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AusPharm news

Poll: pharmacists in general practices : 15/07/2015 :

Much has been said and written in recent months about the possibility of (non-dispensing) pharmacists joining general practice teams.

Proponents of the idea say it will add value to the care patients receive, support doctors and provide new employment opportunities for the ever expanding pharmacist workforce.

Opponents say it is unnecessary as the services that might be provided are already available either in existing community pharmacies or through Home Medicines Reviews. Some critics suggest the apparent medical support is nothing more than a 'trojan horse' designed simply to bolster practice profitability.
 
What do you think? Good idea or not? Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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New study highlights value of medication reviews : 15/07/2015 :

A new study on the impact of medication reviews in Australia has highlighted their benefits and found they are valuable in identifying medication-related problems, improving medication adherence, reducing hospitalisations and minimising the use of potentially inappropriate medications.

The study, undertaken by Australian researchers and published in Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, concluded that the available evidence suggests clinical medication reviews are beneficial in improving quality use of medications and consumer health outcomes.

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Play Peeball for Prostate : 15/07/2015 :

As part of Men's Health Week, Chemist Warehouse has teamed up with the AFL Coaches’ Association in an initiative which aims to highlight the importance of men getting their prostate checked 'in a fun and lighthearted way'.

The ‘Play Peeball for Prostate’ offer asks men to purchase a peeball, drop it in the toilet bowl and see how quickly they can break it up.

By participating in the challenge and possibly being made aware of a weaker flow that may have otherwise gone undetected men are encouraged to see their GP if they have any concerns. 

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Health Minister to open PSA15 : 15/07/2015 :

Federal Health Minister, Sussan Ley, will open the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s upcoming annual conference, PSA15.

PSA National President Joe Demarte said that having the Minister open the conference was a great honour and reflected the importance the Government placed on the role of pharmacists in the healthcare sector.

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Pharmacy Alliance membership tops 500 : 14/07/2015 :

Starting in 2002 with just 5 members, the Pharmacy Alliance group now numbers 504 pharmacies.

Pharmacy Alliance CEO, Darren Dye said ‘With such significant change in the pharmacy industry and the challenging market that pharmacy now operates in, we have had to change the way we provide support to our members. As a result we have been able to attract a significant number of independent pharmacies across Australia over the last few years’.

The group says it is aiming for continued growth over the next 5 years.

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Blooms The Chemist partners with House with No Steps : 14/07/2015 :

Blooms The Chemist has partnered with one of Australia’s largest disability organisations – House with No Steps – to lift the level of support they can offer people living with a disability, their families and carers.

The two organisations hope the partnership will enhance the overall health, wellbeing and quality of life of Australians living with a disability.

“Our new partnership with this wonderful organisation, with which we share similar values and a geographical footprint, will allow Blooms The Chemist to be ‘the First Call Pharmacy Professionals’ for members of the community living with a disability requiring our services and support on an ongoing basis,” said Blooms the Chemist Jason Blanchard.

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New President, executive for NAPSA : 14/07/2015 :

Pharmacy student Eleanna Ballis, from Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, has been elected as the new President of the National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA).

Miss Ballis, pictured at right,  was elected at NAPSA’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), held at the University of Technology (UTS) Sydney over the weekend.

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Advantage Pharmacy group chooses Fred NXT : 14/07/2015 :

The Advantage Pharmacy Group has engaged Fred IT to implement Fred NXT throughout its national network of company owned stores by the end of 2015.

The group - numbering more than 70 pharmacies - includes the Advantage and Chemist Discount Centre retail pharmacy banners.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Vortioxetine : 13/07/2015 :

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

"Vortioxetine is a new antidepressant drug with a multimodal action. Although its mode of action is not understood with certainty, it exerts its effect through enhancement of serotonergic activity.  It inhibits the reuptake of serotonin by binding with high affinity to serotonin transporter but lower affinity to noradrenaline and dopamine transporters. It may have affinity for  5-HT1A, 5-HT1B, 5-HT 1D, 5-HT3 and 5-HT7 receptors but whether there is beneficial clinical effect associated with effects at these receptors  remains to be established."

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

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A bad flu year? : 13/07/2015 :

The number of flu cases reported in Australia is up by over 50 per cent in 2015 compared to the same time last year.

Data extracted from the Australian National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System show that 14,124 flu cases have been reported so far this year across Australia as compared to 9,258 cases at the same time in 2014.

As part of the annual promotional strategy to encourage consumers to get vaccinated against flu Health Minister Sussan Ley issued a public statement last week urging people, particularly those at high risk, to get vaccinated.

