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AusPharm news

RGH E-Bulletin: Moxonidine for hypertension : 28/06/2010 :

The topic of this RGH E‑Bulletin is Moxonidine for hypertension.

"Combination drug therapy in addition to lifestyle modification will often be required to reach blood pressure targets or the lowest tolerable blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Moxonidine (Physiotens®) is a relatively new centrally acting antihypertensive that was listed for subsidised supply through the Australian the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) in 2006. It was listed as add-on therapy with other antihypertensives on the basis of cost-minimisation compared to clonidine. It was considered by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee to be similar to clonidine in efficacy with apparently fewer adverse effects."

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

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Pharmacy Connectivity Incentive scheme ends June 30 : 28/06/2010 :

Pharmacies have an important opportunity to re-assess their broadband needs from 1 July, when pharmacies begin paying for their own broadband services. This follows completion of the Pharmacy Connectivity Incentive scheme on 30 June.

This makes the next few weeks an important period for considering longer term requirements for broadband services, according to Paul Lattimer, Internet Services Manager, Fred Health, “With pharmacies about to start funding their own broadband services from 1 July, this is an opportune time to review current and future broadband needs and to plan for the future.”

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PBS YTD script numbers down but $$$ up : 28/06/2010 :

PBS figures for May 2010 have been released by Medicare Australia.

Script numbers were up 1.2% compared to May 2009 while absolute dollars were up 7%.

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Another new pharmacy group.... : 28/06/2010 :

Four Australian schools of pharmacy have formed the National Alliance for Pharmacy Education (NAPE) to "actively support the ongoing advancement of the pharmacy profession as a key contributor to the healthcare team" and to "provide leadership in both undergraduate and postgraduate pharmacy education".

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Urge your patients with asthma to prepare for winter : 28/06/2010 :

Leading respiratory experts fear early warning signs are indicating a tough cold and flu season ahead, particularly for high risk Aussies with asthma. Sufferers are warned to brace themselves for what could be a challenging season, as figures announced today by the National Asthma Council Australia reveal 58 percent of adults with the condition have already suffered asthma attacks* at the start of winter.

“This new review of asthma sufferers (conducted this month) suggests they are being hit hard. It is imperative anyone with asthma visits their GP within the next seven to 10 days for a lung health check, including flu vaccination, before the depth of winter hits,” said Associate Professor Peter Wark, National Asthma Council Australia Director.

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PSA Excellence Awards Nominations Now Open : 25/06/2010 :

Nominations are now open for the 2010 PSA Excellence Awards. The announcement of the Pharmacist of the Year, Young Pharmacist of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement Award will be made at this year's PAC on Friday, 29 October.

The 2010 PSA Excellence Awards are supported by Symbion Pharmacy Services. This support enables PSA to offer the Symbion Pharmacy Services Education Grants which provide each winner with travel, accommodation, and living expenses to a maximum value of $8,000, as well as the excellence medal.

Nomination forms can be downloaded here.

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Deadline approaches for PAC10 poster submissions : 25/06/2010 :

The deadline for submissions of poster abstracts for presentation at this year PAC is July 29. This is the second year PAC has featured posters and follows the overwhelming success of the poster presentations last year.

National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Warwick Plunkett, said posters are an important method of communicating pharmacy practice and research to a wide audience of industry and professional peers.

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Roadmap well read : 25/06/2010 :

This week's poll asked 'listers whether they'd read the Guild's The Roadmap - The Strategic Direction for Community Pharmacy. Well, yes, most people either already have have or plan to soon.

It is often said that pharmacists are passive and apathetic - that certainly seems not to be the case on this occasion with over 70% of the respondents to the poll very interested to see what the Roadmap has to say.

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Practise Good Pharma adds Mirixa Australia : 24/06/2010 :

A Mirixa Australia module will soon be added to the Practise Good Pharma online implementation tool. 

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Guild convenes pharmacy workforce symposium : 24/06/2010 :

There has been much discussion in recent times on AusPharmList and in the profession at large about the huge increase in pharmacy student numbers in the last decade and the ability of those students to find jobs when they complete their studies.

In response to these concerns, the Pharmacy Guild has convened a symposium of pharmacy education and industry stakeholders to consider pharmacy workforce issues.

