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AusPharm news

CAM institute wins private funding : 19/12/2011 :

The National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) announced on Friday that it has received $2.9 million in funding from philanthropic and industry supporters.

NICM says that the funding ensures that it can continue to drive the complementary medicine research sector in Australia and provide a link between researchers, practitioners, industry and government. 

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Wholesalers keep the pressure on to end Pfizer's exclusive direct to pharmacy supply model : 19/12/2011 :

Grabbing the opportunity presented by the appointment of new Health Minister Tanya Plibersek to pitch their case to end Pfizer's exclusive direct to pharmacy distribution model, the CSO wholesalers will today put out a statement warning that pharmacists fear the busy Christmas holiday season will be made more difficult this year because of Pfizer’s exclusive distribution system.

"I anticipate that the increased demand for prescription medicines from customers planning to travel or who are away from home on holidays will result in unacceptable delays in the delivery of some important Pfizer products," said Bairnsdale pharmacist, Tim Shelton.

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April 1 PBS price cuts spelled out : 19/12/2011 :

The Department of Health and Ageing has released details of the April 1 PBS price reductions. 75 molecules are affected with cuts ranging from 10.45% (clomipramine) to 82.71% (injectable NaCl).

A large number of the price reductions will impact significantly on community pharmacy and pharmacists have known this was coming for a long time. However, for those who haven't given it too much thought, some quick, back of the envelope, calculations will soon demonstrate just how many dollars are involved.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Christmas Edition – Best wishes for the festive season : 19/12/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Christmas Edition – Best wishes for the festive season.

"Twas the night before Christmas, and it would seem
No drugs were dispensed by the pharmacy team?
The tablets did not make the usual run
And capsules, injections, of these there were none!

Untreated people were restive in beds
Delirious patients had quite muddled heads…
Cardiac failure without diuretics
The pain of arthritis was rather pathetic"

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

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January-February 2012 PBS schedule : 19/12/2011 :

The January-February 2012 PBS Schedule and the ‘Summary of Changes’ are now available.

Download the Full PBS schedule

Download the PBS Summary of changes

Download the Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy – S100 Arrangements Supplement

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Naloxone to be given to ACT heroin users : 16/12/2011 :

ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher will launch a program today that will see naloxone provided on prescription to potential opioid overdose victims in the ACT.

“We still have 1 death a day from heroin overdose in Australia. This program is a response and commitment from the ACT Government to address this whole of community issue. The rollout will inform our future responses in the ACT and across country.” said Carrie Fowlie, Executive Officer of the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT (ATODA).

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Pharmacists are an obliging lot when it comes to offering free advice : 16/12/2011 :

This week's poll shows that the great majority of pharmacists *will* provide drug information to a patient who comes in requesting same after obtaining their medication elsewhere.

While pharmacists are renowned for not charging for their services, this kind of free service seems a little different as it does not stem from any action occurring in the pharmacy providing the advice.

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PSA releases guidance for pharmacists using internet and social media : 16/12/2011 :

The internet and social media have changed the way many people receive or seek information about health issues and health care, and as a result the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has launched its Guidance for Pharmacists on Contributing to and Using the Internet or Social Media.
 
The guide, developed in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders including social media experts and medical professionals, recognises the responsibility on health professionals using these media to ensure accuracy, relevance of information and confidentiality of patient details.

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High use of health services among Australians with disability : 15/12/2011 :

People with severe or profound disability rely up to 10 times as heavily on health services, such as general practitioners, as Australians without a disability, according to a report recently released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, The use of health services among Australians with disability, shows that the high use of health services among people with disability is linked to a high prevalence of multiple long-term health conditions, in particular the combination of mental and physical health conditions.

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Pharmacist to the paramedics : 15/12/2011 :

The diversity of careers that a pharmacist can pursue are many, and you'd have to be truly lacking in imagination to be unable to carve an interesting career from the foundations of a pharmacy degree.

At the recent SHPA annual conference in Hobart, Mary-Anne Saba spoke of her experience as the first pharmacist to be employed as such by the NSW Ambulance Service. The appointment of a pharmacist by the ambulance service in NSW was first trialled for a 12-month period in 2008 with great success. 

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Pantoprazole, ibuprofen 400mg to S2? : 15/12/2011 :

The Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS) is seeking comment on a number of rescheduling proposals that will be referred to its expert advisory committee.

