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AusPharm news

Healthstyle Pharmacy on TV Sunday morning : 10/08/2007 :

Your Business Success is a Channel 9 television program that seeks to provide inspirational, practical and educational business advice through highlighting business success stories across industries in Australia.

Every Sunday different successful entrepreneurs, the 'Success Story', are interviewed and profiled. Elements of how each Success Story got started, the challenges faced and how they overcame them with clever thinking, good timing and perseverance are highlighted. This coming Sunday the 'Success Story' will be Jocelyn Bussing's Healthstyle Pharmacy at Cronulla.

So, tune in to Channel 9 at 8.30am this Sunday to watch this program. Jocelyn is pictured at right with the program's host Charles Slade.

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Poll results: it's getting better all the time.... : 10/08/2007 :

This week's poll asked people to tell us whether they enjoyed their work as a pharmacist. The results are shown below.

What is interesting is that we ran exactly this poll in September 2003 and got quite different results (Click here to see the results). On that occasion 35% of respondents said that they 'hardly ever' enjoyed their work compared to 18% in our poll this week. What gives?

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NDPSC confirms that Xenic*l ads must go : 09/08/2007 :

At its June meeting, the findings of which were released yesterday, the National Drugs and Poisons Scheduling Committee (NDPSC) confirmed its February decision to withdraw direct to consumer advertising approval for Xenic*l. The NDPSC set a deadline of October 1 by which date the current TV ad must cease going to air.

AusPharm sought comment from Roche yesterday but was told that they would be issuing a statement later today.

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Workplace Agreements and Community Pharmacy : 09/08/2007 :

Workplace Agreements are beginning to appear in Australian pharmacy. The Guild has recently conducted a series of workshops around the country introducing its members to the concept and, according to the Guild, there has been strong interest among community pharmacy employers in moving from the old award system into Workplace Agreements.

James Mobayad, the Guild's National Director - Workplace Relations, said "So far the preferred model for Workplace Agreement making is for community pharmacy employers to use the Guild's model Collective Workplace Agreement to apply to all pharmacist employees and all pharmacy assistants."

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Independent drug reviews in August RADAR : 09/08/2007 :

In-depth reviews of new and changed PBS listings, which take effect from 1 August, 2007 are featured in the latest edition of NPS RADAR. Reviews include new PBS-listed indications for budesonide with eformoterol dry powder inhaler (Symbicort Turbuhaler), as both maintenance and reliever for asthma, and for fluticasone with salmeterol (Seretide) in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

This edition also reviews olmesartan medoxomil (Olmetec) monotherapy or in combination with hydrochlorothiazide (Olmetec Plus) for hypertension, which was listed on the PBS in June this year.

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Poll: do you enjoy your work as a pharmacist? : 08/08/2007 :

Janina Graham's post earlier this week describing a customer hitting the counter with his walking stick and threatening pharmacy staff had AusPharm recalling a poll we ran just over 4 years ago asking people whether or not they enjoyed their work as a pharmacist. With all of the challenges thrown up recently (PBSOL, PBS Reforms etc) it seems like a good time to run this poll again to see if things have changed.

How is it for you? Do you enjoy your work as a pharmacist? Please let us know in this week's poll below.

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PSA: 'Get to Know Your Medicines' campaign offers pharmacists a great opportunity : 08/08/2007 :

The NPS Get to Know Your Medicines campaign, launched last Monday offers a great opportunity for pharmacists to demonstrate the valuable role they play in Australia's health sector, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) National President Brian Grogan (pictured at right) says.

"The campaign makes it clear that the first avenue consumers should take when looking for medicines advice is to seek the advice directly from their health professional. Since pharmacists offer the most accessible form of health-care advice, and possess unique skills in pharmacotherapy, it is important that they are ready to cope with any increase in public inquiries. It's a great way for Australia's pharmacy profession to showcase its skills and expertise."

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Survey on similar packaging, labelling and naming problems : 07/08/2007 :

Similar packaging, similar labelling and similar naming of medications are common problems in Australia. This has been an issue of concern to many 'listers and, as many of you will recall, we ran a "Turkey of the year award" in 2005 on exactly this.

Anecdotal evidence suggests these products are problematic in pharmacy in Australia, but no systematic evidence on the extent of the problem has been collected.

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COPRA becomes the 'Australian Pharmacy Council' : 07/08/2007 :

The Council of Pharmacy Registering Authorities (COPRA) has changed its name to the Australian Pharmacy Council. The Pharmacy Council is an organisation of the state and territory registering authorities and will continue to undertake the roles of the former Australian Pharmacy Examining Council (merged with COPRA in December 2006) and the former COPRA.

