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AusPharm news

Poll: do you understand the PBSOL reconciliation statements? : 22/08/2007 :

(Just the money part, not the unpaid Rxs ... that's another song.)

'Listers will have seen that we have had a number of queries from people wanting to know where on the AusPharmList website they can find the PBSOL reconciliation spreadsheet developed by Peter Evans. This suggest to us that people are struggling with their PBS reconciliation statements.

Please tell us how you're coping in your pharmacy in this week's AusPharm poll (below).

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Minister Abbott launches CPA4 DAA Program
: 22/08/2007 :

As part of Ask Your Pharmacist week Australian Government Health Minister Tony Abbott formally announced funding for the Fourth Pharmacy Agreement funded Dose Administration Aids program.

The Commonwealth Government has provided up to $72.9 million to the Pharmacy Guild of Australia for the initiative.

The program provides support to community pharmacists to help patients manage their medication by packaging it into dose administration aids. The packaging can be either a unit-dose pack or a multi-dose pack.

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Qld pharmacy students win national business competition : 21/08/2007 :

Four pharmacy students from Griffith University have won the National Student Business Plan Competition - an Australia-wide challenge promoting entrepreneurship among students preparing for a career in pharmacy.

The Griffith University team beat teams from Curtin University of Technology and the University of South Australia, with the results announced at the 2007 Pharmacy Women's Congress in Adelaide over the weekend.

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Pharmacists remain highly valued by public : 21/08/2007 :

According to a new report Australians' attitudes towards pharmacists remain highly positive.

Research done to prepare the Pfizer Australia Health Report showed that ninety percent of Australian customers trust their pharmacist and believe their pharmacy is a quality healthcare destination. Similarly, 82 percent consider their pharmacist to be an expert in medicines, while 79 percent believe pharmacy plays an important role in their healthcare management. Sixty six percent of Australian customers stated that they go to their pharmacist before or instead of their GP for some minor medical conditions.

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PSA, Guild say criticism of CPA4 program rollout unwarranted : 20/08/2007 :

The CPA4's Joint National Professional Practice Committee (JNPPC), made up of PSA and Guild representatives, whose role it is to implement the Professional Practice programs funded under the Fourth Community Pharmacy Agreement (CPA4) say that criticism of the time it has taken to roll out new professional programs and services is unwarranted.

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2007 Ask Your Pharmacist week underway : 20/08/2007 :

Pharmacies across Australia will be encouraging consumers to take a more active role in managing their health and medicines during Ask Your Pharmacist Week 2007 (17 – 24 August). This year's event focuses on the benefits of consumers learning more about their medicines, by asking their local pharmacist for Consumer Medicines Information (CMI) when picking up a prescription.

Ask Your Pharmacist Week is an initiative of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia. For more information on Ask Your Pharmacist Week go to www.askyourpharmacist.com.au.

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History of pharmacy seminar to feature at PAC : 17/08/2007 :

The Pharmacy History Special Interest Group Seminar, on at 3.30 pm on the Saturday at PAC is titled Pharmacists and the Lessons of History.. and there is no new thing under the sun.( Ecclesiastes 1.9)

Keynote speaker David Newgreen, will explore how in Australia, the Commonwealth has become increasingly involved in all aspects of pharmacy law and with the exception of the provision of pharmaceutical benefits, its intervention is a paradigm for the shift to the centralisation of power in the absence of amendments to the Constitution.

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Pharmacy Women's Congress underway in Adelaide : 17/08/2007 :

Adelaide will play host to over 300 female pharmacists from all around Australia this weekend. The 2007 Pharmacy Women's Congress will highlight the changing face of Australian community pharmacy, with approximately 70 per cent of today's pharmacy graduates being women.

The Congress will provide delegates helpful tips on how to balance the priorities of career, family and social lives, while celebrating the great success thousands of women pharmacists in Australia have already had in meeting these challenges.

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Side effects of medicines explained in new consumer campaign : 17/08/2007 :

A new consumer guide on the side effects of medicines is now available to health professionals and consumers around Australia.

The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI), together with Pfizer Australia and with the assistance of the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, has developed a leaflet, Understanding the side effects of medicines, which addresses some of the common issues associated with use of medicines. The leaflet provides general information on the frequency of side effects, what to do in the case of side effects, reducing the chance of side effects, weighing the risks and benefits, obtaining information on medicines, and reporting side effects.

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Poll results: Charging for extra services : 17/08/2007 :

This week's poll asked people whether they thought that their pharmacies would soon start charging for previously 'free' services such as the provision of tax statements or the sourcing of health information for customers. This in the context of shrinking margins and a generally tougher business environment.

