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AusPharm news

Pharmacist take up of swine flu vaccine poor : 06/11/2009 :

This week's poll asked 'listers to tell us whether or not they've had a swine flu vaccine. The raw data appears at right.

We've compared this to what people told us they were going to do just before the vaccine became available (assuming 50% of those 'still plan to get it' do get it) and this is what we get.

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Union responds to Sclavos warning on wages : 06/11/2009 :

Writing in response to Kos Sclavos' opinion piece in last Friday's Pharmacy News, President of the Pharmacists Division of APESMA, Dr Geoff March, has accused the Guild President of scaremongering, saying that the implied threat of mass sackings if the CPA5 negotiations don't produce a satisfactory outcome is unlikely to eventuate.

According to Dr March "We doubt this will occur considering the Guild’s repeated claim to being the negotiating experts and that they don’t need anybody’s help in this!"

Click the link to read Dr March's comments in full.

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SHPA chips in to help Pharmacists’ Support Service : 06/11/2009 :

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia has donated $2,000 to the  Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS), a dedicated support and counseling service for pharmacists who need assistance.

PSS, which is managed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Victoria, is soon to be made available nationally and in light of this, the SHPA has donated $2000 to assist the service in this transition phase.

PSS has been in operation for 14 years and offers support for pharmacists in times of stress and crisis, ranging from financial problems to situations involving trauma such as hold-ups and the recent bushfires.

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Immunisations push public health spending up 21% : 06/11/2009 :

Australia’s spending on public health activities — those of a preventive, protective or health promoting nature — grew by 21% in 2007-08, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report Public health expenditure in Australia 2007-08 shows total expenditure on public health was $2,159 million in 2007-08, or $102 per person on average. This was an increase of $444 million on what was spent in the previous year.

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Kingsley Coulthard announced as major award recipient : 06/11/2009 :

Associate Professor Kingsley Coulthard (pictured at right) has been named as the winner of the 2009 Fred J Boyd award during the opening session of Medicines Management 2009, the 35th SHPA national conference, now underway in Perth. 

SHPA President Neil Keen said, "Kingsley has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to hospital pharmacy practice in Australia and his achievements in the area of paediatric therapeutics have gained him Australian and international acclaim. His most recent role was that of Divisional Chief, Pharmacy at the Children, Youth and Women’s Health Service in North Adelaide.  He is indeed a worthy recipient of the award.”

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Another award for Luke : 05/11/2009 :

2008 Young Pharmacist of the Year, Dr Luke Bereznicki, has been awarded a University of Tasmania Rising Stars Award.

The Rising Star grants are intended for staff who have established a track record, demonstrating that they are potential research leaders. Worth $75,000 over three years, the award will allow Dr Bereznicki to develop his academic profile, in part through providing teaching relief to allow him to concentrate on his research and also to fund travel to national and international conferences.

He will also be required to undertake a University leadership program.

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How to succeed as a medical 'rep' : 05/11/2009 :

Here is the first frame of Tuesday's daily Dilbert cartoon strip. You can see the rest of it here.

Those of you who aren't already receiving this each day really should reassess your life priorities!

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Sammy the skin cell : 05/11/2009 :

The American Academy of Dermatology has launched a new website Kids Skin Health, which provides information about caring for skin, hair and nails to kids ages 8-12 and their parents. It is the latest in an emerging trend of using online games to educate children about health issues.

Children can befriend Sammy (or Suzy) the Skin Cell and earn points by using their new-found knowledge to take care of their avatars, search for words, test skin knowledge, catch bugs, explore mazes and zap ultraviolet rays. Take a look here.

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MOU between the MHRA and the TGA : 05/11/2009 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (here) with its UK counterpart,  the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency of the United Kingdom (MHRA).

The MOU aims to promote an understanding between the agencies of each other's regulatory framework, requirements and processes; facilitates the exchange of information and documentation relating to the regulation of therapeutic products; encourages the development of collaborative activities between the agencies; and aims to enhance the ability of each agency to provide public health services for the people of Australia and the United Kingdom.

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Poll: have you had your swine flu vaccine? : 04/11/2009 :

Back in September, we asked 'listers whether or not they intended to have a swine flu vaccine. 55% of respondents told us they would, although about 20% of these told us they would do so 'grudgingly'.

Well, the vaccine has now been available for 5 weeks and we'd like to see how good 'market penetration' has been amongst pharmacists.

Have you had a swine flu vaccine? Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll below.

