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AusPharm news

Sick slugged as chemists profit : 11/06/2009 :

"THE nation's $10bn drug subsidy scheme is so dysfunctional the sick are being slugged for medicines, with some paying as much as $13 more per script than they need to."

So writes Sue Dunlevy today in her latest attack on community pharmacy. Read it here.




AusPharm CE: Update on Dietary Fats and their role in Cardiovascular Disease : 10/06/2009 :

The latest AusPharm CE topic is Update on Dietary Fats and their role in Cardiovascular Disease, and it's been put together for us by the team from UMORE, specifically Angus Thompson, Tonie Miller ansd Lisa Murphy.

Click here to do this Continuing Education activity.

Alternatively, 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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RGH E-Bulletin: Total parenteral nutrition : 10/06/2009 :

"Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) is a very complex pharmaceutical formulation, usually including amino acids, dextrose, electrolytes, vitamins, trace elements and water for injection. Where patients are unable to consume adequate fluids and calories to maintain normal nutritional status, a TPN may be prescribed to provide these intravenously (usually via a central venous catheter)."

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




PSA Tasmania Success Again at Agfest : 10/06/2009 :

Once again in 2009, the Tasmanian Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia manned a tent at Agfest, Tasmania's premier rural event. Agfest  has the second highest attendance of all Australia's agricultural field days with in excess of 70,000 people attending Agfest this year. According to PSA, most of them seemed to visit the PSA tent.

Over 1600 information packs with Self Care cards, Medimates and safe drinking and smoking information were handed out. Pharmacy students and pharmacists helped children make 500 jars of hand cream for Mothers Day.  The Health Minister, Lara Giddings also visited the tent on Thursday to see the activities in full swing. Over the 3 days of the event the volunteer pharmacists and interns talked to many patrons giving general health advice, information about the safe use of medicines, and smoking cessation.

Click the photo above to see a larger version. Click the link below to see two more photos of the day.

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Poll: recommended prices for pharmacy services : 10/06/2009 :

Last week we drew 'listers' attention to a couple of published recommended price lists for notary services (here). As we pointed out in that piece, in the 'good old days' similar price lists (for products) were the norm in pharmacy.

Would you like to be able to refer to a price list in your pharmacy for professional pharmacy services, such as BP measurement, minor aliment advice, product demonstration etc?

Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm poll below.




NPS publishes medication safety literature review : 10/06/2009 :

A literature review of medication safety in the community, conducted by the National Prescribing Service (NPS), has highlighted that adverse drug events and medication errors continue to be a significant problem in Australia.

The review confirmed what most pharmacists know already - that those at highest risk of adverse events associated with medicines are older people, those with serious health conditions, those taking multiple medications, those using high risk medicines and those being transferred between community and hospital care.

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PSA applauds new ministerial appointments : 10/06/2009 :

The announcement of the establishment of a new Indigenous Health, Rural and Regional Health and Regional Services Delivery portfolio has been welcomed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.
 
President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett, said the establishment of the new portfolio was recognition of the unique and challenging issues faced by indigenous health consumers as well as those living in non-urban areas of Australia.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 10/06/2009 :

AFL Round 11 proved friendly to tippers with 42 selecting all 8 winners.The tipper who was closest to the margin was Jerry Hampton of North Hobart Pharmacy so Jerry becomes the Round 11 winner and pockets the $50, well done Jerry! In 2nd place was Teresa Fyfe of Tozers Pharmacy with 3rd place going to David Griffiths from Robina Parkway Pharmacy.

The Leaderboard at the halfway point of the season still sees Stefan Andrasek holding a 2 point lead with a score of 70, can anyone catch Stefan? Jennifer Nelson from Coady`s Pharmacy has moved up to 2nd with Matthew Brand of the Wesley/Brand Group holding onto 3rd place. Get ready for a big second half of the year! 

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Victorian pharmacists get the go ahead to supply Tamiflu without a script : 10/06/2009 :

Victorian health authorities have issued a Public Health Emergency Order authorising Victorian pharmacists (and nurses) to supply Tamiflu without a prescription.

The indication for supply is: "Prophylactic Treatment of individuals who have been nominated in writing by a registered medical practitioner to be a household contact of a clinically diagnosed case of human influenza. The nominated household contacts must be present at the time of supply, unless the supply is otherwise authorised by the Department of Human Services."

Pharmacists wanting to familiarise themselves with all of the regulatory, legal and professional requirements can do so here.

Guild President Kos Sclavos told AusPharm last night that the Guild’s Victorian Branch had been in discussions with the Victorian Department of Health for over two weeks with reference to pandemic issues and new provisions - in particular the facilitation of anti-virals. According to Mr Sclavos the discussions are ongoing.




