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AusPharm news

Poll: Does Project STOP need revamping? : 10/08/2011 :

In a post to AusPharmList yesterday, Geoff Neilsen suggested that Project Stop needs to be integrated with pharmacy dispense systems 'as its cumbersomeness and inability to cross reference with other medication history makes it a very poor alternative to dispensing'.

What do you think about STOP functionality?

Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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No flu - yet : 10/08/2011 :

Back in May we reported on an initiative from the the Hunter New England Local Health Network, one of 18 Local Health Networks across New South Wales, who are running the Flutracking project. The project tracks reports of people with influenza symptoms across Australia in order to monitor the spread of influenza (both routine seasonal and pandemic influenza) and monitor the severity of illness and protection provided by vaccination.

As of last week, the incidence of flu like symptoms has not increased since the beginning of winter, implying that influenza has not yet spiked anywhere across the country.

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Victoria to look at real time monitoring of opioid prescribing : 09/08/2011 :

A Victorian coroner has begun an inquiry into the practice of 'prescription shopping'. The inquiry follows the 2009 overdose death of a Victorian man who visited 19 different doctors and 32 different pharmacies in the 3 years leading up to his death. There are six other prescription-shopping related deaths currently before the Victorian Coroners Court.

The inquiry will look at Victoria's current monitoring practices for prescriptions and examine options to address their shortcomings.

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PharmacyLIVE! goes live : 09/08/2011 :

Registrations are now open for the inaugural PharmacyLIVE! 2011, a two-day interactive clinical information conference tailored specifically for pharmacists.
 
PharmacyLIVE! 2011 is taking place in NSW with a focus on achieving improved patient outcomes through adherence.

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More combination products on the way? : 09/08/2011 :

Quite possibly, given the results of a recent study reported in the Medical Journal of Australia last week.

In the study the persistence of patients taking amlodipine and atorvastatin (AA), either as two mono component tablets or as a combination product, were compared. The proportions of patients failing to fill their first repeat prescription after 1 month or failing to persist with treatment at 12 months, and the median persistence time (MPT) were measured.

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UK to roll out new pharmacy professional services October 1 : 09/08/2011 :

Australia is not the only country rolling out new professional pharmacy services - UK pharmacists will be providing 2 new professional services commencing October 1, 2011.

A new medicine service (NMS) is to be made available to people with long-term conditions who are prescribed a new medicine to help improve adherence. The NMS will be an advanced service.

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TGA seeks expressions of interest for committee(s) membership : 08/08/2011 :

The TGA is currently seeking expressions of interest from experts for various positions on the TGA Advisory Committees on:

Interested? Details are available on the TGA website, here.

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The Pfizer story : 08/08/2011 :

Given the focus on Pfizer's activities by Australian pharmacists at present, 'listers might like to have a look at an account of the company's fortunes, published on CNN last week.

It's an interesting account of the rise and fall of the Pfizer empire over the last decade.

Read it here.

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SHPA Award to take young pharmacist from Alice Springs to London : 08/08/2011 :

Sophie Higgins, pictured right, is the recipient of the 2011 SHPA DBL Hospira Young Pharmacist Award which will enable her to undertake an international preceptorship at Evelina Children’s Hospital and King’s College Hospital, London.
 
Since her graduation in 2001 Sophie has had a varied career which has included an appointment as an Australian Youth Ambassador Pharmacist in Vanuatu where she educated pharmacy staff in regional hospitals about medication, disease management and patient counselling.  Her current role is Paediatric Pharmacist at the Alice Springs Hospital.

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No change to paracetamol dosing guidelines in Australia following changes overseas : 08/08/2011 :

There have been recent changes to the recommended dosages of some paracetamol-containing products in the USA and the UK.

In July, McNeil Consumer Healthcare announced their decision to reduce the maximum recommended adult dosing on their paracetamol 500 mg Tylenol products, from 4000 mg to 3000mg per day. This change was instigated by McNeil, not the USA Food and Drug Administration.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Antidepressant augmentation : 08/08/2011 :

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

"There are currently many effective pharmacological therapies available for the treatment of major depressive disorder. Despite this, only 50-60% of patients respond to an initial trial of an antidepressant, and 35-40% experience remission in the first eight weeks of treatment. The next step in the treatment of depression that does not respond to first choice therapy can be a switch to an alternate antidepressant, or to augment the antidepressant with another drug."

