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AusPharm news

AusPharm CE: Basic Biostatistics – an introduction for pharmacists : 23/09/2009 :

The next in our series of online CE activities for 2009 is the Basic Biostatistics – an introduction for pharmacists.

It's been prepared for us by Chris Alderman.

After completing this activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Discuss the issues that are important to consider in sampling techniques in studies
  • Describe the different characteristics of various forms of data scale used in statistics
  • Understand the various measures of data dispersal used in statistics
  • Identify the characteristics of various measures of central tendency

Click here to do this Continuing Education activity. Or, 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 result: pharmacists not too keen on having a swine flu vaccine : 23/09/2009 :

This week's poll asked community pharmacist 'listers to tell us whether (as front line health workers) they'd be lining up for a swine flu vaccine.

The result, shown below, tells us that 56% will (and 44% won't).

Given this (poor?) result, AusPharm wonders what sort of coverage will be attained once the public roll out commences.

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Poll: Saints or Cats? : 23/09/2009 :

The biggest sporting event on the Australian calendar is now only 3 days away.

What's your tip for the big game? AusPharm thinks the cats will be too good on the day.
 
Please let us have your tip in today's poll below.

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View from the pharmacy door : 23/09/2009 :

A week or so back we invited 'listers to send along a photo taken from the front (or back) door of their pharmacy - on offer is one of our AusPharm pens to all who send along their photo. The best one will win an AusPharm premium membership.

Finally, we have a response..... thanks to David Haworth for sending it along. Who's next?



The view from the front door of Bundeena Pharmacy looking across Post Hacking to Cronulla. A sleepy little town of 2500 in the Royal National Park south of Sydney. Lifes a beach!

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A peaceful and restful Christmas to all : 23/09/2009 :

Tony and Mark would like to thank all of the AusPharm community for their support during 2009. We are particularly appreciative of those 'listers who support us by taking AusPharm premium memberships. We hope you all have a restful and rejuvenating break over the Christmas and New Year period.

Between now and the end of January we'll be publishing a cut down version of the (e)news as we recharge our own batteries so that we can be ready for a big year in 2010. 

We'll be back in February with all of our regular features and more.

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Chemist Warehouse releases iPhone app : 22/09/2009 :

If you have an Apple iPhone then you will know that this latest generation of smart phone allows you to have one device for your mobile phone, PDA, address book, GPS and much more.

Part of the power of the iPhone is in the applications that are available from third party developers and is now being utilised to market Retail Pharmacy.

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Free PAC sessions for pharmacy assistants : 22/09/2009 :

The importance of pharmacy assistants to the pharmacy profession is being recognised in special weekend presentations for assistants at the Pharmacy Australia Congress in Sydney next month.

Pharmacy assistants outnumber pharmacists by a ratio of more than five-to-one and it is estimated there are currently more than 27,000 pharmacy assistants working across the nation.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Bevacizumab for bowel cancer : 21/09/2009 :

"Bowel cancer is currently the second largest cause of cancer deaths in Australia with over 250 new cases diagnosed every week. A new treatment for Australians with advanced bowel cancer has recently been approved for subsidised supply under the auspices of the PBS. Bevacizumab is a recombinant humanised monoclonal antibody that selectively binds to and neutralises the biological activity of human vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)."

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

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Poll: will you be having a swine flu vaccine? : 21/09/2009 :

With the news that, as front line health workers, community pharmacists will be amongst the first to receive swine flu vaccine, Panvax. AusPharm wonders how willing pharmacists will be to comply with the recommendation that they be vaccinated.

Please tell us what you intend to do in today's AusPharm poll below.

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Community pharmacists first in line to receive swine flu vaccine : 21/09/2009 :

Community pharmacists will be amongst the first to receive the swine flu vaccine, Panvax, approved for use by the TGA on Friday.

Also included in the priority group for vaccination are other front line health care and community care workers who have direct contact with patients, people with underlying chronic medical conditions, people  a BMI over 35, indigenous people and remote and isolated communities with indigenous people, children (+10) in special schools, pregnant women and parents and guardians of children aged 0-6 months.

A national rollout of the vaccination program is planned to commence this month.

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Public health academic goes after Pfizer on quitting advice : 21/09/2009 :

Simon Chapman, Professor of Public Health at the University of Sydney, has slammed drug company Pfizer's claims that only only a small percentage of people trying to stop smoking 'without treatment' succeed.

Writing in Crikey last Friday Professor Chapman says that the company's assertions that "only 3-5% of people who try to outsmart cigarettes without treatment succeed", that "a serious quit attempt needs a plan" and that most smokers "require help from a health-care professional" are highly contestable and that such statements are designed simply to increase sales of Pfizer's prescription only quit aid, Champix.

