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AusPharm news

ACCC flags reform of grocery sector ahead of inquiry findings : 26/06/2008 :

 A report in last Friday's edition of Inside Retailing (here) has it that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is considering tough new reforms for Australia's grocery industry.
In January the ACCC was asked by the Federal Government to hold a public inquiry, with broad ranging terms of reference, into the competitiveness of retail prices for standard groceries (details here). The ACCC is due to provide its report to the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs by 31 July 2008.

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Poll: payment for out of hours training : 25/06/2008 :

Most pharmacies conduct staff training sessions or hold staff meetings outside of regular trading hours so that all staff can attend. Often, attendance at these events is mandatory. But are pharmacy assistants paid to attend?

Please let us know what happens in the pharmacy you work in by ticking the relevant box in this week's AusPharm poll at left.




2008 'Most trusted profession' survey : 25/06/2008 :

Readers Digest recently released the results of its annual 'Most trusted profession' survey for 2008. Pharmacists once again featured towards the top of the list, coming in this year in 5th position.

Ambulance officers took top spot followed by firefighters, pilots and nurses. Pharmacists were also in 5th place in 2007, up from 8th place in 2006.




NPS: Good hygiene not pills the best way of avoiding a cold : 25/06/2008 :

The National Prescribing Service (NPS) yesterday launched its 2008 Common colds need common sense, not antibiotics campaign.

The key message this year is that good hygiene will do more to stave off a cold than taking vitamins, mineral supplements and other herbal remedies.

According to the Executive Manager of Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) Programs for NPS, Karen Kaye, “the evidence currently at hand seems to indicate that vitamin C supplements, zinc and echinacea do not assist in cold prevention. In the case of echinacea particularly, the quality of these medicines can differ greatly and most have not been tested in good quality clinical trials.”

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Methadone treatment 'too expensive' for addicts : 24/06/2008 :

"A new report has found the cost of methadone programs is too high for most heroin addicts. The Federal Government funds methadone treatment, but most pharmacies charge a $60 dispensing fee."

These words led off an ABC online news item yesterday, sourced from a report on yesterday morning's ABC radio's AM program.

It got worse. Also from the ABC news story: "Those medications are supplied, the cost is subsidised and the dispensing fee is completely subsidised. [Dr James Rowe]".

No it's not Dr Rowe. Greedy, greedy pharmacists.

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National Prescribing Service wins prestigious international award : 23/06/2008 :

The National Prescribing Service (NPS) has won a Gold Quill Award for excellence in communication for its 2007 Get to know your medicines and Generic medicines are an equal choice national awareness campaigns.

The Award for Excellence in Communication Management – Multi-Audience will be presented to NPS by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) at the awards ceremony in New York on 23 June 2008.

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APC echoes NPS concerns on generics : 23/06/2008 :

The Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) last week released a statement reiterating advice recently issued by the National Prescribing Service (NPS) that pharmacists should keep consumers’ health and wellbeing and Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) principles in the front of their minds when switching medication brands for patients.

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PSA announces new CEO : 20/06/2008 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia yesterday announced the appointment of its new Chief Executive Officer, Bryan Stevens.

Mr Stevens comes to the position with a career to date in federal government, regulatory agencies, state governments and industry.

"He has a track record as a leader with a strong reputation for delivering results through cooperation, collaboration, drive, initiative and decision-making within a strategic framework" said PSA National president, Brian Grogan.

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Pharmacists work long hours : 20/06/2008 :

This week's AusPharm poll asked 'listers to tell us how many hours each weekthey work as a pharmacist. 296 of you answered our call and the result is shown below. Fully 61% of respondents told us that they work 41 or more hours a week. The idea of a 38 hour week, as suggested in Prime Ministers Rudd's discussion paper outlining the government's new National Employment Standards, would seem to have little relevance in the pharmacy work-force.

In the same poll conducted in August 2003, we recorded a result of 71% working 41 or more hours a week. Does this mean pharmacists are working fewer hours now?




New Chairman for Generic Medicines Industry Association : 20/06/2008 :

The Generic Medicines Industry Association (GMiA) announced yesterday that Roger Millichamp has been appointed as Chairman of its Board, succeeding Mark Hurley, Executive Director of Alphapharm Pty Ltd who has been Chairman for the past year. Mr Millichamp, Managing Director of Apotex Pty Ltd, has been a member of the Board of the GMiA for three years.

“The very significant changes to the market following the PBS Reforms, and particularly the 25% price decrease impacting most generic medicines on 1st August 2008 provide an environment of challenge and opportunity for the generics industry." said Mr Millichamp. "As an Industry Association we look forward to meeting these challenges, working closely with all key stakeholders and further broadening the market for generic medicines within Australia”.




Global Hospital Pharmacy Practice Survey : 19/06/2008 :

In preparation for the upcoming International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Global Conference on the Future of Hospital Pharmacy, FIP provided support for a special project to conduct a global survey of hospital pharmacy practice.

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New dementia resource available : 19/06/2008 :

A new dementia resource was published this week by the Australian Government Dept of Health and Ageing.

The Dementia Resource Guide aims to improve the care and quality of life for people with dementia by providing links to resources on 17 topic areas such as assessment and diagnosis, forward planning, medical treatment and support services.

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PSA Branch Committee Elections finalised : 18/06/2008 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia's Branch Committee election results have now been finalised across all states and territories. The results are shown below.

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A portent of what's around the corner? : 17/06/2008 :

As if the 4CPA Location Rules weren't complex enough, and as we approach the negotiating period for a Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement, the attached pic, taken by our eagle-eyed cub reporter, outside the Pharmacy Guild National Offices in Canberra may be a portent of what's around the corner - but by the truckfull !!!! Click the link to see full sized versions of the photos.

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Pharmacy signs on for Join In Join Up : 17/06/2008 :

Join In Join Up is a new program that has the potential to connect Australians with community groups with the aim of improving their health and wellbeing.

It was formally launched yesterday by the Hon Jenny Macklin, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, at the Communities In Control Conference in Melbourne.

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Guild launches 'flu education kit : 17/06/2008 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has launched a Seasonal Influenza Education Kit.

Distributed to Australian pharmacies last week, it aims to educate consumers and pharmacy staff about how they can prevent, limit and manage seasonal influenza

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NAPSA rolls out Pharmacy Week : 17/06/2008 :

During May this year, Pharmacy Students from all over the country went out into their communities to promote the profession of pharmacy, and promote the many roles that pharmacists can play in health care.

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Improved communication between professional groups : 17/06/2008 :

The Australian Pharmacy Liaison Forum (APLF) held its inaugural meeting in May 2008.

The APLF has been set up as an independent coalition of representatives from pharmacy organisations to work together on issues of national importance to the pharmacy profession and the public.

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AusPharm Continuing Education: RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin CPD Digest : 17/06/2008 :

As a special treat for AusPharm 'basic' members we've republished the first 'pilot' edition of the RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin CPD Digest just for you.

The RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin CPD Digest is a new way for busy pharmacists, doctors and nurses to access high quality continuing professional development materials in a convenient, inexpensive and reliable format. The Digest will be based around the RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin, which will continue to be distributed free of charge in the usual way. (Click here to read the RGH announcement in full.)

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So what was the mystery object? : 16/06/2008 :

Last week we asked 'listers to identify the 'mystery' object at right (click the image to see a larger version).

What is it? Click the link to find out!

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