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AusPharm news

It was 20 years ago today .... : 01/02/2016 :

The very first post to AusPharmList (appended below) was posted on 1 February 1996.

We'll trot out a few posts from 1996 as the month / year progresses as the issues raised are, in many cases, exactly the same now as they were then.

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Mixed demand for discounted PBS co-payment : 29/01/2016 :

The results of this week's AusPharm poll suggest the consumer demand for a PBS co-payment discount varies significantly from pharmacy to pharmacy with no great difference between urban and rural areas.

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ASMI gets a new Chairperson : 29/01/2016 :

The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) has appointed Reckitt Benckiser's Lindsay Forrest as its new Chairperson.

Mr Forrest. pictured at right, has a long history in the consumer healthcare products industry and is a recognised industry leader.

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Chemmart Pharmacy of the Year named : 29/01/2016 :

Doubleview Chemmart Pharmacy in Western Australia has beaten almost 300 stores from around the country to be named Chemmart Wellbeing Pharmacy of the Year for 2015.

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AusPharm CPD catchup: Allergic rhinitis : 28/01/2016 :

If you're looking to catch up on some CE during January you might like to take a look at one of the more popular activities we've offered. Originally published in November 2014, the Allergic rhinitis activity was put together for us by Debbie Rigby.

AusPharm gratefully acknowledges the financial support provided by the sponsors of our CE program, MIMS.

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Faulding to launch Australian-made infant formula range : 28/01/2016 :

Capitalising on the current demand for high quality infant formula, Faulding, Australia’s oldest pharmacy brand, is to launch an Australian made infant milk formula range.

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Codeine real time recording and monitoring system ready to go : 28/01/2016 :

A Pharmacy Guild developed real time recording and monitoring system for OTC codeine products officially titled “MedsASSIST – informing medicine decisions” has now reached the pilot stage.

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South African safari for PSA Offshore Refresher 2016 : 27/01/2016 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is urging pharmacists and other health professionals to register for its 2016 Offshore Refresher Course in South Africa, offering high quality education mixed with wildlife and adventure.

Australia's longest-running pharmaceutical conference, the 41st Offshore Refresher Course 2016 will be held in Cape Town and Sun City, South Africa from 1-10 May, with pre-conference programs from 27 April and a post-conference program from 10-13 May.

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Poll: what is the demand for discounted scripts in your part of the country? : 27/01/2016 :

The option of discounting the PBS prescription co-payment by up to $1.00 has now been available for almost a month.

AusPharm's mail is that, while discounting might be on the minds of (and sought by) consumers in metropolitan areas, it's less so (or absent) in rural areas.

Please help us determine what's happening by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll.

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South Australian rural pharmacist honoured : 27/01/2016 :

South Australian rural pharmacist Herbert (John) Holds, pictured at right, has been awarded a Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division in yesterday's Australia Day honour's awards 'for service to rural pharmacy, and to the community of South Australia'.

Mr Holds has a long history of service to both his profession and his local community. He owned and operated a pharmacy in Whyalla from 1969 to 1999 and has been a rural pharmacy locum since. He was a member of both the SA Branch Committees of both the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Pharmacy Guild for many years.

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NZ pharmacists get OC supply rights : 27/01/2016 :

Pharmacists in New Zealand should soon be able to supply the oral contraceptive without a prescription.

The New Zealand Medicines Classification Committee has approved selected combined oral contraceptives and progestogen only pills to be able to be supplied by specially trained pharmacists to women who have been prescribed an oral contraceptive by a doctor in the last 3 years.

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No AusPharm on Australia day : 25/01/2016 :

AusPharm won't be publishing tomorrow on  Australia Day - Tuesday 26 January.

We'll be back as usual on Wednesday morning.

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SA pharmacist wins big from AMH : 25/01/2016 :

The winner of a major Australian Medicines Handbook (AMH) competition prize for up to 2 people to attend an Australian conference in their field, to the maximum value of $6,000, was Churn chi Koay, of Mt Compass Pharmacy in SA.

