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AusPharm news

SHPA calls for connectivty for e-scripts across the health system : 25/02/2010 :

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has urged the Australian government to consider using the same tools to link the electronic transfer of prescriptions across the entire health system.

SHPA CEO, Yvonne Allinson says that just about every hospital around the country is likely to be running an e-health project that involves medicines.

“When a patient moves between the community health and hospital sectors, one of the most fundamental things doctors need to know is what medicines are being taken,” says Ms Allinson.

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AusPharm CE: Headache & OTC analgesics : 25/02/2010 :

The latest AusPharm CE topic is Headache & OTC analgesics - it's been put together for us by Debbie Rigby.

"The availability of over-the-counter (OTC) analgesics provides ready access to consumers who experience either intermittent or chronic headaches to self-treat their pain. It has been shown that up to 70% of the Australian population uses OTC analgesics regularly for headaches or musculoskeletal pain."

Click here to do this Continuing Education activity or, if you prefer, take a look at our other CE activities here .

AusPharm gratefully acknowledges the financial support provided by the sponsors of our CE program, MIMS.

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Newer medicines used for arthritis and osteoporosis: take two! : 25/02/2010 :

Sorry all, we jumped the gun yesterday (forgetting what day it was) and prematurely published this item before the report itself had been made publicly available.

The report, Medication use for arthritis and osteoporosis, provides information on what medicines Australians are using to manage their musculoskeletal problems, how much these medicines cost, and trends in the prescription of new medicines.

It's there now, read it for yourself here.

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National registration a step closer : 25/02/2010 :

Legislation to support the implementation of a national system of registration and accreditation for pharmacists was introduced into federal Parliament yesterday.

The Bill sets out the framework for the scheme, covering registration of pharmacists (and other health practitioners) and accreditation of education and training, complaints, privacy and information sharing, and transitional arrangements.

Legislation is required to be introduced into each state and territory to enable the new arrangements with Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria having already passed their legislation. The ACT and Northern Territory have introduced their Bills and South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia are well advanced in their planning.

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600,000 swine flu vaccines go to Laos : 25/02/2010 :

Australia has donated 600,000 doses of swine flu vaccine to Laos. This donation is the first part of a commitment to provide up to 10 per cent of Australia's pandemic vaccine for use amongst developing neighbours.

Australia’s total donation of 2.1 million doses will also support Pacific Island countries, East Timor, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea. Australia has also provided funds to the WHO to help distribute the vaccines to Papua New Guinea, the Pacific Islands and East Timor.

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Learning can be fun : 25/02/2010 :

NSW pharmacist Peter ‘Pedro’ Roberts has attended 18 Offshore Conferences and says they always live up to his expectations and to their philosophy of “learning can be fun”.

“At the Offshore Conference you learn in a relaxed environment and also get the chance to meet your peers,” Mr Roberts said. “It’s not just meeting your peers that proves valuable – it’s the exchange of ideas and information that shows you how others are doing things and how you can perhaps improve your own procedures."

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Guild rejects AMA pitch for pharmacies : 24/02/2010 :

'Listers may have seen yesterday's article in the Sydney Telegraph in which it was reported that the AMA has called for doctors to be allowed to own and operate pharmacies in medical practices. Sue Dunlevy's piece was based on this media release from the AMA.

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Newer medicines used for arthritis and osteoporosis : 24/02/2010 :

The range of medicines available to manage arthritis and osteoporosis has expanded considerably over the past decade, according to a report to be released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. The report, Medication use for arthritis and osteoporosis, provides information on what medicines Australians are using to manage their musculoskeletal problems, how much these medicines cost, and trends in the prescription of new medicines.

According to the report, people with osteoarthritis most commonly use NSAIDS along with paracetamol. For rheumatoid arthritis, the DMARD methotrexate is most commonly used. Complementary medicines are also used commonly by consumers in managing arthritis and osteoporosis.

Read the report for yourself here.

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Yes Minister meets Alice in Wonderland : 23/02/2010 :

There was an interesting tale (of woe?) in yesterday's Melbourne Age, describing the exploits of a former speech writer for, amongst others, Health Minister Nicola Roxon. It offers a rare insight into the workings (and waste) of government.

