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AusPharm news

PSA rural special interest group gains strength : 08/12/2009 :

PSA has invited members working in rural or remote areas and those interested in rural pharmacy to join the Society’s Rural Special Interest Group (SIG) (at no extra charge).

The Rural SIG provides specially targeted support to Members who are practising in rural and remote areas of Australia and also acts as an advocate for pharmacists in regional and rural health. The web-based forum, where Rural SIG members can interact with their peers on rural, regional and remote issues, can be accessed at www.psa.org.au/rural.

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Webstercare December Newsletter : 08/12/2009 :

Every second month our friends at Webstercare produce a newsletter that is distributed to all aged care homes throughout Australia.

This festive season’s edition contains:

  • eWebstercare: With Webstercare’s new technology, time spent faxing to your pharmacy can be reduced and soon it can be eliminated altogether
  • Essential Tremor: December’s Continuing Education series explores this common movement disorder
  • Webstercare’s Annual Christmas Pantomime: Webstercare saves an Aged Care Home from the clutches of Sherlock Holmes’ arch enemy
  • Concertina Technology: A new development that provides the easy way to prepare and administer medication

Click here to download the Webstercare December 2009 newsletter in full (2.8mg pdf). Click here if you have any feedback, suggestions or queries about the newsletter.

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Board published responses to consultation paper : 08/12/2009 :

On October 27, the Pharmacy Board of Australia published a Consultation Paper on Registration Standards and Related Matters and invited feedback on the paper by November 24.

The Board has now published on its new website 28 responses to its call. All of the major pharmacy groups are represented and there are a number of submissions from individual pharmacists as well.

Take a look here.

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Pharmacists have key role in reducing prescription errors : 07/12/2009 :

Responding to research published last week showing that nearly 1 in 10 hospital prescriptions contains an error, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) has issued a statement highlighting the role of the pharmacist in clinical teams.

According to the RPSGB's Director of Policy and Communications David Pruce, “This research will be of no surprise to pharmacists and highlights the vital role they play in ensuring patient safety. Pharmacists spot and correct prescribing errors on a daily basis."

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Australian Pharmacy Council to grow membership : 07/12/2009 :

The Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) is the association of pharmacy registering authorities of Australia and New Zealand. In the lead up to the commencement of national registration for pharmacists on July 1, 2010, it has been assigned the accreditation function for pharmacy.

Specifically, APC will evaluate and accredit pharmacy schools, evaluate and accredit Intern Training Program (ITP) providers and authorise organisations to accredit continuing professional development (CPD).

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Summer edition Bulletin Board now out : 07/12/2009 :

The summer edition of the Medicare Australia Bulletin Board was published on the Medicare website on Friday.

It is the first 'electronic only' copy  - Medicare will no longer be producing a hard copy of the Bulletin Board for mailing out to pharmacists.

Click here to download a copy.

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New quit resource : 07/12/2009 :

GSK has launched a new website designed to assist smokers choose the most appropriate quit aid.

The website, which went 'live' yesterday, is supported by in store resources, including a 'diagnostic wheel'.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Anaphylaxis with iodinated contrast media : 07/12/2009 :

" In excess of 70 million injections of iodinated contrast media are administered per year around the world. This approach is a diagnostic aid that has revolutionised clinical practice since its introduction in the 1950’s. Although generally considered relative safe, there is a possibility of adverse effects in the form of allergy like reactions in exposed patients."

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

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GPs prescribe 1.06 medications per patient visit : 04/12/2009 :

Data released this week from the General Practice activity in Australia 2008-09 report showed that in the period covered by the report (4/08 - 3/09) for 100 ‘average’ GP–patient encounters, a GP ordered 106 medications.

Of these  81% were prescribed, 10% were supplied to the patient by the GP and 8% were recommended by the GP for purchase over the counter.

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New resources to help address pain management issues : 04/12/2009 :

A new pain management diary has been developed by Arthritis NSW and the National Prescribing Service (NPS) to help healthcare providers work with patients to determine optimum pain management plans.

NPS and Arthritis NSW are encouraging pharmacists and other health professionals to promote the diary to patients. It records the necessary information needed to make an accurate diagnosis and treatment regimen.

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ACCC signs off on new MA Code of Conduct : 04/12/2009 :

The ACCC announced yesterday that it had approved Medicines Australia's new Code of Conduct.

The Code sets standards for the marketing and promotion of prescription pharmaceutical products in Australia.

