous women : 17/02/2011 :

Faye McMillan, pharmacist and President of Indigenous Allied Health Australia, has been selected amongst 100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to be honoured in the 100 years celebrations of International Women’s Day (8th March). The women are being honoured for their unique strengths and leadership qualities – women who have made a difference and who will continue to inspire others.

Faye's interest in pharmacy began when she was a pharmacy assistant in Trangie, near Dubbo in central NSW. She went on to complete a pharmacy degree at Charles Sturt University in 2001 and was the first Aboriginal person in Australia to gain a pharmacy degree and to go onto registration as a pharmacist.

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Consumers: Testing of complementary medicines - public has a right to know : 16/02/2011 :

According to peak consumer group, the Consumer Health Forum (CHF), while the term “complementary medicines” is in common use, labels using words like “natural” can construct and feed a perception that they are “harmless” and “healthy”, while disguising the fact that these products ARE actually medicines and should be treated as such.

CHF says that, while consumers generally know that prescription medicines have been through a process of rigorous testing to ensure they are safe and do what they say they will, they do not know that the same cannot be said about the 10,000 plus complementary medicines listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.

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AusPharm CE: Update on calcium : 16/02/2011 :

The next AusPharm CE topic for 2011 is Update on calcium - it's been put together for us by Debbie Rigby.

This CPD article provides an update of calcium and the latest clinical controversies on its safety and efficacy.

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 the sponsors of our CE program, MIMS.

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Need assistance to attend a CE event? : 16/02/2011 :

Griffith University’s School of Pharmacy has developed a Course in Integrative Medicine providing pharmacy practitioners with additional knowledge and skills to deliver evidence-based complementary medicine information to their patients and customers. Three weekend courses (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane) have been scheduled to run between April and July 2011.

Pharmacists from rural areas should consider applying for “Rural and Remote Continuing Pharmacy Education (CPE) Allowance” to allow them to attend the Course.

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