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AusPharm news

Pharmacists' methods of managing online passwords risky : 24/07/2015 :

More than half of those responding to this week's AusPharm poll use less than optimal methods of managing their online passwords.

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Indicative 1 October PBS Prices Disclosure Prices : 23/07/2015 :

A full list of October PBS prices resulting from the 2015 October Cycle of Price Disclosure has now been published on the PBS Price Disclosure (SPD) web page.

Click here.

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AusPharm CE: RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin Digest Issue No.83 : 23/07/2015 :

The next in our 2015 series of continuing professional development activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 83.

This CPD activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins, Volumes 58-4→58-7 (April/May 2015).

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Cancer death rate projected to decrease over next decade : 23/07/2015 :

The current downward trend in cancer death rates looks set to continue, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

Cancer death rates have generally decreased over time, with the death rate from all cancers combined decreasing from 199 deaths per 100,000 people in 1968 to 167 per 100,000 in 2012.

The new report - Cancer mortality trends and projections: 2013 to 2025 - shows that between 2013 and 2025, the death rate from all cancers is predicted to continue this overall downward trend from an estimated 214 to 183 deaths per 100,000 males, and from 135 to 120 deaths per 100,000 females.

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AMA, consumers back pharmacists in general practice : 23/07/2015 :

In a speech at the National Press Club yesterday, AMA President Professor Brian Owler reiterated his organisation's support for the presence of pharmacists in general practice.

"There is a role for them to play, a non-dispensing role in general practice that allows them to actually do that patient education. And actually the evidence is that there are savings that can be made through that," he said.

Also coming out in support of the proposal yesterday was the Consumers Health Forum (CHF).

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Poll: how do you manage your online passwords? : 22/07/2015 :

With the great majority of business - both personal and business - now done online and with the sophistication of data thieves ever increasing, how well you manage your online passwords to guard again online theft / fraud is critically important.

How do you choose your passwords for the various online portals that need them? Do you make it up as you go along? Do you use one of the 'best practice' password managers such as Roboform, Dashlane or LastPass? Or do you do something else again?

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

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More groups sign on to Choosing Wisely Australia : 22/07/2015 :

Several health colleges and societies confirmed yesterday they have signed on to the Choosing Wisely Australia initiative that is addressing unnecessary medical practices and questioning tests, treatments and procedures of proven low value.

Last week the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) became the first pharmacy group to confirm it was joining the initiative.

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Doctor's bag dose app now available : 21/07/2015 :

A new smartphone app - designed to support Australian health professionals during emergencies - is now available for download.

The Doctor’s Bag - put together jointly by Australian Prescriber and NPS MedicineWise - is a free app that provides recommended doses for drugs in the PBS Prescriber Bag, including calculators for weight-based dosing in children.

It also provides a step-by-step guide for the management of anaphylaxis based on the Australian Prescriber anaphylaxis wall chart.

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State based differences in prescribing, dispensing Schedule 8 drugs : 21/07/2015 :

State based differences in the requirements for prescribing and dispensing Schedule 8 drugs have been highlighted in article in the current issue of the Medical Journal of Australia.

The authors have complied tables (file these away for reference 'listers) that spell out the legal requirements for obtaining authority to prescribe and for writing prescriptions for S8 medicines in each state and territory.

These document 'the slight nuances in each state or territory's regulations'.

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August 2015 PBS schedule : 20/07/2015 :

Download the PBS schedule Summary of Changes

Download the PBS schedule

Download the PBS Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy Summary of Changes

An EFC Schedule Adjusted Tier 2 Pricing spreadsheet is available here the for the August PBS Schedule incorporating the new AHI fee structure. EFC for community pharmacy only. Includes only items with a Price to Pharmacist (Max Qty) from $180 to $2089.71 (Tier 2). Prices include the full AHI markup including the 3.5% variable component.

Download the PBS Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy - full Supplement

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Interpret this and win an AusPharm pen : 20/07/2015 :

One of our schmicko AusPharm pens to the 'lister who provides the best interpretation of this prescription, which was part of a 1961 NSW Pharmacy Board examination.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Latex allergy and injectable products : 20/07/2015 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Latex allergy and injectable products.

