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AusPharm news

Industry: NRT works : 12/01/2012 :

Responding to media reports critical of the role of nicotine replacement therapy in quit smoking attempts, industry peak body, the Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI), came out yesterday today strongly defending NRT saying it is, and remains, a proven, effective therapy in helping smokers to quit.

The Executive Director of ASMI, Dr Deon Schoombie, said that the vast body of evidence proves NRT is effective in helping to reduce smoking versus unaided quit attempts, pointing out that the most recent Cochrane review concluded that NRT almost doubles the success rate of long-term abstinence versus cold turkey.

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Intern Training Program - 2012 enrolments now open : 12/01/2012 :

The time has come for many pharmacy students to leave university and start their career as a registered pharmacist, and the best way for them to be equipped to face the   challenges of their new career is enrol in the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s National Intern Training Program (NITP).
 
The NITP is a comprehensive, high-quality program with a flexible delivery method and is he recognised pre-eminent program that helps to equip students for their working career after years of study.

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2012 Offshore Refresher Conference filling fast : 11/01/2012 :

Once again the PSA Offshore Conference being held in the iconic city of Istanbul in late April this year will present the most enjoyable and effective way of meeting all the APB’s mandatory CE requirements for the year. In fact there are 45 group 2 accredited CPD points on offer at presentations by expert speakers on a wide range of therapeutic topics, professional issues and business trends.
 
This 37th annual Offshore Conference continues to deliver on its reputation as being the leading offshore essential practice education conference for Australian pharmacists. The program this year will feature Cardiovascular Disease and Dermatology in addition to the conference’s streams of therapeutic updates and business management.  The ever-popular case study workshops will feature strongly in the pre and post-conference programs.

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Blue Wiggle leads “back to school” allergy awareness campaign : 11/01/2012 :

Anthony Field, pictured right,  internationally recognised as the “Blue Wiggle”, is urging all affected families to work on an Allergy Healthcare Plan with schools and preschools. He’s also encouraging those parents who are concerned that their child might be at risk to talk to a healthcare professional about formal diagnosis and ongoing management by an allergy specialist and paediatrician.
 
He says being aware of allergies is an important part of back to school preparations, and will be taking extra precautions to help his son Antonio – who has severe food allergies – back to preschool in 2012.

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Asia-Pacific scholarship offered for NMS 2012 : 11/01/2012 :

NPS is inviting academics, health workers and policy makers from the Asia-Pacific region to apply for a scholarship to attend the National Medicines Symposium to be held in Sydney, Australia in May 2012.
 
Applications for the single scholarship will be accepted from colleagues working in low and middle income countries in the Asian and Western Pacific regions who are active in a research, teaching, practice or policy role to support rational drug use in their country.

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Poll: anonymous posts to AusPharmList : 11/01/2012 :

Yesterday we ran an item commenting on the increasing number of anonymous posts we have seen on AusPharmList in recent times. There has been some follow up comment from 'listers on this today here. If you'd like to add to the AusPharmList discussion, click here. If you haven't read our comments yesterday, you can get them here.

What do you think? Should we allow anonymous posting? Always? Only with 'good reason'? Never? Don't give a st*ff?

Please let us know what you think by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

Post a comment to AusPharmList.

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Anonymous posts to AusPharmList : 10/01/2012 :

In 2011, following consultation with 'listers, we decided to trial a system that allowed anonymous posting to AusPharmList as a 'given'.

'Listers will have noticed that the number of anonymous posts to AusPharmList has increased markedly in recent time and some of you have emailed us to express concern about this saying that it lowers the credibility of the 'list in general, that to be allowed to post, people should have enough faith in their opinions to cite their names and that it is not apparent in many posts why anonymity has been sought. On the other hand we have also received emails arguing that allowing anonymous posts allows for freer discussion and also protects people from unnecessary harassment.

Have considered all this we agree that the number of anonymous posts is now excessive and would be interested in your views on what to do. At this stage we favour return to the 'old' system where anonymity is only granted where 'good reason' is given.

What do you think?

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Thinking of volunteering overseas? : 09/01/2012 :

With the new year under way, it's timely to reflect on professional goals and experience, and what you might like to accomplish in 2012. If volunteering overseas has always been in the back of your mind, here are a few sources of information that might help you along the path.

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Customised entry-level competency tool for pharmacists : 09/01/2012 :

The Advanced Pharmacy Practice Framework Steering Committee (APPFSC) is a profession-wide collaborative forum which is working on a number of projects associated with the national competency standards for pharmacists.

The APPFSC has released for pharmacists the Professional practice profile for initial registration as a pharmacist: a customised tool of entry-level competencies incorporating guidance on pharmacy school and intern training provider contributions.

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 09/01/2012 :

The MIMS January 2012 Monthly Medicine Update is now available. Click the link to read it now.

