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AusPharm news

Pharmacists use TAIS : 29/01/2010 :

This week's poll asked 'listers to tell us whether they'd used the NPS Therapeutic Advice and Information Service and, if so, to what extent.

The results, shown below, tell us that of those who've heard of TAIS (74% of respondents), almost 80% had used it occasionally at least with 22% being frequent flyers.

AusPharm thinks it's a superb service for pharmacy and strongly believes that its funding should be renewed. To find out why, read Wendy Morton's editorial  on AusPharm today.

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First AusPARs published : 28/01/2010 :

As part of a process where health professionals, industry and consumer bodies are working with the TGA to enhance the regulatory framework for therapeutic goods, the first Australian Public Assessment Reports (AusPARs) have now been published on the Therapeutic Goods Administration website (here).

AusPARs provide detailed information about how an application for a new prescription medicine, or major variation on an existing medicine, was evaluated by the TGA and the decision-making process involved in registration.

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15 things you didn't known about the human body : 28/01/2010 :

Here's a little (more) light entertainment for the holiday season.

Many thanks to Malcolm Kirke for sending it along.

Click the image to see a bigger version.

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AusPharmList Post of the day : 28/01/2010 :

Once again today, while we did eventually choose a Post of the day today - see JiangLi Ngoi's post beloiw - we almost didn't choose one as there were just so many excellent posts sent in yesterday and overnight.

You really need to read them all - here.

(Basic level AusPharm members click here to go to the website and see today's posts (view last '1' day's posts).

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Sunrise gets the wrong bowel cancer testing kit : 28/01/2010 :

The manufacturer of the InSure® bowel screening test moved yesterday to set the record straight following incorrect vision aired as part of a story on Channel 7’s Sunrise program yesterday morning.

The story, which appeared in the program’s news bulletin, highlighted the 4,444 people who falsely tested negative or inconclusive for bowel cancer when using defective Government-issued screening tests between May and December 2009. The news bulletin incorrectly featured vision of a bowel screening test manufactured by Enterix (Australia) and marketed as Inform® (now known as InSure®).

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Last week's mystery object : 27/01/2010 :

The prize for correctly identifying last week's mystery object goes to Howard Teague for his answer, Bates Salve.

Howard wins one of our stunning AusPharm pens for his efforts.

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Osteoporosis treatment under spotlight at PSA offshore conference : 27/01/2010 :

Osteoporosis is a major public health issue in Australia and will be the subject of a special presentation during the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia's 2010 Annual Offshore Conference being held in Beijing and Shanghai from 28 April to 7 May this year.

The presentation will discuss the micro-architecture of bone, bone mineral density, the importance of calcium and vitamin D in bone health, and the place of bisphosphonates, strontium and parathyroid hormone analogues in the treatment of osteoporosis.

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Bilingual pharmacists needed for radio spots : 27/01/2010 :

The National Prescribing Service (NPS) is looking for bilingual doctors and pharmacists who speak Greek, Arabic, Macedonian, Croatian, Spanish or Korean to participate in interviews with multicultural media.

"As part of our commitment to ensuring all Australians access the same information about medicines, we do a lot of work with culturally and linguistically diverse audiences," NPS acting CEO Karen Kaye said.

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Poll: have you called TAIS? : 27/01/2010 :

In a post to AusPharmList last Friday, Carl Schneider alerted us to the fact that NPS proposes to stop funding the Therapeutic Advice and Information Service (TAIS) on June 30. TAIS is a medicines information line specifically for health professionals including doctors, pharmacists and nurses. It is staffed by specialist drug information pharmacists.

In a reply to Carl's post in todays' AusPharmList Peter Allen sings TAIS's praises, writing that 'it must continue'.

Have you you used TAIS's services? Please let us know by ticking the relevant box  in today's AusPharm online poll below.

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December PBS cost spike : 27/01/2010 :

PBS / RPBS stats for December 2009 were released by Medicare Australia on Monday.

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National Pharmacies CEO scores Australia Day award : 27/01/2010 :

President of the Australia Friendly Society Pharmacy Association and CEO of National Pharmacies, Jim Howard, has been made a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2010 Australia Day honours.

Mr Howards's citation reads: "For service to the Australian pharmaceutical industry through executive roles, to legislative reform, and to the financial management and education sectors."

