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AusPharm news

Poll results: PBS Online, will you? : 09/02/2007 :





This week's AusPharm poll asked 'listers what there intentions are with respect to signing on for PBS online.

Perhaps reflecting the makeup of the sample (largely technophilic?), the great majority of respondents (80%) are either already signed on or plan to sign up within the next 3-6 months.

Comments from 'listers seem to suggest that the advantages of weekly payment and being able to instantly review errors outweighs any disadvantages.

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Pharmacy rates poorly in X*nic*l mystery shop : 08/02/2007 :

CHOICE (previously know as the Australian Consumer Association or ACA) has released a report on a X*nic*l mystery shop survey it conducted in 30 Sydney pharmacies last December. The report was 'launched' on the Channel 7 'infotainment' program Today Tonight last night.

The mystery shopper was a 'young looking' 19 year old female with a BMI of 24.8 who exercised regularly, ate well and had no co-morbidities. In 24 of the 30 pharmacies visited the X*nic*l was supplied, in an apparent departure from the PSA protocol for the supply of orlistat.

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Drug Barons rip off sick Aussies' : 08/02/2007 :





So reads the headline in this morning Sydney Daily Telegraph. The story accuses pharmaceutical companies of 'deliberately creating shortages of generic medicines to force sick Australians to pay top dollar for identical brand-name medication'. It quotes Guild President Kos Sclavos as saying, 'Some drug companies make both the generic and the original brand drug. At any one time we'd have 40 shorts (shortages of supply) a day. Some of these are legitimate because the raw ingredients have to come from overseas – but how come the premiums brands never have shortages?'

The Telegraph has also run an editorial about this today. There are links to both of these stories in the AusPharm 'In the news' section.

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API recovery continues : 08/02/2007 :

In a release to the Australian Stock Exchange yesterday Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (API) reported that company sales for the five months to the end of January were $1.3 billion, up 18% on the same period last year and in line with expectations. The company said sales in the pharmacy division were up 23%, while the retail division’s sales rose 7.5%.

Read all about it by following the links in today's AusPharm 'In the News' section.




A lot of hot air? : 07/02/2007 :

The November 2006 issue of "Pediatrics" touts the latest hatchling in the world of head lice treatments, invented by a team of scientists at the University of Utah. Described by Forbes magazine as a "contraption that looks like a cross between a vacuum cleaner and a hair dryer", the device delivers high-volume hot air to the scalp via a comb-like attachment designed to lift hair away from the scalp and expose the roots, which is mounted at the end of a hose.

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NPS RADAR: Changes to the PBS criteria for lipid-modifying therapy : 06/02/2007 :

A special edition of NPS RADAR on the changes to the PBS criteria for lipid-lowering drugs has been released.

"It's important that doctors and pharmacists know the detail of how the changes to the lipid modifying drug listings on the PBS relate to patients as quickly as possible. This edition of RADAR is now available following the completion of reviews, so if you have not signed up for email alerts, visit www.npsradar.org.au and register," Dr Roush, NPS Chair of the New Drugs Working Group said.

The PBS changes allow those in high-risk groups to be treated at any cholesterol level. The special NPS RADAR edition details how the criteria have changed, highlight specific considerations for high-risk groups and use in primary and secondary prevention.

Click here to read the special edition online.

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Health Minister to open APP : 06/02/2007 :





In a strong show of support for community pharmacy, the Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, The Hon Tony Abbott MP, will be returning to the APP arena to formally open the conference and address delegates on Friday 2 March at 11.00am. Minister Abbott's address will provide delegates with a remarkable opportunity to hear the Government's views regarding pharmacy and his perspective on the way forward for the profession and the health sector at large.

Register now at www.app2007.com.

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CPD & PI points available for National Rural Health Conference, 7-10 March : 06/02/2007 :

Pharmacists will all be able to gain Continuing Professional Development points for attendance at the 9th National Rural Health Conference at Albury (7-10 March).

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has allocated 19 credit points, including 5 for the pre-Conference Rural Pharmacist Forum.

Conference Registration and full program details are available here.

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Priceline Pharmacy Post of the month
: 05/02/2007 :

The Priceline Pharmacy Post of the Month for January 2007 has been won by Roger Kilpatrick for his post of January 31, part of the 'Orange Tincture' thread initiated by Jarrod McMaugh.

As part of this thread John West (QLD, OF) posted a BP formula and added: "JUST PEEL THE SKIN OF THE BEST SMELLING ORANGES" to which Roger responded:

"That's fine for you John, you always seem to get the best and we are left with the rest!"

Well said Roger


Roger wins a prize to the value of $100 provided by our good friends at Priceline Pharmacy. AusPharm is grateful to Priceline Pharmacy for providing the support we need to run the Post of the month competition.

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Poll results: POS performance : 02/02/2007 :





Thanks to those (fewer than usual number) AusPharmers who participated in this week's poll that asked people whether they were satisfied with the performance of their pharmacy's Point of Sale systems.

We asked you to consider factors like whether your system is easy to use and intuitive, whether it produces meaningful and useful reports, whether it it integrates well with your other systems and whether the level of support is good. The results certainly were spread across the range of possible answers (see table at right).

