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AusPharm news

TGA publishes guidance on the safety of fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids : 06/04/2010 :

In light of safety concerns in people taking fish oil, in particular regarding the risk of postoperative bleeding, and given the likelihood that consumption will continue to rise, the Therapeutic Goods Administration has published a 'safety summary' for clinicians.

The TGA analysis concludes, amongst other things, that despite the lack of evidence of a systematic safety concern, it is reasonable to be mindful of the theoretical risk of bleeding with fish oil when monitoring patients treated with fish oils and anticoagulants. The TGA suggests that clinicians consider recommending that, similar to aspirin, warfarin and clopidogrel, patients cease taking fish oil 4-7 days before an elective procedure.

Read it all for yourself here.

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New president for ACT branch of PSA : 06/04/2010 :

The ACT Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has a new President following the resignation of Professor Gabrielle Cooper due to her commitments and responsibilities at the University of Canberra.

Cathy Beckhouse, pictured at right, , currently a National Board Member of PSA, will take over the presidency.

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April NPS RADAR now out : 06/04/2010 :

The March issue of RADAR is now available on the NPS website.  It contains reviews of:

as well as a number of 'in brief' news items.

 

 

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RGH E-Bulletin: Smoking, smoking cessation and medications : 06/04/2010 :

The topic of this RGH E‑Bulletin is Smoking, smoking cessation and medications..

"Tobacco smoking, and cessation of tobacco smoking, is known to affect the handling of various medications. However the significance of the effect smoking can have on medications may not always be considered in clinical practice. As many hospitals and health services (including RGH) work towards becoming smoke-free environments it is timely to highlight potential interactions involving smoking, smoking cessation and medications."

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

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Cheap codeine - Crikey! : 06/04/2010 :

This comment from a reader appeared on the Crikey website last week.

"As a regular reader of the catalogue from discount chemist chain Chemist Warehouse I was disturbed to see a large "!!Stop Press!!" splash on the back page advising: "As of the 1st of May NEW LEGISLATION will prevent the sale of large packs of Analgesic products that contain codeine."

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Genepharm becomes Ascent : 03/04/2010 :

Generics company Genepharm has changed its name to Ascent Pharmaceuticals in order to align it's business more closely with it's growing international presence.
 
Ascent says that it has also established a new relationship with Pfizer. According to  CEO Dennis Bastas, “This relationship with Pfizer ensures Ascent Pharmaceuticals and our partner pharmacies will be at the forefront of change as many products come off patent over the next three years. We expect to be the first to launch some of the biggest molecules through innovative launch programs that will create significant returns.“

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Class action possible against Sigma? : 01/04/2010 :

In the wake of yesterday's announcement by Sigma that it had delivered shareholders a record loss for the year ending January 31 of $389 million, law firm Slater and Gordon has announced it is finalising a "detailed investigation" into disclosures made by Sigma Pharmaceuticals which led to yesterday's 50 per cent plunge in its share price.

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Queensland Guild to pilot script folder recycling program : 01/04/2010 :

The Queensland Branch of the Pharmacy Guild announced this morning that it was to pilot a prescription folder recycling program. The plan involves Guild members taking competitor pharmacies' folders that they have salvaged along to Guild meetings where they will be able to exchange them for used folders from their own pharmacy, brought along by other members.

Queensland Branch President Tim Logan said: "When we saw the way this week's AusPharm poll was trending - that people were keen on recycling their script backers - we thought this was the obvious next step."

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Poll result: recycling script folders : 01/04/2010 :

This week's poll sought to find out the prevalance of recycling of prescription folders. The result (shown below) tells us that pharmacists are, in the main, environmentally (or economically!) conscious and re-use their script backers if they can.

Our poll did have an unexpected and positive outcome however.

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Personalised care for chronic illness : 01/04/2010 :

The federal government yesterday announced the first stage of a program designed to better manage the health of people with chronic illnesses.

Both the Pharmacy Guild and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia issued supportive statements in response to yesterday's announcement.

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Bilingual Webster-paks : 31/03/2010 :

Pharmacists may receive enquiries about Webstercare Multi-Lingual paks by people who attend in-language seminars about medicines use issues, which are being run by the National Prescribing Service and the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia over the next few months.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap - still not too late to register : 31/03/2010 :

AFL round 1 was a good start for tippers with 13 selecting the 8 winners correctly. The margin decided the winner and the closest was Zoe Escott  from The Circle Pharmacy so Zoe becomes our first AFL weekly winner in 2010, congratulations Zoe!In second place was Andrew Folino of Exhibition Pharmacy with Ben Pietrafesa  from Hamilton Labs taking 3rd spot.

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Free in-language workshops to help seniors understand medicines issues : 31/03/2010 :

More than 150 workshops will be held across Australia over the next three months to help seniors from non-English speaking backgrounds better understand medicines use issues.

The workshops will be run in six different languages: Cantonese, Mandarin, Greek, Italian, Arabic and Vietnamese. They have been funded by the National Prescribing Service in partnership with the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Council of Australia (FECCA) and are being organised by ethno-specific organisations in every state and territory.

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Guild compliments Abbott on pharmacy policy : 31/03/2010 :

Guild President Kos Sclavos yesterday issued a statement in response to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's speech, also delivered yesterday, in which he pitched his economic credentials to voters.

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More funding for rural health student placement support : 31/03/2010 :

The Commonwealth Government announced yesterday that it will boost the training opportunities for more than 1,000 medical, dental and allied health students in rural communities with $33 million more for essential infrastructure.

22 projects will be funded across the country, with each State and Territory to benefit. The projects will construct or expand student education facilities, student accommodation, primary care teaching sites, and distance education facilities.

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Poll: do you recycle your script folders? : 30/03/2010 :

AusPharm is often stunned and amazed at the state of some of the script folders we're presented with - torn, dirty, creased and soiled (yuk).

When dispensing a repeat script that was previously dispensed at your pharmacy (i.e. it comes to you with one of YOUR PHARMACY'S repeat folders), what do you do?

Please tick the relevant box in this week's AusPharm poll below.

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Codeine changes to commence on **May** 1 : 30/03/2010 :

The Pharmacy Guild issued a statement yestedray pointing out that changes to the laws affecting the supply of OTC pain relievers containing codeine will take place from May 1 this year.

This is contrary to a report in Sunday's Sydney Sun-Herald newspaper, which incorrectly said the changes will take place from this Thursday, 1 April.

More information about the changes affecting the sale of analgesics containing codeine can be seen on the Guild’s website, here.

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AusPharm hovercraft non poll : 30/03/2010 :

'Listers will have seen the recent Sydney Daily Telegraph report on the Sigma Rewards Scheme (here).

"THE pharmacy profession has defended a sales incentive scheme operated by Sigma Pharmaceuticals which offers chemists the chance to own hovercraft, fine china and a host of other luxury goods."

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PHARMSPACE returns in 2010 : 30/03/2010 :

After the very successful launch of the Pharmspace Pre-reg Careers Fair in 2009, which attracted over 1,100 student registrations, Pharmspace has returned for 2010.

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Flu season about to hit : 30/03/2010 :

Influenza experts yesterday joined together to remind Australians that influenza is not just a risk for older Australians, with national data showing that 80 percent of those hospitalised annually with suspected or confirmed influenza are younger than 65 years of age.

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