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AusPharm news

RGH E-Bulletin: Parasomnias and psychiatric adverse effects with zolpidem : 09/02/2009 :

The topic of this week's RGH E-Bulletin is Parasomnias and psychiatric adverse effects with zolpidem.

"The term parasomnia is used in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to refer to disorders involving abnormal behavioural or physiological events occurring in association with sleep, specific sleep stages, or sleep-wake transitions."

Click here to read the bulletin in full.

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




CPD Accreditation a national first for PSA : 09/02/2009 :

The Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) has announced that the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) is the first Australian pharmacy organisation to be authorised to accredit providers of continuing professional development (CPD).

APC has been assigned the accreditation functions for pharmacy under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme to be introduced 1 July 2010.

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NPS: don't switch brands with anti-epileptic drugs : 09/02/2009 :

NPS has urged doctors and pharmacists to exercise care when considering brand substitution for anti-epileptic drugs used for epilepsy, even if they are listed as bioequivalent on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

NPS says that questions have been raised with it about whether brands of anti-epileptic drugs used for epilepsy should be substituted. According to NPS, patients have also reported being offered alternative brands by pharmacy staff despite the 'brand substitution not permitted' box being checked.

"Once a patient's epilepsy is under control, the brand of medicine they are prescribed should not be changed," NPS CEO, Dr Lynn Weekes said.

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AusPharm to submit to National Primary Health Care Strategy Discussion Paper : 09/02/2009 :

AusPharm is intending to lodge its own submission to the National Primary Health Care Strategy Discussion Paper. It will be based on comments posted by AusPharmListers.

Each day until Friday 20th February a topic from one of the 10 'Elements'  of Primary Health Care described in the National Primary Health Care Discussion Paper will be posted (click here for today's post).

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PSA RTO status : 09/02/2009 :

The Australian Colege of Pharmacy Practice and Management has congratulated the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia on achieving accreditation as a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

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Pharmacists prominent in new National Medicines Policy structure : 09/02/2009 :

Last Friday the Federal Government announced arrangements for the new advisory structure to support Australia’s National Medicines Policy.

The new three-tiered structure comprises:

  • a National Medicines Policy Executive
  • a National Medicines Policy Committee
  • an annual National Medicines Policy Partnerships Forum.

Professor Andrew McLachlan, Professor of Pharmacy (Aged Care) at the University of Sydney, pictured at right, will chair the National Medicines Policy Committee. Professor McLachlan will also provide expertise in the area of pharmacy.

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NAPSA Congress rock Perth : 06/02/2009 :

Late in January, the University of Western Australia hosted 250 pharmacy students from 12 Pharmacy Schools around the country at the National Australian Pharmacy Students Association annual Congress. Delegates were accommodated at Trinity College and St Catherine’s College at the University in Crawley.

This year’s theme was Evolution, encouraging delegates to challenge their perception of the profession and to consider what pharmacy will look like in the future. This theme echoes the theme from NAPSA Congress 2004, when it was last held in Perth: The Future of Pharmacy.

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Poll result: emergency supply : 06/02/2009 :

This AusPharm poll asked 'listers to tell us what they do when a patient needs an 'emergency' supply of their Avapro.

The result, shown below, confirms AusPharm's belief that the three day rule isn't adhered to all that closely in a lot of pharmacies anyway.

With 70% of respondents owning up to giving out a full box at least sometimes, it seems to us that the Guild initiative aimed at changing the 'emergency' quantity to 'one pack' is an idea whose time has come!

Click the link to see the result in detail.

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Poll: emergency supply : 05/02/2009 :

A week or so back AusPharm reported on a Pharmacy Guild initiative that may see the 'three day' emergency supply rule replaced with a much more sensible setup in which patients who are deemed to need an emergency supply of one of their regular meds could be supplied with a standard PBS pack instead of just three days supply.

AusPharm's mail (look away Medicare, state health departments) is that this is, in fact, what occurs in many pharmacies already.

What happens in the pharmacy you work in when a patients needs, say, some Avapro and has run out of scripts? Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm poll below. We'll publish the rsult of today's poll tomorrow morning.




PSA gets RTO status : 05/02/2009 :

The newly unified Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has been accepted as a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) after undergoing a demanding and robust audit process conducted through the federal Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

Recognition as an RTO enables the PSA to deliver nationally recognised courses and use the nationally recognised training logo on qualifications, statements of attainment and promotional material.

