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AusPharm news

Sensaslim company under seige : 29/06/2011 :

'Listers will have seen our recent links to media reports of the legal case brought against the Sensaslim company by the ACCC for 'Misleading or deceptive conduct'. This action has been widely covered in the mainstream media (eg here and here) and also in the not so mainstream media (here). 

AusPharm understands that the ACCC claimed in the Federal Court that the 'Institute' said to have conducted the research underpinning the therapeutic claims made for the product does not exist. The Federal Court froze one of the company's bank accounts and, in order to do that, the ACCC had to prove that there was a strong indication of illegal conduct by SensaSlim.

In light of all this AusPharm this week put a series of questions to the TGA.

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Generics industry to launch brand campaign into pharmacy : 28/06/2011 :

This week the Generic Medicines Industry Association (GMiA) will launch a campaign to pharmacy highlighting who are the members of GMiA and what membership with GMiA represents.

The campaign, to be delivered by the representatives of member companies, will explain to pharmacists that GMiA is a representative body of generic medicine suppliers in Australia. The message GMiA aims to sell to pharmacy is that its members ensure that all Australians are offered the highest quality generic medicines in the world whilst providing affordable community health outcomes that benefit all Australians.

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WA pharmacist wins QUM award : 28/06/2011 :

West Australian pharmacist Penny Tuffin has been named as the 2011 recipient of the PSA Award for QUM in Pain Management. The award, sponsored by Mundipharma, recognises an exceptional and outstanding contribution to the quality use of medicines through direct clinical care of consumers suffering from persistent pain.
 
Commenting on the award, National President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett, said the National Pain Strategy released last year has stated that one in five Australians, including children and adolescents, will suffer chronic pain in their lifetime and up to 80 per cent of people living with chronic pain are missing out on treatment that could improve their health and quality of life.

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The Guild can accredit CPD too : 28/06/2011 :

Yesterday we ran a news item about the ACP and SHPA being approved to accredit pharmacist CPD which included the statement that "To date, only the Pharmaceutical
Society of Australia has been able to accredit CPD for pharmacists."

This is incorrect (the mistake was AusPharm's, not APC's who issued the media release on which the news item was based). The Pharmacy Guild is also an authorised accreditor of CPD and was initially approved to perform this role in September 2010.

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Pharmacists on the Skilled Occupation List - an explanation from the horse's mouth : 28/06/2011 :

AusPharm was yesterday provided with a copy of a document, authored by Skills Australia, that details the rationale for including pharmacists on the 2011 Skilled Occupation List (SOL).

Here it is, in full below. 'Listers might also want to take a look at this 'Pharmacists' information document, from the Skills Australia website, that provides a quick analysis of the pharmacy workforce.

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Anticholinergics, elderly patients and risk of death : 27/06/2011 :

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society concludes that taking certain combinations of anticholinergic drugs significiantly increases the risk of death in elderly patients.

The study has attracted widespread international media coverage over the last week,  presumably based on a media release put out by the researchers' university.

Oddly, media outlets in Australia don't seem to have picked up the story.

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TGA on CSL: we're watching too : 27/06/2011 :

Following last week's FDA 'warning letter' to CSL in relation to CSL's handling of concerns about the quality of its influenza vaccine, Australia's own regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, put out a statement on Friday saying that it regularly audits CSL.

The TGA said that it audits CSL annually and, in addition, has undertaken five separate audits of CSL in the last 12 months following a higher than average rate of adverse reactions in children immunised with CSL's flu vaccine 'Fluvax' in 2010.

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NAPSA establishes Future Fund : 27/06/2011 :

Conceived out of a desire to secure the National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA) financial position into the future, and to facilitate further educational opportunities for members, the Association has established a Future Fund.

The Fund's aim is to foster the growth and experience of students prior to them entering the workforce.

