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AusPharm news

ASMI welcomes ALP Health Policy : 29/06/2007 :

The Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI), the industry body representing non-prescription consumer healthcare products yesterday welcomed the focus on preventative health contained in the Federal Opposition's health policy, also announced today.

The Executive Director of ASMI, Juliet Seifert, said health budgets and medical resources would be stretched to unsustainable levels unless Australians were enabled and encouraged to take greater personal responsibility for good health.

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API posts net loss for year of $11.3 million
: 29/06/2007 :

No not us, rather API is behind the headline above in today's Sydney Morning Herald. API yesterday reported that for the year ending April 30 it had achieved a loss of $11.37 million. This contrasts with a $20.6 million profit in the previous financial year.

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The past, present and future of consultant pharmacy (2) : 28/06/2007 :

On Tuesday we interviewed Dr Lisa Nissen about what the future might hold for consultant pharmacists in Australia. While we were at ConPharm '07 AusPharm also spoke to AACP Chair and Pharmacy Guild of Australia National Councilor Toni Riley about what she thought the future might hold (2.10 mins: 336kb mp3 file).

Click the photo of Toni Riley above right to hear the interview.

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CHOICE on throat lozenges : 28/06/2007 :


In case you haven't seen it CHOICE have recently done a review of throat lozenges titled: "Throat lozenges; Relief or rip off?"

They conclude that Products with anaesthetic or painkilling ingredients are the best bet for relieving the pain associated with a sore throat and that most throat lozenges are unlikely to help relieve the pain and discomfort of a sore throat any more than sucking on a hard lolly or drinking hot water with honey and lemon. Click here to read the report.

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Poll: Free home delivery : 27/06/2007 :

With petrol prices touching $1.40 per litre or higher around the country, and considering other operational costs such as staff time and vehicle running-costs, should pharmacies continue to offer a FREE home delivery service for their customers, as many of them do now?

What happens in your pharmacy? Please let us know by voting in this week's poll below.

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RMMRs, Medicare numbers and privacy : 27/06/2007 :

'Listers will have followed the AusPharmList thread that commenced with Peter Howard's comment that:

"I was told by two separate operators and a supervisor at Medicare that they are allowed to give these numbers ONLY to pharmacists who are dispensing a script. What a farcical situation!"

Well, yesterday MA were in touch with AusPharm and have provided the 'interim response' below. AusPharm appreciates the increasing willingness of MA to engage with 'listers.

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The past, present and future of consultant pharmacy : 26/06/2007 :

In Australia the first consultant pharmacists were accredited by the Australian Association of Consultant Pharmacy (AACP) in 1997. At the recent ConPharm '07 AusPharm spoke to Queensland academic and PSA Young Pharmacist of the Year for 2002, Dr Lisa Nissen about the progress made to date and what the future might hold.

Click the link below to hear the interview (2.20 mins: 351 kb mps file).

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Free public diabetes plays during Pharmaceutical Society's 150th Celebration : 26/06/2007 :

There is a series of diabetes seminars happening across regional Victoria during July to mark the 150th anniversary of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (Victorian Branch). The seminars are presented by PSA (Vic) and Diabetes Australia - Vic during National Diabetes Week commencing on 8 July 2007 to provide men with advice about how to prevent and live with diabetes.

The seminars include a performance of the play Six Degrees of Diabetes written by award winning playwright Alan Hopgood AM, followed by a panel discussion with health professionals. Click here for more information.

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Private' repeats : 26/06/2007 :

Back at the end of May Karalyn Huxhagen wrote:

"Today I had a repeat from a discount chemist. The original prescription was written as a NHS script with repeats. It was dispensed at a discount chemist and treated as private and had 'private' on their repeat. What do I do with this as I would normally put it through as NHS. "

The Guild has followed this up for AusPharmListers.

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PBS reform negotiations bring forward fee increase : 26/06/2007 :

In addition to the July 1st PBS dispense fee increase of 17c per item recently announced, pharmacy proprietors will doubtless be pleased to hear of an further 12c PBS dispensing fee increase to take effect on August 1st, 2007. Consequently, as of August 1st 2007, the PBS dispense fee will move to $5.44 for ready prepared items and $7.48 for exptemporaneously prepared items.

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More on Roche vs the NDPSC : 25/06/2007 :

"Roche disagrees with the NDPSC's decision to remove the ability for Xenic*l to brand advertise at its February 2007 meeting as it believes that it is against the interests of public health.

