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AusPharm news

August Australian Prescriber : 06/08/2015 :

The August 2015 issue of Australian Prescriber is now available online. Topics featured in this issue include:

  • Update on medicines for smoking cessation
  • Managing osteoarthritis
  • Managing obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Medical management of chronic stable angina

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Quilty: national real time solution to monitoring S8 drug use essential : 06/08/2015 :

It is time for governments around the country to do the right thing, sort out their differences, remove the roadblocks and ensure that a real time solution to monitoring Schedule 8 drug use is put in place as quickly as possible says Pharmacy Guild Executive Director David Quilty.

Writing in Guild publication Forefront yesterday Mr Quilty said doctors and pharmacists must unite to demanding a national system for the Electronic Recording and Reporting of Controlled Drugs (ERRCD).

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Union rejects call for Sunday penalty rate cut : 06/08/2015 :

Employee pharmacist union, Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA), has (unsurprisingly) rejected the recommendation contained in the Productivity Commission's draft report into Australia's Workplace Relations Framework, released yesterday, that Sunday penalty rates should be cut.

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599 abstracts submitted for MM2015 : 06/08/2015 :

599 abstracts have been submitted for Medicines Management 2015, the 41st Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) National Conference.

According to SHPA, the strong response shows how keen pharmacists, technicians, interns and students are to share their work and how passionate they are about their profession.

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Poll: level of inappropriate benzodiazepine use : 05/08/2015 :

Last week, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners issued new guidelines on the Prescribing of benzodiazepines in general practice.

The guidelines note that there are many 'issues' associated with benzodiazepine use such as potential dependence, withdrawal, problematic drug use (including diversion and misuse) and known harmful effects, including falls, potential cognitive decline and motor vehicle accidents.

They note that "Benzodiazepines are generally regarded by clinical practice guidelines as a short-term therapeutic option. Long-term use, beyond 4 weeks, should be uncommon, made with caution and based on thoughtful consideration of the likely risks and benefits of benzodiazepines".

What is the benzo prescribing like in your area? In accordance with the statement above? Nowhere near it? Somewhere in the middle? Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in this week's AusPharm poll.

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Sunday penalty rates to be cut? : 05/08/2015 :

The Productivity Commission yesterday released its draft report on Australia's workplace relations framework.

While the Commission believes the regulatory framework underpinning Australia's workplace relations system is 'working well'  it has made a number of recommendation for reform, among them that Sunday penalty rates be cut back in some industries.

"Sunday penalty rates that are not part of overtime or shift work should be set at Saturday rates for the hospitality, entertainment, retail, restaurants and cafe industries."

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eRx tops one billion script mark : 05/08/2015 :

The one billionth prescription dispensed electronically through eRx Script Exchange was processed yesterday.

Since its launch in 2009, 89% (4,714) of Australia’s pharmacies and 76% (19,930) of Australia’s GPs have connected to and are using the exchange.

The volume of electronic prescriptions has increased exponentially since launch. By July 2015, pharmacies using eRx were electronically dispensing 753,000 electronic prescriptions each day and, during peak periods, 25 electronic scripts per second.

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Primary care options discussion paper released : 05/08/2015 :

The federal Health department yesterday released an options discussion paper ‘Better outcomes for people with Chronic and Complex Health Conditions through Primary Health Care’.

The discussion paper considers possible reform options to inform the government’s development of ‘a healthier Medicare to support people with complex and chronic diseases’.

Public consultations will be held around Australia in the next month so that the Primary Health Care Advisory Group, who developed the paper, can finalise its recommendations.

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Health Destination Pharmacy enters implementation phase : 04/08/2015 :

PSA’s Health Destination Pharmacy (HDP) program, a coaching and development program to help pharmacies deliver financially viable health services, has entered its implementation phase and was formally launched at PSA15 on Sunday.

The HDP program is evidence-based with proven results, is backed by industry leaders, and is delivered by experts in pharmacy change.

PSA President, Joe Demarte, said the program assisted pharmacies to transition from reliance on a price-focused, discount model to a consumer-focused model – one that was adaptive to local community needs and demographics.

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 04/08/2015 :

The MIMS August 2015 Monthly Medicine Update is now available. Click the link to read it now.

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Access to health records, mutual trust essential for collaborative care : 03/08/2015 :

A number of themes emerged from the Collaborative care panel session at PSA15 on Friday, key among them that access to a patients' health data is imperative if pharmacists, doctors and others are to work together as a team in the interest of better health outcomes for patients.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Taste Disturbance (Dysgeusia) : 03/08/2015 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Taste Disturbance (Dysgeusia).

