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AusPharm news

POTY nominations closing soon : 13/11/2009 :

There are now less than six weeks to go before entries close for Pharmacy of the Year 2010 competition, being organised by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia in partnership with Johnson and Johnson Pacific.

All travel and registration costs will be paid for category winners to attend the award ceremony at the Australian Professional Pharmacy (APP) conference on the Gold Coast in March 2010. Winners will share in a $17,500 cash prize pool.

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ASMI lobbying for less regulation on OTCs : 13/11/2009 :

Australia’s system of regulating non-prescription medicines could benefit from the experience of the UK health system, which has seen a cut in red tape, more streamlined processes for industry and more timely access to medicines for the public following a shift to a more risk-based approach, the Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI) Conference in Sydney heard yesterday.

The UK has recently implemented a program to better regulate medicines, known as the Better Regulation of Medicines Initiative (BROMI, in which a risk-based approach is taken to over-the-counter (OTC) medicines regulation.

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Tomorrow is World Diabetes Day : 13/11/2009 :

Diabetes currently affects more than 285 million people worldwide. A further 344 million are at high risk of developing diabetes.

The International Diabetes Federation predicts that by 2030, over 435 million people will live with diabetes worldwide. 

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Join In, Join Up : 13/11/2009 :

Join In, Join Up! – a national initiative linking Australians with their community via 5,000 community pharmacies and Australia’s largest online directory of community groups – is being launched today.

The joint initiative of Telstra Foundation, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and community group support organisation Our Community, will see the Guild's 5,000 member pharmacies across Australia actively promoting the benefits of joining a community group.

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Aged Care ordering goes 'on line' : 12/11/2009 :

Electronic ordering of medicines is now available for aged care facilities through the introduction of eWebstercare.

eWebstercare allows the pharmacy, the aged care facility and the doctor to:

  • view the current medication profile and demographic details for the resident
  • order, change or cease medication electronically
  • track all requests sent by Aged Care Staff
  • communicate messages between the three parties - i.e. patient in hospital, replacement doses required, notification of new resident admissions.

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Crikey! John Menadue 'disinvited' to speak at ACP dinner : 12/11/2009 :

Health journalist Melissa Sweet penned a fascinating piece in Crikey yesterday. According to Sweet, John Menadue, in the news recently for his provocative speech at PAC (here), has had his invitation to speak at the Queensland Chapter Australian College of Pharmacy dinner on December 1 withdrawn.

According to Sweet, "Senior pharmacists have told Crikey they are appalled by the withdrawn invitation, which many see as a reflection of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s extreme sensitivity at a time when the community pharmacy agreement between the Federal Government and the Guild is up for renegotiation."

Sweet's piece on her Croaky blog carries quotes from a number of highly respected Australian pharmacists including Lloyd Sansom, Andy Gilbert, Debbie Rigby, Lisa Nissen and Warwick Plunket (read them here). You can read the Crikey piece on Menadue's cancelled ACP engagement here (subscriber only or sign on for a free trial).

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ED pharmacist wins 2009 Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award : 12/11/2009 :

The recipient of the 2009 SHPA Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award is Susan Welsh of St. Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney. Susan is a pharmacist in the intensive care unit and the emergency department.

SHPA President Neil Keen presented the award to Susan during the final day of SHPA’s highly successful national conference in Perth.  Neil said, “In introducing Susan and her achievements, I draw on comments made by the emergency physicians of St Vincent’s who supported her award nomination.  Her medical colleagues described a wide range of involvements undertaken by Susan as a team member and often they described her as a driving force or being instrumental in improving patient care.”

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AusPharm CE: Anxiety disorders in old age : 11/11/2009 :

The next of this year's AusPharm CE topics is Anxiety in the older person - it's been put together for us by Juanita Westbury.

"The feeling of anxiety is experienced at some time by virtually all people, mostly involving a feeling of apprehension accompanied by physical symptoms such as palpitations and sweating. Unlike the relatively mild, brief anxiety caused by a stressful event such as giving a presentation, anxiety disorders are chronic and can grow progressively worse if not treated. Pathological anxiety can interfere with sleep, daily activities, social functioning and results in considerable distress. Anxiety disorders are now considered to be the most common mental health conditions, with up to 1 in 5 people presenting to their GP with anxiety symptoms at some time in their life."

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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Patient Medication Profiling: are you doing it? : 11/11/2009 :

In a post to AusPharmList earlier this week Sandy Scholes suggested we run a poll to try and determine how many pharmacies are offering their patients a  Patient Medication Profiling service.

Sandy mentioned that lack of a current medicines list causes difficulties in a community palliative care team with which she works.

Does your pharmacy offer a PMP service? Please let us know in this week's AusPharm poll below.

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Clever (?) marketing from sanofi-aventis : 11/11/2009 :

sanofi-aventis, makers of Telfast, will today release the results of a survey it commissioned into the sneezing habits of Australians.

