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AusPharm news

Medicines Australia appoints new chairman : 15/02/2008 :

The Board of Medicines Australia has appointed Mr Will Delaat, the retiring Managing Director of Merck Sharp & Dohme, as its new Chairman.

Mr Delaat has just announced his retirement from Merck Sharp & Dohme after 11 years at the helm of that company.

Mr Delaat has been a director of Medicines Australia since 1998. He has previously served as Chairman, from 2003 to 2005, and as Vice-Chairman.

Agreement marks milestone for PSA : 15/02/2008 :

PSA marked a milestone in its move to become a single, unified organisation with the signing of the Branch-National Agreement in the Members’ Rooms at Old Parliament House, Canberra, on February 13.

Representatives from five states and National President Brian Grogan signed the agreement which formalises the unified national structure for PSA.

Pictured below, celebrating the signing of the agreement are PSA immediate past President Jay Hooper and outgoing PSA CEO Kerry Deans.

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From Bourbon St to oblivion ....... The ‘death of a pharmacy’ : 13/02/2008 :

Back in January we published an article provided by The Australian Academy of the History of Pharmacy that was published in the November 2007 issue of their Journal. PHARMACY HISTORY. The Academy have kindly provided us with another article from the November Journal.

Today's article, written by Brendan West, tells a sad tale of the 21st century catching up with pharmacy.

To learn more about The Academy (and to get the info you need to join - it's only $35 a year) click here. To read Brendan's story click the More...... link below.

"My story begins at Davidson’s Pharmacy in Bundaberg, Queensland, a town famous for its production of Australian Rum. In 1887 pharmacist John Davidson established what is currently known as Hynes Pharmacy, at 147 Bourbong Street Bundaberg, in 1887."

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Poll: who should represent pharmacy at the Australian 2020 summit? : 13/02/2008 :

Over the last week or so there has been discussion on AusPharmList as to who should speak for pharmacy at Prime Minister Rudd's Australia 2020 summit. 15 names emerged from the hat and over the next 48 hours you'll have an opportunity to vote for the people you think should go.

Who do you think would do the best job for pharmacy? A wise old head or a young gun with fresh ideas? Or both? Please let us have your first and second preferences by voting in today's polls (there are two of them --> look left, look right).

Does my PDL policy cover my medical certificate service? : 13/02/2008 :

Yes, it does. AusPharm received an email yesterday suggesting that there was some uncertainty as to whether PDL would cover pharmacists providing a medical certificate service so we called PDL and asked them.

The answer: provided the service is delivered according to the approved guidelines your PDL professional indemnity insurance does cover you.

Webstercare February newsletter : 12/02/2008 :

Every second month our friends at Webstercare produce a newsletter that is distributed to all aged care homes throughout Australia.

They have kindly agreed to allow 'listers to access the newsletter through the (e)news. Each issue contains a Continuing Education feature and, while this is designed to be read by RACF staff, pharmacists will also find it interesting and, hopefully, enlightening as well.

Click here to download the Webstercare February 2008 newsletter in full. Click here if you have any feedback, suggestions or queries about the newsletter.

Another Indian generic supplier enters the Australian market : 12/02/2008 :

Australian generics company Genepharm announced yesterday that it entered into a strategic partnership with Indian generics manufacturer Strides Arcolab Limited that will see Strides end up with with a share holding of approximately 55% of the expanded capital base of Genepharm.
Genepharm CEO, Dennis Bastas, said: "This represents an excellent opportunity for Genepharm to build scale and diversity, leveraging the combined capabilities of Genepharm and Strides to create a premium healthcare business in the Australian and Asian regions."

You can read the details here.

Medical certificates: it's a 'no brainer' : 11/02/2008 :

In last week's AusPharm poll 40% of respondents said that they would not be offering a medical certificate service with a further 34% saying they hadn't yet made up their mind. At the same time, there was quite a bit of related discussion on AusPharmList, including comments from a few 'listers that they were quite apprehensive about having to provide the service.

AusPharm asked The Pharmacy Guild, The Pharmaceutical Society and The Pharmacists Division of APESMA for comment.

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Antibiotic Resistance health promotion initiative : 11/02/2008 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s Pharmacy Self Care Program has launched a special health-promotion initiative on Antibiotic Resistance.

Antibiotic resistance occurs all over the world and has become a serious problem in the treatment of many infectious diseases. More than 70% of the bacteria responsible for hospital-acquired infections are resistant to at least one of the antibiotics most commonly used to combat them.

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Poll results: pharmacists uncertain on medical certificates : 08/02/2008 :

This week's poll asked 'listers whether or not their pharmacies would be offering a medical certificate service.

The results, shown below, suggest that 40% of pharmacies won't be offering the service with another 34% unsure for now.

AusPharm thinks this is an extraordnary result. To find out why, read Wendy Morton's editorial on AusPharm today .


2008 National QUM Awards : 07/02/2008 :

The National Prescribing Service Limited (NPS) and the Pharmaceutical Health And Rational use of Medicines (PHARM) Committee are calling for entries in the biennial National QUM Awards which celebrate significant contributions to Quality Use of Medicines (QUM).

The Awards recognise the originators of QUM work and their contribution to achieving better use of medicines at a national, state, regional or local level. The Awards are an initiative of the NPS and PHARM Committee.

