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AusPharm news

Poll: 2010 Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia : 12/01/2011 :

Over the last few days there has been some spirited discussion on AusPharmList about the relative merits of the new pharmacy competency standards.

We've had views expressed that the documents is 'challenging' because of its length, useless because of its lack of relevance to pharmacists working at the coalface and necessary because it defines what we do. One pharmacist told us that she is wondering what to do with the 6 copies she and her partner received in the mail.

Have you had a look at it? Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll.

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Pharmacists’ Support Service extends service to Queensland : 12/01/2011 :

The Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) is temporarily extending its Victorian based service to assist pharmacists affected by the Queensland floods.  PSS, a free telephone support service provided by pharmacists for pharmacists, offers a listening ear, information and referral to pharmacists who are experiencing stress and trauma. 

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PSA professional development and practice support calender : 12/01/2011 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has released its updated Professional Development and Practice Support programs for 2011.

The guide has been developed in recognition of the need for pharmacists to continually maintain and grow their professional practice. The 2011 Guide to PSA Programs helps PSA members to access the Society's wide range of programs and events.

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Good old fashioned snake oil : 11/01/2011 :

They don't make 'em like they used to!

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From the archives... : 11/01/2011 :

During January we'll be retrieving some of our more popular feature articles from the archives and giving you another look. If you're a new(ish) premium member you'll probably be seeing these for the first time anyway. If you're a long term premium member these will stand another look anyway.

Last week we featured a contribution from Sydney community pharmacist Bruce Moffat. Today we're giving you another look at an article penned by Dr Geraldine Moses, published in 2007 and as relevant today as it was then.

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E-Health moving forward : 11/01/2011 :

Personally controlled electronic health records (PCEHR) were a step closer yesterday to following the closing of applications for the second round of lead implementation sites.

The Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, said a keen interest has been shown to get PCEHR up and running.

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Safety Advisory - Optium blood glucose test strips : 10/01/2011 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) issued a safety alert on Friday noting that it has been advised by Abbott Diabetes Care that routine Quality Assurance monitoring has identified a problem associated with the slow filling with certain lots of Optium blood glucose test strips.

The affected test strips may give falsely low blood glucose readings if exposed to high temperatures for extended periods of time. Details are here.

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Poll: which web browser? : 10/01/2011 :

Sadly, the various common web browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, others) still don't display web content in exactly the same way. Web based published (like AusPharm) have to tweak their content with this in mind in order to produce a final product that works in each browser.

To help us get the best result for you all we'd be grateful if you could tell us which browser(s) you use by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll below.

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Still time to enrol for PSA intern training program : 10/01/2011 :

Pharmacy students moving into the workforce as practising pharmacists have until 24 January 2011 to enrol in the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia's National Intern Training Program (NITP).

The PSA program has been granted accreditation by the Australian Pharmacy Council, the independent accreditation body for the Pharmacy Board of Australia which has been tasked with the accreditation of Intern Training Program (ITP) providers following the implementation of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme on 1 July last year.

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Pharmacists less positive about the future than 5 years ago : 07/01/2011 :

This week's poll, a re-run of an identical poll we ran in April 2006, asked 'listers how they view the future for pharmacy.

The result speaks for itself - 'listers (and, presumably, pharmacists in general) have a much less optimistic view of the future now than 5 years ago.

Whether this sentiment reflects a view of the profession as a whole or just of some industry sectors we'll leave it to 'listers to comment.

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National Preventive Health Agency comes into being : 06/01/2011 :

The Australian National Preventive Health Agency was formally established on January 1.

The Agency will progress the National Preventative Health Strategy, Australia: The Healthiest Country by 2020, launced by Health Minister Nicola Roxon on 1 September 2009. The Strategy recommends a range of interventions aimed at reducing the chronic disease burden associated with three lifestyle risk factors – obesity, tobacco and alcohol.

Dr Rhonda Galbally AO has been appointed as transitional Chief Executive Officer of the Agency. Dr Galbally will act as transitional CEO until the Government completes the full CEO recruitment process.

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AusPharm CE: statin induced myopathy : 05/01/2011 :

Need to catch up on some CE over the summer break?

Why not have a look at one our most popular CE activities, Statin induced myopathy?

It was been put together for us by well known Australia pharmacist, Debbie Rigby.

As a special treat for our basic level members we've made this activity available to them too FOR ONE WEEK ONLY.

"Statin medications are widely prescribed for hypercholesterolemia. Muscle damage or myopathy is an uncommon but important adverse reaction to statins. Pharmacists need to be alert to this side effect and counsel patients appropriately."

This activity has been accredited by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia as a Group 2 activity for 1 point. Accreditation number: CX090022a.

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PBS co-payment up Jan 1, new PBS items : 05/01/2011 :

Annual automatic adjustments to the PBS co-payment based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) came into effect on January 1. The adjustment is automatic and occurs each year in accordance with the provisions of the National Health Act 1953.

For concessional patients in 2011 the co-payment is $5.60 and the safety net threshold is $336.00. For general patients the co-payment is $34.20 and the safety net threshold is $1317.20.

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One thing leads to another........... : 04/01/2011 :

(Click the link to see a larger version).

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Poll: The future of pharmacy : 04/01/2011 :

The dawn of another year presents a good opportunity to reflect on the future.

As always, pharmacy faces challenges - for example the rapid growth of pharmacist numbers putting downward pressure on pharmacist wages, PBS reform cutting dispensing margins and the rise of the discount model. On the other hand these challenges also provide opportunities for pharmacists with vision to differentiate themselves from the pack and provide a whole range of value added clinical and/or primary health focused services.

How do you view the future at present? Please let us know by voting in this week's poll below.

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I'll have whatever I can get thanks : 31/12/2010 :

This week's AusPharm poll asked 'listers how they feel when patients try to manipulate the saftey net to their advantage.

39% of respondents (n=212) shrug it off ('Hey, it's business' or 'Ho hum, I've got better things to worry about'). 19% of respondents are 'purists' who only oblige when it is therapeutically appropriate to do so and 44% say this gives them the irrits but thay go along with it anyway.

Presumably the overall outcome is better (and less hoarding occurs) than in the early days of the safety net, when the script copayment didn't default to a higher level if supply was made within the allowable 20 days.

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Slow, steady PBS growth continues : 31/12/2010 :

PBS figures for November 2010 have been released by Medicare Australia.

Script numbers were up 6.9% compared to November 2009 with absolute dollars also up by 9.6%.

Calendar ear to date figures show a small increase in script numbers of 1.4% and growth in dollar terms of 6.7%.

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National Board says student registrations will go okay : 30/12/2010 :

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) says it is on track to register Australia’s 100,000 students. From 2011 the National Boards for each of the 10 professions have the power to register students.

AHPRA will work directly with education providers to register students enrolled in the 2011 academic year and will seek lists of enrolled students at the end of March 2011. Individual students do not need to do anything directly to become registered with their National Board in the national registration and accreditation scheme.

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Cricket - The Ashes : 30/12/2010 :

We intended to run a little piece on how the Australian cricket team did in the Fourth Test in the series against the Marylebone Commonwealth Club (MCC) for 'The Ashes' in keeping with our seasonal offerings at this time of the year.

Unfortunately the Australian cricket team did not turn up for the match.

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Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race : 29/12/2010 :

The first yachts complete the Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race.

Wild Oats XI is first across the line and is confirmed as the line honours winner.

Check news and standings at the the official site of the Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race

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