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AusPharm news

Flash drives a winner? : 22/03/2010 :

Our thanks to the many AusPharm members who took advantage of the premium upgrade offer we ran last week.

Seems our 4GB AusPharm branded flash drives (and our premium content) hold a special appeal for our members! Watch this space - we'll see if we can come up with another tempting offer for you next month.

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Sigma : 22/03/2010 :

There has been considerable speculation in both pharmacy and mainstream media on what ails Sigma. According to the company, all will be revealed tomorrow.

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New medicine information resource for Arabic speakers : 22/03/2010 :

Australia’s growing population of Arabic speakers now has access to a translated brochure explaining what they need to know about their medicines.

The Medimate brochure contains information about prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines and natural and herbal medicines. It includes advice about how to use medicines safely, managing multiple medicines and keeping healthy with and without medicines.

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New registration arrangements for overseas trained pharmacists : 22/03/2010 :

With national registration for pharmacists due to commence on July 1, new assessment and registration arrangements have been put in place for overseas trained pharmacists.

Read  all about it on the Australian Pharmacy Council website here

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Pharmacy Expo 2010 registrations open : 22/03/2010 :

Registration for this year's Pharmacy Expo is now open. 

This premier industry event is held over 3 days and provides a FREE networking and sales platform for everyone in pharmacy.  The education program features 50 individual clinical and business topics, presented by some of Australia’s industry experts.  With a number of Friday sessions sold out in 2009, you will need to get in quickly to confirm your place.  Early-Bird rates are available until the end of April.  

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Second edition of ‘BLUE BOOK’ now available : 22/03/2010 :

The second edition of Case Studies in Practice: Medication Review (the ‘Blue Book’) written by Tim Chen, Rebekah Moles, Prasad Nishtala and Ben Basger is now available through the PSA’s Pharmacy Bookzone.

The textbook has been completely rewritten and updated with new case studies and index. The ‘Blue Book’ is a must for anyone involved in Home Medicine Reviews and for those who are thinking about becoming an accredited consultant pharmacist.

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Betaferon turns 15 : 22/03/2010 :

Multiple sclerosis experts have called for an early referral and treatment approach for patients following new Betaferon data presented at the MS symposium - 15 years of experience, held over the weekend in Melbourne.

Data presented showed patients who had undergone treatment since early diagnosis are living longer, healthier lives than patients who waited until the disease progressed further.

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Residency, PBS, Centrelink and Medicare status : 22/03/2010 :

Earlier in 2010 there was discussion on AusPharmList (here) that raised a series of questions about the extent to which people were entitled to various government benefits if they were not permanent residents in Australia. With the help of a few 'listers (Valentino Cosic, Andrew Griffin, Steven Maycock) we got a list of questions together and put them to Medicare. Their response is below.

What's the definition of 'resident' for PBS purposes?

To be eligible for PBS a customer must be eligible for Medicare.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Opioid equivalence (part 2) : 22/03/2010 :

The topic of this RGH E‑Bulletin is Opioid equivalence (part 2 of 2).

"Last week’s E-Bulletin dealt with basic aspects relating to opioid equivalence. In this week’s edition, additional practice points are provided for consideration:
• Oral bioavailability of opioids and other drugs is always lower than parenteral because of the possible effects of incomplete GI absorption and/or hepatic first pass effect. Bioavailability is the same from transdermal administration as it is from parenteral administration."

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

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Sigma talks - finally : 19/03/2010 :

The Sigma company yesterday issued a statement to the stock exchange on the reasons it has delayed the release of its full year accounts for the year ending January 31 and (on February 28) called a trading halt for its shares.

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ASMI pushes message on Facebook, Twitter : 19/03/2010 :

The Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI), the industry body representing non-prescription consumer healthcare products, yesterday launched its social media initiative ‘Self Care for Australians’ aimed at educating consumers about the benefits of greater personal responsibility for health.

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Poll: senior staff member wages : 19/03/2010 :

This week's poll looked at what kind of wages the senior non-pharmacist staff member in a pharmacy gets paid. We ran this poll at the request of a 'lister who pays his senior staff member *very* well.

Looking at the results below, the average seems to be about $23/hr, full time equivalent rate (our 'lister was paying $29 + car ++). Interesting to compare this to the less than $30/hr on offer for a 'standard pharmacist in some capital cities nowdays.

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PSA Vice President in new role : 19/03/2010 :

PSA Vice President and Queensland Branch President Lisa Nissen has been promoted to Associate Professor of Quality Use of Medicines at the University of Queensland.

Associate Professor Nissen has been a National PSA Board member since 2008 and was last year appointed to the position of National Vice President. She was joint winner of PSA’s Pharmacist of the Year Award in 2008 after winning the Young Pharmacist of the Year Award in 2002. She has won a string of research grants and awards in the last 5 years (more).

Her current research focuses on the Quality Use of Medicines in the wider community and the expansion of roles for pharmacists, particularly those in community practice.

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New patient aids from Pfizer : 19/03/2010 :

PFIZER, in partnership with Corum,  yesterday launched a new program ‘Pfizer Empower’, aimed at helping pharmacists support customers using Pfizer products (Lipitor, Champix, Xalatan, Xalacom).

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April 2010 PBS schedule : 18/03/2010 :

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

Full PBS schedule

Summary of changes

Of interest to community pharmacists in the April changes will be the significant price reductions on rosuvastatin (now part of a new Therapeutic Group with atorvastatin) and proton pump inhibitors (as a consequence of the PBS reforms).

A summary of PBS price reductions is available to Guild members on the Guild website, here.

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Poll: senior staff member wages : 17/03/2010 :

AusPharm has had a request from a 'lister to run a poll asking what kind of wages senior non-pharmacist staff member get paid. We think it might be interesting to compare the result to pharmacist wages on offer around the country.

What does the senior non pharmacist staff member get paid in your pharmacy? Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll.

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PSA: other health professions need support as well : 17/03/2010 :

The Government’s announcement of a substantial boost in GP training places, specialist training places and pre-vocational general practice placements for medical graduates is a welcome development, but other health professions need similar support, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia says.

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Cardiovascular medicine supply highest in regional areas : 17/03/2010 :

People living in Australia’s regional areas access cardiovascular disease (CVD) medicines at higher rates than people in major cities or remote areas, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

The report, Cardiovascular medicines and primary health care: a regional analysis, looked at the supply of medicines through the PBS/RPBS to different Australian regions.

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HEA reassures stock exchange : 17/03/2010 :

Following stock exchange (ASX) queries about its half year accounts Health Corporation Ltd (HEA), proponents of the Chemconsult medication advice tool, has moved to reassure the ASX that its future is secure.

ASX put a series of questions to the company following comments made by the company's auditors in its half year accounts that it disagreed with HEA's opinion that 'the going concern basis used in the preparation of the half year finacial report is appropriate'.

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PHARMeFOOTY underway for 2010 : 17/03/2010 :

PHARMeFOOTY is underway for 2010 - good luck to all tippers for the 2010 season!

NRL Round 1 was a closely fought contest to start the season with just 2 tippers selecting all the 8 winners. As always the margin decides the result and Matt O'Connor of BMMR selected the perfect margin and becomes our first Weekly winner of 2010. Congratulations Matt! In second place, just 1 margin point behind, was Ivanka Cavar from Baxter Pharmacy with Ken Montgomery of Pharmasol taking 3rd place.

A full roundup of last weekend's footy results is available at the PHARMeFOOTY website. It's not too late to register for this year's PHARMeFOOTY - click here to register now.

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