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Community pharmacy to benefit from tax break for small business : 05/02/2009 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia said yesterday that it welcomed the boost for small business contained in the Federal Government’s economic rescue package.

According to the Guild, the measure comes at the right time to encourage community pharmacies to make productive investments, particularly in computer hardware and advanced colour printers that may be associated with beneficial new technologies, such as MedsIndex and the imminent introduction of Mirixa Australia, the Guild’s innovative online software platform.

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AusPharm CE: Dementia : 05/02/2009 :

Next week, AusPharm will  be commencing its 2009 Continuing Education Program.

Watch this space!

In the meantime, you might like to have a look at an activitiy we first published back in May last year, Dementia. It was put together for us by Juanita Westbury and Dr Shane Jackson

Click here to do this Continuing Education activity now.

As a special treat for our non premium members (so that you can see what you're missing out on), we've made it available to ALL registered AusPharm members (not just premium members) for THE NEXT WEEK ONLY (until 12/2/09).

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Report maps pharmaceuticals future : 04/02/2009 :

Last week, Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, released a report outlining a 10 year plan for the pharmaceuticals industry.

The report was produced by the Pharmaceuticals Industry Strategy Group. Its recommendations aim to help secure the Australian pharmaceuticals industry's future through attracting investment in high value research and development, clinical trials and specialised manufacturing activity.

"The pharmaceuticals industry is important to Australia. Not only does it provide high-wage, high-skill jobs for 40,000 people, it is Australia's second largest exporter of manufactured goods and spends $860 million annually on research and development," Senator Carr said.

A copy of the full report is available here.




Poll result: do patients find pharmacist counselling unwelcome? : 04/02/2009 :

Maybe, according to the result of this week's poll.

While AusPharm is receptive to Bruce Moffat's pitch that counselling is essential, whether or not patients like it, this result suggests to us that *the way pharmacists counsel* might need some work.

As Stuart Baker wrote "If patients keep telling you they don't want something to the extent that our 'counselling' becomes the subject of comedy skits then surely that is enough of a sign to indicate that something is wrong with the [whole] process."

Click the link to see the result in detail.

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Pharmacy Guild donations to political parties : 03/02/2009 :

'Listers with an eye to political news in Australia will have seen a number of reports in yesterday's media about donations to political parties in the lead up to the 2007 federal election.

AusPharm didn't see pharmacy mentioned at all in any of these so we went to the Australian Electoral Commission's (AEC) donation database and did a number of searches to see whether any pharmacy related entities were present.

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A new Pharmacy Self Care : 03/02/2009 :

A new Pharmacy Self Care membership package has been launched to provide more value to members as well as greater access to the program’s resources for members and their staff.

The new package will also encourage greater use of the program’s key resources, most particularly the Fact Cards and inPHARMation.

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New issue of Australian Prescriber hits the streets : 03/02/2009 :

The February issue of Australia Prescriber, published online yesterday contains a number of articles likely to be of interest to pharmacists.

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Poll: is pharmacist counselling unwelcome? : 02/02/2009 :

Stuart Baker raised an interesting point in an AusPharmList post last Friday; that pharmacists sometimes 'counsel' when it is unwelcome.

"Pharmacy has it all wrong - we should wait until somebody asks for help or information (that's how you know they want some). Pharmacy started this 'counselling' years ago without ever finding out if patients want it - they don't. It's driven by Official Pharmacy, not by patients, and not by many pharmacists although some of the latter think it's actually important."

Do pharmacists counsel when it is unwelcome? Please let us know what you think by voting in today's AusPharm poll below.




Little effect on community pharmacy from first price disclosure price reductions : 02/02/2009 :

Last Friday, the Department of Health and Ageing announced the price reductions that would flow through as a result of the first round of price disclosure. These will come into play on August 1, 2009.

The drugs affected are doxorubicin, meloxicam, mitozantrone and ondansetron. The only one of these particularly relevant to community pharmacy is meloxicam - its price will drop by 22%.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Ambulatory glycaemic control – recent developments : 02/02/2009 :

The topic of this week's RGH E-Bulletin is Ambulatory glycaemic control – recent developments.

"Three recent studies – ACCORD, ADVANCE and VADT – have given cause to re-examine the intensity of outpatient
glycaemic control for diabetes."

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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