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NPS wins another National Multicultural Marketing Award : 04/11/2009 :

The National Prescribing Service (NPS) and Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) have won a National Multicultural Marketing Award for seminars and radio interviews run in Cantonese, Mandarin and Italian as part of the 2008 Get to know your medicines campaign.

The campaign took out the AFL Community Award category at the NSW Community Relations Commission presentation dinner held on Monday night at the Westin Hotel in Sydney.

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Carezone / Revive Clinics : 04/11/2009 :

Have you been wondering what services they provide?

"All healthetc pharmacy carezones are operated by the Revive Clinic and are staffed by qualified nurse practitioners trained to diagnose, treat and prescribe for all kinds of minor everyday ailments. Just the sort of things your GP would treat you for only without having to make an appointment."

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Have your say on how to improve the rural health system : 03/11/2009 :

Should the Commonwealth take responsibility for all primary care in Australia, and how would consumers in rural and remote areas benefit from the proposed augmentation of ‘comprehensive primary care centres and services’?
 
These are two of the topics raised in a series of thought-provoking notes, posted on the National Rural Health Alliance website, to inform and engage consumers about the ongoing process of health reform.

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Identifying symptoms and treating anxiety : 03/11/2009 :

Up to one in five people presenting to GPs and pharmacists will experience symptoms of an anxiety disorder at some point during their life, according to the National Prescribing Service (NPS).

To help health professionals accurately diagnose and treat anxiety, NPS has developed a new education program, Managing anxiety disorders.

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New PBS Therapeutic Groups : 03/11/2009 :

The 2009-10 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, released by Treasurer Wayne Swan yesterday, foreshadowed the imminent introduction of three new PBS Therapeutic Groups, to cover selected bisphosphonate drugs and selected antidepressants.

The move was one of a number in response to estimates of increased expenditure on Health and Ageing of $4.8 billion over four years - mainly due to increases in projected expenditure on Medicare Benefits, Pharmaceutical Benefits and the Private Health Insurance Rebate.

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Guild President warns employee pharmacists on wages : 02/11/2009 :

In an opinion piece published in Pharmacy News on Friday (here), Guild President Kos Sclavos warns employee pharmacists that there is pressure on pharmacist wages in Australia and overseas.

Citing the global financial crisis and government policy as precipitating factors Mr Sclavos points out that pharmacists' wages have recently declined in many parts of the world.

He points out that, in Australia, "comments by some pharmacists will only cause damage to their own remuneration in the long term" adding that "the critics of community pharmacy from within our profession, who incorrectly believe community pharmacy owners are faring well and are calling for cuts in the Agreement, should keep in mind the jobs of their pharmacist colleagues."

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Tips for finding reliable health information sources on the web : 02/11/2009 :

To help consumers find the best information sources on the internet, the National Prescribing Service (NPS) has published a guide in the latest edition of MedicinesTalk.
 
“There are a number of things to consider when you are searching for health information on the internet; most importantly that the content is accurate,” NPS CEO, Dr Lynn Weekes said.

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Get your PMP, DAA data in now : 02/11/2009 :

The first data submission period for the Dose Administration Aids (DAA) and Patient Medication Profile (PMP) Programs opened on November 1 and will run through until 30 November 30.

Pharmacies who submit their data (here) in November are eligible for the payments of $1,000 for DAA and $750 for PMP.

If you haven’t yet registered for the programs, it's not too late. You can still register to participate here.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Management of AF: rate control vs. rhythm control : 02/11/2009 :

"Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia, and is associated with increased cardiovascular mortality and morbidity including stroke. The incidence and prevalence of AF rise with age, with a prevalence of 8% in people older than 80 years.."

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

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Nissen pushes pharmacy's role in chronic pain management : 30/10/2009 :

PSA National Vice President and the only pharmacy representative to the National Pain Summit Leaders’ Meeting, Dr Lisa Nissen, said following release of the draft National Pain Strategy earlier this month that PSA supported the intent of the strategy and looked forward to seeing it finalised.

The Strategy aims to have pain management addressed as part of the Rudd Government’s national health reforms. It is the result of thousands of hours’ work by more than 70 pain medicine specialists, other health professionals and consumers is now open for community and expert input.

Dr Nissen said, ‘the meeting acknowledged that pharmacy has a key role in chronic pain management in the primary care setting, and that pharmacists need support in that role. By support I mean training to get the skills and tools they need to better manage people suffering chronic pain who live in the community.’

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