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AusPharm news

60% of pharmacists think Pfizer will get away with it... : 08/07/2011 :

Just over 5 months on from Pfizer's rollout of its direct to pharmacy exclusive supply model, there is significant pressure being brought to bear on government to declare the model illegal and return Pfizers PBS medicines to CSO wholesalers. In this week's AusPharm poll, we asked 'listers what they thought the outcome of all the lobbying would be.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap (NRL) : 08/07/2011 :

NRL Round 17

NRL Round 17 saw just 3 tippers select all 6 winners. Nam Nguyen from Peter Green Pharmacy also tipped the perfect margin and is this weeks winner. In 2nd place was Peter Kolb of Peter Kolb Pharmacy with Brett Fooks from Clara St Pharmacy in 3rd position.

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E-health process progressing, slowly.... : 08/07/2011 :

Two milestones in the development of Australia’s e-health system have been met with the appointment of the National Change and Adoption Partner and the release of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record System: Legislation issues paper.

A consortium headed by McKinsey and Company has been selected to lead the national change and adoption process as Australia moves to introduce Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records (PCEHR) next year.

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Synthetic cannabinoids outlawed : 08/07/2011 :

Eight synthetic cannabinoids will be classified as prohibited substances throughout Australia from today.

Preparations containing synthetic cannabinoids, such as Kronic, have been widely available on the Internet - these products have already been banned in Western Australia and South Australia with New South Wales to follow tomorrow.

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Difflam joins Gold Cross branding campaign : 07/07/2011 :

The Gold Cross brand has received another boost through the support of iNova Pharmaceuticals and Difflam.

A new TV commercial for Difflam highlights the Pharmacy Guild’s Gold Cross and Ask Your Pharmacist brands.  The advertisementis screening on TV  in all capital cities as well as selected provincial areas, and builds on the strength of the previous Gold Cross brand campaigns.

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TGA Advisory: oral contraceptives containing drospirenone (Yaz and Yasmin) : 07/07/2011 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) yesterday issued an 'advisory' saying it is aware of two recently published studies that reported a greater risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in women taking oral contraceptives containing the progestogen drospirenone (Yaz and Yasmin) when compared to oral contraceptives containing the progestogen levonorgestrel.

The TGA says it has reviewed the available information and assessed the risks of VTE associated with drospirenone-containing oral contraceptives saying it has been working with the sponsor to amend the product information to incorporate the new evidence.

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Monash Pharmacy head responds to PSA President : 07/07/2011 :

'Listers may have seen comments made by PSA President Warwick Plunkett relating to the increasing numbers of pharmact students in recent times in the June 30 issue of Pharmacy News. Mr Plunkett commented that "it’s not the proliferation of schools that’s the problem, it’s in fact the three or four major schools that have the huge numbers."

He went on to say "The newer schools are only graduating a very small number ... the issue currently with large numbers falls back on places like Sydney University, Monash and the University of South Australia. They’re the ones controlling the numbers, which are for their own benefit ... they’re driving their own internal dollars."

Monash University Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Professor Bill Charman, put out a statement in response yesterday. We've reproduced it below in full.

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AusPharm CE: RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 37 : 07/07/2011 :

The next in our 2011 series of continuing education activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 37.

This CE activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins (Volumes 42-4 - 42-7  -->  May - June 2011).

After completing this activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Discuss the interaction of St John’s wort with contraceptive agents
  • Describe features of clozapine-induced haematological abnormalities
  • Outline recent evidence about optimal duration of statin therapy
  • Discuss the diagnosis and treatment of iron deficiency anaemia

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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Bulletin Board winter edition : 06/07/2011 :

The winter 2011 edition of the Medicare Australia Bulletin Board has now been published on the Medicare Australia website.

  • Budget 2011-12–what does it mean for the PBS?
  • The Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement­changes to initiatives
  • Changes to Medication Management Reviews­RMMR and HMR and the introduction of MUR
  • Owing prescriptions
  • Satisfaction survey­record result
  • Bulletin Board is a quarterly newsletter covering the PBS and related issues for pharmacists and pharmacy assistants. Register to receive Bulletin Board in your inbox.

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    New Head for Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee : 06/07/2011 :

    Doctor Suzanne Hill is to be the new chair of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

    The Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, announced today Dr Hill would succeed Professor Lloyd Sansom as chair of PBAC.

