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AusPharm news

Poll: Pfizer Direct / DHL logistics 7 weeks on... : 23/03/2011 :

Those of you in community pharmacy have now had 7 weeks to experience the new Pfizer direct to pharmacy supply model using DHL logistics.

Our February 9 poll told us that all was not well with the new model but we'd like to know whether Pfizer/DHL have lifted their game.

How's the system working in your pharmacy now? Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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Gold Cross endorses MyGene : 23/03/2011 :

Gold Cross has endorsed the MyGene genetic test based weight loss program.

Weightloss Complete consists of a genetic test and a structured evidence based weight loss program. A cheek swab to collect cells from the inside of the mouth and these are sent to the Mygene laboratory where the lab analyses some of the key genes associated with how the body metabolises carbohydrates and lipids. The results enable the Mygene Health Care professional to develop a personally optimised eating plan and weight loss program.

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PHARMeFOOTY 2011 underway but still time to register : 23/03/2011 :

As we've reminded 'listers over the last week or two, Australia's only online footy tipping competition for pharmacy has begun again with the 2011 kick-off of PHARMeFOOTY tipping for the Australian Football League and National Rugby League.

NRL Round 2 proved difficult with just 1 tipper selecting 7 of the 8 winners. Cindy Ridgwell from the Pharmacy Guild tipped the 7 and takes the weekly prize. In 2nd spot was James Clarkin from Gold X with Ray Kragujevic of Torrens Rd Gordon in 3rd place.

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New look Asthma Action Plan launched : 23/03/2011 :

A new look Asthma Action Plan was released yesterday by the National Asthma Council Australia.

The revamped Asthma Action Plan template now comes in a z-card format, which folds down to credit-card size, so it can beo carried in a wallet or pocket. The new design also provides guidance for GPs so they know what to write where, along with space for noting extra information, such as when to take allergic rhinitis medication.

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ASMI on ibuprofen: don't worry, be happy : 22/03/2011 :

The Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI) yesterday urged caution in reacting to new information suggesting a link between ibuprofen and potassium deficiency.

In particular, according to ASMI, care should be taken to distinguish low-dose, short-term, over-the-counter (OTC) use from longer term use and misuse.

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TGA Transparency Review : 22/03/2011 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has published meeting notes for each of the public meetings it conducted as part of its Transparency Review.

The meeting notes are available on the TGA website here.

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Two new mental health clinical guidelines published : 22/03/2011 :

Two new clinical practice guidelines have been released by the Department of Health and Ageing to help health professionals identify and treat mental health problems.

According to Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler, "One guideline will provide guidance in the effective treatment of depression amongst the traditionally hard to target group of adolescents and young adults aged 13 to 24 years."

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Special deal for PSA Offshore Refresher post-conference workshops : 21/03/2011 :

The PSA Offshore Refresher Conference has a special deal available for those pharmacists who may not be able to spare the time to take advantage of the full Conference experience.

Under this first-time offer, delegates can enjoy the unique experience of the post-conference workshops aboard a special chartered Danube River Cruise. This unforgettable trip combines the 13-night post program in Vienna and on the Budapest to Black Sea Cruise with sightseeing and cultural experiences on an unprecedented scale. All of this while travelling aboard one of the magnificent cruise vessels that have been specially built to ensure that you get the absolute most of your time on board.

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Pfizer: we'd do it all again : 21/03/2011 :

Unsurprisingly, the focus of Friday's panel discussion at the APP conference was the Pfizer Direct supply model and the effect it was having on pharmacies, wholesalers and consumers.

When asked whether, with the benefit of 6 weeks experience with the new supply model now under under their belt they would do the same thing again if they had their time over, Pfizer CEO John Latham replied that the company would.

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Sclavos: pharmacy safe from supermarket threat : 21/03/2011 :

Speaking during the panel discussion at APP last Friday Guild President Kos Sclavos told delegates he was confident that pharmacy ownership was securely with pharmacists for many years to come.

His comments followed a recent editorial in the Financial Review in which the paper's economics editor Alan Mitchell suggested that the time was right for the supermarket lobby to have another attempt at getting pharmacies into their stores.

Mr Sclavos based his view on the impending rollout of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record, saying that grocery would never be entrusted with access to this patient data adding that it would take him 5 minutes to convince the public of this, if it became necessary.

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Dirty Rotten Retailers : 21/03/2011 :

Speaking at the APP conference on Friday Guild National Councilor Toni Riley told delegates that the most important part of the 5th Agreemnent professional programs was getting pharmacists recognised as part of the health care team.

