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AusPharm news

Electronic ADR reporting - UK follows Aussie lead : 29/09/2010 :

Medicine information pharmacists at five NHS hospitals in the UK are trialling an electronic adverse event reporting system. Adverse event information captured by the system will automatically produce a Yellow Card, making reporting to the MHRA easier for pharmacists. The system is expected to be rolled out nationally upon completion of the, presumably successful, pilot study.

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Minority governments need a different approach : 28/09/2010 :

At the Annual General Meeting and Dinner of the A.C.T. Branch of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, held last Wednesday night in Canberra, the Treasurer and Minister for Health in the A.C.T. Legislative Assembly, Katy Gallagher spoke about the  differences in approach to governing taken by minority governments (A.C.T. currently has a minority Labor Government, with the support of the Greens).

She highlighted that fact that lobbyists, industry groups and professional bodies will need to change their style, and realise that the Independents will all have to be part of any campaign they undertake.

Pictured at right (L to R) are Katy Gallagher with A.C.T. Guild Branch President, Amanda Galbraith (click the photo for a larger version).

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Interpreting evidence for complicated cases : 28/09/2010 :

Evidence is presented in many ways and to interpret various patient and disease-related outcomes can be both confronting and confusing. 
 
However, systems and resources exist to help take complex information and adjust outcomes to reflect the potential benefit, or risk, specific to a patient. Such resources are particularly useful in complicated cases and help to reduce the degree of subjectivity in the decision-making process.
 
The importance of effectively using these resources to arrive at positive outcomes is examined at PAC10 in the Advanced Clinical session on Applying Evidence to the Individual by Senior Health Services Research Fellow in Medicine at Monash University. Greg Duncan who will present on Interpreting Evidence for Complicated Cases.

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Pharmacy Cricket scholarships available to students : 28/09/2010 :

Pharmacy Cricket Inc is making available to pharmacy students in Australia two scholarships worth $2500 each. Applications are invited from full time pharmacy students in Pharmacy Degree or Masters degree courses in any year at any Australian university, regardless of interest or inclination toward cricket.

As a non-profit organization, funds surplus to Pharmacy Cricket needs are directed towards pharmacy students and pharmacy education, making these scholarships possible.

Contact Greg Hodgson at hodgsong@bigpond.com for the application criteria. Applications close 18 October 2010.

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PRIME pharmaceutical industry marketing awards announced : 27/09/2010 :

A pharmaceutical industry gala dinner on Thursday evening saw the announcement of the industry's 2010 winners of the Australian Australian Pharmaceutical Research, Innovation & Marketing Excellence (PRIME) awards.

  • Pharmacists Choice Award for Outstanding Pharmaceutical Company - Sanofi-aventis
  • GPs Choice Award for Outstanding Pharmaceutical Company - AstraZeneca

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RGH E-Bulletin: Serotonin toxicity: an update : 27/09/2010 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Serotonin toxicity: an update

"Serotonin syndrome has been discussed in a previous e-bulletin (Volume 18 (4): May 23, 2005). The “syndrome” is now increasingly being described as a spectrum of toxicity and new diagnostic criteria have been proposed. “Serotonin syndrome” is a term that was first used in the 1970s. It describes a reaction that was originally observed in humans in the 1950s, as a result of a drug–drug interaction between iproniazid and pethidine."

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

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4 Corners: Oxy: The Hidden Epidemic : 27/09/2010 :

Tonight's Four Corners, Oxy - the Hidden Epidemic is about 'how the misuse of powerful prescription drugs is creating a new generation of addicts.'

"It's the hidden heroin. It's the society heroin. You know, to have heroin in a pill." - Drug addict

As Debbie Rigby says in a post to AusPharmList today "I'll be interested to see how they present the role of community pharmacists in this growing problem and to hear your views."

Watch it for yourself on ABC1 at 8.30PM tonight.

Post a comment to AusPharmList

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Sharon Goldsworthy awarded NW Naismith Baxter leadership grant : 27/09/2010 :

SHPA has awarded the 2010 NW Naismith Baxter Leadership Grant to Sharon Goldsworthy, Manager Pharmacy Services at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Adelaide.