I have to say that AusPharm is surprised by the results. Why is it that pharmacists are so reluctant to charge for their time?

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Influenza: it's a bad year : 16/08/2007 :

'Listers will have seen the numerous media reports of deaths attributed to influenza recently. Australia's Chief Medical Officer, Professor John Horvath AM, yesterday issued a statement reminding people how they can protect themselves and their families against influenza infection and illness.

Given that Australia is experiencing a worse than normal influenza season in 2007, and that patients suffering from influenza will be presenting in pharmacies it seems appropriate to reproduce that advice.

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Pearl: beat the 13 22 90 preamble : 15/08/2007 :

A **FREE** Pearl even for non-premium subscribers:

I was waiting in one of those hellish queues for petrol in Moscow. A man said to me, "I've had enough! I'm not going to take it any more. I'm going off to shoot Premier Mikhael Gorbachov."

He came back later that day (I was still in the queue of course).
"So did you kill the Premier?"
"No. The queue to kill him was longer than the queue to buy petrol."

Who hates, who really really hates waiting through the messages when we dial Medicare Australia, 13 22 90.

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Community Service Obligation (CSO) review to commence soon : 15/08/2007 :

'Listers will have read articles in the (e)news and posts to AusPharmList that refer to complaints from various stakeholders about the level of services being provided by some recipients of CSO funding and about the way the CSO funding is being distributed.

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Winner of National Student Business Plan Competition to be announced this week : 15/08/2007 :

Three university teams have made the finals of the National Student Business Plan Competition, an Australia-wide challenge promoting entrepreneurship among pharmacy students.

Teams from the Curtin University of Technology, Griffith University and the University of South Australia were selected to progress to the final stage of the competition. The winner will be announced at the Pharmacy Women's Congress starting in Adelaide tomorrow.

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NPS issues prescribing advice following Lumiracoxib withdrawal : 15/08/2007 :

In light of the recent decision by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for the urgent recall of the the COX-2 selective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) lumiracoxib (Prexige), the National Prescribing Service (NPS) has prepared prescribing advice for health professionals. The TGA is advising people to stop taking lumiracoxib immediately and to discuss alternative treatments with their doctor. It is also recommending that all people taking lumiracoxib are assessed by their doctor for any clinical or biochemical evidence of liver damage. Patients found with liver abnormalities should be referred for specialist hepatologist review.

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What does it mean?? : 14/08/2007 :

Last week a 'lister sent me this fax and the comment "Microsoft Windows is *not* a virus!"

I replied asking him what the fax meant.

Read on for the punchline.......

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PSA issues advice on lumiracoxib : 14/08/2007 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia yesterday issued advice to its members on how to handle enquiries about the lumiracoxib recall.

PSA director Debbie Rigby said: "Pharmacists should advise consumers to stop taking lumiracoxib immediately." She added that "Pharmacists should advise all patients to take the lowest dose of any NSAID - including COX-2 inhibitors - over the shortest time possible to minimise the risk of side effects."

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PCA NU SYSTEMS AusPharmList Post of the month : 13/08/2007 :

As always, in July, choosing a single winning post was a tough call. We had, for example, to pass up excellent posts such as those in the DAA packing error rate thread instigated by Rob Smallwood on July 24.

The winning post was Terry Irvine's post of July 16 that floated the idea of two distinct kinds of pharmacies, one where supply was the main function and the other where cognitive services (and other value adding) was the core activity. While there was limited follow up to Terry's post AusPharm has seen the idea mentioned in dispatches since it was floated.

For his efforts Terry wins $100, courtesy of our good friends at PCA NU Systems.

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Prexige® goes down : 12/08/2007 :

The TGA issued a media release on Saturday announcing that it had cancelled the registration of cox-2 NSAID lumiracoxib, marketed in Australia as Prexige®. The TGA took this action because, as of August 8 2007, it had received 8 reports of serious liver adverse reactions to the drug, including two deaths and two liver transplants.

The TGA's Principal Medical Adviser, Dr Rohan Hammett, said "It seems that the longer people are on the medicine, the greater the chance of liver injury. The TGA is, therefore, advising people to stop taking the Lumiracoxib immediately and to discuss alternative treatments with their doctor."

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Roche comments on the NDPSC Xenic*l decision : 10/08/2007 :

Roche Products issued a brief statement yesterday in response to the NDPSC's decision at its June meeting to confirm its decision, made at its February meeting, to withdraw direct to consumer advertising approval for Xenic*l. Given that this matter is before the courts it is no surprise that the statement is carefully worded and brief.

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