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AusPharm news

The final PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 08/09/2010 :

NRL Round 26 was a big finish for tipsters with 8 selecting all the winners correctly. Both Joe Peralta of Wollongong Hospital and Patricia Downes from Baxter tipped the same game margin so it came down to total margin to decide the final weekly prize. Joe Peralta had the better total so becomes the last PHARMeFOOTY weekly winner, well done Joe. Congratulations to all the weekly prizes winners for 2010.


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More on pharmacist employment. Australian government Job Prospects site : 07/09/2010 :

A 'lister (thanks Phil) has drawn our attention to the Australian government's Job Outlook website - the site provides data on employment characteristics, trends and prospects for occupations. According to the site, job prospects for pharmacists are good.

However, the Internet Vacancy Index (IVI) fell by 27.6% over the 12 months to June 2010 to 87.4 (March 2006 = 100). By contrast, vacancies for all occupations rose by 11.5%.

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APESMA supports reality of pharmacist oversupply : 07/09/2010 :

Lending strength to the view that there is an oversupply of pharmacists in the Australian workforce, to the detriment of the profession, APESMA's senior industrial officer, Jacki Baulch supports the comments made by Si Banks (NSW Pharmacy Guild) that “leading figures within the profession have been burying their heads in the sand” on the workforce issue. APESMA believes this attitude has resulted in a windfall for employers, especially those employing new graduates.

APESMA's Pharmacy Division (PDA) reports a steady stream of calls and e-mails  from employee pharmacists airing their concerns over offers of reduced wages for employment.  Ms Baulch said APESMA "will be investigating a number of complaints from members that some employers are breaching the Award by offering terms of employment below the legal minimum. We have the capacity to prosecute these employers."

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Herb-drug interaction database to reach more health professionals : 07/09/2010 :

An agreement has been reached between MIMS Australia and IMgateway to deliver more widely to healthcare professionals a herb-drug interaction database developed by the Herbal Medicines Research and Education Centre of the University of Sydney's Faculty of Pharmacy.

Since its inception in 2002, the database has been expanded and updated, and from December 2009 delivered by IMgateway. This new agreement will enable the database to reach a wider audience of healthcare professionals through the use of MIMS range of digital products.

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NPS urges consumers to take OTC meds more seriously : 07/09/2010 :

The NPS has called for people to start thinking more seriously about non-prescription medicines, in light of study results, published in this week's MJA, on misuse of OTC codeine-ibuprofen products.

The Victorian study, conducted from May 2005 to Dec 2008, investigated morbidity with misuse of OTC codeine-ibuprofen analgesics. The study found that "although codeine can be considered a relatively weak opioid analgesic, it is nevertheless addictive, and the significant morbidity and specific patient characteristics associated with overuse of codeine–ibuprofen analgesics support further awareness, investigation and monitoring of OTC codeine–ibuprofen analgesic use."

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RGH E-Bulletin: Dutasteride (for BPH) : 06/09/2010 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Dutasteride

"Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) is the most common prostatic disorder, with an incidence rate that increases with age. Symptoms of urinary obstruction include hesitancy, dribbling after urination, nocturia, frequency and urgency and urinary retention. The gold standard for treatment is surgery. Where surgery is contraindicated or not desired, medications may be used to provide symptom relief by decreasing urinary outflow resistance."

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

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Sigma's woes not over : 06/09/2010 :

In a brief notice issued to the Australian Stock Exchange on Friday, Sigma Pharmaceuticals says it has received notice that a shareholder class action against the company is pending. The class action relates to the alleged non disclosure by Sigma of the deterioration in the value of its assets that led to the company recording a $389 million loss for the year ending January 31, 2010.

Sigma said the amount claimed under the lawsuit had not been quantified and that it would vigorously defend the action.

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Webstercare August Newsletter : 06/09/2010 :

Every second month our friends at Webstercare produce a newsletter that is distributed to all aged care homes throughout Australia.

They've kindly agreed to make it available to pharmacists too, through AusPharm.

The latest edition (August) contains articles on:

  • Next Generation Concertina Blisters: You can press tablets through the foil backing with half the usual effort
  • Osteoarthritis: August's Continuing Education deals with the condition that affects more than 50% of people over aged 65.
  • MedsComm: Find out how MedsComm can improve communication between Aged Care Homes and Pharmacy. Having one source for requests from your aged care home means fewer phone calls, less faxes, emails and paperwork. This leads to less interruption for you and a more streamlined approach when dealing with incoming requests. 
  • MedSig: Find out more about Webstercare's electronic, paperless, signing for nurses

Click here to download the August Webstercare newsletter in full (418kb pdf). Click here if you have any feedback, suggestions or queries about the newsletter.

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PAC10 looks at professional ethics and law in pharmacy : 06/09/2010 :

According to the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, as pharmacy begins implementing a renewed legislative framework, it is timely to reflect on professional behaviour and the implications of the new legislation on the profession’s Code of Ethics.

Revision of the current Code of Conduct is underway, with the revised Code intended to be applicable to all scopes of professional practice in pharmacy. This issue will be examined in a presentation at PAC 10 by Dr Betty B. Chaar, Lecturer in Pharmacy Ethics and Practice, University of Sydney, Faculty of Pharmacy.

