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AusPharm news

RGH E-Bulletin: Interaction between folate and phenytoin : 06/07/2009 :

"Phenytoin is a commonly prescribed anticonvulsant medication with a narrow therapeutic index, and is known to have many interactions with other drugs. It has non-linear elimination kinetics resulting from saturable metabolism, which makes safe and effective phenytoin dosing complicated yet crucial. One documented interaction is that between phenytoin and folic acid, a two-way interaction where phenytoin is known to cause folate deficiency (if folic acid is not supplemented), and conversely folic acid decreases serum concentrations of phenytoin."

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




FDA approves first 'depressant' drug : 06/07/2009 :

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the first prescription only depressant drug. Despondex® is designed to treat the symptoms of excessive exhuberance or 'perkiness'.

Experts have hailed the new prescription medication as “a huge step forward in the battle against exuberance.”

"Although alternative natural treatments exist (watching too much television, eating crap, and not exercising), why work at depression when you can just get it in a pill?" said drug company spokesperson Dr Ubiliv Anitheng.

Click the screen at right to watch the US TV ad.

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Pharma: animal-based research key to medicine safety : 06/07/2009 :

According to peak Australian Pharma group Medicines Australia media reports of 'cruel' animal research are unfounded.

Medicines Australia chief executive Ian Chalmers said on Friday that all animal-based research in Australia meets high regulatory standards set by independent ethics committees. He added that Medicines Australia member companies are committed to reducing animal-based research where other methods of laboratory testing are equally effective.

“Animal research in Australia can not proceed until it has been scrutinised by appropriate ethics committees and has Government approval,” Mr Chalmers said.

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Raising The Bra - a breast cancer awareness promotion : 03/07/2009 :

Amanda Bryce and staff at Gerald Burns Pharmacy in WA are really proud of their contribution to raising awareness of breast cancer through Purple Bra Day last month.

According to Amanda, although staff were a bit shy to embrace the idea of wearing a Purple Bra on the outside, everyone soon came on board and the response from our customers was incredible. (Especially the old boys!)

The goal was to raise $1000 for the Breast Cancer Foundation, as Gerald Burns Pharmacy committed $1 to every bra donated. After the promotion, the the bras will be sent to Wikasa - a Women's Refuge Centre in Uganda, where Amand's aunt works as a volunteer.

"5 garbage bags of bras were donated. Although the pharmacy didn't quite make the 1000 it was aiming for, the effort of 573 was extraordinary and will help support the Ugandan women of Wikasa Women's Refuge in several ways", said Amanda.

Click the picture above to see a larger version.

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More on the NSW MBA : 03/07/2009 :

As reported yesterday, a new Multi-Employer Business Agreement was agreed to by staff in some NSW pharmacies during June. The NSW Branch of the Guild has now lodged the MBA with the Workplace Authority for assessment  against the no-disadvantage test by the Workplace Advocate.

The test makes sure the agreement doesn't, on balance, reduce an employee's overall terms and conditions of employment, usually by comparing it to an existing award.

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Paracetamol regs to be reviewed? : 03/07/2009 :

Following proposals in the US to make changes to the maximum recommended daily dose of paracetamol, Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) says it will "review the current use and misuse of paracetamol-containing medicines to identify if any regulatory action is warranted".

However, the Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI), the peak industry body representing non-prescription consumer healthcare products, said today further regulatory measures on paracetamol are not warranted in Australia as consumers here had already benefited from a range of safeguards to ensure the safe and quality use of these products.

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NSW MBA gets up... : 02/07/2009 :

During June, the NSW Branch of the Pharmacy Guild encouraged pharmacy employees to sign up to a new Multi-Employer Business Agreement. Pharmacies whose employees agree to adopt the Multi-Employer Business Agreement will not be bound by the terms of the new Pharmacy Industry Award 2010.

AusPharm understands those pharmacy staff concerned have voted to accept the MBA.

Post a comment to AusPharmList




PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 02/07/2009 :

AFL Round 13 saw 31 tippers select all the 8 winners, however the margin proved difficult to predict. Natalie McPolin from Fred Help was closest but being a sponsor is ineligible to win the money, well done anyway Natalie! This allowed 2nd placed Sue Quayle from Hardy's Pharmacy to take home the $50, congratulations Sue. In 3rd Place was Joss Beare of Blooms the Chemist with Cindy Ridgwell from the Pharmacy Guild in 4th.

The Leaderboard sees Stefan Andrasek of Echuca Hospital regain the lead by 1 from Jennifer Nelson from Coady`s Pharmacy in 2nd place.Chris Warne of Beaconsfield Pharmacy still holds onto outright 3rd. It’s a showdown in Round 14!

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TWC management restructures : 02/07/2009 :

Members of the Terry White Chemists® (TWC) Group will soon be offered the opportunity to acquire an equity interest in the franchise company, Terry White Management Pty Ltd.

Terry White Management is the entity that provides retail services to TWC member pharmacies. Established by Terry White in 1994, it was sold to FH Faulding in 1998 and since that time has experienced a number of corporate ownership changes.

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NSW MBA gets up : 02/07/2009 :

During June, the NSW Branch of the Pharmacy Guild encouraged pharmacy employees to sign up to a new Multi-Employer Business Agreement. Pharmacies whose employees agree to adopt the Multi-Employer Business Agreement will not be bound by the terms of the new Pharmacy Industry Award 2010.

AusPharm understands those pharmacy staff concerned have voted to accept the MBA.




