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AusPharm news

Poll: swine flu awareness / activity : 29/04/2009 :

Swine flu is the story of the week, probably of the month and possibly of the year. The mainstream media are certainly giving the story saturation coverage - fair enough too.

How are the customers / patients in your pharmacy / department reacting to it? Is it very much the topic of the day or are people largely letting it pass them by?

Please let us know what's happening in your pharmacy / department by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm online poll below.




Medical Director to ditch ads : 29/04/2009 :

There has been debate for some time now as to the appropriateness of clinical software carrying advertising.

Medical Director, who has the bulk of the GP market has bowed to pressure from the RACGP, AMA, NPS and others, with CEO John Frost announcing on its user forum that it would  'progressively remove the advertising from Medical Director', commencing in August 2009.

The 'progressive' removal is to allow current agreements with advertisers to conclude.




PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 29/04/2009 :

NRL Round 7 was a tight tussle with 8 tippers all selecting the 8 winners ! Once again it came down to  margin and Kellie Baker from APHS was closest and wins the $50 prize, nice work Kellie!. In 2nd place was TJ Williams of Merck Sharpe and Dohme, with Peter Crump from Hastings Amcal taking 3rd.

The Leaderboard sees Julie Kain from Torrens Rd Gordon extend her lead out to 2 points with a score of 41. A group of 3 tippers on 39 includes Shane Lowcock of Figtree Plaza Chemist, Stewart Wyer also of APHS and Jeanette Vaughan from Medicare Australia. Lets tip 8 in Round 8!

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Swine flu : 28/04/2009 :

Only 'listers who have been asleep for the last 48 hours will be unaware that there is a possible global flu pandemic brewing.

For the latest news, take a look at any of the mainstream media websites (eg ABC, Fairfax, News Ltd). Links to some of the main stories are in the AusPharm 'In the News' today.

Pharmacists might however might find the following information of more immediate use.

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Chemotherapy re-imbursement changes : 28/04/2009 :

Also all over the mainstream media yesterday was the news that federal government plans to change the way it re-imbursed pharmacies dispensing chemotherapy drugs had been put on hold for two months to 'allow for further talks'.

The plan was for pharmacies to be paid only for the drugs they dispensed and not for (often unavoidable) wastage.

Links to coverage of this issue is in today's AusPharm 'In the News' section.




minfos® now Mirixa compliant : 28/04/2009 :

Pharmacy software company minfos® announced yesterday that it was now able to make patient-care initiative Mirixa available to its 650+ pharmacies across Australia.

minfos® Manager Matt Lalor said minfos® customers across the country would begin beta-testing the Mirixa system in pharmacies in the coming weeks.

“We’re thrilled to be able to offer this functionality to our member pharmacies,” Matt said.




More on NT pharmacists and condoms : 27/04/2009 :

Last Friday, AusPharm was sent a copy of the NT Dept of Health and Family's advice to its employees on their responsibilities under the new Care and Protection of Children Act 2007. Click here to have a look.

It appears to say that the legislation trumps privacy considerations but offers no guidance on, for example, how to determine the age of someone buying condoms (or, presumably pregnancy tests, EHC or other contraceptives) and, for that matter, how to determine that someone buying condoms intends to use them for sex with someone under 16 years of age.

Have any of our NT pharmacist members received any advice from your professional associations or others on how to handle this issue?




RGH E-Bulletin: Respimat® inhaler : 27/04/2009 :

"Suboptimal inhaler technique is a major barrier to effectiveness of inhalation therapy. Many patients, particularly the elderly and the very young have difficulty correctly using currently available inhaler devices. Consequently, there is ongoing research into the development of inhaler devices that are easy to use and provide improved lung deposition. The Respimat® Soft Mist inhaler is a novel, metered-dose device for delivery of inhaled drugs to patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease."

Click here to read the bulletin in full.

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




$10k on offer to rural pharmacies wanting a pre-reg : 27/04/2009 :

Rural and remote pharmacies can receive up to $10,000 to assist in the employment of a pre-reg pharmacist under a Pharmacy Guild of Australia and Department of Health and Ageing incentive scheme.

The Rural Pharmacist Pre-Registration Incentive Allowance provides financial encouragement for rural and remote community pharmacies to employ a pre-registrant pharmacist.

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Bonjela (et al): what's the go? : 27/04/2009 :

Late last week the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued a precautionary advice for topical oral pain relief gels containing salicylate salts. The new advice recommends these products not be used in children under 16-years-of-age as salicylate salts have the same effect on the body as aspirin which is already contraindicated in children under 16. The agency stressed that there are no new safety concerns and that this is a precautionary measure only.

