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AusPharm news

Mother's Day Fun run : 21/04/2010 :

‘COMPEED® and the Australian Pharmaceutical Publishing Company are giving pharmacists & pharmacy assistants the chance to take part in the Mother’s Day Classic fun run – for free!

The Mother’s Day Classic is a fun run/walk in aid of breast cancer research that takes place on Mother’s day (9th May 2010) all over Australia.

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Another CPD option for consultant pharmacists : 20/04/2010 :

For the first time this year, the Australian College of Pharmacy offered a 'clinical' stream at its conference, held last week and over the weekend in the Barossa Valley.

Presenters included Dr Geraldine Moses, Dr Treasure McGuire, Prof. Andrew McLachlan and Margaret Robinson.

ACP President Trevor Clarkin said that, while the numbers choosing the clinical stream this year were modest, the College would be offering it again at next year's conference.

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Compounding - another professional service to offer? : 20/04/2010 :

In a presentation to delegates at the Australian College of Pharmacy conference in the Barossa Valley over the weekend, Jenny Giam, from Professional Compounding Chemists of Australia (PCCA) gave a compelling presentation that highlighted to delegates that 'compounding' is another professional service available to them to help them fill the void caused by the present (and impending) decline in their dispensary profits.

By way of demonstration, Ms Giam told delegates that three pharmacies recently valued by Ravens were showing gorss profit percentages of 65%, 58% and 52%, compared to the usual range of 30% - 35% (20%-25% if you're a discounter!).

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AusPharm database server throws a wobbly : 20/04/2010 :

The server on which our member database resides became quite temperamental for a while yesterday, resulting in it sending out loads of INCORRECT renewal notices for AusPharm premium memberships.

To the best of our knowledge these were ALL INCORRECT so if you got one, please tear it up and throw it in the bin.

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Hide your hovercraft : 20/04/2010 :

'Listers may recall we ran a 'non poll' a few weeks back asking people how they were going for hovercraft they had / had not acquired by virtue of their particpation in the Sigma rewards program. 

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Industry says no to Therapeutic Groups : 19/04/2010 :

In a submission to Senate Community Affairs Committee Inquiry into Consumer Access to Pharmaceutical Benefits which was released this week, Medicines Australia (MA) said that the formation of new therapeutic groups should not be part of managing the PBS.

The submission highlights the potential risks of forming such therapeutic groups for patients, Government and industry.

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Cardiovascular deaths fall, especially among older Australians : 19/04/2010 :

Death rates from cardiovascular disease (CVD) have fallen since 1987, with the greatest declines being among older people, according to a report released on Friday by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

The report, Cardiovascular disease mortality: trends at different ages, looks at trends in CVD deaths across different age and sex groups, and across the main individual diseases that make up cardiovascular disease.

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Robots to the rescue? : 19/04/2010 :

In a presentation to delegates at the Australian College of Pharmacy conference in the Barossa Valley on Friday University of Sydney Professor of Pharmacy Management Lesley White told delegates the point at which it becomes economically sustainable to install a dispensary robot was approximately 270 scripts a day.

This is much lower than the 400-450 scripts a day previously thought  to be the 'break even point'.

Professor White said that future generations of pharmacists would view today's dispensing technology in the same way that we today look back at prescription books and typewriters.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Clinical applications of prostaglandins : 19/04/2010 :

The topic of this RGH E‑Bulletin is Clinical applications of prostaglandins..

"Prostaglandins (PG) (including prostacyclin, PGI2) and thromboxanes (TX) are fatty acid derivatives collectively known as prostanoids, initially synthesised from arachidonic acid by cyclooxygenases (COX). They perform numerous physiological functions, making them useful therapeutic targets for a range of clinical applications. Certain drugs are targeted at inhibiting the production of prostanoids (e.g. NSAIDs and COX-2 inhibitors which act by reversibly inhibiting COX), but there are also other drugs which act therapeutically by replacing or mimicking endogenous prostaglandins. Prostanoids have a very short half life before being inactivated and excreted which often limits administration options."

