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AusPharm news

Poll: does your pharmacy perform blood pressure checks? : 19/11/2008 :

Following on from yesterday's announcement that free blood pressure checks will become de rigueur in Queensland pharmacies from early next year as part of the $2.6 million "Know Your Numbers" program - an initiative of the National Stroke Foundation and Pharmacy Guild, AusPharm thought it worth checking the status quo in pharmacies when it comes to offering blood pressure checks.

Does the pharmacy you work in perform blood pressure checks? Who for? Is the service you offer free or does it require a patient contribution? Please let us know what happens in your pharmacy by ticking the appropriate box in today's poll below.




RGH HOSPITAL PHARMACY VACATION SCHOLARSHIP : 18/11/2008 :

The Pharmacy Department at the Repatriation General Hospital is widely regarded as a leading provider of excellent hospital pharmacy services. Staffed by a team of respected practitioners with the backing of high quality resources and a quality work environment, the Pharmacy Department at the Repat has offered an excellent learning environment for pharmacy students over many years.

An opportunity exists for an outstanding pharmacy student to undertake a vacation scholarship in the Repat Hospital Pharmacy over the coming summer. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to learn more about hospitals, healthcare, and hospital pharmacy by participating in the activities of department over a six week period.

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Best practice drug use in aged care : 18/11/2008 :

The National Prescribing Service (NPS) has developed a free quality improvement tool to assist pharmacists determine the appropriateness of analgesic use by the residents of aged care facilities. According to NPS, pain is common among aged care residents and is often under-treated.

Analgesic use for persistent pain in aged care homes Drug Use Evaluation (DUE) is the third DUE toolkit available from NPS. The first focused on reviewing the use of hypnotics (benzodiazepine and non-benzodiazepine) in treating insomnia, while the second DUE centered on antipsychotic drugs in the behavioural disturbance of dementia.

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Queensland pharmacies team up with state government in primary care initiative : 18/11/2008 :

Free blood pressure checks will be available in local pharmacies in Queensland early in 2009.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said the $2.6 million commitment meant that from February next year up to 300 pharmacies across the State would offer free checks as part of the Know Your Numbers program – an initiative of the National Stroke Foundation and Pharmacy Guild.

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Esipram(R) poll result : 18/11/2008 :

This week's poll asked 'listers whether their pharmacy stocks Esipram(R), the generic escitalopram only available from DHL with credit card payment in advance. The results (n=78) show that 31% of our respondents' pharmacies don't stock it at all. This compares to our April poll that returned a 48% 'not stock' result.

Seems pharmacists are slow to adapt to supply arrangements outside the 'traditional' ones. AusPharm is surprised at the 31% 'not stock' outcome - the pharmacies we work in bit the bullet and now stock Esipram(R), thereby avoiding significant angst in explaining to patients that 'we only have the dearer (by $5- $7!) brand.

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Perth PAC - where were you? : 17/11/2008 :

Thanks to those 'listers who've already returned the Perth PAC questionnaires. Just a reminder to those who haven't that there's still time to do so. Read on.....

Perth recently hosted the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia's major educational event of the year - the 14th annual Pharmacy Australia Congress (PAC). The theme for this conference was "inspiration innovation motivation" with many keynote speakers not usually on the pharmacy conference circuit, thus giving it a uniquely local flavour.
 
It's sometimes thought that Perth is too far away from the eastern states to hold a national conference, yet sandgropers are expected to make the pilgrimage over to the east with regularity. What may surprise many, however, is the fact that less than 10% of the delegates in Perth were WA locals, which begs the question, "why?”.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Neurological uses of botulinum toxin A : 17/11/2008 :

The topic of this week's RGH E-Bulletin is Neurological uses of botulinum toxin A.

"The detailed pharmacology of botulinum toxin A have been discussed in a previous E-Bulletin (Vol 30 (4): May 26,
2008. Briefly, botulinum toxin A inhibits acetylcholine exocytosis. If no acetylcholine is available to stimulate receptors n muscle fibre, chemical denervation and muscle paralysis ensue. Botulinum toxin (especially type A) has found pplications in the management of symptoms associated with various neurological disorders."

Click here to read the bulletin in full.

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




Generics tool kit products available to order : 17/11/2008 :

Pharmacists wanting to purchase more prescription intake forms, ancillary labels or repeat folders that were sent out as part of the National Prescribing Service (NPS) generic medicines campaign tool kit are now able to do so.

The products, developed by the NPS in partnership with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA), are part of the Generics are an equal choice campaign and were sent to all community pharmacies throughout Australia in October.

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Future Vision for Health: Minister Roxon addresses Guild Dinner : 14/11/2008 :

Health Minister Nicola Roxon MHR, addressing the Pharmacy Guild Annual Dinner in Canberra on Wednesday night, described the Rudd Government's commitment to take big steps where needed to reform healthcare, developing innovative solutions to meet healthcare challenges across the short, medium and long term, and outlined their intent to take the time "to consult, to consider and to get it right".

Minister Roxon, whose parents are pharmacists, noted the severe national shortage of GPs increased the imperative for people to develop trusting relationships with their local pharmacist. She envisages the Government's focus on front-line community care and preventative medicine should allow pharmacists to "more fully utilise your extensive training, knowledge and skills".

