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AusPharm news

PSA: pharmacists can help in preventive health : 14/02/2011 :

The federal government's renewed focus on identifying and tackling health problems in the community as part of its refined health-care reform package has been welcomed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. Acting PSA President, Grant Kardachi, said pharmacists were ideally placed to play a pivotal role in addressing health issues in the community.

"Pharmacists are the most accessible health-care professionals and see consumers, on average, more than any other health professional," Mr Kardachi said.

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NSW Libs promise support for community pharmacy : 14/02/2011 :

In the leadup to the NSW state election, the NSW Liberal and National parties have committed $10 million to a range of health initiatives involving community pharmacy.

According to NSW Deputy Opposition Leader and Shadow Minister for Health Jillian Skinner, "We will be building on the trusted relationship people have with their local pharmacist to encourage them to have basic tests which may provide early identification and then ongoing management of major health issues and chronic disease."

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RGH E-Bulletin 41-3: Nightmares and sleep disturbance with statins : 14/02/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Nightmares and sleep disturbance with statins.

"There have been a number of reports in the literature of sleep disturbance or nightmares related to the use of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins), most commonly with the more lipophilic agents. In one report, a 72 year old woman taking atorvastatin experienced nightmares 5 days after initiation of the drug. These disappeared on cessation and recurred on rechallenge, correlating to a “definite causality” according to the Naranjo probability scale (refer E-Bulletin 20-11)."

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

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Photo of the week: DHA Eucresol Lamp : 11/02/2011 :

All the talk of Cresol (a phenol) I looked up at the top shelf in the dispensary where I am at and grabbed a wonderful triangular box with a triangular lid and inside is an original........

DHA Eucresol Lamp!

The blurb reads "It has long been acknowledged that the most efficacious treatment of Whooping cough is by the inhalation of certain antiseptic preparations used in a vapourised condition, the most useful of which is DHA Eucresol embrocation

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Watch out for scammers : 11/02/2011 :

Here is a fax received in pharmacies this week that looks like it's trying to pull the same 'I'd like to buy 30 blood pressure monitors' scam a 'lister alerted us to in a recent post to AusPharmList.

The phone/fax number on the top looks like a phone number in New South Wales, but is actually a number you can buy from Skype and then use anywhere in the world - gives some authenticity to the fax - which it certainly needs.

We're told that the quality of the fax is not much better than this scanned image - a pretty poor job really, so don't be taken by it.

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Pharmacy Board January meeting communiqué : 11/02/2011 :

A meeting of the Pharmacy Board of Australia was held on 28 January 2011 at the national office of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) in Melbourne.

At the meeting the Board considered a range of issues relating to pharmacist registration and also finalised the development of a policy to address the issue of supply of medications from pharmacies not approved to dispense pharmaceutical benefits ("unapproved pharmacies"). 

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Medicines Safety Update No.1; 2011 : 10/02/2011 :

The first Medicines Safety Update for 2011 was published in the February 2011 issue of Australian Prescriber.

It contains reports on:

The TGA encourages the reporting of all suspected adverse reactions to medicines, including vaccines, over-the-counter medicines, herbal, traditional or alternative remedies.
Details on how to report an ADR are available on the TGA website here.

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Counterfeit medicines and devices : 10/02/2011 :

The TGA is advising consumers that counterfeit medicines can be a serious threat to their health. Counterfeit medicines or medical devices are often packaged or marketed to mimic a genuine item.

Products are considered counterfeit if the labeling, presentation, advertising, formulation or source of the goods is false. The TGA closely monitors the supply chain in Australia to prevent counterfeit medicines or medical devices from entering the market.

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Directory of services for older Australians : 09/02/2011 :

The Australian Government Directory of Services for Older People 2011 was recently launched. The directory covers programs and services from Australian Government departments such as health, options for care, legal rights, finance choices and employment choices.

Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler said that Australians have one of the world’s highest life expectancy rates, and the number of Australians aged over 65 will almost triple, from 3.1 million today to around 7.6 million in 2051.

