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AusPharm news

AusPharm CE: RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 43 : 02/02/2012 :

The next in our 2011 series of continuing education activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 42.

This CE activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins (Volumes 44-4 - 44-7  -->  October-  November 2011).

After completing this activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Understand general principles relating to the safety of drug treatment during pregnancy
  • Described the clinical pharmacology of zonisamide
  • Discuss the use of parenteral iron preparations for the management of iron deficiency anaemia
  • List issues that might impact on the drug interactions between antibiotic treatment and warfarin

This activity has been accredited for 1 group 2 CPD credit suitable for inclusion in an individual pharmacist’s CPD plan. Accreditation number: CX120022A.

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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GSK reduces price of F2 medicines early : 02/02/2012 :

GSK announced yesterday that it will reduce the price of  its medicines impacted by the April 1 price disclosure reductions on March 1, one month earlier than the Government requirement.

GSK medicines affected are Amoxil, Aropax, Augmentin, Avandamet and Lamictal.

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Latest Edition of Australian Prescriber published : 02/02/2012 :

The February 2012 issue of Australian Prescriber is now available online. Topics featured in this issue include:

  • Two viewpoints on deferring PBAC recommendations
  • Time to restock the doctor’s bag
  • Assessing fever in the returned traveller
  • Safe prescribing of opioids
  • Dangerous drugs online

It also contains the most recent Medicines Safety Update.

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More Australians with diabetes, but diabetes-related deaths down : 01/02/2012 :

Diabetes has increased significantly among the Australian population over the past 20 years, however the rate of diabetes-related deaths per head of population is falling, according to a report to be released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Diabetes indicators in Australia, shows the prevalence of diabetes in the Australian population increased from 1.5% to 4.1% over the 20 years to 2007-08.

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Pfizer: still on the nose? : 01/02/2012 :

Pfizer's direct to pharmacy exclusive supply model has now been in operation for just over 12 months. Opposition to the model from the 'traditional' wholesalers remains strong and they remain active in their efforts to have it outlawed.

In light of this we're wondering to what extent Pfizer is still on the nose amongst pharmacists.

Please let us know how you feel about the Pfizer and its exclusive supply arrangements, 12 months on, by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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Nominations now open for NSW Pharmacist Medal : 01/02/2012 :

Nominations are now being sought for the NSW Pharmacist Medal.

The NSW Pharmacist Medal has been established by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia – NSW Branch to recognise a NSW member who has demonstrated a consistently high standard of professional practice in support of the principles of pharmacy service to the community. 

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Experts urge vaccinations for health professionals as flu season approaches : 01/02/2012 :

A group of more than 75 Australian influenza specialists says it is vital GPs, pharmacists and other frontline health care workers get vaccinated once the 2012 flu vaccine is released on March 15 in preparation for this year’s flu season.

Both Royal Melbourne Hospital Respiratory Medicine Director Professor Lou Irving and University of NSW School of Public Health and Community Medicine Senior Research Fellow, Dr Holly Seale, agree the government should be playing a greater role in helping to increase flu vaccination uptake levels among health care workers.

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PSA calls for further investment in aboriginal health care and chronic disease : 31/01/2012 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia yesterday delivered to the Australian Government a 2012-13 Budget submission proposing that it provide funding of $6.3 million for the introduction of a pilot program aimed at improving health outcomes in targeted population groups through the employment of pharmacists.
 
The submission says the proposed Pharmacists and Chronic Disease (PACD) program would have two distinct but related components: the Pharmacists in Remote Aboriginal Health Services (PIRAHS) project; and the Mental Health Liaison Pharmacist (MHLP) project.

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'Drugs sold to dead' - Guild responds : 31/01/2012 :

As seen in yesterday's AusPharm, News Ltd newspapers yesterday ran a story claiming that "PHARMACISTS have been caught pocketing rebates for dispensing drugs to dead patients in a crackdown on fraud."

The News Ltd story picked up on a media release issued by federal Human Services Minister Brendan O'Connor, that reported on Medicare Australia audits on pharmacy PBS claims. A number of pharmacies were found to have claimed for items after a patient had died.

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More from Terry Barnes on pharmacy reform : 31/01/2012 :

There were a number of comments in yesterday's AusPharmList about Terry Barnes article that appeared in last Wednesday's Australian newspaper.

In today's AusPharm, Mr Barnes responds....

"I've seen the comments by your readers on my article last week in The Australian, and I just wanted to thank those who responded, both for and against, for their comments. I'd like to give you some further thoughts."