Sharon will be using this leadership award to study the Studer model for helping organisations build a culture of excellence, best service, and optimal recruitment and retention. The $10 000 grant enables Sharon to attend the Studer Group’s 8th annual 'What’s Right in Healthcare' conference in Dallas, Texas, participate in a pre-conference study tour focusing on the Studer model of improving outcomes for patients and healthcare organisations and have coaching support while implementing the model at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital. 

Sharon is also an SHPA Federal Councillor and Chair of SHPA’s Publications Reference Group.

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Saturday was inaugural World Pharmacists Day 2010 : 27/09/2010 :

In addition to being the 'dress rehearsal' for the AFL Grand Final, Saturday was the inaugural World Pharmacists Day.

World Pharmacists Day is an FIP initiative, and according to a press release issued on Friday, was an event embraced by the Guild. Emphasising that community pharmacists are the most accessible health professionals in the health system, Kos Sclavos said “in a recent survey conducted by FIP and Pfizer, it was revealed that, on average, 120 patients visit a community pharmacy each day. The advice and service at your local community pharmacy is the rarest of rarities – a professional service provided free of charge, almost always without the need for an appointment or long wait.  The FIP survey reveals that one out of six patients asking for advice will do so without buying a product."

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Australian pharmacist elected to FIP committee : 24/09/2010 :

NSW pharmacist and Pharmacy Guild of Australia National Councillor Paul Sinclair was elected to the Executive Committee of the Community Pharmacy Section of FIP at the recent FIP (Federation International Pharmaceutical) Congress in Lisbon.

Four members of the nine-person committee were up for re-election and there were two further vacancies that needed to be filled. All four of the current members were returned, with Mr Sinclair and Karin Graf from Germany elected to the vacant positions. Candidates from India, Hungary, Germany, Uruguay, Jordan, Switzerland, Portugal, the Netherlands, Canada and the United States sought election.

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Australian Pharma industry R&D breaks through $1 billion : 24/09/2010 :

The Australian medicines industry’s R&D investment has exceeded $1 billion for the first time, according to the annual Australian Bureau of Statistics business expenditure on R&D figures released yesterday (here).

The ABS report shows that the medicines industry attracted $1.023 billion in R&D investment in 2008-09, up $94 million or 10 per cent from the previous year. The Australian medicines industry’s R&D investment was the third largest by area of business expenditure, behind financial services and mining.

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Complementary Healthcare Council says glucosamine meta-analysis flawed : 24/09/2010 :

According to the complementary medicine manufacturer peak body, the Complementary Healthcare Council (CHC), a BMJ meta-analysis published last week which suggests glucosamine and chondroitin products are no more effective than placebo in treating osteoarthritic pain is flawed.

CHC says that the meta-analysis included studies where different types of glucosamine and chondroitin products were compared against each other (chondroitin sulphate, glucosamine sulphate, glucosamine hydrochloride or a combination of any two) and therefore the research does not therefore truly evaluate ‘like with like products’, casting doubts over the findings.

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Cig tax increase lifts quit rate : 24/09/2010 :

The results of a study funded by Champix manufacturer Pfizer and released yesterday show that the Federal Government's April 29 tax increase on cigarettes caused a spike in quit attempts. The research found that 1.2 million smokers (38% of smokers) attempted to quit in the two months after the price rise (compared to 29% of smokers attempting to quit in the three months prior to the price increase) with 300,000 of these, or 9% of smokers, successfully quitting.

Perhaps of more interest to pharmacists is the finding that twice as many people turn to their GP (58%) for quit assistance as turn to their pharmacist (38%). 

This story gained a good deal of traction in the manistream media yesterday and was widely reported around Australia.

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Pies warm not hot favourites to win AFL GF : 24/09/2010 :

Amongst the surprisingly small sample for yesterday's AFL Grand Final poll (we thought *all* Australians were footy mad) the feeling is that Collingwood are the likely winners of tomorrow's 2010 AFL Grand Final. 2/3 of poll respondents tipped the Pies to win with 38% of all respondents tipping them to win by more than 20 points.

