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01/10/2014 : Amidst renewed calls this week from Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA) for the inclusion of `consumers and professional employee pharmacists` in 6CPA negotitations, who should negotiate the Agreement for pharmacy?
The Guild alone
The Guild alone but it needs to *genuinely* collaborate with other pharmacy groups
The Guild and PSA
All the pharmacy groups, including PPA
All the pharmacy groups, including PPA, and consumers

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AusPharm news

Industry high-achievers recognised for distinguished service and excellence : 19/11/2010 :

Awards for Australia’s most innovative healthcare products, promotions and self care initiatives were announced at the Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI) Conference in Sydney yesterday.

They were accompanied by the presentation of four Awards for Distinguished Service and Excellence.

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AusPharm CE: Irritable Bowel Syndrome : 18/11/2010 :

The latest AusPharm CE topic is Irritable Bowel Syndrome - it's been put together for us by Angus Thompson.

"Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is classified as a functional gastrointestinal disorder, namely one in which there is no recognisable structural or biochemical abnormality of the gut. Affecting around 15% of the population, it is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders in Australia. The condition is around twice as common in women as in men. Whilst those with IBS typically seek medical advice regarding the condition between the ages of 30 and 50 years, it has also been reported to exist in children."

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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Medicines Australia chair reiterates consumer benefits of PBS reform : 18/11/2010 :

In the wake of a Senate Committee report on the new PBS reform legislation, Will Delaat, chairman of the pharmaceutical industry lobby group Medicines Australia, addressed the National Press Club yesterday. The legislation will enable substantial price cuts for consumers, and forms part of the Memorandum of Understanding between Medicines Australia and the Commonwealth Government.

“The benefit for consumers is that those savings will reduce the prices patients pay for many off-patent medicines by as much as $21 per script, per month,” Mr Delaat said. “Consumers will also directly benefit from the process improvements to the PBS, which will enable medicines to become available quicker to those who need them."

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Sue Kirsa elected new SHPA president : 18/11/2010 :

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists has announced results for the election of the new SHPA leadership team, with Sue Kirsa (Director of Pharmacy, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Vic) becoming the new president. She will be supported by:

  • Vice-President: Sharon Goldsworthy (SA, NT)
  • Treasurer: Tony Hall (QLD)
  • 4th Executive Member: Rebekah Moles (NSW)

With a diverse range of pharmacy experience, Sue Kirsa has previously served as an SHPA Councillor (1999 to 2008) and as Federal Treasurer for four years and President for one year.

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New Pharmacist Coalition for Health Reform (PCHR) sets agenda : 18/11/2010 :

A coalition of SHPA, PSA, NAPSA and APESMA (Pharmacists' Division) has formed to ensure the whole body of skills and knowledge that pharmacists have to offer are communicated to political and government representatives.

The Pharmacist Coalition for Health Reform (PCHR), representing more than 20,000 individual pharmacists, will help fill the gap between the representation made by the Guild on behalf of community pharmacy owners (as met within the Community Pharmacy Agreements), and the substantial balance of the profession which operates outside the community pharmacy structure.

In the context of current reform proposals, the coalition importantly recognises that CPA-negotiated services will not be available through  Medicare Locals, Local Hospital Networks or Section 94 pharmacy services. In this respect, the CPA is only a portion of the way pharmacists contribute to improving health care capacity and reducing hospital admissions.

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PSA counsels caution on NSAIDS : 17/11/2010 :

Four in five Australians (81%) who use OTC NSAIDs are not aware of heart problems or heart disease as a potential risk factor associated with taking them, according to a new survey¹.
 
The survey also found that one in two people using OTC NSAIDs have been diagnosed with a heart condition or have a direct family member who has been diagnosed with such a condition¹ - despite this being a precaution for use. However, in an apparent contradiction, six in 10 (59%) of people who most often use OTC NSAIDs claimed to read the directions for use of the packaging before purchase¹.
 
“These results suggest that people aren’t fully informed about the medicines they are taking despite claiming to read the packaging,” PSA National President Warwick Plunkett said.

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December 2010 PBS 'summary of changes' : 17/11/2010 :

The December 2010 PBS 'Summary of Changes' is now available here.

Download the PBS Summary of changes

The full PBS schedule is not yet available. We will advise when it is.

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MoU to proceed? : 17/11/2010 :

The Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs yesterday handed down its report into the National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme) Bill 2010.

This is the bill that would allow the Memorandum of Understanding on further PBS reform struck last year between Medicines Australia and the Federal Government to proceed. The reforms proposed in the bill are projected to create $1.9 billion in PBS savings over the next 5 years.

