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AusPharm news

PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 31/08/2011 :

AFL Round 23

AFL Round 23 saw just 3 tippers select all 8 winners correctly. Helen Martin from Torrens Road Gordon had the best margin tip and wins the weekly prize. In 2nd place was Stephen Kobryn of Blooms the Chemist - Springwood with Jacintha Davies in 3rd position.

NRL Round 25

NRL Round 25 saw 5 tippers select all the 8 game winners. Paul Hayward tipped the perfect margin and is this weeks winner. In 2nd place was Matthew Martin of Torrens Road Gordon with Jennifer Culverson of McCarthys Pharmacy in 3rd position.

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Nurofen Plus recall limited to the UK : 31/08/2011 :

Reckitt Benckiser, the makers of Nurofen Plus, has been fielding numerous calls from concerned Australian pharmacists and yesterday moved to reassure them that the Nurofen Plus product tampering incident is limited to the UK only and there is no reason to believe that Australia or New Zealand are affected.

The company has reminded pharmacists that all Nurofen adult pain medication cartons sold in Australia and New Zealand, including Nurofen Plus, have a tamper-evident safety seal. The company is encouraging consumers to check that the seal is intact if they are concerned.

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Poll: time for location rule reform? : 31/08/2011 :

Over the last week, there has been much discussion on AusPharmList about the location rules. Some 'listers have proposed ways by which the rules might be relaxed / reformed and others have defended the existing rules.

At the risk of getting a result along 'party lines' this week's AusPharm poll asks whether it is time to reform the location rules.

Please let us know what you think by voting in the poll.

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ASMI comes out in support of wholesalers : 31/08/2011 :

The Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI) yesterday issued a statement appearing to support the CSO pharmacy wholesalers in their battle to get Pfizer products back into their warehouses.

The ASMI statement has it that while the organisation respects the right of any company to make commercial decisions which are in its best interest, ASMI will only support this to the extent that it would not adversely impact the public benefits of timely access and affordability to PBS medications.

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No surprises in July PBS stats : 30/08/2011 :

PBS statistics for July 2011 have been released by Medicare Australia.

Script numbers were up 7.4% compared to July 2010 (18.9 million v 17.6 million) and absolute dollars were also up ($785 million v $717 million).

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Old drugs revisited : 30/08/2011 :

Medicines containing heroin and cocaine were in the past viewed by medical professionals as legitimate and effective medicinal treatments for a range of medical conditions.

Some of these substances are now being re-examined for use in 21st century pharmacy for treating a new range of conditions. This topic and the new Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain exhibition Drugs for pleasure, drugs for pain? was covered on UK TV last week. The RPSGB exhibition explores how substances such as cocaine, cannabis, opium, morphine, and heroin were originally used as pharmaceutical treatments for a wide range of medical ailments.

Click the screen at right to watch the video (on the RPSGB website).

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Taking care of business – pharmacy student competition : 30/08/2011 :

Last week, the Pharmacy Guild “soft” launched the 2012 National Student Business Plan Competition.
 
Electronic copies of the competition booklet were sent to universities and the National Australian Pharmacy Students' Association (NAPSA) – inviting pharmacy students to “Make your mark and show us your future”.

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Fire up the barbie this September and raise vital funds for prostate cancer : 30/08/2011 :

The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) will host its Big Aussie Barbie campaign in September – International Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

All Australians are being encouraged to get involved by registering and hosting a Big Aussie Barbie this September, and asking guests to contribute a donation.

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New Poisons Standard published : 29/08/2011 :

The second edition of the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons (SUSMP) has been published on the ComLaw website (here).

The Poisons Standard consists of decisions regarding the classification of medicines and poisons into Schedules for inclusion in state and territory legislation.

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Medicines Australia: New R&D tax credit to boost Australian research : 29/08/2011 :

New legislation just passed by the Senate will help make Australia more globally competitive as a destination for pharmaceutical investment in research and development, Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said yesterday.

Dr Shaw said the Tax Laws Amendment (Research and Development) Bill 2010 will introduce a tax credit that will reduce the cost of eligible R&D by up to 10 per cent.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Hyperparathyroidism : 29/08/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Hyperparathyroidism.

