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AusPharm news

AusPharm CE: Gout : 22/09/2011 :

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

"Gout is a common inflammatory arthritis, occurring predominantly in 40 to 60 year old men. The prevalence increases with age, and the gender disparity decreases as women reach menopause, due to the fact that oestrogen is uricosuric. The ageing population, changing diets and increasing obesity will see a rising prevalence of gout in the community."

This activity has been accredited for 1 CPD credit suitable for inclusion in an individual pharmacist’s CPD plan. Accreditation number: CX110022o.

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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MPs fire up Parliament House for a Big Aussie Barbie : 22/09/2011 :

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Australia -  this year almost 20,000 Australian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 3,300 men will die of the disease.

This month is International Prostate Cancer Awarness Month, and all Aussies are being encouraged to host a barbie to raise much needed funds for the cause. Today federal Parliamentarians will don their blue aprons to show their support for the Big Aussie Barbie campaign.

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Grants to Support DonateLife Week 2012 : 22/09/2011 :

DonateLife Week is the national awareness week to promote organ and tissue donation coordinated by the Organ and Tissue Authority as part of the Australian Government’s National Reform Agenda to increase organ and tissue donation for transplantation.

The theme of DonateLife Week 2012, “Ask and know your loved ones’ wishes” enourages all Australians to have the important discussion about organ and tissue donation with their families and to know each other’s wishes.

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Helen gets a gong : 21/09/2011 :

On Monday we reported that Port Augusta pharmacist, Helen Flannery, has been named the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s South Australian Pharmacist of the Year. 

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Poll: charging a fee for certifying document copies : 21/09/2011 :

Once again on AusPharmList recently there has been discussion about whether or not pharmacists should charge to certify document copies.

AusPharm ran a poll on this issue back in 2006 in which 80% of respondents agreed that pharmacists should charge a fee for this service.

What fee though?

Please let us know what you think by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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Roxon talks up government's efforts on smoking in UN speech : 21/09/2011 :

In a speech delivered in New York yesterday during the plenary session of the UN high-level meeting on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) Health Minister Nicola Roxon, pictured right, highlighted Australia's efforts in combatting smoking in the Australian community.

'Unlike most other risk factors for NCDs, the evidence on tobacco is crystal clear. We know the harms, the research evidence is unequivocal.' She said.

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Welsh pharmacy trial of diabetes screening a success : 21/09/2011 :

Every pharmacy in Wales recently offered free type two diabetes risk assessments. During a two week period 17,507 people visited a pharmacy and took the risk assessment.

Of those assessed, 8.4% - almost 1500 people - were identified as high risk and referred to their GP for a formal diabetes test. Pharmacists also advised participants about how they could reduce their risk by eating a healthy, balanced diet and leading an active lifestyle.

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Keeping epilepsy in mind : 21/09/2011 :

New research into the country’s most common, chronic brain disorder  reveals 50 per cent of participants have experienced discrimination due to their epilepsy.

The Australian-first longitudinal study, released yesterday, paints a candid picture of the psychological, social and physical challenges and barriers encountered by people living with epilepsy.

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Is it any good and does it matter? : 20/09/2011 :

The art of deciphering evidence and talking to patients about it will be the subject of a special workshop at PAC11 this year.
 
The Critical Appraisal Workshop, or Is it any good & does it matter? will be held on Sunday 9 October and explore the key elements of a structured critical appraisal process. It will also help provide the skills for pharmacists to apply a structured critical appraisal approach to a research paper, which can sometimes seem like a daunting process.

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National Health Performance Authority legislation passed : 20/09/2011 :

A new national watchdog for Australia’s health system will soon be formed after legislation to establish the National Health Performance Authority passed the Senate yesterday.

The authority will monitor, assess and report on the performance of hospitals and health networks and will give state governments 45 days' notice of the results before they are released to the public.

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New Resource to Get Australians Talking About Donation Wishes : 19/09/2011 :

Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King yesterday launched a new resource to help Australians overcome barriers to discussion about organ and tissue donation.

The DonateLife Guide for Community Speakers includes a step-by-step presentation, case studies, and background on organ and tissue donation, DonateLife and the Gillard Government’s National Reform Agenda.

