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AusPharm news

Report suggests obesity increases risk of injury : 04/11/2011 :

Obesity and injury are major health burdens on society, and the two are most likely linked, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Obesity and injury in Australia: a review of the literature, presents a summary of information from the existing literature to investigate obesity–injury relationships.

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Pharmacists p*ssed off with J&J but could be worse : 04/11/2011 :

This week's AusPharm poll sought to get a sense of how pharmacists will react to the J&J decision to introduce a range of its Codral and Sudafed cough and cold tablets into grocery, commencing in the second quarter of 2012.

The results, shown below, provide no surprises - pharmacists are mightily p*ssed off however, given the level of outrage directed towards other pharmacy service providers through 2011 (Pfizer), J&J will probably take some heart from the result.

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Wholesalers call for an end to exclusive supply : 04/11/2011 :

The pharmacy CSO wholesalers yesterday called on the Federal Government to act immediately to bring an end to the monopoly supply of Pfizer medicines to community pharmacies.

Responding to the results of the recent Pharmacy Guild of Australia survey on the Pfizer Direct supply model, Symbion CEO Mr Patrick Davies said, “This research has confirmed what everyone has known for the last nine months – exclusive supply fails pharmacy customers, pharmacists and the Federal Government’s commitment to community health.”

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New safety alerts for Pradaxa : 04/11/2011 :

A number of new safety alerts were announced by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) yesterday. These relate to:

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John Coppock retires as PDL chairman : 04/11/2011 :

One of the true gentlemen of Australian pharmacy, John Coppock, has retired from the Board of Pharmaceutical Defence Limited (PDL) after 42 years as a Board member and 39 years as Chairman.

'I feel a real sense of privilege to have served pharmacy and especially so through PDL. The profession has enriched me personally and professionally and I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in its development and ongoing support in my role as chair of PDL,' said Mr Coppock.

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New National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health plan : 04/11/2011 :

The development of a new health plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians was announced by the Australian Government yesterday.

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan will be established by the Government working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and organisations, and state and territory governments will be invited to be participate.

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AusPharm CE: RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 41 : 03/11/2011 :

The next in our 2011 series of continuing education activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 41.

This CE activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins (Volumes 43-5 - 43-8  -->  August - September 2011).

After completing this activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Understand the prevalence and characteristics of dermatological reactions to lamotrigine
  • Describe the approach to treatment for psoriatic arthritis
  • Identify features of neutropaenia, particularly as these relate to an adverse reaction to  mirtazapine
  • List characteristics of photosensitivity reactions to drugs

This activity has been accredited for 1 group 2 CPD credit suitable for inclusion in an individual pharmacist’s CPD plan. Accreditation number: CX110022r.

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 MIMS.

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TGA Issues safety advisory for Atomoxetine (STRATTERA) : 03/11/2011 :

The TGA is advising health professionals and patients of important safety information regarding the risk of increased blood pressure and/or heart rate with the use of atomoxetine (STRATTERA). These effects could represent a risk for some patients.

This risk was identified from an analysis of combined data from clinical trials sponsored by atomoxetine's sponsor, Eli Lilly.

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Boehringer Ingelheim keeps the pressure on to PBS list Pradaxa : 03/11/2011 :

Boehringer Ingelheim yesterday launched a public campaign aimed at pressuring the government to accept the September PBAC recommendation to PBS list its stroke prevention product, Pradaxa. The government has declined to list Pradaxa pending an inquiry into the use of anticoagulants, to be chaired by Lloyd Sansom.

The company has established a 'Vote against stroke' website which encourages consumers to lobby government to PBS list the medicine.

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Pharmacy Board annual report released : 03/11/2011 :

The annual report of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency was released yesterday.

The annual report provides comprehensive data about the first year of operation of the National Registration Scheme, across all areas of operation of AHPRA, including the Pharmacy Board.

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Pfizer direct distribution a crock say pharmacists : 03/11/2011 :

A survey of Pharmacy Guild members, conducted during October, has found significant ongoing dissatisfaction with the exclusive direct-to-pharmacy distribution system introduced by Pfizer in February this year.

In order to gauge the current views of pharmacists in relation to the issue, the Guild conducted a survey in which members were asked of their perception of Pfizer and DHL’s performance, the number of patients adversely affected by the Pfizer Direct model and to select from a range of options for possible changes to the direct distribution model. 

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First research on nurse practitioners in community pharmacies : 03/11/2011 :

Nurse practitioners based in community pharmacies have great potential to ease the burden in primary care, recent research by Curtin University and Griffith University has found.

The independently funded research, undertaken by Associate Professor Lynne Emmerton, of Curtin's School of Pharmacy, and Sara McMillan, of Griffith's School of Pharmacy, explored the roles of nurse practitioners who are based in community pharmacies in Western Australia.

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PSA Board bios now online : 02/11/2011 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has posted biographies (and photos) of its Board members on the PSA website.

Those of you wanting to get to know the PSA Board, click here.

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Latest Webstercare newsletter : 02/11/2011 :

Every second month our friends at Webstercare produce a newsletter that is distributed to all aged care homes throughout Australia.

They've kindly agreed to make it available to pharmacists too, through AusPharm.

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Poll: Codral / Sudafed going open : 02/11/2011 :

News broke last week that Johnson and Johnson were set to launch a grocery range of cough and cold products in the second quarter of 2012. The company claims that they are focusing on the existing grocery market and don’t believe the change will affect pharmacy.

In the past when 'pharmacy only' products have gone 'open' there has been widespread outrage amongst pharmacists - examples include Ipana toothpaste in the 1960s and Mylanta in the 1990s.

How do pharmacists feel about the J&J decision to introduce a grocery range of its cough and cold products? Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 02/11/2011 :

The MIMS November 2011 Monthly Medicine Update is now available. Click the link to read it now.

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TGA co-operating with European and US regulatory agencies : 02/11/2011 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), the European Medicines Agency, and the United States Food and Drug Administration have completed a pilot program designed to enhance information sharing and cooperation on the inspection of manufacturing plants producing active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

APIs are the components in medicines that are responsible for the therapeutic effect of the product. The pilot program was completed in December last year and the final report is now available for download.

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Chronic illness and pharmacy R&D project funded : 01/11/2011 :

Significant funding was announced yesterday – through the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement (5CPA) Research and Development Program – for research that will focus on the role community pharmacies can play in the care of people with chronic illness.

It is hoped the research will result in a better understanding of the burden of chronic illness and lead to recommendations for developing models of care that will better meet the needs of consumers and reduce the financial burden on the health care system.

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College re-forms Academic Board : 01/11/2011 :

The President of the Australian College of Pharmacy, Mr Trent Twomey, today announced the re-formation of the College’s Academic Board.

The Board, chaired by Professor Michael Roberts of Adelaide and Queensland Universities includes:

  • Dr Treasure McGuire,                       
  • Ms Jenny Bergin                    
  • Ms Jenny Giam                      
  • Mr Trent Twomey

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Health spending per Indigenous Australian highest in remote areas : 01/11/2011 :

In Remote and very remote areas of Australia, health spending on selected health services per person is around $2.41 for Indigenous Australians for every $1.00 spent on non-Indigenous Australians, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

The report, Expenditure on health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2008-09: an analysis by remoteness and disease, looks at selected categories of health spending—patients admitted to public and private hospitals, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs), the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

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