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AusPharm news

Reliance on homeopathy poses a threat : 12/10/2009 :

There's a nice op ed by Ron Batagol in Saturday's Australian newspaper.

"So, I have just one question for our health regulators: how do you sleep at night knowing you continue to allow homoeopathic products to be legally peddled in the healthcare marketplace as substitutes for effective therapeutic treatment for the most helpless and vulnerable members of the community, our children?"

You can read the piece in full here.

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PSE goes script only in NZ : 12/10/2009 :

The New Zealand government has announced that, commencing October 15, medicines containing pseudoephedrine will be reclassified as prescription only.

NZ Prime Minister John Key said the move was part of a package designed to cut back on the production of methamphetamine or 'p' as it is known in New Zealand.

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APESMA boost for Pharmacists’ Support Service : 12/10/2009 :

A unique support and counseling service for pharmacists has been given financial support by the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists & Managers, Australia, a not-for-profit industrial relations organisation representing employee pharmacists.

The Pharmacists’ Support Service, managed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Victoria and soon to be available nationally, has been in operation for 14 years and offers support for pharmacists in times of stress and crisis.

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Sinemet CR to be in short supply : 11/10/2009 :

Did you know that Sinemet CR will be in short supply in 2010?

Prescribers have been informed as has support group Parkinson's Australia, on whose website the 'Dear Prescriber' letter from Merck appears.

According to Merck only 20-50% of patients can expect  to receive uninterrupted supply of SINEMET CR in 2010, with details to be revealed in January.

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Pharmacists behaving badly : 09/10/2009 :

In its September newsletter the NSW Pharmacy Board recounts tales of pharmacists going into pharmacies, often in holiday areas, seeking schedule 4 medications for their own personal use on the basis that they are pharmacists.

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Poll result: suitably accredited pharmacists should be able to administer routine vaccinations in community pharmacies : 09/10/2009 :

Yes they should be, according to 71% of respondents (n=150) to this week's poll.

Of interest is the difference between this week's outcome and the outcome of an identical poll, run in September 2002. In that poll, only 54% of respondents thought that this was an appropriate role for community pharmacists.

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Pru Goward to address Women in Pharmacy group : 09/10/2009 :

Prominent NSW Member of Parliament Pru Goward, the State Shadow Minister for Community Services and Shadow Minister for Women, will address this year’s PAC Women in Pharmacy breakfast being held on Saturday 17 October.

The breakfast is a feature of PAC that many won’t want to miss, offering as it does an unrivalled opportunity for mentoring and networking, as well as observing great role models of women in pharmacy.

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Appeal to smokers' vanity says Pfizer : 09/10/2009 :

Champix sponsor Pfizer says that Australian smokers may be be more likely to quit smoking if they could foresee the skin damage and premature ageing to their face.

Research, conducted by Galaxy Research and funded by Pfizer Australia, suggests that three in four (73%) Australian smokers would be more likely to quit smoking if they could foresee the skin damage and premature ageing to their face.

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5 years ago this month - expanded role for pharmacists : 09/10/2009 :

This post, first posted on November 24, 2004 has a bit to say about an expanded role for pharmacists - and what could be more topical at present given the Rudd government's proposed  Health Reforms. Ron also has an opinion on pharmacists administering vaccines.

"I have been following the Auspharmlist discussion on "expanded roles for pharmacists",  with great interest.

Ever since we started developing clinical pharmacy services in the hospital area where I worked in the early 1970's, pharmacists in all areas of the profession have utilised and developed their skills and expertise in innovative ways."

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Side effects : 09/10/2009 :

Those of you who didn't respond to our suggestion that you sign up for the daily Dilbert won't have seen Friday's strip.

Here's the first frame - for the rest go here.

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For advice about migraines, ask your pharmacist where you see the Gold Cross : 08/10/2009 :

A new television advertising campaign launched this month will be another boost for the growing recognition of Gold Cross as a strong and valued brand.

Mersyndol DayStrength features in the campaign which is now underway and will run until 15 November. The ads focus on Mersyndol DayStrength, Gold Cross, and the tagline: “For advice about migraines, ask your pharmacist where you see the Gold Cross.” Click the play button to watch the ad (2.3 mb .mpg file - 15 secs).