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Poll result: what's happened to Zoton in your pharmacy? : 04/12/2009 :

This week's AusPharm poll had a go at determining what impact the introduction of the Fastab formulation has had on total Zoton throughput in community pharmacy.

Quite a lot if the results (n=88) shown in the graph are correct across the entire community pharmacy sector.

Whether this will produce a better outcome for Wyeth than if they'd done nothing (leading up to the introduction of generic versions of lansoprazole) we can't yet say.

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Chloro drops / ointment to go S3 : 03/12/2009 :

The National Drugs and Poisons Scheduling Committee (NDPSC) yesterday released the decisions from its October meeting.

Likely to be of most interest to pharmacists is the committee's decision to down-schedule chloramphenicol to S3 for opthalmic use. Also noteworthy is the NDPSC's ruling that fexofenadine remain a scheduled product, principally because of concerns about it's Category B2 use in pregnancy rating. The committee also decided to continue with plans to make all codeine containing compound analgesics S3, commencing May 1, 2010.

The NDPSC's full record of reason for the October meeting are here.

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AusPharm CE: Dementia - reducing the risks : 02/12/2009 :

The next of this year's AusPharm CE topics is Dementia - reducing the risks - it's been put together for us by Debbie Rigby.

"There are over 100 recognised causes of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease (AD) accounts for about 60%, vascular dementia 20% and dementia with Lewy bodies 10- 15%. In younger people (below age 60), frontotemporal dementia may be almost as common as Alzheimer’s disease. Numerous risk and protective factors have been identified and evaluated. It is unclear whether any treatment can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Some medications may be ineffective in treating established Alzheimer’s disease, but useful in its prevention."

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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Pharmacy Board of Australia meets again : 02/12/2009 :

The third meeting of the Pharmacy Board of Australia was held on 20 November 2009 in Melbourne. In the main, the business of the meeting was taken up with procedural and administrative issues leading towards the implementation of national pharmacist regsitration on July 1 2010.

The Board did, however, signal its interest in exploring the development of a proposal for pharmacists in relation to prescribing but agreed that this would need a longer timeframe and could not be achieved by 1 July 2010.

Read the details here.

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Poll: what's happened to Zoton in your pharmacy? : 02/12/2009 :

'Listers in community pharmacy will be only too aware of the effect the PBS listing of Zoton Fastabs on November 1 (and the concurrent de-listing of the capsule formulation) had on both patients and pharmacies.

It caused great inconvenience as the two formulations are not 'a' flagged. Many patients had to make an extra visit to their doctor just to get a new script for the Fastabs (or other PPI).

What's happened to the Zoton script count in your pharmacy in recent times? Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in today's poll below.

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December NPS RADAR : 02/12/2009 :

The December edition of NPS RADAR is now available on the NPS website. Featured articles this month are:

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RU486, flying and thromboembolism, and more in Australian Prescriber : 02/12/2009 :

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

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December ADRAC Bulletin is the last : 02/12/2009 :

The December ADRAC Bulletin was published on the TGA website yesterday. This issue of the Bulletin, which began life in 1970, will be the last.

In 2010 ADRAC will be replaced with an expert advisory committee - the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Medicines (ACSOM). The new committee will encompass the activities and functions of ADRAC but will have broader terms of reference commensurate with the increasing prominence of pharmacovigilance in Australia and world-wide.

Drugs of current interest to ADRAC are Duloxetine (Cymbalta), Rivaroxaban (Xarelto), Dabigatran (Pradaxa), Sitagliptin (Januvia), Paliperidone (Invega), Strontium ranelate (Protos), Pramipexole (Sifrol),  Varenicline (Champix), Ranibizumab (Lucentis).

Download the final ADRAC Bulletin here.

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University of New England pharmacy course not accredited : 01/12/2009 :

'Listers will have read Michael Post's comments about the distance learning pharmacy degree being offered by the University of New England (UNE) (here), advertised in the Sydney Morning Herald over the weekend. In his post Michael suggested that if the NSW Pharmacy Board approved this course he would move 'for a vote of no confidence ' in it.

The Registrar of the NSW Board was in touch yesterday (full text of the email below) to make the point that the UNE course has NOT been accredited by the relevant accrediting body, the Australian Pharmacy Council. Until it is accredited, anyone doing the course will not be eligible for registration as a pharmacist in NSW or, presumably, in other Australian states and territories.

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