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AusPharm news

Abbott has a TIA on location rules? : 13/11/2007 :

Health Minister Tony Abbott has thrown the cat firmly in amongst the pigeons with his recent decision to use his ministerial discretion to grant a PBS approval number for a new NSW central coast pharmacy.

The proposed new pharmacy, at Creasthaven, does not qualify for an approval number under the pharmacy location rules but Minister Abbott has used the discretionary powers available to him to grant the approval. The proposed new site has another pharmacy approximately 1300m down the road (across the road from the doctor's surgery) and six other pharmacies within 5km.

Local pharmacists are mortified, to say the least, because they are concerned at the precedent this action sets. How can you invest in your business under the current location rules, when the rules can be thrown out the window, apparently at the whim of the Minister, they say.

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Remembrance Day reminder about optimising the use of medicines : 12/11/2007 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, in partnership with Department of Veterans' Affairs, has launched a special health-promotion initiative: Optimising the Use of Medicines. The special health promotion package includes a Remembrance Day edition of the inPHARMation magazine, Optimising the Use of Medicines, an instore poster and a consumer health facts information leaflets.

With medication misadventure estimated to be responsible for between 15-22% of all emergency admissions each year, effective medication management is an important preventive health measure.

The package will be distributed to all Pharmacy Self Care member pharmacies across Australia. All member pharmacies and their staff will have access to additional Continuing Pharmacy Development (CPD) points and Counter Connection recognition. Pharmacy Self Care (PSC) member pharmacies can also access all of the package's materials online by logging on to the PSC 'members only' website at www.psa.org.au/psc.




AusPharm Job of the week: Professional Development Pharmacist --> Melbourne : 12/11/2007 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) is the national professional organisation for pharmacists in Australia. 2007 is an exciting year for PSA. Not only is the Society celebrating its 150th anniversary, but we are in the process of altering PSA's business model from being a national group of federated states to becoming a single national organisation. Following a review of the strategic direction of PSA and the key opportunities for pharmacy in Australia, the national headquarters for professional development will be established in Victoria.

We are now inviting applications for the full-time position of Professional Development pharmacist. Initially the appointee will be involved in coordinating our highly successful professional development program which caters for both pharmacists and pre-registrants. It is envisaged that by early 2008, the role will also involve development of national professional development programs. Click here for more information.




FDA Patient Safety News Video : 12/11/2007 :

The FDA Patient Safety News (PSN) is a monthly video news show for healthcare professionals. It covers significant safety alerts, recalls, new product approvals, and offers important tips on protecting patients.

There are a few stories in the November edition that might interest 'listers. These include 'Rare Side-Effect of Codeine in Nursing Mothers', 'Heart Rhythm Problems with Haloperidol', 'Avoiding Dangerous Mixups between Amphotericin B Formulations' and more.

You can read the complete stories and watch or download the video program at http://www.fda.gov/psn.




SHPA Federal Conference opens in Sydney : 09/11/2007 :

The 28th SHPA Federal Conference was officially opened in Sydney yesterday by Professor Chris Baggoley (Acting Chief Executive, Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care). Speaking at the opening, Professor Baggoley commended the organisers of this year's conference for their chosen theme "Integration - Putting it all together".

SHPA Federal President Sue Kirsa welcomed SHPA members and delegates to the conference, urging pharmacists to take up the challenge to integrate education, skill development, communication and information technology into their practice.

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Primary takeover of Symbion looks unlikely : 09/11/2007 :

Primary Health Care launched an all cash takeover bid for Symbion Health yesterday morning. It was dismissed later in the day by the Symbion board as cheap and highly conditional. Read all about it by following the links in the AusPharm 'In the news' section.

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Results of "owing" scripts poll : 09/11/2007 :

In light of recent discussion on AusPharmList this week's AusPharm poll asked 'listers whether they thought the legislation relating to the supply of 'owing' scripts could usefully be changed so that pharmacists could, in some circumstances, supply full PBS quantities of a patient's 'regular' medications.

The results are shown above with fully 77% believing change is needed. Patrick Mahony suggested a protocol by which such supply might be managed - how do 'listers think this might be developed and moved forward?

 




Pharmacy hot to trot with DAA program : 08/11/2007 :

Over 2,000 pharmacies have now registered for the new CPA4 funded Dose Administration Aids (DAA) Program.

The Program has two phases - during Phase 1, participating pharmacies will collect evaluation data which will inform the development of a sustainable service model to be trialled in Phase 2. There are incentives in place for early Program registration. Eligible pharmacies registering before the end of the year will receive the maximum incentive for the collection of a timely and full set of data.

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Anonymous posts to AusPharmList - a comment from moderator Mark Dunn : 08/11/2007 :

"To this blog and all the others whose names appear regularly with similar themes of how to charge an extra buck AND HOLD ONTO IT NO MATTER with no consideration to the abnormal trade conditions in which they are protected and perhaps by default meant to return a better service to the public for that protectionism ....... have you considered charging for the water and cup? Might be something in that .... after all it has to be paid for! Right? Especially by the marginalised and oppressed who can't fight back. The "beautiful people" are a different kettle."