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Independent pharmacist prescribers pick up their pens : 31/01/2007 :

A landmark for pharmacy in the United Kingdom (UK) this month as Nottinghamshire pharmacist Beth Hird was awarded the first pharmacy practice certificate in independent prescribing.

Once registered with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) as a "Pharmacist Independent Prescriber", Ms Hird will be able to prescribe any licensed medicine for any medical condition within her competence, with the exception of Controlled Drugs.

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APP2007 and CPD & PI points : 30/01/2007 :

APP2007 has been recognised under the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia's CPD & PI program as a Group 1 activity for 31.25 credit points (or state equivalent) according to PSA Guidelines.

For a list of program sessions and associated credit points please go to www.app2007.com. Registrations and accommodation for APP2007 are filling fast so book now to avoid disappointment!

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Poll results: Pharmacy dispensing software : 25/01/2007 :





This week's poll asked AusPharmers what they thought about the general state of their dispensing software. Does it do what you want it to do? Does it lack features you would like it to have? Does it satisfy your clinical expectations? Does it satisfy your administrative expectations? The results of the poll are shown at right.

As with all surveys of this kind a number of interpretations are possible. However, it seems to me that the most appropriate analysis of these results is that, on the whole, people are happy with what they've got. Perhaps this is because the software packages available are genuinely superior applications. Perhaps it is because pharmacists aren't a demanding lot.

What do you think?

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ADV: AusPharmList Poster of the year needs a locum : 24/01/2007 :

'Listers will remember that Geraldton's Jo Sorensen was the winner of the $1,000 prize for the 2005 Priceline Pharmacy AusPharmList Post of the Year. AusPharm will shortly be releasing the finalists for the 2006 prize.

Jo needs some help and I'm sure one or more of the AusPharm community will be able to help out.

"I would like to appeal to anyone "out there" who might like a sea change as I'm desperately looking for a locum pharmacist for any or all of the next 6 months (or longer if you like). I'm looking for someone who is passionate about pharmacy, has lots of energy and can work full time." said Jo.

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South Australian Pharmacy Board recognises AusPharmList : 23/01/2007 :

AusPharm was thrilled to discover this week that regular reading of AusPharmList has been provided by the South Australian Pharmacy Board as an example of a suitable activity pharmacists might undertake to meet their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) needs and maintain their general pharmacy knowledge.

The reference occurs in a worked example of an ENRICH "4-Stage Record Sheet" on pages 41 and 42 of the SA Board's newly released "Enrich Program Manual".

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Shooting From The HIP : 22/01/2007 :





It has now been a month since the parent company of Health Information Pharmacy (HIP), being Health Corporation (HEA), listed on the ASX on December 21, 2006. HEA scrip commenced trade that day at 70 cents and closed at 68 cents, a healthy premium on the issue price of 60 cents. Anyone stagging a profit on that first day of trade however will be pleased they did so, as the shares closed last Friday, January 19, 2007 below their issue price at 55 cents, having dipped as low as 50 cents earlier in the month.

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BMJ Medical Milestones Poll : 22/01/2007 :

Back on January 10 we drew AusPharmers' attention to a BMJ Medical Milestone's poll, which aimed to get readers' views on what they thought the most important medical advance since 1840 might be.

The results of the poll are now in with over 11,000 people casting their vote. Winning by a narrow margin was 'Sanitation: (clean water and sewage disposal)' with 15.8% of the vote. This was closely followed by 'antibiotics' with 14.5% and 'anaesthesia' with 13.9%.

The full story is here..

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Poll results: returned medicines : 19/01/2007 :





223 people participated in this week's AusPharm poll that asked people what happens to returned medicines in their pharmacies.

In the pharmacies of 82% of our respondents returned medicines are accepted only on the basis that they will be destroyed - no refunds are given. 12% of respondents say that they do re-use returned medicines either sometimes or often and that they do provide refunds or credits when they accept returned medicines.

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Peter Allen: coffee aficionado tells : 19/01/2007 :

As a special New Year treat AusPharm is releasing Peter Allen's 'coffee' piece to all AusPharmers, not just the 'premium' members. If you like what you see , sign up for 'premium' membership and get articles like these in your inbox twice a week and more. Click here for a 2 week free trial.

---------

In today's AusPharm feature, coffee snob Peter Allen tells it like it is...

"In making coffee, *everything* matters, and it's a pharmacist thing to look for the variables that matter most and nail them. Making coffee 'God-shots' is one of the three things I do best. I challenge visiting drug reps, I kid them, "would you like an Eltham coffee -- with a shot of Methadone?" Then "isn't this the best, most satisfying coffee you ever had?" and they invariably say yes. And they always come back at morning tea time. OK, coffee-time."

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Pharmacists 'Get in the Game' at the Scout Jamboree : 17/01/2007 :

Pharmacists Kay Dunkley and Helen White spent their summer holidays providing pharmacy services to the 12000 attendees at the 21st Australian Scout Jamboree (AJ2007) held in Elmore, Victoria from 1st to 13th January 2007. They joined a team of volunteer medical and nursing staff to provide a medical service which included an outpatient clinic, a hospital and seven first aid posts. Both pharmacists not only worked as volunteers but also paid for the privilege of being involved in the jamboree.

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