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AusPharm news

Want a nurse practitioner in your pharmacy? : 21/01/2010 :

Nurse Practitioner provider Revive Clinic is aiming to extend its reach beyond Pharmacy Alliance pharmacies and is offering to set up shop in pharmacies in high traffic areas nation-wide. 

AusPharm put a series of questions to Revive about their services.

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No surprises in ownership poll : 21/01/2010 :

Pharmacists remain strongly supportive of the 'pharmacist only ownership of pharmacies' principle, according to the result of this week's AusPharm poll. Only 14% of respondents (n=276) voted to throw ownership open.

Of interest is that 19% of respondents ticked the 'Ownership is effectively already 'open' (given the complicated ownership structures now in use)' option. Had we more carefully worded this (eg 'Ownership is effectively already 'open' [given the complicated ownership structures, franchising arrangements and the like now in use]' this number may well have been higher.

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Poll: no duplicate, what do you do? : 20/01/2010 :

There has been discussion on AusPharmList about how you explain to patients that they can't have their script dispensed if the repeat form is missing the duplicate of the original.

What do you do when this happens to you? Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll below.

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API: Priceline to grow strongly : 20/01/2010 :

Australian Pharmaceutical Industries held its Annual General Meeting in Sydney yesterday. Chairman Peter Robinson and CEO Stephen Roche delivered speeches confirming FY09 results (previously reported on AusPharm here) and canvassed future issues for the company.

Commenting on the recently announced 'in principle' agreed components of the 5th Community Pharmacy Agreement Mr Roche told those present that "the fact that the CSO structure remains in place and that the current level of funding is supported is an important foundation". He confirmed that the company planned to expand the number of Priceline stores by almost 100 in 2010 (currently approx 300).

Details are available in Mr Roche's speech, available on the API website here. API Chairman Peter Robinson's speech is here.

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Big Pharma keeps the pressure on : 20/01/2010 :

In a submission to Government titled The role of pharmaceuticals in an ageing population, peak pharma group Medicines Australia (MA) has argued that the third Intergenerational Report, due out late in 2010, should model the economic benefits of medicines to productivity as well as other areas of the health budget such as hospitals, doctors and nursing homes.

According to MA, government investment in the healthcare system will improve workforce participation and productivity and help drive long-term economic growth.

“Medicines are a vital tool for ensuring Australia’s population remains healthy and productive as it ages,” Medicines Australia CEO Dr Brendan Shaw said.

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NAPSA Congress Gold Coast 2010 – Formulating Pharmacy Together : 20/01/2010 :

The Griffith University Association of Pharmacy Students (GUAPS) will play host to 250 pharmacy students from around the country this week as the association prepares for the eighth annual NAPSA Congress since its reformation in 2001.

The theme for the 2010 Congress reflects the close knit pharmacy community. Delegates will be encouraged, inspired and motivated to get involved in their
profession as future Australian pharmacists.

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PSA seizes on PM's workforce participation comments : 20/01/2010 :

A focus on pharmacists delivering preventive health programs will help to address anticipated workforce participation declines arising from the ageing population the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia says.

President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett, said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd pointed out this week that the Third Intergenerational Report, due to be released soon, showed that by 2050 there would be only 2.7 working-age Australians for every one aged 65 or more. There are now about five working-age Australians for each citizen over 65. Four decades ago there were 7.5.

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Win an AusPharm pen : 19/01/2010 :

Here's another historical challenge for 'listers. What do you think this is?

As always, we've got one of our AusPharm pens on offer to go to the person who submits the 'neatest, most correct entry'. Hint - we still get asked for this very occasionally.

Click the image to see a larger version.

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Government e-Health rollout to commence mid year : 19/01/2010 :

Health Minister Nicola Roxon said yesterday that the first step in creating an e-health system will come into effect in the middle of this year when unique healthcare identifiers are assigned to health consumers as well as to health professionals and the organisations that provide health care in Australia. The unique healthcare identifiers will be available on a secure system, operated by Medicare Australia.

According to the Minister, these identifiers will be provided in addition to Medicare numbers, as a further step to ensure the security of the system. Legislation to underpin this work – the Healthcare Identifiers Bill 2010 - will be introduced to Parliament in the first half of 2010. The draft legislation is available for comment at www.health.gov.au/ehealth/consultation.

