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AusPharm news

RGH E-Bulletin: Insomnia in the elderly : 10/08/2009 :

"Complaints about sleep are common amongst the elderly and are sometimes mistakenly attributed to aging itself. Insomnia may have serious consequences in this age group including an increased risk of falls and cognitive impairment. Non-pharmacological management of insomnia should always be first line. Discussion about normal sleep changes due to aging may help to reduce anxiety about insomnia. A meta-analysis of 24 randomised controlled trials of sedative-hypnotics in people aged over 60 found that the benefits of sedative use are marginal."

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

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Who remembers Chlorodyne? : 10/08/2009 :

While looking through a 1943 nursing dictionary recently, I was intrigued to find an advertisement for Chlorodyne.

Now all of us OF's would remember this item. I can remember, when I started in pharmacy, it was moving from over the counter to script status and very rapidly to S8.

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What's come over CHOICE? : 10/08/2009 :

In a marked departure from its usual anti pharmacy stance (eg here, here, and here), consumer group CHOICE says that a review should be held into the role of pharmacists in primary care.

CHOICE (rightly) points out that, as more health professionals acquire prescribing rights, pharmacists will increasingly become gatekeepers for individuals’ medication regimes.

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PSA pushes for fast track eHealth : 10/08/2009 :

A suggestion that the implementation of e-health infrastructure across Australia be funded from the Health and Hospitals Fund has been supported by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

Chairman of the Health and Hospitals Fund’s advisory board, Bill Ferris, was reported on Friday as saying the country’s e-health ambitions could be funded from the remaining $1.8 billion in the Health and Hospitals Fund.

President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett, said it was essential that the introduction of an e-health system in Australia be fast-tracked.

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ConnectChem launches new website : 10/08/2009 :

On July 1st ConnectChem launched its new website. ConnectChem is the first internet site to allow pharmacies, wholesalers and patients from across Australia to interact with each other from the comfort of their own home or business.

The unique design of ConnectChem allows pharmacies access to categories that contain scheduled items but restricts individuals to non-scheduled categories. ConnectChem is the creation of two Australian pharmacists Anthony Fico and Richard Grainger.

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Medical Director signs on with eRx : 10/08/2009 :

Medical software provider HCN has signed an agreement with eRx Script Exchange to equip Medical Director with eRx capability.

Over 17,000 doctors, representing 85 per cent of computerised GPs and over 1,300 Specialists, use HCN's Medical Director software.

Over 2000 pharmacies have so far signed on to use eRx Script Exchange.

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2010 Pharmacy of the Year awards launched : 07/08/2009 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, in partnership with Johnson and Johnson Pacific are now inviting entries for Pharmacy of the Year Award for 2010.

“These truly are the ‘Academy Awards’ of Australian pharmacy - a wonderful way to be recognised as a star among your industry peers, and for all of your hard work throughout the year. I encourage all community pharmacies to enter,” said Guild President, Kos Sclavos.

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TGA CMI/PI website to go ahead : 07/08/2009 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration announced this week that it would be proceeding with plans to establish a new website to host up to date Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) and Product Information (PI). The website is expected to go 'live' at the end of October.

Health professionals and consumers will then be able to access PI/CMI from the TGA website as well as from a number of existing sites, for example, here, here, here, and here.

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Swine flu poll result : 07/08/2009 :

This week's poll asked 'listers to tell us how much (swine) flu they're seeing in their part of the country. Click for the result.

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Thinking of partnership - get the documentation in place first : 06/08/2009 :

If you are an older pharmacist, you may have decided that, rather than retiring now, it may be better to stay on in the pharmacy a while longer, until your decimated super fund regains some of its former glory.

You may in that context also have considered, that, to ease the workload, it may be timely to sell off part of the pharmacy only, and go into a partnership arrangement with a younger pharmacist.

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Female pharmacists to take the lead : 06/08/2009 :

Get in early and take the lead, is the advice of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia to all the female pharmacists in Australia, with a recent NAB Health report finding that by 2038 there will be twice as many females in the industry to men.
 
To get ahead of the pack, female pharmacists are encouraged to take a weekend out to attend the Pharmacy Women’s Congress from 14 – 16 August at the Marriott Resort and Spa, Surfers Paradise. The highly practical conference features sessions aimed at assisting female pharmacists to take the next step in their career, be it a senior role within their pharmacy, pharmacy ownership or participation on key pharmacy committees or industry groups.

