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AusPharm news

2008 NSW Pharmacy Intern of the Year : 19/12/2008 :

The Saccasan Bailey NSW 2008 Pharmacy Intern of the Year Award has been awarded to Fiona Taylor from the West Gosford Pharmacy for her dedication, passion and “down to earth” approach.

The Saccasan Bailey NSW 2008 Pharmacy Intern of the Year Award recognises the achievements of interns who have demonstrated outstanding skills in the supervised registration training year. It identifies those who are striving to raise standards and who, through their professionalism, provide a model of practice standards.

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Third Round of Funding Available for Rural Pharmacy Projects : 18/12/2008 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia is inviting submissions for small healthcare projects in rural and remote communities in the third round of available funding.



As part of the Small Project Funding Scheme, grants of up to $20,000 are available for projects that provide health benefits to rural communities and display a capacity to continue these benefits after completion. 

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Fred applauds national e-health strategy : 18/12/2008 :

Fred Health yesterday came out in support of the Australian Government’s new National E-health Strategy, released at the Australian Health Ministers Conference on 12 December.

Paul Naismith, CEO of Fred Health, says, “Fred Health fully supports an approach that sees pharmacists and prescribers taking a major role in advancing e-health in Australia.

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Intern Placements Research Project report published : 17/12/2008 :

The results of a research project, commissioned by the Australian Pharmacy Council, looking at issues around pharmacy student intern placement has now been published.

"Far more pharmacists hold positive views about the preceptor role than hold negative ones";
"While all students can tell negative and positive stories about the experience, there is some evidence that overall their experience is less positive than it might be."

While much speculation has taken place on the availability and long term viability of intern placements and the attitude of preceptors, very little research has been conducted to support theories.

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Poll: how's Christmas trading going? : 17/12/2008 :

In a post to AusPharmList on Monday Christopher Morris wrote: "I don't know what's happening elsewhere but we've broken all sorts of records since the middle of last week." Chris's comment was provoked by a news story "Bleak Christmas ahead for retailers ".

How's Christmas trading in the pharmacy you work in? Bleak? Normal? Up? Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll below.




Most bosses pay for the festive cheer! : 17/12/2008 :

Monday's poll asked 'listers whether or not their pharmacy had a Christmas party and, if it did, who paid.

Seems that Christmas spirit is still very much alive in Australian pharmacies: 96% of pharmacists responding to our poll (n=183) report that theire pharmacy does celebrate Christmas with a party or a dinner. Better still, 88% of bosses foot the entire bill for the event, confirming what we all knew already, that pharmacy bosses are generous folk!

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Telephone interpreting services extended for pharmacies : 17/12/2008 :

Free telephone interpreting services will be extended to pharmacies across Australia on an ongoing basis.

The government's Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) recently conducted a 6 month pilot extension of free telephone interpreting services during which 331 participating pharmacies were provided with unlimited access to telephone interpreting services, 24 hours a day.

The pilot showed that pharmacies using the service found it to be a valuable tool when communicating with non-English speakers and would use it again.

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National eHealth strategy published : 16/12/2008 :

In early 2008 Deloitte was commissioned by the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council to develop a strategic framework and plan to guide national coordination and collaboration in E-Health. The Deloitte report has now been published.

The strategy developed adopts a staged approach to developing E-Health capabilities in Australia to allow for existing capability and the underlying variation in capacity across the health sector. It acknowedges the core foundations of a national eHealth system, and identifies priority areas where this can be progressively extended to support health reform in Australia. 

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Bah! More Christmas Paperwork! : 16/12/2008 :

A heads up for readers of AusPharm with small children, who will doubtless be shaking their heads at the latest bureaucratic impost for the month, in the busy run up to Christmas.

Rumour has it Santa has had a visit from a battalion of time and motion consultants, who have recommended he only visit children this year who have lodged a correctly completed Santa Visit Application Form. To make sure the nearest and dearest of our subscribers don't miss out, we've procured for you a leaked copy of the document...

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Poll: Does your pharmacy have a Christmas party / dinner? : 15/12/2008 :

As Christmas gets closer many 'listers will have already attended their pharmacy (department)'s Christmas celebration. Does your pharmacy have a Christmas party / dinner? If so, who pays?

Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm poll below.




CIS report: an interview with the author : 15/12/2008 :

Last week AusPharm reported  on a Centre for Independent Studies report critical of community pharmacy's 'protected' position in the Australian marketplace. After the report's release Author David Gadiel was interviewed by the ABC's Richard Aedy and the interview aired on ABC Radio's Life Matters program.

You can listen to it (or download an .mp3) here.




RGH E-Bulletin: Other therapies for prevention / treatment of dementia (part 2) : 15/12/2008 :

The topic of this week's RGH E-Bulletin is Other therapies for prevention / treatment of dementia (part 2).

"Following last week’s E-bulletin, further potential approaches are explored in this edition....

