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AusPharm news

2010 Rural and Remote Pharmacy scholarships : 23/10/2009 :

Applications are now being sought from rural and remote students for scholarships worth up to $40,000 to study pharmacy at University. Applications opened on Friday 2 October and will close on Monday 14 December.

30 fulltime scholarships are available annually valued at $10,000 per annum over a four year period - applicants can be in any year of undergraduate or postgraduate study.

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Blackmores continues to perform well : 23/10/2009 :

Vitamin company Blackmores yesterday released its results for the first quarter of financial year 2009/10.

The company reported sales of $54.7 million, up 17% on the previous year while net profit for the quarter came in at $6.9 million, down 4.1% on the previous quarter. Blackmores attributes the decline in net profit to movements in exchange rates, increases in the cost of raw material and depreciation costs associated with its new plant in Sydney.

The company says it is on track to deliver modest profit growth over the full 2009/10 financial year.

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Review of RMMR Program - new survey : 23/10/2009 :

As we reported back in July (here), a review of the Residential Medication Management Review (RMMR) Program is currently being conducted.

Campbell Research, who is conducting the review, is now inviting MMR accredited pharmacists to complete a survey to further inform it's review.

The review has a number of objectives, including assessment of the processes and costs associated with conducting RMMRs, the outcomes of RMMRs for residents of aged care homes, factors that enable or limit access to the program for pharmacists, GPs and resident of aged care homes and the role that incentives play in encouraging pharmacists to become accredited.

Click here to do the survey.

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Industry calls for more down-scheduling : 23/10/2009 :

The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) has called for "fresh thinking in regard to the regulation of medicines, to enable consumers to have easy and affordable access to medicines and treatments for some of the most common health conditions."

In a position paper released this week, Increasing Access to Medicines to Enhance Self Care, ASMI says  prescription medicines that have proven safe and effective over a long period of time should be considered for down-scheduling. According to the industry group, as well as benefiting the consumer this would "make better use of the clinical skills of pharmacists, empowering them to play an active role in the management of primary health, particularly minor ailments and chronic conditions."

You can download the position paper here.

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10 years ago this month - alcohol and pharmacist counselling : 23/10/2009 :

Given today's AIHW report on the harm caused by alcohol misuse in Australia, this seems like a good post to revisit 10 years on. 

"Given that alcohol is directly responsible for about 18,000 deaths pa in Australia and that smoking is responsible for about 6,000 and that there is an interaction between alcohol and many pharmaceuticals I am interested to hear of the level of pharmacist's intervention with regard to alcohol consumption."

Click the link to read Michael Steven's comments in full.

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New osteoporosis resource for pharmacists : 22/10/2009 :

In preparation for World Osteoporosis Day next week (Oct 30), Osteoporosis Australia has released a new brochure MEN AND OSTEOPOROSIS that will assist pharmacists provide information for their male patients who are at risk of osteoporosis.

One in four Australian men over the age of 60 will suffer a fracture due to osteoporosis - fractures from osteoporosis are less common in men than in women but when fractures occur in men they cause higher disability and death rates. Osteoporosis Australia has recruited well known Australian athletes, Guy Leech and Robert de Castella to help promote the new resources.

Osteoporosis Australia has also produced a new brochure to assist GPs treat their patients with osteoporosis MEN AND OSTEOPOROSIS- for GPs.

You can download the brochures here.

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eClinic functionality incorporated into minfos dispensing software : 22/10/2009 :

Users of minfos dispensing software can now, at the click of a mouse button, send patients SMS messages to remind them that their repeat prescriptions are due to be dispensed.

minfos Manager Matt Lalor said that there were many benefits to eClinic - both for pharmacists and for their customers. "It's a fantastic way to improve customer loyalty and is also a cost effective and efficient way to increase medication compliance," he said.

The function can also be used to remind customers when their script is due to expire, when a preferred product is on special or when it is time for a vaccine or a blood pressure check.

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API turned around? : 22/10/2009 :

Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (API) yesterday released details of its full year results for the year ending August 31, 2009.

We won't report the details as they're well covered in the mainstream media (eg here, here, here or here) except to say that overall, the company delivered a 22.5 per cent rise in net profit to $18.6 million flowing from a 9.6 per cent rise in sales to $3.55 billion. API is forecasting net profit growth of 10% cent in 2009-10.

There is a very friendly report on all this in yesterday's Australian, authored by one of the paper's business writers CRITERION (Tim Boreham), alluding to API's troubled times in recent years (remember the $17 million lost down the back of the lounge in 2006?) who says, "If Criterion were an existing API holder he would take up the rights. Finally, a turnaround is in the offing."

