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AusPharm news

Poll: have you had your 2015 flu vaccine yet? : 10/06/2015 :

'MORE Australians have been diagnosed with the flu in the first five months of 2015 than in any previous year.'

So reads the first paragraph of a news item last weekend. With a possible ‘bad’ flu season on the way have you had a flu vaccine this year?

Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll.

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Vale Peter Brand : 10/06/2015 :

Respected Former PSA National President Peter Brand AM passed away in Brisbane last week.

Mr Brand was a PSA National Councillor from 1989-97 and was the Society’s National President from 1994-95. He also held posts during his career with the Pharmacists Board of Queensland (President 2001-02), the Australian Pharmacy Council  and the Federation of Asian Pharmaceutical Associations.

He received the Queensland PSA Branch’s Bowl of Hygeia in 1980 for innovation relating to creating the Wesley Pharmacy as a privately owned pharmacy within a hospital.

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Record number of entries for 2015 National Student Business Plan Competition : 10/06/2015 :

The 2015 National Student Business Plan Competition - opened up to all pharmacy schools across Australia and New Zealand this year - has attracted the highest number of entries in the competition’s history.

The competition is an initiative of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia designed to promote creative entrepreneurship among pharmacy students and encourage the development of viable, innovative, pharmacist-owned community pharmacies.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Drug-induced hypertension : 09/06/2015 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Drug-induced hypertension.

"Non-steroidal anti-inflammitories (NSAIDs) including cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitors Meta-analysis shows an average increase in systolic blood pressure (SBP) of 5 mm Hg in patients without HT and up to 14 mm Hg in those with existing HT. Inhibited of prostaglandin synthesis by NSAIDs reduces vasodilatory & natriuretic effects. Increased sodium & water retention activates the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), increasing BP & attenuating antihypertensive effects of ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), beta-blockers and diuretics."

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

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Indigenous PBS spend per person remains less than non-Indigenous spend : 09/06/2015 :

New data released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) today shows that per person Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) expenditure remains lower for Indigenous Australians than for non-Indigenous Australians.

The health and welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 2015 report reveals that in 2010-11 government spending on PBS benefits for Indigenous Australians was $166 million, with the average per person expenditure lower for Indigenous Australians ($291) than for non-Indigenous Australians ($366) - an Indigenous to non-Indigenous expenditure ratio of 0.8.

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Oral contraceptives to remain script only : 05/06/2015 :

In one of a number of interim decisions from its June meeting made public yesterday, the TGA's Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS) has rejected a proposal to down-schedule combined oral contraceptives to Schedule 3.

The Schedule 3 proposal was requested on the condition that pharmacists conduct a questionnaire about family history of heart problems, hypertension and stroke and that either an in-house blood pressure test is conducted or results from a recent blood pressure test is provided to ensure suitability of the substances. The proposal also recommended that the supply of the substances be limited to 3 to 6 months.

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Pharmacists split down the middle on likelihood of funding for AMA pharmacists in GP practices proposal : 05/06/2015 :

Voting in this week's AusPharm poll was split almost exactly down the middle with half of those expressing a firm view telling us they think the AMA proposal for government funding to incorporate pharmacists into general practice teams will get up and the other half believing it won't. 27% of poll respondents told us they think it's too soon to say.

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No AusPharm on Monday : 05/06/2015 :

As next Monday 8 June is a public holiday in most parts of Australia, we won't be publishing.

We'll be back as usual on Tuesday morning.

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AusPharm CPD: New medicines for COPD : 04/06/2015 :

The next in our 2015 series of continuing professional development activities is "New medicines for COPD" by consultant clinical pharmacist Debbie Rigby.

"Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of death and the third largest contributor to burden of disease in Australia, mainly affecting older people. More than one in 20 (5.7%) Australian general practice patients suffer from COPD and the incidence rises to one in 10 people aged 65 years or older."

This activity has been accredited for 0.5 hrs of Group 1 CPD (or 0.5 CPD credits) suitable for inclusion in an individual pharmacist’s CPD plan which can be converted to 1 hr of Group 2 CPD (or 1 CPD credit) upon successful completion of relevant assessment activities.

Accreditation number: A1506AP1.

AusPharm gratefully acknowledges the financial support provided by the sponsors of our CE program, MIMS.