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FDA strengthens NSAID cardiovascular warnings : 13/07/2015 :

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is strengthening an existing label warning that non-aspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke.

Based on a review of new safety information, FDA will require suppliers of NSAIDS to update the drug labels of all prescription NSAIDs. It will also request updates to the OTC non-aspirin NSAID Drug Facts labels which already contain some information on heart attack and stroke risk.

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UK funds pharmacists into GP practices, PSA urges Australian government to follow suit : 13/07/2015 :

In a move that may add momentum to the push to install pharmacists into GP practices in Australia, the UK National Health Service last week announced that it would be  providing £15 million to 'fund, recruit and employ clinical pharmacists in GP surgeries'.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia yesterday urged the Australian Government to follow the British lead with PSA CEO Dr Lance Emerson, saying the British move reflected a Budget submission made by the PSA to the Australian Government.

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Death in hospital more likely on weekends? : 10/07/2015 :

Two UK academics say more research is needed to understand why patients are more likely to die in hospital at the weekend.

Professor Richard Lilford and Dr Yen-Fu Chen,  from the University of Warwick,  raised the issue following a study which showed that hospital weekend death risk is common in several developed countries including Australia.

Professor Lilford, said: “Understanding this is an extremely important task since it is large, at about 10% in relative risk terms and 0.4% in percentage point terms. This amounts to about 160 additional deaths in a hospital with 40,000 discharges per year."

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White coats favoured : 10/07/2015 :

This week's poll asked 'listers to tell us what they wear to work - it followed a post from Kaye Rickwood earlier in the week in which she commented 'white shirts - the only way to go!'.

AusPharm then wondered aloud whether our impression that there are more white coats about than, say, 10 years ago was correct.

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CHOICE: pharmacies rule : 10/07/2015 :

A new report published by consumer advocacy group CHOICE yesterday concluded that pharmacies equalled or beat supermarkets on price when comparing brand for brand and that, in the pharmacies they shopped 'we were often offered assistance' 'so it's worth asking for advice' as 'there may be better options than the specific medication you're considering'.

The CHOICE survey on which the report was based also found that pharmacies often sell cheaper brands than the name brands sold in supermarkets, more effective active ingredients, stronger doses, and a broader range of medicines for many conditions are available in pharmacies and that large discount-style pharmacies and online pharmacies tended to be cheaper than smaller pharmacies - no surprises there.

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Big Pharma: stop the fearmongering over TPP : 10/07/2015 :

Peak pharma group Medicines Australia (MA) has hit out at what it describes as 'misguided reporting by sections of the media' on negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and its impacts on the prices for medicines in Australia.

“The same fearmongering about price rises for medicines and the collapse of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) happened a decade ago when Australia negotiated a Free Trade Agreement with the United States and those claims have proven to be completely false,” said MA CEO Tim James.

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OTC manufacturers question DTC ad survey analysis, highlight role of pharmacist in their model : 09/07/2015 :

The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) has questioned AusPharm's analysis of last week's poll which concluded that 'two thirds of respondents said direct to consumer advertising of Schedule 3 products should not be allowed'.

ASMI - the peak body representing OTC medicine makers - pointed out that the fourth option in our poll 'asked about views on S3 and S4 advertising rather than just S3' and therefore had 'the potential to distort the results, invalidating the outcome. The question should just have been views on S3 advertising'.

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Pharmacy Board gets a new Chair : 09/07/2015 :

ACT pharmacist Bill Kelly is the new Chair of the Pharmacy Board of Australia. He replaces Steve Marty who has held the position for six years following the national Board's formation in 2009.

Announcing the appointment, the Minster for Health, Sussan Ley, said Mr Kelly’s succession to the leadership role reflected the depth and breadth of his skills and experience, including those gained serving on the board as inaugural practitioner member from the Australian Capital Territory since 2009.

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PSA, Guild to work together on Pharmacy Trial Program : 09/07/2015 :

A joint Pharmacy Guild / Pharmaceutical Society working group will reform to develop proposals for the Pharmacy Trial Program.

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Poll: What do you as the pharmacist wear to work? : 08/07/2015 :

In a post to AusPharmList today Kaye Rickwood writes 'White shirts - the only way to go!'.

AusPharm's travels around Australian pharmacies in recent times has us thinking that most pharmacists agree with Kaye as there seem to be more white coats about than, say, 10 years ago.

Is this really so or just our anecdotal n=1 take on things?

Please help us find out by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll.

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