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Poll: medical certificates - will you? : 06/02/2008 :

The issue of pharmacists issuing medical certificates remained in the news for much of the last week after the AMA came out against it (surprise, surprise).

AMA president Rosanna Capolingua said the rule could have dire consequences because pharmacists were not qualified to examine and diagnose patients. "I might present to the pharmacist having needed to take the day off work because I have headache ... I might get my certificate for two days but in fact I've got meningococcus and I am dead within that 48-hour period because I havent seen a doctor."

Chairman of the AMA therapeutics committee Dr John Gullotta, a former pharmacist, said the rules could discourage patients who required medical attention from seeing a GP, and added that a noisy, busy pharmacy was not the best place for a consultation.

We ran a poll last week asking pharmacists what their pharmacies might charge for this professional service but this week, now that most pharmacists will have had a chance to review the guidelines, we'll focus just on whether or not the pharmacy you work in is going to offer the service at all. What's going to happen in your pharmacy? Please let us know by voting in this week's poll.

NAPSA Congress Sydney 2008 : 06/02/2008 :

On 23rd January 2008, 270 students from 14 pharmacy schools around Australia converged on The University of Sydney for a week of education and entertainment. This year’s event saw students from Charles Darwin University in the Northern Territory attend for the first time.

Conference delagates are pictured below. Click the image to see a (much) larger version of the photo on the AusPharm website in which individual delegates can be identified.

Being an Olympic year, the theme for the congress was ‘Going for Gold’. Ramesh Walpola, chair of the congress organising committee, said that “the delegates were provided with golden opportunities to question and examine the issues that are affecting our profession.” Students were also offered the opportunity to participate in forums and debates to share their ideas on the various topics raised.

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Which pharmacists should attend the Australia 2020 summit? : 05/02/2008 :

Prime Minister Rudd announced over the weekend that 1000 of the nation's "best and brightest" would be picked to attend a two-day summit in Canberra to articulate radical solutions to the 10 most pressing problems facing the nation over the next decade. One of these pressing problem is, of course, health.

Given Mr Rudd's comments that delegates would not be there as representatives of any organisation ("We want people to be selected on the basis of individual merit") which pharmacists should attend the summit?

Click here to nominate someone or to post a general comment.

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Australian Prescriber: One eye drop or two? : 05/02/2008 :

Writing in the February edition of Australian Prescriber, eye surgeon Dr Michael Steiner explains how to use eye drops correctly.


"It is important that patients use only one drop at a time. A second drop may wash out the first and will probably end up on the cheek which is wasteful and can be expensive,” said Dr Steiner.

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NAPSA goes for the jugular : 04/02/2008 :

The National Australian Pharmacy Students' Association (NAPSA) has teamed up with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service for the first time to hold its inaugural NAPSA Vampire Cup.

According to NAPSA, this initiative was introduced to help curb the shortage of blood supplies in the Australian health care system and to instil a sense of community spirit amongst pharmacy students across the country.

Ten of the twelve NAPSA branches participated in the program which ran from 20th August to the 28th September 2007. In total there were 101 donations which were tracked online using the Red Cross Website.

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Fancy a sickie? See your chemist. : 04/02/2008 :

AusPharm received a couple of emails on Friday critical of Auntie ABC for their headline suggesting that getting an illicit day off would be easy from a pharmacist.


 The ABC news story (here) attracted 68 comments before the 'Post a comment' facility was shut down approximately 8 hours after the story was posted on the ABC news website on Friday morning. These are worth a read (here and here) as they provide good insight into the way Jo(anne) Public views pharmacists, doctors and sick leave.

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Pharmacists offered consultation fee for ACTIVESTOP® support program : 01/02/2008 :

The NICORETTE® brand is offering a consultation fee ($10 incl. GST) to pharmacists for their professional consultation with customers regarding the ACTIVESTOP® support programme.


The NICORETTE® brand believes that better health outcomes may be achieved for customers attempting to quit with counselling, support and advice from pharmacists.

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Poll results: what charge to issue a medical certificate? : 01/02/2008 :

This week's poll asked 'listers what their pharmacies would charge to 'see a patient, assess them and then, if appropriate, issue them with a medical certificate'.

The results show that competition is alive and well in pharmacies with proposed charges spread evenly between about $5 and $20+.

Of interest to AusPharm is the 29% who say they won't be offering the service. This seems a little odd in a business environment in which most pharmacies are experiencing ever shrinking margins and front of shop sales. Surely this is an ideal opportunity to embrace a new professional service (and fee)?


AusPharm CE starts tomorrow : 31/01/2008 :

AusPharm will publish the first of its weekly Continuing Education features tomorrow. The topic is insomnia and it has been prepared for us by Professor Greg Peterson and colleagues from the Unit for Medication Outcomes Research and Education (UMORE) at the School of Pharmacy, University of Tasmania.

This AusPharm activity has been formally recognised by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (Recognition No: CR08-0012), The Australian Association of Consultant Pharmacy and The Australian College of Pharmacy (Practise and Management) so you can earn CE points for completing the activity. We'll let you know more about how to go about this shortly.

AusPharm gratefully acknowledges the financial support provided by the sponsors of our CE program, MIMS and The Australian Medicines Handbook (AMH).

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