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AusPharm news

New Chair for RUM : 12/12/2007 :

The National Return and Disposal of Unwanted Medicines, known as the RUM project, is a national not-for-profit company, set up to enable consumers to return unwanted or out of date medicines to any pharmacy, at any time.

Dipak Sanghvi was recently announced as the new chair for RUM. Dipak replaces Warwick Plunkett who has held the position for the last six and a half years.

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Pseud*eph*drine related Break and Enters: 10 Practical Tips to Reduce Your Risks : 11/12/2007 :

There have been a number of pseud*eph*drin* related pharmacy break ins around Australia during the second half of 2007 since supply tightened up after the introduction of Project STOP. In Queensland a task force was formed in response to this and this task force, consisting of senior representatives from the Pharmacy Guild, The Queensland Police Service and Guild Insurance has been meeting on a regular basis to develop strategies to address the issue.

One of the outcomes has been the production of a guide titled 'Pseud*eph*drine- related Break and Enters: 10 Practical Tips to Reduce Your Risks'. This guide contains practical advice on how you can reduce the risks of your pharmacy being targeted for pseud*eph*drine-related products. The Pharmacy Guild (Queensland Branch) have kindly allowed AusPharm to place a copy of this guide on our servers so that 'listers can download it and we thank them for this. Click the picture above to download the guide.

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AusPharm Continuing Education - Constipation : 11/12/2007 :

Today on AusPharm we roll out the first of our Continuing Education features. The topic is Constipation and it was prepared for us by Debbie Rigby. As this is to some extent a 'pilot' so that we can test our system we've decided to make it available to all registered AusPharmers. Future Continuing Education Features will only be available to premium members.

The activity should take 15-30 minutes to complete and includes some self assessment questions. Immediate feedback is provided when you submit your answers and your participation in the activity is recorded in your AusPharm member profile. You will be able to print out a certificate of participation on completion of the activity. While this first CE activity has not been formally accredited by any of the professional associations we hope that future activities will be. Many of you will be able to add it to your professional development portfolios regardless of this.

To do this activity click here.




Guild Weight Loss Support Program : 11/12/2007 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has launched a new weight loss information support program. It is designed to assist customers to understand how to achieve a healthy weight range through regular consultations, weight loss products, ideas to improve physical activity, and advice on developing an individual eating plan.

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Supplier 'out of stocks' : 10/12/2007 :

The have been some recent comments on AusPharmList about suppliers being unable to supply their products in a timely fashion. These were prompted by Ranbaxy's apparent inability to supply some customers with Ossmax for its December 1 PBS listing. The comments below were provided to AusPharm on the basis that the source not be identified.

"Recently we experienced a situation where the innovator and major generic suppliers for Prazosin and Diclofenac were OOS."

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AusPharm Continuing Education : 10/12/2007 :

AusPharm has a special treat for you in tomorrow's (e)news. We'll be publishing the first of what will be regular Continuing Education features.

The first topic is 'Constipation' and has been prepared for us by Debbie Rigby. We chose this topic for our 'pilot' after recent discussion on AusPharmList suggested a need to bring people up to date on current thinking on this common condition.

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Poll results: hospital pharmacy under Labor : 07/12/2007 :

This week's AusPharm poll asked our hospital pharmacist members how they thought they'd go under a Labor government.



In contrast to our community pharmacist members who told us in the previous week's poll that they felt optimistic about the future under Labor, hospital pharmacists tended to a slightly more pessimistic view.

AusPharm hasn't a clue why this would be the case. Perhaps some of our hospital based 'listers could comment?




Redu*til® price drop : 06/12/2007 :

Pharmacies received a faxstream from Abbott late last week alerting them to a (significant) December 1 reduction in the wholesale price of both strengths of weight loss drug Reduc*il®. The list wholesale price will be 76.70 (SIGMA 5/12) for both strengths and the 'advertised recommended retail' from January 1 will be $84.99.

According to Abbott this 'will allow patients greater access to the drug and, where applicable, this will mean that patients will be able to take the drug for longer and thereby gain a greater benefit'.

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How many meals in a day? : 06/12/2007 :

Pharmacies were faxed by Sigma yesterday to alert them to a few product issues. Amongst these was the news that Grisovin 500mg tablets would be unavailable for 'the next few months'. Fair enough - these things happen. Their suggestion for a fix, however, might have been better worded.

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NPS produces generic medicines training module for pharmacy assistants : 06/12/2007 :

A training kit titled "Safe and appropriate use of generic medicines", that will enable pharmacy assistants to help consumers better understand generic medicines and their place in the Quality Use of Medicines (QUM), has been sent to all community pharmacies in Australia.

