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AusPharm news

Script or no cold remedy : 19/10/2009 :

So read the front page headline in yesterday's Sun Herald.

According to the story NSW Police will recommend to The Australasian Chemical Diversion Congress, to be held in Sydney this week, that PSE containing products go to schedule 4, as they did in New Zealand last week

You can read the story in full here.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Progressive Multifocal Leucoencephalopathy : 19/10/2009 :

"Progressive Multifocal Leucoencephalopathy (PML) is a rare condition, most often presenting in patients with immune suppression. It is caused by activation of the polyomavirus JC (JCV). This virus infects the majority of people in childhood, but remains inactive unless severe immunosuppression occurs. When activated, the virus causes demyelination of the central nervous system."

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

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API share price kicks : 16/10/2009 :

Those of you who own shares in pharmacy wholesaler Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (API) may already know that the company's share price kicked strongly late last week. The share price rise was accompanies by an increased volume of shares traded.

API says it is unaware of any reason for either the share price rise or the increase in the numbers of shares traded.

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Poll result: community pharmacy GP% : 16/10/2009 :

This week's poll asked 'listers to tell us what their pharmacy gross profit percentage is. The poll is a repeat of one we ran in 2003.

(After correcting for the (GP%, what's that? vote) the results seem to show that gross margin in pharmacies has INCREASED since 2003, a result we weren't expecting.

So, we asked our friends at JR Pharmacy Services for a comment.

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PAC underway in Sydney : 16/10/2009 :

PAC proper gets underway in Sydney today with the event to be formally opened by Parliamentary Secretary for Health Mark Butler. Highlights of PAC include the Awarding of the Pharmacist of the Year and Young Pharmacist of the Year awards as well as the judging of the Pharmacy Student of the Year counselling event - we'll have these stories for you on Monday.

Yesterday's 'Pre-conference Program' featured the now traditional AACP Forum and an Industry Forum that looked at the background to and the work to date on the PSA Green Paper.

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SHPA announces national competency project for pharmacists : 16/10/2009 :

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has commenced work on a national competency framework aimed at supporting pharmacists’ professional development in clinical settings.

According to SHPA, with the influx of young pharmacists into hospitals, brought about by the recent increase in pharmacists being employed in Australian hospitals, there is a need to accelerate the development of their clinical pharmacy skills in hospital practice. SHPA says that supporting service consistency both within and across hospitals is of upmost importance to ensure quality services for patients.

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Painkiller side effects that come without warning : 16/10/2009 :

Not content with his time in the national spotlight following his op ed in last Saturday's Australian, Ron Batagol had a piece published in Crikey yesterday on another of his pet hates - OTC access to NSAIDs.

"However, a more insidious side effect of NSAIDs, and one that is too often overlooked even by health professionals advising patients, is the potential for NSAIDs, either used alone or in combination with some other medications under certain conditions, to inhibit the vital role of the kidneys in filtering out waste products from the blood, for excretion in urine and returning the filtered blood to the circulatory system."

You can read the piece in full on the Crikey website here.

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Olive Oil 'active ingredient' identified? : 15/10/2009 :

Scientists may have pinned down the constituent of olive oil that gives greatest protection from heart attack and stroke. In a study of the major antioxidants in olive oil, Portuguese researchers showed that one, DHPEA-EDA, protects red blood cells from damage more than any other part of olive oil.

Heart disease is caused partly by reactive oxygen, including free radicals, acting on LDL or “bad” cholesterol and resulting in hardening of the arteries. Red blood cells are particularly susceptible to oxidative damage because they are the body’s oxygen carriers.

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AusPharm CE : 15/10/2009 :

Sadly, a technical hitch means we weren't able to bring you a new CE activity last week. The activity was going to be Age Related Macular Degeneration - authored 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."

We'll be publishing this on Thursday. In the meantime you might like to take a look at our other CE activities here .

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Pharmacists just as capable of scaremongering as anyone else : 15/10/2009 :

Seems to be 'vaccination day' on AusPharm today......

Here's a novel way to get the 'Pharmacists as medication experts' message across. This pharmacist has a bit to say about the safety of Panvax in a letter to the editor on Australia.to. Here's some extracts.