Poll result: sick certificates : 02/07/2009 :

This week's poll asked 'listers to help us find out how much use consumers are making of pharmacies in order to get sick certificates for time off work.

The results (n=115), shown below, come as something a surprise to us with the scheme apparently having a minimal takeup in pharmacy.

Surely this a classic example of a 'new professional service' that pharmacy should be embracing?




Poll: sickness certificates : 01/07/2009 :

It's been 12 months or more now since pharmacists were given the ability to issue sickness certificates.

AusPharm would be interested to know how much use the scheme is getting now.

Please help us find out by ticking the relevant box in today's poll below.




NPS continues to push antibiotic message : 30/06/2009 :

Health professionals are being given clear guidelines for prescribing particular antibiotics in different diagnostic scenarios in the latest National Prescribing Service (NPS) education program, Management of specific respiratory tract infections.

The therapeutic program aims to address inappropriate antibiotic use, particularly for treating acute bronchitis, sore throat and other respiratory tract infections, but also gives prescribers the facts to be confident prescribing symptomatic treatments.

“Prescribing for antibiotics in acute bronchitis continues, even though the illness is usually viral and antibiotics are only appropriate when a cough is the result of pneumonia or an exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD),” NPS Deputy CEO, Karen Kaye said.

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Roxon puts squeeze on chemists : 30/06/2009 :

Two week ago New Ltd's Sue Dunlevy had a go at pharmacy. Yesterday, pharmacy found itself on the front page of a Fairfax publication with the Financial Review's headline reading Roxon puts squeeze on chemists.

There was little new in the piece - it followed the usual theme that PBS costs were rising and that pharmacies were making windfall profits from generic discounts.

According to the Financial Review Health Minister Roxon and The Pharmacy Guild were at a stand off over negotiations for the 5th Agreement. However, a careful reading of the article revealed that the players were sticking to their usual scripts. Nicola Roxon was quoted as saying that 'The government will be carefully examining areas where the agreement could deliver taxpayers improved care and value for money" adding that "The government does not accept that taxpayer funds should help prop up profits particularly in the current environment."

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CHOICE confused on supermarkets : 29/06/2009 :

'Listers may have  seen Friday's news that the federal government has scrapped the planned Grocery Watch website just 5 days before its proposed launch. Consumer organisation CHOICE was running the site.

In a media release issued on Friday, CHOICE chief executive Nick Stace said:

"I am shocked and disappointed at the decision by the consumer minister to side with supermarkets rather than consumers. Supermarket prices are higher in Australia than many other developed countries and CHOICE agreed to deliver GroceryChoice because we believed we could make a difference for consumers.... "

Hold on a minute. Aren't these the same supermarkets that CHOICE is gunning for pharmacies to be deregulated into for a 'price advantage for consumers'?




RGH E-Bulletin: Medical records and adverse drug reactions : 29/06/2009 :

"Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are an important cause of morbidity and mortality amongst hospital patients. Even relatively mild reactions may lead to significant patient distress, changes in therapy, symptomatic treatment, further investigations, and prolongation of hospital stay. Once a reaction is suspected, timely documentation of the ADR in the patient’s medical record in a way which ensures easy future reference can help to prevent similar reactions occurring in the future."

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




Employee pharmacist wages and conditions : 29/06/2009 :

In the wash up to last week's poll (In my opinion, employee (community) pharmacist wages and conditions are......) we said that we'd invite both the Pharmacists Division of APESMA (PDA) and the Pharmacy Guild to provide a comment on the poll outcome and on recent discussions on AusPharmList regarding employee pharmacist wages and conditions.

We publish today an article penned for us by PDA president Dr Geoff March.

Watch this space - we'll have a series of special articles on these issues for you in the next few days. While we've made today's article from Dr March available to all 'listers, both premium and basic level, those that follow in the next few days will be 'premium only'. 




Top Australian and international speakers for PAC : 29/06/2009 :

The Chief Pharmaceutical Officer of the Department of Health in Britain, Dr Keith William Ridge, will be among leading Australian and international professional identities speaking at the upcoming Pharmacy Australia Congress from 15-18 October in Sydney. Dr Ridge will join Professor Carol Armour and Professor Rob Horne to lead plenary sessions at the Congress.

Dr Ridge will speak on Lessons for Australia,  based on his experiences in the development and implementation of the pharmacy White Paper, Pharmacy in England: Building on Strengths, Delivering the Future, which sets out a clinical vision for pharmacy.  

This is a particularly timely area of expertise given the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s development of a Green Paper on the future of pharmacy, which will be the subject of an address at the Industry Forum by Dr Shane Jackson, The Green Paper and What Is Its Role.

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Mentoring for rural pharmacy interns and young pharmacists : 26/06/2009 :

The Pharmacy Guild is calling for tenders to undertake a project to examine a rural and remote mentoring system for pharmacy interns and young pharmacists. It will involve a literature review and development of a framework for a mentoring system.

The project is part of a wider project whose aim is to promote the delivery of quality pharmacy services to rural and remote communities through projects and research which address determined areas of need.

For full details see the Call for Applications in today's (e)news.




2009 PSA Excellence awards : 26/06/2009 :

Nominations for the prestigious 2009 Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Awards for Excellence are being called for with winners to be announced at the Pharmacy Congress Australia in October.

The PSA’s Pharmacist of the Year, Young Pharmacist of the Year and Lifetime Recognition Awards are regarded in the profession as pinnacles of achievement and are held in the highest esteem both within and outside the profession.

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