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5% PBS growth in 2010 : 09/02/2011 :

PBS statistics for the December 2010 have now been released, allowing a full year on year comparison of PBS costs for 2009 and 2010.

The total cost of the PBS (including Repat.) in 2010 was $8.13 billion, representing 199.1 million scripts claimed.

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Poll: Pfizer Direct / DHL logistics : 09/02/2011 :

Well, those of you in community pharmacy have had a week or so to experience the new Pfizer direct to pharmacy supply model using DHL logistics and if posts to AusPharmList are describing a typical experience, the model may well be quite short lived!

How has it been in your pharmacy? Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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Buying medicines and medical devices over the Internet : 09/02/2011 :

The TGA is advising consumers to excercise caution when using the internet to purchase therapeutic goods.

If care is not taken, the TGA says consumers may inadvertently break the law, waste their money or risk their health.

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CV risk assessment use must increase to combat rise in cardiovascular disease : 08/02/2011 :

NPS last week launched its most recent education program, ‘CVD risk: guiding lipid management’. The program encourages early assessment of people’s cardiovascular risk to identify those who may need to commence preventative therapies. Overall CV risk assessment allows treatment to be directed to those at highest risk and who are likely to receive the greatest benefit from therapy.

Cardiovascular disease is the single largest cause of death in Australia. It affects 1 in 6 people – a figure expected to increase to 1 in 4 by 2050. More than half of Australians aged over 25 have cholesterol levels considered to be high.

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NAPSA Congress over for another year : 08/02/2011 :

Two hundred and forty delegates from pharmacy schools around Australia gathered in Adelaide between January 24th – 30th 2011 for the 2011 NAPSA Congress.

Keynote speaker, Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom, spoke on the importance of ownership of the profession and the need to embrace the changing industry. The education program concluded with a Future of Pharmacy Forum which focused on student training, internships, graduate numbers and professional identity.

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Top Mirixa performers in NSW : 07/02/2011 :

Mirixa Australia has released a list of the 'Top 20' Mirixa pharmacies.

NSW pharmacies make up 60% of the top 20 including the top 4 places.

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PSA: Pharmacists well placed to help : 07/02/2011 :

Recent NPS research which shows nearly a third of Australians forget to take their medications presents an unnecessarily high risk level for consumers which can be addressed in part by pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia says.

Acting President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said medication compliance was a major concern as failure to take medicines properly often led to hospitalisations. 

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APLF gets two new members, new chair : 07/02/2011 :

At a recent meeting of the Australian Pharmacy Liaison Forum (APLF), Professor Nick Shaw, Chair of the Council of Pharmacy Schools: Australia and New Zealand, was appointed as the Chair of the APLF for 2011.

Also at the meeting, the APLF announced that two new members have joined the group; these are the National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association and the Pharmacist Division of APESMA.

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Pharmacists feature in tonight's RHEF broadcast : 07/02/2011 :

A new Rural Health Education Foundation television program that covers new vaccines, vaccine safety and best practice, and the updates to the National Immunisation Program Schedule, will air on Tuesday February 8th.

Immunisation: Getting to the Point discusses recent outbreaks and pandemics as well as the benefits and impacts of immunisation across age groups. The hour-long broadcast – the Foundation’s first for 2011 – also covers risk factors, common misconceptions, ensuring informed consent, and awareness and protocols for assisting Indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD).

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RGH E-Bulletin 41-1: Use of beta blockers for COPD patients with heart failure : 07/02/2011 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Use of beta blockers for COPD patients with heart failure.

"β-blockers have been shown to have several beneficial effects in cardiovascular disease and therefore are used for avariety of indications such as post-myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, hypertension, angina and arrhythmias.
Despite these benefits, β-blockers are often under-prescribed in COPD patients due to belief that they can precipitate respiratory deterioration or cause bronchospasm. This E-bulletin aims to summarise some of the existing evidence on
using β-blockers in COPD patients."

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

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Pharmacists follow EHC guidelines : 04/02/2011 :

This week's AusPharm poll found that, in the main, pharmacists do follow the PSA guidelines when supplying emergency hormonal contraception.

Only 8% of respondents said 'they just supply it as it's virtually harmless'.

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