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New report to detail consumers' views on medicines : 25/01/2016 :

Social researcher, Mark McCrindle, will be detailing the findings of new research into the consumer view on medicines at APP2016.

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Cannabis derived substances to move to S8? : 25/01/2016 :

A proposal to down-schedule cannabis-derived substances from Schedule 9 to Schedule 8 is up for consideration at the March meeting of the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS).

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What is your weekly fee for managing Dose Administration Aids? : 22/01/2016 :

This week's poll asked about what pharmacies now charge for providing a service that manages all aspects of a patient's dose administration aid (DAA).

It was surprising to see that 16% of respondents (n=280) said they charge nothing for this service. When a similar poll was conducted 18 months ago (n=311), this figure was 6%, and 24 months ago (n=283) it was 1% (although the option in that poll was "less than $3", rather than "nothing"). What's going on here? Is this analogous to the online retail business, where the pressure to compete has more and more sellers offering "free" postage, when of course there is no such thing as "free" postage.

Looking at the amount when a fee is charged, nobody charges over $15.01, with a tiny fraction (1%) charging in the range $9.01-$15. The bulk of respondents (69%) charge between $3.01 and $9.00 (compared with 75% 18 months ago), with another smallish group (10%) charging $3 or less. Looking over the different poll results from the last 24 months, it may be suggested that what began as a fairly wide range of price points is coalescing in the $3.01 to $9.00 pool.

Here are the specific results from this week's poll (number of votes: 280):

nothing     16 %
$3 or less     10 %
$3.01-$5     34 %
$5.01-$9     35 %
$9.01-$15     1 %
$15.01-$20     0 %
More than $20     0 %
My pharmacy doesn't do DAAs     0 %
I don't work in a setting where DAAs are supplied     3 %

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AusPharm CE: Depression, delirium or dementia in the elderly - what are we looking at? : 21/01/2016 :

If you're looking to catch up on some CE during January you might like to take a look at one of the more popular activities we published in 2015, Depression, delirium or dementia in the elderly – what are we looking at?, put together for us by Ella Van Tienen.

"Many consumers of pharmacist services are elderly and present with varying degrees of cognitive decline. Determining whether the cognitive changes are indicative of normal ageing or an underlying psychiatric illness can be challenging for health professionals involved in their care."

 

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Tall Man Lettering findings : 21/01/2016 :

The late 1990s saw the introduction of the method of 'Tall Man lettering' for printing part of a drug’s name in capital letters, in order to distinguish look-alike, sound-alike (LASA) drugs from one another.

It is well-documented that drugs whose names are spelled or sound similar may cause potentially dangerous medication errors. However recent research across 42 paediatric hospitals in the USA has shown that implementation of Tall Man lettering in 2007 in the hospital setting was not associated with a reduction in the potential look-alike, sound-alike error rate. Whether Tall Man lettering is effective in general practice and the outpatient setting is not known.

Discussion following the publication of this research emphasises that a number of approaches should be taken, not just Tall Man lettering, to reduce the risk of LASA errors. These include appropriate naming of new drugs, using generic names of drugs in prescriptions, using computer-entry rather than hand writing, using more advanced drug distribution systems, and educating patients, doctors and pharmacists. This echoes discussion in many forums over recent years.

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Poll: medicines in dose administration aids : 20/01/2016 :

As the population ages, more and more people are having their medicines packed into dose administration aids (DAAs) by their local pharmacy.

What's your pharmacy's policy on the initial fill of the DAA?

Do you use the patient's own meds? Dispense a new batch? Something else?

Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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Poll: what does your pharmacy charge for managing all aspects of a patient's dose administration aid? : 20/01/2016 :

While we're focusing on dose administration aids, we'd be interested to find out what pharmacies now charge for the service.

What does your pharmacy charge for managing all aspects of a patient's dose administration aid? Nothing (as we've heard some pharmacies still do)? $10 (more realistic)? Something else?

Please let us know what your pharmacy's fee is by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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