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AusPharm news

PSA initiatives to drive professional change : 01/11/2010 :

Speaking in Melbourne on Friday during his opening address at the PAC10 conference PSA National President Warwick Plunketts announced a range of initiatives to help pharmacists meet the need for, and embrace, the change necessary to secure the future of the profession.

Mr Plunkett said the Society was aiming to take a more proactive approach to finding appropriate places for pharmacists in the Government’s health-reform agenda.

“PSA will be a significant funder of a major long-term, awareness campaign which intends to change policymakers’ outdated views of pharmacists,” Mr Plunkett said.

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Pharmacy student of the year winners announced : 01/11/2010 :

The 2010 Pharmacy Student of the Year is Marissa Ioannou, from James Cook University. Marissa, pictured at right, won both the judges and the 'People's choice' awards.

Marissa wins the Alphapharm National Travel Prize of an expenses paid trip to the International Pharmacy Student Federation Congress in Thailand in August 2011.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitors in COPD : 01/11/2010 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitors in COPD

"Patients affected by Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) experience chronic symptoms and exacerbations with reduced quality of life despite treatment. Current treatment options for COPD include inhaled short-acting and long-acting bronchodilators (either β2-agonists and/or anticholinergic drugs). Inhaled corticosteroids are added to reduce frequent exacerbations but, among other side effects, there is concern about increased pneumonia risk when inhaled corticosteroids are used in COPD."

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

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WA pharmacy assistant wins the prize : 01/11/2010 :

Briohny O'Mally from Bunbury Drive-In Chemist in Western Australia is the winner of The Pharmacy Guild of Australia and GSK's 2010 National Pharmacy Assistant of the Year award.

As the national winner, Briohny wins $5000 cash and professional development with Guild Training to the value of $4000.

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PAC Future of Pharmacy Forum : 29/10/2010 :

Yesterday's PAC preliminary program featured the the traditional AACP Accredited Pharmacists Forum, a Future of Pharmacy Forum and 'special interest group' sessions for military pharmacists and pharmacists in government.

The future of pharmacy session was chaired by Professor Lloyd Sansom (pictured at right) and aimed to provide input into the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia's  Future of Pharmacy project.

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TGA Safety Alert: So Hard for Men, Shaguar, Pulse8 Women : 29/10/2010 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has issued a safety alert to consumers who may have purchased the products So Hard for Men, Shaguar or Pulse8 For Women, either online or from a retailer. These products are labelled 100% herbal, but testing has shown them to contain therapeutic quantities of the prescription substance tadalafil. Tadalafil may be harmful when taken without medical supervision, particularly by patients with a history of cardiovascular disease.

Supply of these products in Australia is illegal. Consumers should cease taking the products, and discard any remaining product.

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API announces healthy year-end results : 29/10/2010 :

API has announced an increase in revenue and profits for the year ending 31 August 2010, and feels well placed to realise growth opportunities including development of its Priceline retail network and Clubcard loyalty program alliances.

API's year-end results have been reported in the mainstream media, with healthy headlines such as API-Priceline posts 23.6% profit hike.

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Have you started recording your CPD activities? : 29/10/2010 :

The results of this week's AusPharm poll indicate that almost 70% of AusPharmListers are using one of the online tools to help record their CPD, although not all who intend to use it are completely set up yet.

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Rural advocate wins top prize : 29/10/2010 :

One of Australia’s leading advocates for rural pharmacy, Karalyn Huxhagen, has been named the recipient of this year’s prestigious Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s Pharmacist of the Year award.

Webstercare's Gerard Stevens, an innovator who constantly strives to provide solutions to enable pharmacists to fully utilise their professional skills has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award. South Australian community pharmacist Vivienne Mak was named the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s Young Pharmacist of the Year.

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Health Technology Assessment leader wins Pat Clear industry award : 28/10/2010 :

Ms Dell Kingsford-Smith, senior director of health economics with Janssen-Cilag, has received the pharmaceutical industry's Pat Clear Award for 2010.

In congratulating Ms Kingsford-Smith on the award, Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said "She has been a tireless advocate for better assessment processes for health technologies so that government can make more informed choices about the value of the medicines they subsidise. It is because of Dell that Australians can now have more information about the medicines they are taking and how they are assessed for reimbursement. Dell has been a long-time champion both for the industry and for patients and this award is a well-deserved recognition of this.”

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Nurofen multivariants singled out for Choice Shonky award : 28/10/2010 :

Choice has included Nurofen in its Shonky Awards for 2010, alongside products such as the Power Balance (a rubber band bracelet with plastic hologram) and not-so-virginal virgin olive oils.

