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AusPharm news

A big improvement for those who have poor eyesight : 14/01/2010 :

As we age many people become short sighted and suffer from vision impairment. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimate that 13.6% of the population aged 75 years and over have a vision impairment. Webstercare has been working on a medication management solution for clients with low vision and vision impairment.

In discussions with Vision Australia, formerly the Royal Blind Society, Webstercare learned that it is easier for a person with low vision to make out white text against a black background. This has led to the development of the Webster-pak LV (Low Vision)*.

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More Fifth Agreement info released : 14/01/2010 :

The Pharmacy Guild yesterday released further information on the current state of the negotiations for the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement. While details are still lacking there is information about the shape of some of the professional programs that will be funded in 5CPA.

Amongst them is a new Pharmacy Practice Incentives (PPI) payment, which will be linked to the achievement of defined outcomes and will reward the provision of patient focussed service delivery that meets the requirements of beefed up QCPP standards. The PPI would be paid to pharmacies that meet a number of service commitments at the time of QCPP accreditation. The service commitments are the Prescription Commitment, Medication Management Services and Pharmacy Capacity Building.

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PSA: it's only the beginning : 14/01/2010 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has responded to yesterday's release of more 5CPA information by the Pharmacy Guild by saying that it will provide a platform for negotiations between the two peak pharmacy organisations to begin on the detailed structure of the Agreement.

President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett, said the Society would begin negotiations with the Guild shortly and would be looking to increased professional services forming a key part of the Agreement. “It is essential that the Agreement delivers meaningful impetus and incentives for an increased number of professional services to ensure the ongoing viability of pharmacy,” Mr Plunkett said. “It is disappointing that the announcement apparently excludes a range of existing professional services aimed at reducing the burden of chronic diseases."

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Direct to consumer advertising anyone? : 13/01/2010 :

Here's a couple of examples of some US direct to consumer magazine advertising for popular men's products.

Click either image to see a larger version.

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Poll: 5th Agreement PBS dispensing remuneration : 13/01/2010 :

On Christmas Eve, the Pharmacy Guild and Health Minister Nicola Roxon jointly announced that agreement on the core components of the 5th Community Pharmacy Agreement had been reached.

Included in this was the news that the 40c per item PBS online incentive was to go, the dispensing fee was to be frozen for 2 years and that 'Over five years, the cut to predicted spending attributable to community pharmacy will total around $1 billion.'  On the other hand, the location rules will been retained and (unstated) ownership remains with pharmacists.

How do 'listers feel about all this? Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm poll below.

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More bang for your buck : 13/01/2010 :

Pfizer Australia launched a new Viagra 100mg 12-pack on January 1, offering patients a more cost-effective treatment option.

According to Pfizer, patient insights were a key driver to the development of the larger pack size with patients revealing that a 12-pack size would be the preferred choice due to financial benefits, less visits to the GP and/or pharmacy and longer lasting supply.  The research was based on a survey of 196 patients.

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PSA Vic launches pharmacy assistant program : 12/01/2010 :

The Victorian Branch of PSA has organised a number of CPD lectures and a primary health-care weekend in August, for both pharmacists and pharmacy assistants, with the aim that the pharmacy team can learn and understand how to better work together effectively.

According to PSA, it  recognises the important roles pharmacy assistants play in the pharmacy teams and is determined to support and enhance their effectiveness.

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New CEO for Medicines Australia : 12/01/2010 :

The Board of Medicines Australia today announced its appointment of acting CEO, Dr Brendan Shaw, as the organisation’s new permanent Chief Executive.

For the past six years Dr Shaw led the Health Policy and Research function at Medicines Australia, representing the industry on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Pricing Authority, the Access to Medicines Working Group, and for two years was the industry member of the Economic Sub-Committee of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee. He has been Acting Chief Executive for the past three months.

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Star performance theme for PAC 2010 : 12/01/2010 :

PAC 2010 will use the Seven Star Pharmacy principles as the basis of its over-arching theme of Star Performance - the future for pharmacy at the event this year.

According to the World Health Organisation the appropriate, efficient and cost-effective use of resources should be the foundation of a pharmacist’s work, regardless of which sector of the profession the pharmacist is engaged in.