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Compounders join up with College : 06/01/2012 :

The President of the Australian College of Pharmacy, Mr Trent Twomey, pictured right, announced yesterday that the Australasian Compounders Association had merged with the Australian College of Pharmacy.

‘Community pharmacy’s future is intimately tied up with the development of niche offers and specialised services. As a Compounding Pharmacist I take this field of advanced practice seriously and invest heavily in this area of my business. I am a member of both organisations and a merger just made sense.’ Mr Twomey said.

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Medicines industry economic impact up by $1bn : 03/01/2012 :

The Australian medicines industry’s contribution to the economy grew by an estimated $1 billion year-on-year, and its turnover rose by almost $400 million according to a new industry “Facts Book” published last week.

The Medicines Australia Facts Book Update contains key industry statistics and other information. It highlights the contribution of the local medicines industry to the health and economic wellbeing of Australians.

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PBS co-payments up, lower strength NRT patches now listed : 03/01/2012 :

In line with changes in the consumer price index, the PBS co-payment and safety nets risen - effective 1 January, the following changes apply:

  • the general patient co-payment has increased from $34.20 to $35.40;
  • the concessional co-payment has increased from $5.60 to $5.80;
  • the general safety net threshold has increased from $1317.20 to $1363.30; and
  • the concessional safety net has increased from $336.00 to $348.00.

Also from January 1, the two lower strength nicotine patches of 14mg and 7mg over 24 hours are now PBS listed. This is in addition to the previously listed 21mg over 24hr and 15mg over 16hr patches.

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Poll: how up to date are you with your reading? : 03/01/2012 :

One of the things that pharmacists do over the holiday season is catch up on their pharmacy reading - reading last month's (and the month before's) AJP, Australian Pharmacist and other journals.

How good are you at keeping up with your reading? Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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Need to catch up on some CE over the holidays? : 02/01/2012 :

If you're looking to catch up on some CE over the holiday season, why not take a look at one of our most popular CE activities, Preventing Pharmaceutical Poisonings first published in July 2011.

It was put together for us by Professor Nerida Smith and is worth 2 Pharmacy Board CPD credits.

After completing this activity pharmacists should be able to describe:

  • the demographics of poisoning in Australia
  • strategies used to prevent poisonings
  • types and testing for child resistant packaging used in Australia and NZ
  • sources of poison prevention information and resources in Australia and NZ

Click here to do this Continuing Education activity.

This activity has been accredited for 2 CPD credits suitable for inclusion in an individual’s pharmacist’s CPD plan. Accreditation number: CX110022k.

AusPharm gratefully acknowledges the financial support provided by the sponsors of our CE program, MIMS.

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iPhones dominate the pharmacy market : 30/12/2011 :

This week's poll (n=299) was a repeat of one we ran towards the end of 2010 (n=346). It shows that iPhones are very much the favourite choice of pharmacists, even more so than in 2010.

68% of the respondents to this week's poll who own a smart phone have an iPhone. The other 32% of smartphone owners are divided between all the other brands with a preference for Nokias. 23% of all respondents to our poll don't own a smartphone, less than the 31% reported in the 2010 poll.

(Apart from MIMs and AMH) what other useful applications have 'listers recently found useful, either as iPhone apps or as 'generic' mobile programs?

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Poll: is your phone smart? : 29/12/2011 :

Smart phones are all the rage it seems and useful too, with all manner of pharmacy applications now available (eg MIMs, AMH).

Have you got a smartphone? Perhaps you got one for Christmas. Which one?

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

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Pharmacy Board audits set to start : 29/12/2011 :

In January 2012, a sample group of pharmacists will be randomly selected for the Board’s pilot audit of the following mandatory registration standards:

  • criminal history (via CrimTrac)
  • recency of practice
  • continuing professional development and
  • professional indemnity insurance

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Call for Submissions: Review of Anticoagulation Therapies in Atrial Fibrillation : 29/12/2011 :

On 30 September 2011 the federal Government announced that it would commission Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom AO, the former Chair of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC), to inform the Government on options for improving the health outcomes of patients treated with anticoagulation therapies, including optimising the use of currently available treatments in Australia as well as the future role of newer therapies for the treatment of atrial fibrillation, such as dabigatran (Pradaxa).

Despite the best efforts of Pradaxa sponsor, Boehringer Ingelheim, and a PBAC recommendation early in 2011 that the drug be PBS listed, its listing was deferred by the government as a cost saving measure.

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Pneumovax cleared : 29/12/2011 :

In April 2011, as a result of a number of severe injection site reaction reports, the TGA issued advice to health professionals not to administer a second or subsequent dose of Pneumovax 23 vaccine pending the outcome of a review, which has now been completed.

The TGA is now advising that revaccination with Pneumovax 23 can be undertaken in accordance with the (revised) approved Product Information (PI).

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