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AusPharm news

SHPA moves to replace CEO : 13/02/2012 :

As reported on AusPharm last month, long term Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) CEO, Yvonne Allinson has resigned from her role as CEO, effective 10 February 2012.

SHPA has now moved to recruit a new CEO, with ads for the position launched last week.

 

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RGH E-Bulletin: Drugs and diarrhoea : 13/02/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Drugs and diarrhoea.

"Diarrhoea is characterised by increased volume, fluidity or frequency of faecal discharges. Acute diarrhoea is commonly infectious and can be viral (e.g. rotavirus, norovirus), bacterial (often causing food poisoning) or parasitic and is usually associated with nausea & vomiting. In some health service jurisdictions, infections with specific organisms are notifiable (e.g. salmonella). The issue of diarrhoea due to Clostridium difficile has been addressed in a previous RGH e-bulletin. The use of antimotility agents for infectious diarrhoea is not routinely recommended, because the infectious agent and associated toxins will remain in the GI tract longer. Rehydration and electrolyte replacement are the mainstays of treatment."

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

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A better herpes treatment? : 13/02/2012 :

A sponsor funded study published in the February issue of The Journal of Drugs and Dermatology suggests a new symptomatic treatment for cold sores can relieve symptoms more effectively than existing treatments.

Researchers compared the effectiveness of a single use topical formulation containing copper sulphate pentahydrate and Hypericum perforatum (Dynamiclear) with acyclovir. A total of 149 cold sore sufferers were allocated randomly to each group and monitored for two weeks.

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Tasmanian controlled drug monitoring system to be rolled out nationally : 13/02/2012 :

A Tasmanian system that sees the dispensing of schedule 8 drugs monitored by regulatory agencies in real time has been so successful it is to be rolled out nationally.

The system provides secure, controlled access to selected information for clinicians who need to prescribe drugs of dependence and are unsure of their patient’s previous clinical history relating to these drugs.

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Pharmacists happy to bend the rules : 10/02/2012 :

This week's AusPharm poll produced the slightly surprising result that the majority of pharmacists *are* prepared to bend the rules to provide a medication for a 'patient in need'.

Given the apparent absence of Board and/or regulatory action that might flow from such activity, we can only assume those who are 'bending the rules' are getting away with it.

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2012 Offshore Refresher Conference CPD Opportunities : 10/02/2012 :

The 2012 PSA Offshore Refresher Conference will give delegates a unique opportunity to earn a high number of CPD credits while expanding their professional and business knowledge in exciting and unusual locations.
 
The Offshore Conference is renowned for its learning experience and for the extent of knowledge presented to delegates because its structure enables subject areas to be covered in great depth.

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Senate debate on pharmacy inquiry postponed : 09/02/2012 :

The Senate has delayed consideration of Greens Senator Richard Di Natale's motion to set up a Senate inquiry into the Community Pharmacy Agreement. The motion is now scheduled for debate on February 28, likely with new Terms of Reference.

On learning this yesterday, a Guild spokesperson told AusPharm that it will continue to oppose an inquiry.

"We will continue to argue that the spectre of the inquiry is continuing to cause instability in the community pharmacy market, and among lenders, and the inquiry should be scrapped.  The original proposed terms of reference were always too broad and hostile to community pharmacy."

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Invitation to comment: Proposed advisory statements for the labels of cough and cold medicines for use in children : 09/02/2012 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is seeking comments from interested parties on the proposed advisory statements for cough and cold medicines for use in children for inclusion in the Required advisory statements for medicine labels (RASML) document when it is next updated.

It has been recommended that the labelling of over-the-counter cough and cold medicines should not include dosage instructions for children under 6 years of age.

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GMIA - hands off PBS : 09/02/2012 :

Chairman of the Generic Medicines Industry Association, Dr Martin Cross, said yesterday that the unprecedented value of medicines coming off patent in 2012 removes the need for further cuts to PBS spending.

Dr Cross, formerly Managing Director and Country President Australia and NZ of pharma company Novartis, says Australia should look to developed countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, where generic use is much more prevalent.

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Poll: bending the rules on 'owing' scripts : 08/02/2012 :

There has been some recent discussion on AusPharmList about how closely pharmacists follow the rules, for example, in regard to supplying a patient with an 'owing' script.

This issue has also been canvassed in the context of the pending introduction of 'medication continuance' that will allow continuing supply of statins and oral contraceptives without a prescription  in some circumstances.