Ms Riley said that, at present, it was only pharmacists who already thought they were part of the team with most other health professionals seeing pharmacists as 'dirty rotten retailers'.

Guild President Kos Sclavos confirmed that 'image' was indeed an issue for pharmacy and, in particular, that the front of shop offer of some pharmacy groups who were offering many unproven products for sale was something that required attention.

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Sigma to wind back excessive trading terms : 21/03/2011 :

Responding to a question from the floor at the APP conference on Saturday, SIGMA CEO Mark Hooper told delegates that the company would be winding back unsustainable trading terms currently enjoyed by some of its customers.

While declining to comment on specific customers, Mr Hooper, pictured at right, was thought to be referring to the Chemist Warehouse/My Chemist group, said to be receiving up to 6 months forward charging on their stock.

Mr Hooper warned delegates not to believe everything they heard but admitted that the winding back of trading terms to an equitable and sensible level was something he 'had to do'.

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Professor Ian Harper: CSO at risk : 21/03/2011 :

In a presentation to delegates at the APP conference on Saturday, Deloittes Access Economics Director, Professor Ian Harper, told delegates that exclusive direct to pharmacy supply models posed a potential threat to the Community Service Obligation (CSO) of the 5th Agreement and to National Medicines Policy.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Antiplatelet effects of Fish Oil supplements : 21/03/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Antiplatelet effects of Fish Oil supplements

"Fish oil supplements are widely available and the use of these products is considered to be associated with a range of health benefits (refer E bulletin Vol 38(1)). Two of the most important omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). A 1g capsule of fish oil does not supply a 1g dose of omega-3 fatty acids.  For example a 1g capsule of Blackmores Fish Oil® contains only 300 mg of omega-3 fatty acids (180 mg EPA and 120 mg DHA). Omacor® contains 840 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per capsule. For lowering triglyceride, 2 -5g of the omega -3 fatty acids are needed. To achieve this would require the daily intake of four capsules of Omacor® daily or seven capsules of Blackmores Fish Oil®."

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

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QCPP Pharmacy of the Year winner announced : 21/03/2011 :

Orana Mall Pharmacy in Dubbo, Western New South Wales, is the QCPP Pharmacy of the Year for 2011.

Co-owner of the pharmacy, Lisa Benton, was presented with the award by Guild President Kos Sclavos at the Australian Pharmacy Professional (APP) conference on the Gold Coast yesterday.

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April 2011 PBS schedule : 21/03/2011 :

The April 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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Life-threatening hypokalaemia associated with ibuprofen-induced renal tubular acidosis : 21/03/2011 :

Today's Medical Journal of Australia reports on 4 cases of life-threatening hypokalaemia associated with ibuprofen-induced renal tubular acidosis.

Accordibng to the authors, renal tubular acidosis is an underreported complication of ibuprofen misuse, and can result in life-threatening hypokalaemia. They describe four patients who presented with profound hypokalaemia and muscle weakness associated with excessive ibuprofen ingestion. Ibuprofen cessation and supportive management resulted in complete biochemical resolution within a few days. The authors write that these cases should remind practitioners about potential complications of unmonitored use of over-the-counter analgesics, including those with potential for misuse due to their codeine content.

Read the resport in full here (open access).

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Pfizer cops a hammering at APP State of the Industry Symposium : 18/03/2011 :

At yesterday's State of the Industry Symposium at the APP conference, currently underway on the Gold Coast, the implications for pharmacy of Pfizer's new direct to pharmacy supply model were clearly spelled out to delegates by Symbion CEO Patrick Davies.

Mr Davies said that if 'one or two' more companies were to follow Pfizer's lead, the wholesaling model as we know it in Australia would change and would change in a way that would be doing its pharmacy customers and consumers no favours.

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Pharma: PBS growth is slowest for 15 years : 18/03/2011 :

New Medicare Australia data shows that expenditure on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme is growing more slowly than at any time in the last 15 years, Medicines Australia chairman Will Delaat told the APP State of the Industry Symposium yesterday.

Mr Delaat used his annual State of the Industry Symposium address at the APP conference to challenge the view that public expenditure on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme is growing too quickly.

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Pharmacists views on unproven CAMs changing? : 18/03/2011 :

This week's AusPharm poll asked 'listers whether or not they though pharmacies should stock complementary medicines (CAMS) for which there is no solid evidence base.

The results show a change in outlook to those obtained in an identical poll in 2006 with today's pharmacists more inclined to see it as acceptable to stock products for which for which there is no solid evidence base.

We won't speculate on the reasons for this but refer 'listers to recent discussions on AusPharmList.

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