......Ginkgo biloba, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins), Hormone therapy (HT), NSAIDs, Vitamin E."

Click here to read the bulletin in full.

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




AusPharm Continuing Education : 14/12/2008 :

This week's AusPharm CE activity is Issue no 8 of the RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin CPD Digest.

We'll be publishing this activity on Tuesday morning. The topics covered in Issue No 8 are:

* Varenicline and mental disorders
* Safety of inhaled bronchodilators in COPD
* Other therapies for prevention/treatment of dementia (part 1)
* Other therapies for prevention/treatment of dementia (part 2)

We'll be publishing this activity on Tuesday morning.

In the meantime, click here to visit the AusPharm Continuing Education page where there are links to all of our CE activities.


AusPharm gratefully acknowledges the financial support provided by the sponsors of our CE program, MIMS and The Australian Medicines Handbook.




Centre for Independent Studies goes after community pharmacy : 12/12/2008 :

In a report published yesterday, authored by political economist David Gadiel, the Centre for Independent Studies has taken a big swipe at community pharmacy in Australia.

The report claims that the regulatory environment that governs community pharmacy has created one of Australia’s most protected industries.

"It is a beneficiary of government largesse and central regulation and control in state, territory, and commonwealth jurisdictions. Entry barriers, ownership restrictions, exclusive rights to sell certain types of medicine scheduled as ‘poisons,’ and an exclusive agency relationship in distributing pharmaceuticals listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, have led to community pharmacy acquiring considerable market power."

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NPS recommendations to government on complementary medicine information : 12/12/2008 :

Recommendations have been made to Government following research conducted by the National Prescribing Service Ltd (NPS) into the complementary medicine information needs and uses of consumers, GPs and pharmacists.

In the final reports released yesterday, NPS suggested a series of strategies and activities to ensure Australians are using complementary medicines safely and effectively.

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Poll Result: Christmas Decorations : 12/12/2008 :

Well Deck the Stores & Fa la la la la. It's official - AusPharm pharmacists are seriously partial to a spot of tinsel about the place!

Our latest poll asked whether the pharmacy you work in chose to display Christmas decorations - or not, out of deference to religious or cultural sensitivities in our increasingly multicultural society.

Of 110 respondents, an overwhelming majority (91%) of pharmacies do decorate for Christmas. Only 7% said they didn't decorate out of consideration to their customers who don't celebrate Christmas. The other 2 teensy smudges on the graph represent the 1% of folk who said they hadn't previously given thought to the issue of cultural sensitivity & the 1% of folk who just aren't into the whole bells & baubles & boughs & decking scene. Click link for more chart detail.

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Delaat: PBS an investment, not a cost : 11/12/2008 :

In a speech to the National Press Club yesterday, Medicines Australia Chairman Will Delaat urged the Government not to reduce funding for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in the 2009 Federal Budget. Mr Delaat said such a move would result in higher costs elsewhere in the healthcare system.

Mr Delaat said any cut to PBS spending would impact negatively on patient health outcomes. He said reducing the PBS as a short-term cost-saving measure would be a false economy.

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Sanofi letter causes a stir : 11/12/2008 :

Pharmacies received a faxed letter (here) on Tuesday from sanofi-aventis informing them that 'an error had occurred regarding the level of brand price premiums on several sanofi-aventis products'. The letter 'encouraged' pharmacists to charge a corrected PBS price with the 'correct' price to patients provided in the letter.

Sadly (for sanofi-aventis) there are 3 PBS claimable items on the list and, as all pharmacists know, reducing the price of these items is a big no no.

In a member newsletter sent to Guild members yesterday Guild President Kos Sclavos reminded members that they did not have any discretion to reduce the PBS price on claimable items. He expressed 'disappointment' that the Guild was not consulted by sanofi-aventis before they faxed the letter out.




First indigenous pharmacy completes her studies at Charles Darwin University : 11/12/2008 :

Indigenous Australian Simone Liddy, pictured below, recently completed the final year of her Bachelor of Pharmacy studies at the Northern Territory's Charles Darwin University. In addition to completing her studies, Simone maintained her status as an elite athlete with the Northern Territory Institute of Sport, representing the Territory in hockey and, in 2007, becoming a rookie member of the Northern Territory Pearls.

Simone is a member of the Northern Territory Indigenous Education Council and, in 2007, she was named NAIDOC Youth of the Year. Earlier this year Simone was named Northern Territory Young Australian of the Year for 2008. This year, Simone was also the recipient of a scholarship through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme.




Reform of PBS medication supply in aged care facilities and private hospitals - have your say : 10/12/2008 :

A review of PBS medication supply arrangements in residential aged care facilities and prviate hospitals is now underway. Read on to learn how you can provide input into the review.

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The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is designed to allow access to cost-effective and high-quality medicines for all Australians in a timely, reliable and affordable way. Since the 1950s the PBS system has worked well in the community setting.

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