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AusPharm news

July 2011 PBS schedule : 17/06/2011 :

The July 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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Is community pharmacy 'retail' or is it 'health care'? : 17/06/2011 :

This week's poll (although poorly worded) tried to determine to what extent pharmacists view community pharmacy as (in the main) a retail activity rather than a health destination.

The results suggest that the vast majority (even more than in 2006) think that community pharmacies are 'shops' not health destinations.

(Given the poor wording of the poll question and preamble, we'd be more than happy to publish alternate interpretations of the poll result.)

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Parliament condemns Cabinet decision to block listing of new PBS medicines : 17/06/2011 :

The House of Representatives yesterday passed a motion, agreed to on Tuesday by the Senate, that the listing of new medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme should not be “subject to capricious political interference”.

The motion passed by both houses of Parliament “deplores the Government’s new policy that despite positive recommendations by the PBAC, all applications for listing will be further scrutinised by Cabinet” and that “listing of medicines can be deferred indefinitely”.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 17/06/2011 :

NRL Round 14
 
NRL Round 14 saw just 3 tippers select all the 6 winners correctly.  Grant Jones from Hart's Pharmacy had the best margin so is this week’s winner. In 2nd place was Sean Dodd with Mina Mikhail of Lyndoch Pharmacy in 3rd position.

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Actonel EC now on PBS : 16/06/2011 :

The first oral bisphosphonate for osteoporosis that can be administered with or without food is now PBS listed.

Actonel EC (risedronate sodium) 35mg Once-a-Week is a bisphosphonate designed to reduce the impact of food on risedronate absorption. It is enteric coated - the risedronate is not released until reaching the small intestine where the pH > 5.5. The formulation also contains a chelating agent which reduces the binding of dietary calcium (and other food cations) to risedronate, reducing the impact of food on absorption. 

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First Webster-pak robot commissioned : 16/06/2011 :

Canberra's Kaleen Day & Night Pharmacy is the first pharmacy in Australia to install and start using the Webster-pak Robot which has been specially designed to pack a patient's medication into a Webster-pak.

Kaleen Pharmacist, Nader Ibrahim said the Australian designed Robot is a great step forward in pharmacy delivery of medications; "It is safer, more accurate and importantly for a smaller pharmacy like ours - takes up very little space - just one square metre.  And it saves a significant amount of time - its' multi-tasking application allows the operator to seal one pack while the Robot packs the next one."

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4000 register for Pharmacy Practice Incentives : 16/06/2011 :

With two weeks remaining  until the cut-off date for start-up payments, four thousand community pharmacies have now registered for the 5th Agreement funded Pharmacy Practice Incentives (PPIs).

This means around 80 per cent of all community pharmacies in Australia are registered for PPIs and there are about 1100 pharmacies which have not yet registered.

After 30 June 2011 eligible pharmacies will still be able to register but they will not receive the once-only start-up payments.

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Harvey v Sensaslim - the saga continues : 15/06/2011 :

The legal stoush between Dr Ken Harvey and Sensaslim over comments made by Dr Harvey about the 'dietary aid' returned to the Supreme Court in Sydney yesterday. A number of procedural issues were dealt with by the Court and the case is next listed for hearing on August 15.

While the case remains before the Court the Complaints Resolution Panel (CRP) is unable to consider the substantive issues raised in Dr Harvey's original complaint about the promotion of Sensaslim, lodged with the CRP on March 18.

Dr Harvey's complaint and at least six others sent to the CRP by other people, alleged that the promotion of Sensaslim breached numerous sections of the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code 2007, the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 and the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 15/06/2011 :

AFL Round 12
 
AFL Round 12 was very good for tippers with 159 selecting all 8 winners. The result came down to cumulative margin with Craig Fox from Judges Pharmacy taking first place. In 2nd spot was Margaret Tolar with Peter Balram of Wesley Hospital finishing in 3rd position.

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Student sets up online petition opposing the SOL listing of pharmacists : 15/06/2011 :

In response to last week's news that pharmacists are to be *added* to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship's Skilled Occupation List (SOL)** from 1 July 2011 a final year pharmacy student from Charles Sturt University has launched an online petition opposing the move.

The petition's preamble claims that the current high level of pharmacy graduate numbers in Australia is creating a situation where skilled health professionals are being paid less than those who work at fast food outlets and advocates for pharmacy graduates' right to employment.