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AusPharm CE: Age Related Macular Degeneration : 21/10/2009 :

The next of this year's AusPharm CE topics is Age Related Macular Degeneration - it's been put together for us by Debbie Rigby.

"In Australia, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of visual disability and blindness in people over 60 years of age. It is responsible for nearly half of the cases of blindness in Australia. This article focuses on the role of evidence-based complementary medicines in the prevention and treatment of AMD."

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: pseudo*phedr*ne, what to do? : 21/10/2009 :

Pseudo*phedr*ne has been (more than usually) in the news over the last week or two with PSE containing products going script only in New Zealand and reports emerging on the weekend (subsequently denied) that NSW Police were to push for all PSE products to go script only in NSW.

What do you think should happen to PSE scheduling? Please let us know by voting in today's poll below.

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View from the pharmacy door : 21/10/2009 :

Here's another entry in our 'View from the pharmacy door' competition. This is the is the view from the back door of Longford's resident chemist, Paul Schild.

Paul (and Brett Phillips yesterday) both win one of our lovely AusPharm pens. Keep sending 'em in folks.

 

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Conflicting reports on PSE : 20/10/2009 :

As we reported yesterday the Sydney Sun Herald ran a front page story on Sunday asserting that NSW Police were backing a plan to make pseudoephedrine containing products schedule 4. The story cites NSW Drug Squad commander Detective Superintendent Nick Bingham as backing the proposal.

However, ABC news reports yesterday cite the same Detective Superintendent Nick Bingham as supporting the mandatory introduction of Project STOP in NSW, a proposition that would seem to be at odds with the S4 proposal.

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Medibank Private to offer health checks in TWC pharmacies : 20/10/2009 :

Medibank Private has announced plans to provide 'health checks' in Terry White Chemists pharmacies. They will be developed and delivered by Medibank Private health professional staff to give customers a snapshot of their key health indicators such as blood pressure readings, cholesterol levels and body mass index.

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View from the pharmacy door : 20/10/2009 :

Here's another entry in our 'View from the pharmacy door' competition, this time from Brett Phillips.

Here is a photo of the customer parking outside my pharmacy in Rochester yesterday. We had a bit of rain and the farmers were all up and about.

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November 2009 PBS schedule : 20/10/2009 :

The November PBS schedule and the 'Summary of changes' are now on-line...

Full PBS schedule

Summary of changes

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Butler highlights pharmacy's role in government's preventive health agenda : 19/10/2009 :

Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Aging Mark Butler highlighted areas where pharmacy can feature in the government's health reform agenda during his address opening the Pharmacy Australia Congress in Sydney on Friday.

Mr Butler flagged three areas in particular - continuity of care, health promotion and eHealth - where pharmacy's active involvement was important.

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A big year for Nick Logan : 19/10/2009 :

Sydney community pharmacist Nick Logan was named Pharmacist of the Year at PAC in Sydney on Friday. The award comes on top of his pharmacy's award as QCPP Pharmacy of Year at APP in April.

Bruce Elliott was named Young Pharmacist of the Year and Emil Dan received a Lifetime Achievement award.

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PSA, RACGP sign MOU : 19/10/2009 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners have entered into a historic Memorandum of Understanding to work collaboratively and cooperatively for the benefits of health consumers in Australia.

The MoU was signed on Friday in Sydney by the President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett, and the President of the RACGP, Dr Chris Mitchell, at a ceremony during the Pharmacy Australia

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WA student wins Pharmacy Student of the Year award : 19/10/2009 :

One of the highlights of the annual Pharmacy Australia Congress is the running of the final of the Pharmacy Student of the Year Counselling Event.

This year was no exception and the students' performance was held in front of a large audience of very enthusiastic pharmacists, pharmacy students and others.

This year's Pharmacy Student of the Year is Simeon Ngweso from Curtin University in Western Australia.

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PAC: The Great Debate : 19/10/2009 :

A new feature at this years Pharmacy Australia Congress was 'The Great Debate'.

Held on Friday afternoon, the topic was "The answer to our future is increasing front of shop sales, not professional services". Arguing in the affirmative were industry icon and head of the Terry White Chemist chain, Terry White, and renowned industry analyst Bruce Annabel. Arguing again the proposition were pharmacy academic and performer extraordinaire Professor Charlie Benrimoj and the versatile Queensland academic and community pharmacist Dr Karen Peachey.

Introducing the debate, moderator Dr Phillip Woods described the community pharmacy landscape as it is now in Australia, making the point that there wasn't necessarily a right or wrong answer to the debate question, rather, it was a matter of 'emphasis'.

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