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AusPharm news

Poll: pharmacy's performance on S3 : 30/09/2009 :

In a post to AusPharmList last week Bruce Annabel described his purchase of a Ventolin inhaler at a Sydney pharmacy. He was offered no counselling and asked no questions.

Most of us will have had occasion to purchase S3 products from pharmacies (other than the one we work in) from time to time.

How was your experience (measured against industry / professional standards) THE LAST TIME you purchased an S3 from a pharmacy? Please let us know in today's AusPharm poll below.

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Pharmacy Practice Research Summit : 30/09/2009 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia is convening a Pharmacy Practice Research Summit. The aim of the summit will be to increase the access to and awareness of quality research results from the Community Pharmacy Program R&D Program by providing a forum to assist with communicating achievements and key findings.

“Stakeholder feedback from the Third Agreement R&D Program raised the issue of ‘…participants perceived that low level dissemination of the outputs of the program had limited the program’s impact.’ and this summit will help to address these concerns,” National President of the Pharmacy Guild, Kos Sclavos, said.

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2009 Pharmacy Practice Medals of Excellence : 30/09/2009 :

The Pharmacy Practice Foundation has called for nominations for the 2009 Pharmacy Practice Medals of Excellence. These medals reward those who have had a significant role to play in advancing pharmacy practice in Australia.

Two awards are available, the Pharmacy Practice Foundation Industry Medal and the Sanofi Aventis Medal of Excellence in Pharmacy Practice.

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20909 Guild rental report released : 30/09/2009 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has released its Rentals Report for 2009.

The Guild believes it is important that landlords understand the unique nature of community pharmacies, particularly in relation to their reliance on prices fixed under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.  According to the Guild, in this regard, community pharmacies are unique in the retail environment.

You can access the report (if you're a Guild member) here.

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MediSecure dismisses HCN claims on patient safety : 30/09/2009 :

In response to claims from Medical Director vendor HCN yesterday that its electronic script technology may compromise patient safety the MediSecure company issued a statement overnight denying this.

MediSecure Chairman John Montgomery said that the HCN assertion is unsupported by any facts and that MediSecure takes patient safety issues very seriously.

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Labelling warfarin : 29/09/2009 :

In its September newsletter the NSW Pharmacy Board has reminded pharmacists of their obligations to patients when labelling warfarin, particularly when it is being packed into a dose adminstration aid, such as a Websterpack.

According to the Board, pharmacists should be in a position to know the INR readings at the time of preparing the dose administration aid and any alteration in dosage that might result from that.

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Mentoring for interns and young pharmacists in rural and remote areas : 29/09/2009 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has commissioned a project to develop a model for mentoring interns and young pharmacists in rural and remote areas.

Mentoring has been proposed as a strategy to bridge the gap between university and the workforce and enthuse young pharmacists and graduates.

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PBS cost growth running at 14% this year : 28/09/2009 :

PBS/RPBS figures for August 2009, released last week, show that PBS costs are continuing to grow at double digit rates.

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New palliative medicines report released : 28/09/2009 :

Deprescribing, opioid-phobia and disposal of unused medicines have been identified as significant issues in palliative care in a report prepared by the National Prescribing Service and Palliative Care Australia.
 
The report, Achieving quality use of medicines in the community for palliative and end-of-life care, was released on Friday at the 10th Australian Palliative Care Conference.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Drug-induced gingival hyperplasia : 28/09/2009 :

"Gingival hyperplasia, otherwise known as gingival overgrowth, is a condition characterised by widespread swelling of the gums (gingiva) and can affect speech, mastication, tooth mobility and aesthetics. Among other things, it can be caused by a variety of medications, and was first noticed in 1939 in patients treated with phenytoin. Some other medications commonly known to cause gingival hyperplasia are the immunosuppressant cyclosporin, and calcium channel blockers frequently used for the treatment of hypertension."

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

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Doctor educational event costs : 28/09/2009 :

Pharma industry peak body, Medicines Australia, last week published its Educational Event Report for the period 1 January - 30 June 2009.

It showed that Medicines Australia member companies conducted 16,020 education events, attended by 399,021 doctors, during the 6 months at a total cost of nearly $32 million. The average cost per doctor was $79.93, of which $39.22 was for hospitality.

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ACT Health Minister at AGM : 28/09/2009 :

ACT Treasurer and Minister for Health Katie Gallagher was the keynote speaker at the Pharmacy Guild of Australia A.C.T. Branch's Annual General Meeting and Dinner, held in Canberra last Wednesday night.

