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AusPharm news

RGH E-Bulletin: Cancer care resources : 01/08/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Cancer care resources.

"A number of resources and guidelines are available, relating to chemotherapy, management of symptoms of cancer and management of side effects related to treatment of cancer.

The Multinational Association of Supportive Care in cancer (MASCC) www.mascc.org produces a number of guidelines and tools for use in chemotherapy and radiotherapy patients.

EviQ Cancer Treatments Online www.eviq.org.au, the website maintained by the Cancer Institute NSW, contains chemotherapy protocols for the treatment of haematological and solid malignancies. A login and password is required at no cost.

The Opioid Equivalence Calculator is a useful addition to the EviQ website although it does not include a conversion table."

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

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Trial of 'nickname' posting to AusPharmList : 29/07/2011 :

Many thanks to the more than 300 'listers who voted in this week's poll. A clear majority voted to allow 'nickname' posting to AusPharmList with the 'yes' votes outnumbering the 'no' votes by well in excess of 2:1.

So we'll give it a trial for one month and see how it goes.

Until we tweak our IT to facilitate this, 'listers wanting to use a nickname to post can simply tick the 'Request moderator post this anonymously' box, include your chosen nickname at the bottom of your post and we'll do the rest.

Our preference, for reasons of transparency, remains that 'listers identify themselves and their credentials when they post.

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More orders from the Federal Court on Sensaslim : 29/07/2011 :

Sitting in Sydney on Wednesday, the Federal Court issued further orders in the the ACCC v Sensaslim case.

The Court has ordered that the Sensaslim company replace the entire content of the website at www.sensaslim.com.au with a statement describing the company's current legal problems including that it failed 'to disclose the involvement of Peter Foster in the business of Sensaslim' and falsely represented that "the Sensaslim Solution was the subject of a large worldwide clinical trial when in fact no such trial was conducted'.

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Ascent to distribute GSK products : 29/07/2011 :

Ascent Pharmaceuticals has announced an exclusive agreement with GlaxoSmithKline that will see Ascent promote and distribute sixteen of GSK’s brands via Ascent’s PharmAnnuity program and the CHS distribution network. This agreement with GSK follows the success of similar arrangements Ascent has with Pfizer and MSD.

Dennis Bastas, CEO and Managing Director of Ascent Pharmaceuticals said that by collaborating with the country’s largest branded pharmaceutical companies Ascent is able to help Australian pharmacy offset some of the losses caused by PBS reform.

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The use of social networking in practice - how to do it well : 29/07/2011 :

Senior Health Services Research Fellow in Medicine at Monash University, Greg Duncan, will present at PAC11 on the developments and opportunities created by this contemporary digital environment and also on identifying potential conflicts with a digital presence. Greg will also  discuss professional behaviour and  will make suggestions to prevent negative impacts while still allowing for as significant digital presence as an individual would like.
 
“Numerous reports exist describing job losses, student exclusion and more in the pharmacy setting alone because of what has been accessible via a personal Facebook or other site that either identifies and/or criticises patients, gives unprofessional (and often uncivil) criticism of employers or teaching staff, displays of 'unprofessional' behaviours in social settings and so on,” he says.

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Win an iPad 2 or an iPhone 4 with the new QCPP multimedia tutorials : 28/07/2011 :

The Quality Care Pharmacy Program (QCPP) is developing a suite of multimedia tutorials that focus on various features of the program - currently there are two tutorials online including, introducing QCPP and the new QCPP Requirements Manual.

For your chance to win an iPad 2 for pharmacists or iPhone 4 for pharmacy assistants, all you need to do is watch the tutorials and complete the associated questionnaire. The competition closes 5pm Monday 1 August 2011.

More tutorials will be added regularly to assist pharmacists in achieving excellence in their pharmacies. Pharmacists are advised to continue to check the website to view the new tutorials as they go live.

For your chance to WIN an iPad 2 or iPhone 4 visit tutorials.qcpp.com.

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June 2011 PBS stats: steady as she goes... : 28/07/2011 :

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

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National Pain Week: Help for 8 million “forgotten” Australians : 28/07/2011 :

Chronic Pain Australia has launched the country’s first national campaign in an effort to reach out to more than 8 million “forgotten” Australians living each day with pain.

Dr Coralie Wales, president of Chronic Pain Australia, the nation’s key 'pain' consumer advocacy group, said they had been overwhelmed by people wanting help.

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Poll: allow 'nickname' posting to AusPharmList? : 27/07/2011 :

Last week's AusPharm poll confirmed that more than 2/3 of 'listers are edgy about posting to AusPharmList with the main reasons cited to do with the personal angst it might cause.

As a means of encouraging more people to actively participate in proceedings, we are proposing to allow 'listers to register a 'nickname' with us and post with the nickname as the identifier. AusPharm will know who is posting (so we'll be able to 'keep people honest') but a poster's identity will be concealed from those reading their post.

We'd be interested to know what people think of this idea and today's poll seeks to find out. Please make a special effort to vote in this week's poll.

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CPS, PSA, Guild agree on need for better workforce data : 27/07/2011 :

At a meeting in Melbourne last week, the Council of Pharmacy Schools, comprising the Heads of all pharmacy degree programs in Australia and New Zealand called for an urgent, pharmacy sector wide summit to discuss the issues surrounding pharmacy workforce.

