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AusPharm news

RPSGB working hard to decriminalise dispensing errors : 04/06/2009 :

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) is keeping the pressure on British MPs to change the law regarding dispensing errors.

The Society has worked with MPs to table an Early Day Motion (EDM) to draw the attention of all MPs to the current legal situation, in which pharmacists who make a dispensing error are guilty of a criminal offense for which they can, in theory, be jailed. An EDM is similar to a petition, available to all MPs to sign and register their support.

In another initiative the Society is urging all pharmacists to write to their Member of Parliament, using this standard letter, in support of the law change.




Federal Court says no to Sigma's Efexor generic : 04/06/2009 :

In a judgement handed down yesterday the Federal Court has told Sigma to stop marketing, taking orders, selling and offering to supply its generic Efexor, Evelexa, to pharmacies.

The Court decision will remain in force until Sigma has an opportunity to test the validity of the Efexor patents in court later in 2009.




Guild urges members to embrace Mirixa, eRx : 03/06/2009 :

As the launch date for the first Mirixa Australia program approaches (late June)  the pharmacy Guild is urging members to make sure that staff who will be using the platform, both pharmacists and pharmacy assistants, have completed the compulsory training to enable them to access and use the system. You can access the training here (login required).

The Guild is also urging members to sign on for the eRx Script Exchange electronic prescription gateway. According to Guild President Kos Sclavos, it is important members assist the Guild in preparing for the next Community Pharmacy Agreement negotiations by signing on for eRx as a means of demonstrating to government that community pharmacy is effective in implementing innovative health solutions. Sign on here.




Poll: National Return and Disposal of Unwanted Medicines Project : 03/06/2009 :

'Listers will no doubt have been delighted with the 2009 Budget measure that saw the National Return and Disposal of Unwanted Medicines Project gain a $2.6 million increase in funding (over 4 years).

How actively is this initiative promoted in your pharmacy? Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm poll below.




Natural' protection from swine flu : 02/06/2009 :

This was brought to AusPharm's atention on Friday - it's from the The Test website, proudly sponsored by [ahem] AMCAL and Guardian.

Homeopathy can work in two ways:

Firstly for those who have caught the flu, homeopathy offers wonderful remedies to help support the immune system or ease the effects. Alternatively if you are particularly concerned about catching the flu (even the swine flu) some homeopathic remedies work effectively from a preventative perspective.

As an alternative to rushing out to receive your latest flu vaccine please consider that Anas Barbariae 200c is one of the world's biggest selling homeopathic remedies to prevent the flu. One dose every 3-4 weeks in flu season: Take an extra dose if exposed to someone who may have flu. Please seek a registered homeopath for further advice.

There you go then, tell your patients there's no need to worry -  just one dose of Anas Barbariae 200c every 3-4 weeks will see them right!

Seriously folks, should pharmacy be associating itself with this sort of misinformation?




June ADRAC Bulletin : 02/06/2009 :

The June ADRAC Bulletin was published yesterday.

Drugs of current interest
Drug-associated macular oedema - latanoprost and rosiglitazone
*  Drug-induced lupus erythematosus: An emerging association with TNF inhibitors
*  Metformin, dehydration and lactic acidosis
*  What to report




Biggest ever ConPharm : 01/06/2009 :

ConPharm 09, held over the weekend at the Hyatt Sanctuary Cove, has proved to be the biggest and most successful ever.

The 370 delegates saw  great speakers, experienced entertaining dinners and welcomed the announcement of Associate Professor Jeff Hughes as the 2009 Consultant Pharmacist of the Year.

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Coles withdraws Pharmacy Direct appeal : 01/06/2009 :

Back in April in our piece about the sale of Pharmacy Direct to Terry White Chemists  we wrote that "The sale also puts an end to the appeal by Coles against the Supreme Court decision that ruled the Coles ownership unlawful." The following day we were urged to publish a 'clarification' that this wasn't necessarily the case. Ever willing to please we recanted, noting that the withdrawal of the appeal wasn't necessarily a done deal.

AusPharm understands that the appeal has now been formally withdrawn. Pharmacy Direct is now confirmed safely back in pharmacy hands.




Are pharmacists our modern-day quacks? : 01/06/2009 :

Last Friday  saw an article published in Crikey authored by serial pharmacy critic and 2007 Australian Skeptic of the Year, Loretta Marron.

Ms Marron repeated her claim that, by selling (most) complementary medicines and, in some cases, promoting therapies such as Iridology and Live Blood Screening, pharmacists are abusing the trust placed in them by the public.