    Dr Hill currently works for the World Health Organization in Geneva, in the Department of Medicines Policy and Standards, and was previously Associate Professor, Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Newcastle.

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    How many pharmacists are there? : 06/07/2011 :

    The Pharmacy Board of Australia yesterday released statistics detailing the number of pharmacists and students it has have their books.

    There are now approximately 25,000 registered pharmacists in Australia.

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    Poll: exclusive, direct to pharmacy, supply of PBS medicines : 06/07/2011 :

    Pfizer's decision to bypass the CSO wholesalers and introduce a direct to pharmacy distribution model has generated plenty of discussion amongst pharmacists and plenty of angst for pharmacy owners/manager, particularly in the early days, when the infrastructure was still being tweaked.

    The CSO wholesalers and others are bringing pressure to bear on government to compel Pfizer to make their products available through the wholesalers also, citing patient interest, CSO and National Medicines Policy arguments. The federal government is said to be closely watching developments.

    What do you think the outcome of all this argy bargy will be? Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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    Scholarships help pharmacists go rural : 05/07/2011 :

    The 2011 recipients of scholarships awarded under the Rural and Remote Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme have been announced.

    Forty-one students from across the country (see below) were awarded scholarships, which provide them with up to $40,000 during their time at university.

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    API disputes market share claims : 05/07/2011 :

    'Listers will have seen AusPharm's report yesterday that SIGMA had been endorsed as 'preferred wholesaler' by the the Pharmacy Alliance (PAL) and Independent Pharmacists of Australia (IPAG) groups.

    Rival wholesaler API put out a statement yesterday saying it wished to 'correct recent reports regarding API's relationship with PAL and IPAG and its members'. The company says it is continuing to trade with a large number of former PAL and IPAG members, has recently executed 'preferred wholesaler' agreements with 150 members and that a further 50 members are still trading with the company.

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    Just imagine what the numbers would have been if the patches had actually been available? : 05/07/2011 :

    100,000 scripts for subsidised nicotine patches have been dispensed since they became available on the PBS in February.

    “Placing patches onto the PBS has clearly helped to make them affordable for tens of thousands of Australians who want to quit – and has the added benefit of proper support and guidance from a medical professional," said Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon said. "Using patches as part of a smoking cessation program increases the likelihood of success," she added.

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    NPS launches iPhone app : 05/07/2011 :

    NPS has launched a Medicines List iPhone app and it is available for free from iTunes. 

    The app is currently ranking as the number one medical app on iTunes Australia. It allows patients to track the brand, active ingredient, strength and dosage of their medicines, including prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines. It provides a way for people to keep their medicine related essential information on hand.

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    New in-pharmacy resources to help consumers be medicinewise with medicine brand choices : 04/07/2011 :

    NPS MedicineWise has released a series of in-pharmacy resources to help health professionals drive awareness and educate consumers about medicine brand choices.

    The resource kit to be distributed to pharmacies in July and August includes point-of-sale materials, counter mats and repeat prescription folders featuring key messages designed to give consumers confidence when making choices between medicine brands.

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    Pharmacy Alliance signs on with SIGMA : 04/07/2011 :

    After conducting a tender process to determine who would be its major wholesaler, the Pharmacy Alliance (PAL) group has endorsed SIGMA as its preferred wholesaler. The Independent Pharmacists of Australia Group (IPAG) has also endorsed SIGMA as its preferred wholesaler.

    The PAL tender followed a falling out with previous wholesaler API.

    SIGMA is said to have picked up (and API has lost) approximately $400 million in turnover as a result of the deal. PAL/IPAG expect that at least 2/3 of their business will go to the SIGMA company.

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    Sensaslim - down for the count? : 04/07/2011 :

    Since our story on the Sensaslim company last week, there have been further developments.

    As we reported last week, on application from the ACCC the court froze SensaSlim’s Australian bank account. Since then their lawyers have withdrawn from the case and on June 30, an external administrator / liquidator was appointed to take over the company.

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    Record number of abstracts submitted for SHPA conference : 04/07/2011 :

    A record  469 abstracts have been submitted for MM2011, the 37th SHPA National Conference, to be held in Hobart this November. 

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