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AusPharm news

Chemmart asks for more from Pfizer : 30/03/2011 :

AusPharm's breaking of the news yesterday that Pfizer Direct had been providing 150 days forward charging to the Chemist Warehouse group has prompted the Chemmart group to go back to the company looking for a better deal.

According to Chemmart Executive Director Jonathan Layton the group has been working hard to get commercially attractive terms for Chemmart Pharmacies, but has found Pfizer to be uninterested in developing a long term relationship with Chemmart "presumably because they hold a false belief that Chemmart would never support a Pfizer generic offer".

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Online video presentation of GuildCare : 30/03/2011 :

The Pharmacy Guild has made available an online video presentation about its new software software GuildCare, designed to facilitate implementation of the new Pharmacy Practice Incentives (PPIs).

The incentives include start-up payments for those who register before 30 June 2011, as well as ongoing quarterly and annual incentives from 1 July 2011.

Pharmacies must register before 30 June to get the start-up payments. Eligible pharmacies can register online at www.5cpa.com.au.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 30/03/2011 :

AFL Round 1
 
AFL Round 1 was an easy start with 18 tippers selecting all 8 winners. David Vuong from North Balwyn Pharmacy also selected the margin perfectly and wins the first weekly prize. In 2nd place was Parkie Lam from Boort Community Pharmacy with Nick Magree of Pharmacy O`Reilly taking 3rd spot.

NRL Round 3
 
NRL Round 3 saw two tippers select all 8 winners correctly. Noella Korneha from Medicare Australia was closest to the margin and wins the weekly prize. In 2nd place was Christopher Mcmullen of Brassall Pharmacy with Trevor Clarkin from ACPP&M in 3rd place.

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Poll: supplying nursing homes : 30/03/2011 :

The desirabilty (and profitability) of a pharmacy 'having a nursing home' has once again featured in AusPharmList discussions in recent times.

Does your pharmacy supply a nursing home? If so, what's it like? Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

(For a bit of light relief, premium level 'listers might like to have a look at a hilarious piece Irwin the Evil Chemist penned on just this topic back in February 2007 - we've republished it today for your entertainment).

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Sigma on the way up? : 29/03/2011 :

Sigma Pharmaceuticals yesterday released its full year results for the year ending January 31 2011. While the company reported a $235.4 million full-year net loss on the strength of a large impairment charge levied against the sale of its underperforming drug manufacturing business, CEO Mark Hooper was upbeat.

"While the reported net loss was disappointing, it is pleasing to see at the operational level, the Healthcare Business has continued to grow and remain stable despite the recent challenging times," he said.

The Sigma story is widely reported in today's mainstream media - there are links to these stories in today's AusPharm In the News section.

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Challenging Arthritis for more effective management : 29/03/2011 :

Healthcare professionals are being encouraged to speak to their arthritis patients about the benefits of using self-management programs as a way of making their day-to-day arthritis management more effective.
 
With the support of medical and allied health professionals, Arthritis NSW launched their new self- management program yesterday, Challenging Arthritis. The program, in conjunction with medical management, aims to provide people with additional arthritis support by focusing on long-term behaviour changes.

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$10,000 up For Grabs for Men's Sheds : 29/03/2011 :

Men’s Sheds and other community-based organisations across the country can again apply for up to $10,000 each through the second round of the Australian Government’s Shed Development Program.

The Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, who is also responsible for male health, said the funding round would give community groups an opportunity to establish new sheds or improve existing sheds.

“Community groups can use the funding to purchase work equipment, improve disability access, obtain shed insurance or connect to utilities.”

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Request for Tenders open for 5CPA R&D Program : 28/03/2011 :

The Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement (5CPA) Research and Development (R&D) Program has commenced the process of commissioning research in community pharmacy practice. Pharmacy research and development is a key priority identified in the 5CPA. Funding of up to $10.6 million has been allocated for R&D over the life of the 5CPA.

The objective of the R&D Program is to contribute to maintaining and improving the health outcomes of Australians through evidence based best practice on issues related to pharmacy and the provision of quality services to patients.

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More vaccine hassles : 28/03/2011 :

The TGA has issued an immediate recall of Batch N3336 of Pneumovax® 23. This batch of vaccine has only been supplied in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory and there is no indication of problems with any other batch of Pneumovax® 23.

This recall is being undertaken as a precautionary measure following reports of a number of adverse reactions in some patients who have received the vaccine. As of 24 March 2011 the TGA had received 10 reports of severe skin reactions with surrounding inflammation at the site of the vaccine injection.

Details are here.

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Pfizer Direct applies further tweaks : 28/03/2011 :

In its latest newsletter to pharmacies Pfizer said that it has increased the number of free deliveries pharmacies can utilise each month from four to five.

The newsletter also clarifies the process for obtaining free delivery of items on the Critical Products List. To qualify for free delivery, these items need to be ordered directly from Pfizer Customer Service, not via the iStore or a pharmacy's POS.

