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AusPharm news

Poll: do you record S3 codeine sales? : 10/11/2010 :

The wisdom of recording S3s for the benefit not just of the patient, but of the pharmacy profession as a whole, is the subject of ongoing discussion on AusPharmList. In light of recent scheduling changes, interest has focused on the codeine-containing products. This week's AusPharm poll aims to gauge the level of recording in practice of S3 codeine products.

Help identify the current practice in S3 codeine recording across pharmacy by voting in this week's anonymous poll.

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Consumer support for PBS cost-savings changes : 10/11/2010 :

Against the backdrop of a public tiff between supporters of generic vs branded medicines suppliers over PBS changes, the Consumers Health Forum (CHF) has made their view clear: "Consumers will welcome any measure that delivers cheaper medicines and makes our health system more sustainable."

Speaking just prior to the start of the Senate Inquiry into the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government and Medicines Australia, CHF CEO Carol Bennett said “Health consumers support this agreement because of the significant benefits in terms of access, reduced prices to medicines and cost savings to the PBS. Australians currently pay almost double the price of other comparable countries for generic medicines. The generic medicines’ industry in Australia has done very well out of the taxpayer over the years and if paying a reasonable price means that affects some operators, that is how the free market works."

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Recall APO-Perindopril 2mg - may contain 8mg tablets : 09/11/2010 :

The TGA advises that Apotex Pty Ltd has initiated an urgent consumer level recall of APO-Perindopril 2mg tablets, as some cartons may mistakenly contain 8mg tablets.

The affected batches are listed on the TGA website. The TGA is advising consumers who may have affected cartons to return them to their pharmacy. To date no adverse event reports have been received by the TGA in relation to this problem.

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2011 Pharmacy Cricket in Victoria : 09/11/2010 :

The 2011 National Pharmacy Cricket Carnival will be played in Shepparton Victoria from Wednesday 26 to Saturday 29 January 2011. Games will be played at the grounds of the Mooroopna Cricket Club.

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Bill to establish Australian National Preventive Health Agency : 09/11/2010 :

The government is keen to proceed with the establishment of the Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA) to guide the national preventative health agenda by providing leadership, research, evaluation and policy advisory capacity. A bill to establish the new agency was debated in federal parliament on 26 October 2010, with two opposition amendments agreed to.

The intention to establish such an agency, along with the formation of Medicare Locals, was first published in the government's response in May 2010 to the recommendations of the National Preventative Health Taskforce. In August 2007 the ALP, then in opposition, set out policy to make prevention of chronic disease a greater health priority.

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University of Sydney Pharmacy Alumni AGM : 09/11/2010 :

The University of Sydney's Pharmacy Alumni Association will hold its Annual General Meeting at 10am, Monday 13 December 2010.

The AGM will be held at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Pharmacy and Bank Building in Science Road at the University of Sydney. Pharmacy students automatically becoming members of the Pharmacy Alumni Association upon graduation; all pharmacy alumni are welcome to attend.

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Paracetamol, antidepressants, ibuprofen in the top 5 accidental ingestions : 08/11/2010 :

Paracetamol, antidepressants and ibuprofen were in the top 5 of the most common medications and poisons about which the NSW Poisons Information Centre (PIC) responded to calls in 2009.

48% of the 113,157 calls to the NSW PIC in 2009 related to accidental ingestion by children. This has prompted the NSW Department of Health to remind parents and carers to keep medications and poisons out of reach of children.

In issuing the safety reminder, Carmel Tebbutt, NSW Minister for Health reported “Of calls to the Information Centre relating to children, 11% resulted in hospitalisation – up from 10.1% in 2008 – while 21% needed medical treatment. Most accidental poisonings involved children 3 years and under, with 2 year olds at most risk.”

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RGH E-Bulletin: Drug-induced Lupus Erythematosis : 08/11/2010 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitors in COPD

"Lupus erythematosus (LE) is an autoimmune disorder characteristically involving skin, joints, heart, kidneys, lungs and brain, affecting up to 5 million people worldwide. Drug-induced lupus erythematosus (DILE) is a specific variant of this disorder where lupus-like markers and symptoms are precipitated by a certain medication, and it must be differentiated from other forms of lupus (most notably drug-induced flares of chronic systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)). It is thought that up to 10% of all LE cases are drug-induced. Signs and symptoms common to both DILE and SLE include arthralgia, myalgia, rash, fever, lymphadenopathy and the presence of antinuclear antibodies (ANA)."

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

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PSA pedometers notch up 10,000km : 08/11/2010 :

The PSA staff walkathon notched up 10,000km between July and last week's PAC10 conference.