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Reductil stories a beat up : 19/01/2010 :

After we saw the shock, horror media reports on Reductil over the weekend, we emailed the TGA on Sunday asking whether it knew on what these reports were based.

The agency's reply is published below - it was subsequently published on the TGA website yesterday.

In short, it was a media beat up.

Whod'a thunk it, particularly from News Ltd journalists?

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February 2010 PBS schedule : 18/01/2010 :

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

Full PBS schedule

Summary of changes

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Offshore conference looks at drug interactions : 18/01/2010 :

A session examining drug interactions, with particular reference to those which may occur in the community pharmacy setting including the "Triple Whammy" and "Serotonin Syndrome", will be a feature of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s 2010 Annual Offshore Conference this year.

The session, presented by Professor Peter Carroll, will look at strategies to help pharmacists prevent these occurring, as well as addressing the differences between pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic drug interactions.

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Last week's mystery object : 18/01/2010 :

The best (only!) response to last week's mystery challenge was provided by Larry Loneragan, who wins the pen we had for the best answer provided.

Click here to see what our mystery object is.

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DMAS push : 18/01/2010 :

In an attempt to ramp up activity in the Diabetes Medication Assistance Scheme (DMAS) the Pharmacy Guild has moved to address a key barrier to recruiting patients to the scheme - that GPs are not providing HbA1c information to pharmacies in a timely fashion.

The Guild has issued Request for Tender documents that aim to 'investigate the viability of alternative methods of confirming HbA1c with a view to increasing service provision capacity of community pharmacies providing the Diabetes Medication Assistance Service'.

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Union opposes Guild request for award changes : 18/01/2010 :

In a submission lodged late last week, pharmacists employee union, The Pharmacists' Division of APESMA (PDA), has told the Australian Industrial Relations Commission that it should reject in its entirety a Guild application, lodged in November, to vary the provisions of the new Pharmacy Industry Award 2010 with respect to minimum shift provisions for part time employees, the definition of 'casual' and Sunday work penalty rates.

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Does it do what it says on the label? : 18/01/2010 :

Australia urgently needs a single Code of Conduct to ensure health consumers know that medicines and other therapeutic goods they buy have been promoted ethically and deliver the claimed health benefits, the Executive Director of the Consumers Health Forum, Carol Bennett, said last week.

According to Ms Bennett, the numerous existing industry codes of conduct have created a perception that the system of review and complaint is closed and secretive and, in some cases, operates in industry's interests. Ms Bennett was speaking before a meeting this week with the Parliamentary Secretary for Health, the Hon Mark Butler, MP to discuss the need for a single code of conduct.

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Media coverage of Reductil dangers : 18/01/2010 :

'Listers may have seen media reports yesterday from News Ltd and from Ninemsn (here and here) warning that 'Weight-loss pill Reductil could be fatal'.

For those interested, the source material for these reports appears to be this document from Abbott (or its doctor equivalent).

The US FDA published an 'early communication' about this in November, here.

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e-Prescription funding will ensure safety and efficiency : 18/01/2010 :

According to e-script provider eRx Script Exchange, the announcement of funding for the provision of e-prescriptions in community pharmacy, as part of the 5th Community Pharmacy Agreement, is a vital step in ensuring that the safety and efficiency benefits of electronic prescriptions are available to all Australians.

The 'in principle' agreed Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement includes a component that allows for funding of e-prescriptions in community pharmacy through to 2015 as one of a range of e-health initiatives to support community pharmacy.

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Poll: 5th Agreement perceptions : 15/01/2010 :

This week's poll asked 'listers to tell us how they felt about the likely makeup of the 5th Community Pharmacy Agreement (with the information currently at their disposal).

The poll result suggests that people are not too happy with things as they stand, an outcome AusPharm thinks won't be of too much concern to the Guild - at this early stage of negotiations, it is a good thing for the government to be seen to be 'winning'.

The feedback AusPharm is getting from some of the bigger players in the industry is that they are content with the signals they are currently getting as to the likely outcome of the negotiations.

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CAM CE from PSA : 15/01/2010 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has launched a series of online modules, presentations and podcasts on complementary medicines. These modules have been prepared by the Herbal Medicines Research and Education Centre at the University of Sydney.

From today, PSA members will have access online to these modules with a new module due to be released each month, addressing a different medicine.

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