"I'm a qualified pharmacist. I've been researching the swine flu vaccine that our government has bought for us (using our money, by the way) and its DANGEROUS AS. Its easy a hundred times more dangerous than the swine flu itself, Imo"

"The swine flu vaccine contains 2 horribly dangerous compounds – one is called thimerosol. It is made 50% of mercury. It binds to receptors in your brain, and basically causes brain damage. Is it smart to be injected with thimerosol, and get brain damage, dropping 10 IQ points and going dumb, in order to avoid getting a flu that kills 95% less people than regular flu? No."

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TGA Issues safety alert on child resistant caps : 15/10/2009 :

The TGA has issued a safety alert relating to a number of liquid children's medicines.

According to the agency,  the caps on some children's liquid medicines may require tightening to ensure the child-resistant closure is activated correctly. Consumers have been advised to check the cap is working correctly by TIGHTENING it fully and THEN making sure that it does not unscrew without pressing down on the cap.

The details are on the TGA website here.

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Poll: My pharmacy's GP % is...... : 14/10/2009 :

The conventional (pharmacy) wisdom is that community pharmacy's gross margin has declined in recent years, partly in response to the appearance in the marketplace of warehouse style pharmacies.

This week's poll is a re-run of a poll we first ran back in 2003. It asks 'listers to tell us what the gross margin is in their pharmacy.

Please tick the relevant box in today's poll below.

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One in five Australian pre-schoolers diagnosed with asthma : 14/10/2009 :

By the age of 5, 21% of Australian children have been diagnosed with asthma and among those who did not have asthma by age five, 4% per year were diagnosed over the next two years.

These are amongst the findings from a two-year study on asthma and wheezing illness in one year olds and kindergarten children, released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

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RGH Pharmacy Department part of hospital swine flu effort : 14/10/2009 :

Given the controversy that exists around the multi-dose vial presentation of the H1N1 vaccine, the interns at the Pharmacy Department at the Repatriation General Hospital in Adelaide (Rachael Cheh and Phil Selby) draw up the doses each day, so that the busy nursing staff who administer the products to staff can use individually presented syringes prepared under clean conditions.

Since vaccinations began late last week, this multidisciplinary effort has resulted in the administration of over 400 doses. Rachel and Phil are shown below preparing the day's doses. (Click for a larger photo.)

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TGA downplays ADHD med ADR claims : 14/10/2009 :

The TGA yesterday downplayed claims made in mainstream media reports that reports of serious adverse reactions to drugs prescribed to children for ADHD had grown alarmingly in recent times.

The TGA says that the reports are based on a misinterpetation of the data and that no causal link between the drugs and the adverse effects had been established.

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View from the pharmacy door : 13/10/2009 :

Here's another entry in our 'View from the pharmacy door' competition, this time from Andrew Topp (for Jenny White).

This is the view from Jenny White's shop, Hooks Pharmacy in the main street of Cooma last Wednesday. The temperature at 10am was -3.7 deg.

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NPS offering outreach pharmacist training on stroke prevention : 13/10/2009 :

The National Prescribing Service Limited (NPS) is inviting outreach pharmacists who provide pharmacy services to remote Aboriginal Health Services to participate in a new education program on stroke prevention.

The NPS Outreach Pharmacists for Remote Aboriginal Health Services program, which supports pharmacists to educate the staff they work with in remote Aboriginal communities, was first launched as a pilot program in the Northern Territory in June 2008. It has since been extended to pharmacists working in other remote areas across Australia.

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DMAS training program at PAC : 13/10/2009 :

Pharmacists looking to expand their knowledge about disease state management programs have an opportunity this week to attend a special two-day session at PAC in Sydney. An added bonus of the training is that for an additional $100 on top of the course fee, attendees get full access to PAC.

The Diabetes Medication Assistance Scheme (DMAS) training runs on Thursday 15 (9am-5pm) and Saturday 17 (11am-5pm) October, leaving plenty of time for attendees  to take advantage of the PAC program on Friday and Sunday, as well as the Saturday morning plenary session.

Interested? Contact Audra Millis on 0412 304 450.

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The great debate at PAC : 12/10/2009 :

A new feature on this year's PAC program is the "Great Debate" between Pharmacy experts with divergent views about the future direction for community pharmacy.

The subject to be debated is The answer to our future viability is increasing FOS sales not more professional services.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Prasugrel : 12/10/2009 :

"Prasugrel (Effient®) is the latest addition to the thienopyridine class of medications (e.g. clopidogrel, ticlopidine). This drug is an irreversible antagonist of P2Y12 ADP receptor on platelets; thereby inhibiting platelet activation and aggregation."

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

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