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AusPharm news

A vision for pharmacists’ practice in Australia : 26/05/2011 :

In the context of Australia’s health reform agenda and taking into account the National Medicines Policy, PSA's Issues paper on the future of pharmacy in Australia and the Guild's Roadmap: the strategic direction for community pharmacy pharmacy's peak organisations* have developed a consultation paper to guide the development of A vision for pharmacists’ practice in Australia.

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Queensland multidisciplinary health symposium a success : 26/05/2011 :

A multidisciplinary health symposium held on the Sunshine Coast last weekend proved to be a very successful and timely gathering of health professionals from a wide range of disciplines who examined ways of working collaboratively to improve the health outcomes of patients.

Bruce Elliot, Queensland Branch President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, one of the groups behind the symposium, said the meeting had been a “phenomenal success”, with 90 registrants across at least five health professions.

“All participants came away with an increased knowledge and understanding of how we can all work together collaboratively and cooperatively,” Mr Elliot said.

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Lipitor tablets change shape, size : 26/05/2011 :

Pfizer Australia announced overnight that it is set to launch a smaller Lipitor® (atorvastatin) tablet in June 2011.

The tablets are smaller in every dimension – length, width and thickness. The new smaller tablets have also changed shape. These new round tablets are replacing the previous oval-shaped tablets and should be easier to swallow. There will also be accompanying changes to the packaging.

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Priceline wangles a spot on Today Tonight : 26/05/2011 :

In a quirky coincidence (see this week's AusPharm poll) last night's Channel 7 Today Tonight program ran a story about how retailers are ripping off the public with exhorbitant markups.

It was an odd story, designed to appeal to the masses, that focused on high markups but made no mention of high rents, high wages and other costs of doing business. 

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Jack Thomas quiz winners : 25/05/2011 :

The 2011 PSA Offshore Conference has concluded successfully with a highlight of the conference being, as always, the annual Jack Thomas quiz. Each year the competition becomes more fierce, with entrants vying to have their name engraved on the coveted trophy for posterity.
 
This year again, the final result was very close, coming down to the tie-breaker case study to separate the winners. The overall winner was Elizabeth Bajusz, with Peter Roberts a close 2nd, & Joan Graham 3rd.
 
Pictured below from left to right are Joan Graham, Elizabeth Bajusz and Peter Roberts.

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Australia's increasing contribution to multiple sclerosis research : 25/05/2011 :

Australia is increasing its contribution to multiple sclerosis research, but existing treatments remain the frontline in tackling this incurable disease, according to multiple sclerosis experts who gathered in Sydney to discuss latest developments in MS.

An estimated 18,000 people in Australia suffer from multiple sclerosis. According to MS Australia, 87 percent of patients are of working age, with the majority diagnosed in their late 20s or early 30s.

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Poll: is price promoting scripts unprofessional? : 25/05/2011 :

Priceline's recent $5.99 catalogue 'pricelist' raised concerns from some pharmacists about whether such ads were 'unprofessional'.

Other pharmacists however pointed out that inexpensive medicines were, in principle, a good thing for consumers.

Is price promoting prescription medicines 'unprofessional'? Please let us know what you think by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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Trent Twomey elected College President : 25/05/2011 :

The Australian College of Pharmacy today announced the composition of its new Board that took office after the Annual General Meeting on the 19th of May 2011. The new Board is made up of Trent Twomey, Trevor Clarkin, Peter Saccasan, Rick Samimi,  Tim Lewis,  Mike Farrell and Brett Clark.

At its first meeting today, the Board elected former NAPSA President Trent Twomey as College President. Trevor Clarkin is the new Vice President, Peter Saccasan is the Director of Finance & Audit and  Brett Clark is the final Executive Member.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 25/05/2011 :

AFL Round 9
 
AFL Round 9 saw 8 tippers select all the 8 winners correctly. The best margin tip and weekly winner was John Coutsouvelis from The Alfred Hospital. In 2nd place was Lee Owens from Horsham Amcal with  Sandra Jones of St Leonards Pharmacy in 3rd position.

The Leaderboard sees Rose McGregor of Balnarring Pharmacy move into 1st place with Sue Bereza from Anglesea Pharmacy maintaining 2nd position. In 3rd spot is Chris Hick from University of Sydney.

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Mucus or a raspy tickle? : 24/05/2011 :

Know the difference between a chesty or dry cough or you could get Fully Sick.

Experts are calling for Aussies to pay attention to their coughs this winter as new research from Bisolvon shows some people are still not certain about the difference between a chesty cough or a dry cough1. This distinction has important implications for the way people manage their coughs.

