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AusPharm news

July 18 - patient medication shortages on the way? : 13/06/2008 :

As has been widely reported in recent days it seems that the Department of Health and Ageing never got around to enacting legislation requiring wholesale prices of F2T drugs to be available to pharmacies at the 'new' (lower) prices from July 18.

It is therefore possible that not all F2T drugs will be available to pharmacies at the 'new' prices from July 18. Further, in order to minimise financial loss, it is possible that wholesalers will minimise stock levels of some items leading up to August 1, possibly leading to out of stocks. The extent to which this will occur remains unclear and the extent of any impact on patients unable to obtain medications also remains unclear.

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Identify this mystery object and win a prize : 13/06/2008 :

No, it's not a pessary mould.

A reminder that you've got until midnight tomorrow to get your entry in and win one of our AusPharm calculators. The prize will go to the person who sends in the most appropriate description of what this item is. Click here to submit your entry. (Photo courtesy Kevin de Vries).

If anyone else has any pharmacy artefacts they think might challenge the AusPharm community, send us a photo and we'll issue the challenge.




Prof. Charlie Benrimoj gets UK fellowship : 13/06/2008 :

Prominent pharmacy academic and NSW PSA president Professor Shalom (Charlie) Benrimoj, pictured at right, has been awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.

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Poll result: it's getting better all the time, isn't it? : 13/06/2008 :

This week's poll asked 'listers to help us get a sense of how positively (or otherwise) they view the 'future of pharmacy'. The results, shown at right, are not too far from the results we obtained last time we ran this identical poll in August 2004.

While pharmacists exhibit a range of expectations as to the future, our interpretation is that the collective outlook is to the negative side of neutral, as it was in a similar poll we ran in 2006.




Plan for National Primary Health Care Strategy announced : 13/06/2008 :

In a speech to the Australian General Practice Network Primary Mental Health Care Forum on Wednesday, Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon, pictured at right, outlined the Federal Government’s intention to develop a National Primary Health Care Strategy to better utilise the professional skills of a range of allied health professions.

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GSK, American Dietetic association go after unproven weight loss products : 12/06/2008 :

Drug company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) together with the American Dietetic Association and a number of obesity organizations has filed a the petition with US regulators that aims to eliminate the weight loss category from the dietary supplement market.

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Local stoush on glucosamine gets a run in the BMJ : 12/06/2008 :

'Listers will have read our recent coverage of the CHOICE v Symbion stoush on glucosamine. Those interested (and who have BMJ access) can read a write up of this issue in last week's BMJ (here). The first part of the article is available to non BMJ subscribers.




AACP Pfizer Consultant Pharmacist Award 2008 : 11/06/2008 :

Debbie Rigby is the recipient of the inaugural AACP Pfizer Consultant Pharmacist of the Year award. A medal and certificate were presented to Debbie at the recent AACP ConPharm '08 clinical seminar in Adelaide by Susan Parker, Head of Medical Affairs at Pfizer Australia and Dr Shane Jackson, Chair of the AACP Board.

In announcing the award, Dr Jackson highlighted Debbie Rigby's significant contribution and close involvement as one of the true pioneers of consultant pharmacy.

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Dose paracetamol in children according to lean body weight : 11/06/2008 :

So says Dr Sean Beggs, General Paediatrician and Paediatric Clinical Pharmacologist from Royal Hobart Hospital, in the current issue of Australian Prescriber.

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PSA Branch Committee election results : 10/06/2008 :

Election results have now been confirmed for the Tasmanian, Queensland and South Australian branches of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

Elected members will serve for three years.

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The Pharmacy Dream Team : 10/06/2008 :

Last week we asked 'listers to put their minds to who might be in a pharmacy 'Team of the century' or 'Dream Team'. By the end of the week we had quite few entries in and we've done the best we can in putting together a final 11, as was our charter!

The clear preference for team captain was Professor Lloyd Sansom 'knowledgeable and rational'.

The final 11 is shown below with comments from those nominating them appended below. Thanks to everyone who submitted nominations.

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NSW pharmacists in Queen's Birthday honours list : 10/06/2008 :

Two NSW pharmacists were present in the Queen's Birthday honours list announced yesterday.

Receiving an AM (Member of the Order of Australia) is Ken BICKLE for "Service to the pharmacy profession through executive roles with a range of organisations, and to the community as a supporter of the Return Unwanted Medicines Program." In more recent times Ken has been active in Pharmacy Cricket circles - he's pictured at right at the 2006 Pharmacy Cricket carnival with NSW captain David Sidgreaves (click the photo to see a larger version).

Receiving an OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia) is Valerie AUSTIN, of Walgett for "Service to the pharmacy profession, particularly as an initiator of programs to improve indigenous health care."