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Guild announces Mirixa roadshow : 14/11/2008 :

The Pharmacy Guild announced yesterday that a series of seminars would be held around Australia early in 2009 to prepare the ground for the national launch of Mirixa Australia at the APP conference in April.

Mirixa is an online software platform which will enable systemised implementation of medication related care programs. The first is an adherence/compliance program targeted at chronic therapy patients to assist them to better adhere to their medicines regimen.

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PBS script numbers down : 14/11/2008 :

At the end of this financial year pharmacists will have dispensed around 60 million fewer prescriptions than the Guild and the Government signed off on when the Fourth Community Pharmacy Agreement was signed in November 2005.

By the end of the Fourth Agreement in June 2010, the Guild predicts there will have been at least 100 million fewer prescriptions than originally forecast in the Agreement.

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Poll result: will pharmacists soon be an important and essential part of the healthcare team? : 14/11/2008 :

This week's poll picked up on Young Pharmacist of the Year, Luke Bereznicki's, recent comments that to realise his vision for pharmacy, pharmacists need to be "considered without reservation as an important and essential part of the healthcare team." We asked 'listers to vote on how close they think the the profession is to this.

The response to our poll (n=158) suggests that many think there is still some work to do, with 27% saying that 'big change is needed" and another 27% saying that 'quite a bit needs to change'. On the other hand, a third of respondents (34%) think that the general direction of current efforts is 'mostly right with some change in direction required'. 9% think that things are pretty much on track but that 'some change in focus is required'.

So, if change is required, what is the nature of the change and what action is required to bring it about? Click the link below to see a detailed view of the poll results.

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MIMs provides medication images for PMP program : 13/11/2008 :

MIMS Australia has compiled a database of tablet and capsule images for the top 250 PBS-listed medicines and has made them available, free of charge, to healthcare professionals and participants in The Patient Medication Program (PMP). The PMP program is currently in phase 1 of a trial in over 2000 pharmacies around Australia. 

Software providers who are supplying the profiles within their software need to have all images for medicines in the top 250 PBS items.

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One in three type 1 patients manipulating insulin for weight control : 13/11/2008 :

On the eve of the tomorrow's 2008 World Diabetes Day, Australian healthcare professionals are being called on by Diabetes Australia to recognise the high rates of insulin manipulation in people with type 1 diabetes and the possible links to mental health, following the release of new research which shows one in three (32.9 per cent) people with type 1 diabetes regularly skip their insulin injections in a bid to lose weight.

Developed by Diabetes Australia - Vic and the Centre for Adolescent Health, the report titled ‘Insulin Misuse for Weight Loss’, highlights that almost half (48.5 per cent) of those who skip their insulin intake, do so daily, with a further one in four (28.5 per cent) doing so on a weekly basis. 

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ASMI appoints new Regulatory & Technical Manager for Complementary Medicines : 12/11/2008 :

The Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI) yesterday announced the appointment of Ms Ruth Kendon as its new Regulatory & Technical Manager for Complementary Medicines.

Ms Kendon is a practising naturopath and herbalist based in Sydney. She has degrees in Naturopathy and Botanical Medicine and has spent 24 years in private practice. She has also taught clinical nutrition and served on the Board of Directors of the National Herbalists’ Association of Australia.

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Tassie graduates step out : 12/11/2008 :

At a cocktail reception held in Hobart last week this year's Tasmanian pharmacy graduates were presented with certificates signaling the successful completion of their Pharmacy Board pre-registration examination.

This annual event provides an opportunity for the profession to acknowledge and congratulate graduates on their achievements to date. It is an event looked forward to on the Tasmanian pharmacy calendar and this year's event was well attended by local pharmacy luminaries.

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MIMS October Prescribing Update : 11/11/2008 :

The MIMS November 2008 prescribing update is now available.

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Mentor Program Launched : 11/11/2008 :

The Australian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists (ASCEPT) is launching a Mentoring program at its Brisbane Careers Symposium on November 17th as a complimentary benefit to its members.

The program is designed for those with qualifications and experience or interest in the pharmacological or toxicological sciences and will be of particular interest to students, new investigators and those looking for a change in direction, according to program convenor, Dr Lynette Fernandes.

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ABC Learning collapse will have no impact on pharmacy : 11/11/2008 :

Some 'listers would be aware that Guild Insurance provides insurance cover for ABC Learning. As many would also be insured with Guild, they may be wondering what impact ABC's demise will have on Guild and on pharmacy generally. 

The short answer, according to Guild Insurance, is minimal impact on Guild - and no impact on pharmacy or your insurance.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Choice of antiplatelet agent for secondary prevention of stroke : 10/11/2008 :

The topic of this week's RGH E-Bulletin is Choice of antiplatelet agent for secondary prevention of stroke.

"The risk of recurrent stroke is as high as 43% over 10 years. Antiplatelet therapy is an accepted strategy for reduction in this risk. The common choices are aspirin, aspirin plus extended release Dipyridamole (ASA-ESDP), and clopidogrel. When selecting an antiplatelet there should be consideration of co-morbidities (especially acute coronary disease), tolerance, and recurrence of stroke while on an antiplatelet."

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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