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AusPharm news

King Island pharmacy rises from the ashes : 31/07/2015 :

King Island Pharmacy re-opened earlier this month, 5 1/2 months after it was burned to the ground in an arson attack.

Since the 25 January fire a temporary pharmacy has been operating from a small consulting room at the local King Island Hospital with a focus on supplying prescription medicines

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Pharmacists see no change in codeine scheduling : 31/07/2015 :

The majority (56%) of pharmacists voting in this week's AusPharm poll believe that small packs of compound analgesics containing less than 12mg of (anhydrous) codeine will remain in Schedule 3 after a proposal to upschedule them to Schedule 4 is considered by the TGA's Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS) next week.

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John Coppock, Robbo honoured : 31/07/2015 :

Two icons of Australian pharmacy have been honoured with awards at PSA15, now underway in Sydney.

Remote pharmacist and tireless advocate for improvements in Aboriginal health, Andrew ‘Robbo’ Roberts, picftured at right, has been named the PSA Pharmacist of the Year for 2015.

John Coppock, pictured at left, whose lifelong career has been focussed on his vision that the profession needs to be as united as possible in all things, has been named as the 2015 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Young Pharmacist of the Year award goes to Amy Page : 31/07/2015 :

Amy Page, a Melbourne pharmacist with a strong interest in deprescribing, the Quality Use of Medicines, geriatrics, pharmacy education and herbal medicines is the recipient of the PSA Young Pharmacist of the Year award for 2015.

Ms Page, who works in a GP clinic and is an accredited pharmacist who has completed a great many home medicines reviews, has received the award in recognition of the unique balance of academic, clinical and policy development she brings to her work. She is currently completing her PhD on deprescribing.

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Philanthropic fund offers health research dollars : 30/07/2015 :

Not-for-profit groups, health and rehabilitation organisations and research bodies are being encouraged to apply for new philanthropic funding for projects to enhance the lives of people who face challenges to their health and wellbeing.

The, now in its second year, is calling for applications for grants of up to $25,000 as part of a $2 million philanthropic program in Australia and the United Kingdom.

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Nominate a carer for a National Carer Award : 30/07/2015 :

Australians are being asked to nominate people in their local areas who are making a contribution to the community through their caring roles.

Pharmacists are well placed to identify carers who provide care and support to people with a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, acquired brain injury, degenerative or terminal illness or who are frail aged.

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PSA15 is going to be big : 30/07/2015 :

Over 800 delegates will be checking in at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth tomorrow morning for the first day of PSA15, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia's new conference venture.

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RACGP publishes guide to benzo prescribing : 30/07/2015 :

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has published new guidelines on prescribing benzodiazepines in the general practice setting.

According to RACGP Prescribing drugs of dependence in general practice, Part B: Benzodiazepines 'represents a synthesis of the best available evidence for benzodiazepine use in the primary care setting.'

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Poll: will S3 analgesics containing codeine go to S4? : 29/07/2015 :

At its meeting next week the TGA's Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS) will consider a proposal to upschedule small packs of compound analgesics containing less than 12mg of (anhydrous) codeine (CACC) to Schedule 4. 'Listers will recall it was only 2010 when these were upscheduled from Schedule 2 to Schedule 3 on the back of concerns about their overuse / misuse / abuse.

AusPharm polls over the years have shown that 'listers are split on whether upscheduling to S4 is the solution to ongoing concerns about misuse with our most recent poll (April 2015) finding that just under half (47%) of those who responded believe that non prescription codeine containing analgesics should remain in Schedule 3 while just as many would like to see them either removed from the market altogether because there`s no evidence they work (20%) or upscheduled into Schedule 4 (28%).

What do you think the ACMS will recommend next week? Status quo for CACCs or upschedule to S4? Something else?

Please let us know what you think by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll.

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Board guidance on the expiry of compounded parenteral medicines delayed : 29/07/2015 :

Implementation of the Pharmacy Board’s new Guidelines for the compounding of medicines started in April 2015 with the exception of the Expiry of compounded parenteral medicines section which was put on hold pending further consultation with stakeholders.

The Board announced yesterday that the development of the section will need further consultation with both the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and other stakeholders over the next six months.

No date for the completion of the section has been set.

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Time for action on viral hepatitis : 28/07/2015 :

Hepatitis Australia is using today's World Hepatitis Day to renew its call for ‘urgent’ government action to increase access to liver testing and check-ups and to new hepatitis therapies.