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2010 National report card on health released : 24/06/2010 :

The latest latest national report card on health, Australia’s health 2010, was launched  yesterday by Health Minister Nicola Roxon at the ‘Australia’s health 2010’ conference in Canberra.

The report was prepared by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and brings together the latest available national statistics on health.

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Caffeine and paracetamol combination provides better pain relief? : 24/06/2010 :

GSK, makers of Panadol Extra, put out a media release yesterday citing the results of a new meta analysis published in Pain Medicine, the official journal of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, which found that caffeine when combined with paracetamol provides better pain relief compared to paracetamol alone.

The meta analysis found that "The relative benefit (of achieving at least 50% pain relief) of paracetamol/caffeine vs paracetamol alone was 1.12 (95% Confidence Interval 1.05–1.19) across a number of acute pain states (dysmenorrhoea, headache, post-partum pain, and dental pain)."

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Poll: have you read the Roadmap? : 23/06/2010 :

Early in June the Pharmacy Guild released The Roadmap - The Strategic Direction for Community Pharmacy.

According to the Guild, the Roadmap is an an analysis of where pharmacy is today, and a plan for its future direction. The Guild says the document provides practical mechanisms through which community pharmacy can develop future services nationally.

Important stuff, AusPharm would have thought.

Have you had a look at it yet? Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 23/06/2010 :

NRL Round 15 could not get any closer with all top three tippers scoring perfect rounds including the exact Round Margin. Amanda S from Szwarcbard Pharmacy takes out the round having the lowest Total Margin for the season to date. Celia Milander from Corrimal Court Pharmacy came in second, with Peter Gready of Tuross Pharmacy in third position.

Janet Turcic just holds onto first position on the Leaderboard after Round 15. Julie Kain jumps up to second from fourth position with Richard Peacock of Pinnacle Pharmacy slipping to third.

AFL Round 13 is a split round so results will be available next week.

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Big Pharma makes commitment to submit clinical trial results for publication : 23/06/2010 :

Medicines Australia (MA) said yesterday that it supports a new commitment by the global research-based pharmaceutical industry to submit for scientific journal publication the results of all its Phase III clinical trials.

The commitment, set out in a policy position announced last week by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), requires member companies to submit for publication in a peer-reviewed journal the results of all their industry-sponsored Phase III trials, irrespective of whether the outcome of the trial was positive or negative.

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Dodgy V*agra - it ain't just Symbion : 23/06/2010 :

Official reports around the counterfeit V*agra in circulation refer to its being sourced from Symbion and popping up in pharmacies in NSW and the ACT.

Two posts to AusPharmList today assert that the pharmacies concerned had sourced stock from Sigma in Victoria.

Might be a good idea for all pharmacies to check their stock if they haven't already.

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Panvax 'safe, effective' : 22/06/2010 :

The TGA has now reviewed reports of suspected side effects to the Panvax vaccine up to April 30, 2010.

At that date, a total of 1773 suspected side effects had been reported to the TGA following vaccination with Panvax® in Australia. As of April 30, approximately 8.7 million doses of Panvax® had been distributed in Australia as well as over 370,000 doses of Panvax Junior®.

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Sigma confident about the future : 22/06/2010 :

At its AGM in Melbourne yesterday the new Chairman of Sigma, Brian Jamieson, expressed confidence that the company's performance will improve on last year's dismal results. Mr Jamieson assumed the role of Chairman after John Stocker announced his retirement from the board at the AGM.

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Union welcomes introduction of paid parental leave : 22/06/2010 :

The Pharmacy Division of APESMA (PDA) said yesterday that it welcomed the introduction of the paid parental leave scheme which passed through Parliament late last week.  

Jacki Baulch, APESMA Senior Industrial Officer, said the introduction of the new scheme will be of particular importance in the female dominated community pharmacy industry where, unlike many other industries, few employers offer any sort of paid maternity leave arrangements.

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Rural Health Education Foundation: Osteoporosis : 21/06/2010 :

The topic of tomorrow night's (June 22) Rural Health Education Foundation broadcast is Osteoporosis: Clinical Guideline.

This program outlines the identification, diagnosis, treatment and management of osteoporosis in line with the Clinical Guideline. It highlights the major risk factors for osteoporosis and the appropriate investigations. The assessment and interventions for osteoporosis after a fracture are also discussed.

The program is being hosted by pharmacist Geraldine Moses.

Full details are here.

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