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AusPharm news

RGH E-Bulletin: Drug-induced myopathies : 08/02/2010 :

The topic of this RGH E‑Bulletin is Drug-induced myopathies.

"Drug-induced myopathies may present in varying degrees of severity from mild muscle weakness to rhabdomyolysis with acute renal failure. Drugs may cause myopathic symptoms by directly affecting a muscle organelle, inducing immunological or inflammatory myopathy, altering systemic functions leading to electrolyte disturbances or via nutritional deprivation, and this in turn affects muscle function."

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

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Doctors are skilled in diagnosis, pharmacists aren’t : 08/02/2010 :

So said AMA Vice President, Dr Steve Hambleton, in response to the Australian Self Medication Industry's suggestion that pharmacies are a good first port of call for consumers needing advice on 'minor ailments', such as such as coughs, colds, sore throats and back pain.

According to Dr Hambleton, minor ailments are not always minor, and pharmacists advising consumers instead of doctors could put people at risk of more serious health problems.

What rot. 

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Public "overdose" highlights the ineffective nature of homeopathy : 07/02/2010 :

As part of a worldwide campaign to alert consumers to the true nature of homeopathy, members of The Victorian Skeptics, the Melbourne Skeptics in the Pub and the Young Australian Skeptics "overdosed" on Saturday on entire packs of homeopathic pills.

The mass "overdose" was part of the 10:23 Campaign, launched in 2009 in the UK. The original campaign launch followed an admission by British pharmacy chain Boots that the pills are only sold because consumers will buy them, not because they are effective. The campaign is named after the Avogadro Constant, a scientific constant which can be used to show that homeopathy products contain no active ingredients.

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ASMI says keep away from GPs for minor ailments : 05/02/2010 :

In a budget submission released yesterday, the Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI), proposed a health education and awareness program to highlight the choices available to consumers with minor ailments such as using the pharmacist as a first point of contact.

The Executive Director of the Australian Self-Medication, Juliet Seifert said, “It’s a question of whether in a 21st century health system, people need to physically visit an overburdened GP for such things as coughs colds and sore throats. These changes would allow doctors to apply their skills and training to best use in treating more serious conditions as well as to longer term preventative health.”

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Mixed views from pharmacists on nurse practitioners clinics : 05/02/2010 :

This week's AusPharm poll canvassed pharmacist's opinions on whether or not in pharmacy nurse practitioner clincs were 'good for pharmacy'.

While a clear majority of respondents to our poll (about 2/3) think this is a bad idea, a significant minority (about 1/3) see it as positive, at least in some pharmacies.

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 05/02/2010 :

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

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Vaccinations in pharmacy – Tassie trialblazing again : 04/02/2010 :

The first phase of a trial to offer free Swine Flu vaccinations in pharmacy by Nurse Immunizers will run from the 15-22 February in 5 pharmacies in Tasmania.

Initiated by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and supported by the Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) the aim of the trial is to increase the Swine Flu vaccination numbers and make vaccinations more accessible to the “at-risk target market.”

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ADRAC replacement body appointed : 04/02/2010 :

Membership of the new Advisory Committee on the Safety of Medicines (ACSOM), the committee replacing the old ADRAC committee, was announced yesterday. The committee includes one pharmacist.

ACSOM's work will focus on the safety aspects of medicine regulation and the detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse effects.

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New clinical program addresses sleep problems and therapy options : 04/02/2010 :

The latest NPS education program ‘Management options to maximise sleep’ encourages prescribers to recommend non-drug therapies as first-line treatment for insomnia and to discuss the importance of good sleep practices and the potential harms of hypnotic medicines with the patient before prescribing hypnotics.

BEACH data from 2006-08 shows medication was prescribed for 95.2 per 100 insomnia problems*, however research from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in the US has shown non-drug therapies have comparable effectiveness to hypnotic medicines.

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SHPA December Bulletin : 03/02/2010 :

Those community pharmacy 'listers who wonder what their hospital colleagues get up to could do worse than have a look at the Society of Hospital Pharmacists' of Australia December Bulletin.

Take a look here.

