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AusPharm news

Want to find out your 'Real Age'? : 21/04/2009 :

According to RealAge, more than 27 million people have taken the test, which asks 150 or so questions about lifestyle and family history to assign a “biological age,” how young or old your habits make you. Then, RealAge makes recommendations on how to get “younger,” like taking multivitamins, eating breakfast and flossing your teeth. Nine million of those people have signed up to become RealAge members.

Ready to brave it? Click here.

The New York Times recently published an interesting account of what "Real Age' is really about. Read it here.




Jail for a dispensing error? : 21/04/2009 :

Don't be ridiculous I hear you say.

Not so ridiculous if you're in the UK where pharmacist Elizabeth Lee was recently handed a three-month jail term – suspended for 18 months – and 12 months’ supervision for dispensing beta-blockers instead of steroids to a 72-year-old patient in August 2007 (read the full story here).

In a post to AusPharmList today (here) a 'lister suggests that we allow people to post accounts of their dispensing errors anonymously so that we might all learn from the experiences of others.

For now, we're happy to try this.

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NPS urges prescribers to use independent information sources : 21/04/2009 :

Earlier this month the 2007/08 Professional Services Review (PSR) 'Report to the professions' was released. The PSR Scheme was established by Medicare to provide a peer review mechanism to deal with inappropriate prescribing or dispensing practices.

The National Prescribing Service (NPS) yesterday welcomed recommendations in the report for prescribers to refer to evidence-based sources of information when making decisions about medicines.

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New TGA scheduling documents released for comment : 20/04/2009 :

The TGA has released for public consultation two documents relating to the proposed new separate arrangements for the scheduling of medicines and poisons - a proposed Scheduling Policy Framework and a proposed Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons (SUSMP).

These documents implement recommendations of the Galbally Review and decisions of the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council. They are now available on the TGA website at: http://www.tga.gov.au/ regreform/drscheduling.htm

The deadline for providing comment is close of business Friday May 29.




RGH E-Bulletin: Complementary and alternative medicines in RA : 20/04/2009 :

"This E-Bulletin addresses the use of Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM) for patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis. The definition of CAMs used here includes practices and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine practiced by medical doctors or allied heath professionals."

Click here to read the bulletin in full.

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




Pharmacy Direct sale : 17/04/2009 :

In our piece yesterday  on the sale of Pharmacy Direct to RX Direct P/L we noted that: "The sale also puts an end to the appeal by Coles against the Supreme Court decision that ruled the Coles ownership unlawful."

AusPharm received further information yesterday that now has us believing that this may not necessarily be a done deal.

Watch this space.




Guild Insurance goes offshore : 17/04/2009 :

Guild Insurance celebrated the launch of its first international office on Monday 16 March, in Wellington New Zealand.

Mayor of Wellington Kerry Prendergast welcomed Guild Insurance's decision to pick Wellington as its New Zealand base. She said: "It's a sign of Wellington's strength in tough times that a major company is investing, creating jobs and pursuing long term growth here. It's a positive sign for Wellington’s future."

Pictured below at the launch are Brian Benger, Managing Director, Guild Group with Ian Johnson and Annabel Young, President & CEO of Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand respectively, along with John Barrington, Guild Insurance Chairman and David Brown Guild Insurance, General Manager (click for a larger image).

 




Rural scholarships announced : 17/04/2009 :

The recipients of the Rural and Remote Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme for 2009 have been announced.

Thirty-five students from across the country were awarded the scholarship which provides them with up to $40,000 during their time at university. Scholarship holders receive $10,000 each year, for up to four years of study, to help cover the costs associated with studying away from home.

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Poll result: what should we do with codeine? : 17/04/2009 :

This week's AusPharm poll asked 'listers what they thought should happen with codeine scheduling - this in light of the NDPSC's proposal to make all OTC codeine S3.

39% of the respondents to our poll (n=140) expressed the view that a shift to S3 (+/- recordable) is the way to go with many others (34%)  thinking that a STOP like system is the answer. Only 28% are satisfied with the current scheduling - 72% of respondents think that a change in scheduling is necessary (click the image for a larger version).




Pharmacy Direct back in pharmacy hands : 16/04/2009 :

Coles yesterday announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell Pharmacy Direct to RX Direct Pty Ltd, a company whose directors and shareholders are the 7 current members of the Terry White Chemists Advisory Board.