"Taste disturbance, or dysgeusia, can occur as an adverse effect of medications, or can be secondary to certain disease states. Medications can affect taste acuity by either interfering with the chemical composition or the flow of saliva, or by affecting taste receptor function or signal transduction. Many medications (particularly antimicrobials) taste bitter, metallic or sour at concentrations that occur in salivary secretions."

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

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NSW intern wins PSA-MIMS Intern of the year award : 03/08/2015 :

Laura Norman was named as the inaugural PSA-MIMS Intern of the Year during a ceremony at PSA15 in Sydney on Saturday. Ms Norman's win will see her  receive $4,000 for continuing education and career development.

The PSA-MIMS Intern Pharmacist of the Year Award recognises an intern pharmacist who is showing outstanding performance in their development as a professional pharmacist in community or hospital practice and is a role model amongst early career pharmacists.

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Demarte: pharmacists want to be part of the solution : 03/08/2015 :

Highlighting that budgetary pressures on health will grow as the Australian population ages and the proportion of workers declines PSA President Joe Demarte said on Friday that there is a need to find innovative solutions to the challenges presented.

Speaking during his opening address at PSA15 - whose theme was 'Leading Pharmacy Innovation ' - Mr Demarte said that both PSA as an organisation and pharmacists individually wanted to be 'part of the solution' to the challenge.

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Guild backs anti racist campaign : 03/08/2015 :

The Pharmacy Guild joined more than 150 organisations over the weekend in calling for renewed efforts to stamp out racism in sport and everyday life.

Guild President George Tambassis said the Guild rejects racism in all its forms 'because it is a breach of Australian values, and because it dishonours our community'.

"This country is built on decades of immigration, and is also blessed with the oldest culture known to our planet – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians," said Mr Tanbassis.

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WA student takes out Pharmacy Student of the Year award : 03/08/2015 :

Curtin University pharmacy student Shanae Hancey is the winner of this year's PSA Pharmacy Student of the Year award.

Shanae, who was also the audience choice as winner, received her award during a ceremony at the PSA15 gala dinner in Sydney on Saturday night.

Contestants in the final were all required to counsel a (the same) patient who presented in their pharmacy, seeking advice.The scenario fo this year's 'counsel off' saw a 40ish female present requesting Daktarin Oral Gel.

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High incidence of harmful or unnecessary meds in over 75s : 03/08/2015 :

Two thirds of the Australian population over the age of 75 years take five or more medicines daily.  According to NPS Medicinewise, on average, at least one of these is either harmful or unnecessary.

A National Stakeholders Meeting: Quality use of Medicines to Optimise Ageing in Older Australians to be held today at Sydney’s Kolling Institute of Medical Research, Royal North Shore Hospital aims to develop a national strategy to tackle the complex issue of overprescribing in the ageing population.

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GBMA (GMiA) gets a new Chair : 03/08/2015 :

Allan Tillack is the new Chair of the Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (GBMA).

Mr. Tillack has been the Sandoz Country Head for Australia and New Zealand since December 2013 and has a long history in the Australian pharmaceutical industry with prior commercial roles at Abbot Nutrition, Alphapharm, Monsanto and Astra. He previously held the position of GMiA Deputy Chair from July 2013 and together with the then Chair, Mr. Mark Crotty, secured a strategic agreement with the government to support the sustainability of the generic and biosimilar medicines industry in Australia, and deliver a 5-year period of certainty.

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Consumers back expanded role for pharmacists : 03/08/2015 :

The results of a new survey by the Consumers Health Forum (CHF) suggest most consumers would like to see pharmacists have a greater role in patient care in the community.

Nearly three quarters of respondents to the survey supported pharmacists providing expanded services, either co-located with doctors or at local pharmacies, while fewer than a quarter of respondents opposed such a move.

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Too hot in the kitchen for Sainsburys? : 31/07/2015 :

In a possible warning to Australian supermarkets that running a pharmacy is not a straightforward exercise, UK grocery chain Sainsburys has sold its 277 instore pharmacies to LloydsPharmacy.

Sainsbury CEO Mike Coupe said that pharmacy services were incredibly popular with Sainsbury’s customers and the company was  'delighted to be teaming up with LloydsPharmacy to develop our offer'.

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