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ACP and SHPA now also able to accredit CPD : 27/06/2011 :

The Australian College of Pharmacy (ACP) and the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) have both been authorised to accredit continuing professional development (CPD) for pharmacists under the auspices of the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC).

The APC has been authorised by the Pharmacy Board of Australia to enable appropriate organisations to accredit CPD on its behalf. To date, only the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has been able to accredit CPD for pharmacists.

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SIGMA appoints new General Manager : 27/06/2011 :

SIGMA pharmaceuticals has appointed Gary Dunne as its new General Manager of Healthcare.

Mr Dunne will lead the company's core operations of Retail, Wholesale, Logistics and Supply Chain. Mr Dunne has previously held senior management positions with Redgroup, Clive Peeters, Coles, Woolworths and ALDI.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Synthetic cannabinoid products : 27/06/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Synthetic cannabinoid products.

"The use of synthetic cannabinoid products has recently become increasingly popular as an alternative to marijuana, being promoted as ‘legal herbal mixtures.’ While the ingredients of these products are not explicitly revealed in any source, packaging information on the products claim that they are a combination of dried and ground herb and plant material (as many as 14 different ingredients), which is sprayed with synthetic cannabinoid or cannabinoidmimetic substances, and then packaged and marketed as incense."

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

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Great Opportunities for ECPs at PAC11 : 27/06/2011 :

Early Career Pharmacists have two weeks to take advantage of the PAC11 Early Bird Savings which end on July 4.
 
PAC11 has a range of special sessions and other activities targeted to help ECPs kick start their careers and substantially improve their skills and knowledge base.

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Multifaceted approach best for assessing osteoperotic fracture risk: NPS : 27/06/2011 :

NPS has released a new education program for health professionals - Reducing osteoporotic fracture risk and building healthy bones – encouraging use of a multifaceted approach to help identify those most at risk of osteoporotic fractures and target interventions accordingly.

NPS clinical adviser Dr Danielle Stowasser says osteoporosis poses a significant burden on society in terms of morbidity, mortality and health care costs.

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No surprises in May PBS stats : 26/06/2011 :

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

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AusPharmList online posting now IS compatible with IE9 : 25/06/2011 :

Yesterday we told you that our online AusPharmList posting function wasn't compatible with Internet Explorer Version 9.

We've fixed the problem and 'listers using IE9 can now use the online posting function.

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Pharmacists willing to be organ donors : 24/06/2011 :

In the context of the federal government's recent push to increase the number of Australians who are organ donors through the The DonateLife 'Know their wishes, OK? campaign this week's AusPharm poll asked 'listers to tell us whether they'd thought seriously about this.

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CCTV footage inside a Christchurch Pharmacy during quake : 24/06/2011 :

This week's 'Photo of the week' is a video, sent along by expat Kiwi David Haworth.

It's scary stuff, particularly when you bear in mind this is an aftershock.

Amazingly, no customers were in the pharmacy at the time.

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Positive patient outcomes shown in QUMAX evaluation : 24/06/2011 :

The formal evaluation of the Quality Use of Medicines Maximised for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (QUMAX) Program has now been released and is available online here.

The QUMAX Program was jointly developed by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) as part of the Fourth Community Pharmacy Agreement and, as such, was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

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Indigenous health expenditure reaches $3.7 billion : 24/06/2011 :

In 2008-09, 3.5% ($3.7 billion) of Australia’s total health expenditure was on Indigenous Australians, who make up 2.5% of the Australian population, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

This compares with $3.1 billion spent two years earlier.

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Guild farewells QCPP stalwart : 24/06/2011 :

Long serving Guild Director, Jenny Bergin (pictured right), has called it a day.

The former Director of Quality Assurance and Standards (QAS) joined the Guild in 2000 as the organisation’s Pharmacist Consultant.  Prior to arriving at the Guild, Jenny was already a highly accomplished community pharmacist.  Jenny’s role evolved into the Director of Community Pharmacy Practice which included responsibility for Guild Training.

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