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Caution needed with medicine doses for children : 15/06/2011 :

Responding to media reports over the weekend on the dangers of paracetamol double dosing, the Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI) issued a statement yesterday urging parents and carers to take extra care when measuring and medicating children for fever, coughs and colds. ASMI was responding to media reports on comments from the NSW Poisons Information Centre about parents incorrectly calculating the appropriate dosing of medication for children, particularly in regard to paracetamol.

ASMI Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Director, Steven Scarff said that because different medications may be used at different doses it is important for parents to check the dosing guidelines on the pack of each medication before it is used.

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A big flu season ahead? : 15/06/2011 :

Year on year data from Project STOP suggests that the 2011 winter might be a bad one for colds and flu.

Reinforcing Health Department warnings that reported cases of influenza have increased 400 per cent compared to 2010, data collected through Project STOP shows that demand for cold and flu medications was increasing as far back as early April, indicating an early arrival of the cold and flu season.

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Poll: Are community pharmacists really healthcare professionals? : 15/06/2011 :

There is always debate amongst pharmacists and the public about whether community pharmacists are true 'health care professionals' or are merely glorified shopkeepers.

Some say that the growth of the discount pharmacy model has more and more consumers seeing community pharmacies simply as shops rather than as health care destinations.

What do you think? Please let us know by voting in the week's AusPharm poll.

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Owners positive about FOS pharmacist concept : 14/06/2011 :

Our 'minipoll' conducted over the long weekend suggests that pharmacy owners are prepared to embrace the front of shop (FOS) pharmacist concept overwhelmingly endorsed by 'listers in last week's poll.

Our weekend poll suggests that 2/3 of owners are considering employing an additional FOS pharmacist within the next 12 months. Most of the remaining one third said that their pharmacies were too small.

As Peter Dishington eloquently puts it in an AusPharmList post today; "Bring it on. The industry needs to find a way for this kind of idea to work before all the talent leaves for more rewarding careers."

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10% put off having scripts dispensed due to cost : 14/06/2011 :

Nationally in 2009, almost one in ten people aged 15 years and over who had been prescribed medication deferred purchasing this medication due to its cost. The data is included in a new AIHW report, The National Healthcare Agreement: Performance report for 2009-10, released last week.

The report discloses that those people significantly more likely to defer buying prescribed medications were:

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Aussie men could take better care of themselves : 14/06/2011 :

While Australia continues to enjoy improvements in health and life expectancy, statistics released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) show many Australian men could be doing more to protect and improve their health.

The report, The health of Australia’s males, examines attitudes to health issues, rates of injury, illness and mortality and use of health services among Australian men.

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Flexibility in initiating RMMRs essential : 14/06/2011 :

Changes to the Residential Medication Management Review (RMMR) Program which stipulate that in future all reviews must be collaborative could have the unintended consequence of reducing flexibility in the system, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia says.

National President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett, pictured right, said that while PSA supported the broad thrust of the changes, it was concerned that  the apparent cessation of pharmacist-initiated reviews could be detrimental to the health outcomes of patients.

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Summary of Medication Review changes : 14/06/2011 :

As we reported last week, changes to the Home Medicines Review (HMR) and Residential Medication Management Review (RMMR) models were announced by AACP Chair Debbie Rigby at the annual AACP conference, ConPharm, held in Darwin last week.

Fact sheets for RMMRs and HMRs are now available on the 5th Community Pharmacy Agreement website.

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AACP Pfizer Consultant Pharmacist of the Year 2011 : 14/06/2011 :

Accredited pharmacist Paul Hannan has been named as the recipient of the 2011 AACP Pfizer Consultant Pharmacist of the Year Award at the AACP’s annual seminar ConPharm ’11 currently being held in Darwin.

The aim of this annual award is to recognise the outstanding contribution by an accredited pharmacist to the practice of consultant pharmacy. The award includes a medallion and certificate, plus a travel grant to the value of $10,000 to attend an international pharmacy conference of relevance to the practice of consultant pharmacy.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Prophylaxis against recurrent urinary tract infections : 14/06/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Prophylaxis against recurrent urinary tract infections.

"Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common problem, with up to one in three women and one in twenty men developing a UTI in their lifetime. They can become a significant healthcare burden, especially if left untreated, often presenting with symptoms such as fever, dysuria, frequency and lethargy. Recurrent UTIs are defined as two or more episodes within six months or three or more episodes within 12 months. Prophylactic options for recurrent UTIs include antibiotic therapy and other alternatives."

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

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