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Compliance Made Easy : 30/01/2012 :

GuildCare Programs + You = PPIs and more

Under the 5th Community Pharmacy Agreement (5CPA), pharmacists may receive an incentive payment under the Pharmacy Practice Incentives (PPI) Program in recognition of the beneficial health outcomes that can be achieved through the documenting and delivery of quality services to an agreed standard in community pharmacy.To receive the full PPI incentive pharmacists must complete all the processes for the current accreditation requirements.



That’s where GuildCare software can help you – our software has been designed with two things in mind – how pharmacists work with their patients in everyday practice and the reporting requirements of 5CPA.

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AHPRA to tighten up on advertising breaches : 30/01/2012 :

Health professional Boards, including the Pharmacy Board, through their parent body the Australian Health Professional Regulation Agency (AHPRA), have announced plans to move from an 'educative' to a 'more structured' approach to dealing with breaches of advertising rules by health professionals.

The move is flagged in a new Fact Sheet and accompanying FAQ document released by AHPRA on Friday.

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PSA president congratulates Warren Blee, OAM : 30/01/2012 :

National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Grant Kardachi, has congratulated Queensland pharmacist Warren Blee (pictured right) on being awarded a Medal of The Order of Australia General Division (OAM).
 
"Warren is very well known in pharmacy circles and his work for the profession over the years has been outstanding," Mr Kardachi said.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Changes to recommended citalopram dose & QT prolongation : 30/01/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Changes to recommended citalopram dose & QT prolongation

"Citalopram is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) indicated for major depression. Previously, the usual dose was 20 mg daily, gradually increasing after 2-4 weeks, if necessary, up to 60 mg once daily. The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) recently followed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommendation to limit the maximum daily dosage of citalopram to 40 mg once daily. This decision followed evidence from a post-marketing study that demonstrated a significant QT prolongation effect at doses of 60 mg. The FDA suggests that studies have not show a benefit in the treatment of depression at doses higher than 40 mg once daily. The QT interval is a measure of ventricular depolarisation and repolarisation."

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

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CSO wholesalers working hard to get the Pfizer direct supply model ditched : 30/01/2012 :

The National Pharmaceutical Services Association (NPSA), representing some CSO wholesalers, has released the results of a new survey it says shows that significant numbers of pharmacy customers who require a Pfizer medicine not stocked by a community pharmacy are having to wait at least 48 hours to receive their medicine.

In contrast, says NPSA, under the full-line wholesaler distribution system pharmacies had multiple sources of supply and patients could expect to receive it the same day or next day regardless of where they lived.

It has compiled the evidence against exclusive direct supply arrangements, including recent Pharmacy Guild of Australia research, its own recent survey and the findings of a Deloitte Access Economics report on the impact of exclusive supply, into a report titled The Evidence is in - Failed Supply Experiment must End.

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January-February 2012 PBS schedule : 30/01/2012 :

A reminder that there is not a new PBS schedule for February 1 as the current schedule will remain in place until 29 February 2012. Regular monthly publication of Schedules will resume from 1 March 2012.

The January-February 2012 PBS Schedule and the ‘Summary of Changes’ are available here:

Download the Full PBS schedule

Download the PBS Summary of changes

Download the Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy – S100 Arrangements Supplement

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Email the preferred form of busines contact for pharmacists : 27/01/2012 :

This week's poll determined that email (61%) is very much the preferred form of business contact for pharmacists. Phone contact was the second preference (25%) with fax a distant third at 12%. Interestingly, Facebook and 'other' didn't get a look in with both returning only 1% of the vote.

Remarkable really, when you consider email wasn't there 20 years ago. AusPharm can even remember the pre fax era with faxes only becoming widespread in pharmacies in the early 1980s.

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Pharmacy trailblazer says non compliance a huge waste : 27/01/2012 :

Commenting on research results released last week, Webstercare founder and winner of the 2010 PSA Lifetime Achievement award, Gerard Stevens, said yesterday that while medication has the power to do good, it also has the potential to do harm if not taken correctly or not taken at all.

“Government invests an enormous amount in medication to maintain health and there is huge waste and costs through non-compliance,” said Mr Stevens.

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Queensland pharmacy identity wins an OAM : 27/01/2012 :

Queensland pharmacist Warren, pictured right, has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in the general division for service to the pharmaceutical industry and to the Australian Naval Cadets.

Mr Blee was Queensland PSA President from 1997-1999 and again from 2005-2008, Vice-President from1995-1997 and has been Councillor, since 1991.

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2011 PBS costs decline in real terms : 27/01/2012 :

Medicare has released PBS statistics for the 2011 calendar year.

Script numbers declined by 0.5% compared to 2010 (199 v 198 million) while dollar costs rose by 2.0% ($8.29 v $8.13 billion) which, after allowing for inflation (somewhere between 3.0% and 3.5%), represents an actual fall in dollar terms.

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