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AusPharm news

Start your Clinical Pharmacy studies this July : 01/06/2015 :

The University of Tasmania has a special offer in 2015 for registered pharmacists across Australia to increase their clinical pharmacy practice knowledge and skills.

Students who enrol into the fully online and part-time Professional Honours in Clinical Pharmacy (M4Q) in Semester 2, 2015 will receive a 100% HECS waiver* for the entire course.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Thalidomide-induced peripheral neuropathy : 01/06/2015 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Thalidomide-induced peripheral neuropathy.

"The outcomes of patients with multiple myeloma (MM) have significantly improved with the introduction of regimens incorporating the oral immunomodulators thalidomide and lenalidomide. In combination with other agents, thalidomide and lenalidomide have increased response rates and prolonged survival before and after autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (ASCT), and are routinely incorporated into the treatment of those with newly diagnosed MM and at relapse for those not eligible for ASCT."

Click here to read the bulletin in full. The E‑Bulletins are archived on the AusPharmList website here.

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SHPA concerned about lack of detail and patient focus of 6CPA : 01/06/2015 :

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) said yesterday it is concerned about the 'lack of detail and patient focus' in the recently signed 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA).

The organisation drew particular attention to the strong focus in 6CPA on programs and services delivered through the four walls of a community pharmacy saying the Agreement should provide broader scope for pharmacists to practise and deliver professional services independently, such as through HMR and RMMR services provided by independent accredited pharmacists.

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Monash University student named Victorian Pharmacy Student of the Year : 01/06/2015 :

Monash University pharmacy student Amanda Horiniak has been named Victorian Pharmacy Student of the Year.

Ms Horiniak was described by the judges as a highly motivated, enthusiastic and passionate student who was looking forward to her future career as a pharmacist.

The judges said the competition was very close and all the competitors displayed a great depth of knowledge which they combined very effectively with strong communication skills during the counselling competition.

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Two share AACP Consultant Pharmacist of the Year Award : 01/06/2015 :

Joy Gailer and Dr Shane Jackson have been named as joint recipients of the 2015 AACP MIMS Consultant Pharmacist of the Year Award.

South Australia-based Joy and Tasmania-based Shane were presented with their awards at the Australian Association of Consultant Pharmacy (AACP) annual seminar ConPharm '15, held in Melbourne from 29 to 31 May.

The award recognises an outstanding contribution by an accredited pharmacist to the practice of consultant pharmacy. It includes a medallion and certificate, plus a travel grant to the value of $5,000 to attend a pharmacy conference of relevance to the practice of consultant pharmacy.  MIMS Australia  is the award sponsor.

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Pharmacists: Indian generics OK : 30/05/2015 :

In the context of a recent post to AusPharmList questioning the wisdom (safety?) of using prescription medicines made in India we asked 'listers how they handled this issue in their day to day practice.

Perhaps unsurprisingly fewer concerns were expressed than in an almost identical poll we ran two years ago, just after the issue had received some media attention following an FDA ban on the import into the USA of products from a particular Indian factory.

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PBAC publishes criteria for delisting low cost PBS items : 29/05/2015 :

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) has made public the principles it considers when deciding whether to delist low cost OTC medicines.

One of the PBS savings measures officially announced by Health Minister Sussan Ley this week was that some comparatively low-cost over-the-counter medicines - many of which can be bought for below the price of the PBS concessional co-payment -  are to be removed from the PBS.

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AMA wants pharmacists in general practice : 29/05/2015 :

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has lodged a proposal with Government, developed jointly with the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, to incorporate non-dispensing pharmacists into the general practice health care team.

Under the proposal, pharmacists within general practices would assist with services such as medication management, providing patients with education on their medications, and supporting GP prescribing with advice on medication interactions and newly available medications.

“A PSA forum will be held in Sydney on Monday 24 August to discuss this area of practice,” Mr Kardachi said.

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PSA and Aspen Pharmacare Australia innovation grants nominations close Monday : 29/05/2015 :

Applications for the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and Aspen Pharmacare Australia’s Innovation Grants, recognising and celebrating innovation in pharmacy through sustainable business practices, close on Monday 1 June.

The new grants seek to identify and pursue innovative ways to improve customer satisfaction and engagement, business profitability and sales growth in all areas of pharmacy practice.

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TWC buys Chemplus - correction : 29/05/2015 :

In yesterday's AusPharm we reported that Chemplus Chief Executive Officer, Nick Tsamaidis, will join the board of TWC Group Investments Limited  (TWCGIL).

