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AusPharm news

Medicines survey shows Australia's performanace mediocre : 05/11/2010 :

A new report looking at patient access and public coverage of new medicines in industrialised countries shows that Australia ranks towards the bottom by some measures.

The Rx&D International Report on Access to Medicines 2009-10 ranks Australia 23rd out of 31 OECD countries in terms of expenditure on medicines as a proportion of GDP.

Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said: “In essence this report measures the willingness of governments to pay for new innovative pharmaceuticals and Australia doesn’t stack up too well."

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Yet another pharmacy school to open : 05/11/2010 :

Commencing in 2011, RMIT University's School of Medical Sciences will be offering a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree - the first new Pharmacy degree in Melbourne in 129 years.

The announcement of the commencement of the course comes hard on the heels of Murdoch University's recent decision to kill off its pharmacy degree course.

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How often have you referred to Martindale (The Complete Drug Reference) in the last 2 years? : 05/11/2010 :

The results of this week's AusPharm poll show that over the last two years Martindale has been somewhat under-utilised by practising pharmacists in Australia, despite being available in CD and online formats as well as hard copy.

Around 56% of voters have not used Martindale at all in the last 2 years, and 37% of voters have only referred to it every few months. That leaves the remaining minority of voters using it every month (3%) or every week (3%).

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NAPSA executive meets at PAC : 05/11/2010 :

Over the weekend of 27th to 31st October the executive of the National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA), committee chairs and several national councillors met at the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s annual Pharmacy Australia Congress (PAC) to exhibit and plan for the coming months.

Pictured below are the NAPSA executive, Tim Mizzi (Treasurer), Ashleigh Coome (President), Sarah Sinclair (Secretary) and Daniel Bowtell (Vice President).

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AusPharm CE [TEST NOTICE] : 04/11/2010 :

The next in our 2010 series of continuing education activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 30.

This CE activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins (Volumes 39-11 - 40-2  -->  October 2010).

After completing this activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Discuss the diagnosis and management of lithium-induced diabetes insipidus
  • Compare various treatment approaches available for management of constipation
  • Describe the clinical pharmacology of nebivolol, with an emphasis on use in management of heart failure
  • Understand the basis for drug interactions involving aspirin

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 MIMs.




Pharmacy Style - work as inspiration for home decor : 04/11/2010 :

For pharmacists who feel most at home in the dispensary... check out this design blog of ideas to inspire those wanting to decorate their home in "pharmacy style". Damien Hirst was just the beginning!

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AusPharm CE: RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 30 : 04/11/2010 :

The next in our 2010 series of continuing education activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 30.

This CE activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins (Volumes 39-11 - 40-2  -->  October 2010).

After completing this activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Discuss the diagnosis and management of lithium-induced diabetes insipidus
  • Compare various treatment approaches available for management of constipation
  • Describe the clinical pharmacology of nebivolol, with an emphasis on use in management of heart failure
  • Understand the basis for drug interactions involving aspirin

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 MIMs.

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Medicines Australia Fact Book published : 04/11/2010 :

Medicines Australia have published online the 2nd edition of their Facts Book, helping put the case for the role of Australia's pharmaceutical industry in Australia's health and economy.

The report includes facts and international comparisons about the role of the industry in Australia, R&D, medicines expenditure and related health outcomes. For example, subsidised medicines in Australia account for just over 0.5% of GDP or 8% of all health spending.

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New Medicines Scheduling Committee appointments announced : 04/11/2010 :

It has been announced that John Jackson will chair the new Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS), which has a key role in the new scheduling system. Other members of the new committee can be found in the TGA announcement. Unlike the former NDPSC, the ACMS members' roles is to provide expert advice to the delegate on scheduling matters, not to act as representatives of specific fields. 

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Generics code authorised with pharmacist disclosure requirements : 04/11/2010 :

The ACCC has given conditional authorisation for 3 years to the Generic Medicines Industry Association code of conduct.

The purpose of code authorisation by the ACCC is to provide protection against allegations of anti-competitive conduct, enabling an industry to agree to adhere to certain conduct that is in the public interest.

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Diagnosing and treating iron deficiency anaemia : 04/11/2010 :

Iron deficiency anaemia affects people of all ages, but young women, pregnant women and children are at increased risk. There are more than 100 oral iron replacement products available on the market, however only a few contain enough iron to treat iron deficiency anaemia.
 
The latest NPS News discusses causes, investigation and treatment options for iron deficiency anaemia based on dose and duration, to help health professionals manage anaemia and potential side effects and drug interactions.

