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AusPharm news

Hepatitis C message on TV : 01/06/2010 :

A community service announcement released today aims to increase consumer confidence that their local community pharmacy is a source of information and advice on Hepatitis C in an environment that supports confidentiality and is free of stigma.

The television message says in part: “Over 200,000 Australians are living with Hepatitis C. It can go undiagnosed without obvious symptoms for many years… blood to blood contact puts you at risk of having Hepatitis C... Get tested. Get treated.”

Watch the clip for yourself here.

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Pharmacy Board of Australia approves Intern Training Program Accreditation Standards : 31/05/2010 :

With the advent of national registration and accreditation, the Pharmacy Board of Australia is now responsible for the accreditation of intern training programs in Australia.

It has now approved the Accreditation Standards for Intern Training Programs in Australia 2010, which contains nine Standards ranging from program curriculum and resources to intern support structures.

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Need to understand patients' pasts to fully treat health problems : 31/05/2010 :

A leading indigenous health worker has stressed to health professionals the importance of understanding where patients have come from when diagnosing and treating them.

Speaking at the National Medicines Symposium in Melbourne last week, Tim Agius, director of Aboriginal health at Sydney’s area west health service, has described the horrendous conditions indigenous Australians endured when removed from their homes and the subsequent health conditions that resulted.

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Get ready for BowelScreen Australia : 31/05/2010 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia and Bowel Cancer Australia have joined forces to develop BowelScreen Australia, a pharmacy based bowel cancer awareness, education and screening program for the Australian community. The program uses a clinically proven, sensitive and reliable immunochemical faecal occult blood test.

Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer related deaths in Australia (after lung cancer) and kills over 70 Australians each week. While bowel cancer claims more lives each year than breast or prostate cancer, early detection through screening can vastly improve survival rates.

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 31/05/2010 :

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

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RGH E-Bulletin: Complementary medicines for menopausal symptoms – part 2 : 31/05/2010 :

The topic of this RGH E‑Bulletin is Complementary medicines for menopausal symptoms – part 2.

"Phytoestrogens are non-steroidal plant compounds that are found in many fruits, vegetables and grains. The most common types of phytoestrogens are coumestans, lignans and isoflavones. These compounds have weak oestrogenic and antioestrogenic activity. The major dietary soy isoflavones, genistein and daidzein, are found in legumes including soybeans, chick peas, lentils and beans. Red clover is another source of isoflavones."

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

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PBS growth for 2010 minimal : 31/05/2010 :

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

Both script numbers and absolute dollars were well down compared to April 2009.

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Private hospital PBS pharmacies to take an extra hit in CPA5? : 31/05/2010 :

Take a look at this budget paper (Search the text on the page for 'private hospital'). 

In amongst the other savings announced for the 5th Agreement (no PBSOL fee, indexation of dispensing fee etc) is this line:

  • private hospital pharmacy remuneration will be reduced in line with public hospital pharmacy counterparts (saving $35.3 million);

Apparently the existing markup structure for s.94 pharmacies will be replaced by a flat 1.39% markup.

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Apple iPad - what can it do for you? : 31/05/2010 :

Want to know what an iPad can do for you in your pharmacy?

Watch this space tomorrow.

Pharmacist and pharmacy industry IT expert, Jason Bratuskins, tells all as he gets to know his new iPad.

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New pharmacy only fibre option a big opportunity : 28/05/2010 :

Boehringer Ingelheim has confirmed its intention to distribute its new natural soluble fibre product Dulcofibre® only via community pharmacies in Australia.

According to Guild President Kos Sclavos, "I encourage pharmacy to support brands that are committed to the pharmacy channel and are consistent with our role as providers of high quality advice."

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NPS rebrands : 28/05/2010 :

The National Prescribing Service has unveiled its new brand at the National Medicines Symposium dinner.

From 1 July, NPS will be known as NPS: better choices, better health – to help build awareness among consumers of what it does and stands for. A brighter, more colourful logo and pattern has also been developed to help make the brand more recognisable. 