According to the survey three times as many Australian adults sneeze in spring vs other seasons (spring 43%, summer 7%, autumn 3%, winter 15%). Another finding was that more men than women like to sneeze loudly (52% vs 34%).

The extent to which the mainstream media covers the Telfast Sneeze Survey (and drives Telfast sales) remains to be seen.

Click the link to read the survey results in full.

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Naomi Burgess wins GlaxoSmithKline Medal of Merit Award for 2009 : 11/11/2009 :

The GlaxoSmithKline Medal of Merit Award for 2009 has been awarded to South Australian pharmacist Naomi Burgess in recognition of her contribution to ensuring safety and the quality of medicines use in thet state's hospital systems.

Naomi was presented with the award by SHPA President Neil Keen at the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia national conference, held in Perth over the weekend.

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Pharmacy assistants required to do more S2/S3 training : 11/11/2009 :

Commencing April 1, 2010 QCPP standards will require all pharmacy assistants who are involved in the supply of Pharmacy Medicines and Pharmacist Only Medicines to have completed a minimum of three hours of S2/S3 training for each year after the initial training.

These refresher training requirements are the second part of a two phase strategy from the QCPP to ensure that staff maintain their skills, ask those important questions and refer customers to the pharmacist when necessary.

Manufacturers of S2/S3 products have been invited to submit refresher courses for approval by QCPP. Training can also be conducted in-store by senior members of the pharmacy team.

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AusPharm CE: Beta blockers and airways disease : 10/11/2009 :

The next of this year's AusPharm CE topics is Beta blockers and airways disease - it's been put together for us by Debbie Rigby.

"In clinical practice, people often have multiple conditions which require greatly differing and often incompatible management. A medication with proven benefit in one condition, may potentially cause harm in a patient with other conditions. One such as example is the use of beta-blockers in patients with airway disease."

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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What's all this then? : 10/11/2009 :

John Fraser asks....

I have been approached by a writer to see if I can decipher some old  prescriptions (1850s). They were written for an inmate of an asylum at  New Norfolk , Tasmania.

Any opinions or guesses would be appreciated. A bonus would be if the  illnesses could be guessed from the treatments.

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Strong demand for legal advice on employment-related issues : 10/11/2009 :

According to Guild Lawyers, there is strong demand from employers for advice on employment-related issues in the wake of the implementation of the Fair Work Act and Award changes.

Paul Baker, Senior Solicitor Director, Guild Lawyers, said, "People are trying to grasp the changing landscape of employment with tougher laws around unfair dismissal, increased auditing of entitlements, and a multiplicity of other issues."

Guild Lawyers says that, because of the strong demand for advice, it has expanded its employment law practice, adding experienced practitioner, Russell Baldwin to its commercial legal team.

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Another combo product to hit the shelf : 09/11/2009 :

At its October 2 meeting Australian Drug Evaluation Committee recommended approval of the application for registration of perindopril arginine plus amlodipine (as besylate) (COVERAM) uncoated tablets, 5 mg / 5 mg, 5 mg / 10 mg, 10 mg / 5 mg and 10 mg / 10 mg for the indication:

"Coveram is indicated as substitution therapy for the treatment of hypertension and/or stable coronary heart disease in patients already controlled with separate doses of perindopril and amlodipine, given concurrently at the same dose level. Treatment should not be initiated with this combination."

Could be worse - at least there are only 4 varieties, not the *eight* there are with Caduet.

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Tassie interns celebrate : 09/11/2009 :

After four years of study and an internship year, the impending registration of this year’s largest ever group of new Tasmanian pharmacists was celebrated last week at a cocktail function at Parliament House. The evening was hosted by Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Human Services, Ms Lara Giddings and Chairman of the Pharmacy Board of Tasmania Mr Ian Huett.

Over 100 guests were in attendance including the leader of the state opposition, Will Hodgman and Vice Chancellorof the University of Tasmania, Professor Daryl LeGrew.

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Robotic DAA filler to launch in Australia : 09/11/2009 :

The first robot capable of filling a dose administration aid will soon be available in Australia. The 'Easy Med' will be marketed in Australia by Gollmann Bouw Pharmacy Systems.

According to CEO, Mark Bouw, "The 'Easy Med' automated packing system is revolutionizing pharmacy services globally by automating the packing of medication into 7x4 blister packs at speeds in excess of 45 packs per hour.”

The Easy Med packs DAAs based on data taken directly from pharmacy packing software, so double data entry should not be necessary.

The first 'Easy Med' will be in an Australian pharmacy in early December.

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MMR accreditation incentive survey : 09/11/2009 :

Campbell Research are conducting research on behalf of the the Australian government about the effectiveness of the Medication Review accreditation incentive payments.

If you're NOT accredited for medication reviews and would like to do their online survey, click here.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Bar code scanning to prevent medication errors : 09/11/2009 :

"Medication errors and medicine related adverse drug events (ADEs) are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality both in Australia and internationally. Identifying interventions that may reduce these events is therefore a high priority for health systems worldwide."

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

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