Ms Gallagher spoke of the continuing good relationship between the Guild Branch and the A.C.T. Government. She recounted details of her recent visit to Scandinavia to evaluate developments in e-Health, highlighting the tremendous benefits to be gained from a transparent e-health system. She concluded by saying that "community pharmacy is and will remain a key player in the A.C.T. Health System".

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Cats red hot favourites to win tomorrow : 25/09/2009 :

Amongst pharmacists anyway....

After excluding the (Footy? Blech! responses @ 23%) 82% of the remaining respondents to our Grand Final poll are tipping the Cats to win with 2/3 of these tipping a win by 20 points or more. By way of comparison Centrebet have Geelong at 4:3 on to win with the Saints at 13:10 against.

Looks like a Cats win is likely but then that was even more the case in 2008, wasn't it?

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Chemconsult® - (part of) the way forward for pharmacy? : 25/09/2009 :

The promoters of Chemconsult® have this week released a report which claims that almost 40 per cent of 21,000 Chemconsult® consultations conducted in HIP pharmacies in the 12 months to July 31 2009 required pharmacist interventions to prevent potentially adverse outcomes for patients.

According to Ken Lee, CEO of Health Corporation Limited, owners of Chemconsult®, the report showed that Chemconsult® picked up more than 8500 issues (39 per cent), including; incorrect dosing (6294), drug interactions (1190), taking medication incorrectly in relation to food (380), side effects (272), improper alcohol use (264) and medication allergies (124).

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Pharmacy Board of Australia says consultation is the key : 25/09/2009 :

The first meeting of the Pharmacy Board of Australia was held last Sunday.

At the meeting the Board considered a large number of procedural and administrative matters and agreed that a key part of its work program would be consultation with the community, the profession and the existing State and Territory boards. It considers that it needs 'the wisdom and experience of many people outside the Board to do its job effectively'.

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Input from pharmacists sought for updated Professional Practice Standards : 25/09/2009 :

PSA is asking pharmacists to complete an online questionnaire to help shape version 4 of the Professional Practice Standards for pharmacists.

According to PSA President Warwick Plunkett, standards for pharmacy’s various practice activities are the cornerstone of its profession and compliance with such standards in the day-to-day practice setting guarantees a quality outcome for the public.

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View from the pharmacy door : 25/09/2009 :

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

This is the view from a pharmacy that I was privileged to locum at. I'm surprised that Michael, at Turnbull's Pharmacy hasn't entered! The photo is in Sheffield, in that magical state of Tasmania, and is a view of Mt.Roland.

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Fred Health wins Industry award : 24/09/2009 :

Australian IT company Fred Health has been named Microsoft Australian Health Industry Partner of the Year 2009 for innovations in e-Health, recognizing the company’s achievement in development of eRx Script Exchange.

The Microsoft Industry Partner awards recognize the highest level of performance in developing and delivering innovative solutions based on Microsoft technology.

Fred Health established eRx Script Exchange, the first national platform for e-scripts, in 2008 to increase dispensing accuracy and improve patient safety. eRx allows GPs to send electronic prescriptions, with confidence that patients can have their scripts dispensed safely and securely anywhere around Australia.

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Zoton - Wyeth responds : 24/09/2009 :

Following the angst caused to pharmacists by the Zoton Capsules/Fastabs debacle AusPharm approached Wyeth for a comment, telling the company that "Most of our correspondents think this is blatant 'evergreening', with little consideration given to the needs of clinicians and patients."

Wyeth Associate Medical Director (pharmacist), Jim Meaney, has sent along the following in response:

"Wyeth recently announced the launch of Zoton 30 mg Fastabs, with PBS listing beginning on 1 September 2009. At the same time, we also announced forthcoming consolidation within the Zoton range, chiefly that Zoton 30mg Capsules and Zoton Granules for Suspension would be deleted from the PBS, effective 1 November 2009."

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PAC looks at osteoporosis — our $7b health problem : 24/09/2009 :

Osteoporosis is a major public health problem in Australia which sees, on average, 260 people hospitalised every day with an osteoporotic fracture — or one person every six minutes.

Pharmacists need to understand the condition and how best to treat it and those attending the Pharmacy Australia Congress in October will be able to hear one of the country’s leading pharmacy presenters, Professor Peter Carroll, speak on the subject of Osteoporosis — Prevention and Treatment.

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