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NSW Board reminds pharmacists of their responsibilities with codeine : 28/05/2010 :

The Pharmacy Board of New South Wales has reminded NSW pharmacists that, following changes to the scheduling of codeine containing analgesics, that they must be personally involved in the sale of such medications and determine the appropriateness of the supply, having regard to their legal and ethical obligations.

The Board has pointed out that if evidence of inappropriate supply comes to the Board’s notice, pharmacists may face a charge of unsatisfactory professional conduct.

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'Just ask' campaign to roll out nationally? : 28/05/2010 :

A consumer awareness campaign conducted in Canberra that sought to remind consumers of the importance of being fully informed about medicines, and taking the right medicine at the right time, has resulted in a 100% increase in awareness over the two weeks the campaign ran.

The Canberra pilot included the distribution of “just ask” materials at shopping centres, radio and print advertising, and mobile truck advertising to drive home the message that it is okay to ‘just ask’ at any time for CMI. The campaign also served as a reminder to pharmacists about the benefits of ensuring that patients receive CMIs in appropriate circumstances.

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Mixed reaction to S3 codeine : 28/05/2010 :

The aim of this week's AusPharm poll was to try and get a sense of how the May 1 codeine scheduling changes were affecting community pharmacies.

I'm not sure that our simple poll quite got to the heart of it but a few observations can be made.

Some pharmacies report seeing 'new' people, perhaps reflecting that drug seekers are now having to work harder to meet their needs. Almost a quarter of respondents are 'over it' suggesting that requests for codeine causes them some grief. On the other hand, for 27% of our respondents it's business as usual. The same proportion (27%) report that sales have dropped markedly.

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National Medicines Symposium opens in Melbourne today : 27/05/2010 :

Professor Jim Bishop AO, Australia's Chief Medical Officer, will officially open the National Medicines Symposium at the Melbourne Convention Centre today.
 
This biennial event, hosted by the National Prescribing Service, aims to bring together everyone involved with medicines use including doctors, pharmacists, nurses, specialists, consumers, policy makers, academics and international experts.

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eRx April/May newsletter : 27/05/2010 :

The eRx April/May newsletter has just been published. Click here to download a copy.

'Listers might also be interested to take a look at the new FAQ section on the Community Pharmacy Agreement Electronic Prescription Incentive.

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RUM bin liners no longer needed in South Australia : 27/05/2010 :

A revised RUM Project Protocol in South Australia will remove the need for liner-bags and ties to be used, with the plastic bins themselves (and contents) to be incinerated. Pharmacies will receive “new” containers on each order from wholesalers.

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Pharmacy Expo is next week : 26/05/2010 :

Pharmacy Expo at Darling Harbour in Sydney opens next Friday and will run for three days. 

If you haven’t already registered for the FREE trade expo or booked to attend the education sessions, it’s not too late.  Whilst a few of the Friday sessions have already SOLD OUT, there a number of clinical topics including wound care management, asthma, dental and infant health sessions still available.  Weekend topics include business and clinical topics which are all repeated, to ensure you don’t miss out. 

To register your team and review the available program topics, visit www.pharmacyexpo.com.au.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 26/05/2010 :

AFL Round 9 was not a good one for tippers with 8 winners proving impossible to select. Hayden Kyte from Royal Melbourne tipped 7 winners and also the best margin so is this weeks winner, well done Hayden! In second place was Kim Collins of Berrigan with Henk Lubeek from Creswick Pharmacy taking 3rd position.

NRL Round 11 tipping will not be concluded until after the State of Origin game so results are not available at this time. We did rub the crystal ball but! Visit the NRL State of Origin website.

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Poll: codeine, how's it going? : 26/05/2010 :

It's been almost 4 weeks now since OTC codeine containing compound analgesics all moved into schedule 3 (or 4). What effect, if any, has this had in your pharmacy?

Certainly where AusPharm moonlights, we've seen more 'new' patients and a little more 'aggro' as well, when requests are declined.

How is it in your pharmacy? Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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