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AusPharm news

Don't Rush to Crush staff training improves patient safety : 17/06/2015 :

New research has revealed that training nurses how to use the Australian Don't Rush to Crush handbook significantly improves how safely medicines are given to patients in hospitals.

The Don't Rush to Crush handbook details the best way to prepare medicines for people who are unable to swallow tablets or capsules,

The research, by Catherine Downey and colleagues, published in the June 2015 issue of the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research, found that introducing education for nursing staff and providing information to prescribers doubled the proportion of medicines being safely prepared and administered.

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UNESCO renews agreement with FIP to develop pharmacy education worldwide : 17/06/2015 :

Development of pharmacy education around the world through a collaboration between the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), University College London School of Pharmacy and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is to continue for a further four years.

The collaboration is a UNESCO-sponsored programme known as the Global Pharmacy Education Development Network (GPhEd). Launched in 2010, this was the first programme for health professionals under UNESCO’s University Twinning and Networking Programme (UNITWIN).

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How can Pharmacists provide Medication Services to Mining Sites? : 16/06/2015 :

Researchers at Curtin University are exploring potential roles for pharmacists in medication supply and management for WA’s mining sector.

This research involves interviews with pharmacists who can offer insights into rural health or telehealth services, or those simply with a vision for how pharmacists might service mining sites.

If you are interested in contributing, the interview can be arranged face-to-face at your workplace (for local pharmacists), or via telephone or Skype (for non-Perth pharmacists). Participants will receive a $100 gift card in recognition of their time. Participants will not be identified in any reports from this research. Please contact Tricia Filippin at p.filippin@curtin.edu.au or 0401 259 643.

This research is supported by the JM O’Hara Research Fund, and approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of Curtin University (RDHS-66-15).

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Senate scrutiny for PBS Access and Sustainability Package : 16/06/2015 :

Labor's Assistant Shadow Minister for Health, Stephen Jones, confirmed yesterday afternoon that Labor would move in the Senate to have the government's PBS Access and Sustainability Package (National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical Benefits) Bill) scrutinised fully.

Speaking in the House of Representatives yesterday afternoon, Mr Jones said that he was aware that the legislation needed to pass by 30 June to enable the continuation of the Pharmacy Location Rules and that Labor supported their continuation. 

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate have 7 sitting days left in June to pass the legislation to ensure the Location Rules do not lapse.

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NPS: talk to your doctor if you stopped your statins after Catalyst program : 16/06/2015 :

NPS MedicineWise is urging consumers who stopped taking their statins without medical advice after ABC TV program Catalyst questioned their worth to see their doctor 'and have a conversation to weigh up the risks and benefits of the medicine for them'.

A University of Sydney study published in the Medical Journal of Australia yesterday estimates that 60,000 fewer people were taking statins in the eight months after the program aired in October 2013.

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Chief scientist: vaccination rocks : 16/06/2015 :

The history of vaccination is a case study in the importance of science and science literacy, according to a new paper from the Office of the Chief Scientist.

“Australia has a proud record in both advancing the science of vaccination and spreading the benefits throughout the community,” said Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb.

“We have achieved one of the highest rates of vaccination coverage in the world, and freed generations of Australians from the fear of deadly diseases," he added.

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QUT student Queensland Pharmacy Student of the Year : 16/06/2015 :

Queensland University of Technology pharmacy student Samuel Turner has been named the Queensland Pharmacy Student of the Year.

Mr Turner, who was one of eight finalists, will now go on to compete against Pharmacy Student of the Year winners from all other States and Territories vying for the national title at PSA1

The judges included one member of the PSA Queensland Branch Committee Jacqueline Kiel, one PSA Queensland staff member Jan Castrisos and Regina Cowie from API.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Sodium oxybate for excessive day time sleepiness in narcolepsy : 15/06/2015 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Sodium oxybate for excessive day time sleepiness in narcolepsy.

"Narcolepsy is an uncommon and complex neurological disorder that affects sleep control and wakefulness. People diagnosed with narcolepsy experience varied symptoms but excessive day time sleepiness is universal. Other symptoms can include cataplexy, which is described as a sudden loss of muscle tone, which leads to feelings weakness and loss of voluntary muscle tone. Hypnagogic hallucinations are described as delusional experiences which are vivid and often frightening and which occur during sleep onset"

Click here to read the bulletin in full. The E‑Bulletins are archived on the AusPharmList website here.

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2014 ORT stats - over 2,000 pharmacies dosing : 15/06/2015 :

A new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reveals that over 48,000 Australians received opioid pharmacotherapy treatment (ORT) for dependence on a single snapshot day in June 2014.