Mirixa Australia launch imminent : 09/06/2009 :

In our story last week alerting readers to the imminent commencement of the Mirixa Australia program we provided an incorrect link to the Mirixa Australia training website (not our fault for once!).

To participate in the program both pharmacists and pharmacy assistants need to have completed the compulsory training. The correct link to access the training is here (login required).




Political interest stirs in pharmacists' chemotherapy remuneration dispute : 09/06/2009 :

Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Health Administration Mathias Cormann has bought into the pharmacists' chemotherapy remuneration dispute saying that while the measure is benignly described in the budget as ‘more efficient arrangements for the payment of benefits for chemotherapy drugs’, "in practice it is nothing more and nothing less than a $100 million budget cut to crucial chemotherapy treatment which will end up hurting patients.”

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Mark Butler new Parliamentary Secretary for Health : 09/06/2009 :

In the weekend's federal ministerial reshuffle, South Australian MP Mark Butler was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon. Mr Butler, pictured at right, replaces Senator Jan McLucas who has stepped down from her portfolio responsibilities to in order to focus on her role as Senator for Queensland.

Senator McLucas is perhaps best known to pharmacists as the person who delivered the blunt 'pharmacists must do better on CMIs' warning during her keynote speech at APP 2008.




Peter Brand awarded Member of the Order of Australia : 09/06/2009 :

Queensland pharmacy icon, Peter Brand, was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in yesterday's Queen's Birthday Honour's List. Mr Brand received the award "For service to the pharmacy profession as a practitioner and through representative and educational roles." In 2008 Mr Brand was awarded the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia's Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Government looking to introduce personal healthcare cards : 09/06/2009 :

Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon said yesterday that the government was looking to introduce 'personal healthcare cards' on which people's health records would be stored.

The system would be voluntary and people would be able to choose what information was recorded and which health professionals could have access to which information.

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Poll result: National Return and Disposal of Unwanted Medicines Project : 05/06/2009 :

This week's AusPharm poll asked 'listers how actively they promoted the National Return and Disposal of Unwanted Medicines Project. The results are shown below.

It seems that the majority of respondents (n=130) are aware of this important project, and use if not promote the project, which emphasises one of the important consumer services provided by community pharmacy.

The Return Unwanted Medicines (RUM) Project emphasises the Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) philosophy and provides a professional end point for unwanted and out-of-date medicines.   Details can be accessed via the website at www.returnmed.com.au.




ATSI traineeship funding now available to all pharmacies : 05/06/2009 :

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Pharmacy Assistant Traineeship Scheme (ATSIPATS) is now available to all community pharmacies, including those in metropolitan areas.

ATSIPATS aims to improve access to community pharmacy services by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by providing Indigenous Australian students with the opportunity to pursue a successful career in community pharmacy.

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ASMI releases Self Care Discussion Paper : 05/06/2009 :

The Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI), the peak industry body representing non-prescription consumer healthcare products has launched a discussion paper, Self Care in Australia: a roadmap toward greater personal responsibility in managing health.

The paper sets out a definition of self care, the benefits of self care and the evolution of self care internationally.  It also examines the role under self care for the major stakeholders including consumers, government, the consumer healthcare industry, private health insurers and healthcare providers including GPs, pharmacists, and allied professionals.

You can download a copy of the discussion paper here.




Dispensing fee to rise by 43c : 05/06/2009 :

The per item dispensing fee will rise by 43c on July 1. The increase is due to annual indexation (14c) and to the application of a 4th Agreement risk share arrangement (29c).

The new dispensing fee will be $6.42 for ready prepared items and $8.46 for extemporaneously prepared items.




Recommended retail prices : 04/06/2009 :

In the 'good old days' pharmacies were able to refer to a list of recommended prices for medicines. Since the advent of competition policy, such price lists have been thought to be illegal.

Where then, does this NSW example fit in the scheme of things? It is a price list for public notaries for such services as swearing affidavits, certifying copies and the like. (Click for full size).

It certainly appears to be very like those pharmacy price lists deemed illegal. Not only that - have a look at the prices suggested. Makes what pharmacists do in their capacity as Commissioners for Declarations look pretty reasonable!

A similar documents exists to Guide Victorian notaries: here.




Guild endorses Gollman robot : 04/06/2009 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, through its Gold Cross marketing arm, yesterday announced its endorsement of the Gollman Robotic Dispensary System.

Gold Cross General Manager Trevor Clarkin said the high-standard of the Gollmann Robotic Dispensary System, along with its ability to dispense up to 300 items an hour, made it the stand-out choice for Australian pharmacists.

"Pharmacists who are considering installing a robotic dispensary system will be comforted that the Pharmacy Guild of Australia has ensured this product ticks all the right boxes," he said.




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