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AusPharm news

Thin evidence that diet pills work : 05/05/2011 :

CHOICE review of leading diet and weight loss pills has found many are not rigorously tested. Most pills contain active ingredients that have no proven effectiveness, with the possibility that some could be harmful to health.

Of the 10 products investigated by CHOICE, two products, Xantrax High Potency and Rapid Burn, contain both bitter orange and panax ginseng which, when combined, may increase the risk of heart arrhythmias.

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National quality and safety standards needed for GP prescribing software : 04/05/2011 :

According to a study conducted by NPS published in the BMC Medical Informatics & Decision Making journal, Australia needs national standards for general practice prescribing software to help vendors ensure their products support quality and safety in prescribing.

National standards would also ensure a guaranteed minimum level of clinical functionality which clinicians could expect to find in any system, according to NPS CEO Dr Lynn Weekes.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 04/05/2011 :

AFL Round 6
 
AFL Round 6 was good for tippers with 19 selecting all 7 winners.  Fiona Lochran from AFS was closest to the margin and is this week’s winner. In 2nd place was Stephen Thompson of Pulse Pharmacy Lansell Plaza with Erin Dmello in 3rd position.

NRL Round 8


NRL Round 8 was great for tippers with 75 selecting all 8 winners. The result came down to cumulative margin again with Patricia Downes from Western Hospital taking the win. In 2nd place was Andrew McMurtrie from TWC Mackay with Rhyll Cronin taking 3rd.

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A snapshot of osteoporosis in Australia 2011 : 04/05/2011 :

According to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the rate of hip fractures due to osteoporosis has decreased.

The report, A snapshot of osteoporosis in Australia, shows that the rate of osteoporotic hip fractures fell by 8% for men and 15% for women between 1998–99 and 2007–08 (based on age-standardised hospital separation rates).

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Poll: can I speak to the owner please? : 04/05/2011 :

Yesterday's article from Veronica Nou I want to speak to the boss!  prompted a 'lister to ask us to run a poll to find out how pharmacies treat phone calls asking to speak 'to the owner'.

We thought that sounded pretty good and, always keen to please, we've rolled it out today.

What happens in your pharmacy when the person on the other end of the phone says "Can I speak to the owner please?"

Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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GuildCare extends introductory offer until end of June : 03/05/2011 :

The 5CPA Pharmacy Practice Incentives (PPI’s) commence July 1st.  GuildCare is extending its APP special pricing of $790 until the end of June 2011 so that those pharmacies seeking a systemised IT solution to deliver under the PPI’s can take advantage of the offer.  

“There has been an overwhelming demand for the programs and I thank all pharmacies who have already subscribed to this offer," said Ross Gallagher, CEO healthlinks.net. These pharmacies are up and running and on their way to successful remuneration come July 1st.”
 
The extended offer has been made so that all Australian pharmacies (not just those who attended the APP Conference) have the opportunity to avail themselves of the APP special.

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CHF survey report on PBS deferrals released : 02/05/2011 :

On 29 March, the Consumers Health Forum (CHF) released a survey seeking the views of consumers about federal Cabinet's recent decision to vet all new PBS listings. The results of the survey were released in a report on Friday.

Unsurprisingly, findings from the survey indicate significant concern from health consumers and other members of the public about the decision.

The report is available on the CHF website, here.

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Roxon, defends PBS deferrals, contests MA comments : 02/05/2011 :

In her opening address to last Friday's PBS deferrals 'roundtable' Health Minister Nicola Roxon defended the government decision to delay PBS listing of drugs recommended for inclusion on the PBS by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC).

Ms Roxon said that "ultimately it is and always has been Government’s responsibility to decide whether to list a new drug, taking into account other priorities across the health portfolio and fiscal circumstances across government. Ultimately, just because a drug is proven to be clinically and cost-effective, doesn’t mean it’s the most urgent or pressing way to spend finite taxpayer money. Budgets must add up and choices must be made".

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RGH E-Bulletin: Drug-induced tooth discolouration : 02/05/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Drug-induced tooth discolouration

"There are a number of drugs that cause tooth discolouration, which may be categorised as arising either intrinsically or extrinsically. Extrinsic discoloration is defined as stains that occur on the outer surface of the tooth structure and are caused by topical or extrinsic agent, and occur after the tooth has erupted. Exposure to the drug subsequently causes this type of discolouration. Many drugs have been implicated – for example, cholorhexidine produced tooth discolouration in over half of patients who used a mouthwash or rinse for more than six months."
 
Click here to read the bulletin in full. The E‑Bulletins are archived on the AusPharmList website here.

