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AusPharm news

Register for PMP, DAA before August for added incentive : 21/05/2009 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has urged all community pharmacies to register before the end of July to participate in Phase 2 of the Dose Administration Aids (DAA) program, as well as the Patient Medication Profile program.

Pharmacies registering in July 2009 will be eligible for the full incentive payment of $2,250 for DAA and $1,250 for PMP (+GST). Registrations will still be accepted after July, but a lesser incentive payment will apply.

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Drug company hit with $25,000 fine : 21/05/2009 :

'Listers may recall reading a few weeks back that a Melbourne Research Institute, the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, had done a deal with French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi-Aventis that would see it receiving 25c for each pack of Plavix sold.

Concerns were raised at the time about the appropriateness of such close ties between researchers and a drug company and a formal complaint was lodged with Medicines Australia by public health advocate Dr Ken Harvey.

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NPS PPI Pharmacy Practice Review now available : 21/05/2009 :

The National Prescribing Service (NPS) has developed a new Pharmacy Practice Review to support pharmacists to deliver best practice care for patients prescribed proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). It is called Pharmacy Practice Review – a counselling and action resource: Quality use of prescription Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs).

“The NPS Pharmacy Practice Reviews allow pharmacists to self-assess their practice against pharmacist competencies and professional practice standards to determine training and development needs,” NPS Deputy CEO, Karen Kaye said.

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Poll: should Pharmacy Board inspectors make an appointment : 20/05/2009 :

AusPharm has received a couple of emails in the last week or so complaining about Pharmacy Board inspectors arriving unannounced in their pharmacies to do an inspection. The gripe is that they disrupt workflow and are distracting because they require your attention. One 'lister suggested a poll and, ever wanting to please, here it is!

Please vote in today's poll below to let us know what you think.

Pharmacists offered inducements on Vioxx? : 20/05/2009 :

A story in yesterday's Australian on the Vioxx class action currently underway in Melbourne contained the passage:

"The court also heard of the "incentivise" program by the Merck marketing team in Australia to use pharmacists to recommend suitable patients talk to their doctor about Vioxx. When pressed Ms Dobson said she could not remember the exact incentives but they may have given out Merck manuals to pharmacists who helped them.

"(The aim of the program was) to ask patients that were buying paracetamol whether they were happy ... (and say) there are new medicines available and why don't you ask your doctor," she said.

This is news to AusPharm, who owned a pharmacy at the time. Does anyone recall being offered 'incentives'?

PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 20/05/2009 :

An incredibly easy round for tippers with all the favoured teams getting up, as a result there were an amazing 212 tippers scoring perfect 8's! There were also 7 tippers with the correct margin, total margin became the deciding factor which left Roland Mosterd from Medicare Australia as the weekly winner. Congratulations Roland the $50 is yours! In 2nd place was Juanita Nelson also from Medicare Australia with Nicole Rollis of The Circle Pharmacy in 3rd place.

Overall we see Stefan Andrasek of Echuca Hospital again take the outright lead by 1. Esther Robson from Gordon Pharmacy and Chris Warne of Beaconsfield Pharmacy are holding 2nd and 3rd placings respectively. Again the margin is proving vital in deciding results, think margin in Round 9!

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1948 article on penicillin : 19/05/2009 :

A 'lister came across this magazine article while rooting through an old storeroom of his mothers recently.

Also, note in the ad at left that Aspirin does not harm the stomach!

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beyondblue launches youth website : 19/05/2009 :

Yesterday in Melbourne beyondblue: the national depression initiative launched a series of TV, cinema, radio and print advertisements and its new Youthbeyondblue website aimed at raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of depression, anxiety and associated drug and alcohol problems among young people – and where to get help.

The message is: “Help someone find a way back from anxiety and depression."

beyondblue Chairman Jeff Kennett said: “These advertisements are so realistic, everyone will be moved by the message and circumstances of the characters. The campaign will help beyondblue to get the message out to young people and their parents that depression and anxiety are common and effective treatments are available.”

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Two new medicine evaluation tools for aged care facilities : 18/05/2009 :

Two new Drug Use Evaluation (DUE) tools have been developed by the National Prescribing Service (NPS) to assist health professionals working in aged care facilities with optimal drug therapy relating to laxative use, and hypnotics.
The NPS DUE toolkits provide localised activities to compare current drug use against best practice and guide health professionals in their decision making to achieve the best outcomes for patients. 

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RGH E-Bulletin: The polypill : 18/05/2009 :

"Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. What if there was one tablet that could reduce heart disease by 80%. Too good to be true?

The concept of the “polypill” was first published in 2003 when Wald and Law conducted a theoretical projection analysis of a single pill which contained six drugs."

Click here to read the bulletin in full.

