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AusPharm news

Up to 50% tax break for POS and IT purchases : 23/11/2009 :

Pharmacy owners have a last opportunity to access increased business tax breaks of 10% or 50% on purchases of Point of Sale and computer hardware, with the extension of the Federal Government’s economic stimulus package until 31 December 2009.

In addition to standard depreciation on assets, pharmacy owners can gain additional tax incentives for spending on IT assets (including hardware and infrastructure and Point of Sale) by the end of 2009.

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More breast less hypocrisy please : 23/11/2009 :

Following the recent release of the Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy 2010-2015 Ron Batagol has had an article of his published on the for the Crikey Health Blog, Croakey.

More breast less hypocrisy please laments the prevailing, antiquated and narrow-minded attitudes held by around 3/4 of the population who decry breastfeeding in public, whilst thoroughly approving of the latest low cleavage and emphasis on breast exposure in fashion and entertainment.

Read Ron's Croakey article in full here.

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Finding Evidence – Recognising Hype: new online learning program : 23/11/2009 :

A new online learning program to help health professionals improve their skills in critically assessing new medicines has been developed by the National Prescribing Service.

Finding Evidence – Recognising Hype comprises six interactive learning modules, each focusing on the key skills needed to make evidence-based decisions about prescribing new medicines.

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Queensland pharmacy awards presented : 23/11/2009 :

Queensland pharmacy’s most prestigious award, the Bowl of Hygeia Award, was presented to Professor Beverley Glass, Chair of Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy and Molecular Sciences, James Cook University at last Thursday's PSA Queensland Branch Annual President's Dinner and Awards.

Also at the dinner Griffith University Masters of Pharmacy graduate, Lisa Goldsmith, was announced as this year’s PSA Qld Branch Pharmacy Graduate of the Year.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Menopausal symptoms in women with history of breast cancer : 23/11/2009 :

"Women with a history of breast cancer can have more frequent and severe vasomotor symptoms than the general population of women. This is due in part to the use of tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors. As with all women, the management of vasomotor symptoms and symptoms of vaginal atrophy in women with a history of breast cancer requires an individualised, patient centred multidisciplinary approach, based upon the woman’s expectations and goals of therapy."

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

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National Medicines Symposium 2010: registration and call for abstracts : 20/11/2009 :

The National Prescribing Service is once again hosting the National Medicines Symposium (NMS) and is calling for abstracts from across the health sector.

Now in its sixth biennium, NMS 2010 will be held at the Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre from 26-28 May 2010.

“The theme of NMS 2010 is Medicines in people’s live, which enables us to address quality use of medicines in the wider context of changes within the health sector, including reforms and new prescribers,” NPS CEO, Dr Lynn Weekes said.

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Pharmacies looking to e-scripts : 20/11/2009 :

This week's AusPharm poll asked 'liters to tell us whether their pharmacies has signed on to an e-script gateway.

The results, shown below (click for a larger graph), tell us that over 2/3 of pharmacies have already signed on, with the Guild endorsed eRx Script Exchange the pacesetter.

While 29% of pharmacies are still to sign up only 1% of pharmacies responding to this week's poll said that they weren't going to sign on at all.

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Guild Annual Dinner : 19/11/2009 :

The Pharmacy Guild annual dinner was held on Wednesday night in the Great Hall, Parliament House, Canberra.

In his speech to guests Guild President Kos Sclavos spoke of the role of community pharmacies in the Australian health care system and the challenges facing pharmacy, highlighting the introduction of innovative and systemised electronic programs by the Guild. He predicted tough but fair negotiations towards the fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement.

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AusPharm CE: Biostatistics – Building on the basics : 18/11/2009 :

The next in our series of online CE activities for 2009 is the Biostatistics – Building on the basics.

It's been prepared for us by Chris Alderman.

"In a previous review, the need for pharmacists, doctors and others involved in the interpretation of information about therapeutics to have a basic working understanding of the principles of biostatistics was discussed. Issues such as sampling, types of data, data dispersal and measures of central tendency were covered. In this update, we build upon these concepts to develop a more detailed understanding of inferential statistical techniques."

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: I've signed on for e-scripts : 18/11/2009 :

One of the big pharmacy topics of 2009 has been the introduction of electronic prescriptions into community pharmacies.

The pace setter in the process has been eRx Script Exchange with its main competitor being Medisecure.

Has your pharmacy embraced e-scripts? Please let us know by voting in today's poll below.

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APP 2010: OTC misadventures in children : 18/11/2009 :

OTC misadventures in children have become a hot topic, with the TGA reviewing paediatric cough and cold medications earlier this year.