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

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Nominations called for SA Pharmacist of the year : 05/08/2011 :

Nominations are now being taken for the South Australian Pharmacist of the Year, with the finalists moving onto the national finals for the PSA Excellence Award.
 
The Pharmacist of the Year award acknowledges an achiever in the profession: a pharmacist who is innovative and strives to raise practice standards through their professionalism by providing a model of practice which others strive to emulate.

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Aus / NZ Pharmacy Councils sign MOC : 05/08/2011 :

At the 9th Life Long Learning in Pharmacy Conference held recently in Rotorua, New Zealand the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) took the opportunity to sign a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) with its close colleague the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand (PCNZ).

The APC undertakes accreditation functions for the PCNZ and works closely with its Trans Tasman neighbor in developing consistent processes and practices in assessing practitioners trained in countries other than Australia and New Zealand, intern training programs, and standards for continuing professional development. 

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Pharmacists willing to administer meds in emergencies : 05/08/2011 :

This week's AusPharm poll followed on from a recent Griffith University study (abstract) investigated the opinions of community pharmacists in administering a non-prescription medicine in a medical emergency.

The positive response from 'Listers supports that of the study – most (82% of 'Listers) would administer emergency S2/S3 medicines, especially if they had been trained to do so. Pharmacists are caring and compassionate folk - but are not careless: they  want to be both competent and  covered when being  the 'professional' Good Samaritan. 

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AusPharm CE: RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 38 : 04/08/2011 :

The next in our 2011 series of continuing education activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 38.

This CE activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins (Volumes 42-8 - 42-11  -->  June - July 2011).

After completing this activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Outline approaches to prophylaxis against recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Describe the approach to safe and effective dosing of gentamicin
  • Understand the nature of problems associated with the use of synthetic cannabis products
  • Discuss the management of intractable hiccups

This activity has been accredited for 1 CPD credit suitable for inclusion in an individual pharmacist’s CPD plan. Accreditation number: CX110022l.

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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New Drugs in Pregnancy database, quinine still causing grief : 04/08/2011 :

The latest issue of Medicines Safety Update has been published as part of the August 2011 issue of Australian Prescriber.

Featured in this edition is the release by the TGA of a new, searchable database for use by health professionals prescribing or dispensing medicines to pregnant women. The database can be found here.

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Multicultural communication award for NPS : 04/08/2011 :

NPS has been honoured with another Multicultural Communication Award for its suite of in-language medicine brand choices radio advertisements. The award for the best audio visual resource in the non-Government category was presented on 28th July 2011 at a NSW Parliament House ceremony.

NPS CEO, Dr Lynn Weekes, says the award-winning radio advertisements enable Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese) and Italian speakers to make more informed decisions about their medicine choices.

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Marketing for pharmacists, not pharmacies : 04/08/2011 :

The dynamics of the mix between pharmacies and pharmacists are set to take on a new importance in the profession as it moves towards the future, so much so that PAC11 has a special session devoted to the subject.
 
Presented by Phill Woods, pictured right,  of Griffith University, Queensland, the session will examine the opportunities and challenges of first differentiating the pharmacist from the pharmacy, and then pharmacists in the eyes of the audience they serve.

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Poll: administering non prescription medicines in an emergency : 03/08/2011 :

A recent Griffith University study consucted by Sara McMillan, Dr Laetitia Hattingh and Dr Michelle King (abstract) investigated the opinions of community pharmacists in administering a non-prescription medicine in a medical emergency.

The results of the survey showed that some pharmacists had administered non-prescription medicines in an emergency situation in the past but the majority of the participants (36/43) wanted clarification of their role in treating patients in a medical emergency, as currently legislative and professional guidelines are not clear and this is therefore a grey area.

What would you do if confronted by such an emergency in your work as a pharmacist? Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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How to post to AusPharmList using a nickname : 03/08/2011 :

'Listers told us in last week's poll that they'd like the option of posting to AusPharmList using a nickname rather than their real name. We said we'd give this a trial for a month.

A reminder that, until we tweak our backend and come up with a more elegant way to do this, people wanting to post using a nickname should either tick the 'Request moderator post this anonymously' box if posting at the website or simply request that we use your nickname rather than your real name if you're posting by email.

Our preference remains that people post using their real name and state their area of practice as well.

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