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AusPharm news

Babelfish : 21/05/2008 :

"Does anyone know if there's any way we can access CMI's in another language?"

Before you get into all of the serious stuff in today's AusPharm(e)news can we suggest you take a moment to see what happens when you subject a CMI to the Babelfish treatment. Click here.
Babelfish, what's a Babelfish? Click here to find out.




Where was community pharmacy? : 20/05/2008 :

On a less positive note community pharmacy and its representative organisations were reported to be largely 'missing in action' at last week's National Medicines Symposium.
A 'lister (and frustrated community pharmacy owner) who *was* there sent along the following comments.

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Sydney Uni student wins the weigh-in for quality medicines use : 20/05/2008 :

A University of Sydney pharmacy student has won the Student category of the National Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) Awards 2008 for her Honours project The Importance of Weight for Calculating Doses of Renally Excreted Drugs.

The winner, Ms Lisa Kouladjian, who is now a Masters student in Pharmacy, completed the work at the Clinical Pharmacology Department of the Royal North Shore Hospital. There were also two Highly Commended students, Ms Wern Jing Ding and Mr Ian Coombes, both from the University of Queensland (UQ).

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PSA President clarifies PSA position on pharmacists in GP Super Clinics : 19/05/2008 :

'Listers will have see our story on Friday about the apparent difference of opinion between the Pharmacy Guild and the Pharmaceutical Society on exactly how pharmacists should participate in the activities of GP Super Clinics.

A PSA position paper recently submitted to the Health Department proposed that 'independent practitioner pharmacists' be remunerated directly from the MBS (Medicare Benefits Schedule). The Guild, on the other hand, supports an integrated model for service provision in GP Super Clinics whereby pharmacy services are co-ordinated and funded through community pharmacies.

PSA President Brian Grogan issued a statement late on Friday clarifying PSA's position.

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Old drugs, new tricks – Australian Pharmacist column wins national award : 19/05/2008 :

Dr Lisa Nissen's column on new applications for old drugs in Australian Pharmacist has won the trade media prize in the National Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) Awards 2008, announced in Canberra last Thursday night. Dr Nissen is pictured at right.

Winners across the awarded categories – media and the sub-category of trade media; student, health organisation, community and poster – were announced at the National QUM Awards event in Canberra last week. The National QUM Awards are an initiative of the National Prescribing Service Limited (NPS) and the Pharmaceutical Health And Rational use of Medicines (PHARM) Committee to recognise the QUM achievements of a variety of programs and activities. The biennial Awards were presented by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing at the biennial National Medicines Symposium 2008 dinner.

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Harvey repeats call for CAM regulatory reform at National Medicines Symposium : 16/05/2008 :

The National Medicines Symposium, held biennially, begins today in Canberra and sees leading medicines experts from across Australia and around the world sharing information and debating the big issues.In a presentation to delegates today Melbourne academic Dr Ken Harvey will again call for complementary medicines regulatory reform.

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Poll Result: fluclox. 'on an empty stomach' : 16/05/2008 :

This week's poll asked 'listers how important they thought it was that flucloxacillin be administered 'on an empty stomach'.


We quote from Micromedex: Administration of FLOXACILLIN with food has resulted in a significant delay in absorption and reductions in peak plasma levels by up to 50% (Bodey et al, 1972; Sutherland et al, 1970c). FLOXACILLIN should be given one hour before or 2 hours after meals.

So, those who answered 'sure is, otherwise it won't do it's job' (53%) were right. However, in our opinion, those who answered 'it's important but 'empty stomach' sigs are too hard for patients to do - four a day, any time, will do' (38%) were more 'right', if you like. After all, how many patients can successfully manage 'half to one hour before each meal and at bedtime' (assuming that bedtime is 'an empty stomach' anyway, which it certainly isn't in AusPharm's case!)? Not too many, we think.

 




Guild, PSA at loggerheads on pharmacist involvement in GP Super Clinics : 16/05/2008 :

Fundamental differences have emerged between the Pharmacy Guild and the Pharmaceutical Society over pharmacist involvement in GP Super Clinics.

PSA recently submitted a PSA position paper to the Department of Health, 'Pharmacist Involvement in GP Super Clinics' (click here to download a copy) in which they outline a model proposing that 'independent practitioner pharmacists' be remunerated directly from the MBS (Medicare Benefits Schedule), rather than through community pharmacies as is the case at present, for example, with HMRs. The Guild, on the other hand, support an integrated model for service provision in GP Super Clinics whereby pharmacy services are co-ordinated and funded through community pharmacies.

According to the Guild the PSA proposal would lead to the creation of an elitist group of MBS funded pharmacists who would operate separate from and in opposition to both community and hospital pharmacy.

The Guild has asked PSA to withdraw the submission.




RMIT to offer online Master of Wellness Program : 15/05/2008 :

Melbourne's RMIT University will offer an online Master of Wellness degree commencing in Semester 2, 2008.
According to RMIT, 'Wellness' has been forecast to become the next trillion dollar industry and there is a growing need for highly skilled professionals to drive this industry forward. Through its new Master of Wellness program RMIT is aiming to produce practitioners and managers to lead the wellness revolution.