What do you do when a customer requests, or simply appears to 'need',  a repeat of their chronic medication and doesn't have a script? Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in today's poll.

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No Crestor generics yet : 08/02/2012 :

Apotex announced yesterday that, following another court hearing this week, its ongoing legal action with Astra Zeneca over Crestor patents was unlikely to reach a conclusion until at least late 2012.

As a result, Apotex cannot sell, supply, offer to sell or supply, solicit or take orders for, or advertise or promote its rosuvastatin products. Apotex says, however, that it remains confident it will ultimately win the case and be permitted bring its generic rosuvastatin products to market.

AusPharm understands that Astra Zeneca has also commenced proceedings against other generic companies with the likely outcome that pharmacies will not see any generic rosuvastatin products hit the market for some time yet.

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National body for Medicare Locals announced : 08/02/2012 :

A new national body for Medicare Locals will commence operations on July 1 2012. The Australian Medicare Local Network will:

  • support each Medicare Local to build strong links with Local Hospital Networks
  • work with a wide range of general practice, health, social care and aged care stakeholders to strengthen and improve the country's primary health care system
  • promote and develop Medicare Locals' potential across the country to deliver locally designed primary health care services to meet community needs.

The new national organisation's governance will comprise a skills-based board including clinical and community leaders.

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More from Barnes on pharmacy reform : 08/02/2012 :

Back in January, the Australian newspaper published an opinion piece by pharmacy industry commentator Terry Barnes. Mr Barnes was the principal drafter of the report of the 2000 National Competition Policy Review of Pharmacy Regulation, headed up by Warwick Wilkinson AM.

In subsequent comments to AusPharm, Mr Barnes foreshadowed a larger piece on pharmacy reform, to be published in The Centre for Independent Studies Opinion magazine.

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Register for Bulletin Board for your chance to win an iPad : 07/02/2012 :

Medicare has released a new online Bulletin Board which allows users to:

  • print individual articles and share them with colleagues
  • share articles via email, Twitter or Facebook
  • use the calendar to alert you of important dates, and
  • ask questions and give feedback

Registering for Bulletin Board and explaining 'the most creative way you would spread the word about Bulletin Board moving online' gives applicatons the opportunity to win an Ipad valued at over $900.

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Gallipoli Tour offer for refresher conference delegates : 07/02/2012 :

Delegates at this year’s 2012 PSA Offshore Refresher Conference have the opportunity to attend a post-conference tour to Gallipoli.

To fully appreciate the significance and history of this site, delegates on the post-conference tour will have the services of Kenan Çelik, who has been a guide to the battlefields of the Gallipoli Peninsula for more than 25 years.

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Register for Bulletin Board for your chance to win an iPad : 07/02/2012 :

Medicare has released a new online Bulletin Board which allows users to:

  • print individual articles and share them with colleagues
  • share articles via email, Twitter or Facebook
  • use the calendar to alert you of important dates, and
  • ask questions and give feedback

Registering for Bulletin Board and explaining 'the most creative way you would spread the word about Bulletin Board moving online' gives applicatons the opportunity to win an Ipad valued at over $900.

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Medicines industry tops hi-tech exporters list : 07/02/2012 :

New export figures published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveal that the Australian medicines industry was the nation’s most valuable hi-tech exporter in 2011.

The ABS figures show that exports of pharmaceutical and medicinal products were worth $3.744 billion in 2011 compared with $3.998 billion in 2010. By comparison, exports for the car industry in 2011 were $2.539 billion, and for the wine industry $2.034 billion.

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APESMA lobbying too : 07/02/2012 :

Yesterday's AusPharm linked to a Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia letter that went to all government senators lobbying for a Senate Inquiry into pharmacy.

Employee pharmacist union APESMA has also been lobbying senators. You can read its letter, in which the union claims to be 'the body that represents retail pharmacists' here .

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2012 flu vaccines : 07/02/2012 :

As no evidence of a new influenza strain has emerged since last year, the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee has recommended no change to the composition of influenza vaccines for Australia from 2011 to 2012.

For the 2012 influenza season, the TGA has registered 6 vaccines for use in adults with 4 of these also able to be used in children. As a result of adverse reactions suffered by children administered CSL's Fluvax in 2010, it should not be used in children under 5 years of age.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Indacaterol for COPD : 06/02/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Indacaterol for COPD

"Indacaterol is an ultra-long-acting β-2 adrenergic agonist which can be administered once daily for the treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). In Australia, indacaterol has recently been listed for subsidized supply under the auspices of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule (for this indication only)."

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

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