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AusPharm news

Pharmacists see bleak future : 03/06/2011 :

While there were some 'unusual' voting patterns in this week's AusPharm poll, the outcome was clear. Overwhelmingly, pharmacists would not recommend pharmacy as a career to students approaching tertiary education.

Even after adjusting for the voting irregularities in this week's poll, voter turnout (>500) was the highest ever by quite a margin.

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It’s 3am and Your GP is closed — Who Can You Call? : 03/06/2011 :

The Federal Government last week announced that Medibank has been appointed to be the operator for the after hours GP helpline that has recruited over 100 doctors.

Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon explained the after hours GP helpline is designed to make it easier for families to contact a doctor when they need to.

“Having a sick child is a worry for any parent. But, when that small cry for help comes at 3am, it can be even more concerning as many parents are left asking, ‘Who can I call for help?’,” Minister Roxon said.

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The Priceline Sisterhood : 03/06/2011 :

Priceline yesterday launched The Priceline Sisterhood, a national community program that has been developed to respond to the major health and wellbeing concerns of Australian women.  The initiative will raise awareness and funds for six charities that provide help and support to women in the areas of heart health, mental health, family wellbeing and fighting cancer.

The major health concerns were identified by Australia’s Biggest Health Check, a groundbreaking survey of more than 25,000 women.

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PSA national intern training program: second intake enrolments open : 02/06/2011 :

Enrolments for the 2011 Second Intake are now open for the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s specialist National Intern Training Program (NITP).

The NITP is predominately an online program including tailored face-to-face workshops, workplace-based assessments and practical-based projects which have been developed after close consultation with PSA members and previous interns to ensure that the content is relevant.

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AusPharm CE: RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 36 : 02/06/2011 :

The next in our 2011 series of continuing education activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 36.

This CE activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins (Volumes 41-12 - 42-3  -->  April - May 2011).

After completing this activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Outline to clinical pharmacology of pegloticase
  • Discuss recent developments in the understanding of cardiovascular risk associated with NSAIDs
  • Describe recent evidence developments relating to the use of exanitide
  • Understand the different types of drug-induced tooth discoloration.

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 MIMs.

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Latest edition of Australian Prescriber out now : 02/06/2011 :

The June 2011 issue of Australian Prescriber is now available online. Topics featured in this issue include:

  • Managing HIV in general practice
  • Treatments for snoring in adults
  • Testing for HFE-related haemochromatosis
  • Finding independent information on new drugs

It also contains the most recent Medicines Safety Update.

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NAPSA makes a difference : 02/06/2011 :

The National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA) has so far raised more than $12,000 in support of the Day of Difference Foundation during its Annual Charity Cup, run this year during the month of April.

The NAPSA Charity Cup campaign is an initiative of the 2008/09 Pharmacy Awareness Committee and has successfully raised over $17,000 for Fred Hollows Indigenous Program over the past two years. In 2010 it was decided to support The Day of Difference Foundation.

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ACA takes a look at Sensaslim : 01/06/2011 :

AusPharm understands that the folk from Channel 9's A Current Affair have been conducting an investigation into the recently launched 'natural dietary aid', Sensaslim.

Barring unforeseen events, the story is scheduled to run tonight.

For background, click here.

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Poll: would you recommend pharmacy as a career? : 01/06/2011 :

'Listers will have read the report in yesterday's (e)news that a recent poll of pharmacy students determined that one quarter of those polled would not recommend pharmacy as a career to others.

Would you recommend pharmacy as a career to (say) a senior secondary school student? Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 01/06/2011 :

AFL Round 10
 
AFL Round 10 saw just 4 tippers select all 8 winners. The best margin tip was from Rod Inglis of Kyneton Hospital so Rod becomes the weekly winner. In 2nd place was Rebecca Lockhart from Creswick Pharmacy with Anne Lake of Chevron Renaissance Pharmacy finishing 3rd.

NRL Round 12

NRL Round 12 was good for tippers with 75 selecting all the 7 winners. Brad Cartwright from Wesley Hospital tipped the perfect margin and wins the weekly prize. In 2nd place was Kevin Culla with Carly Wilson from Alphapharm in 3rd spot.

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Audit campaign focuses on Queensland pharmacies : 01/06/2011 :

The Fair Work Ombudsman is visiting hundreds of pharmacies throughout Queensland  to ensure employers are meeting their workplace obligations.

Fair Work inspectors are randomly auditing 500 pharmacies across all areas of the state. Pharmacies selected for audit will be scrutinised to ensure they have appropriate employment records and that payslips are being issued and are in order. Fair Work inspectors will also monitor staff entitlements such as minimum hourly rates of pay, overtime, minimum hours of engagement and meal breaks.

