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AusPharm news

National electronic prescribing still online with new Fred Health initiative : 03/09/2008 :

Fred Health announced yesterday that it is launching a new initiative called eRx Script Exchange to develop national electronic prescribing.

In partnership with Simpl (New Zealand) and Microsoft Australia, the new initiative will create a secure, encrypted gateway for pharmacies and doctors to exchange prescriptions electronically.

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VCP graduate claims major award at FIP : 03/09/2008 :

During the FIP 2008 opening ceremony in Basel, Switzerland, Victorian College of Pharmacy graduate Dr Jennifer Dressman was presented with the 2008 FIP Distinguished Science award. The award is presented biennially in even years to an individual or group who has made outstanding contribution to the pharmaceutical sciences.

Dr Dressman graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the Victorian College of Pharmacy in Melbourne, Australia in 1976 and is still a registered pharmacist in Victoria. She has greatly contributed to the pharmaceutical community as a pharmacist, lecturer, professor, scientist, author and editor. You can read the full FIP award citation here.




US pharmacist wins 2008 André Bédat Award : 03/09/2008 :

US pharmacist Dr Albert I. Wertheimer has been awarded the 2008 André Bédat Award. This award is the premier award presented biennially by FIP to a pharmacist who has made an outstanding contribution to international pharmacy.

In addition to a holding a myriad of research and academic posts, Dr Wertheimer practiced as both a community and hospital pharmacist throughout his career, owning his own community pharmacy in Minneapolis, USA for nearly 20 years. He has been the recipient of countless accolades for his work and was a Council Member and President of the FIP Academic Section from 1984-1990 and Council Member and Vice President of FIP from 1990-1998.

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Klacid® Liquid now on PBS : 02/09/2008 :

From 1 September 2008, the liquid form of clarithromycin will be available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for the treatment of pertussis or ‘whooping cough’, and for atypical Mycobacterium infections.

More info is available at the Federal Department of Health and Ageing website here.




Sydney Uni pharmacy students win National Student Business Plan Competition : 02/09/2008 :

A team of University of Sydney pharmacy students has won the National Student Business Plan Competition, an Australia-wide challenge that gives entrants real-life experience in setting up a small pharmacy business. The Sydney Uni students beat teams from the University of Queensland and Griffith University in Sunday’s final at the Pharmacy Women’s Congress in Melbourne.

The University of Sydney team, comprising captain Daniel Rifkin and team members Jane Xie, Anjana Rao, Daniel Galanos, Lisa Kouladjian and Eva Ling, were praised for an innovative proposal that focused on environmentally friendly business practices. The team and university will share $6000 in prize money and have their names engraved on the competition’s perpetual trophy.

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Project STOP praised for privacy protection : 01/09/2008 :

Project STOP was recently named a finalist in the inaugural Australian Privacy Awards. The winners were announced at a ceremony held in Sydney on Wednesday 27 August with STOP just missing out on the prize in the Community and NGO Award category.

“The Guild is very proud of Project STOP’s privacy record. Even after over 1.5 million transactions have been processed through the program, there has yet to be a single complaint about privacy or the way in which pharmacists, as administrators, have handled personal information,” National President of the Guild Kos Sclavos said.

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The penultimate PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 01/09/2008 :

The final AFL Round, # 22, saw 3 tipsters select all 8 winners.  The closest to the margin was Nam Nguyen from Peter Green Pharmacy so Nam becomes our last weekly prize winner for 2010. Well done to Nam and all our weekly winners for this season of PHARMeFOOTY. In 2nd place was Sue Proctor of Burden Chem Elizabeth with Chris Hick from University of Sydney in 3rd spot.

NRL Round 25 saw 3 tipsters select all 8 winners correctly. Beth McLean from Terry White Chemists -Tweed Centro had the best margin and is the weekly winner, congratulations Beth. In 2nd place was Nerida Croker from Rose Bay North Pharmacy with Andy Aitken of Cooloola Pharmacy in 3rd spot.

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SIGMA says 'We know nothing' : 29/08/2008 :

'Listers with SIGMA shares may have noticed that its share price has jumped considerably in the last week or so. This prompted the stock exchange (ASX) to enquire of SIGMA whether it knew of any reason for this.

The SIGMA response was that it was not aware of any reason for the share price spike. It made mention of the speculation in Tuesday's Financial Review that Hedge Funds 'were positioning for a break up of the drug maker and wholesaler' and commented that it 'is not currently considering a break up of the company'.

You can read the ASX letter to SIGMA and its response to the ASX here




Poll result: How do you send your scripts to Medicare? : 29/08/2008 :

This week's AusPharm online poll followed up on Damien Louttit's recent post which asked: "I have been sending my claim prescriptions to Medicare via Australia Post just as a "Regular Parcel" and realise this could be risky if it gets lost. What do you do?"

