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AusPharm news

New CEO for Preventive Health Agency : 24/08/2011 :

Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler  yesterday announced the appointment of a permanent Chief Executive Officer for The Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA).

The position of CEO will be filled by Ms Louise Sylvan. Ms Sylvan was previously a Productivity Commissioner, having been appointed to that role in 2008 and is well known for her work in enhancing consumer rights in a range of areas such as health, food safety, and financial services as well as in competition and consumer policy. She has been appointed for a period of five years.

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Workforce data to be collected : 24/08/2011 :

The Pharmacy Board of Australia will be conducting a workforce survey for all registered pharmacists to coincide with pharmacist registration renewal on November 30, 2011.

The Board has invited pharmacy organisations to submit questions for inclusion in the survey

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Sansom's term at PBAC comes to an end : 24/08/2011 :

Follow the August 12 meeting of the 2011 Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC), Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom stepped down as Chair, a position he has occupied since January 2001.

At the time of Professor Sansom’s initial appointment there was considerable tension and uncertainty concerning the ongoing role of PBAC. Professor Sansom and the PBAC’s committee members worked extremely hard to initiate and successfully cement a robust dialogue with stakeholders including consumer groups, industry and prescribers.

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NAPSA attends IPSF World Congress 2011 : 23/08/2011 :

The International Pharmacy Student Federation (IPSF) held its 57th annual World Congress in Hat Yai, Thailand, from 3rd to 13th August 2011. NAPSA was well represented well with twelve delegates, an Executive Committee Member, and a past IPSF President in attendance.

NAPSA’s strategic plan to increase their international presence and active involvement in IPSF commenced, with two NAPSA members being elected onto IPSF subcommittees.

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Debbie Rigby reappointed to NPS Board : 23/08/2011 :

Debbie Rigby, pictured right, has been reappointed to the NPS Board for a further three years as the Health Practitioner Class (Pharmacist) Director. Ms Rigby first joined the NPS Board in August 2008.
 
NPS Chair, Dr Janette Randall, says Ms Rigby is a very well respected member of the Board and brings a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience from her work within the pharmacy and broader health sector.

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Gold Cross endorses electricity provider : 23/08/2011 :

Gold Cross yesterday endorsed the Eutility company as a provider of electricity price negotiation services to Pharmacy Guild members. Most Guild members who receive their bill directly from an energy retailer will now be eligible to apply for the bulk tendering services of Eutility at no cost to the pharmacy.

For more information go to www.eutility.com.au/goldcross where there is also a Q&A section.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Association of NSAIDs with atrial fibrillation : 23/08/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Association of NSAIDs with atrial fibrillation

"Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are one of the most widely used drug groups worldwide. Gastrointestinal toxicity, renal impairment and heart failure associated with these drugs have been a concern for some time. The risk of myocardial infarction associated with NSAIDs has also been highlighted. More recently there has been focus on the association of NSAIDs with atrial fibrillation (AF). Atrial fibrillation is the most common rhythm disorder in clinical practice, leading to an increased risk of thromboembolic stroke and heart failure. Ageing patients are increasingly more likely to suffer from AF, plus they also may suffer from the conditions prompting NSAID use."

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

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Recommendations made by the PBAC (July 2011) : 22/08/2011 :

The recommendations made by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) in July 2011 relating to the listing of drugs on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) have now been published on the PBAC website, here.

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Careers in the pharmaceutical industry : 22/08/2011 :

Approaching a job outside the traditional hospital and community pharmacy areas can be daunting, but a special workshop session at PAC11 will give pharmacists insights into how to do this, and also detail what roles there are in the pharmaceutical industry which may fit their skills.
 
Presented by pharmacists Geraldine Peterson-Clark, Medical Affairs Team Leader at Boehringer Ingelheim, and by Karen Raines who has industry experience with several pharmaceutical companies, the workshop will provide attendees with a “hands-on” style opportunity to experience the various roles for pharmacists in the pharmaceutical industry, including such things as medical information, regulatory affairs, pharmaceutical representation, pharmacovigilance and medico-marketing.

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2011 ASMI Sales and Marketing Awards : 22/08/2011 :

Entries have opened for the 2011 ASMI Sales and Marketing Awards with the winners to be announced at the Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI) Conference in Sydney in November. ASMI has revamped its the awards for 2011, with new award categories, new judging criteria, and an expanded judging panel.

