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AusPharm news

PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 26/08/2009 :

AFL Round 21 saw more upsets making things very difficult for tippers. Congratulations to Stefan Andrasek of Echuca Hospital who was the only tipper to select all 8 winners, a well earned $50 weekly prize goes to Stefan. In 2nd place was David Vial of National Pharmacies with Brian Wiltshire from Flinders Uni Pharmacy in 3rd position. 

A solid 7 from Nerida Croker sees Nerida take a possibly unbeatable 2 point lead at the top of the leaderboard! Moving up a spot to take 2nd place is Chris Warne of Beaconsfield Pharmacy. Equal on points in 3rd is Mez Hoy (contractor) with Jennifer Nelson from Coady`s Pharmacy still in the race in 4th place. Sue Lumley of Janssen-Cilag is also within reach of the prizes in 5th position. It’s a grab for cash in Round 22, Good Luck to all!

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Meals on Wheels Celebrated : 26/08/2009 :

Yesterday was ‘Meals on Wheels Day’ around the nation. Many pharmacists would be closely involved with their local Meals on Wheels group, either as volunteers themselves or by working with the Meals on Wheels volunteers to keep an eye on some of their more vulnerable patients.

More than 78,000 Meals on Wheels volunteers across Australia donate their time, skills and understanding to deliver nutritious meals and provide social contact for isolated and house-bound people, including the homeless, children at risk, and older Australians.

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Here's a new online tool to help you help your asthma patients : 25/08/2009 :

The launch yesterday of the Asthma Life Balance Check provides people with asthma the opportunity to find out the level of lifestyle restrictions their asthma imposes on them.

The questionnaire - developed in partnership with leading respiratory clinicians in conjunction with the National Asthma Council Australia and the Asthma Foundations of Australia - takes only a few minutes to complete. Respondents are encouraged to print out and discuss the results with their GP.

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PSA Excellence Awards - Nominations close next week : 24/08/2009 :

Nominations for the 2009 PSA Excellence Awards close on Tuesday, 1 September.

Nomination forms and information is available from the Excellence Awards page of the PSA website.

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Chemo program delay welcomed : 24/08/2009 :

Cancer Voices Australia and the collective of health providers known as the ‘Professionals for Safe Cancer Treatment’  have welcomed the Minister for Health and Ageing's announcement that the government's intended budget measure (the Intravenous Chemotherapy Supply Program) has been further delayed.

The Government says it now intends to discuss the measure in the context of the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement. That is understood by the group to mean the budget measure will not be introduced, if at all, before July 2010.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Methylnaltrexone : 24/08/2009 :

"Methylnaltrexone is a peripherally acting mu opioid-receptor antagonist, predominantly active in the gastrointestinal tract, marketed in Australia as Relistor®. Methylnaltrexone is indicated for use in opioid-induced constipation in patients with advanced illness who are receiving palliative care, when response to laxative therapy has not been sufficient."

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

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Remote pharmacy shines : 24/08/2009 :

Winner of the Telstra / MYOB small business of the Year Northern territory, and finalist of the J&J Pharmacy of the Year 2009, Gove Pharmacy owner Darryl Stewart and Wife Nichole with Graham Perl from J&J attended the 2009 Telstra Business Awards Gala Dinner in Sydney where Darryl was in the running for National Winner.

“This is a tremendous achievement for one off the most remote pharmacies in Australia, and confirmation that the  annual Pharmacy of the Year judging process does pick out the best in Pharmacy” says Graham who is also a judge of the Pharmacy of the Year competition.

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PSA endorses Roxon's eHealth comments : 24/08/2009 :

Comments by the Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, committing to e-health reforms and electronic patient records have been welcomed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

Addressing the ‘Health e Nation Conference’ in Canberra during the week, Ms Roxon said she wanted Australia’s future health system to be connected, secure and efficient. “It is frustrating that in a sector where technology and research drive continual innovation in patient care, paper is still king. After a decade of doing our banking – and almost everything else – online, we’re still carrying our x-rays under our arm, a script to the pharmacy, and the hospital can’t send a discharge summary to the family GP,” Ms Roxon said.

The President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett, said pharmacists endorsed Ms Roxon’s comments and called on the Government to fast-track the implementation of e-health.

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Pharmacy students at university rural health conference : 24/08/2009 :

15 pharmacy students attended the recent National Rural Health Universities Conference (NURHC), a multi-disciplinary health congregation held in Cairns, QLD at the end of July.

The conference brought together health science students with a common passion for rural, remote and Indigenous health care.

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Hack Radio covers Oxycontin misuse : 24/08/2009 :

Triple J's Hack Radio ran a piece on the misuse of prescription pain killers  ("Have you ever used oxycodone to get high?") last Thursday. It included talkback with a number of users.

