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AusPharm news

TGA Transparency Review : 06/04/2011 :

105 written submissions have now been received for the TGA 'Transparency Review'. The closing date for submissions has now passed.

At its most recent meeting, on 23 March 2011, the Review panel was briefed by Professor Lloyd Sansom, Chair of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) and Ms Lynn Weekes, Chief Executive Officer of National Prescribing Service (NPS).

The Panel discussed the outcomes of the public consultations and began their consideration of issues raised against the Terms of Reference in preparation for their Report. The fourth meeting of the Panel will be held on 13 April 2011.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 06/04/2011 :

AFL Round 2
 
AFL Round 2 was favourable to tippers with 16 selecting all the 8 winners. Mark Walton from Apotex tipped the margin perfectly and wins the weekly prize. In 2nd place was Barry Parsons of Baxter Healthcare with Jai Kumar from Kumar's Pharmacy in 3rd spot.

NRL Round 4

NRL Round 4 saw just 2 tippers select all 8 winners correctly. Ben Kang from Kings Pharmacy had the best margin and wins the weekly prize. In 2nd place was Marc Aldridge from Huxhams Pharmacy with Frances Ukich from Paul Ukich Pharmacy taking 3rd spot.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Olanzapine long-acting injection : 05/04/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Olanzapine long-acting injection

"Olanzapine has been marketed in Australia since mid 1997 for the treatment of schizophrenia, and subsequently for the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder.  Unfortunately, non-compliance with medication continues to be a sizeable problem in this group of patients, and can lead to exacerbation of symptoms, as well as relapse and re-hospitalisations. Long-acting injectable forms of antipsychotic medication can therefore play an important role in achieving optimal treatment outcomes."

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

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PSA: Flexible Care Packages a good first step : 05/04/2011 :

The implementation of the Government’s Flexible Care Packagess for people with severe mental illnesses has been welcomed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia as a first step in improving care in this area of unmet need.
 
Flexible Care Packages are designed to help provide clinical and case coordination services to support people with severe mental illness in the community and help them stay out of hospital. They will be delivered through Medicare Locals that PSA strongly supports and which will provide a more collaborative model of care, with the inclusion of pharmacists. 

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Board reviewing reference list : 05/04/2011 :

The Pharmacy Board of Australia is undertaking a review of its guidelines on references which are considered essential to the practice of pharmacy. It is seeking feedback on a consultation document.

The guidelines state that pharmacists must be able to readily access contemporary works of professional reference in either conventional or electronic forms and that the information must be immediately available to the pharmacist during the dispensing, clinical assessment, reviewing and counselling processes.

The principal changes being considered by the Board are the removal of Martindale from the list and the removal of the term flagged for some references 'for pharmacists undertaking medication reviews' as the Board believes this term has the potential to cause confusion.

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TWC to introduce major Microsoft head office systems innovations with FRED : 05/04/2011 :

Terry White Chemists has partnered with the Fred IT Group to deliver a significant systems upgrade with the introduction of a new Microsoft-based head office platform designed specifically to enhance retail management practices for its 160+ franchisees.

Using the new Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail platform, Terry White Management's new core head office system will streamline its levels of service and improve merchandising, finance and supply chain capabilities. The system will significantly enhance the exchange of information with the Terry White Chemists pharmacies.

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April 2011 Medicines Safety Update - Coversyl packaging to change : 05/04/2011 :

Medicines Safety Update is the drug safety bulletin of the Therapeutic Goods Administration. The April 2011 edition has been published in the April issue of Australian Prescriber

Of interest to 'listers will be the news that Servier is to revisit the packaging of its Coversyl product so that it doesn't look like Coumadin 5mg.

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Pfizer's Direct to Consumer model a hit : 04/04/2011 :

AusPharm's breaking of the news on Friday that Pfizer was to bypass community pharmacy with a new Direct to Consumer distribution model for its prescription products was welcomed by 'listers who said they were not surprised by the rogue company's latest move.

Hold on, the story was a joke..... Comments received from 'listers included:

'Ha ha ha.... your headline had me going for a moment! Well done :) Of course, the perpetual joke is Pfizer!!'

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New generics campaign focuses on safety around medicine brand choices : 04/04/2011 :

The next phase of NPS's Be Medicinewise campaign launched yesterday and focuses on safety in the context of medicine brand choices.

The campaign aims to educate people about the difference between a brand name and the active ingredient in a medicine, and where to find the active ingredient on the medicine packet or label.