The organisation says that 1,000 Australian lives are lost each year due to hepatitis-related liver disease, and without urgent action, deaths from viral hepatitis will increase.

CEO, Helen Tyrrell said that Australia must never lose sight of the fact that hepatitis B and C are preventable, treatable liver health conditions.

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Chemist Warehouse opens prime Melbourne location : 28/07/2015 :

Chemist Warehouse  yesterday launched its 115th Victorian store in Melbourne’s iconic Bourke Street Mall shopping precinct.

The group opened its first store in Footscray in 2000 and has been one of the fastest growing retail groups in Australia over the past decade.

“As a Melbourne born business, to launch a store in Bourke Street Mall alongside all the other major retailers that are institutions here in Australia, is a significant milestone for us," said Chemist Warehouse's Mario Tascone.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: FDA update – July 2015 : 27/07/2015 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is FDA update – July 2015.

"The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA or USFDA) is a well known agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The FDA serves in the interests of public health, principally regulating food safety, tobacco products, dietary supplements, medications, vaccines, blood products, medical devices, cosmetics, and veterinary products. The scope of the work of the FDA is huge. Noteworthy news announcements are issued on a regular basis and address a range of clinical issues relating to therapeutics, drug safety and cost-effective use of medications."

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

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PSA: New report reinforces need for action on inappropriate use of antibiotics : 27/07/2015 :

A report highlighting that some 30 per cent of antibiotic prescriptions were deemed to be inappropriate highlights the need for vigilance in prescribing antibiotics, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia says.

The results of the 2014 National Antimicrobial Prescribing (NAP) survey, released on Friday, shows that inappropriate use was mainly related to unnecessary use of broad-spectrum antimicrobials and incorrect duration of treatment.

National President of the PSA, Joe Demarte, said PSA was a strong advocate for action to combat antimicrobial resistance and the NAP report underscored the need for such action.

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Innovation - the key ingredient for business success : 27/07/2015 :

Winner of the Telstra 2014 Business of the Year (Victoria) and Business Awards in 2014 for Innovation, Service Excellence and Employer of Choice, Dr Kia Pajouhesh is the Pharmacy Business Network's 2015 Judy Liauw Address Keynote Speaker.

Together with a panel of pharmacy industry leaders, Dr Pajouhesh’s experience and recognition for business vision and employee engagement will answer one of the most important questions at PBN2015 - what does a successful and innovative business look like in the health industry?

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Script only oral contraceptive decision confirmed : 27/07/2015 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has confirmed the interim decision made at the March meeting of its Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS) to reject a proposal to down-schedule combined oral contraceptives to Schedule 3.

The Schedule 3 proposal was requested on the condition that pharmacists conduct a questionnaire about family history of heart problems, hypertension and stroke and that either an in-house blood pressure test is conducted or results from a recent blood pressure test is provided to ensure suitability of the substances. The proposal also recommended that the supply of the substances be limited to 3 to 6 months.

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Medicines Australia fights back over taxation criticism : 27/07/2015 :

Peak pharma body Medicines Australia (MA) has lodged a supplementary submission to the Senate Inquiry into Corporate Tax Avoidance correcting what it says are  'misconceptions' that arose during the Committee's July hearings.

Following the July hearings, Australian pharma companies were widely criticised in the media for paying 'just $85 million tax on $8 billion revenue' as a result of shifting profits offshore using a mechanism known as transfer pricing.

According to Medicines Australia, global tax arrangements such as transfer pricing are complex measures which are easily misunderstood.

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Dissatisfaction over discounted co-payment sparks online tiff : 27/07/2015 :

In a lengthy post on his Facebook page - Pharmacy under threat - Queensland community pharmacy owner Steve Flavel has taken a swing at the Pharmacy Guild for not doing more to stop the successful passage through the Senate of the $1.00 PBS co-payment discount that is part of the PBS Access and Sustainability Package.

"So, for all of those of you who thought in earnest that the Guild had a legitimate strategy involving letting this pass through the senate with the Guild intending to spend the next 6 months fighting it, I am afraid, like me, you have been deluded in your thinking and far too optimistic in your thoughts of the Guild.'

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UK teen dies of paracetamol overdose : 24/07/2015 :

A UK teenager has died of acute liver failure after she accidentally overdosed on paracetamol she was taking for a stomach ache.

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GMIA Chair moves on : 24/07/2015 :

Head of the peak body for generics manufacturers in Australia, the Generic Medicines Industry Association (GmIA), Mark Crotty, has moved on from the role after two years in the job.

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