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AusPharm news

First PBS Online payments : 28/11/2007 :

Last Thursday Mark Smith wrote in an AusPharmList post: "What has happened to the 40c payment per script we were being promised as an encouragement to go online with Medicare Australia?". Well, yesterday we got the answer.

The Pharmacy Guild announced in a member newsletter that the first PBS Online payment will be paid to participating pharmacists on 4 December 2007, rather than in January 2008.

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Dr Lisa Nissen elected Queensland PSA President : 28/11/2007 :

Dr Lisa Nissen (pictured at right) was last week elected President of the Queensland Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSAQ).

In the PSAQ elections Bruce Elliott retained his position as Vice-President and Patty Watson was elected as Treasurer.

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Section 100 Allowance increased : 27/11/2007 :

The Section 100 Support Allowance, funded by the Australian Government as a part of the Fourth Community Pharmacy Agreement, subsidises participating pharmacists to provide a range of services to support eligible remote area Aboriginal Health Services (AHS) in implementing section 100 arrangements.This includes the direct supply of PBS medicines to approved AHS.

In this financial quarter, payments and loadings for the Section 100 Support Allowance to pharmacists have been increased by 300 per cent. This increase acknowledges the important role participating community pharmacies play in promoting quality use of medicines principles and effective medication management arrangements for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in remote areas.

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Symbion : 27/11/2007 :

AusPharm suspects that even the most ardent pharmacist investors have lost interest in the interminable joust for control of Symbion.

If anyone is still interested there are links to all the gory details in todays 'In the news' section below.




Guild Congratulates Rudd Labor Government : 26/11/2007 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has congratulated incoming Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and the Australian Labor Party for their emphatic victory at Saturday’s Federal Election.

National President of the Guild Kos Sclavos said yesterday that he and his Guild colleagues looked forward to further developing their relationship with Mr Rudd, as well as the members of his soon to be announced Cabinet.

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Webstercare October newsletter : 25/11/2007 :

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 October newsletter in full. Click here if you have any feedback, suggestions or queries about the newsletter.

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***The AusPharm websites may be down for a few minutes this afternoon*** : 24/11/2007 :

During today (Saturday Nov 24) we will be moving the AusPharm websites on to a new server. Attempts to access the sites, or to post to AusPharmList may fail during the move.

We think that the whole process will only take 30 minutes or less so if you do encounter difficulties please try again a little later.

 




Coalition set to win at a canter : 23/11/2007 :

 

 

Well, maybe not, or at least not unless voting is restricted to 'listers.

Those AusPharm members who voted in this week's poll show a clear preference for (more) conservative politics. If the results of our poll are repeated tomorrow John Howard's Coalition government will be elected with a greatly INCREASED majority.

Either AusPharm has unique polling skills or our sample is not representative. We think the latter is more likely to be the case .




ASMI marketing awards honour excellence in innovation and education : 23/11/2007 :

Leading pharmaceutical and complementary medicines manufacturers were recognised for excellence at the industry awards at the Australian Self-Medication Industry Conference in Sydney on Wednesday night.

 

The awards honour achievement in product introductions and promotional programs for both over-the-counter (OTC) and complementary medicines.

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Champix® - problems before it gets to market? : 22/11/2007 :

In a safety alert issued yesterday the US FDA has advised health professionals of reports of suicidal thoughts and aggressive and erratic behavior in patient who have taken Chantix®, a smoking cessation product.

Chantix® is the US name for Champix®, soon to be launched in Australia.

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Poll: who will you vote for this Saturday? : 21/11/2007 :

Well, three days to go until we all get to vote for the next Australian government. We've been subject to five and a half weeks of 'formal' campaigning and have heard what each of the major parties has to offer pharmacy (here and here). AusPharm is wondering whether all the campaigning and the leaders' commitments to pharmacy have had any effect on how you intend to vote.

Please help us find out by making a special effort to vote in this week's AusPharm poll. (We've added another option to the poll we ran a month back about this --> 'I'm soooo sick of all this').




Anti snake oil campaigner honoured by Skeptics : 21/11/2007 :

'Listers may be famliar with 'Jellybean Lady', Loretta Maron, as the person who, in cahoots with the Garvan Instutute's Professor Lesley Campbell, recently took on Woolworths over the presence of weight loss product X*ntr*x on their shelves. You may also remember her as the presenter of the 2006 Australian Skeptics' Bent spoon award to the the pharmacists of Australia "who manage to forget their scientific training long enough to sell quackery and snake oil in places where consumers should expect to get real medical supplies and advice.".