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Did you ever get around to having a swine flu vaccine? : 11/01/2010 :

AusPharm did (-:

The Influenza Specialist Group (ISG) is commencing a research project to better understand the proportion of Australian Healthcare workers who have been vaccinated against swine flu, and the reasons behind this.

Healthcare workers, including pharmacists, are being asked to suggest ways that influenza vaccination programs could be improved. By completing the ISG's healthcare worker vaccination questionnaire you go in the draw to win a $250 voucher for Coles, Myer, Woolworths or Qantas.

Do the questionnaire here. (Deadline this week --> Jan 15)

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Here's another challenge : 11/01/2010 :

Once again, last week's 'What's this then' challenge created a fair bit if interest. There were plenty of responses, the best of which, in our opinion, came from Larry Loneragan, who won the AusPharm pen we had on offer for his efforts.

What about this one? What is it and what can you tell us about it's use(s)? Another pen for the 'best' response (click the pic to see a larger version).

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Physeptone still out : 11/01/2010 :

Sigma's Physeptone (methadone) tablets, unavailable to pharmacies  through normal supply channels for the last few weeks due to control issues, are expected to again become available to pharmacies in normal quantities by the end of this week.

In the meantime the The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has extended the criteria under which they can be obtained under the Special Access Scheme to include 'chronic pain that is not considered serious or life threatening' as well as 'for patients with serious or life-threatening conditions'.

Details on how to access supplies via the SAS are on the TGA website here.

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Old uses for old drugs : 08/01/2010 :

Here's a couple of 1950's magazine ads for a drug still in use (just), dexa*phetam*ne.

The ad on the left promotes its use as an appetite suppressant, the one on the right as an anti-depressant. Click either image to see a larger version.

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A third of pharmacists struggle to record participation in CE : 08/01/2010 :

This week's AusPharm poll looked to find out how people record their participation in professional development activities.

With the advent of national registration on July 1, pharmacists may be called upon to demonstrate their participation in activities that meet their individual learning needs and help them to remain competent to practise.

Our poll shows that people record their CE in a range of ways with a goodly proportion doing so online at the PSA website. However, 34% of our respondents (n=116) told us that they  'aren't very good at recording their participation in CE activities'.

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Voice of youth appointed to Qld PSA committee : 08/01/2010 :

Former NAPSA President, Lisa Goldsmith has been appointed to the Queensland Branch Committee of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.  Ms Goldsmith replaces Dr Geraldine Moses who has recently resigned from the Committee.

A graduate of Griffith University on the Gold Coast, Ms Goldsmith was the 2009 Qld Pharmacy Graduate of the Year. She is also the chair of the Queensland Early Career Pharmacist Group of the PSA and is currently undertaking her internship at The Prince Charles Hospital. Ms Goldsmith was also president of the National Australian Pharmacy Students' Association and was Treasurer of the Griffith University Association of Pharmacy Students Committee.

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Challenge: who's the oldest? : 07/01/2010 :

A 'lister asked us to pose this challenge just before Christmas.

Who's the oldest pharmacist still actively practising in Australia?

An AusPharm pen goes to the first 'lister to nominate the eventual 'winner' (entries close Jan 10).

The winner of the pen for the 'best' spanish fly post is Larry Loneragan.

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(Joke of the week) Harry Enfield: Chemist part 1 : 07/01/2010 :

Click the link to see a larger version

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Need to *gain* weight? : 06/01/2010 :

From the days before the obesity epidemic we bring you WATE-ON.

'If you want to be popular, you can't afford to be SKINNY.'

Click the image to see a larger version.

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How do you record your CE? : 06/01/2010 :

As we move closer to national pharmacist registration (standards released just before Christmas, here) a 'lister (thanks Roly Hill!) has suggested we ask people how they record their participation in professional development activities. Sounds good to us.

Please tick the relevant box in this week's AusPharm poll below.

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Having trouble voting in our polls? : 06/01/2010 :

We've had a few people recently report that they are getting an error message when they try to vote in our weekly polls.

If you encounter this issue you can most likely resolve it by clearing your web browser's cookie file. Instructions on ways  to clear your cookies can be found here. A bit of creative Googling will uncover other ways specific to your web browser.

After you've done that you'll need to restart your web browser and/or your computer.

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