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New asthma & COPD medications chart available : 01/05/2011 :

The National Asthma Council Australia has released an updated version of its popular asthma medications wall chart, which is designed to assist health professionals discuss respiratory medications and inhalers with patients.

The revamped chart, which is the Council's second most-requested resource (after the Asthma Management Handbook), has been retitled: ‘Asthma & COPD Medications' to reflect the inclusion of the latest COPD medications.

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Peak bodies to meet with Minister on Cabinet decision to delay PBS listings : 29/04/2011 :

Health Minister Nicola Roxon has agreed to attend a roundtable conference co-hosted by an alliance of consumer groups, the Australian Medical Association, Medicines Australia and the Generic Medicines Industry Association in Melbourne today to hear their concerns about the Government’s plan to delay indefinitely the listing of new medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Minister Roxon, along with Treasurer Wayne Swan and Finance Minister Penny Wong, were invited to explain in person why Federal Cabinet recently declined to PBS list medicines recommended for listing by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC).

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Latest Webstercare newsletter : 29/04/2011 :

Every second month our friends at Webstercare produce a newsletter that is distributed to all aged care homes throughout Australia.

They've kindly agreed to make it available to pharmacists too, through AusPharm.

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Asthma triggers thrive this autumn : 29/04/2011 :

Australians with asthma are being warned to be extra vigilant this autumn, as the season delivers a trifecta of asthma triggers - mould, more dust mites and increased exposure to pet allergens.

According to National Asthma Council Australia Chief Executive Officer, Kristine Whorlow, these are the leading triggers of asthma in Australia.

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Pharmacists embrace mandatory CPD : 29/04/2011 :

If this week's AusPharm poll is a true reflection of what is happening in the broader pharmacy community, the Pharmacy Board will be pleased at the willingness of pharmacists to responsibly manage their CPD obligations.

78% of respondents to this week's poll indicated that they were in a position to satisfy the Board if they were the subject of a CPD compliance audit. Only 7% of respondents indicated they were likely to be in trouble if chosen for an audit.

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Emergency department care and elective surgery waiting times : 29/04/2011 :

The AIHW published a report today detailing emergency department care in major public hospitals and public hospital elective surgery waiting times from July 2009 tp June 2010.

Research on emergency department care showed that:

Almost 6 million emergency department presentations were reported by major public hospitals in 2009–10 and overall, treatment by a medical officer or nurse commenced within 23 minutes of presenting to the emergency department for 50% of patients and within 115 minutes of presentation for 90% of patients.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 28/04/2011 :

AFL Round 5
 
AFL Round 5 saw the un-tippable Gold Coast victory which meant 6 from 7 winners was the best score for tippers. It came down to cumulative margin to decide the result and Jeff Nelson from TWC - Lavington takes the weekly prize. In 2nd place was Rebecca Unmack of Creswick Pharmacy with Kim Collins finishing in 3rd position.

NRL Round 7


NRL Round 7 was tough for tippers with 7 of the 8 winners being the best score for the top 26 tippers. The result came down to cumulative margin again with Ian Lochran from AFS winning the prize. In 2nd place was Tom Silvan of Waterford Plaza Pharmacy with Michael Broadbent from Torrens Road Gordon in 3rd spot.

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May 2011 PBS schedule : 28/04/2011 :

The May 2011 PBS Schedule and the ‘Summary of Changes’ are available here.

Download the Full PBS schedule

Download the PBS Summary of changes

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Scheduling changes for fexofenadine, ibuprofen (+/-) paracetamol : 28/04/2011 :

One of a number of interim scheduling decisions announced yesterday by the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS) will see combination ibuprofen / paracetamol products of 200 mg ibuprofen and 500 mg paracetamol upscheduled into Schedule 3 or schedule 4.

Other interim decisions announced recommend fexofenadine assuming unscheduled status and the maximum allowable size of liquid ibuprofen preparations being increased - this will allow the 5-12 year pack to become available in a 200ml size as well as the currently available 100ms bottle.

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Vale Bevan Warland-Browne : 27/04/2011 :

On Wednesday 20th April 2011, an icon of Australian pharmacy, Bevan Warland-Browne, passed away in his 96th year.

Mr Warland-Browne was a  Life Member of PSA, an ex-prisoner of war of the Japanese for over 1200 days and remained a passionate pharmacist to the end.  As a prisoner, Bevan coerced his captors to practice his profession, and utilised nature's raw materials to treat and care for his fellow prisioners.  

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Symbion enters veterinary wholesaling market : 27/04/2011 :

Symbion Pharmacy Services announced on Friday that it has signed an agreement aimed at acquiring veterinary wholesaler, Lyppard Australia Limited. Lyppard is one of the country’s leading veterinary wholesalers with sales revenue of approximately $165 million.

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