Roche is pursuing its right to challenge the decision via the appropriate channels. The case will be heard in Sydney in the Federal Court of Australia at the end of July and Roche believes that further debate and discussion should be left to the court. Roche is taking the action against the Committee through the individual members as it is the only way for us to challenge the NDPSC decision."

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Crikey! Colesworth in the wholesaler equation? : 25/06/2007 :

Last Fridays' Crikey ran an interesting story suggesting that the entry of private equity into wholesaler ownership might offer Colesworth a way into pharmacy. The reasoning goes like this.

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Final reminder to renew your AusPharm premium subscription early and save a few dollars : 25/06/2007 :

As an end of financial year 'special' we are offering AusPharm premium members the opportunity to renew their subscriptions early and save $33 off the regular price. If you renew between now and midnight on Saturday night we'll extend your subscription by 12 months for just $99 (inc gst). The normal price is $132. For most people this would also mean that the cost of your subscription will be tax deductible in the current financial year.

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Project STOP wins national award : 25/06/2007 :

Project Stop, the innovative tool developed by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia to combat the manufacture of illegal drugs was honoured at the National Drug & Alcohol Awards in Sydney last week. It won the 'Excellence in Law Enforcement' award, which recognises a program, policy or resource that makes a significant contribution to reducing harmful alcohol or drug use.

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Qld Guild President questions price cutting marketing strategy : 22/06/2007 :


(Image courtesy AJP)

Nambour pharmacist and Queensland Branch President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Tim Logan, has cautioned Australian pharmacists not to adopt advertising and pricing tactics that could compromise quality use of medicines.

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Results of Panaf*n Plus (etc) poll : 22/06/2007 :

This week's poll asked people whether large packs of Panaf*n Plus and equivalent products should be up-scheduled to S4 as a means of lessening inappropriate use. Some 55% of respondents thought this a good idea with 40% wanting to leave things as they are.

AusPharm thinks that this is the sort of responsibility that goes hand in hand with the privilege of being a pharmacist and a custodian of medicines. These are schedule 3 products and pharmacists have (or should have) the skills (if not the will?) to properly manage their supply.

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July 1 dispensing fee increases : 22/06/2007 :

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Remuneration Tribunal (PBRT) met on 20 June 2007, to determine the Commonwealth fees payable to pharmacists for dispensing pharmaceutical benefits. Dispensing fees will increase by 17c for both ready prepared and extemp items.

What 'listers may not realise is that these increases have a component above and beyond the CPI component 'triggered' by a Fourth Agreement risk sharing arrangement. The CPI component is 10c and the risk share component is 7c.

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ConPharm Theatre Sports lays 'em in the aisles : 21/06/2007 :

In a wonderful example of innovative professional education AACP rolled out a 'Theatre Sports' production at the recent ConPharm conference. The production was modelled on the Australian TV hit 'Thank God You're Here'. It featured Peter Tenni as Shane Bourne with actors 'Nurse' (sorry MATRON) Lisa Nissen, Dr Lisa Girle, patient Mary (Geraldine) Moses and accredited pharmacist Jeff Hughes was the hapless victim thrust into the scenario unprepared.

Click the More..... link below to see a photo essay of the event and to hear a sound bite of Jeff interviewing old Mrs Moses.

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Inaugural Pharmacy Rentals Symposium held : 21/06/2007 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia yesterday hosted the 2007 Pharmacy Rentals Symposium in Sydney (see AusPharm article May 22).

At the Symposium, the Guild called for a greater understanding - particularly among landlords - of community pharmacy profitability and constraints on income, such as Government controls on Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme pricing and restrictions on location. Additionally, the Guild sought greater equity and fairness in regard to rental fees in terms of what they pay compared to large supermarket and department stores.

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Online claiming for PBS technical difficulties fixed : 21/06/2007 :

('Your pharmacy is not registered for PBS online claiming' error)

Yesterday morning AusPharm asked Medicare Australia to provide a status report on this issue. Our thanks to MA for providing a timely response so that we can fill you in today!

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

From 10:45am to 12:15pm today (Wednesday 20 June) difficulties were experienced by some pharmacists with online claiming for PBS. Reason code 359 - Your pharmacy is not registered for online claiming - was returned intermittently when claims were submitted.

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