"By ignoring evidence-based medicine and promoting scientific nonsense, our pharmacies are clearly putting profit over patient's well-being."

You can read the full article here (must be a Crikey [paying] member or sign on for a 21 day free trial)..




RGH E-Bulletin: Hydromorphone prolonged-release (Jurnista®) : 01/06/2009 :

"A hydromorphone prolonged-release tablet (Jurnista®) was recently listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
schedule as a restricted benefit for chronic severe disabling cancer or non-cancer pain not responding to non-opioid
analgesics."

Click here to read the bulletin in full.

The E-Bulletin is archived and previous editions can be viewed on the AusPharm website here.




NPS releases post-op pain mangement DUE toolkit : 01/06/2009 :

The National Prescribing Service (NPS) has released a new drug use evaluation toolkit to assist health professionals caring for patients with acute post-operative pain.
 
The Acute postoperative pain drug use evaluation (DUE) toolkit can be used by hospitals to assess practices and ensure interventions lead to improvements in a patient’s experience of pain. It is designed to support  pharmacy and other staff in public and private hospitals to manage acute pain after surgery and assist hospitals to review practice when new drugs become available.

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NAPSA raises thousands for Fred Hollows Foundation : 01/06/2009 :

The National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA) has raised $7735.45 in support of The Fred Hollows Foundation’s Indigenous Programs in this year's inaugural NAPSA Charity Cup Campaign.

NAPSA Branches Australia-wide participated in the Charity Cup by holding events in the month of April to raise funds for The Foundation and to raise awareness of indigenous health issues.

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Look who's on the front page of the Australian online this morning : 01/06/2009 :




No CMI? : 29/05/2009 :

A few weeks back, at the request of PDL, we collectively put together a list of products that did not have a bar code to scan.

What about CMIs? Let's see if we can put together a list of products that don't have a CMI.

One that leaps to mind immediately is Panadol Osteo. Are there others? What are they?




Survival packs encourage students to go rural : 29/05/2009 :

Going bush in their pre-registration year just became easier for metropolitan pharmacy students, thanks to the Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s new ‘survival packs’.

The new packs include items to help students ‘survive’ a year in regional and remote Australia, including a phone card, hat, jellybeans, waterproof disposable camera, photo album and sunscreen.

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Swine flu : 29/05/2009 :

For those of you who haven't already bookmarked the federal government's official swine flu info page (so you can get the good oil not the hype and/or media frenzy) it's here.

The latest info from PSA is here and the Guild, here.




World No Tobacco Day : 29/05/2009 :

This coming Sunday, May 31, is World No Tobacco Day. The World Health Organization (WHO) has chosen "Tobacco Health Warnings" as the theme for this year's World No Tobacco Day.

According to WHO, picture warnings have been shown to be particularly effective at making people aware of the health risks of tobacco use and convincing them to quit.

More info is available at the WHO World No Tobacco Day website, here.or, locally, here.




FDA recommends changes to paracetamol dosing, labeling : 29/05/2009 :

An FDA working group has recommended changes to paracetamol dosing and labeling to attempt to decrease paracetamol-induced liver damage.

For OTC paracetamol, the group's recommendations include limiting the single adult dose to a maximum of 650 mg, lowering the maximum daily dose for adults from 4000 mg to no greater than 3250 mg (and less than that for chronic alcohol users) and limiting immediate-release tablet formulations for adults to 325 mg. The group also recommended paracetamol be removed from compound analgesics and that children's liquid preparations be standardised to one strength. The working group's full report is here.

An FDA Advisory Groups will meet in June to consider the working group's recommendations.




This week is Macular Degeneration Awareness Week : 28/05/2009 :

Because many people become short-sighted by the time they reach 40. Webstercare has been working on a pack that caters for low vision clients.

Low Vision (LV) is the terminology used by Vision Australia ( formerly the Royal Blind Society). When Webstercare staff visited their offices recently, they noticed that they use reverse text in their signage. Vision Australia explained that it is easier for a person with low vision to make out white text against a black background. This led to the development of the Webster-pak LV which uses a black folder with white text.

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Anaphylaxis training can save a life : 28/05/2009 :

(This is topical in light of the current AusPharmList discussion on administering flu vaccines.)

Red Cross is now offering a course in the First Aid Management of Anaphylaxis.

The organisation says it is suitable for for parents, childcare providers, teachers and sporting groups.

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