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AusPharm news

Preventive Health Agency legislation passed : 19/11/2010 :

The Australian Parliament voted on Wednesday to establish an Australian Preventive Health Agency.

The Australian National Preventive Health Agency will actively target obesity, alcohol, tobacco and other substance abuse across Australia. The Agency will operate from early 2011 and will be responsible for three specific programs including social marketing programs to address tobacco and obesity, a preventative workforce audit and strategy and the preventive health research fund.

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Well, iPhones certainly have the pharmacy market! : 19/11/2010 :

Picking up on the apparent recent surge in popularity of 'smartphones' this week's poll asked 'listers if they had one and, if they did, which one.

More than 2/3 of all respondents (69%) owning a smartphone have an iPhone. The other 31% of smartphone owners are divided between all the other brands. 31% of all respondents to our poll don't own a smartphone.

Apart from MIMs and AMH what other useful applications have 'listers found, either as iPhone apps or as 'generic' mobile programs?

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Poll: should pharmacist wear white coats? : 19/11/2010 :

Picking up on Leo Hamluczyk's comment in an AusPharmList post today that 'white coats belong back in the days when the pharmacist had to protect himself from all the ichthammol and coal tar solution he used to play with in the back of the pharmacy', AusPharm is wondering what other 'listers think.

Should pharmacists wear white coats? Please let us know what you think by voting in today's snap poll - we'll publish the result on Monday.

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ASMI national conference hears from a range of experts : 19/11/2010 :

Use of next-generation online health information services, improved health literacy, and increased access to medicines have the power to transform Australia’s health system and ease pressure on health budgets, the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) national conference in Sydney heard yesterday.

The conference, “Bringing Self Care to Life”, saw speakers from sectors including the pharmaceutical industry, consumers, healthcare, and pharmacy examining ways of empowering consumers to take greater responsibility for personal health.

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Weight loss surgery numbers skyrocketing : 19/11/2010 :

More evidence that obesity is one of the top few health priorities in Australia emerged yesterday in a report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), that showed that the number of hospitalisations for weight loss surgery has increased dramatically over the past decade, rising from about 500 in 1998 to 17,000 in 2007-08.

The report, Weight loss surgery in Australia, shows that between 1998-99 and 2007-08 the number of hospital admissions for weight loss surgery increased by an average of 54% per year, while the total number of all hospital admissions increased on average by less than 4% per year over the same period.

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Experiencing the outback side of pharmacy : 19/11/2010 :

Does your pharmacy work with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Health Services? If so, you may be eligible to participate in the NPS Outreach Pharmacists for Remote Aboriginal Health Services program.
 
This ‘train the trainer’ program provides pharmacists with the training, support and resources to promote the safe and wise use of medicines in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services and, through them, the broader community. It equips pharmacists with skills for working with indigenous communities and techniques for teaching health workers about safe medicines use.

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Industry high-achievers recognised for distinguished service and excellence : 19/11/2010 :

Awards for Australia’s most innovative healthcare products, promotions and self care initiatives were announced at the Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI) Conference in Sydney yesterday.

They were accompanied by the presentation of four Awards for Distinguished Service and Excellence.

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AusPharm CE: Irritable Bowel Syndrome : 18/11/2010 :

The latest AusPharm CE topic is Irritable Bowel Syndrome - it's been put together for us by Angus Thompson.

"Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is classified as a functional gastrointestinal disorder, namely one in which there is no recognisable structural or biochemical abnormality of the gut. Affecting around 15% of the population, it is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders in Australia. The condition is around twice as common in women as in men. Whilst those with IBS typically seek medical advice regarding the condition between the ages of 30 and 50 years, it has also been reported to exist in children."

Click here to do this Continuing Education activity. Or, if you prefer, you might like to take a look at our other CE activities here .

AusPharm gratefully acknowledges the financial support provided by the sponsors of our CE program, MIMS.

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Medicines Australia chair reiterates consumer benefits of PBS reform : 18/11/2010 :

In the wake of a Senate Committee report on the new PBS reform legislation, Will Delaat, chairman of the pharmaceutical industry lobby group Medicines Australia, addressed the National Press Club yesterday. The legislation will enable substantial price cuts for consumers, and forms part of the Memorandum of Understanding between Medicines Australia and the Commonwealth Government.

“The benefit for consumers is that those savings will reduce the prices patients pay for many off-patent medicines by as much as $21 per script, per month,” Mr Delaat said. “Consumers will also directly benefit from the process improvements to the PBS, which will enable medicines to become available quicker to those who need them."

