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AusPharm news

Importance of patient consent under spotlight : 24/08/2015 :

With pharmacists’ roles expanding into more diverse areas of patient care, the issue of patient consent is coming to the fore.

In the August issue of Australian Pharmacist, legal columnist Dr Laetitia Hattingh from Curtin University discusses the importance of obtaining legally valid consent from patients.

Dr Hattingh writes that pharmacists must ensure consent is obtained before undertaking activities such as medication reviews or carrying out any diagnostic or assessment procedures such as taking blood pressure, bone density screening, blood sugar and cholesterol monitoring and - now very relevant - administering vaccines.

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First biosimilar - infliximab (Inflectra) - PBS listed and 'a' flagged : 24/08/2015 :

Hospira's Remicade biosimilar infliximab (Inflectra)'s has been recommended for PBS listing with an 'a' flag against Remicade by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC).

The decision, made at last week’s PBAC meeting, means that Inflectra will be substitutable against Remicade by pharmacists at the pharmacy level.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: The SAMEe-TT2R2 Score : 24/08/2015 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is The SAMEe-TT2R2 Score.

"The extent of effective anticoagulation with Vitamin K antagonists (i.e. warfarin) is reflected by the time that the International Normalised Ration (INR) is within the therapeutic range. Deviations from desired INR may be associated with under-anticoagulation leading to thromboembolism, or over-anticoagulation that may result in bleeding. The SAMeTT2R2 score was developed to predict the likelihood of achieving a high proportion of time in the therapeutic range (TTR) for patients with atrial fibrillation. Clinical & demographic factors that influence the quality of oral anticoagulation were identified using data from the AFFIRM trial population."

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

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Recommendations alone will not avert a liver disease epidemic : 24/08/2015 :

The Federal Government needs to PBS list new hepatitis C medicines without further delay, says the peak body representing the interests of those, living with the disease.

Responding to the latest round of Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) recommendations, Hepatitis Australia CEO Helen Tyrrell said a total of four* curative hepatitis C therapies have now received the green light for inclusion on the PBS but so far no listing date has been confirmed.

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Little confidence in emergence of useful online health record any time soon : 21/08/2015 :

Almost three quarters of pharmacists voting in this week's AusPharm poll believe there is little chance a 'useful' online patient health record will become a reality any time soon.

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AusPharm CE: RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin Digest Issue No.84 : 20/08/2015 :

The next in our 2015 series of continuing professional development activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 84.

This CPD activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins, Volumes 58-8→58-11 (May/June 2015).

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Wholesaler delivery charges to flow from 6CPA CSO changes? : 20/08/2015 :

The extension of the allowable wholesaler delivery time from 24 to 72 hours for most PBS medicines under the terms of the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA) was highlighted yesterday by pharma industry publication PharmaDispatch.

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Guild on the front foot on primary care role for community pharmacy : 20/08/2015 :

A Pharmacy Guild delegation including Executive Director David Quilty and President George Tambassis met this week with members of the Primary Health Care Advisory Group to argue the case for community pharmacy to play a greater role in primary health care.

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Entries open for 2016 Guild Pharmacy of the Year : 20/08/2015 :

Applications for the Pharmacy Guild's 2016 Australia Pharmacy of the Year Award opened yesterday.

The competition - open to all Guild member community pharmacies - recognises and rewards community pharmacy businesses who go beyond the call of duty and ensure pharmacy consumers receive the best care, medication and advice.

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Statins rule... : 20/08/2015 :

Atorvastatin was the most common drug dispensed in Australian pharmacies in each of the years from 2012 to 2014. Rosuvastatin came in second in 2012 and 2013 and third in 2014.

Making up the top three in each year was the proton pump inhibitor esomeprazole.

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September 2015 PBS schedule : 19/08/2015 :

Download the PBS schedule Summary of Changes

Download the PBS schedule

Download the PBS Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy Summary of Changes

Download the PBS Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy - full Supplement

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Poll: online shared health records; when? : 19/08/2015 :

All pharmacists are aware how difficult it can be to make some clinical decisions without access to more patent history than is available in any one pharmacy.

