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AusPharm news

Video: PSA President Grant Kardachi talks to Medical Observer : 06/10/2011 :

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia president Grant Kardachi speaks to Medical Observer In Conversation about the Blackmores / Guild controversy.

Since this interview there have been further developments but we thought 'listers might be interested to see how Mr Kardachi, recently elected PSA National President, performed in the media spotlight.

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Pharmacist finalist in Queensland Telstra Business Women's Awards : 06/10/2011 :

APHS Managing Partner, Cathie Reid, has been named as one of the finalists in the Queensland Telstra Business Women's Awards for 2011.

Ms Reid is Managing Partner of APHS' Aged Care and Packaging divisions, a national supplier of pharmaceutical and clinical services for hospital, oncology and aged care sectors.

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TGA issues safety advisory for dabigatran (Pradaxa): risk of bleeding : 06/10/2011 :

Pradaxa (dabigatran) is a new oral anticoagulant medicine originally used for the prevention of clots in the legs after major orthopaedic surgery (such as hip or knee replacement). Pradaxa manufacturer Boehringer Ingleheim recently expressed disappointment at the deferral of the PBS listing for the drug pending a general review, to be chaired by Professor Lloyd Sansom, into improving outcomes for patients on anticoagulation therapy.

The Therapetic Goods Administration yesterday issued a safety advisory for the drug, advising clinicians about the risk of bleeding events associated with its use.

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Guild pulls Blackmores' endorsement deal : 06/10/2011 :

The Pharmacy Guild and Blackmores have agreed to cancel the Gold Cross endorsement of the Blackmores Companions range of complementary medicines.

In a statement issued last night the Guild says the mutual decision was taken in view of the strong level of public concern about the proposal, based on media reporting of the endorsement which was it says was ill-informed and inflammatory.

"The last thing the Guild would ever want to do is deplete the credibility of community pharmacists, or damage the trust in which they are held by Australians. That trust and confidence is of paramount importance to the Guild and to our members."

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Turn up for last minute registrations at PAC11 : 06/10/2011 :

Last-minute delegates to PAC11 are able to register at the Congress venue on the day or days they wish to attend.
 
This means they still have the opportunity to earn up to earn 36 Continuing Professional Development credits by attending this year’s Pharmacy Australia Congress.

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AusPharm CE: RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 40 : 06/10/2011 :

The next in our 2011 series of continuing education activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 40.

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:

  • Describe the relationship between atrial fibrillation and NSAID use
  • Discuss the clinical features of hyperparathyroidism
  • Understand the risk factors for hyperammonaemia secondary to valproate
  • List strategies that can be used for antidepressant augmentation

This activity has been accredited for 1 group 2 CPD credit suitable for inclusion in an individual pharmacist’s CPD plan. Accreditation number: CX110022p.

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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Pharmacist Coalition calls on Guild to axe Blackmores’ deal : 05/10/2011 :

The Pharmacist Coalition for Health Reform (PCHR) has called on the Pharmacy Guild of Australia to axe their deal with Blackmores, following the Guild’s admission that the computer prompts to upsell dietary supplements were a pilot only and would be reviewed.

PCHR spokesperson and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers, Australia (APESMA), Chris Walton, said that pharmacists had rejected the deal and it was now time for the Pharmacy Guild to scrap the pilot.

“A Pharmacist Coalition poll of over 460 people has shown that 94 per cent of community members, including pharmacists and pharmacists-in-training, disagree with the Blackmores’ deal and believe ‘it undermines the professionalism of pharmacists’.

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Poll: I've got my CPD under control for the year just ended September 30 : 05/10/2011 :

The Pharmacy Board's CPD year has just ended and the Pharmacy Board might now ask you to prove you've done your CE for the year ending September 2011.

If the Board asks you to do this, how will you go?

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

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TGA issues safety advisory for topiramate ADRs associated with use for weight loss : 05/10/2011 :

The TGA issued a safety alert yesterday advising health professionals and consumers that topiramate's use for weight loss has not approved and its use for this indication is associated with serious adverse events.

In Australia, the only approved indication for topiramate are the treatment of epilepsy in adults and children aged two years and over and the prevention of migraine headaches in adults.

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 05/10/2011 :

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

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Latest edition of Australian Prescriber published : 05/10/2011 :

The October 2011 issue of Australian Prescriber is now available online. Topics featured in this issue include:

  • The right to prescribe: towards core prescribing competencies for all prescribers
  • Medical management of mesothelioma

It also contains the most recent Medicines Safety Update.