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 04/04/2011 :

The MIMS April 2011 Monthly Medicine Update is now available. Click the link to read it now.

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GuildCare praises pharmacy software vendors : 04/04/2011 :

Guildcare developers healthlinks.net said last week that it had used an 'equal development model' when providing Guildcare source code to pharmacy software vendors so that they were all able to integrate the software suite into their platforms in a timely fashion. Over 99 per cent of software vendors integrate with GuildCare/Mirixa Australia.

In thanking dispense software vendors, healthlinks.net CEO Ross Gallagher said that professional services for pharmacy cannot succeed without their support and collaboration.

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Nursing homes are a PITA : 01/04/2011 :

In the context of recent AusPharmList discussions regarding the difficulties / profitability of a pharmacy's nursing home, we asked 'listers about their experience with their nursing home. After removing the 35% of responses 'we don't have a nursing home' the results are shown below.

There is little change from an identical poll we ran early in 2007 with (in 2011) 42% of respondents telling us that their nursing home is 'a major pain in the ar*e' and a further 20% saying it is 'often difficult'!

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Health and the environment closely connected : 01/04/2011 :

A compilation of research evidence on how human health can be positively and negatively influenced by the environment was released on Tuesday by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

AIHW spokesperson Mark Cooper-Stanbury said the report synthesises research findings on 15 selected environmental factors that we know can influence people’s health’.

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Clinical trial numbers fall for third straight year : 01/04/2011 :

New figures from the Therapeutic Goods Administration showing the third straight fall in the annual number of new clinical trials in Australia highlight the urgent need for Government to deliver on its promise to fix the problem, Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said yesterday.

The TGA’s latest Half-Yearly Performance Report shows that 574 clinical trials were started in Australia in 2010. That is the lowest number since 2001 and 99 fewer than 2009.

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Pfizer to ditch pharmacy and go Direct to Consumer : 01/04/2011 :

Following mounting speculation in recent days, Pfizer Australia confirmed this morning that, commencing May 1, it would be distributing its prescription products directly to patients, bypassing community pharmacy altogether. The company said that it will no longer be making its products available to any wholesaler, pharmacy group or independent pharmacy.

Pfizer has assembled a team of in house pharmacists (thought to be contracted to the company by the Chemist Warehouse / My Chemist group @ $23/hr) and will supply its products at standard PBS prices via a new web portal to be launched in the coming weeks.

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Spending on DMARDS triples in 5 years : 31/03/2011 :

According to a report released on Tuesday by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), the cost to the community of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) increased significantly between 2003 and 2007.

An estimated 384,000 Australians had rheumatoid arthritis in 2004-05 and this number increased to 428,000 in 2007-08.

Two different types of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) can be used to manage rheumatoid arthritis. These are referred to as conventional DMARDs and biologic DMARDs, or bDMARDs.

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AusPharm CE: RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 34 : 31/03/2011 :

The next in our 2011 series of continuing education activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 34.

This CE activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins (Volumes 41-4 - 41-7  -->  February - March 2011).

After completing this activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Discuss the possible effects of inhaled corticosteroids on likelihood of diabetes mellitus
  • Understand principles influencing the administration of PPIs by the enteral tube route
  • Describe the clinical pharmacology of tocilizumab
  • Outline the use of intravesical gemcitabine for the treatment of superficial bladder cancer

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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PSA and PSNZ sign historic Agreement : 31/03/2011 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand yesterday signed a historic strategic alliance to lead in building the capacity of the profession and driving a greater role for pharmacists in the health-care systems of both countries.
 
The alliance specifically aims to strengthen the professional role of pharmacists as recognised pivotal members of the primary health care team in improving patient outcomes in Australia and New Zealand.

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Paracetamol During Pregnancy May Put Children at Increased Risk for Asthma : 31/03/2011 :

A new study published in the journal Clinical & Experimental Allergy reveals that children whose mothers used paracetamol during pregnancy were at an increased risk of wheezing when compared to non-users.

Results demonstrated that paracetamol used at any stage of pregnancy was associated with a subsequent 21% increased risk of asthma in children between 2.5 and 7 years old.

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Community pharmacy gets a seat at the e-health table : 30/03/2011 :

A major project spearheaded by Fred Health has been selected as a lead implementation site in the second wave of the Federal Government’s e-health roll out.

The Fred IT MedView project will provide a solution that, for the first time, will allow Australian clinicians to see a combined list of prescribed and dispensed medications regardless of how many different doctors and pharmacies the patient has attended. 

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