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AusPharm news

Poll result: employee pharmacist wages and conditions : 26/06/2009 :

This week's poll asked 'listers what they thought of employee pharmacists wages and conditions (In my opinion, employee (community) pharmacist wages and conditions are:). The results are shown below. As with all polls there are numerous interpretations possible and we won't attempt an in depth analysis. 231 people voted in this poll and the raw data can be viewed here.

49% of responding employee pharmacists believe that wages and conditions are 'dreadful' compared to 18% of responding 'owners'.  On the other hand 8% of responding employee pharmacists believe that wages and conditions are 'good' compared to 42% of responding 'owners'. 43% of ALL respondents ticked the 'could be better' box.

We've asked the Pharmacist's Division of APESMA and the Pharmacy Guild to comment on the poll and, also, on the related recent AusPharmList discussion. Should they provide a response we'll publish that early next week.

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Sydney University - Materia Medica 1959 : 25/06/2009 :

50th year reunion to be held Friday 2nd October, 2009, at the Pharmacy School, Sydney University.

For further information, please forward your contact details to:

Mrs Laurice Jones (nee Evans)
PO Box 163,
Nth Strathfield NSW 2137
Ph: 02 9746 8239
Email: ljones@stvima.pyramai.net




PSA proposes uniform national framework for non medical health professional prescribing : 25/06/2009 :

Governments and health professionals across Australia need to give full and detailed consideration to granting pharmacists and other non-medical health professionals the right to prescribe medications, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia said yesterday.

President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett, said that some non-medical health professions have already been granted prescribing rights and it was time that this right was also granted to pharmacists. Mr Plunkett said pharmacists were ideally placed to prescribe because of their detailed knowledge of medications and their face-to-face interaction with consumers.

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Australia's aged care facility population : 24/06/2009 :

Statistics released last week by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show that there were around 175,500 residential aged care beds in operation in Australia at the end of June 2008.

This represents 87.7 places for every 1,000 people aged 70 years and older.

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Poll: employee pharmacist working conditions : 24/06/2009 :

There has been quite a bit of discussion on AusPharmList over the last week or two about employee pharmacist wages and conditions in community pharmacy (eg here and here).

While there is no doubt great variety in wages and conditions throughout the industry this week's poll aims to get some sense of what it's like out there for employee pharmacists at the coalface.

Please tick the box that works for you in today's AusPharm poll below.




PSA: Industry should assist in re-scheduling education programs : 24/06/2009 :

In its submission to the Therapeutic Goods Administration on the proposed Scheduling Policy Framework and Standard for Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) called for industry to play a greater role in the education of pharmacists and consumers when products are downscheduled. At present, industry participation in education programs is voluntary.

In its submission PSA highlighted the role it had played in education programs following downshcheduling in the past, notably for fluconazole, orlistat, levonorgestrel and pantoprazole; and OTC codeine medicines.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 24/06/2009 :

AFL Round 12 was another easy week with 31 tippers selecting all the 8 winners. Lea Secomb from Neon Cosmetics was closest to the margin and becomes this weeks $50 winner, well done Lea. In second place was Dean Pollock of Wadleys Discount Drug Store with Kelly Baldwin from Lauderdale Pharmacy in 3rd place.

The Leaderboard sees Jennifer Nelson of Coady`s Pharmacy take over the #1 position with Stefan Andrasek of Echuca Hospital equal on points in 2nd place. Chris Warne of Beaconsfield Pharmacy holds outright 3rd with Phil Shay from East Geelong Discount Drug Store in 4th place. Get lucky in Round 13!

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Friendly Societies sign on to eRx Script Exchange : 23/06/2009 :

The Australian Friendly Societies Pharmacies Association yesterday reached agreement to provide the Association's member pharmacies with access to e-scripts through eRx Script Exchange.

Under the agreement, AFSPA has funded half a million transactions on eRx Script Exchange, the first Australiawide platform for e-scripts.  

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Smith Family Chair joins Guild Lawyers : 23/06/2009 :

Guild Lawyers has recently secured the services of John Kelly, as a consultant. Mr Kelly's principal area of practice is in the health, not-for-profit and aged care sectors. He is currently Chairman of The Smith Family and has been involved for the past 20 years in numerous health related, commercial, not-for-profit, and government Boards.

Mr Kelly was recently recognised for his significant contributions for services to the community in areas of nursing and aged care policy and in healthcare management when he was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queens Birthday Honours List.

He holds an Adjunct Professorial position in the Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Health at the University of Technology as well as an Adjunct Associate Professorial role in the Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery at the University of Sydney. 




Pharmacists’ Support Service: Guild Group jumps on board : 23/06/2009 :

Specialist pharmacy insurance, financial and professional services provider, the Guild Group, has announced it will contribute $10,000 towards the Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS).