This is incorrect.

Chemplus Chairman Scott McGregor is to join the board of TWCGIL.

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6th Community Pharmacy Agreement signed : 28/05/2015 :

The 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement - to run from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2015 - was formally signed yesterday by Health Minster Sussan Ley for the government and Guild President George Tambassis and Executive Director David Quilty for the Pharmacy Guild.

The Agreement encompasses pharmacy remuneration for dispensing PBS and RPBS subsidised medicines; wholesaler remuneration including the Community Service Obligation; the Pharmacy Location Rules; and Professional Programs and Services.

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HMRS / RMMRs - devil may be in the detail : 28/05/2015 :

While welcoming much of the content of the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement, consultant clinical pharmacist Debbie Rigby said yesterday that, for accredited pharmacists, the devil may still be in the detail.

"It’s great that funding continues for profession pharmacy programs like HMRs and RMMRs and it's is also notable that the terminology has changed to ‘Community Pharmacy Programs’", said Ms Rigby. 

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Big pharma gets a deal too : 28/05/2015 :

Peak pharma group, Medicines Australia (MA), yesterday agreed to sign a ‘Letter of Intent’ with the Australian Government for a 5-year strategic agreement covering in-patent PBS drugs.

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TWC buys Chemplus : 28/05/2015 :

Chemplus - the company that supports the South Australian pharmacy network of the same name - has been acquired by Terry White Management that the compnmay says is 'a strategic move to futureproof its member pharmacies'.

The deal sees TWC Group Investments Limited (TWCGIL) – the parent entity that owns the Terry White Management business and the Terry White Chemists brand – purchasing all shares in Chemplus for $2.76 million with the transaction to be completed on July 31.

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Poll: are you comfortable supplying medicines made in India? : 27/05/2015 :

A post to AusPharmList this week once again raised the issue of whether or not medicines made in India are likely to have been manufactured according to acceptable QA standards.

Some cases where this has not been so have certainly featured in the media in recent years. On the other hand, Australian regulatory agency the Therapeutic Goods Administration works hard to ensure the relevant standards are met.

What do you think? Are Indian medicines 'suspect' or are you satisfied they are produced according to appropriate QA standards. Please let us know what you think by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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PBS sustainability package to be announced today? : 27/05/2015 :

Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley will today formally announce a number of changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme according to a report in today's Fairfax newspapers.

The changes have all been widely foreshadowed and include further price disclosure measures, ongoing incentives to encourage consumers to use generic drugs and mandatory price reductions for on patent drugs 5 years after they are PBS listed.

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Council elects new President : 27/05/2015 :

At this week’s meeting of the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) Debra Rowett was elected as the Council's next President, taking over from John Low.

At the same meeting Professor Nick Shaw was elected as Vice President replacing Ms Rowett.

Ms Rowett is a pharmacist and the Director, Drug and Therapeutics Information Service at the Repatriation General Hospital in her home state of South Australia. Her particular areas of interest are in aged care, palliative care, pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacovigilance. She also has a strong interest in health policy and workforce development.

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Sanofi diabetes education highlights pharmacist role : 27/05/2015 :

Pharma company Sanofi has called on the Federal Government co-fund a GP diabetes education program, called the Insulin Leadership Summit (ILS), aimed at reducing a growing financial burden on the Australian healthcare system.

The ILS education program, which has been running for six years, is delivered by GPs and provides GPs with the necessary information and capability to deliver appropriate insulin management for patients with type 2 diabetes.

The ILS highlights the role pharmacists can play in improving adherence to insulin therapy as part of the multidisciplinary healthcare team.

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Epic donation from Queensland pharmacists : 27/05/2015 :

Queensland pharmacists Stuart Giles and Cathie Reid have pledged to donate $1 million over five years to the Hawthorn Footy club’s Indigenous program.

The donation was made through Mr Giles and Ms Reid's Epic Good Foundation.

The significant financial contribution, which will expand and ensure the sustainability of the club’s Indigenous program, was announced at a morning tea on Tuesday attended by Hawthorn President Andrew Newbold, CEO Stuart Fox and the Hawks’ five Indigenous stars Shaun Burgoyne, Cyril Rioli, Bradley Hill, Jed Anderson and Jermaine Miller-Lewis.

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Breaking news --> 6th CPA to be signed today : 27/05/2015 :

The Pharmacy Guild announced this morning that the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement will be formally signed today.

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