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Guild, PSA, industry all 'disappointed' at S3 codeine decision : 06/08/2009 :

Pharmacy groups and industry are as one in expressing their disappointment at the National Drugs and Poisons Scheduling Committee's (NDPSC) decision, announced yesterday, that all non-prescription combination analgesics containing codeine (CACCs) would go to schedule 3 ('pharmacist only') from May 1 2010. The scheduling of codeine containing cough and cold preparations, however, remains unchanged.

In addition to the upscheduling, the Committee declined to add CACCs to Appendix H of the schedule which means that these products (eg Nurofen Plus, Panadeine) will now not be able to be advertised to the public. Pack sizes will be limited to 5 days supply.

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August Australian Prescriber now available : 06/08/2009 :

The August edition of Australian Prescriber is out now and examines topical issues, including: 

Editorial: Medicines and markets: the USA and Australia
Abnormal laboratory results
New drugs for multiple myeloma
The management of hepatitis B
Heparins for venous thromboembolism prophylaxis - safety issues 
New drugs

For full copies of these and other articles, visit www.australianprescriber.com.

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AusPharm CE: RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 14 : 05/08/2009 :

The next in our series of online CE activities for 2009 is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 14.

This CE activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins (Volumes 34-6 to 34-9  --> June - July 2009).

  • Total parenteral nutrition
  • Antimicrobials for Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci
  • Neuramidase inhibitors and H1 N1 influenza 09
  • Medical records and adverse drug reactions

Click here to do this Continuing Education activity.

Or, 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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Neuropathic Pain: The Sea Provides A New Hope Of Relief : 05/08/2009 :

A compound initially isolated from a soft coral (Capnella imbricata) collected at Green Island off Taiwan, could lead scientists to develop a new set of treatments for neuropathic pain.  So says a paper published today in the British Journal of Pharmacology.
 
The treatments that give some relief to some patients are a very mixed bunch, nearly all found empirically and with many other effects.  Amitriptyline, an anti depressant now used for urinary incontinence, has given relief in neuropathic pain; similarly, two drugs designed for treating epilepsy - gabapentin and pentagabalin have also proved effective for some sufferers. However, many patients do not respond to these currently available drugs.

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Pharmacies to promote more responsible alcohol consumption : 05/08/2009 :

Community pharmacies across Australia are participating in a new National Alcohol Standard Drink Awareness campaign, incorporating the recently announced Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol.

The campaign aims to increase awareness of the concept of a standard drink and inform people on how to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol.

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Swine flu: how is it where you are? : 05/08/2009 :

AusPharm works in a few pharmacies in southern Tasmania and, in the last week or so, there has been a marked increase in the number of (swine) influenza cases we're seeing. People in some locations are unable to get doctor's appointments within a fortnight.

What's the level of activity like in your area? Please let us know by ticking the appropriate box in this week's poll below.

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Watch Kos Sclavos at the National Press Club : 05/08/2009 :

Kos Sclavos' recent speech to the National Press Club can now be viewed on the Guild website, in two parts, here and here. (Caution: these are 250+ mb wmv files).

According to the Guild the speech was well received and provoked considerable comment in industry and government circles.

 

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 05/08/2009 :

AFL Round 18 was a better one for tippers with 34 selecting all the 8 winners. Robyn Saunders from MediCom Medication Management Services predicted the margin perfectly and takes home the weekly $50 prize, congratulations Robyn.

In 2nd place just 1 margin point behind was Gillian Brzoska of Point Lonsdale Pharmacy with Jonathan Andrews from Figtree Plaza Chemist in 3rd position.

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It's Continence Awareness Week : 04/08/2009 :

Three-quarters of Australian women have literally laughed until they have wet themselves, a new survey has found.

The research, commissioned by the Continence Foundation of Australia, ahead of Continence Awareness Week (2-8 August 2009), found that 75 per cent of women have wet themselves while laughing, coughing, sneezing or exercising.

But, according to the Continence Foundation of Australia, the findings are no laughing matter – as this common condition is known as stress incontinence, which can be prevented, treated, managed and in many cases cured.

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