One obvious example is when assessing a patient request for a Schedule 3 codeine containing analgesic. Is the request genuine or has the patient already purchased another packet(s) at the pharmacy(s) down the road?

A start was made in creating a shared online patient record on 1 July 2012 when the 'opt-in' Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) went live. However, it has been plagued by difficulties both in getting clinicians to upload data to it and to refer to it. Security and privacy concerns have also been expressed. In May the federal government announced version two - an 'opt-out' model - would be progressed. Perhaps this will attract more interest from clinicians.

What do you think? Will progress be made towards a usable shared electronic health record or is it all just too hard? Please let us know what you think by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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29,014 pharmacists : 19/08/2015 :

The Pharmacy Board of Australia yesterday published details of the Australian pharmacy workforce as of 30 June, 2015.

On that date there were 29,014 registered pharmacists on the Board's books including 1,815 pre-regs.

NSW had the highest number of pharmacists with 31% of the total followed by Victoria (25%). 62% of pharmacists are under 40 years of age and 61% of pharmacists are female.

Details are here.

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PhD Masters scholarships available for CAM research : 18/08/2015 :

Applications have opened for scholarships for both PhD and Masters degrees in complementary medicines.

The PhD scholarships, funded jointly by the University of Western Sydney's National Institute of Complementary Medicine and the Blackmores Institute are to undertake specific individual research projects which investigate complementary medicine treatments.

Two are being offered, one exploring the clinical application of Chinese herbal medicine and the other exploring western herbal or nutritional medicine are available.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Effects of antidepressants upon seizure threshold : 17/08/2015 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Effects of antidepressants upon seizure threshold.

"Depressive disorders in patients with epilepsy have been reported with a higher prevalence than the general population, stated at 9-22%. The association between the conditions may be due to the depletion of serotonin, although an exact mechanism is unclear. Depression and psychosis are also risk factors for epilepsy, and the increased risk of seizures with concurrent SSRI/SNRI treatments should be interpreted in the context of this background risk (approximately 15-fold increase). Another important consideration is that all antidepressants have been associated with hyponatremia, which may predispose a patient to seizures - these affects appear to be dose dependent."

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

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PSA: medicinal cannabis trials must use ‘standardised pharmaceutical products’ : 17/08/2015 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has released a position statement on the investigation of the potential therapeutic value of and possible medicinal uses for cannabis.

The organisation has called for standardised pharmaceutical products which have been evaluated for quality and safety to be used in any research conducted.

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Clinicians best judge of high value clinical interventions : 17/08/2015 :

The judgement of “experienced and well informed” clinicians is better than service-level measurement and incentive programs when it comes to recognising and reducing “low-value” health care, according to the authors of an article published today in the Medical Journal of Australia.

The finding has implications for the Choosing Wisely campaign, a global initiative coordinated in Australia by NPS MedicineWise that aims to improve the quality of health care provided by clinicians by reducing medical tests, treatments and procedures of proven low value.

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More international recognition for Australian Pharmacist : 17/08/2015 :

Australian Pharmacist, the official monthly journal for the 18,000-plus members of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, has again been internationally recognised - this time in the worldwide Trade, Association and Business Publications International awards.

Studio Manager and Graphic Designer Rebecca Jones and Business Development Manager Lyn Todd won the top Gold Award in the Front Cover, Photograph category for their The Flower Children Turn 60 cover of the December 2014 edition of Australian Pharmacist, pictured at right.

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PSA15 most successful PSA onshore conference to date : 14/08/2015 :

The recent PSA15 conference held in Sydney has emerged as the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s most successful onshore conference ever.

Around record 900 registrations were recorded for the event.

Chief Executive Office of PSA Dr Lance Emerson said the success of the event would help shape planning for PSA16 which will again be held in Sydney.

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Scanning now universal : 14/08/2015 :

The result of this week's AusPharm poll confrism that scanning is now well embedded in the pharmacy dispensing process.

The poll (n=-155) asked 'listers how they scan scripts with multiple containers (such as 100 Panadeine Forte) and followed several posts to AusPharmList earlier in the week raising the issue.

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