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Poll: How often have you referred to Martindale (The Complete Drug Reference) in the last 2 years? : 03/11/2010 :

Both the practice and content of pharmacy have changed markedly over the the many decades since 1883 when Martindale was originally published, as The Extra Pharmacopoeia. As with all valuable reference materials, Martindale has changed along with the times in terms of scope and format. Alternate publications, such as AusDI or Micromedix have become available and included in lists of references required in pharmacy premises, varying by State.

It was recently suggested that a pharmacy premises would be more well equipped these days with access to the Therapeutic Guidelines, rather than Martindale.

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PSA: major structural change needed : 03/11/2010 :

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia National President, Warwick Plunkett, said yesterday that the Government's primary health-care reform agenda and the enormous financial impact that will result from generic medicine price disclosure, will force community pharmacy to undertake major structural changes over the next two years.

According to Mr Plunkett, these structural changes will require a collaborative approach from pharmacy organisatioins and other stakeholders.

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AHPRA streamlining new graduate registration : 02/11/2010 :

To accommodate registration of an estimated 30 000 new health professional graduates at the end of the year, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has announced a streamlined registration procedure. This will allow students, including pharmacy students, to pre-apply for registration in the four to six weeks before their course ends.

A comprehensive FAQ on the pre-application procedure can be downloaded from the AHPRA website.

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TGA business reforms to cut prescription drug approval times : 02/11/2010 :

Transition to further reforms in the Therapeutic Goods Administration's prescription drug evaluation process commenced on1 November 2010. According to Medicines Australia, these reforms are expected to cut prescription medicine approval times in Australia by up to 12 months, bringing the typical time taken for approval down from up to 2 years to 9 - 11 months. Or, in TGA parlance, a reduction from an average of 500 calendar days to no more than 300 calendar days.

The key changes include:

  • notifying the TGA of the details of applications 3 months in advance, allowing them to allocate resources appropriately;
  • requiring all data at the time an application is lodged, to streamline evaluation processes;
  • preparing a single consolidated request for further information replacing the numerous requests that can occur at any stage of the submission evaluation; and
  • applicants nominating a fixed time period (either 30 or 60 days) for responses to the consolidated set of questions.

Details of the new processes can be downloaded from the TGA website.

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Submissions on changing regulation of medicine advertisements now public : 02/11/2010 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration is in the process of reviewing the arrangements for regulating advertising of therapeutic goods in Australia. As part of this review, in July/August 2010, the TGA sought comments on a number of proposals that included changes to the advertisement pre-approval process, complaints handling and the level and types of sanctions.

37 submissions were received by the TGA, and these have now been published on their website. Issues raised in the submissions are now under consideration by the TGA.

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Pharmacists need to hear their 'inner voice' : 02/11/2010 :

Keynote speaker at PAC2010, Professor William Zellmer, threw out a challenge to delegates during his presentation, telling them that they needed to listen more to their 'inner voice'.

Professor Zellmer made out a case that pharmacists have a moral obligation to 'repay' the benefits bestowed on them by society in allowing them to become pharmacists, arguing that pharmacists receive a great gift from educators, preceptors and leaders of the profession and that have a duty to 'return the favour'. He said that pharmacists have a 'profound duty to help people make the best use of medicines.

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Medicare Locals discussion paper released : 02/11/2010 :

The Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing has released a discussion paper on the the planned roles, functions and governance of the new primary care organisations, Medicare Locals.

The discussion paper outlines what activities Medicare Locals will undertake, how they will be structured, and how they will engage with patients and health providers.

The paper outlines five key objectives for Medicare Locals.

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 02/11/2010 :

The MIMS November 2010 Monthly Medicine Update is now available. Click the link to read it now.

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E-Health implementation conference for stakeholders : 01/11/2010 :

The federal government has announced a landmark e-Health conference to be held in Melbourne, 30 Nov - 1 Dec 2010 for key stakeholders to discuss and collaborate on implementation plans for e-health services.

Conference participants will include representatives from government, industry, private and public sector health care organisations, clinicians and consumer groups; Minister Roxon and Senator Stephen Conroy (Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy) will speak at the event.

The conference will consider how electronic health and tele-health will drive the delivery of Australian health care into the future. This currently includes the introduction of personally controlled electronic health records, to be rolled out from July 2012. This measure is expected to help prevent medication errors that cause an estimated 190,000 hospital admissions per year, costing $660 million, and the 8% of medical errors due to inadequate patient information.

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