The new name enables closer identification with similar bodies who act in the interests of the public and the profession in other fields.

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Xenic*l Provides Opportunity to Demonstrate Pharmacy Professionalism : 07/08/2007 :

Following the decision by Roche to launch a new Xenic*l television advertising campaign airing from July 29, The Pharmacy Guild of Australia last week highlighted to its members the value pharmacists bring to the Pharmacist Only Medicine (S3) schedule.

The new advertisement stresses tha Xenic*l(TM) is not suitable for everyone and that pharmacists play a vital role in assessing a consumer's suitability for the product.

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Health industry forum to consider Australia's future health care system : 06/08/2007 :

Pharmacists and health colleagues from around Australia will come together on Thursday 23 August 2007 to consider how the critical drivers of change will affect Australia's health care system over the next 15 years. The Forum is to be held in conjunction with PAC 2007 and will be held the day before PAC proper begins.

The Health Industry Forum is being held at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (Victorian Branch). The Hon Dr Michael Wooldridge, the former Federal Health Minister is chairing the Forum and will also assist the Society to develop a policy white paper on the issue.

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Get to Know Your Medicines Campaign commences : 06/08/2007 :

The National Prescribing Service (NPS) are hoping that the Get to Know Your Medicines campaign commencing August 6 will encourage more consumers to ask their health professional questions about their medicines.

There are two phases to the Get to Know Your Medicines campaign which runs from August until October. From August 6 to­ September 15 the campaign messages will focus on general Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) issues and the second phase from September 16 to October 31 will focus on messages about generic medicines.

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Pseu*oeph*dri*ne scripts poll results : 03/08/2007 :

As we mentioned earlier in the week AusPharm's mail is that the incidence of inappropriately written PSE scripts may be on the rise.

Our poll results suggest that if this is so, it certainly isn't a widespread phenomenon. Thanks to those 'listers who participated in this week's poll.

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AMLO® misses out - PBSOL strikes again
: 03/08/2007 :

Those 'listers working in community pharmacy will probably already have seen instances of PBSOL rejecting seemingly valid prescriptions for AMLO® and Efexor®.

"Reason code 142, - 'The brand provided was not a PBS benefit as at the date of supply' is being returned to Online pharmacies for some prescriptions when the bioequivalent Amlodopine items 1434Q and 1345T are being claimed. Similarly rejection code 142 is also being returned to Online pharmacies when claiming the Efexor-XR (WX) brand for item 8302Y."

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NPS Review: Rosiglitazone and Myocardial Infarction Risk : 02/08/2007 :

While it remains unclear whether rosiglitazone (Avandia) increases the risk of myocardial infarction, The National Prescribing Service Limited (NPS) states the possibility of a small increase in cardiovascular risk should be borne in mind until further evidence becomes available.

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Project STOP national rollout underway : 02/08/2007 :

The long awaited national roll-out of Project STOP has finally commenced.

Support materials are expected to arrive in pharmacies across the country this week. Pharmacies will be able to register and start using STOP as soon as they have received their kit, which contains a registration card, comprehensive user guide and a number of items designed to inform the public about their rights in relation to the use of the tool.

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An interview with Kos Sclavos : 01/08/2007 :

Last Wednesday AusPharm spoke at length to Pharmacy Guild of Australia National President, Kos Sclavos, about the effect of the PBS Reforms on Community Pharmacy. Click the More.... link below to access a link to the interview. (18.05 mins, 7.9 Mb .mp3 file - smaller file size also available).

"The Guild is confident that the Reforms allow pharmacy to move to a new remuneration arrangement without penalising them financially."

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AusPharm(e)news welcomes PCA NU Systems as new principal sponsor : 31/07/2007 :

AusPharm is delighted to announce that PCA NU Systems has entered into an agreement with AusPharm that sees it take up the mantle as principal sponsor of the AusPharm (e)news.

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Poll: Pseudo*phed*ine Prescriptions : 31/07/2007 :

AusPharm hears that Health Department officials have been receiving reports of suspect prescriptions for products containing PSE.

It would appear some doctors remain oblivious to the risk of PSE diversion and are quite happy to prescribe large repeat quantities of these products.

Tell us about your experiences with PRESCRIPTION sales of PSE in today's poll. What kind of scripts for decongestant medicines containing PSE are being presented in your pharmacy?

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PBS Reform price cuts - Guild President Responds : 31/07/2007 :

Guild President Kos Sclavos has responded to yesterday's AusPharm report titled "Price Cuts on Patented Molecules in New PBS Formulary", to reassure pharmacists that the inclusion of patented single brand molecules in the new F2T formulary is not a last minute surprise from the Government.

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