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AusPharm news

Peak consumer group responds to Guild criticism. PSA comments : 29/11/2011 :

Chief Executive Officer of the Consumer Health Forum, Carol Bennett, yesterday responded to the Pharmacy Guild's weekend observation that its recent comments criticising the 5th Community Pharmacy Agreement and supporting a call for a Senate Inquiry stood in start contrast to its comments when the agreement was signed.

According to Ms Bennett "CHF was specifically funded by the Department of Health and Ageing to undertake consumer consultation on the 5CPA as it was developed.  We welcomed that opportunity. As programs under the 5CPA have been developed, CHF have become increasingly concerned that the Guild has shown a total disregard for the views and input of consumers as well as many of their own pharmacy colleagues."

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Medicines industry plan to drive economic growth : 29/11/2011 :

Medicines Australia has presented the Federal Opposition’s Industries for Australia’s Future review with an action plan to ensure the Australian medicines industry can continue to contribute to economic growth.

The plan includes recommendations to lower the corporate tax rate to 20 per cent, strengthen intellectual property laws, establish a strategic co-investment fund and improve the investment environment for clinical trials in Australia.

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QLD PSA branch award recipients : 29/11/2011 :

The Queensland Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s recent annual dinner saw the presentation  of a number of prestigious awards including Intern of the Year and Graduate of the Year.

The Gold Medal was awarded to Peter Mayne, pictured right, for his outstanding contribution and exceptional service to the Pharmacy profession and to PSA.

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Coalition crumbling? : 29/11/2011 :

Cracks appeared yesterday in the defences of the Pharmacist Coalition for Health Reform (PCHR) with peak student body the National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA) resigning from the group.

NAPSA says that it does not support calls from PCHR to support a Senate Enquiry into the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement. The group says that recent media from PCHR (see below) was distributed without consultation with NAPSA, despite it being a signatory to the Coalition.

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Guild: peak consumer group mixed up on Pharmacy Agreement : 28/11/2011 :

The Pharmacy Guild says that recent comments by the Consumers Health Forum criticising the Agreement and supporting a call for a Senate Inquiry stand in start contrast to its comments when the agreement was signed.

Last year the Forum published an analysis of the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement which welcomed the Agreement and applauded the level of consultation with consumers but last week the group issued statement criticising the Agreement and supporting a call for a Senate Inquiry, saying “the secrecy surrounding this deal is a real concern.”

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Pragmatic clinical trials : 28/11/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Pragmatic clinical trials.

"Drug use in clinical practice often varies from that seen in controlled clinical trials. Even though these trials are conducted in normal clinical settings, the type of patients enrolled and the approach to their management may not accurately reflect the varying and complex diversity of clinical practice. While randomised controlled trials provide necessary high-quality information about the risks and benefits of medical interventions, many trials have limited application to clinical practice."

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

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Protecting Babies from Whooping Cough : 28/11/2011 :

A new public health campaign details the latest advice for parents of newborns on their babies from whooping cough (pertussis).

“Whooping cough is a serious, contagious respiratory infection that puts babies at risk of hospitalisation or even death. It is particularly dangerous to babies aged under six months,” Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon said on Friday.

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Government support for ‘gene patents’ assures patient access to biological medicines : 28/11/2011 :

The Federal Government’s support for the patenting of genetic materials should enable patients to continue enjoying access to biological medicines, the chief executive of Medicines Australia Dr Brendan Shaw said on Friday.

“Patents on biological materials are important because they guarantee ongoing investment in developing cutting-edge medicines and therapies,” Dr Shaw said.

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Australians have better and faster access to medicines than New Zealanders, new study shows : 28/11/2011 :

A new study comparing access to prescription medicines in New Zealand with that in Australia highlights the alarming deficiencies of the medicines system across the Tasman, Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said on Friday.

The research, published this week in The New Zealand Medical Journal, found that New Zealanders have access to less than half the number of prescription medicines that Australians can access.

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Medicines Australia says well done on vaccines : 28/11/2011 :

The Government’s announcement of several key initiatives to promote vaccination is a major step forward in improving the health of Australians, Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said on Friday.