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Why the ban on prescription medicine ads is a joke : 08/10/2009 :

Prominent South Australian pharmacy academic, Dr Agnes Vitry, had a bit to say in Crikey yesterday about the Australian ban on direct to consumer advertising of prescription medicines. It's worth a read.

"Pfizer is running a big marketing campaign for its combination heart pill, Caduet. Medical magazines have been carrying full-page advertisements, advising doctors that “patients will soon be asking about their suitability for combination heart medications."

Read the full article on the Crikey website here.

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Colesworth dictating diet, damaging public health? : 08/10/2009 :

A study published in the October issue of Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health concludes that limited competition in the grocery sector in Australia could be having a serious effect on public health.

Researchers Jon Wardle and Michael Baranovic have highlighted the implications of major retailers dominating the market for consumer access to affordable, healthy food options.

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National registration clears another hurdle : 08/10/2009 :

Nationally consistent registration and accreditation for pharmacists is now a step closer following the introduction of legislation into the Queensland parliament yesterday that sets out the framework for a national scheme .

All health ministers have agreed that this legislation will form the basis for a national scheme to begin on 1 July 2010. The scheme will cover registration and accreditation, complaints, privacy and information sharing, and transitional arrangements.

Following passage in the Queensland Parliament, draft legislation will progressively be introduced in all parliaments across Australia to adopt and apply the new national law.

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AusPharm CE: Scabies : 07/10/2009 :

The latest AusPharm CE topic is Scabies - it's been put together for us by Australian pharmacist, Leanne Stafford. PhD candidate at the University iof Tasmania.

"Scabies is a highly contagious and intensely itchy skin condition caused by infestation with the mite, Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis It occurs in people of all ages, but is particularly common in school-aged children, some Indigenous communities, and “closed” communities such as residential aged care facilities (RACFs).Most cases of normal scabies are easily curable and can be managed in the community pharmacy setting."

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: suitably accredited pharmacists should be able to administer routine vaccinations in community pharmacies : 07/10/2009 :

With the swine flu vaccination program now rolling out around the country (AusPharm's having our needle tomorrow) and with the issue of pharmacists administering vaccinations seemingly always 'live', both in Australia and overseas, the time seems right to revisit a poll we ran way back in 2002.

Do you think suitably accredited pharmacists should be able to administer routine vaccinations in community pharmacies? Please let us know what you think by voting in today's poll below.

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Panvax information : 07/10/2009 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has prepared a fact sheet to assist its members in answering commonly asked questions which may not be addressed by the consumer brochure. It is publicly available on the Guild's website, here.

The Panvax CMI is also now available, on the medicines.org.au website, here.

Last week Australian Prescriber published an independent review of the vaccine, here.

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New members sought for two TGA committees : 07/10/2009 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is seeking expressions of interest (EOIs) for up to 4 positions on the Australian Drug Evaluation Committee (ADEC). At least one position must be filled by a person with expertise in consumer matters. To be considered for the remaining positions, applicants should have expertise in one of the following areas: pharmacoepidemiology, internal medicine, clinical pharmacology, biostatistics, intensive care, anaesthetics, psychiatry or general practice. More....

It is also seeking expressions of interest (EOIs) for up to 12 positions on the new Advisory Committee on Safety of Medicines (ACSOM). At least one position must be filled by a person with expertise in consumer matters. To be considered for the remaining positions, applicants should have expertise in an area relevant to the assessment of safety of medicines, including: clinical pharmacology, clinical pharmacy, pharmacoepidemiology, general practice in Australia, general medicine, paediatrics, anaesthetics, complementary medicine, clinical immunology, or hepatology. More....

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Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Mark Butler, to open PAC09 : 07/10/2009 :

The Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Health, the Hon Mark Butler MP, will officially open the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s Pharmacy Australia Congress in Sydney on Friday 16 October.

The National President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett, said Mr Butler’s willingness and enthusiasm in agreeing to open the Congress was significant.

“During the year three major reports have already been released which have had, and will continue to have a major impact on health care and how it is delivered in Australia,” Mr Plunkett said.

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MIMS October 2009 Prescribing Update : 07/10/2009 :

The MIMS October 2009  prescribing update is now available. Click the link to read it now.

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