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AusPharm news

Images of PAC 2008 : 27/10/2008 :

The 2008 Pharmacy Australia Congress held over the weekend in Perth was a colourful affair to say the least.

Pictured below are the student finalists in the PSA Alphapharm Pharmacy Student of the Year Counselling Competition. Click the image to see a larger version. Click the 'More' link below to see a photo collage of PAC 2008.

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Two share PSA Pharmacist of the Year award : 27/10/2008 :

Queenslander Dr Lisa Nissen and Victorian Angelo Pricolo are the joint recipients of the 2008 PSA Pharmacist of the Year award.

The award has been shared by the two after the judges were unable to separate them during their deliberations. Award sponsor Symbion has confirmed that both joint winners will receive the full $8,000 travel scholarship prize.

Tasmanian Dr Luke Bereznicki won the Young Pharmacist of the Year award and Queenslander Peter Brand won this year's Lifetime Achiever award.

Pictured below (L to R) are award sponsor Symbion Pharmacy's Patrick Davies, Peter Brand, Dr Luke Bereznicki, PSA National President Warwick Plunkett, Dr Lisa Nissen and Angelo Pricolo (click the photo to see a larger version).

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Debbie Rigby FPS : 27/10/2008 :

In recognition of her enormous contribution to the pharmacy profession in general and to the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia in particular, Debbie was awarded PSA Fellowship at the Pharmacy Australia Congress, held in Perth over the weekend.

Debbie pictured below with PSA President Warwick Plunkett after receiving her Fellowship (click the image to see a larger version).




Poll result: how often does your pharmacy hold staff meetings? : 24/10/2008 :

This week's poll (n=136) demonstrated once again that pharmacy is a broad church, exhibiting behaviour right across any possible range.

In the context of frequency of staff meetings, the range is well spread from never to often. If we were to hypothesise anything from this outcome it might be that larger pharmacies meet regularly and smaller ones less so, perhaps because it is easier for them to stay informed and cohesive 'on the fly'

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Guild completes head office restructure : 24/10/2008 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s National Secretariat, located in Canberra, has completed an organisational restructure ahead of crucial Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement negotiations.

The restructuring process commenced in 2007, with most of the new structure taking effect on 1 July 2008.

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PBS offline's degrading performance : 24/10/2008 :

ahem...


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How long does it take the TGA to evaluate a prescription medicine? : 23/10/2008 :

Last week the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) published updated information for pharmaceutical companies on the time they could expect the TGA to take to evaluate an application for registration of a prescription medicine.

If you've ever wondered how this process works, all is revealed here.




Blackmores steams along : 23/10/2008 :

In a further demonstration of the love affair consumers have with complementary medicines Blackmores yesterday announced a 3.4% growth in sales and an 18% growth in first quarter profits for the period ending Sept 30 2008 compared to the previous year.

In a statement provided to the stock exchange yesterday Blackmores Chairman Marcus Blackmore notes that the present economic conditions will present challenges over the course of the next 9 months and may impact on the companies cost of goods (and, by extension, profit) for the rest of financial year 2008/09.




Pharmacy assistant of the year named : 23/10/2008 :

Victorian pharmacy assistant Dianne James, from Priceline Pharmacy Warragul in Victoria, has been named the National Pharmacy Assistant of the Year.

The award acknowledges the vital support role that pharmacy assistants play in pharmacy in providing quality healthcare with service, advice and professional standards.

Dianne is pictured below after receiving her award at the Pharmacy Assistant Conference held in Queensland last weekend with Pharmacy Guild CEO Wendy Phillips and award sponsor GSK's Markus Windhofer (click the image to see a larger version).

 




PSA: NPS campaign represents a fruitful collaboration : 22/10/2008 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia welcomed yesterday’s launch of the National Prescribing Service’s Generic medicines are an equal choice campaign.

PSA Vice-President Dr Shane Jackson said, “The campaign is an excellent demonstration of collaboration between key pharmacy organisations and PSA has been pleased to have played a part in its development."

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Poll: how often does your pharmacy have staff meetings? : 22/10/2008 :

Staff meetings are generally acknowledged to be an essential part of contemporary workplaces, including pharmacies. They help to keep everyone informed as to what's happening in the pharmacy, offer opportunities for staff training and help to create a sense of cohesiveness and teamwork.