The results of the poll are shown below. Clearly, most pharmacies favour secure delivery. AusPharm wonders what the one 'dissenter' does. Carrier pigeon?




Senate knocks back PBS cost recovery legislation : 29/08/2008 :

Opposition senators and independent senator Steve Fielding yesterday voted down the government's National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical and Other Benefits—Cost Recovery) Bill 2008 which would have imposed significant PBS listing fees on pharma companies seeking to list new PBS drugs.

Medicines Australia, who represent big pharma in Australia, issues a statement in response saying "the pharmaceutical industry believes there has not been adequate consultation on the PBS Cost-Recovery proposal.  At the very least today’s outcome should ensure appropriate and comprehensive consultation on issues fundamental to the sustainability of the PBS.”




Promotion overdo$e? : 28/08/2008 :

Consumer advocate CHOICE yesterday released a report, Promotion overdo$e, which found that most GPs have far more contact with drug reps than with the National Prescribing Service's medical educators. Only one third of doctors surveyed said they'd seen an NPS medical educator. By contrast the report said that 65% of GPs surveyed saw more than five drug reps a month, with 34% receiving more than 10 visits.

CHOICE says that the government needs to invest more money in independent medical education so that GPs are able to receive regular updates on new drugs from sources free from industry influence.

There are links to mainstream media stories about the CHOICE report in todays' AusPharm 'In the news' section here and you can read the report in full here at the CHOICE website. 




August Cochrane News now available : 27/08/2008 :

The August 2008 Cochrane News is now available from the Cochrane Collaboration website.

It contains information about new Cochrane entities, updates about diagnostic test reviews and the activities of other Review Groups and Cochrane Centres. You can download the newsletter here.

NB: Please note the links here have been updated - those posted initially were incorrect.




Poll: transport of scripts to Medicare : 27/08/2008 :

A week or so back Damien Louttit wrote: "I have been sending my claim prescriptions to Medicare via Australia Post just as a "Regular Parcel" and realise this could be risky if it gets lost. What do you do?"

Well, let's find out. Please let us know what happens in your pharmacy by voting in today's AusPharm poll below.




Rigby resigns from PSA Board : 26/08/2008 :

In a move certain to disappoint pharmacists around Australia, just months into its first term, Debbie Rigby has resigned as a Director of the Board of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

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Did you know that double the industry average of consultant pharmacists take out AusPharm premium subscriptions? : 26/08/2008 :

While AusPharm's new online CE is attracting many new members to AusPharm, consultant pharmacists have been over-represented in the ranks of AusPharm premium members since registrations for premium membership first opened in August 2006.

AusPharm premium members get full access to all of the feature articles, Debbie Rigby's weekly Research Roundup, Peter Allen's Practice Pearls, the AusPharm CE and much more. Premium members, also, can choose to receive the full text of new AusPharmList posts in their inbox each morning in our daily AusPharm(e)news.

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Want to have your say on the scheduling of codeine/ibuprofen combinations? : 26/08/2008 :

At it's June meeting, the National Drugs and Poisons Schedule Committee (NDPSC) decided to leave in place the current scheduling for ibuprofen-codeine combination pain-relief products. It did, however, foreshadow a review of packs sizes allowable in both schedule two and schedule three (here).

It will be cosidering these issues at its October meeting and has invited interested parties to make a submission. The closing date is September 10. Details are available here.




Guild Victorian President returned : 26/08/2008 :

Diphak Sanghvi, pictured at right, has been re-elected President of the Victorian Branch of The Pharmacy Guild of Australia.

Three Vice Presidents were also elected in the recent Branch Committee elections; Rob Foster, Toni Riley and Bruce Robertson.

The apointments will all take effect from September 30.




Rigby resigns from PSA Board : 26/08/2008 :

In a move certain to disappoint pharmacists around Australia, just months into its first term, Debbie Rigby has resigned as a Director of the Board of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

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Increased risk of cancer with Vytorin? : 25/08/2008 :

Citing results from from the SEAS trial (Simvastatin and Ezetimibe in Aortic Stenosis), the FDA issued an 'early communication' on Friday noting that it is investigating a report that ezetimibe/simvastatin (Vytorin) use may increase the risk of cancer.

According to the FDA, it anticipates receiving a final SEAS study report in about 3 months and that it will likely take 6 months to fully evaluate the clinical trial data and other relevant information. FDA says it will communicate its conclusions and recommendations to the public at that time.

You can read the FDA release here.




Don't hold your breath waiting for a generic clopidogrel : 25/08/2008 :

Earlier this month the Federal Court ruled on the claim Apotex had brought against sanofi-aventis in August 2007, seeking to have its clopidigrel patent revoked.

The Court ruled that the patent was valid, thus preventing the entry of generic clopidogrel products on to the Australian market for now. In a statement issued last week Apotex says that it "is very optimistic that this may be reversed on appeal to the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia".




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