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AusPharm news

Award for quality use of medicines in pain management : 16/11/2011 :

Applications are now being invited for the 2012 PSA Award for QUM in Pain Management.

This award is to recognise a PSA member who is making an outstanding contribution to the quality use of medicines through direct clinical care in consumers with persistent pain.

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The issue of failure : 16/11/2011 :

Learning from your mistakes receives ringing endorsements from the highest circles as a legitimate management resource. So much so, that earlier this year an issue of the Harvard Business Review (HBR) was entirely devoted to the attributes of failure... the issue of failure.

As the editorial of the magazine says, "every article provides some home truths about good failures (when we expect to fail and learn something), bad failures (when we’re sabotaged by errors in judgment), or unavoidable failures (when complex systems break down). Check it out if you want to face fear of failure, handle failure, learn from failure, recover from failure, or persist despite failure. The HBR makes the point that management often pay lip service to the value of learning from failure, and have not in fact truly embraced the "F-word".

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Poll: Does the pharmacy profession need a new union, representing ALL pharmacists, to lobby for our interests? : 16/11/2011 :

There has been much discussion in pharmacy circles in recent times about the effectiveness or otherwise of pharmacist employee union, the Pharmacists' Division of APESMA and some dissatisfaction with the performance of owner union, the Pharmacy Guild, regarding its negotiation of PBS reforms and thehe 5th Agreement and its handling of the recent 'endorsement' deals.

The idea has been floated on AusPharmList that there might be some value in the establishment of a new union for ALL pharmacists, possibly called the 'Pharmacists' Union of Australia (PUA), to lobby for our the profession's collective interests.

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Pfizer announces further improvements to Pfizer Direct : 16/11/2011 :

Pfizer Australia has announced further improvements to the delivery of its medicines to community pharmacies across Australia through Pfizer Direct.

Managing Director John Latham said the package of measures was the latest in a series of enhancements made over recent months.

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Online Board registration a hit : 15/11/2011 :

Pharmacy Board of Australia Chair Stephen Marty said on Friday the Pharmacy Board is encouraged by the renewal response already received from the 24,000 pharmacists due to renew by 30 November 2011. With just over two weeks to go before the 30 November registration expiry date, more than 55 percent of pharmacists due to renew have done so.

“It is fantastic that many pharmacists due to renew have heeded calls to apply early and I would encourage all in the profession to use the online service for quick and easy renewal,” Mr Marty said.

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PSA NSW Branch launches CPExpo : 15/11/2011 :

The NSW Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s NSW Branch has officially launched next year's inaugural Clinical and Practice Expo (CPExpo).

CPExpo, to be held at the Hordern Pavilion, Sydney 25 – 27 May 2012,is a new professional development and practice support event incorporating practical innovations and a patient focus.

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Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award 2011 to Adelaide Pharmacist, Greg Roberts : 15/11/2011 :

During Medicines Management 2011, the 37th SHPA National Conference, held in Hobart last weekend, the SHPA Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award for 2011 was awarded to Mr Greg Roberts, Clinical Research Pharmacist at the Repatriation General Hospital in Adelaide.

Greg’s skills in research, collaboration and communication have enabled him to realise his visions of improving patient care and medication safety.  His research outcomes have been integrated into everyday clinical patient care by pharmacists, doctors and nurses in many parts of Australia.

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NPS launches new online information hub on World Diabetes Day : 15/11/2011 :

Yesterday, on World Diabetes Day, NPS launched an online information hub for consumers, to help people with type 2 diabetes be medicinewise about their condition.

NPS Clinical Adviser Dr Danielle Stowasser says the online hub is a comprehensive source of information about type 2 diabetes, including its causes, diagnosis and treatment.

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Chemist Warehouse to fight location rule changes : 15/11/2011 :

The Chemist Warehouse group has launched a campaign to overturn the recent changes to the pharmacy location rules. Read all about it here.

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ASMI: paracetamol / asthma link remains unclear : 14/11/2011 :

Responding to the editorial by Dr John McBride in last week's Pediatrics journal on the association between paracetamol use and asthma, the Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI) said on Friday that the association between paracetamol exposure and the incidence of childhood asthma remains unclear, and that further research would be necessary to establish any causal link.

ASMI Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Director, Steven Scarff said that Dr McBride’s editorial did not shed new light on the association between paracetamol use and childhood asthma and noted that the authors of a recent Australian study (Lowe AJ, Carlin JB, Bennett CM, et al.

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New weight loss spray to launch through Priceline pharmacies : 14/11/2011 :

"Promising to be the XX FACTOR of WEIGHTLOSS products this summer, HungerBUSTER is the 1st dual action weightloss kit from SuppreXXa which combines two individually potent products; an oral spray and capsules."

So begins a trade release put out last week by Chika Health, the health care company founded in 2010 by former NSW Opposition Leader Kerry Chikarovski. According to the release HungerBUSTER is to be initially released exclusively through Priceline pharmacies.