"I was given my first speech to write. I was not given an induction, training, an occupational health and safety lecture, a security clearance, a standard operating procedures manual, a style guide or anything you would expect when starting a job with the federal government of Australia."

There is an enlightening account of how the government's major reform initiative, YourHealth, and its associated round of public consultations was born.

Read it all for yourself here.

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Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence looks for better prescription outcomes : 23/02/2010 :

A new University of Queensland Centre opening tomorrow will tackle the lack of an agreed set of compliances for all health practitioners with prescribing authority.

According to Associate Professor Charles Mitchell, “both medical and non-medical practitioners currently write prescriptions for patients and there may be more prescribing professions in future.”

Dr Mitchell is Director of UQ's Centre for Safe and Effective Prescribing, within UQ's School of Pharmacy. The Centre opens tomorrow at the Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence.

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Union issues clarification on eRx criticism : 23/02/2010 :

Employee pharmacist union the Pharmacists Division of APESMA (PDA) issued a statement yesterday defending its criticism of the proposed funding of eRx Script Exchange in the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement.

The Pharmacy Guild had been critical of a recent article in the Finacial Review, based on comments from PDA President Geoff March, which implied that it would gain an unfair advantage from its 50% stake in eRx. The Guild denied this and requested a retraction from the paper.

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NPS warns aspirin reports may be misleading : 23/02/2010 :

In the light of media reports that women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer may benefit from taking aspirin, the National prescribing Service (NPS) has warned people to talk to their health professional before self-medicating.

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Well done FDA on LABAs says Asthma Council : 22/02/2010 :

The National Asthma Council Australia has welcomed the outcome of the United States’ Food and Drug Administration’s review into the safety of long-acting beta agonists (LABAs) to treat asthma, saying it will bring US usage in line with the balanced prescribing approach already undertaken in Australia.

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Anonymous tips and rumours : 22/02/2010 :

Got something you'd like to share anonymously with the AusPharm community? Send it along and we'll have a look.

------

"Area manager for Servier "promised" today  to remove the insulting "place label here" from the Coversyls.

Did not know there was a bottle inside that needed the label."

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GSK issues Polident alert : 22/02/2010 :

Last Friday Polident maker GSK sent a fax to all Australian pharmacies alerting them to possible safety issues with long term (mis)use of Polident Extra Hold Denture Adhesive Cream.

Concerns have recently emerged regarding possible zinc related toxicity caused by inapprorpiate use of the product.

Details, including GSK contact details, are here.

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83 new ATSI outreach workers : 22/02/2010 :

Minister for Indigenous Health Warren Snowdon announced on Friday that 83 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Outreach Workers had been funded in locations across Australia.

This represents more than half of the 160 positions that are being funded over a four year period to build the capacity of the Indigenous health workforce.

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PSA welcomes new ASMI head : 22/02/2010 :

The appointment of Dr Deon Schoombie as the new Executive Director of the Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI) has been welcomed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett, said Dr Schoombie, who is currently Scientific Director of ASMI, would bring wide-ranging and diverse experience to the role.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Anticoagulation - bleeding and anticoagulant variability : 22/02/2010 :

The topic of this RGH E‑Bulletin is Anticoagulation - bleeding and anticoagulant variability.

"The single most major concern in connection to anticoagulant use is the risk of bleeding. Perhaps the biggest driver of this concern is increasing intensity of anticoagulation. Often there is unpredictable variability in patient response to anticoagulant therapy that may inadvertently lead to overanticoagulation and subsequent bleeding."

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

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'Lister profile: Karalyn Huxhagen : 21/02/2010 :

'Listers who have been with us for some time will be familiar with the sense of 'community' that participating in AusPharm(List) brings.

With that in mind we thought that, every week or so, we'd ask someone who's active in our little community to tell us a bit more about themselves and to share their thoughts about pharmacy.

Karalyn Huxhagen is a community pharmacist based at the AFS Friendly Care Pharmacy in Mackay, Queensland. She was honoured in the recent Australia Day awards with an Achievement Award for service to Queensland health and the community.

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Learn about respiratory viruses and pandemics at PSA offshore conference : 19/02/2010 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s 2010 Annual Offshore Conference from 28 April to 7 May 2010 will feature a special presentation on Respiratory Viruses and Pandemics, presented by leading consultant physician at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Professor Paul Seale.

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