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

UK pharmacy techs to be registered : 18/05/2009 :

From July 1, 2009 UK pharmacy technicians, except in Ireland, will need to be registered with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.

The Society will, however, allow a two-year ‘grand-parenting’ period to make the transition easier for those not already voluntarily registered with the Society. After this date qualification requirements will change and those who have not registered will need to hold specific qualifications in order to do so.

The new legislation gives pharmacy technicians the status of belonging to a health profession recognised in statute. It also enshrines their rights to practise as a pharmacy technician, and to use that formal title, anywhere in Great Britain.

Tassie pharmacists star in TV QUIT smoking ad : 18/05/2009 :

An advertising campaign is currently running on Tasmanian commercial television stations urguing smokers wanting to quit to 'Talk to your local pharmacist'.  The ads will run until World No Tobacco Day on 31st May.

Since 6th March this year 89 fax referral forms have been received by QUIT Tasmania from pharmacies across the State with contact information of smokers who would like to give up. Each of these forms represents the willingness of community pharmacists to make a difference in the health of the population. In addition it demonstrates to the State Health Department that pharmacists can effectively implement health initiatives. Click the play button to watch the ad (800kb, 15 secs).

PSA budget analysis : 15/05/2009 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has posted its budget analysis on the PSA website.

You can read it here.

Poll: I wash my hands at work..... : 15/05/2009 :

Following the emergence of swine flu and in the week after the launch of the National Hand Hygiene Initiative we asked 'listers to tell us how often they wash their hands at work. The results (n=144) are shown below.

Possibly, in an ideal world, there would be more 'frequently's' than there are.

An issue we didn't raise in our poll was how people wash there hands, cursorily (a bit of a splash under a cold tap) or properly, as demonstrated here.

NSW pharmacist appointed to high level health panel : 15/05/2009 :

Helen Dowling, Area Director of Pharmacy within Hunter New England Health and former Federal President of SHPA has been appointed as one of the six members of the Independent Panel to monitor progress on NSW’s reform of the State’s public hospital system.

Minister for Health, John Della Bosca has established the panel to regularly audit progress and to provide a transparent monitoring process for Caring Together.

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Federal Budget 2009/10 : 14/05/2009 :

There are 12 budget related media releases in the AusPharm inbox this morning as we begin to finalise today's AusPharm. Time considerations prevent us from doing any detailed commentary on all of this however the highlights appear below.

The Pharmacy Guild's commentary (and the budget bottom line for community pharmacy) begins:

"There is much for community pharmacists to ponder in Budget’09 – but fortunately the feared attacks on pharmacy viability have not materialised."

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Sigma tracking well : 14/05/2009 :

Sigma Pharmaceuticals held its annual general meeting in Melbourne on Tuesday morning. The company had already announced its financial results back in March - these were in line with expectations; earnings before income tax came in at $190 million (+20% on previous year) on the back of sales of $3,081 million (+3.9%).

Chairman John Stocker told shareholders at the AGM that credit and pricing approval was in place for the company's financing needs through until 2011. A final dividend of 4c a share was declared (full year 7c).

Sigma CEO Elmo de Alwis commented that Sigma was well positioned to weather the global financial crisis and economic downturn, with earnings relatively insulated from economic cycles.

You can have a look at the AGM presentation in full here.

Gingko biloba: are your customers getting what they pay for? : 14/05/2009 :

A recent Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) investigation has revealed that 6 of a sample of 20 Australian complementary medicine products containing gingko biloba tested as part of the investigation may not have contained the gingko content specified.

The investigation was prompted bv allegations received by the TGA last year that some gingko containing products may contain adulterants (rutin and quercetin), added to give the appearance of higher quality.

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British Society escalates its call for the decriminalisation of dispensing errors : 14/05/2009 :

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain’s (RPSGB) Council is pressing the British government for an urgent change in legislation to decriminalise dispensing errors.

In the UK pharmacists automatically commit a criminal offence each time they make a dispensing error. However, experts on medical safety all agree that a disproportionate response to human errors makes systems less safe, as accidents become hidden and driven underground. No one learns where the system is unsafe, so it cannot be made safer for others.

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PSA: Preventative health care focus welcomed : 14/05/2009 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has welcomed the Federal Budget’s focus on preventative care and its moves to encourage multidisciplinary primary care teams.  

PSA says it believes these initiatives are consistent with the broader approach to preventative health care demonstrated by the reviews commenced by the Rudd Government, including the Preventative Health Task Force, the Primary Health Care Strategy and the Health Reform Commission.

The President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Warwick Plunkett, said these initiatives are a positive step forward in the provision of primary health services across the nation.

“However, it is disappointing that the Government doesn’t yet grasp the key role that pharmacists can play in the primary care team as the most accessible health professionals,” Mr Plunkett said. 

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