HMR payment increased : 09/06/2008 :

The standard payment for a Home Medicines Review has been increased from $180 to $187.09 (inc gst).

The increase is a result of the annual indexation adjustment to allow for movements in wage costs. At present these adjustments apply only to HMRs, not to RMMRs (Residential Medication Management Reviews). AusPharm understands that this is currently under review.




Last chance to nominate someone to the pharmacy 'Dream team' : 06/06/2008 :

We had a number of nominations come in for our pharmacy 'Dream team' yesterday.

Nominations close at midnight tomorrow night so if you still want to nominate someone you'd better get your nomination in.




US FDA issues 'Early Communication' on Remicade, Enbrel, Humira and Cimzia : 06/06/2008 :

The US FDA has issued an Early Communication to inform healthcare professionals that it is investigating a possible association between the use of Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) blockers and the development of lymphoma and other cancers in children and young adults.

The FDA is investigating approximately 30 reports which describe cancer occurring in children and young adults who began taking TNF blockers (along with other immuno-suppressive medicines such as methotrexate, azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine), when they were ages 18 or less, to treat juvenile idiopathic arthritis, Crohn's disease or other diseases. More information is available at the FDA website here.




My pharmacy runs a methadone/bupe' programme : 06/06/2008 :

Well, the pharmacies in which 47% of the respondents in this week's poll work do, with another 7% 'thinking about it'. The pharmacies in which the other 46% work either don't or wish they didn't.

AusPharm falls into the 'we see it as an important pharmacy specialty' camp and would be interested to hear from those 46% who don't offer a programme as to what they see as the barriers to running one (and, for that matter, from those who do see it as *a good thing* and why they see it that way).

One correspondent suggested to AusPharm that the reasons people don't run these programmes were likely to be one or more of the following: (a) the financial remuneration is insufficient, (b) I don't like 'druggies' / their disruptive behaviour, (c) prescriber support is unsatisfactory (i.e. dangerous numbers of take aways authorised), (d) I don’t believe the programme works, (e) the whole thing gives me the heeby-geebees.




New-look NPS pharmacy review praised by pharmacists : 05/06/2008 :

Launched in 2001 as the Pharmacy Practice Audit and now called the Pharmacy Practice Review, this resource for pharmacists is designed to support pharmacist-patient counselling and interaction. The new-look materials include tear-off pads with information to give to patients, an action checklist for pharmacists to work through with individual patients and the latest clinical information about best practice.

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The colour from ConPharm '08 : 04/06/2008 :

As we reported yesterday ConPharm '08 was a great success with nearly 300 accredited pharmacists and those interested in medication reviews attending. There was a sense of excitement and a united purpose ie using "knowledge rather than fingers".

A wide range of speakers and topics provided education at a level appropriate for pharmacists providing professional services. The optional workshops on INR monitoring, motivational interviewing and palliative care (speed dating in palliative care) offered some advanced specialised training.

 In today's (e)news we've featured a series of photos of the event and two recorded interviews, one with AACP CEO Bill Kelly and the other with VALMER project pharmacist Andrew Stafford. (Photos and interviews courtesy Kevin de Vries).

Correction: in yesterday's ConPharm report we attributed the photo of conference delegates to Kevin. This was incorrect - it was taken by Adelaide's Event Photographers.

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ConPharm’08 a tremendous success : 03/06/2008 :

300 delegates gathered in Adelaide last weekend for the fourth annual ConPharm consultant pharmacy clinical seminar.

The weekend provided many exciting educational opportunities for the assembled pharmacists with topics covering the new ‘analogue’ insulins, the use of drugs in renal disease, palliative care, gastrointestinal disorders, COPD and more.

Conference delegates are shown below - click the photo to see a full sized version (1.65mb .jpg) (photo courtesy Kevin de Vries).

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RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin CPD Digest : 03/06/2008 :

No doubt many 'listers will have heard the news that the good folk at the Repatriation General Hospital will soon commence producing a monthly Continuing Professional Development Digest.

AusPharm is delighted to announce that we will be looking after both the subscription management and the distribution of the Digest for the RGH. 'Listers will know that AusPharm has a long association with RGH that goes back to March 2001 when the first E-Bulletin was published (on Zyban). We have archived every E-Bulletin since then on the AusPharm website (here).

As part of the agreement AusPharm has struck with the RGH, AusPharm premium members will have access to the Digest as part of their premium membership, at no additional charge. Pharmacists and other health professionals who are not AusPharm premium members will be able to take up 'stand alone' subscriptions to the RGH CPD Digest (cost $55 + gst) and we'll have full details on how to go about this soon.

In the meantime, RGH and AusPharm are pleased to offer a 'pilot' version to AusPharm premium members today. (AusPharm 'basic' members will also get a look next week). Click here to continue .




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