The bookies have Collinwood installed as warm favourites with Centrebet offering $2.84 for a Collingwood victory and $1.44 for a St Kilda victory.

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Mediflags relaunches with a bang : 23/09/2010 :

Medication review software MediFlags recently announced a major upgrade and restructuring of its product range that will see subscribers gain access to a range of Australian Medicines Handbook (AMH) online references in addition to the clinical information already available through the program. MediFlags is produced by AMH. 

Speaking at a function in Adelaide to launch the upgrade, AMH chairman Mr Tony Nunan said  that the Commonwealth’s medication review program has been one of the great success stories of Australian health policy in the last decade.

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ACT Health Minister gets an eRx demonstration : 23/09/2010 :

ACT Health Minister, Katy Gallagher, recently visited ACT Branch Guild President Amanda Galbraith’s pharmacy in Chisholm A.C.T. for a demonstration of eRx, the electronic prescribing system. David Freemantle from eRx provided the demonstration.

Pictured below (L to R) are Fred eHealth General Manager David Freemantle with Minister Gallagher and Amanda Galbraith.

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Poll: what do you think the outcome of this Saturday's AFL Grand Final will be? : 23/09/2010 :

It's that time of year again... a certain fever is circulating the nation as footy finals come to town. This weekend it's the turn of the AFL. Can the famous Collingwood overcome their history of "Colliwobbles"? Or will St Kilda be the ones to acquire silverware for only a second time in their proud history?

Will Collingwood prove that any team that can humiliate Geelong to make the Grand Final can certainly overcome St Kilda? Will Collingwood win their first premiership in 20 years after a tough battle with a spirited St Kilda.

Or will St Kilda surprise everyone, including their own fans, and give Collingwood a footy lesson? Maybe St Kilda will just manage to show that fairytales do come true for underdogs and scrape home to win only the second flag in their proud history.

Have a punt on AusPharm, and we'll report the results on Friday morning.

What do you think the outcome of this Saturday's AFL Grand Final will be?

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With regard to pharmacy locations, what does 'the country' mean to you? : 23/09/2010 :

The results of this week's poll, about where AusPharmlisters think 'the country' is, were a bit of a mixed bag. The bulk of voters consider 'the country' to be in a rural community (63%), but half of those chose the option that includes regional cities such as Wagga or Launceston. Amongst the outlying voters a small portion (13%) consider any pharmacy outside a capital city to be a country pharmacy.

The poll results reflect how subjective and relative a term such as 'the country' is, rather than being an absolute. Being specific about locations is one way to make it clearer as to whether a type of pharmacy is metropolitan, urban, rural or remote, or a shade in between.

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AusPharm CE: Hormone therapy : 23/09/2010 :

The latest AusPharm CE topic is Hormone therapy - it's been put together for us by Debbie Rigby.

"Understanding the risks and benefits of post-menopausal hormone therapy (HT) is a complex area with significant shifts in the evidence over the last twenty years. Since the 1960s oestrogen has been prescribed as an effective treatment for vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause. It is interesting to reflect on the early marketing of the then-called hormone replacement therapy where it was viewed as a revolutionary breakthrough for women."

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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Preventing Cardiovascular disease in Australian Pharmacy - What can we do now? : 22/09/2010 :

There are many opportunities for community pharmacists in the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CDV) and the management of risk factors for CVD.
 
A special session at PAC10 this year will be Screening and Early Detection Services in Pharmacy in Australia – What We Can Do Now in Cardiovascular Disease, presented by Kevin McNamara from Monash University.
 
“There is much evidence from Australia and internationally to demonstrate that community pharmacists can deliver effective interventions for many individual risk factors, as well as early detection and awareness,” Mr McNamara said.

“In recent years, a holistic approach involving the concurrent assessment and management of multiple CVD risk factors is increasingly acknowledged as best practice.

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