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August 1 price disclosure reductions : 03/02/2010 :

Five molecules will be subject to price disclosure price reductions on August 1, 2010.

Of most relevance to community pharmacy is that (oral) meloxicam will drop by 18%. Other molecules affected are the injectable forms only of  cefalotin, doxorubicin, mitozantrone and ondansetron. (For Guild members only) details are available here.

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Poll: nurse practitioners in pharmacy would be a *good thing* : 02/02/2010 :

'Listers will have seen the publicity and read the AusPharmList posts about Revive Clinic's push to introduce nurse practitioner clinics into more pharmacies around Australia.

Would nurse practitioner clinics in pharmacies be a good thing? What do you think? Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm poll below.

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Focus off PBS in IGR3 : 02/02/2010 :

PBS expenditure has much less of a focus in IGR3 and is forecast to grow from $443 per person on average in 2012–13 to $534 in 2022–23, however, this is a constant 0.7% of GDP.

The third Intergenerational Report, Australia to 2050: Future Challenges, confirms (what we all knew already) that Australia's ageing population is placing major pressure on health funding and this is set to increase in the decades ahead.

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February Australian Prescriber : 02/02/2010 :

The February edition of Australian Prescriber is out now and looks at topical issues including:

Download it all here.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Safety issues with drugs used in obesity management : 02/02/2010 :

The topic of this RGH E‑Bulletin is Safety issues with drugs used in obesity management.

"At the end of healthy weight week and when New Year resolutions are kicking in, it is timely to review the safety of the three scheduled medications available in Australia with an indication for obesity. It should be noted that with all medications (orlistat, phentermine and sibutramine), lifestyle changes (such as increasing physical activity and reducing calorie intake) remain the cornerstone of management. None of these medications should be used routinely by patients with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 30 (or 25 to 27 in special circumstances). In addition, phentermine is indicated for short term use only."

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

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New: Medicines Safety Update : 02/02/2010 :

'Listers will know that last December's ADRAC Bulletin was the last one, with the ADRAC committee being replaced in 2010 with an expert advisory committee - the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Medicines (ACSOM).

The new committee encompasses the activities and functions of ADRAC but has broader terms of reference commensurate with the increasing prominence of pharmacovigilance in Australia and world-wide.Its first output - Issue No 1 of the Medicines Safety Update - was published yeaterday on the TGA website.

Take a look here.

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Gold Cross features in new TV ad : 02/02/2010 :

The Gold Cross logo will soon once again feature on a TV ad promoting Bio-Organics CoQ10. The campaign focuses on patients taking cholesterol-lowering medication.

According to Gold Cross, the campaign does not imply endorsement by the Pharmacy Guild of Bio-Organics CoQ10, rather Bio-Organics CoQ10 endorses the excellent advice given by pharmacists and staff in providing the product.

The campaign commences on February 13 and will run for 6 weeks. Click the Gold Cross logo to watch the ad.

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A waste of resources: Revive Clinic : 01/02/2010 :

Ron Batagol had another 'From the Coalface' op ed published in the Weekend Australian on Saturday.

Ron argues that establishing nurse practititioner clinics in pharmacies would be a wasteful use of scarce health resources, adding that, "A better alternative would be to have Medicare-accredited pharmacists and nurses practising collaboratively alongside doctors, in a community care location such as a dedicated "super-clinic"."

Read his piece in full here.

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TGA scheduling consultation : 01/02/2010 :

New arrangements for the scheduling of medicines and chemicals comes into effect on 1 July 2010 and can be viewed on the ComLaw website, here.

Draft Regulations to facilitate implementation of these new arrangements have been now been published and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is inviting public comment on them.

Details are available on the TGA website here. Closing date for submissions is March 10.

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AusPharmList powers into 15th year : 01/02/2010 :

The first post to AusPharmList was posted on January 31, 1996, 14 years ago yesterday.

Since then, we estimate there have been over 50,000 posts submitted by the now more than 8,000 registered AusPharm members. Membership is still growing as strongly as ever.

As we enter the business part of 2010, we thought we'd let you know what AusPharm has in store for you through the year.

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