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October 2009 PBS schedule : 21/09/2009 :

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

Full PBS schedule

Summary of changes

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Poll result: recommending OTC codeine products : 18/09/2009 :

In the context of AMH advice that "There is no evidence that combination analgesics, containing lower doses of codeine with paracetamol, aspirin or ibuprofen have any benefits over these non-opioids alone" this week's poll asked you to tell us how often you recommend these products.

The result seems to tell us that fully 84% of respondents disagree with the course of action implied in the AMH advice, believing that OTC codeine containing products are more effective than their codeine free cousins.

AusPharm's personal (n=1) experience, like others who've posted to AusPharmList, is that these products are indeed more effective. Is this a case where 'absence of evidence' doesn't equal 'evidence of absence' (if you get what we mean.....)?

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5 years ago this month - Working for Love : 18/09/2009 :

First posted to AusPharmList in September 2004 by David Meller

"I had the pleasure of catching up with a colleague yesterday and he showed me a letter of "offer of contract" by a local nursing home which included one item which caused me to become apoplectic. My friend had to calm me down.

The offending clause stated quite clearly that Websterpaks were to be supplied at NO CHARGE.

Naturally, my colleague will be replying accordingly."

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PAC looks at risks associated with osteoporosis medications : 17/09/2009 :

The importance of pharmacists understanding and better managing osteoporosis will be the subject of a key presentation in the Advanced Clinical Practice stream at this year’s Pharmacy Australia Congress in Sydney being held at the Sydney Hilton from 15-18 October under the overarching theme of Securing Your Practice Advantage.
 
Osteoporosis treatments – what are the risks? will be presented by Professor Jeff Hughes, Head, School of Pharmacy, Curtin University of Technology and 2004 PSA Pharmacist of the Year, who will examine the number of pharmacological and non-pharmacological measures which may be employed to prevent and manage osteoporosis, in particular to reduce the risk of bone fracture.

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Sydney Uni Class of '79 re-union : 17/09/2009 :

The School of Pharmacy, University of Sydney, class of 1979 is having a 30 year reunion.

It's in Sydney on the evening of November 21. Click the link for details.

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US pharmacist jailed over dispensing error : 17/09/2009 :

Earlier this year we read about UK pharmacist Elizabeth Lee, who was sentenced to 3 months jail (suspended) for making a dispensing error.

Now we read about Ohio pharmacist Eric Cropp (shown at right) who has just been sentenced to 6 months in prison, 6 months of home confinement with electronic monitoring, 3 years of probation, 400 hours of community service, a $5,000 fine, and payment of court costs, for his role in a fatal medication error.

Mr Cropp had been found guilty of reckless homicide and involuntary manslaughter after making an error that  led to the death of a child.

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Medicines Australia CEO calls it a day : 17/09/2009 :

Medicines Australia chief executive Ian Chalmers, pictured at right, has tendered his resignation, effective 30 September 2009, completing a three-year term representing the organisation.

The Chairman of Medicines Australia Will Delaat paid tribute to Mr Chalmers’ achievements as chief executive. “Ian has made a very significant contribution to the industry, championing our members’ interests with conviction and passion. On the industry’s behalf, he has navigated an exceptionally challenging policy and economic environment with skill and agility, particularly with regard to bedding down the most extensive reform of the PBS in its 60-year history," Mr Delaat said.

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NPS needs a hand : 17/09/2009 :

The National Prescribing Service (NPS) in partnership with the Divisions of General Practice has recently completed a therapeutic program which explored the evidence for the symptomatic treatment of dementia titled “Treating the symptoms of dementia“.

In the past NPS has collected information which assesses the value of programs to pharmacists by using paper-based surveys. For the first time, NPS is collecting this valuable follow-up information from pharmacists electronically.

NPS would greatly appreciate pharmacists' assistance in completing a 5 minute survey to assist them to evaluate the program and ensure it has been of value to pharmacists. To complete the survey please click on the link below before Friday 16th October 2009:

Click here.

All responses are confidential and will be used for evaluation purposes only. All data are received as pooled estimates for each question thus ensuring the privacy of all respondents.

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Yet another poll on cod*ine containing OTCs..... : 16/09/2009 :

In a post to AusPharmList today in response to Mike Page's thought provoking article on ibuprofen/codeine OTCs  Martine Light quotes the AMH:

There is no evidence that combination analgesics, containing lower doses of codeine with paracetamol, aspirin or ibuprofen have any benefits over these non-opioids alone.

Is this the way we practise? Please let us know what you do in today's AusPharm poll below. (Note the exclusion of Panadeine Extra from the poll question. ie we're taking aout products that have 12.8mg or less of codeine phos. per tablet).

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