"Hyperparathyroidism results from increased activity of the parathyroid glands. This abnormality may be an intrinsic change that alters the excretion of PTH (primary or tertiary hyperparathyroidism) or from an extrinsic change affecting calcium homeostasis that stimulates PTH production (secondary hyperparathyroidism). This e-bulletin will focus on primary hyperparathyroidism with secondary and tertiary causes to be discussed later."

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

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PAC11 accomodation specials closing : 29/08/2011 :

Accommodation has been reserved at special rates for PAC11 attendees with a number of hotels within easy walking to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

All these rooms are being held at exceptional rates until this Friday, 2 September 2011 - book early so you don’t miss out.

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UK Nurofen Plus sabotaged? : 29/08/2011 :

The UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a Class 1 Drug Alert following reports that the anti-psychotic drug, Seroquel XL 50mg and Neurontin 100mg capsules, has been found within some Nurofen Plus packects. Following discussions with the MHRA, Nurofen Plus manufacturer, Reckitt Benckiser (UK) has decided to recall all remaining unexpired stock of Nurofen Plus tablets in any pack size.

The company says it suspects sabotage and is working with the police on a formal investigation to find the person or persons responsible. Distribution of the product has been halted as the company tries to fund out how the painkillers could have been interfered with.

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Guild calls for states and territories to help fund STOP improvements : 29/08/2011 :

Speaking at the Pharmacy Guild’s WA Forum on Friday, Western Australian Police Commissioner, Karl O’Callaghan, thanked the Guild for its efforts in establishing Project STOP, which is now mandatory in Western Australia.

Mr O’Callaghan said there had been 133 small addiction-based sites discovered by police in WA this year, and police had determined that most pseudoephedrine (PSE) used at the sites was purchased at pharmacies, with the remainder stolen or imported. However, the usual size of illegal drug “cooks” was becoming smaller, probably because the vital ingredient PSE had become harder to acquire because of Project STOP.

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Business management and professional services : 28/08/2011 :

The delivery of professional services is becoming an increasingly attractive option for many community pharmacies, and not just for altruistic reasons.
 
There are growing concerns from within the profession regarding pharmacies’ future viability in the face of competitive pressures and Government reforms. These issues have created a driver for many pharmacists to look for other opportunities and make changes to their business strategies. However, change is not easy, as many have already found. 

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ASMI critical of TGA disallowing PPI advertising : 26/08/2011 :

The Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI) says that it is disappointed with the TGA (interim) decision to disallow advertising to the public of the OTC proton pump inhibitor Rabeprazole (Pariet).  This follows a previous rejection by the delegate of advertising of OTC Pantoprazole (Somac) earlier this year.

“These decisions make it very hard for consumers to be made aware that medicines are now available from pharmacists without prescription, and keeping this information from consumers does not appear to serve any useful public health purpose ” Dr Schoombie said.

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Still early days for online pharmacy sales for most : 26/08/2011 :

This week's poll tried to get a sense of how much business Australian pharmacies were generating from their websites.

Not much seems to be the answer for most.

Almost 2/3 of respondents to our poll either didn't have a website at all (44%) or had a basic information only type site (21%). Only 14% of respondents told us their websites generated significant business for them.

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The Stage is Set : 26/08/2011 :

The Guildcare Professional Services software bundle will add another string to its bow with the imminent release of the Staged Supply Recording Service.  This service was developed in response to pharmacist requests that GuildCare should offer software efficiencies for this historically frustrating and poorly-systemised pharmacy service. 

The GuildCare Staged Supply Recording Service allows pharmacies to efficiently create a staged supply schedule using GuildCare software. 

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Aussie men not taking action to manage their osteoporosis and osteoarthritis : 26/08/2011 :

Women are more likely than men to seek treatment for osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has found. The report, Population differences in health-care use for arthritis and osteoporosis in Australia, shows that when it comes to managing their osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, the level of inaction is significantly higher for men than women.

‘This inaction includes not visiting a health professional, taking medications or making lifestyle changes,’ said AIHW spokesperson Dr Adrian Webster.

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Have a say on scheduling : 25/08/2011 :

The interim decisions and the reasons for the decisions made at the the June 2011 meetings of the Advisory Committee on Chemical Scheduling and the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling have now been published.

Both committees have invited further submissions on these interim decisions, which relate to, amongst other things, the scheduling of loperamide, nicotine, an orphenadrine / paracetamol combination and a number of substances contained in cough and cold preparations.

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