The latest Bisolvon Cough survey also found that all respondents thought correct cough etiquette was an extremely or very important public health issue, yet only one in two respondents were aware of the best practices for covering their cough and only 11 per cent follow the recommended action of coughing into their elbow1.

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Union rural pharmacy survey : 24/05/2011 :

Acknowledging there is a mal-distribution of pharmacists in Australia - that is, there are too many pharmacists in the metropolitan areas and too few in rural areas - employee pharmacist union, the Pharmacists's Division of APESMA, is inviting pharmacists to complete a short survey that will explore the possible benefits and incentives that will attract and retain pharmacists to work in rural and remote areas of Australia.

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Homeopathy, but not the remedy, works in rheumatoid arthritis : 24/05/2011 :

The June 6 issue of Rheumatology reports on a trial that sought to determine whether any benefits from adjunctive homeopathic intervention in patients with rheumatoid arthritis were due to the homeopathic consultation, homeopathic remedies or both.

56 of the 83 enrolled patients completed the treatment phase with no significant differences being observed for either of the study's primary outcome measures. There was no clear effect due to remedy type however patients receiving a homeopathic consultation were observed to have significantly improved outcome measures.

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Pharmacy Board heads north : 24/05/2011 :

The Pharmacy Board of Australia will meet in Darwin on 26 and 27 May 2011 and, while there, hopes to gain first-hand knowledge of the provision of pharmacy services in the Darwin area, and in particular to indigenous communities.

The Board will meet with local pharmacists at an informal gathering to discuss its work and gain to insight into issues relevant to pharmacists operating in Darwin and servicing local and regional communities. The Board will also visit a local community and Aboriginal Health Centre.

Board Chair Stephen Marty said the visit was an important opportunity for board members to exchange knowledge and ideas with local pharmacists and see how their services are provided to local communities.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Is this clozapine-induced neutropenia? : 23/05/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Is this clozapine-induced neutropenia?

"Clozapine is an atypical antipsychotic reserved for treatment of therapy resistant schizophrenia, and has been reported to provide benefit in up to 50% of previously non-responding patients, allowing functional improvement. The risk of haematological changes, specifically the reduction in total white blood cell and neutrophil count, necessitate the mandatory requirement for national registration and monitoring under the Clozapine Patient Monitoring System (CPMS). The cumulative risk of clozapine induced agranulocytosis, the potentially life threatening reduction in neutrophil count below 0.5 x 109 /L, has been reported at approximately  1%, with the majority of cases occurring within 12 weeks of initiation."

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

 

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Commonwealth releases Lead Clinicians Groups Position Paper : 23/05/2011 :

On Friday the Commonwealth released its position Paper on Lead Clinicians Groups outlining key objectives, roles, responsibilities and membership of National and Local Lead Clinicians Groups. The paper aims to balance the diverse range of views raised by stakeholders throughout the earlier stages of the consultation process.

At the local level, Lead Clinicians Groups will advise their Local Hospital Network and Medicare Local on how the patient journey can be enhanced and how local health services can best meet the needs of the local community.

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New AMA President puts foot in mouth : 23/05/2011 :

In a study published last week in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Scottish researchers warned of the dangers of double dosing young children with paracetamol by giving both prescribed and OTC paracetamol preparations.

Responding to this, incoming AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton, pictured right, associated Lemsip products with potential paracetamol overdose.

The Lemsip people were understandably disappointed in Dr Hambleton's comments, pointing out that all Lemsip products containing paracetamol in Australia are labelled for use in those aged 12 years and over only.

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Let’s chat about dying : 23/05/2011 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, as part of National Palliative Care Week which starts today and runs to 28 May, has urged pharmacists to encourage Australians to chat to their loved ones / caregivers about dying.

PSA CEO, Liesel Wett, said it could be hard to talk about death and dying, but it was very important people understood your wishes before it was too late.

PSA will be circulating and displaying new information materials from Palliative Care Australia, all based around the theme “Let’s chat about dying”.

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Pharmacies reluctant to offer medical certificate service : 20/05/2011 :

The results of this week's AusPharm poll suggest that just over one third of pharmacies are offering a medical certificate service with only a small number actually issuing any number of them.

Almost thirds of pharmacies aren't offering the service for various reason, the most common being that pharmacists either see it as too legally risky or simply don't think they can turn a dollar from it.

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June 2011 PBS schedule : 20/05/2011 :

The June 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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First (WA) pharmacists due to renew registration with AHPRA : 20/05/2011 :

The Pharmacy Board of Australia yesterday encouraged pharmacists in Western Australia to check their registration expiry date and to renew on time, particularly if due to renew registration by 30 June 2011 - their first time  under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme.

Pharmacists can check their registration expiry date on the National Register of Pharmacists, published online at www.pharmacyboard.gov.au. The best way to search the Register is by name and profession.

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