According to the Pharmacy Guild, the sale demonstrates the resolve of the Guild to prevent supermarket chains, such as Coles and Woolworths, "seeking ownership or pecuniary interests in pharmacies in contravention of the law".

Coles is thought to have made a large loss on the deal.

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April Australian Prescriber online : 16/04/2009 :

The April edition of Australian Prescriber is now available. It contains articles on:

  • Prescribing in liver disease 
  • Managing pertussis in adults    
  • Clinical use of botulinum toxin
  • Treatments for severe psoriasis: update

Visit the website to read these and other articles: www.australianprescriber.com




Dipak Sanghvi joins Guild Group Board : 16/04/2009 :

On April 1, Victorian Guild President and Gold Cross Chairman Dipak Sanghvi joined the Guild Group Board.

"It's been exciting to watch the Guild Group expand its range of services for pharmacy over the years. I now look forward to being directly involved with the Guild Group's continued growth at a Board level," Mr. Sanghvi said.




APP a big hit : 16/04/2009 :

The recent Australian Pharmacy Professional conference, held on the Gold Coast a week or so back was the biggest ever according to organisers, The Pharmacy Guild of Australia.

There were a total of 3,215 in attendance this year, including day registrations. This compares to 2500 in 2008 and 2100 in 2007. There were 210 trade stands this year compared with 175 in 2008.

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Pharmacy self care tackles arthritis : 16/04/2009 :

Arthritis affects nearly 20 per cent  of all Australians and by 2050 it is estimated that there will be 7 million Australians suffering from this often debilitating and painful condition.
 
These figures were highlighted last week with the announcement that Pharmacy Self Care, in partnership with Arthritis Australia and the Australian Rheumatology Association, has launched a targeted Arthritis Health Campaign following Arthritis Awareness Week which was held last week.

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NPS urges caution on PPIs : 16/04/2009 :

NPS yesterday launched a therapeutic program urging prescribers to use proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) judiciously.

PPIs are widely regarded as safe medicines but, according to NPS, evidence suggests they can cause serious adverse effects. For example, acute interstitial nephritis, a rare hypersensitivity reaction, has been reported following the use of all PPIs. Recent studies have also indicated that PPI use may increase the risk of Clostridium difficile infection and community-acquired pneumonia.

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Feedback sought on medicines issues in palliative care paper : 15/04/2009 :

The National Prescribing Service (NPS) is inviting health professionals and interested health organisations to provide feedback on a consultation report about medicines issues in palliative care and end of life, which will guide future NPS programs in this area.

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Poll: codeine, S3 or not? : 15/04/2009 :

There has been united opposition from pharmacy groups to The National Drugs and Poisons Schedule Committee's (NDPSC) proposal to upschedule codeine containing products to schedule 3 (pharmacist only). You can read all about it here.

What do you think should happen? Please let us know by voting in today's online poll below.




PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 15/04/2009 :

AFL round 3 seemed easy for tippers with 12 picking all 8 winners! Gai Williams from Williams & Goldby Pharmacy tipped the perfect margin to take the weekly win from Tracy Hawes and Paul Naismith, both from Fred.

Congratulations Gai, $50 is heading your way! The AFL leaderboard sees a 5 way tie at the top with Alex Hardman of Kings Meadows Capital Chemist still ahead by margin with Katie Wait of Terry White Chemists close behind. What will Round 4 bring?

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AusPharm chats to Aaron D'Souza on Mirixa : 14/04/2009 :

Aaron D'Sousa, International Vice President, Mirixa Australia, has just returned from the US, where he's been working with the US Mirixa team. Mirixa is a pharmacy specific technology which guides and delivers pharmacist medication related care programs.

While at APP recently, AusPharm's Bill Arnold caught up with Aaron.

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Want to be a NAPSA associate member? : 14/04/2009 :

The National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA) is now offering associate memberships to all in the pharmacy industry.

Associate Membership with NAPSA gets you four editions of NAPSA’s quarterly publication Placebo, four quarterly eNewsletters and invitations to all NAPSA events, including the NAPSA Congress Gala Ball, held each January and the NAPSA AGM Dinner, held each July. The annnual membership fee is $50.

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