Although this fell a little short of circumnavigating Australia, the exercise boosted awareness of how easy it is as an office-based worker to fall short of the DoH recommended 10,000 steps (8km) per day minimum. PSA's social club organisers plan to run the event again in the lead up to PAC11.

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Pharmacist of the year calls on colleagues to speak up on health reform : 08/11/2010 :

PSA Pharmacist of the year Karalyn Huxhagen has called on pharmacists to make sure their voices are heard in the health reform debate and, in particular, in the development of the Medicare Locals model.

Ms Huxhagen said that if individual pharmacists really care about how Medicare Locals (aka Primary Health Care organisations) will be developed and the influence they will have in their area of health delivery, it is incumbent upon them to sit down and put pen to paper now.

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Medicines survey shows Australia's performanace mediocre : 05/11/2010 :

A new report looking at patient access and public coverage of new medicines in industrialised countries shows that Australia ranks towards the bottom by some measures.

The Rx&D International Report on Access to Medicines 2009-10 ranks Australia 23rd out of 31 OECD countries in terms of expenditure on medicines as a proportion of GDP.

Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said: “In essence this report measures the willingness of governments to pay for new innovative pharmaceuticals and Australia doesn’t stack up too well."

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Yet another pharmacy school to open : 05/11/2010 :

Commencing in 2011, RMIT University's School of Medical Sciences will be offering a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree - the first new Pharmacy degree in Melbourne in 129 years.

The announcement of the commencement of the course comes hard on the heels of Murdoch University's recent decision to kill off its pharmacy degree course.

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How often have you referred to Martindale (The Complete Drug Reference) in the last 2 years? : 05/11/2010 :

The results of this week's AusPharm poll show that over the last two years Martindale has been somewhat under-utilised by practising pharmacists in Australia, despite being available in CD and online formats as well as hard copy.

Around 56% of voters have not used Martindale at all in the last 2 years, and 37% of voters have only referred to it every few months. That leaves the remaining minority of voters using it every month (3%) or every week (3%).

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NAPSA executive meets at PAC : 05/11/2010 :

Over the weekend of 27th to 31st October the executive of the National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA), committee chairs and several national councillors met at the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s annual Pharmacy Australia Congress (PAC) to exhibit and plan for the coming months.

Pictured below are the NAPSA executive, Tim Mizzi (Treasurer), Ashleigh Coome (President), Sarah Sinclair (Secretary) and Daniel Bowtell (Vice President).

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AusPharm CE [TEST NOTICE] : 04/11/2010 :

The next in our 2010 series of continuing education activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 30.

This CE activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins (Volumes 39-11 - 40-2  -->  October 2010).

After completing this activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Discuss the diagnosis and management of lithium-induced diabetes insipidus
  • Compare various treatment approaches available for management of constipation
  • Describe the clinical pharmacology of nebivolol, with an emphasis on use in management of heart failure
  • Understand the basis for drug interactions involving aspirin

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.




Pharmacy Style - work as inspiration for home decor : 04/11/2010 :

For pharmacists who feel most at home in the dispensary... check out this design blog of ideas to inspire those wanting to decorate their home in "pharmacy style". Damien Hirst was just the beginning!

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AusPharm CE: RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 30 : 04/11/2010 :

The next in our 2010 series of continuing education activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 30.

This CE activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins (Volumes 39-11 - 40-2  -->  October 2010).

After completing this activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Discuss the diagnosis and management of lithium-induced diabetes insipidus
  • Compare various treatment approaches available for management of constipation
  • Describe the clinical pharmacology of nebivolol, with an emphasis on use in management of heart failure
  • Understand the basis for drug interactions involving aspirin

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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Medicines Australia Fact Book published : 04/11/2010 :

Medicines Australia have published online the 2nd edition of their Facts Book, helping put the case for the role of Australia's pharmaceutical industry in Australia's health and economy.

The report includes facts and international comparisons about the role of the industry in Australia, R&D, medicines expenditure and related health outcomes. For example, subsidised medicines in Australia account for just over 0.5% of GDP or 8% of all health spending.

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New Medicines Scheduling Committee appointments announced : 04/11/2010 :

It has been announced that John Jackson will chair the new Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS), which has a key role in the new scheduling system. Other members of the new committee can be found in the TGA announcement. Unlike the former NDPSC, the ACMS members' roles is to provide expert advice to the delegate on scheduling matters, not to act as representatives of specific fields. 

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Generics code authorised with pharmacist disclosure requirements : 04/11/2010 :

The ACCC has given conditional authorisation for 3 years to the Generic Medicines Industry Association code of conduct.

The purpose of code authorisation by the ACCC is to provide protection against allegations of anti-competitive conduct, enabling an industry to agree to adhere to certain conduct that is in the public interest.

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