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Pharmacist Coalition calls for greater inclusion in chronic disease services : 19/09/2011 :

Latest AIHW statistics predicting an 80% increase in new cases of end-stage renal disease by 2020 have prompted a further general call by the Pharmacist Coalition for Health Reform (PCHR) for greater involvement of pharmacists in service provision for chronic disease.

Commenting on the economic imperative behind the management of such disease states, PSA CEO and PCHR spokesperson Liesel Wett declared that pharmacists need to be involved in Medicare Locals to help better co-ordinate healthcare services for chronic disease. She also stated that “New models need to be developed to allow pharmacists to be funded to consult with patients in their pharmacy, or during home visits, to review, monitor and educate them about their medicines."

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SA Pharmacist of the year named : 19/09/2011 :

A community pharmacist from Port Augusta, Helen Flannery, has been named the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s South Australian Pharmacist of the Year.

Ms Flannery’s work in a rural area involves close community consultation with both patients and other health-care professionals to ensure the best health outcomes for consumers and patients.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Mirtazapine-related blood dyscrasias : 19/09/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Mirtazapine-related blood dyscrasias.

"Many psychotropic medications are known to be associated with blood dyscrasias such as leucopaenias and agranulocytosis – implicated agents are known to include clozapine, olanzapine, chlorpromazine, carbamazepine and imipramine. Mirtazapine, a tetracyclic antidepressant, has also been rarely associated with reports of serious blood dyscrasias. The manufacturer’s product information acknowledges leucopaenia, granulocytopaenia, agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia, pancytopaenia, anaemia, aplastic anaemia, eosinophilia and coagulation disorders as rare but potential adverse effects. It also states that although granulocytopaenia or agranulocytosis is reported to occur during treatment with mirtazapine, but that the rate is no greater than that of the background population. In pre-marketing trials, an incidence of agranulocytosis (absolute neutrophil count, ANC<0.1 x109/L) or severe neutropaenia (ANC<0.5x109/L) was observed for 11 of 10000 subjects (0.11%)."

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

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Pfizer still on the nose with pharmacists : 16/09/2011 :

This week's poll picked up on recent comments that Pfizer's exclusive direct to pharmacy supply model continues to anger pharmacists and sought to confirm these sentiments.

And confirm them they did, with 87% of respondents to the poll telling us they felt either 'highly antagonistic' (55%) or 'negative' (32%) towards Pfizer.

If pharmacists' sentiments remain the same, Pfizer will struggle with its generic offer once  blockbuster drug Lipitor comes of patent in Australia in 2012.

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Spring Medicare Bulletin Board published : 16/09/2011 :

The Spring edition of the Medicare Bulletin Board has been published on the Medicare website.

It includes articles on:

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SHPA Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award 2011 : 16/09/2011 :

The recipient of the 2011 SHPA Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award is Greg Roberts.

Greg Roberts has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of clinical pharmacy practice in South Australia and beyond. Greg’s achievements are a prime demonstration of this and are a culmination of many years dedication to the cause of maximising patient care and medication safety.

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New report highlights the burden of chronic kidney disease for Indigenous Australians : 16/09/2011 :

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a serious and common health problem among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Chronic kidney disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2011, presents, for the first time, detailed analysis of CKD in Indigenous Australians.

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SIGMA gets up a head of steam, share price bounces : 15/09/2011 :

Sigma Pharmaceuticals yesterday reported half year results for the period ending 31 July, 2011 that showed a net profit of $26.7 million, compared to a net loss of $9.2 million for the corresponding period in 2010. The company attributes the result to market share growth (Pharmacy Alliance) and reduced interest payments.

Excluding the revenue caused by the Pfizer departure from the wholesalers, the company reported 9% year on year growth in sales.

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The Great Debate - Not to be missed : 15/09/2011 :

Issues relating to the size of the pharmacy workforce have increasingly dominated the headlines in the pharmacy media throughout 2011.
 
On the one hand  are calls for a moratorium on new pharmacy schools, claims of underpayment, and concerns about oversupply – particularly since pharmacists were recently returned to the Skilled Occupation List for migration purposes. 

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