How often are staff meetings held in the pharmacy you work in? Please let us know by ticking the appropriate box in today's AusPharm poll below.




NHMRC grants anounced : 21/10/2008 :

A total of 688 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants, worth more than $357 million, were announced last week.

A group from Sydney University, headed by Associate Professor Helen Reddel, receives $443,000 for a project "Optimising medication adherence in general practice" and a group headed by Professor Shane Darke, from the University of NSW, has been granted $143,000 for a project "Diversion and misuse of ADHD medication".

The full list of grants is available on the NHMRC website here.




As the sun goes down on PAC 2008 : 21/10/2008 :

Picture yourself – Sunday night October 26th, watching the sun go down over the Indian Ocean, a glass of WA wine in your hand, reminiscing about the highlights of the past three days. I wonder what these memories would be. Possibly the new insights presented by the speakers, the interaction with sponsor representatives, the Gala Dinner, the special interest groups day on the Friday, or even the Pharmacists’ Golf Day on the Thursday.

If you want these memories, you have very little time to register for PAC 2008 here in Perth so you had better “hustle your bustle”.

Fill out your forms and get them in quickly or register on line at the PSA web site.

PAC 2008
Perth Convention Exhibition Centre,
October 24-26.




NPS generic medicines awareness campaign to launch soon : 21/10/2008 :

National Prescribing Service’s generic medicines consumer awareness campaign is set to begin later this month with a multi-faceted campaign including a series of television commercials, an online marketing campaign, in-pharmacy advertising, and a tool kit for pharmacy staff (see below). It also includes a range of community-based activities that will focus on seniors and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

The Generic medicines are an equal choice campaign launches with television commercials, which include two 30-second and two 15-second features, and will air for two weeks on all stations in regional and metropolitan areas from October 27.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Fenofibrate : 20/10/2008 :

The topic of this week's RGH E-Bulletin is Fenofibrate.

"Fenofibrate is a fibric acid derivative. It improves lipid profiles by activating the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha (PPARα) which results in increased lipolysis and clearance of atherogenic triglyceride (TG) rich lipoprotein. It predominantly has effects on TG, small dense LDL particles and HDL. Fenofibrate appears to be a full agonist of PPARα where gemfibrozil is only a partial agonist."

Click here to read the bulletin in full.

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




October ADRAC Bulletin : 20/10/2008 :

The October 2008 edition of the Australian Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRAC) Bulletin has now been released. Featured in this ADRAC bulletin are items on:

The full ADRAC Bulletin is available on the TGA website here.




Fred Help offers money-back guarantee : 20/10/2008 :

Fred Health is now offering a money-back guarantee for help desk support along with a new three tiered priority level service.

The new service is designed to allow Fred to respond to and resolve issues in the shortest time possible.

The new triage approach means that Fred Help can prioritise and resolve any critical issues, such as those stopping a pharmacy from dispensing, as quickly as possible.

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More than 2300 pharmacies now registered for PMP Program : 20/10/2008 :

More than 2300 pharmacies have now registered for the Patient Medication Profile (PMP) Program which started early this year. The Program provides eligible patients with a comprehensive profile or list of all of the medicines they are taking, including prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines.

The PMP Program is continually being improved to provide better patient outcomes. As of the beginning of October, colour images are to be included in all profiles provided by the pharmacist. This allows the patient to be able to quickly identify their medication visually. A database of images is available for the most commonly prescribed solid-oral medications listed on the PBS. This database is readily available to PMP software providers and will increase over time to include more and more medications.

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Australia Measures Up – national obesity campaign : 20/10/2008 :

A new national advertising campaign to tackle obesity launched on TV last night.

Measure Up encourages Australians to measure their waists. Measuring the waist is a simple check to determine the risk of developing a lifestyle-related chronic disease.

For most Australians a waist measurement of over 94 centimetres for men and 80 centimetres for women signals an increased risk of developing a chronic disease. If the measurement is over 102 centimetres for men and 88 centimetres for women, the level of risk greatly increases.

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Pharmacy workforce survey : 17/10/2008 :

In December 2007, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia commenced a comprehensive review of the state of the pharmacy workforce.

The review includes a number of independent studies which will highlight the supply and demand issues affecting the current and future workforce.

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