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Alice Springs renal pharmacist receives SHPA Preceptorship : 06/09/2010 :

Angela Young is the recipient of the SHPA Janssen-Cilag Specialist Renal Pharmacist Grant for 2010. 
This grant will allow Angela, pictured at right, to undertake a one-week preceptorship at the Central Northern Adelaide Renal and Transplantation Service of The Royal Adelaide Hospital to improve her clinical knowledge in this specialised area.

An SHPA member benefit, the Research and Development Grants Program provides funding to encourage pharmacy practice and research in hospitals and all parts of the health system and to foster professional development amongst SHPA members.

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OTC codeine in the news again : 06/09/2010 :

A story in yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald, citing the results of a recently published Australian study, has it that 'Misuse of over-the-counter analgesics was the "third-most common category of substance abuse in Australia after cannabis and ecstasy", with more than half a million Australians hooked'.

Yesterday afternoon, Nurofen Plus manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser put out a statement disputing the SMH line.

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Self care's rheumatoid arthritis health campaign wins top award : 04/09/2010 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s Self Care Program has won Australia’s leading health promotion award for its rheumatoid arthritis campaign.

The Australian Journal of Pharmacy Award for the Best Health Promotion of the Year was last week presented to the Self Care campaign.

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MediFlags medication review software relaunches : 03/09/2010 :

MediFlags Medication Review Software has relaunched its product range offering a range of software packages to suit the needs of all accredited pharmacists.

MediFlags is the practical solution to fast and effective HMR and RMMR report writing. Be guided through program features with concise instructions, video tutorials and phone support. Speed up report writing with sensible program design and help from clinical flags. Individualise reports by selecting from a range of inclusions, headings and report styles. Utilise advanced features to accumulate, store and retrieve data and produce reports to help manage your practice. Help increase HMR referrals by producing reports that effectively communicate the findings of reviews to GPs.

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Pharmacists slow to embrace social networking sites for professional purposes : 03/09/2010 :

According to the result of this week's AusPharm poll only 46% of pharmacists responding utilise social networking sites professionally with the great majority of these using Facebook.

Of the rest, 25% say they'd like to but need more information. 43% of respondents said they had no interest and / or no time.

AusPharm has had a look at establishing a Facebook presence but we haven't yet got our collective heads around exactly how to use it constructively. We'd love to hear from any pharmacies who are making good use of Facebook or other social networking sites.

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Spring 2010 Bulletin Board : 03/09/2010 :

The Spring 2010 edition of Medicare Australia's Bulletin Board has been published on the Medicare Australia website.

One of many items of interest to pharmacists relates to the preparations underway to facilitate the introduction of PBS prescribing by nurse practitioners on November 1, 2010.

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Sydney Uni to offer a pre-reg program : 02/09/2010 :

Commencing in 2011, the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Sydney will offer a Graduate Certificate in Pharmacy Practice program, incorporating an Internship Training Program for pharmacy graduates.

According to the faculty, it will offer a 'research and practice-enhanced course with high quality outcomes' to Bachelor of Pharmacy and Master of Pharmacy graduates and will fill a current gap in the market for registered pharmacists to embark on postgraduate studies, which would 'enhance their career progression from general to advanced level healthcare professionals'.

Commenting on the new program, Professor Iqbal Ramzan, Dean of Pharmacy said "The overall aim of the Graduate Certificate in Pharmacy Practice is to provide graduates with the additional training, experience and education required for professional registration, thus enabling them to become leading practitioners in any area of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences."

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 02/09/2010 :

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

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Early career pharmacists urge development of new opportunities : 02/09/2010 :

According to the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, the debate over whether there is an oversupply of pharmacists highlights the need for the pharmacy profession to continue working on developing opportunities for Early Career Pharmacists.

Recent media reports have highlighted polarised views between those who regard the oversupply as myth and those who regard it as a reality. The Chair of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s Early Career Pharmacist Working Group, Justin Lee, said that regardless of the disparate views on the oversupply question, it was clear that new opportunities outside of traditional pharmacy models held the key to any workforce issues.

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New NAPSA Industrial Affairs Handbook : 02/09/2010 :

The National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association’s (NAPSA) Industrial Affairs Committee has recently released its third edition of the handbook “Student Pharmacist in the Workplace”.

According to NAPSA the Student Pharmacist in the Workplace handbook is a valuable tool for students as they seek employment in an increasingly competitive industry. A key focus for the handbook is the new Pharmacy Industry Award, tools for constructing a successful resume and cover letter, as well as details of new legislation including the Fair Work Act.

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New FIP President elected : 02/09/2010 :

Switzerland's Dr Michel Buchmann has been elected as the new FIP President. He will serve a four year term (to 2014) following the Presidency of Dr Kamal K. Midha, who will carry on as FIP Immediate Past President.

Dr Buchmann (pictured at right - click for a larger image) is assuming the role of FIP president after extensive experience within FIP Boards, community pharmacy practice and Swiss politics. In his remarks following the release of the Election Results at the FIP2010 Congress, currently underway in Lisbon, Dr Buchmann reiterated his commitment to advancing FIP’s Strategic Plan to advance pharmacy practice, the pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy education on a global level.

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