A key factor in assisting you to prevent one of your patients from suffering from such an event is to maintain a thorough understanding of medication errors and adverse effects associated with S2/S3 medications.

The 2010 Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference and Trade Exhibition (APP2010), seeks to assist delegates to stay on top of these issues with a Clinical Bites session specifically targeting OTC misadventure in children.

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Union OH&S campaign : 18/11/2009 :

The Pharmacists Division of APESMA has launched an “I should feel safe in my workplace” campaign to identify workplace hazards in pharmacy, and to provide support and advice to members on how to deal with hazards.

In order to gain a better understanding of existing occupational health and safety practices in the pharmacy workplace, the union is asking employee pharmacists to complete an online survey.

The short, anonymous survey can be found here.

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After the War on Drugs: Blueprint for Regulation : 17/11/2009 :

There is a growing school of thought around the world that prohibition of drugs is a failed policy initiative. However, a barrier to drug law reform has been a widespread fear of the unknown—just what could a post-prohibition regime look like?

A new publication, launched in Australia on Monday by Senator Peter Baume (former Liberal Party Senator and Federal Minister and former Chancellor of the ANU) and journalist Philip Adams, After the War on Drugs: Blueprint for Regulation, attempts to answer that question by proposing specific models of regulation for each main type and preparation of prohibited drug, coupled with the principles and rationale for doing so. According to the authors, pharmacy may have a role to play, perhaps as a source of supply for some drug classes.

You can download a copy here (full document or executive summary).

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December 2009 PBS schedule : 17/11/2009 :

Would you like to check to see whether the December price reductions (eg Perindopril, Pravastatin, Quinapril, Risperidone, Trandolapril) will affect your business?

Take a look at the December PBS schedule and 'Summary of Changes',  now on-line:

Full PBS schedule

Summary of changes

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TGA CMI/PI website up and running : 17/11/2009 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration announced yesterday that it's new medicines information website had gone live. The website hosts prescription medicine Product Information and Consumer Medicine Information.

Information for over 200 prescribed medicines has been uploaded and others will be added progressively until full coverage is achieved early in 2010. Take a look here.

Of course, at least for the time being, much more complete lists are available at the medicines.org.au or myDr websites.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Cilostazol : 16/11/2009 :

"Intermittent claudication is reversible muscle ischaemia that occurs while walking, characterised by a cramping or aching pain which is relieved by rest. This can lead to impaired exercise performance and a decrease in overall function, ultimately affecting quality of life. The most effective treatment for IC is a supervised exercise program and there is a large amount of evidence to support this strategy. When this method is unable to provide adequate benefit pharmacological therapy may be indicated."

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

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OTC awards presented : 16/11/2009 :

Awards for Australia’s most innovative healthcare products, promotions and self care initiatives were announced at the Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI) Conference, hel in Sydney last week.

The 2009 ASMI Awards were presented by the Parliamentary Secretary for Health, the Hon Mark Butler MP, and reflect achievement in product innovation and promotion in the consumer healthcare products sector.

The judging of the awards takes into account the application of Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) principles, which underpin Australia’s National Medicines Policy, and which emphasise the appropriate, safe and effective use of medications including all forms of information and labeling.

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New DVD explains medicines use issues for type 2 diabetes patients : 16/11/2009 :

The National Prescribing Service (NPS) and Diabetes TASMANIA will today launch a new educational DVD aimed at people with type 2 diabetes, which addresses medicines use issues.

The DVD is designed to be used by health professionals and community organisations when discussing the management of type 2 diabetes with newly diagnosed patients. 

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Patient Medication Profiling not yet embraced by pharmacists : 13/11/2009 :

This week's poll asked 'listers to let us know whether they were offering their patients a Medication Profiling (PMP) service and, if so, what they were charging.

We had a much smaller voter turnout than usual for this poll - we attribute this in part to uncertainty amongst 'listers as to exactly what a PMP involves. The raw data is shown below (click here for a larger version of the graph).

What it seems to show is that while 2/3 of those responding are offering the service, about half of these are only offering it to their 'funded' patients (click here for an explanation of 'funded'). Excluding these people, almost no-one is actually getting paid an appropriate fee for this service.

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Pharmacy Practice Foundation awards announced : 13/11/2009 :

The 2009 Pharmacy Practice Foundation Governors’ Dinner was held last night in the Great Hall at The University of Sydney. 

Each year, three medals of excellence in pharmacy practice are awarded to individuals. These medals reward those who have had a significant role to play in advancing pharmacy practice in this country.

This years winners were John Coppock, Elizabeth Frost and Dr Jenny Gowan.

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