Most clients received their dose under supervision at one of 2,432 dosing point sites spread across in Australia with 9 in 10 (89%) of these sites being pharmacies.

The number of people receiving ORT almost doubled between 1998 (from around 25,000) and 2014, but growth in client numbers has slowed in recent years (growing by only 0.5–2% a year between 2011 and 2014).

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CHF: Pharmacists can do more to help consumers avoid adverse medicine events : 15/06/2015 :

Pharmacists must take the time to talk to consumers about their medicines to reduce adverse medicine events, says Alison Marcus from the Consumers Health Forum (CHF).

In an editorial published in the June 2015 issue of the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research, Ms Marcus writes that too often pharmacists are not having enough contact with consumers when they drop off prescriptions to be dispensed.

In the context of an estimated 230,000 Australians being admitted to hospital each year as a result of adverse medicine events, Ms Marcus says that pharmacists need to take every opportunity to talk to their customers.

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Rural Health Conference delegates support PSA call for pharmacists in Aboriginal Health Services : 15/06/2015 :

Rural healthcare professionals have supported PSA’s Budget submission calling on the government to urgently address the lack of medication management and pharmacy services in rural and remote areas.

Delegates at the 13th National Rural Health Conference - held last month in Darwin - said addressing this area of need had to be a priority for the healthcare system.

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All OTC NSAIDS to get liver damage warning : 15/06/2015 :

The risk of liver damage is to be added to the warning statement appearing on the packs of all OTC oral NSAIDS following a review by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. The TGA initially proposed to add ‘risk of liver damage’ only to diclofenac products, however following consultation on the proposed new words, they are to be added to all OTC oral NSAIDS.

The new wording will be: "Do not use for more than a few days at a time unless a doctor has told you to. Do not exceed the recommended dose. Excessive use can be harmful and increase the risk of heart attack, stroke or liver damage".

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As PBAC moves to reassure clinicians, patients on biosimilar substitution ... : 15/06/2015 :

In light of the current debate about whether biosimilars should be substitutable at the pharmacy level, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) has moved to reassure both clinicians and patients about their safety.

In a statement issued late last week, the PBAC said "We would not recommending them as substitutable with each other unless the PBAC is sure of their equal safety and effectiveness."

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Consultation: OK to advertise OTC PPIs direct to consumer? : 12/06/2015 :

At its July meeting the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS) will consider a proposal to include three proton pump inhibitors - lansoprazole, omeprazole and rabeprazole - in Appendix H of the Poisons Schedule, thus allowing them to be adveritised direct to consumers.

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ACT Pharmacy Student of the Year named : 12/06/2015 :

University of Canberra pharmacy student Ms Ashlei Mornement has been named as the ACT Pharmacy Student of the Year.

Head of Pharmacy at the University of Canberra, Assoc Prof Mark Naunton said Ms Mornement had a very caring nature and appeared to have significant empathy for the patient.

She will now go on to compete against winners from all other States and Territories vying for the national title at PSA15.

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2/3 of pharmacists have had their flu vaccine this year : 12/06/2015 :

62% of the respondents to this week's AusPharm poll have had a flu vaccine this year.

The rest haven't, with 24% saying they never have one because they're 'fit as a mallee bull' with a further 13% either 'too busy / forgot / or haven’t got around to it'.

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Parliamentary inquiry into ANAO 5CPA report launched : 12/06/2015 :

Parliament’s Joint Public Accounts Committee is to inquire into the recent Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) Report into the  Administration of the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement (5CPA).

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Tight timeline to legislate PBS Access and Sustainability Package : 11/06/2015 :

There are just eight sitting days left for the federal parliament to pass the National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical Benefits) Bill 2015 to give effect to the PBS Access and Sustainability Package.

The Government has made clear that the passage of the legislation is a prerequisite to commencing the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA) from 1 July 2015, including the extension of the Pharmacy Location Rules until 2020.

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Australian Pharmacist Workforce Summit 2015 : 11/06/2015 :

The Australian Pharmacist Liaison Forum (APLF) together with Monash University’s Project Pharmacist is to host the a workforce summit later this month.

The Summit’s theme is ‘Uniting our profession for a sustainable future’.

“The primary focus of the Summit is to address issues relating to enhancing utilisation of the Australian pharmacist workforce”, said Professor Iqbal Ramzan, APLF Chair.

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Nominations for 2015 PSA Excellence Awards closing soon : 10/06/2015 :

Nominations for the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia's Awards for Excellence - acknowledged as the pharmacy profession’s most sought-after awards - close on Friday, June 26, 2015.

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