The new measures mean that children will be vaccinated earlier, and an additional vaccine will be added to the schedule that combines measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox vaccines in a single dose. Also, the definition of “fully immunised” has been expanded to include meningococcal C, pneumococcal and chicken pox vaccination.

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Review of the Required advisory statements for medicine labels : 27/11/2011 :

The TGA is in the process of revising and updating the Required Advisory Statements for Medicine Labels (RASML) Edition 1, including update 4 (dated September 2008).

Following public consultation in July 2009 and February 2011, the submissions from stakeholders as well as TGA's response to the submissions have now been published on the TGA website, here.

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NPS supports TGA decision to delist dextropropoxyphene products from 1 March 2012 : 25/11/2011 :

The TGA has announced that it will be removing all dextropropoxyphene containing products (Capadex, Di-Gesic, Doloxene and Paradex) from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG), from 1 March 2012.

 An extensive TGA review of the safety and efficacy of dextropropoxyphene found that only limited pain relief is provided by dextropropoxyphene and there are serious safety risks with the use of these medicines.

NPS has applauded the TGA’s decision.

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Pharmacists appalled by pharmacy infighting : 25/11/2011 :

This week's AusPharm poll picked up on the latest adverse media comment on pharmacy, and Chris Mills' AusPharmList post that said:

"Grow up people! I expect this kind of petty bickering from children but as "leaders" of our profession you are all doing us a disservice. If you must argue lock yourselves in a room and sort it out with the door closed, not in the public domain."

We asked 'listers what they think. What they think, shown below without comment, is clear.

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Continued dispensing legislation introduced into parliament : 25/11/2011 :

The move towards continued dispensing of medicines by pharmacists in defined circumstances will deliver better health outcomes for Australian consumers and should be supported by Federal Parliament says the Pharmacy Guild.

Continued dispensing is one of the measures facilitated by the National Health Amendments (Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement Initiatives) Bill 2011, which was introduced into the House of Representatives on Wednesday by Health Minister Nicola Roxon.  It is intended that continued dispensing be implemented from 1 July next year.

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Call for abstracts: National Medicines Symposium 2012 : 25/11/2011 :

Abstract submissions are now being invited for the seventh biennial National Medicines Symposium (NMS), to be held 24 – 25 May 2012 at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Submissions are invited from everyone involved in quality use of medicines, including students, community groups, health organisations, health professionals and researchers.

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Sensaslim (finally) removed from the ARTG : 25/11/2011 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has cancelled the listing of Sensaslim Solution (AUST L 176003) from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG). The cancellation is because of a failure to comply with requirements of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 relating to the advertising of the product.

The cancellation is effective from 1 December 2011 - from that date selling Sensaslim may constitute an offence or give rise to a civil penalty under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989. Advertising Sensaslim Solution may also constitute an offence under the Act.

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Boehringer Ingelheim trying hard on Pradaxa : 24/11/2011 :

Boehringer Ingelheim issued another media release yesterday promoting its Vote Against Stroke campaign as part of its strategy to lobby the federal government to PBS list its new anti clotting drug Pradaxa.

According to the company "More than a thousand healthcare professionals have signed a petition urging the Federal Government to provide affordable access to a new stroke prevention therapy, Pradaxa (dabigatran), through the PBS for patients suffering from non-valvular atrial fibrillation."

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PSA ACT Branch President elected to Medicare Local Board : 24/11/2011 :

ACT Branch President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Professor Gabrielle Cooper, has been elected to the first ACT Medicare Local Board.
 
Professor Cooper, who is Professor of Pharmacy, Associate Dean Clinical Engagement at the University of Canberra, was elected to one of the two primary health-care clinician positions on the Board.

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NAPSA Goes Tweeting : 24/11/2011 :

The National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association has developed a Twitter profile aimed to to broaden its reach to pharmacy students and pharmacists across the profession.

NAPSA National Secretary Arron Sparkes said the move to the Twitter-sphere would give the Association greater opportunity to communicate in real-time with pharmacy students on matters relevant to their education and careers.

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Minister flags medication errors while introducing eHealth Legislation : 23/11/2011 :

Legislation was yesterday introduced into Parliament to implement Australia’s national eHealth records system, with the rollout starting from July 2012.

“Electronic health records have the potential to save lives, time and money and make the health system more efficient,” Health Minister Nicola Roxon said.

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