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AusPharm news

Doctors and pharmacists : 28/05/2009 :

This in yesterday from one of our Pharma rep members.

"Just back from an interesting weekend at Sydney (Homebush) for GPCE, the doctor’s equivalent of APP. It was a very interesting experience, never having been to one before.

By far the biggest difference is the ‘pen grab’ ratio - it's much higher for GPs than it is pharmacists!"




PBAC July meeting agenda : 28/05/2009 :




Poll result: should Pharmacy Boards be more proactive? : 28/05/2009 :

This week's poll asked 'listers whether they thought Pharmacy Boards should take a more proactive stance in enforcing professional standards in pharmacies.

The result, shown below, seems clear. 89% of respondents (n=100) think they should be more proactive. 9% disagreed with this proposition and 9% told us that their local inspectors were 'pretty out there' already.

Pharmacy Boards, over to you.




Poll: should Pharmacy Boards be more proactive? : 27/05/2009 :

A few posts to AusPharmList were elicitied by last week's poll (Should pharmacy Board inspectors make an appointment?). Ron Batagol's post floated the idea that perhaps the Boards should be a little more proactive in their approach to monitoring standards in pharmacies (as opposed to waiting for a complaint to be made).  Should they, for example, be mystery shopping pharmacies to assess their performance on Nurofen Plus/Mersyndol etc (with appropriate sanctions imposed on those who don't measure up)?

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




PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 27/05/2009 :

NRL Round 11 was easy work for tippers with 38 selecting all 8 winners, so the margin again becomes crucial! Congratulations to Jeanette Vaughan of Medicare Australia who tipped the margin perfectly and takes out the weekly win, the $50 is yours to spend.

Last weeks winner, locum Ken Sternes, kept up his good form to come 2nd with Paul Downes of Essendon Pharmacy in 3rd place. Overall Jeanette Vaughan of Medicare Australia's good form has taken her to the top of the Leaderboard with Shane Lowcock from Figtree Plaza Chemist and Andrew Siu of Herforts YouSave Pharmacy just 1 point behind in 2nd and 3rd placing. It’s your turn in Round 12!

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This week is Kidney Health Week : 27/05/2009 :

The number of Australians becoming sick and dying from kidney failure is rising rapidly, largely due to avoidable lifestyle factors such as high blood pressure.

In 2007, diseases of the kidney and urinary tract jumped into the top 10 leading causes of death among Australians, with 3,230 deaths. Many of these deaths could have been prevented. Risk factors for chronic kidney disease include diabetes and high blood pressure. Other contributing factors may include tobacco smoking and physical inactivity.

Pharmacists have an opportunity to help prevent kidney disease by assisting their hypertensive patients achieve and maintain good blood pressure control.

For more information, visit the Kidney Health Australia website: http://www.kidney.org.au/




SBS Insight: Doctors and Drugs : 27/05/2009 :

Last night's SBS TV Insight program was indeed an interesting watch. It looked at the relationship between Big Pharma and doctors, focusing on the influence Pharma marketing has on prescribing decisions. Both sides in the debate had 'wins' on the night.

If you missed it you can watch it here later.




Tassie students wow the public during Pharmacy Week : 26/05/2009 :

Last Thursday at Centrepoint shopping centre in Hobart the Tasmanian Association of Pharmacy Students (TAPS) manned a stall to provide health information to shoppers and to raise awareness of the pharmacy profession and Tasmanian students as the future of pharmacy inj that state.

The Tasmanian branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia lent their support for the event, providing pharmacists and PSA representatives. The Tasmanian PSA branch is currently running a smoking cessation campaign and TAPS were able to incorporate this as a main theme for the stall. The group provided Quit packs, self-care fact cards and referrals to Quit services.

Pictured at the stall are: Paquita Sutherland, Helen Howarth, Kathryn Law, Leah Hodgkinson, Mel Homan and and Kathleen Shearer (click the picture to see a lerger version). 




Swine flu update : 26/05/2009 :

PSA yesterday released a paper to update the current situation regarding swine influenza and to provide information to help PSA members with public enquiries. You can get it on the PSA website here.

There was also an interesting swine flu piece in yesterday's Crikey (here), from Peter Collignon, Infectious Diseases Physician and Microbiologist and Professor, School of Clinical Medicine, Australian National University.




PSA Annual General Meeting : 25/05/2009 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia will be holding its annual general meeting at the Hotel Realm, 18 National Circuit, Barton, ACT 2600, on Wednesday, 3 June 2009 at 5.45pm.

You can download a proxy form here and the PSA 2008 Annual Report here.




RGH E-Bulletin: Metoclopramide and movement disorders : 25/05/2009 :

"Patients receiving long-term metoclopramide treatment are at risk for tardive dyskinesia. Tardive dyskinesia is one of the clinical manifestations of drug-induced movement disorders along with akathisia, dystonia and parkinsonism. It is a hyperkinetic movement disorder characterized by involuntary, repetitive movements of the extremities, or lip smacking, grimacing, tongue protrusion, rapid eye movements or blinking, puckering and pursing of the lips, or impaired movement of the fingers."