NPS CEO Dr Lynn Weekes said “pharmacy assistants are often the first people consumers speak to about their medicines. This module recognises the important role they play in helping consumers make choices about medicines to use them appropriately and safely.”

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Poll: The Rudd Labor government and hospital pharmacy : 05/12/2007 :

In last week's AusPharm poll we asked pharmacists working in community pharmacy how they thought the Rudd Labor government would treat them (and found that, in the main, community pharmacists are optimistic for the future). This week's poll asks the same question of pharmacists working in (public) hospitals.



Kevin Rudd has said that the Commonwealth would assume responsibility for public hospitals within two years if the states don't turn them around. How do hospital pharmacists feel about the future under a Labor government? Please let us know what you think by voting in this week's AusPharm poll  at left.




Optometrists gain access to PBS from Jan 1, 2008 : 05/12/2007 :

From January 1 2008 optometrists will be able to prescribe from a limited formulary of PBS benefits.

The formulary includes aciclovir eye ointment, chloramphenicol eye drops and ointment, fluorometholone eye drops, flurbiprofen eye drops, hydrocortisone eye ointment, sodium cromoglycate eye drops, sulfacetamide eye drops and the range of PBS listed ocular lubricants.

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Optimism over ‘new era’ in rural and remote health : 04/12/2007 :

In a recent release the Chair of the National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA), Professor John Wakerman, says people in rural and remote Australia will welcome the prospect of a new era in rural and remote health.

 

“The Alliance is confident that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s commitment to constructive dialogue with the States will provide Australians with a national health system that includes a plan for improved rural and remote health,” Professor Wakerman said.

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Looking for a good Christmas present for your professional staff? : 03/12/2007 :

Look no further! Give them a subscription to AusPharm premium and have them thank you for it right through 2008.



AusPharm will be giving away one of our AusPharm pens to all members who purchase one of our 'premium' level gift vouchers during December.

Do it before December 14 and you will also go into the draw to win one of three gift packs of three quality Tasmanian wines which AusPharm will have freighted to your door in time for Christmas day.

So, what are you waiting for? To arrange a gift subscription for an employee or colleague click here and we'll do the rest.




December 2007 NPS RADAR now out : 02/12/2007 :

The December 2007 NPS RADAR (Rational Assessment of Drugs and Research) is now out. Click the RADAR logo to visit the NPS RADAR website and read the December issue.




DRUGS AND CHEMICAL SAFETY : 01/12/2007 :

National and international leaders in pharmacology and toxicology are meeting in Adelaide this week at the annual Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists (ASCEPT) conference to discuss the latest research on drugs and chemical safety.

“This topical issue is of national and international importance and is particularly relevant with several drugs being withdrawn from the market over the last few years. We are concerned about the safety of chemicals that humans are exposed to and this conference will highlight the latest research,” said Professor Andrew Somogyi, President, ASCEPT.

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Poll results: how will the Rudd Labor government treat community pharmacy? : 30/11/2007 :

Last Saturday's federal election sees a Labor government assume power federally in Australia for the first time since 1996. This week's AusPharm poll asked pharmacists working in community pharmacy how they think the new government will treat them.



In the main, the mood seems to tend towards optimism, particularly when you consider the results at right in the light of last week's poll, which suggested that 'listers voted overwhelmingly for the Coalition!




Australian Pharmacy Council issues position statement on Dispensing Multiple Repeat Prescriptions at One Time : 29/11/2007 :

The Australian Pharmacy Council met on 26 – 27 November 2007 and the issue of simultaneous multiple dispensing of repeat prescriptions by pharmacies was discussed. The Council endorsed the following position statement on multiple dispensing of repeat prescriptions.

 

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Zolpidem in the news again : 29/11/2007 :

Zolpidem is in the news again today after the TGA released advice on Wednesday that zoplidem PI's and CMI's have been updated to include warnings of the array of bizaare side effects uncovered earlier this year. Pack sizes are also to be reduced to 14. There is more information in todays AusPharm 'In the news' section and the TGA advice is here.

AusPharm is intrigued by the TGA's comment that 'The TGA encourages doctors not to prescribe and pharmacists not to dispense (our emphasis - MD) more than a single pack at one time.' What are pharmacists to do when presented with a valid prescription for, say, 28?




Poll: Community pharmacy under Labor : 28/11/2007 :

Last Saturday's federal election sees a Labor government assume power federally in Australia for the first time since 1996. Certainly, with respect to community pharmacy, the Rudd government appears likely to be indistinguishable from the Howard government before it. For hospital pharmacists, things are a little less clear, with the government's proposed takeover of public hospitals sure to impact on them. This week's poll looks at community pharmacy.

How do those pharmacists working in community pharmacy feel about the new government? Will there be more of the same or will there be a bit of a shake up? Please let us know what you think by voting in this week's AusPharm poll at left.




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