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AusPharm news

AusPharm CE: RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 19 : 16/12/2009 :

The next in our 2009 series of continuing education activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 19.

This CE activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins (Volumes 36-2 to 36-5  --> October - November 2009).

After completing this activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Describe clinical aspects and epidemiology of treatment-emergent affective switch
  • Discuss the clinical pharmacology of cilostazol
  • Identify benefits of a barriers to the use of bar code technology in dispensing
  • Explain the relative merits of rate and rhythm control in the management of AF

Click here to do this Continuing Education activity. Or, if you prefer, you might like to 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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Poll: government issue Tamiflu stock left in pharmacies : 16/12/2009 :

A study published in the BMJ last week concluded that neuraminidase inhibitors (including oseltamivir [Tamiflu]) have modest effectiveness against the symptoms of influenza in otherwise healthy adults. 

The suggestion here is, in part, that government efforts around the world to distribute oseltamivir to swine flu patients may well have been a waste of precious health resources.

This got AusPharm to thinking about the stocks of undispensed Tamiflu stocks we've seen in pharmacies in our travels. How much of the government supply remains in the pharmacy you work in? Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll below.

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Want to live, work and make a difference overseas? : 16/12/2009 :

Come along to the Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development Information Session and find out how you can get that much-needed overseas experience. AusAID’s Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development Program supports skilled young Australian’s (18-30) who want to live, work and make a difference in the Asia Pacific region.

Information sessions will be held in all capital cities and some regional centres between the 11th and 28th of January 2010. To check the dates and times of the information session closest to you and register your interest click here.

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Statins cost the PBS over $1 billion annually : 14/12/2009 :

The December issue of Australian Prescriber contains an article listing the Top 10 PBS subsidised drugs for 2008/09.

The subsidised drug used most by Australians is atorvastatin with 7.8% of all people taking the drug. Almost twice as many scripts for Lipitor (11 million) were dispensed in 2008/09 as the next most commonly prescribed drug, esomeprazole (6 million). Lipitor cost the PBS ($621 million) three times as much as the next most costly drug, clopidogrel ($210 million). Over $1 billion was spent on PBS subsidised statins in 2008/09.

Read the details on the Australian Prescriber website here.

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Pharmacy expedition to challenge perceptions : 14/12/2009 :

Combining the opportunity to travel to unusual and interesting locations while furthering your pharmacy education has been the philosophy behind the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s popular Expedition Education conferences.

In February, the  2010 PSA Expedition Education Conference travels to Chile and Patagonia, offering delegates a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience one of the most remote and beautiful places on earth.

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Lessons from the decaying carcass of Qantas : 14/12/2009 :

An interesting piece was published in Inside Retailing on Friday. While it isn't about pharmacy (it's about QANTAS) its message is very relevant to community pharmacy in Australia.

"Think about your retail business and the customers you serve before you end up in the commoditization [cheapest price] trap. Because once you are in it, it is very hard to escape."

Read the article in full here.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Dabigatran - the new warfarin? : 14/12/2009 :

"Dabigatran (Pradaxa®) is an orally administered direct thrombin inhibitor recently approved by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration for short term prevention of venous thrombosis in adult patients who have undergone major orthopaedic surgery. Perhaps of greater interest however is the potential for dabigatran to one day replace warfarin as a more effective, safer and more convenient long-term oral anticoagulant."

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

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Want to play cricket for Tasmania? : 14/12/2009 :

Pharmacy cricket is on again in 2010 with the annual carnival set to kick off in Perth on January 20.

At this stage the Tasmanian team is still short a few players and is now looking to recruit from outside the state. Interested? Contact Tasmanian captain Stephen Morgan by email stevenmorgan82@yahoo.com or by phone on 0419015699.

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2010 flu vaccine will protect against swine flu, however... : 11/12/2009 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has announced the make up of the 2010 flu vaccine.

It will contain a component to protect against this year's swine flu pandemic influenza virus.