Ms Maron, pictured above, was presented with the Australian Skeptics' Association 'Australian Skeptic of the Year' award for 2007 at a dinner in Hobart on Saturday night for her efforts in combating the inappropriate promotion of unproven complementary medicines and therapies.

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Flexibility in approach is the only silver bullet in beating heart disease : 21/11/2007 :

A panel of Australia’s leading nutrition experts have agreed that in the battle against heart disease, reducing risks such as cholesterol in the community will save up to 5,000 lives each year but agreed there is no silver bullet in the fight and that a range of approaches need to be adopted.

 

Speaking at a conference for GPs (General Practitioner Convention & Exhibition) in Melbourne the panel of Dr Peter Clifton, Director CSIRO’s Nutrition Clinic, Dr Rachel Huxley, Director of the Nutrition and Lifestyle Division, The George Institute for International Health and Dr Rosemary Stanton, leading independent nutritionist, agreed that by reducing cholesterol levels by 5-10% across the entire Australian population there would be a significant reduction in cardiovascular events.

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Rudd, Howard letters to pharmacists : 20/11/2007 :

In the leadup to federal elections it has become something of a tradition for the leaders of the Coalition and the ALP to write to Guild members detailing their positions on issues relevant to community pharmacy. This election is no exception.

 

In short both leaders have some positive things to say about pharmacists and how their respective governments might work with them. They both commit to the 'core' pharmacy principle of pharmacist only ownership of pharmacies, although the words they use differ and neither uses the phrase 'pharmacist only ownership'.

You can read Kevin Rudd (and Nicola Roxon)'s letter here and John Howard's letter here.




World Generic Expert at APP2008 : 20/11/2007 :

Guild National President Kos Sclavos says he is delighted that a world class expert on generics will feature at APP2008. Greg Perry is Director General of the European Generic Medicines Association (EGA), a position he has held since 1993.

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December PBS price reductions : 19/11/2007 :

The embargo for the release of the December PBS price reductions passed on Saturday and these are now able to be published.

12.5% price reductions will apply to the 70mg weekly alendronates, some forms of vancomycin injections, fluconazole 200mg IV infusion, naltrexone 50mg tablets (11% reduction) and some forms of octreotide injections. Other price reductions, less than 12.5% will apply to lercanidipine, perindopril, perindopril/indapamide, trandolapril and trandolapril/verapamil.

Full details of the December PBS changes are available on the AusPharmacist website.




Summer is almost here and a pharmacist's thoughts turn to .... cricket! : 16/11/2007 :

AusPharm received an email recently inviting us to register interest in joining the Tasmanian team to compete in the Pharmacy Cricket Carnival to be held on the NSW Southern Highlands next next January.

This year's Carnival will be a truly national pharmacy event, featuring teams from all Australian states (but not the ACT or NT) and will be the centenary of the 'Chemists Interstate Challenge Cricket Shield' first contested in Melbourne in 1908. The year 2008 also celebrates the 100th birthday of the late Don Bradman.

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Poll results: we use x brand generics : 16/11/2007 :

This week's poll was a repeat of a poll we ran just over 5 years ago and asked 'listers who is their principal generics' supplier. Back in 2002, when we first ran this poll, Alphapharm came in with a 63% result - not surprising as they really were the innovators in the early days of generics in Australia.



However, the market eventually caught up and things are now much more evenly spread as per the results at right. This is a much more typical spread in a marketplace with multiple competing suppliers. One wonders what effect on market share the entry of 'discount' generic suppliers like Ranbaxy will have over the next 5 years.




Re-elected Coalition will provide $6.5 million for business training : 15/11/2007 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has welcomed a commitment from the Coalition Government to work with community pharmacy to implement a new program supporting pharmacy skill development.

 

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Poll: who is your pharmacy (department)'s principal generics supplier : 14/11/2007 :

In this week's poll, commenced today, we neglected to update the options to reflect mergers, acquisitions etc. This really only affacted option 1, Hexal, who are now Sandoz. As usual on Thursday we'll publish the 'poll reminder' and have updated the options accordingly. If you haven't cast your vote we'd love you to do so now.

---------------

Back in October 2002 AusPharm ran a poll asking 'listers who was their primary supplier of generics. Not surprisingly, back in 2002 the answer was Alphapharm first and daylight second.

What is the situation today? Please help us find out by participating in this week's AusPharm poll.




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