This comment posted to AusPharmList yesterday has elicited a few responses today. It also saw a few 'listers email me personally to ask why the author was granted anonymity and/or why the post was posted at all.

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Moses and McGuire zolpidem poster wins award : 07/11/2007 :

The work conducted on zolpidem during 2007 by Dr Geraldine Moses, Dr Treasure McGuire and the Adverse Medicine Events Line was acknowledged at a recent conference in the UK.

The conference was the 7th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Pharmacovigilance, held in Bournemouth, UK from October 21st-24th. It was attended by health professionals and scientists working in pharmacovigilance around the world - mostly staff from the WHO International Drug Safety Monitoring Program in Uppsala Sweden, members of government regulatory agencies, academics from various educational institutions and personnel from the various sectors of the pharmaceutical industry.

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Never be enough rural nurse practitioners : 07/11/2007 :

So said Dr Dennis Pashen (pictured at left), the President of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, at a recent meeting in Canberra.

Dr Pashen suggested Australia adopt an American solution and train "physician assistants". Physician assistants are typically more mature people taking on a second career. They work under direct supervision of a doctor and provide a limited range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. A trial is about to begin in North West Queensland. However there are some concerns about whether the system can support the training of these proposed "assistants."

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Poll: changes to owing script rules needed? : 07/11/2007 :

There has been some discussion on AusPharmList in the last week or two about the difficulties pharmacists sometimes face in maintaining the supply of prescription medications in some circumstances (eg in aged care facilities). Some 'listers have suggested that the relevent legislation could usefully be changed so that pharmacists could, in some circumstances, supply full PBS quantities of a patient's 'regular' medications. In an AusPharmList post Patrick Mahony made some suggestions as to the kinds of protocols that might be set in place to facilitate this.

What do you think? Please let us know by voting in this week's Auspharm poll at left.

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Panadol Osteo®/Duatrol® - would you like the good news or the bad news? : 06/11/2007 :

The good news: GSK have a new manufacturing facility online that is expected to produce 'validation' batches during December.

The bad news: 'unconstrained capacity' won't happen until March 2008 (presumably, if all goes well).

The current arrangements whereby the limited stock available is distributed 'evenly' to wholesalers and then on to pharmacies will continue for now. GSK expect that stock levels will 'improve' during the remainder of 2007.

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Guild ACT Branch Golf Day supports the White Ribbon Foundation : 06/11/2007 :

The ACT Branch of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia is currently putting the finishing touches to the arrangements for the 2007 Guild Golf Day which will be held at the Royal Canberra Golf Club, Yarralumla on Monday 19 November.

This year the event, which includes an 18-hole golf game followed by a presentation dinner, will help raise awareness and support for the White Ribbon Campaign for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

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MIMs November Prescribing Updates : 05/11/2007 :

Here are the November 2007 MIMs Prescribing Updates covering key New Indications, key Safety Related Changes and key PBS Changes for November 2007.

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Havidol® back in the news : 05/11/2007 :

Havidol® hit the headlines in Australia again this week. 'Listers may recall we told the Havidol® story back in February this year and there was some subsequent discussion on AusPharmList (here). Havidol® is indicated for Dysphoric Social Attention Consumption Deficit Anxiety Disorder - or DSACDAD.

To read Saturday's Sydney Morning Herald story on Havidol® click here. We've republished our February item in today's (e)news (here) and the Havidol® website is here.

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Your opportunity to become a pharmacy school evaluator : 05/11/2007 :

A key role for the Australian Pharmacy Council is to accredit pharmacy schools and programs throughout Australian and New Zealand.

The Council's accreditation functions are performed by a standing committee, the New Zealand and Australian Pharmacy School Accreditation Committee (NAPSAC). Currently there are 18 accredited pharmacy schools covering 20 Bachelor and Masters programs throughout Australia and NZ.

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Special poem for older folks : 02/11/2007 :

A poem instead of a Joke this week - sent along by AusPharm serial offender Peter Allen

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

Special poem for older folks

A row of bottles on my shelf
Caused me to analyze myself.

One yellow pill I have to pop
Goes to my heart so it won't stop.

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NPS targets new prescribing groups : 02/11/2007 :

The National Prescribing Service Limited (NPS) has embarked on three projects that will extend its work to new and emerging Health Professional groups with prescribing responsibilities. Addressing Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) information and education needs for international medical graduates, nurse practitioners and GP registrars, NPS is working with partner organisations to design and implement tailored programs.

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Be careful with your Authority Scripts : 01/11/2007 :

Medicare Australia (MA) report that, since July 1, they have received increased numbers of prescriptions that don't have the required authority number from MA or DVA on the prescription.

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