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Sue Kirsa elected new SHPA president : 18/11/2010 :

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists has announced results for the election of the new SHPA leadership team, with Sue Kirsa (Director of Pharmacy, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Vic) becoming the new president. She will be supported by:

  • Vice-President: Sharon Goldsworthy (SA, NT)
  • Treasurer: Tony Hall (QLD)
  • 4th Executive Member: Rebekah Moles (NSW)

With a diverse range of pharmacy experience, Sue Kirsa has previously served as an SHPA Councillor (1999 to 2008) and as Federal Treasurer for four years and President for one year.

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New Pharmacist Coalition for Health Reform (PCHR) sets agenda : 18/11/2010 :

A coalition of SHPA, PSA, NAPSA and APESMA (Pharmacists' Division) has formed to ensure the whole body of skills and knowledge that pharmacists have to offer are communicated to political and government representatives.

The Pharmacist Coalition for Health Reform (PCHR), representing more than 20,000 individual pharmacists, will help fill the gap between the representation made by the Guild on behalf of community pharmacy owners (as met within the Community Pharmacy Agreements), and the substantial balance of the profession which operates outside the community pharmacy structure.

In the context of current reform proposals, the coalition importantly recognises that CPA-negotiated services will not be available through  Medicare Locals, Local Hospital Networks or Section 94 pharmacy services. In this respect, the CPA is only a portion of the way pharmacists contribute to improving health care capacity and reducing hospital admissions.

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PSA counsels caution on NSAIDS : 17/11/2010 :

Four in five Australians (81%) who use OTC NSAIDs are not aware of heart problems or heart disease as a potential risk factor associated with taking them, according to a new survey¹.
 
The survey also found that one in two people using OTC NSAIDs have been diagnosed with a heart condition or have a direct family member who has been diagnosed with such a condition¹ - despite this being a precaution for use. However, in an apparent contradiction, six in 10 (59%) of people who most often use OTC NSAIDs claimed to read the directions for use of the packaging before purchase¹.
 
“These results suggest that people aren’t fully informed about the medicines they are taking despite claiming to read the packaging,” PSA National President Warwick Plunkett said.

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December 2010 PBS 'summary of changes' : 17/11/2010 :

The December 2010 PBS 'Summary of Changes' is now available here.

Download the PBS Summary of changes

The full PBS schedule is not yet available. We will advise when it is.

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MoU to proceed? : 17/11/2010 :

The Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs yesterday handed down its report into the National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme) Bill 2010.

This is the bill that would allow the Memorandum of Understanding on further PBS reform struck last year between Medicines Australia and the Federal Government to proceed. The reforms proposed in the bill are projected to create $1.9 billion in PBS savings over the next 5 years.

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Review to improve transparency of the TGA : 17/11/2010 :

Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King, has announced a comprehensive review of the way in which the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) communicates its regulatory processes and decisions.

The review will focus on improving the TGA’s transparency. The aim is to ensure the public is better informed about the benefits and risks of therapeutic goods.

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Offshore refresher conference to visit Venice and Salzburg : 16/11/2010 :

The 2011 Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s Offshore Refresher Conference will be held in Venice and Salzburg from 1-10 May 2011 and already looks set to be the most popular yet.
 
The highly anticipated education event will feature a wide range of expert speakers who will present on business and professional issues of vital importance to pharmacists and the pharmacy profession.

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Gee, those hospital pharmacists know how to have a good time! : 16/11/2010 :

The theme of last Saturday night's SHPA conference dinner was "Staying Alive", hence the 70's theme for the dinner.

Gee, those hospital pharmacists know how to have a good time!

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Staying Alive - SHPA Conference Highlights 2010 : 16/11/2010 :

Whether you're a brother, or whether you're a mother, if you're a pharmacist Melbourne was the place to be this weekend gone for the 36th Conference of the SHPA (Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia). As the first bars of the Bee Gees disco hit belted out at Friday's Opening Ceremony, delegates were sure Alice Kochman, pictured at right, and her team had put together something special.

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AHPRA annual report 2009/10 now available : 16/11/2010 :

The annual report, including financials, for 2009/10 of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and the national boards, including the Pharmacy Board of Australia, has been published on the AHPRA website .

Download it here (8.42MB pdf).

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How is pharmacy perceived? : 16/11/2010 :

'Listers who receive the weekly MJA ezine Insight will have seen pharmacist Rollo Manning's opinion piece in yesterday's issue in which he discusses the shop keeper / health professional dichotomy pharmacy seems always confronted with.

Perhaps of more interest than the article itself is the subsequent comments posted on the MJA website.

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