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Medicines Australia surprised by budget decision : 15/05/2008 :

One budget measure of peripheral interest to pharmacists is a new cost imposed on Big Pharma on Tuesday night.

Commencing July 1, 2008 the pharmaceutical industry will be required to fund the Government’s own Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC).

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Poll: Fluclox: Label 3A -- does it matter? : 14/05/2008 :

Rx flucloxacillin 500mg qid. Sig: "Take one half to one hour before meals and at bedtime".

And isn't that soooo hard to remember. But does it matter? Does it REALLY matter?

What do you think (without checking references please)? Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm poll.




Nominations open for 2008 PSA Excellence awards : 14/05/2008 :

Do you know a high-achieving pharmacist who deserves national recognition? Then PSA would like you to nominate them for the 2008 PSA Excellence Awards.

Nominations are invited for three award categories: Lifetime Achievement Award, Pharmacist of the Year (Gold Medal) and Young Pharmacist of the Year (Silver Medal). The PSA Lifetime Achievement Award was added to the highly esteemed gold and silver medals in 2007 to recognise outstanding and enduring contributions to professional practice.

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AACP responds to member feedback, tweaks accreditation process : 14/05/2008 :

'Listers may have seen comment in the pharmacy media, including on AusPharmList, in recent times to the effect that some accredited pharmacists are finding the AACP re-accreditation process challenging, to say the least.

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Budget 2008: generics campaign gets the chop : 14/05/2008 :

Part of the PBS Reforms is (now was!) a $20 million campaign to promote the use of generics to consumers. Last night's budget sees this amount reduced to $5 million. Apparently the government believes that the $1.50 payment to pharmacies will be enough incentive for pharmacies to sell the concept to consumers (to the extent that it still needs selling).

Apart from this there appears to be little in Budget 2008 that *directly* affects pharmacy. This is not surprising given the pending PBS Reforms.

The Guild has announced that it has its own plans for promoting the use of generics to consumers in the lead up to August 1. Its promotion will include radio, print and TV with the TV content being in the form of a Community Service Announcement. Guild members can read the Guild's budget analysis here.




ACPPM conference a hit
: 13/05/2008 :

The annual Australian College of Pharmacy Practice and Management conference was held on Norfolk Island towards the end of last week.
A wide range of speakers from academia, from industry and from the community pharmacy coalface provided structure and content that was well thought through and provocative.

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Apotex wins judgment in Coversyl promotional campaign dispute : 12/05/2008 :

'Listers may recall an editorial we published in April last year that asked whether the stamp at left, that had been 'made available to' about 3,000 doctors by Coversyl manufacturer Servier, was 'legal'.Well, it seems we now have an answer. No, it's not.

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AusPharm needs a hand: Development of a National E-Health Strategy : 12/05/2008 :

For our sins, AusPharm has been asked to provide input into the development of a national e-health strategy. We're not sure who dobbed us in for this but we could sure use a hand. Our meeting with the good folk from Deloittes is this Thursday.

"The National E-Health & Information Principal Committee (NEHIPC), which is a subcommittee of the Australian Health Minister's Advisory Council (AHMAC), recently tendered for a consultancy to develop a national e-health strategy. Deloitte has been appointed to undertake the project over the next 4 months."

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What does it do, cement your mouth? : 12/05/2008 :

So wrote a 'lister in an email to AusPharm on Friday when he heard that weight loss product LIPObind® was likely to be heavily promoted to the public in the print media yesterday.

While 'cementing the mouth' is clearly NOT the mode of action of LIPObind® we can understand his frustration. According to the product website LIPObind® contains 'Opuntia Ficus Indica - which is then made into a patented fibre complex – NeOpuntia®'.

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ACPPM Norfolk Island conference : 12/05/2008 :

AusPharm intrepid roving reporter Bill Arnold has been enjoying the Australian College of Pharmacy Practice and Management conference on Norfolk Island over the last few days.

Sadly, the island's uncertain connection to the internet, lack of compatibility with Australian mobile phone SIM cards and, to add insult to injury, a plane breakdown have all conspired to prevent Bill from filing his conference reports in time for today's (e)news.

We'll bring you all the news from the ACPPM Norfolk Island conference once Bill''s back on Australian (mainland) soil!




Poll result: time to take a stand on S3s? : 09/05/2008 :

This week's poll result speaks for itself - there is a clear desire from pharmacists to change the way they 'do' S3s. What does the profession as a whole need to do to move from 'this is a good idea' to actually implementing this into practice?
Seems to us that some changes might be needed to both PSA Professional Practice Standards and to some QCPP standards to incorporate the changed approach but more importantly the PSA and Guild hierarchies would need to commit to having a look the proposal, consulting with members and if our poll finding is confirmed, to act.

There are numerous Guild and PSA Branch committee members reading this. How about taking this to your next Branch Committee meeting and reporting back on how it's received?




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