The judging panel has been expanded this year from four to six and will comprise a pharmacist, a pharmaceutical trade journalist, a senior executive from the healthcare industry, and representatives from the consumer sector and the public relations and advertising industries.

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Montgomery quits Pfizer : 19/08/2011 :

General Manager of Pfizer's Established Products for Australia & New Zealand with responsibility for the Pfizer Direct distribution model, John Montgomery (pictured right), has left the position less than 3 months after assuming the role.

Mr Montgomery had previously been CEO of Alphapharm from 1999 to 2010 and took on the role at Pfizer after the departure of Mark Crotty in April. Mr Crotty oversaw the introduction of Pfizer Direct.

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Pharmacy computers a mixed bag : 19/08/2011 :

This week's poll asked 'listers to let us know how old the computers in their pharmacies are. We asked exactly the same poll question we asked in a 2009 poll so we could compare results.

While it seems that there are more 'newer' computers than 2 years ago, there a significantly more that are 5 years or more old. ie those that were 3-5 years old 2 years ago seem to still be in operation and are now 5 or more years old.

Given that computers are now inexpensive compared to 5 years ago AusPharm is a little puzzled by this result.

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Medicines Australia funds nutrition website for indigenous kids : 19/08/2011 :

The Jimmy Little Foundation has launched a new interactive website called Thumbs Up! to promote healthy eating to indigenous children in the Northern Territory.

The website, funded by Medicines Australia and supported by the Northern Territory Government, aims to encourage indigenous children to make healthy food choices and improve nutrition.

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Blackmores powers along : 19/08/2011 :

The Blackmores company yesterday announced that it has recorded its ninth successive year of record sales and profit.

The result was achieved on the back of strong growth (40%) in the company's Asian operations.

In Australia, where pharmacy represents the company's biggest channel, sales grew by 3%, despite subdued trading conditions over the last 12 months.

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Australia’s medical and nursing workforce is growing : 19/08/2011 :

According to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), the number of employed medical practitioners and nurses has increased between 2005 and 2009.

The report, Medical labour force 2009, shows that there were 72,739 medical practitioners in the medical workforce in Australia in 2009. This is an increase of 20.7%, on 2005. The comparable growth in the Australian population over this period was 7.6%.

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AusPharm CE: Polypharmacy : 18/08/2011 :

The latest AusPharm CE topic is Polypharmacy - it's been put together for us by Dr Jenny Gowan.

"Polypharmacy is usually defined as the use of five or more drugs, including prescribed, over-the-counter, and complementary medicines. Polypharmacy is also known as the use of multiple medications and is usually seen as a negative situation where an individual patient may be taking one or many more unnecessary medications among the group of appropriate medications."

The Learning Objectives for this activity are:

To enable the pharmacist when reviewing a list of medications  taken by a patient to:

  • identify possible unnecessary medications
  • recognise potential adverse reactions of caused by those medications
  • offer a rational approach to therapy
  • provide advice to assist in the safe withdrawal of medications to be ceased. 

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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Half price iPads : 18/08/2011 :

AusPharm has got on to a 'job lot' of iPads that we can pass on for half the normal price.

They are from a cancelled hospital contract due to the Government cutbacks in Tasmania.

Numbers are limited - we have 20 only - full specs below.

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September 2011 PBS schedule : 18/08/2011 :

The September 2011 PBS Schedule and the ‘Summary of Changes’ are now available.

Download the Full PBS schedule

Download the PBS Summary of changes

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NPS prescribing curriculum wins e-learning award : 18/08/2011 :

The NPS National Prescribing Curriculum has been awarded a Platinum Award for the Best Bespoke Learning Solution in the 2011 LearnX E-learning and Training Awards.

The e-learning modules are used in 16 of the 18 medical schools across Australia, in pharmacy and nurse practitioner courses and other educational programs for new prescribers like hospital internship programs.

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Senate report slams Cabinet PBS deferrals : 18/08/2011 :

The Senate Finance and Administration References Committee yesterday tabled its report on Government Administration of the PBS. The report criticised the Government’s management of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme reflects and condemned Federal Cabinet’s decision to defer the listing of new medicines on the PBS.

Medicines Australia CEO Dr Brendan Shaw said the Committee was sending the Government a clear signal that Cabinet should not interfere with the process of listing new PBS medicines.

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