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AusPharm news

Pharma / generic companies stoush rolls on : 26/02/2011 :

Responding to yesterday's call by the Generic Medicines Industry Association (GMiA) for originator brands of PBS medicines to be delisted once their patent expires, Medicines Australia (MA) said yesterday that there was no evidence to show that this would produce PBS savings.

MA CEO Dr Brendan Shaw said “Policy makers should consider any proposed changes to the PBS and their costings with great care, as history shows that ad hoc, piecemeal changes to the PBS have ended up being bad for industry, government and patients."

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Spending on public health increased : 25/02/2011 :

Expenditure on public health in Australia grew by 5.5% in 2008-09 to $2.3 billion, an increase of $120 million on what was spent the previous year, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

This continues real growth in public health expenditure which has averaged 7.3% per year since 1999-00.

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Free online training for PSA preceptors : 25/02/2011 :

According to the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia the critical role that preceptors play during the intern year of pharmacists sets the foundation for their future career and development, and as such is one of the most valued roles in pharmacy. Acknowledging this, PSA has developed free online preceptor training for all PSA preceptors.

National President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett, said there were many benefits for both the preceptor and the intern in ensuring that preceptors were up to date with their training.

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PSA: Pharmacists have much to offer Medicare Locals : 25/02/2011 :

The release of guidelines for the establishment of Medicare Locals clearly shows pharmacists have an integral role to play in the organisations, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia says.

National President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett, said the guidelines, which were developed following a consultation process in which PSA participated, specified the criteria that will establish Medicare Locals.

“Among the objectives are that the bodies will improve disease prevention and management and improve access to health services,” Mr Plunkett said. “This is a role pharmacists have long undertaken as part of their everyday professional work.”

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PBS NRT patch rollout poorly handled : 25/02/2011 :

No surprises in this week's poll result which confirmed the sentiment expressed in numerous recent posts to AusPharmList. These highlighted the problems with the rollout of nicotine replacement therapy patches onto the PBS on February 1.

Almost half of all respondents described the episode as 'a huge c*ck up' with another quarter admitting it caused 'some grief'.

The majority of those who said they had 'no drama' said they'd had little demand for the products.

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Medicare Locals guidelines released : 24/02/2011 :

Guidelines for the establishment and initial operation of Medicare Locals were released by the Department of Health and Ageing yesterday.

Launching the guidelines, the Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, encouraged primary health care organisations to apply to become Medicare Locals through the invitation to apply process, which also opened yesterday.

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Sydney University School of Pharmacy 50 year reunion : 24/02/2011 :

Organisers are looking for starters for a 50 year reunion of the Sydney University "Mat Med" year of 1961. The function will be held at the Uni. and will include a tour of both the old and new Schools of Pharmacy, followed by a luncheon and much reminiscing. Proposed date is in late September.

For more information and to let organisers know who else you might be able to track down, please contact Maurie Mountain on 0411 594 465 or by email: matmed61@optusnet.com.au

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Be prepared for the unexpected: Don't let your health be an additional worry : 23/02/2011 :

During the recent Queensland floods, many people were caught without their medicines. This put some people at risk of serious health complications and caused untold additional stress.
 
Ahead of possible cyclones and further severe weather patterns, NPS has some tips for how people can protect their health during emergencies:

  • Keep a medicines list
  • Keep a prescription wallet
  • Take your regular medicines when you leave home
  • Remember to take your medicines as directed
  • Ensure you have adequate supplies

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Poll: PBS NRT, how was the rollout in your pharmacy? : 23/02/2011 :

There have been a few posts to AusPharmList recently bemoaning the fact that pharmacies were ill equipped for the Feb 1 launch of PBS nicotine replacement therapy. Information from suppliers was said to be limited, the three brands weren't 'a' flagged and therefore not interchangeable and the products were mostly out of stock at the wholesalers anyway.

How was the PBS NRT rollout in your pharmacy? Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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Blackmores motors along : 23/02/2011 :

Complementary medicine manufacturer Blackmores continues to provide good value for its shareholders, yesterday reporting an 11.3% increase in net profit for the first half of financial year 2010/11.

The increased profit came on the back of a 7.3% sales increase. The company declared an interim dividend of 44c per share, up 4.8% on the previous corresponding period.

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Vaccination questions? : 22/02/2011 :

A new website, www.myvaccination.com.au, has been launched to provide consumers with  information about vaccine-preventable diseases.

The site, developed by vaccines manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), is based on the Australian National Immunisation Handbook, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention website and is aligned to Australia‟s National Immunisation Program.

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Student Business Plan Competition - deadline extended : 22/02/2011 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has extended the deadline for team or individual registrations in the 2011 National Student Business Plan Competition from 28 February to 1 April, and for business plan submissions from 8 April to 28 April.  

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New National Palliative Care Strategy Released : 22/02/2011 :

A new National Palliative Care Strategy was released last week by The Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler.

According to the Minister the strategy - Supporting Australians to Live Well at the End of Life - will provide the key framework for delivering palliative care services in Australia consistently and in a co-ordinated way.

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Discuss Giving Life During Donatelife Week : 22/02/2011 :

Australia’s first national DonateLife Week was launched last Friday by the Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King.

DonateLife Week aims to encourage families to talk about whether individuals want to become organ donors, after their death. Its theme is: “Any day is a good day to talk about organ and tissue donation, especially this week because it’s DonateLife Week”.

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March 2011 PBS schedule : 21/02/2011 :

The March 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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RGH E-Bulletin: Inhaled corticosteroids and risk of diabetes mellitus : 21/02/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Inhaled corticosteroids and risk of diabetes mellitus.

"Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are first-line therapy for asthma and are also commonly used in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), in particular for those patients with moderate–severe disease and frequent exacerbations. They are preferred to oral corticosteroids because of a lower risk of systemic adverse effects, although high doses of ICS have been reported to be associated with adrenal suppression, glaucoma, osteoporosis, cataracts, pneumonia, bruising and decreased growth in children."

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

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AHPRA to get more support : 21/02/2011 :

At a meeting in Hobart last week, state and territory Health Minister agreed to provide the Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Agency (AHPRA) with 'additional support and expertise' to assist them to overcome the problems they have been experience getting health professionals'registrations processed efficiently.

Ministers agreed that action needed to be taken to address concerns and restore professional confidence in the new National Registration and Accreditation Scheme.

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 21/02/2011 :

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

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Big pharma puts up clinical trial plan : 21/02/2011 :

Peak pharma group Medicines Australia (MA) has laid out four policy priorities it says will help arrest the decline in the number of clinical trials conducted in Australia.

Speaking at Research Australia’s pre-NSW election Policy Forum MA CEO Dr Shaw told the forum that the number of clinical trials conducted in Australia had declined for the past three years.

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Panamax pricing: as varied as pharmacies themselves : 18/02/2011 :

This week's poll asked 'listers what they charge for 100 Panamax with the results as varied as pharmacies themselves.

The price varies widely, from about $2 to about $6, with no particular concentration at any given price point.

It's no wonder consumers find community pharmacy pricing puzzling at times!

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