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Australia's annual ADR statistics published : 04/10/2011 :

The TGA's annual report of adverse drug reaction statistics for 2010, as provided for the Department of Health and Ageing's publication Australian Statistics on Medicines, has been released. In 2010 the TGA received approximately 14,200 ADR reports. The breakout of report sources was:

  • 43% pharmaceutical companies
  • 10% hospitals
  • 9%  GPs
  • 38% other sources (e.g. State/Territory Health Departments, general public, community pharmacists, specialists)

As seen in 2009, the was again a very big increase in report numbers in 2010 from 'other sources' and pharmaceutical companies.

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Personally controlled electronic health records - comments invited : 04/10/2011 :

The Department of Health & Ageing has invited comments by 28 October 2011 on the exposure draft legislation for introduction of a personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR) system.

The PCEHR draft Bill sets out the proposed legislative framework to support the implementation and operation of the PCEHR system as described in the Concept of Operation – Relating to the introduction of a PCEHR system. The proposed Bill includes provisions on participation in the PCEHR system, access to information, obligations on users, penalties for inappropriate use, and functions and responsibilities of the PCEHR system operator.

In releasing the draft legislation for consultation, Minister Roxon emphasised its benefits and some of the attributes of the system

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Generate your personal AusPharm CPD report : 04/10/2011 :

Now that the first Pharmacy Board CPD year has ended, 'listers who have been doing the Australian Pharmacy Council accredited AusPharm Continuing Education activities might like to generate a report of the activities they've done.

The report lists activity titles, accreditation numbers, the number of CPD points awarded for each activity and totals the points. In addition, for those of you who intend to claim Group 1 CPD points by virtue of your participation in AusPharmList, there is an option to list the number of times you've posted to AusPharmList.

To generate your own personalised report, visit the AusPharm Continuing Education page, or click here to go directly to the report page.

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PSA: time to move on : 04/10/2011 :

In a letter to PSA National President, Grant Kardachi, the Chief Executive Officer of Blackmores, Christine Holgate, said, “The ['coke and fries'] comment I made has unfortunately been used widely in the media and taken out of context.  Any suggestion that this comment reflects a lack of respect for pharmacists and their role in the community could not be further from my intent.”

Mr Kardachi said while the comment had been damaging to the profession, it was time to move on.

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August PBS numbers up : 03/10/2011 :

PBS statistics for August 2011 have been released by Medicare Australia.

Script numbers were up 15.5% compared to August 2010 (17.1 million v 14.8 million) and absolute dollars were also up ($719 million v $609 million).

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PBS deferrals to list on 1 December, but not Pradaxa : 03/10/2011 :

The medicines and price increases recommended by the PBAC and PBPA in November and December 2010 respectively and which were subsequently deferred by Government in February 2011, will be listed on the PBS from 1 December 2011.

The Department of Health & Ageing has struck an agreement with the GMIA, CHF and Medicines Australia not to defer any drugs that cost under $10 million a year for the coming year, while they work with all parties to discuss how to manage deferrals in the future and deliver further savings for the Government. This process will be completed by 12 December 2011. A further consideration of potential savings in light of the 2014 expiration of the current MOU between the prescription industry and the government, is due to be completed in June 2013.

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SHPA Continuum of Care grant to Erica Tong : 03/10/2011 :

Congratulations to Erica Tong, on being awarded 2011's SHPA sanofi-aventis Pamela Nieman Continuum of Care Research Grant of up to $10 000.

Erica is a senior clinical pharmacist in the General Medical Unit at Melbourne's The Alfred Hospital and will use the grant to implement a trial extending clinical pharmacy services to the outpatient follow-up clinic.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Treating behavioural symptoms in frontotemporal dementia : 03/10/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Treating behavioural symptoms in frontotemporal dementia.

"Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is characterised by disturbances in behaviour or language. Patients with the frontal variant of FTD typically present with marked changes in personality and behaviour, including apathy, disinhibition and inappropriate social behaviour, which can be difficult to manage. Although there is currently no approved drug treatment for the behavioural symptoms of FTD and only a limited number of clinical trials have been conducted in this area, various medications have been used to ameliorate these symptoms. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class of antidepressants which act on the serotonergic system, are the most commonly studied drugs used to treat FTD. The use of these agents is supported by the finding of a dysfunctional serotonergic system in patients with FTD."

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

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Blackmores Companion range: the evidence. Comments from Harvey, Rigby, Moses : 03/10/2011 :

Responding to the controversy surrounding the recent announcement of the agreement that may see Guildcare software prompt pharmacists to consider recommending one of four Blackmores' products to patients receiving certain prescription medicines, Blackmores released a summary of the research for the products late on Friday night.

Also, over the weekend, NPS posted its own independent assessment of the evidence on the NPS website. While avoiding specific mention of the Blackmores' products, NPS concluded that the evidence supporting the use of supplements in the circumstances under which the Blackmores Companion range would be used is, in three cases, absent and in the fourth Probiotics), limited.

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