The funds are part of a drive to expand the PSS from a Victorian-based service to a national service to benefit pharmacist across the country. PSS has been assisting Victorian pharmacists since 1995 by providing telephone counselling and support to distressed pharmacists.

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CMIs: take another look says Guild : 23/06/2009 :

The Pharmacy Guild is encouraging pharmacies to "re-visit and refresh the [CMI] protocols' in their pharmacies. It has developed a CMI resource page from which a range of support materials can be downloaded. The webpage contains two short videos of CMI encounters with pharmacists.

The CMI resource page is here. Click below to hear Guild President Kos Sclavos on CMIs.




RGH E-Bulletin: Neuramidase inhibitors and H1 N1 influenza 09 : 22/06/2009 :

"Current health guidelines suggest the use of neuraminidase inhibitors for the treatment and control of the H1N1 InfluenzaA 09 (human swine flu) pandemic."

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




UK Society succeeds in law change : 22/06/2009 :

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s campaign to change the law which automatically criminalises any dispensing error looks likely to succeed after the UK Department of Health last week announced plans to amend the offending law at the earliest opportunity.

The RPSGB's campaign follows the sentencing in April of pharmacist Elizabeth Lee to a three-month jail term – suspended for 18 months – and 12 months’ supervision for dispensing beta-blockers instead of steroids to a 72-year-old patient in August 2007 (read the full story here).

RPSGB President Steve Churton said: “No pharmacist should have to endure prosecution for genuine human error. The open reporting of errors is an essential activity in improving patient safety."




Pharmacy fights back through ...... The Parrot! : 22/06/2009 :

Few Australian pharmacists would be unaware of the latest attacks on the profession launched last week by News Ltd journalist Sue Dunlevy (here and here).

Well, here' s the other side of the argument, put most eloquently by Alan Jones.




STOP research project online survey: calling Vic, Qld pharmacists : 19/06/2009 :

Griffith University is conducting research exploring community pharmacists’ experiences and attitudes regarding the impact of re-scheduling of pseudoephedrine and Project STOP.

All pharmacists who complete the research project's survey are eligible to go into a draw to win either a $1000 first prize or a $500 second prize. 

More information and a link to the survey, which takes about 15 minutes to complete, is available here.




Poll result: swine flu, how well informed are you? : 19/06/2009 :

This week's poll asked 'listers how well they'd been kept informed on swine flu by state and federal health agencies, professional associations, media and others.

The result (n=89), shown below, suggests that the flow of information was OK for most people.

Let's hear from you if there are particular groups who you think might be doing better.




PSA preparing pharmacy 'Green Paper' : 19/06/2009 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is working on a pharmacy 'Green Paper' to articulate a vision for pharmacy and inform debate around future directions for the profession in Australia. The Green Paper will identify the emerging issues for pharmacy and stimulate debate regarding the challenges and opportunities it faces.

According to PSA the Green Paper is the first step in a consultative process intended to provide the foundation for a future 'White Paper' which will identify the paths that pharmacy could provide to meet the challenges for Australia’s health sector. PSA has proposed that the White Paper be a collaborative effort supported by the entire pharmacy sector that will reach consensus on, and a plan to action, the vision for the future of pharmacy in Australia.

It is anticpated that the Green Paper will be launched at PAC09 in October.




July 1 PBS Changes : 18/06/2009 :

The PBS schedule and the 'Summary of Changes' for 1 July 2009 are now available on the AusPharmacist.net.au web site

New dispensing fees are included in the schedule.

The full PBS schedule is a largish pdf file. To save the file locally, e.g. onto your Desktop, 'Right click' then 'Save... as...' (the wording varies between browsers).

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Homeopathy - the evidence : 18/06/2009 :

Once again on AusPharmList the merits (or otherwise) of homeopathy are being debated.

For those interested, a UK government group NHS Evidence publishes an annual review of new evidence (both positive and negative) for homeopathy trials.

The 2009 review was published on June 15 - you can have a look at it here. The 2008 and 2007 reviews are also available.




PSA: Roll out Pharmacy Self Care in all pharmacies : 18/06/2009 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has proposed to the Federal Government that it provide funding support to allow the implementation of the Pharmacy Self Care program into all of Australia’s 5,000 community pharmacies.

According to PSA pharmacists are a key but underutilised member of the health care team and that community pharmacies provide an ideal environment to host preventative health initiatives such as the Self Care Program. PSA says that a national roll out of the Program would serve as an effective means of assisting to reduce the personal and financial burden of preventable diseases and conditions.

You can read PSA's Position Statement on Pharmacist Involvement in Preventative Care Services, released earlier this month on the PSA website here.




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