However, health authorities are still recommending people have the monovalent swine flu vaccine before then.

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Long road ahead to cut risks for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease : 11/12/2009 :

A new report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) shows that while a lot is being done to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease, significant levels of risk still remain.

According to the report, Prevention of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease: targeting risk factors, cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes and chronic kidney disease (CKD) account for around a quarter of the burden of disease and just under two-thirds of all deaths in Australia.

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Voltaren 25 TV ad : 11/12/2009 :

Have you had anyone ask you about the new Voltaren 25 'Rub' in your pharmacy yet?

Terry Irvine has so he did some detective work and discovered that the request for the new 'rub' was prompted by a new TV ad for Voltaren Rapid 25mg tablets.

Watch the ad here.

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AusPharm CE: Tests of the Blood Elements and Bleeding Risk : 10/12/2009 :

The next of this year's AusPharm CE topics is Tests of the Blood Elements and Bleeding Risk - it's been put together for us by Peter Tenni.

"This continuing education activity is intended to address the usefulness of the commonly seen haematological tests. These are Haemoglobin, white cell and platelet count as well as INR. Pharmacists completing this activity should increase their understanding of these very useful laboratory tests. "

Click here to do this Continuing Education activity. Or, if you prefer, you might like to 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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Want to go to China? : 10/12/2009 :

Beijing and Shanghai from 28 April to 7 May 2010 and will feature a range of expert speakers addressing issues of vital importance to pharmacists and the pharmacy profession.

Conference Chairman Warwick Plunkett said the venue for the 2010 conference was particularly exciting.

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Galaxy poll confirms public confidence in pharmacists : 10/12/2009 :

A new Galaxy poll, commissioned by the Pharmacy Guild, has found that 62% of people have sought information about medicines or the treatment of a minor illness from a pharmacist in the past 12 months. 85% of those surveyed had sought information from a doctor.

Questions about community pharmacy, medicines and minor illnesses were put to 1052 respondents aged 18 years and older, distributed throughout Australia on the weekend of 4-6 December.

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MIMS December 2009 Prescribing Update : 10/12/2009 :

The MIMS December 2009  prescribing update is now available. Click the link to read it now.

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DAAs very much part of the community pharmacy package : 10/12/2009 :

This week's poll asked 'listers to tell us how many patients they have who receive their medications in dose administration aids (eg Websterpacks) they pack for them.

We have to say we're slightly surprised by the result, which suggests that the 'average' is something above 50 per pharmacy, more than we were expecting.

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Poll: how many patients get DAAs from your pharmacy each week? : 09/12/2009 :

Dose administration aids (eg Websterpacks) are now an integral part of most community pharmacies (we think). Let's see if we can find out what proportion of pharmacies offer a DAA service.

For how many patients does your pharmacy fill DAAs each week?

Please let us know by voting in this week's poll below.

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Managing urinary incontinence in primary care : 09/12/2009 :

Urinary incontinence is often underreported - to assist health professionals to identify and manage patients with incontinence (or who are at risk of developing incontinence), the National Prescribing Service (NPS) has developed a new program, Managing urinary incontinence in primary care.
 
“People are often reluctant to talk about incontinence because they may feel embarrassed. Some think it is a normal part of ageing or the childbirth process and therefore don’t think it useful to discuss incontinence with their doctor,” NPS clinical adviser, Judith Mackson said.

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APC’s accreditation committee needs a new member : 09/12/2009 :

The Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) recently announced that it had been appointed to accredit pharmacy schools, evaluate and accredit Intern Training Program (ITP) providers and authorise organisations to accredit continuing professional development (CPD).

The Council is now seeking a new member to fill a vacancy on its accreditation committee.

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Guild to host Pharmacy Practice Research Summit : 09/12/2009 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia will host the Pharmacy Practice Research Summit from 2 – 4 March 2010.

The purpose of the Summit is to communicate the achievements and key findings of the research generated from the Fourth Community Pharmacy Agreement Research and Development Program (R&D Program).

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