Pfizer continues to claim that orders placed before 1PM will be delivered the next business day (except for 16 remote pharmacies) however, as AusPharmList posts in recent times have pointed out, this just isn't happening.

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SHPA submission on pharmacists in Medicare Locals : 28/03/2011 :

The Society of Hospital Pharmacist of Australia (SHPA) has released its response to the Medicare Locals; Governance and Functions discussion paper.

The SHPA submission lobbies for the inclusion of pharmacists in non-supply roles as part of Medicare Local service profiles, citing the variety of established roles of pharmacists in Australian hospitals as evidence of the value pharmacists bring to health care teams.

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Pan Pharmaceuticals saga over? : 28/03/2011 :

The Pan Pharmaceuticals saga may now be over after the Federal Court on Friday approved a $67 million payout to former customers of Pan who lost money because of the company's closure following a recall of its products in 2003. The settlement is in addition to the $50 million granted to Pan owner and pharmacist the late Jim Selim, pictured at right, in 2008.

While the terms of the settlement see the Federal Government funding the payout, they include no admissions of guilt from the government. 

This story was widely covered in the mainstream media and there are links to these stories in today's AusPharm In the News section.

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February PBS numbers up : 28/03/2011 :

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

Script numbers were up 11.3% on February 2010 (16.41 million v 14.94 milion) and absolute dollars were also up, by 12.5% ($690 million v $613 million).

The increase is the first in 3 months with the January 2011 and December 2010 numbers both showing decreases compared to the same months one year earlier.

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NSW pharmacists honoured by PSA : 28/03/2011 :

NSW pharmacists Gerard Stevens and Gerry McInerney have been elevated to the status of fellows of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

The NSW Branch of the PSA has also announced the awarding of several Certificates of Achievement.

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Pfizer gives Chemist Warehouse a flying start : 28/03/2011 :

AusPharm had two reports over the weekend that Pfizer had granted Chemist Warehouse stores trading terms that sees them paying '150 days from Statement'. One 'lister passed on a copy of a couple on invoices confirming the reports.

Pharmacists in the area were said to have 'gone ballistic' when news of this got out.

'Listers will recall it was claimed Sigma were extending 6 months forward charging to the Chemist Warehouse group but, as Sigma CEO Mark Hooper said at APP last week, the winding back of trading terms to an equitable and sensible level was something he 'had to do'.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Addressing polypharmacy in older people : 28/03/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Addressing polypharmacy in older people

"Polypharmacy has been defined as the use of ≥ 5 medications per person. A more appropriate definition would be the administration of more medications than clinically indicated, resulting in inappropriate medication use. The latter definition fits well with Quality Use of Medicines principles. The 11th biennial health report of Australia in 2008 revealed that the proportion of the Australian population who are elderly is rising. Older people often have a propensity to be prescribed more medications. People aged over 65 years account for 20-33% of Australian national drug expenditure and this is expected to reach 40% in 2030."

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

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More Australians access mental health care : 25/03/2011 :

Record numbers of Australians are receiving mental health treatment, according to an evaluation released by the Department of Health and Ageing. The report shows that there are still some groups who are not accessing the services they need.

Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler said while treatment rates for people with mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression have improved from 35 per cent in 2007, compared to an estimated 46 per cent in 2010.

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Pfizer Direct / DHL improving but only slightly : 25/03/2011 :

This week's poll, a repeat of one we ran 6 weeks ago asked 'listers how they were faring with the new Pfizer Direct / DHL direct supply model now that it's been in operation for just over 7 weeks.

Things seem to have improved but not by much - 43% of poll respondents still describe service levels as appalling and this week's posts to AusPharmList certainly back up this view.Of interest is that fewer people voted in this week's poll compared to our February poll.

Does this suggest people are becoming more tolerant of  service levels that, anecdotally, don't measure up to those provided by the CSO wholesalers?

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PPIs - register before June 30 or miss out : 25/03/2011 :

One thousand community pharmacies have registered for the new 5th Agreement Pharmacy Practice Incentives (PPIs) in the week since registration opened.

The National President of the Guild, Kos Sclavos, said, “This is a great result in the first seven days – but we want more.  We want to see every eligible community pharmacy in Australia registered before the cut-off date of 30 June this year.”

To be eligible for PPI payments, pharmacies must be approved Section 90 pharmacies, accredited by a pharmacy accreditation program (i.e. QCPP), and agree to comply with and display a patient service charter.

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Time to slash cost of generics : 25/03/2011 :

In an article in yesterday's Financial Review, Associate Professor of Health Economics at the University of Sydney, Philip Clarke, writes that the pace of PBS price reform on generics is too slow, citing the Canadian experience as a better way to go.

Canadian Health Minister Deb Mathews introduced reforms that saw a 50% cut in the price the Canadian government paid for generics with a 75% cut to be imposed for drugs going off patent in future. According to Associate Professor Clarke, Australia could save $1.7 billion over the next 5 years if we paid  prices for generics 'already attained overseas'.

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