"Natural latex is harvested from rubber trees and is the raw material that is used to make rubber products: natural rubber latex products and dry natural rubber products. Products that use natural rubber include medical gloves, some catheters and condoms. Dry natural rubber products include vial stoppers, dry rubber plungers for syringes and some ports used for IV injections. The process for manufacturing these two products is different – whereas the natural rubber latex manufacturing processes involve dipping, extruding or coating, dry natural rubber manufacturing processes involve compression, moulding or extrusion."

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

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Sneezing billboards part of NPS 'no antibiotics for colds' campaign : 20/07/2015 :

New ‘sneezing billboard’ posters, recently erected in prime locations in Sydney and Melbourne, which depict a man with a head cold mid-sneeze are part of the next phase of the NPS Medicinewise campaign to spread the knowledge that ordinary colds and flu can be managed without antibiotics.

“We’re stressing the importance of good hygiene this cold and flu season as it’s important to know how to prevent the spread of colds to others,” says Dr Andrew Boyden, NPS MedicineWise clinical adviser.

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The development of an Australian framework for advanced pharmacy practice : 20/07/2015 :

Two papers on the development of advanced pharmacy practice in Australia were recently published in peer-reviewed journals.

The first - Development of a framework for advanced pharmacy practice (1) - published in Pharmacy, outlined the collaborative, profession-wide efforts of ten pharmacy organisations to develop an agreed framework of advanced level competencies relevant to Australian pharmacists. 

An Advanced Pharmacy Practice Framework for Australia (the ‘APPF’) was formally released in 2012. The framework aligns well with the Domains of the National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia and is sufficiently flexible to customise for recognising advanced practice in any area of professional practice.

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Strong support for pharmacists in general practices : 17/07/2015 :

Two thirds (67%) of those responding to this week's AusPharm poll (n=236) told us they believe incorporating (non-dispensing) pharmacists into general practice teams is a good idea. 21% disagreed with 9% undecided.

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Blooms The Chemist tops the poll : 17/07/2015 :

With a five-star rating for overall satisfaction, Blooms The Chemist has won the Canstar Blue 'Most Satisfied Customers' award in 2015. Blooms also came out on top in several other criteria measured by Canstar including service, range of health products, pharmacist availability and advice provided.

Also polling well, achieving 4 stars for 'overall rating' were AMCAL, Chemmart, Discount Drug Stores, Good Price Pharmacy Warehouse and Guardian.

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SHPA joins Choosing Wisely Australia : 17/07/2015 :

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has become the first pharmacist member organisation in Australia to sign up to the Choosing Wisely Australia initiative.

Choosing Wisely Australia, coordinated in Australia by NPS MedicineWise, has as its goal improving the quality of health care provided by clinicians. SHPA will be focusing on the appropriate and high quality evidence-based use of medicines.

SHPA Federal President Professor Michael Dooley will represent SHPA on the Choosing Wisely Australia Representative Panel.

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New diagnostic tool calculates 6CPA pharmacy remuneration : 16/07/2015 :

A new online tool produced by the Pharmacy Guild allows pharmacies to project the impact of the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA) on their dispensary remuneration over the next five years.

The ‘6CPA Forecaster’ compares 2014-2015 dispensary remuneration with projected dispensary remuneration under 6CPA, and compares it to the estimated value under 5CPA.

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Are uni students using stimulants to boost cognitive performance? : 16/07/2015 :

A University of Queensland researcher is conducting a study to try to determine Australian university students’ attitudes towards and experiences with taking prescription drugs such as methylphenidate, dexamphetamine and modafinil to improve study performance.

“It has been portrayed as common practice among US college students, despite large variations in prevalence and numerous limitations across studies," said researcher, UQ PhD candidate Charmaine Jensen.

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Report: combination inhalers overused in children : 16/07/2015 :

The final report of the Post-market Review of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Medicines Used to Treat Asthma in Children has been handed to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

Amongst the findings are that approximately 79% of first time PBS prescriptions for fixed dose combination inhalers (FDCs) are prescribed outside PBS restrictions with more than 25% of FDC prescriptions in children supplied to children below the age recommended by the national guidelines.

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