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New National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy wins support : 04/06/2015 :

A new national strategy announced this week will aim to reduce the threat of antibiotic resistance following statistics showing Australia’s consumption of antibiotics is among the highest in the developed world.

A recent survey showed 65 per cent of Australians believed antibiotics would help them recover from a cold or flu more quickly, one-in-five people expect antibiotics for colds and flu and nearly 60 per cent of GPs surveyed would prescribe antibiotics to meet patient demands.

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GPs call for pharmacists to stop selling and recommending homeopathic products : 04/06/2015 :

Pharmacists should not sell or recommend the use of homeopathic products the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) said yesterday.

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Qld pharmacist appointed to Primary Health Care Advisory Group : 04/06/2015 :

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Queensland Branch President and community pharmacy owner from Yeppoon in Queensland, Bruce Elliot, has been appointed to the federal government’s  new Primary Health Care Advisory Group -  part of a range of measures introduced in the federal budget aiming improve the health system.

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Poll: pharmacists in general practice : 03/06/2015 :

Last week the AMA announced that it has lodged a proposal with Government, developed jointly with the PSA, to incorporate non-dispensing pharmacists into the general practice health care team.

The proposal is supported by an analysis from Deloitte Access Economics, which concludes that for every $1 invested in the program, $1.56 in savings to the health system will be generated. Deloitte estimates the proposal will deliver $545m in net savings to the health system over four years by reducing hospital, PBS, MBS and patient costs.

The proposal has received widespread but not universal support from pharmacists, particularly from MMR accredited pharmacists.

Will the proposal - according to the AMA, needing government funding of $969.5 million over four years if 3,100 general practices take up the offer - get the tick of approval and be funded or is the up front cost simply too high? Will the government's Medical Services Advisory Committee approve the project or will it conclude the current evidence doesn't support the proposal?

Please let us know what you think by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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June Medicines Safety Update : 03/06/2015 :

The June issue of the TGA's Medicines Safety Update is now available on the TGA website.

Issues covered include:

The June Medicines Safety Update Is available on the TGA website here.

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Salbutamol, insulin, frusemide most commonly discarded medicines : 02/06/2015 :

New data published in the latest issue of Australian Prescriber reveals that over 600 tonnes of medicines are discarded in Australia every year.

The article ‘Safe disposal of prescribed medicines’ discusses an audit of the medicines returned through the National Return and Disposal of Unwanted Medicines (NatRUM) program.

The annual cost to taxpayers was $2 million for the 31 most frequently discarded medicines dispensed under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

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I never thought I would need to call PSS... : 02/06/2015 :

No-one plans to need to seek support, but sometimes things just don’t go the way we plan them says the Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS).

When Australian pharmacists, pharmacy interns or students need help the volunteers from the PSS are always there on the other end of the phone. 

Just call 1300 244 910 any day of the year between 8.00am and 11.00pm EST.

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Erratum: RGH E-Bulletin Digest 81 : 02/06/2015 :

We have identified an error in a question in our most recent CE activity, the RGH E-Bulletin Digest 81.

Question 6, as originally published, read:

Recent research has demonstrated that extending the duration of dual antiplatelet therapy after placement of a base metal stent to 30 months...

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Renewed funding for electronic transfer of prescriptions in 6CPA : 02/06/2015 :

One of the initiatives to receive renewed funding in the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA) is the electronic transfer of prescriptions incentive.

6CPA includes $12.6 million for ETP funding in the 2015-2016 financial year with an additional spend of $48.3 million set aside for ETP and eHealth in the years following, subject to a cost effectiveness study in 2016.

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CHF seeking consumers views on pharmacists : 02/06/2015 :

The Consumers Health Forum has set up a survey to collect consumers’ views on whether pharmacists should play a larger role in primary health care.

The survey asks a series of questions ranging from simply 'How often would you say you visited your local pharmacist in the last year' to 'If pharmacists offered additional primary care services, would this increase your use of primary care services through your local pharmacist?' to 'Would you support having a pharmacist in your GP's practice to provide medication management and other services to assist the GP?'.

Take a look for yourself here.

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 02/06/2015 :

The MIMS June 2015 Monthly Medicine Update is now available. Click the link to read it now.

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