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Review to improve transparency of the TGA : 17/11/2010 :

Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King, has announced a comprehensive review of the way in which the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) communicates its regulatory processes and decisions.

The review will focus on improving the TGA’s transparency. The aim is to ensure the public is better informed about the benefits and risks of therapeutic goods.

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Offshore refresher conference to visit Venice and Salzburg : 16/11/2010 :

The 2011 Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s Offshore Refresher Conference will be held in Venice and Salzburg from 1-10 May 2011 and already looks set to be the most popular yet.
 
The highly anticipated education event will feature a wide range of expert speakers who will present on business and professional issues of vital importance to pharmacists and the pharmacy profession.

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Gee, those hospital pharmacists know how to have a good time! : 16/11/2010 :

The theme of last Saturday night's SHPA conference dinner was "Staying Alive", hence the 70's theme for the dinner.

Gee, those hospital pharmacists know how to have a good time!

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Staying Alive - SHPA Conference Highlights 2010 : 16/11/2010 :

Whether you're a brother, or whether you're a mother, if you're a pharmacist Melbourne was the place to be this weekend gone for the 36th Conference of the SHPA (Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia). As the first bars of the Bee Gees disco hit belted out at Friday's Opening Ceremony, delegates were sure Alice Kochman, pictured at right, and her team had put together something special.

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AHPRA annual report 2009/10 now available : 16/11/2010 :

The annual report, including financials, for 2009/10 of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and the national boards, including the Pharmacy Board of Australia, has been published on the AHPRA website .

Download it here (8.42MB pdf).

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How is pharmacy perceived? : 16/11/2010 :

'Listers who receive the weekly MJA ezine Insight will have seen pharmacist Rollo Manning's opinion piece in yesterday's issue in which he discusses the shop keeper / health professional dichotomy pharmacy seems always confronted with.

Perhaps of more interest than the article itself is the subsequent comments posted on the MJA website.

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Italian auction : 15/11/2010 :

Here's a neat little video with an important health message, particularly for older 'listers.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Hypogonadism and osteoporosis with long-term opioids : 15/11/2010 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Hypogonadism and osteoporosis with long-term opioids

"Opioid induced hypogonadism has been reported to occur in patients receiving long term opioid therapy. The reported prevalence of opioid induced hypogonadism ranges from 21-86%. The risk may be higher in men; in those receiving a larger dose of opioids (dose related); and can occur whether the opioids are administered orally, transdermal, intravenously or intrathecally. The signs and symptoms of hypogonadism include flushing, sweating, decreased libido, depression and anxiety, low energy levels, loss of muscle mass and strength, infertility, and osteoporosis and fractures in both men and women; decreased erectile dysfunction in men; and abnormal menses in women."

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

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Dr Ian Coombes wins 2010 SHPA Medal of Merit : 15/11/2010 :

SHPA’s GlaxoSmithKline Medal of Merit for 2010 has been awarded to Dr Ian Coombes in recognition of his innovative work in medication safety at state, national and international levels. The Medal of Merit was presented during the opening ceremony of SHPA’s Medicines Management 2010 national conference in Melbourne last Friday.

The GlaxoSmithKline Medal of Merit has been awarded since 1962 in recognition of an outstanding recent contribution to the practice of hospital pharmacy or the professional development of pharmacy in the previous three years.

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Cardiology pharmacist receives Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award : 15/11/2010 :

Pharmacist Senior Clinician (Cardiac Services) at Barwon Health in Geelong, Victoria, Garth Birdsey, has been awarded the 2010 Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award.

The Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award has been awarded since 1997 to a member of SHPA in recognition of outstanding contributions in the area of clinical pharmacy practice.

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Marked differences in current practice in recording sales of codeine products : 12/11/2010 :

This week's AusPharm poll results indicate that current practice in recording sales of compound analgesics containing codeine in the dispensing system differs markedly, depending upon the pharmacy.

Looking at the 95% of respondents who are involved in these types of sales, just under half record all S3 codeine sales - most of these because they have to, with just 20%  of this sub-group recording sales voluntarily because they think it's a good idea. 24% only record sales where a problem is suspected, and 29% do not record S3 codeine sales.

Thanks to everyone who voted this week; it was a great turn out, which suggests to us that this issue remains on pharmacists' minds!

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Better data to flow from PBS reform : 12/11/2010 :

Following the Community Affairs Legislation Committee inquiry this week into the National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme) Bill 2010, NPS says it is is hopeful the legislation will allow for better data collection relating to prescription medicines use.

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