Click here to read the bulletin in full.

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

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This week is Macular Degeneration Awareness Week : 25/05/2009 :

As a means of raising community awareness of macular degeneration (MD) during Macular Degeneration Awareness Week, the Macular Degeneration Foundation are promoting the importance of diet in preventing MD.
 
“MD Awareness Week is an opportunity for all Australians to have their eyes tested (making sure the macula is checked), to understand the symptoms of MD for early detection and to start making simple, everyday dietary and lifestyle changes; the same way they would for heart disease or diabetes, ” said Chief Executive Officer of the MD Foundation, Julie Heraghty.

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Former Guild CEO re-surfaces : 25/05/2009 :

Former Pharmacy Guild Executive Director (2006-2008) and former CEO of Medicines Australia (2003-2006), Kieran Schneemann, has re-entered the pharma industry as a government lobbyist for Astra Zeneca. Industry media outlet PharmainFocus reports that Mr Schneeman is now Astra Zeneca's Government Affairs Director, Market Access Division.

Mr Schneeman, pictured at right, resigned his position at the Guild suddenly in July 2008 to pursue other interests.

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AusPharm CE: RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 12 : 23/05/2009 :

We recently published the latest in our series of online CE activities for 2009, the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 12.

This CE activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins (Volumes 33-10 to 34-1  --> April-May 2009).

  • Renal colic
  • Complementary and alternative medicines in RA
  • Respimat® inhaler
  • Premarin® and Premia Continuous®

Click here to do this Continuing Education activity.

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

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2007-08 National Health Survey results released : 22/05/2009 :

The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently released the results of the 2007-08 National Health Survey.

These show that the majority of Australians (56%) consider themselves to be in very good or excellent health. The proportion of people reporting fair or poor health increased with age, from 7% of those aged 15–24 years to 32% of those aged 65 years and over.

Although most people reported they were in good health or better, 77% of the total population reported that they had one or more long term medical conditions. 

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Poll result: Pharmacy Board inspectors : 22/05/2009 :

This week's poll asked 'listers whether they thought Pharmacy Board Inspectors should 'cold call' or whether they should make an appointment. After allowing for the 'they haven't visited me for ages' results 60% of those responding (n=187) thought that pharmacy inspectors should just turn up.

Perhaps these are the 'good', board compliant pharmacies  .

Oh, don't miss this week's (Board Inspector) Joke of the week below.

Post a comment to AusPharmList.




Chemotherapy pharmacists keep the pressure on : 22/05/2009 :

Pharmacists involved in dispensing chemotherapy drugs are keeping the pressure on the federal government to reverse its decision to implement the Intravenous Chemotherapy Supply Program (ICSP). The program would see pharmacists paid only for the drugs they dispense and not for any (unavoidable) wastage.

The Community Pharmacy Chemotherapy Services Group has engaged professional campaign strategists to help it get its message out to the public that the proposed measure places at risk the delivery of private chemotherapy services, particularly in regional areas. A series of regionally tailored media releases, alerting members of the public to the dangers in the new scheme, has been issued by the group in recent days (eg here).

The group is urging all concerned residents to write to the Federal Minister for Health and Ageing and their local state and federal members to have the ICSP overturned.




Most pharmacotherapy programs still run in community pharmacy : 22/05/2009 :

Over 41,000 clients were being treated for dependence on opioid drugs such as heroin as at 30 June 2008, according to the National Opioid Pharmacotherapy Statistics Annual Data collection: 2008 Report, released yesterday by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). According to the report, over 85% of dosing sites were located in pharmacies.

About 70% of all clients were receiving methadone and the remainder received buprenorphine or buprenorphine / naloxone. The proportion of clients receiving the combination drug increased between 2006 and 2008.

'This combination product is now more commonly used as a treatment for opioid dependence than buprenorphine alone because it is believed the combination product reduces the risk of inappropriate use,' report author Amber Jefferson said.

You can get a copy of the report on the AIHW website here.




Large spike in paracetamol poisonings : 22/05/2009 :

New figures from the NSW Poisons Information Centre show it received more than 8,000 calls regarding suspected paracetamol overdose last year, half of them in children.

The Centre provides information regarding human poisoning to the general public and health care professionals, across New South Wales 24 hours a day and after-hours to the remainder of Australia.

It received more than 119,000 calls from throughout Australia last year, with almost 80,000 from NSW, 50 per cent relating to accidental poisoning in children.

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Fred Health launches industry first online resource for users : 22/05/2009 :

Fred Health yesterday launched the Fred Help Centre, a free new online space designed to provide Fred customers with additional support and resources.

The new resource provides one space for pharmacists to access product updates and information, tutorials, and demonstrations, as well as to provide direct feedback about technology directions and features.

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