Reckitt Benckiser Australia said that the MHRA advice was prompted by the recent review of a case of suspected Reyes Syndrome associated with the use of a teething gel containing salicylate. The review concluded that the child's symptoms were not consistent with Reyes Syndrome.

Similar advice to that issued in the UK last week has not been issued in Australia however the TGA is said to be looking into the issues raised in Britain.




PSA Tasmanian Branch funds PhD scholarship : 24/04/2009 :

Following a grant from the Tasmanian Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Auustralia three years ago, the School of Pharmacy at the University of Tasmania is able once again this year to offer a graduate research scholarship for three years study leading to a PhD.

The principal objective is to promote and develop postgraduate education research in pharmacy.

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Poll: staff internet use policy : 24/04/2009 :

This week's poll asked 'listers whether their workplace had a policy on how/whether staff can access the shop internet connection for personal use.

The results (n=111) suggest to us that most pharmacists aren't too worried about staff corrupting their systems by accessing dodgy sites. Either that or they are confident that, in 2009, with all the anti spy/virus/other malware software available that their computers' defenses are able to withstand external attack.




Drugs without barcodes : 23/04/2009 :

Back at the end of March PDL director for Tasmania, Robert Scanlon, asked us to see about getting AusPharmList members to help put together a list of dispensary products that lacked barcodes so that it could be brought to the notice of the TGA, and also publicised to pharmacists. He is delighted with the response and wishes to publicly thank the AusPharmList community for its assistance.




Pfizer Australia joins ASMI : 23/04/2009 :

Australia’s largest pharmaceutical company, Pfizer Australia, has joined up as a member to the Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI).
ASMI is the industry body representing manufacturers of over-the-counter (OTC) and complementary medicines.

Pfizer Australia and New Zealand General Manager, Established Products, Mark Crotty said membership of ASMI reflects the growth opportunities that Pfizer Australia sees in the OTC market.

 “Our investment in a more diverse range of products, including an increased range of OTC products means that there are distinct advantages in being part of a strong national industry body,” he said.




Fexofenadine to go open? : 23/04/2009 :

The National Drugs and Poisons Schedule Committee (NDPSC) yesterday called for public comment on matters before its June meeting.

While we already know that it will make a final (?) decision on upscheduling OTC codeine to S3, it will also consider a proposal to exempt fexofenadine in preparations for oral use for the short term (less than 5 days) treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis in pack sizes of not more than 10 dosage units.

Is this another category soon to be lost to pharmacy?




NT pharmacists and condoms : 23/04/2009 :

'Listers may have seen media reports yesterday to the effect that, under new underage sex laws,  pharmacists in the Northern Territory will have to report any 15-year-old buying condoms.

Guild President Kos Sclavos told AusPharm last night that the Guild has formulated a formal response which it will discuss with the NT government.

"Condoms are available in general retail environments such as petrol stations, supermarkets and even vending machines. We would be fascinated to know how these other retail establishments will monitor sales when they currently take no interest in monitoring sales of existing products they sell," he said.




FIP 2009 is in Istanbul : 22/04/2009 :

Click below to vist the Congress website.

 




Poll: staff internet use policy : 22/04/2009 :

Back at the end of 2007 there was a lively discussion on AusPharmList about (growing) staff use of Facebook, MySpace and other social networks (here). Presumably, 16 months on this is even more an issue than it was then.

Does your workplace have a policy to govern staff use of the internet while at work? Please vote in today's poll below and we'll see if we can determine how pharmacies are handling this.




Time to end self regulation of professionals? : 22/04/2009 :

"Why do we allow industries such as medicine and law to essentially regulate themselves? The answer is: We should not," writes lawyer and social commentator Greg Barnes in Monday's Hobart Mercury (here).

He goes on... "It is time that we stopped, as a society, regarding lawyers and doctors as some form of elite priesthood. It is high time they were treated in the same way as plumbers or cleaners."

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 22/04/2009 :

AFL Round 4 proved extremely difficult for tippers with the average being only 3.7 winners! This wasn’t a problem for Zac Hunter of Creswick Pharmacy who was the only tipper to select all 8 winners, well done Zac the $50 is yours! Other good efforts came from Alisha Marfatia of Point Cook Pharmacy and Greg Cooper of Newtown Pharmacy both with 7 winners.

The overall Leaderboard see's Stefan Andrasek of Echuca Hospital take the outright lead by 1 from Robert Wood of Myrtleford Community Pharmacy and Paul Costeletos* of Fred Health. Better tipping for Round 5!

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