According to CPS, such discussions should have broad representation and should take place in an environment where accurate and complete data relating to pharmacist registration and employment are shared and where the short and medium term future roles of pharmacy and pharmacists are realistically envisioned.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 27/07/2011 :

AFL Round 18

AFL Round 18 was easy pickings for tippers with a whopping 232 tippers selecting all 8 winners.  Glenn Logan had the best margin tip and is the weekly winner. In 2nd place was Bob Soszynski of Medicare Australia with Nicki Burridge from the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia in 3rd position.

NRL Round 20

NRL Round 20 was tough for tippers with 7 from 8 being the best score. The result came down to cumulative margin with Ron Taylor from Iluka Pharmacy taking the win. In 2nd place was Foula Herodotou of Carlingford Amcal with Yasmin Issa from Dulwich Hill Pharmacy in 3rd spot.

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Smoking down, mixed results for alcohol, illicit drug use up : 27/07/2011 :

Daily smoking has dropped, but levels of risky alcohol use remain unchanged and illicit drug use has increased, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The 2010 National Drug Strategy Household Survey report, shows the proportion of people aged 14 years or older smoking tobacco daily has dropped to 15.1%, down from 16.6% in 2007.

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Guild: go to pharmacists for sick certificates : 26/07/2011 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia said yesterday that it supports the Australian Medical Association’s (AMA) call for a different approach to sick certificates to reduce the waste of doctors' time and taxpayers' money.

According to Guild President, Kos Sclavos "the Federal President of the AMA, Dr Steve Hambleton, is right when he said in the Brisbane Sunday Mail at the weekend that "A lot of time is wasted by doctors who have to sign medical forms for people who don't need medical intervention."

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PBS collection of under copayment data to commence April 1 2012 : 26/07/2011 :

Data on PBS prescriptions that are priced below the general copayment level will be collected by Medicare commencing April 2012.

PBS prescription data is currently only collected for prescriptions that attract a Government subsidy. According to Medicare, the collection of under copayment information will improve the Department of Health and Ageing PBS data set and will provide a valuable additional tool for health policy planning, monitoring risk management protocols, pharmacovigilance and monitoring the quality use of medicines in the community.

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Grant Kardachi new PSA president : 25/07/2011 :

South Australian pharmacist Grant Kardachi, pictured right, has been elected President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

Mr Kardachi is an accredited pharmacist who until recently was also a community pharmacy proprietor. He has held a wide range range of roles across the profession, in particular those dealing with medicines reviews.

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NAPSA joins Monash, Guild in call for a cap on pharmacy school numbers : 25/07/2011 :

The National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA) said on Friday that it supports the idea that the continued expansion of pharmacy schools is unsustainable, and that a more transparent policy relating to the release of student enrolment numbers and retention rates should be employed by all universities, thus allowing for more holistic decision making.

NAPSA says that current data released by Skills Australia showing low graduate unemployment (1.7%) does not signal an undersupply, but stems from prerequisites of the accreditation process requiring a mandatory internship to validate our studies.

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SHPA echoes calls for review of Accreditation Standards for Pharmacy Schools in Australia : 25/07/2011 :

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has joined the call for the Australian Pharmacy Council to review the Accreditation Standards and the quality assurance requirements for pharmacy schools in Australia.

Professor Bill Charman from Monash University last week called for a moratorium on new pharmacy schools in Australia and a review of accreditation standards saying that the pharmacy profession needs to “reconsider the overall standards, process and quantitative quality assurance requirements associated with accreditation of pharmacy schools”.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Drug interactions that matter : 25/07/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Drug interactions that matter

"With the use of decision support software now commonplace, clinicians can find themselves on the receiving end of a constant barrage of information about potential contraindications and drug interactions. At times, there is a “fatigue factor” that might contribute to a prescriber, pharmacist or nurse overlooking a truly important warning that could avert a harmful drug interaction. The purpose of this E-Bulletin is not to add to the load of information, but rather to highlight some relatively commonly encountered drug interactions that are potentially clinically significant: the list below is by no means exhaustive, but does draw attention to drug combinations that should always be assessed critically when encountered in a medication profile or a drug chart."

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

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Parts of WHO reference copied from AMH? : 25/07/2011 :

The Australian newspaper ran a story over the weekend questioning whether the WHO Model Formulary for Children contained numerous passages copied directly from the Australian Medicines Handbook (AMH).

The story claims that the WHO reference was compiled by medicines experts from the University of Melbourne and the Royal Children's Hospital.

We asked the AMH to comment and a spoksesperson told AusPharm that it had drawn the WHO's attention to the apparently duplicated passages and, while the WHO has not accepted that any copyright breach has occurred, it has undertaken to make a forensic comparison of the two publications to examine the issues the AMH has raised.

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More than 2/3 of AusPharm members reluctant to post to AusPharmList : 22/07/2011 :

Many thanks to 'listers for voting in this week's AusPharm poll which sought to find out what the barriers are to posting a comment on AusPharmList.

More than 2/3 of respondents told us they were edgy about posting for one reason or another, mostly to do with the personal angst it might cause.

One way to increase participation from 'lurkers' might be to allow posting under a 'nickname' rather than insisting (as we almost always do now) that people put their names to posts.

We'll come back to you next week with a proposal on this for discussion.

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