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Logging in to the AusPharm websites : 27/01/2010 :

Over the years we've had a series of irritating login glitches with each of the AusPharm websites and with the web version of each day's AusPharm(e)news.

We have this morning made 'live' a completely rebuilt login process so hopefully there will be no more issues associated with logging in.

If you do encounter any problems today, please let us know.

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2010 Student Business Plan Competition underway : 25/01/2010 :

The fourth National Student Business Plan Competition is now underway – testing the flair and entrepreneurship of students preparing for a career in community pharmacy.

The competition is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their understanding of pharmacy practice through innovative and financially secure business models.

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Karalyn Huxhagen honoured : 25/01/2010 :

Prominent Queensland pharmacist (and AusPharmList serial poster) Karalyn Huxhagen has been honoured in the Australia Day awards with an Achievement Award for service to Queensland health and the community.

Ms Huxhagen was nominated by the Mackay Health Service District for outstanding dedication to improving the health, and health knowledge, of the community.  The citation with the award particularly noted Ms Huxhagen was being recognised for performing this service in her personal time.

Ms Huxhagen said she was greatly honoured by the award, which had been totally unexpected.

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Revive: Nurse practitioners should have access to the MBS / PBS : 25/01/2010 :

Responding to doctor criticisms over the nurse practitioner (NP) clinic proposed for a pharmacy in the Tuggeranong shopping centre in the ACT over the weekend, Revive Clinic's Louise Stewart said that there is no longer a debate about whether NPs are appropriately qualified to treat patients, as they have been performing this role for years.

“Rather, it is purely about whether all members of the community should have access to this service by making it available on Medicare and the PBS,” said Ms Stewart. 

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RGH E-Bulletin: Transient ischaemic attack - rapid assessment and treatment : 25/01/2010 :

Would you believe the the RGH E-Bulletin is entering its 9th year? The first E-Bulletin was published on March 12, 2001. Like to take a look? Every one is archived on the AusPharmList website, here.

The topic of the first RGH E-Bulletin for 2010 is Transient ischaemic attack – rapid assessment and treatment.

"TIA (Transient Ischaemic Attack) is a recognised emergency because the early risk of subsequent stroke is high. Australian guidelines recommend the three main models for TIA management – hospital admission, rapid-access TIA clinics, and primary care-centred models that aim to expedite assessment, investigation and treatment. The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council recommend the ABCD2 risk scoring tool be used for assessment of stroke risk. It is important that high risk patients should not have delay in thorough nvestigation and the development of treatment plans including antithrombotic choices, vascular risk factor reduction and lifestyle modification."

Click here to read the bulletin in full.

The E-Bulletin is archived and previous editions can be viewed on the AusPharmacist website here.

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RGH E-Bulletin 40-12: Comparing dabigatran and rivaroxaban : 25/01/2010 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Comparing dabigatran and rivaroxaban.

"Two emerging anticoagulants look set to finally make significant in-roads into clinical practice in areas that have long been dominated by warfarin and enoxaparin.

Rivaroxaban is an oral agent that competitively and reversibly inhibits activated Factor Xa. Dabigatran is a competitive reversible antagonist of thrombin. While both appear to offer potential advantages over the current commonly-used anticoagulants such as warfarin and enoxoparin, the efficacy of the two drugs in relation to each other has not yet been tested."

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

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Pharmacists go for the practical solution every time (almost) : 22/01/2010 :

This week's poll asked 'listers what they do when presented with a repeat script that's missing the duplicate. The prescription is, of course, not valid without it.

The result, shown at right, tells us that pharmacists go for the practical solution pretty much all the time with only 17% of respondents (n=175) saying they decline to dispense these scripts outright.

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New drugs in sport resource available : 22/01/2010 :

The MIMS medicines database has been integrated into the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority’s (ASADA) new website  - the website features a new resource that allows visitors to the site to immediately find out if their medications and substances are permitted or prohibited in a particular sport.

The website provides specific information against the sport type and gender of the athlete, as the status of medications and substances can be different from sport to sport.

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Big Pharma contributes in Haiti : 22/01/2010 :

Big Pharma, represented by the The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) is providing significant emergency aid following the earthquake that struck Haiti on 12 January.

The total value of assistance provided so far by IFPMA member companies, including both cash and donation of medicines and other medical supplies, amounts to more than USD 16.9 million.

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