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Vaccine Side Effects Under the Microscope : 31/05/2011 :

Last week the federal government released an independent assessment of Australia's management of vaccine adverse events which recommends a more cohesive and coordinated national plan to deal quickly and effectively with health concerns about vaccines.

The review, conducted by by former Chief Medical Officer, Professor John Horvath AO, followed public alarm over the withdrawal of seasonal flu vaccines for children in the 2010 flu season due to an unusually high incidence of fever with convulsions following vaccination in some children under five years of age.

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Free Localised Prostate Cancer Packs for Symbion pharmacies : 31/05/2011 :

The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia will today launch free Localised Prostate Cancer Packs to be distributed through pharmacies to help the thousands of Australian men diagnosed with prostate cancer each year.

The information packs will be available to patients at the 2,500 pharmacies which have an account with Symbion Pharmacy Services across the country.

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One quarter of pharmacy students wouldn't recommend pharmacy as a career : 31/05/2011 :

25% of 584 pharmacy students polled by the National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA) in a recent survey say that would not recommend a pharmacy career to others.

Reasons given for not recommending pharmacy as a career included poor employment prospects and low wages on graduation brought about, in part, by the increased student intake into a growing number of pharmacy schools in recent years.

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PBS: steady as she goes : 30/05/2011 :

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

Script numbers were up 26% on April 2010 (16.2 million v 12.85 million) and absolute dollars were also up, by 29% ($677 million v $525 million). The large difference is likely to be a statistical anomaly as year to date figures produce more stable results.

Both script numbers (+3.2%) and absolute dollar (+5.5%) totals for 2011 are slightly up on 2010 (68.3 million scripts@ $2.85 billion v 66.2 million scripts @ $2.70 billion.

(March 2011 numbers were: 17.7 milion scripts @ $736 milion).

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A pharmacist I can trust! : 30/05/2011 :

The email below landed in the AusPharm inbox over the weekend. It started life as a post to the Victoria Skeptics chat group.

------------

Dear All,

I now live in Castlemaine. I was reading the Midland Express, to find a half page column ad from two pharmacists - Kennedy's Amcal in Kyneton, and McKenzie Davey Pharmacy, Castlemaine. It was titled "Some not so complementary comments".

The column was close typed - a long explanation of the TGA findings, distinguishing complementary and alternative remedies and the lack of efficacy, explaining that homeopathy has no effect and so on. I was amazed.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Optimal duration of statin therapy : 30/05/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Optimal duration of statin therapy

"For many years HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (commonly referred to as “statins”) have been the mainstay of pharmacological lipid lowering therapy across many patient groups. Hypercholesterolemia is an important and modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and as such elevated cholesterol that have not responded to lifestyle modifications alone should be addressed with lipid lowering medications. Statins are generally well tolerated with predictable efficacy and side effects. However, limited data exists regarding when and if it is appropriate to cease treatment with statin drugs."

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

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Pharmacists clear: 'price promoting' scripts unprofessional : 27/05/2011 :

This week's poll asked 'listers to let us know whether they think 'price promoting' prescription medicines is unprofessional. We used the recent Priceline catalogue 'ad' as an example.

Overwhelmingly, respondents to our poll (n=350) believe that these 'price lists' do price promote prescription meds, with 70% seeing such ads as 'deplorabe' with another 18% saying that including the benzodiazepines makes such ads 'unprofessional'.

Only 4% of respondents agree with the TGA and AHPRA that such ads are 'price lists' only with a further 7% saying that price promotion [of these products] is healthy.

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Over 3,800 pharmacies now using eRx Script Exchange : 27/05/2011 :

eRx Script Exchange continues to grow, with now over 10,000 doctors and 3,800 pharmacies using eRx.

Read this story and more in the May 2011 eRx Script Exchange Newsletter:

  • News from the pharmacy APP conference 2011
  • Congratulations to Best Practice on the success of their Summit in March
  • Are your patients taking their medicines? - instructions on how to view dispense notifications in prescribing software
  • CPIAM joins eRx as our latest dispensing vendor

Click here to read the May 2011 eRx Script Exchange newsletter.

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New Consumer Class Director appointed to NPS Board : 27/05/2011 :

NPS announced yesterday that it has appointed Dr Christine Walker to its Board in the position of Consumer Class Director.
 
Dr Walker brings to the Board extensive experience in the health sector, particularly in the area of chronic illness.  In her current role as Executive Officer of the Chronic Illness Alliance, she represents the needs of people with chronic illnesses from a range of diverse communities, age groups and conditions via its 55 member organisations across Australia. 

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