The rescheduling proposals include proposals to:

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Recovering drug costs from Medicare-ineligible patients : 15/12/2011 :

Changes to the Australian Healthcare Agreement introduced in 2007 allow public hospitals to recover pharmaceutical costs (including dispensing fee and mark-up) from Medicare-ineligible patients.

Such patients are usually overseas patients, and prior to this change only a bed day charge could be made. All the States/Territories became signatories to this amendment at some point during 2007. (Refer Private Health Insurance Circular 34/07).

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AusPharm CE: Lifestyle factors and impact on medicines: you are what you eat! : 15/12/2011 :

The next AusPharm CE topic for 2011 is Lifestyle factors and impact on medicines: You are what you eat! - it's been put together for us by Debbie Rigby and is very appropriate for the lact activity before Christmas!

"Lifestyle interventions are an important adjunct or precursor to pharmacotherapy. Debate continues on the value of vitamin and mineral supplements, with several commonly used dietary vitamin and mineral supplements shown this year to be associated with increased total mortality risk."

This activity has been accredited for 1 CPD credit suitable for inclusion in an individual pharmacist’s CPD plan. Accreditation number: CX110022U.

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 the sponsors of our CE program, MIMS.

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What does 2012 Hold for Pharmacy? : 15/12/2011 :

We'll have a cracker of a piece from former Guild Executive Director Stephen Greenwood tomorrow. No-one is better connected in pharmacy than Stephen and his analysis of what 2012 holds for pharmacy is likely to be right on the mark.

"The first task that Pharmacy faces in the year ahead is briefing the new Minister. Tanya Plibersek is a left wing Labor torchbearer with a strong social agenda from way back. She holds the rough and tumble seat of Sydney and  you can be sure that Plibersek can hold her own in negotiations and will be an assertive Minister."


Watch this space tomorrow!

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Almost all pharmacy graduates found full time employment in 2011 : 14/12/2011 :

Recent research conducted by Graduate Careers Australia (GCA) shows that around 76 per cent of new bachelor degree graduates available for full-time employment had found a job within four months of completing their studies.

97% of graduate pharmacists (pre-regs or interns) were in full time employment within four months of completing their studies.

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Poll: 'explanation fee' a good idea for pharmacy? : 14/12/2011 :

A Sydney camera store has started charging tyre kickers an ''explanation fee'' according to the Age newspaper. "If you want to handle the camera and have a salesperson give you the low-down it will cost you $30. How else will local retailers cope with [customers] who, armed with the information from the shop, go home and order online?" This is not an issue confined to camera stores - bookstores are are also being hit hard.

Sound familiar? Picture patients calling up on the phone or, even worse, coming in asking for drug information on a product they've just had dispensed from the local big box pharmacy.

How does your pharmacy handle situations like this? Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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Medicines Australia funds mobile dialysis truck : 14/12/2011 :

A new state-of-the-art mobile renal dialysis unit funded by Medicines Australia was launched in Alice Springs on Monday night by the Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon MP.

The truck will mean patients from remote communities in the Western Desert who are receiving dialysis treatment at hospitals in major centres can return home from time to time to visit family.

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Tanya Plibersek New Minister for Health : 13/12/2011 :

Following a federal cabinet reshuffle yesterday Tanya Plibersek was named as the new Minister for Health and Ageing. Mark Butler remains in his position as Minister for Mental Health and Ageing and is now in cabinet and Catherine King remains as the Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing.

A number of pharmacy and other health organisations issued congratulatory statements following the announcements yesterday.

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Guild acknowledges workforce oversupply : 13/12/2011 :

The National Council of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia has called for pharmacists to be removed from the migration Skilled Occupations List (SOL). 

The Guild lodged a submission to Skills Australia seeking the removal of pharmacists from the list for 2012 at the end of last week.  Skills Australia removed pharmacists from the SOL in 2010, but the profession was reinstated in July this year.

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APSA conference underway in Adelaide : 13/12/2011 :

The Australasian Pharmaceutical Science Association annual conference opened in Adelaide on Sunday night with an opening address by Professor Ian Olver, the CEO of the Cancer Council Australia.

The APSA conference is the major annual gathering of pharmacy and pharmaceutical science academics and researchers from Australia and New Zealand.

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