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

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May 2010 PBS schedule : 19/04/2010 :

The May PBS schedule and 'Summary of Changes' are now on-line:

Full PBS schedule

Summary of changes

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Xenophon pledges support : 16/04/2010 :

During his speech while opening the Australian College of Pharmacy's conference in the Barossa Valley yesterday, independent senator Nick Xenophon pledged to go into battle for community pharmacy if it faced further federal funding cuts.

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Codeine containing compound analgesics to cost more : 16/04/2010 :

This week's AusPharm poll asked 'listers whether the rescheduling of codeine containing compound analgesics would prompt them to reconsider their pricing policies for these products.

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Irvine Newton: there's lots to be gained from offering an opioid replacement therapy program : 16/04/2010 :

Speaking at the Australian College of Pharmacy conference yesterday Victorian community pharmacist Irvine Newton made a strong business case for pharmacists to offer opioid replacement therapy (ORT) programs in their pharmacies.

According to Mr Newton, not only do these programs offer financial rewards but they also provide great personal and professional satisfaction and significant benefit to the community at large as well.

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Pharmacist complaints in NSW : 16/04/2010 :

In a post to AusPharmList on Wednesday NSW pharmacist Roy Stevenson asked why the NSW Board was retaining responsibility for dealing with complaints against pharmacists.

The Board has been in touch with AusPharm and provided us with the following explanation.

"The former NSW Minister for Health, The Hon. John Della Bosca, insisted  that NSW  joining up to the proposed  national registration of health care professionals scheme was conditional on the NSW system of handling complaints remaining in place in his state.

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Migraine: Aspirin and an Antiemetic is a Reasonable Option : 15/04/2010 :

A single dose of 900-1000 mg aspirin can substantially reduce migraine headache pain within two hours, for more than half of people who take it. It also reduces any associated nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound (photophobia or phonophobia). Formulations of aspirin 900 mg together with 10 mg of the antiemetic metoclopramide are better than placebo at reducing symptoms of nausea and vomiting.

These were the findings of a Cochrane Systematic Review using data from 13 studies with 4,222 participants.

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Guild calls for improved access to finance : 15/04/2010 :

In a submission to the Senate Inquiry into small business access to finance, the Pharmacy Guild has renewed its calls for improved access to finance on reasonable terms for all small businesses, including community pharmacies.

In the submission the Guild has outlined ten Guild member case studies demonstrating the difficulties being faced since the Global Financial Crisis.

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Consumers seek more input into pharmacy agreement : 15/04/2010 :

In a discussion paper released yesterday peak consumer group, the Consumer Health Forum (CHF), has called for greater consumer input into pharmacy agreements.

CHF has also called for more input from pharmacy organisations other than the Guild and says that the agreement should contain "quality standards for dispensing which would need to be met as a prerequisite to expansion of the pharmacists role into broader primary care".

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Funding of Hospital Medicines in Australia : 15/04/2010 :

In a research outcome that mirrors the Commonwealth’s plans for a takeover of hospitals, researchers from the University of Canberra’s National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) have found that found any of three proposals currently on the table for a national system to regulate the use and procurement of drugs in hospitals would be better than the status quo.

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has welcomed the report, saying that  reform will require input and considerable ‘buy in’ from many stakeholders, but that it is worth doing and fits very well with the current Australian health reform agenda.

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ACP conference blasts off : 15/04/2010 :

The Australian College of Pharmacy conference got underway last night in the Barossa Valley with a welcome dinner for delegates.

Guild President Kos Sclavos is to address the conference today on 'Pharmacy as a primary care hub'.

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Sigma CEO goes : 15/04/2010 :

Elmo de Alwis has resigned as CEO and Managing Director of Sigma Pharmaceuticals.

Mr de Alwis's resignation follows the company's announcement a fortnight ago of a $389 million loss for the year ended January 31, 2010. He is to stay on in the positions until a replacement is appointed.

The mainstream media is all over Mr de Alwis's resignation - links to these reports are in today's 'In the news' section.

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