AusPharm asked public health physician and authority on 'complementary' weight loss products, Dr Ken Harvey, to take a look at HungerBUSTER. This is what he had to say.

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Poppies for Remembrance : 14/11/2011 :

Thumbs up to Matthew Wood of Omegapharm, for donating the purchase of Remembrance Day poppies at the SHPA annual conference, which opened on the 11/11/2011. Instead of the usual bowl of lollies on the Omegapharm trade stand in the Exhibitors Hall, delegates were invited to wear a poppy.

Lest We Forget.

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SHPA National Conference buzz from Hobart : 14/11/2011 :

The 2011 SHPA national conference held last Friday/Saturday overlooking Hobart's Constitution Dock saw 896 attendees, largely "mainlanders", convening for a packed programme.

Some of the buzz words give a sense of the scope of what was a very busy schedule, with five presentation streams running consecutively:

  • credentialing
  • sans frontieres
  • paralysis in the face of ambiguity
  • specialisation vs. advanced practice
  • framework and lifelong learning
  • deprescribing
  • cultural safety
  • faecal microbiota transplantation
  • nocebo (as distinct from placebo)
  • reconciliation
  • ambulance service pharmacist

...but more of these to come.

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Fred J Boyd award goes to Bill Thomson : 14/11/2011 :

Bill Thomson has been named the recipient of the 2011 Fred J Boyd award – SHPA’s highest honour.

Established in 1978, the Fred J Boyd award award is named in memory of SHPA’s founding president and is the Society’s most prestigious recognition.

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Bhavini Patel awarded SHPA Medal of Merit for contribution to remote and Indigenous health : 14/11/2011 :

The 2011 GlaxoSmithKline Medal of Merit was awarded to Ms Bhavini Patel, Director of Pharmacy, Royal Darwin Hospital. The award was announced on the opening day of Medicines Management 2011, the 37th SHPA National Conference, held in Hobart over the weekend.

The award is in recognition of Bhavini’s contribution to the development of hospital pharmacy practice in the Northern Territory and to Indigenous and remote health. In support of her nomination for this award Bhavini was described as a leader, motivator, mentor, role model, teacher, practitioner, researcher ... and more.

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Funding awarded for new health literacy project : 14/11/2011 :

A multi-disciplinary consortium led by Gregory Duncan from Monash University that includes the University of Queensland, the University of Sydney, Curtin University and the Victorian Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has received Community Pharmacy Agreement R&D funding to undertake research in the area of health literacy and the role community pharmacy can play improving consumer understanding of health information.

Commenting on the research, National President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Kos Sclavos said, “Health literacy is important. It is fundamental for consumers to be able to find, understand and use health information in order to make decisions about their own health and wellbeing."

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Medicines Partnership of Australia: no case for further PBS cuts : 14/11/2011 :

The Medicines Partnership of Australia believes there is no case for additional cuts to PBS expenditure following its latest analysis of the scheme.

The group points out that the pharmaceutical industry and community pharmacy have already agreed to extensive savings, worth several billion dollars, some of which are yet to kick in and says that now is not the time to impose new measures that could threaten the viability of parts of the industry.

Recent PBS data shows that growth remains low and is continuing to trend downwards.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Warfarin/antibiotic interactions : 14/11/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Warfarin / antibiotic interactions.

"While alternative oral anticoagulant drugs such as dabigatran have recently been developed, warfarin is currently still the most commonly used and only PBS-listed oral anticoagulant in Australia for the prevention and treatment of thromboembolism in patients with mechanical heart valves, atrial fibrillation and deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolus. Warfarin exerts its therapeutic action as a vitamin K antagonist, lowering the amount of vitamin K available for the production of important clotting factors."

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

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Price, perception of effectiveness limit union membership : 11/11/2011 :

This week's AusPharm poll looked to find out why employee pharmacist union, the Pharmacists' Division of APESMA, had a relatively small membership (~1,000) compared to the overall number of non owner pharmacists in Australia (>20,000).

The results (total votes 320) are shown below after removing the 'I am a member' (11%) and "I can't be a member, I'm an owner' (20%) responses.

Of those who are eligible to join up but haven't the most common reason given was price, with 42% saying they'd join up if membership cost less. 26% said they'd take up membership at $100 and 16% said they'd join up at $300. The other principal reason cited was the view that the union was ineffective (32%).

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Pharmacotherapy users increasing but alcohol still the main worry : 11/11/2011 :

On a snapshot day in 2010 there were 46,078 clients who received pharmacotherapy for opioid dependence, of who almost two in three were male. This was an overall increase of just over 2,600 clients since 2009.

This increase was accompanied by an increase in ORT prescribers (from 1,435 in 2009 to 1,449 in 2010) and in dosing point sites (in 2010, there were 2,200 sites in Australia, a rise from 2,157 in 2009).\\

These statistics were drawn from a new Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report, released today, Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2009-10: report on the National Minimum Data Set.

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