Listen to it here - the Oxycontin part starts 12 minutes 30 seconds in.

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Same old doom and gloom from Guild says union : 24/08/2009 :

Late last week thePharmacy Guild used Julia Gillard's intervention in relation to the proposed new horticulture industry award modernisation process to make its point that the proposed new pharmacy award will sharply restrict the flexibility of employment of thousands of casual and part-time employees in community pharmacy.

In response, employee union The Pharmacists' Division of APESMA (PDA) says that the new Pharmacy Industry Award is a fair legal minimum to work from, when it is implemented in January 2010.

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Indigenous pharmacy students scholarships awarded : 21/08/2009 :

Three Indigenous pharmacy students have just been awarded scholarships worth $15,000 per year for four years, to assist them as they move towards their Bachelor of Pharmacy degrees.

The scholarships are funded by the Department of Health and Ageing through the Rural Pharmacy Workforce Program, administered by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.

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Gillard must act on the pharmacy award says Guild : 21/08/2009 :

The impact of the award modernisation process on community pharmacy must be addressed to save jobs and preserve the flexibility of employment for thousands of workers, says the Pharmacy Guild.

The Guild has seized on Minister Julia Gillard's intervention in relation to the proposed new horticulture industry award modernisation process to make its point that the proposed new pharmacy award will sharply restrict the flexibility of employment of thousands of casual and part-time employees in community pharmacy, the majority of whom are women.

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Poll result: is now a good time to buy a pharmacy? : 21/08/2009 :

In the context of PBS Reforms, yet to finish their roll out, big purchase prices for pharmacies and in the lead up to the 5th Community Pharmacy negotiations, this week's poll asked 'listers whether they thought now is a good time to buy a pharmacy.

The result suggests to us that (after removing the 'ownership isn't for me responses [19%]), in the main, business confidence is still pretty much in tact in the community pharmacy sector.

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Pharmacists amongst first to get swine flu vaccine? : 20/08/2009 :

An 'exclusive' report in today's Herald Sun newspaper has it that health workers will be amongst the first to be immunised against swine flu. Read the story here.

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OTC Famvir a chance : 20/08/2009 :

The National Drugs and Poisons Schedule Committee says that it will have another look at down-scheduling famicyclovir to S3 for the treatment of cold sores at its October meeting.

It rejected a similar proposal at its February meeting, commenting that there was little apparent benefit in a down-schedule (effective topical preparations are available) but some risk of generating resistance in the community. The committee also expressed the view that some patients may use it inappropriately 'off label' for genital herpes, limiting the opportunity for doctors to screen for other sexually transmitted diseases.

Also under consideration at the October meeting is a proposal to allow packs of 100 diclofenac tablets to go into Schedule 2.

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AusPharm CE: Understanding Common Biochemistry Tests : 19/08/2009 :

The latest AusPharm CE topic is Understanding Common Biochemistry Tests - it's been put together for us by Peter Tenni.

"The interpretation of laboratory tests is a critical aspect of understanding the efficacy and potential complications of a patient’s drug therapy. Although many laboratory tests are used in the diagnosis of specific illnesses, from a pharmacist’s point of view, laboratory tests can assist in:

a)    the determination of appropriate dose of medication,
b)    the detection of adverse effects associated with drugs being taken and
c)    the monitoring of efficacy of drug treatment.
"

Click here to do this Continuing Education activity.

Or, you might like to have 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: a good time to buy a pharmacy? : 19/08/2009 :

There's been lots of discussion on AusPharmList recently about the issues around getting into pharmacy ownership. At the same time there has also been discussion about pharmacists wages, with some suggesting these are too low.

So, with the 5th Community Pharmacy Agreement negotiations about to begin, and the PBS Reforms still to play out, is now a good time to buy a pharmacy?

Please let us know what you think by ticking the relevant ox in today's poll below.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 19/08/2009 :

NRL Round 23 was another difficult one with 7 out of the 8 winners being the best result. 
With 16 tippers selecting 7 the closest to the margin was Garry Walker from Medicare Australia, so Garry is our weekly $50 winner, well done Garry.

The Leaderboard sees little change with Matthew Kobryn of Blooms the Chemist - Springwood still 3 points ahead of John Black from McDonalds Pharmacy in 2nd place. Its all or nothing in Round 24!

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The Scouts need a hand next January in Sydney : 19/08/2009 :

The 22nd Australian Jamboree is the biggest event on next year's Australian Scouting calendar. Over 12,000 Scouts and Leaders from all around Australia will converge on Cataract Scout Park in Sydney in the first two weeks of January to take part in a 2 week long camp.

To provide health care to this many people a hospital, medical centre, dental centre and pharmacy will be set up on the site.

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