The grounds for Nurofen's "shonky" were the range of different products for different types of pain but all using essentially the same active ingredient. The higher pricing of the versions of Nurofen that are positioned as fast-acting was also singled out for mention.

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PAC10 gets underway today! : 28/10/2010 :

One of Australia’s premier pharmacy events, the Pharmacy Australia Congress, gets underway today (Thursday) with close to 900 registrations already received  to take full advantage of the event.
 
A diverse range of international and national speakers will cover topics ranging from the future of pharmacy and clinical developments, through to business models and innovations in running pharmacy practices.
 
The comprehensive PAC10 exhibition will give delegates the opportunity to see some of the latest developments in technology and products, and talk to representatives about the products and services on show.

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Seretide New to Therapy to launch early November : 28/10/2010 :

Mirixa Australia and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Australia will launch the “Seretide New to Therapy Program” at the beginning of November. 

During the program Pharmacists use a clinical system to initiate patients starting or re-starting Seretide then follow up with them 1 month later. Professional service fees will be paid to the pharmacy per patient session.

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Prescribers targeted to reduce hypertension in Aussies : 27/10/2010 :

As part of NPS’s latest education program, Treating hypertension, prescribers are being encouraged to assess absolute cardiovascular risk in all patients with uncomplicated hypertension and consider holistic treatment options that centre on lifestyle changes.

NPS says that increased use of the absolute cardiovascular risk calculator could identify at-risk patients and lead to a reduction in the number of health problems caused by hypertension.

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Poll: Have you started recording your CPD activities? : 27/10/2010 :

In response to the Pharmacy Board requirement for appropriate documentation by each registered pharmacist of their mandatory Continuing Professional Development activities a number of organisations have offered online systems to help pharmacists record CPD. These include PSA's CPD&PI Personal Record, shpacpd, the Guild's myCPD, ACP's Your CPD...

These recording tools are helpful optional extras - you can choose to keep track of your CPD in other ways.

Vote in this week's AusPharm poll and let us know how you are going with recording your CPD activities.

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GMiA code of conduct complaint against Sigma rewards scheme dismissed : 27/10/2010 :

Last year there was controversy about an 'educational' Mediterranean cruise for doctors and pharmacists organised by Sigma which appeared to breach sections of the Medicines Australia Code of Conduct.

As Sigma was not a member of Medicines Australia it argued that it was not subject to the provisions of the Medicines Australia Code.

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Industry: Preventive Health Agency should be a priority for new Parliament : 27/10/2010 :

The Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI), the industry body representing non-prescription consumer healthcare products has welcomed the Federal Government’s decision to proceed with legislation to establish the new national Preventive Health Agency.

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No Boil Traditional Christmas Pudding Recipe : 26/10/2010 :

It's that time of year when the organised ones among us start soaking stockpiles of dried fruit in brandy or whisky in preparation for making the Christmas pudding. That gives enough time for it to hang in its calico cloth for a couple of months, all ready to tip your kitchen into a heatwave all of its own on Christmas Day, with a good few hours of further boiling on the stove. 

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Spirometry technique training video now online : 26/10/2010 :

The National Asthma Council of Australia (NACA) has launched a new online training video on expiration spirometry technique for health professionals and patient education. The 5 minute video demonstrates the correct technique for performing spirometry with an adult patient using the open circuit method.

According to NACA’s asthma and respiratory educator, Judi Wicking, "A recent study found that GPs are confident about the theoretical steps involved in making a diagnosis of asthma but not necessarily with the technically correct practical use of spirometry that meets start and end criteria."

NACA also runs free spirometry training workshops for GPs and practice nurses, funded by the Australian Government DoHA since 2008, and offers a number of online spirometry resources such as Spirometry: The Measurement and Interpretation of Ventilatory Function in Clinical Practice (3rd ed) and the Spirometer User’s and Buyer’s Guide.

To access the new online video, other spirometry resources or the schedule of NACA's spirometry training workshops visit: www.nationalasthma.org.au.

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Still time to register for premier pharmacy event of the year : 26/10/2010 :

There is still time to register for this year’s Pharmacy Australia Congress, the premier pharmacy event where delegates can earn up to earn 35 Continuing Professional Development credits.
 
With national and international speakers and a range of targeted concurrent sessions, PAC10 has something to offer all pharmacy professionals whether it be on the educational or business front.
 
In addition, the comprehensive PAC10 exhibition will allow delegates to see some of the latest developments in technology and products, and talk to representatives about their exhibits.

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