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AusPharm news

Poll: returned medicines : 17/01/2007 :

Late last week Philip Smith posted a comment to AusPharmList about the difficulty he had experienced with a customer who wanted to return some unused prescription medication. The policy in Philip's pharmacy is not to accept medication back for refund but only for disposal.

What do others do? What happens in your pharmacy (department)? Please let us know by participating in this week's AusPharm poll below.

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South African pharmacies doing it tough : 16/01/2007 :

AusPharmers holding concerns for the viability of their pharmacy businesses in the face of the new PBS Reforms might be interested to cast an eye to the trials and tribulations of their South African counterparts.

Effectively lacking a public health system until the 1990's and the demise of the apartheid regime, this culturally and geographically diverse country is a pharmacoeconomic work in progress. Development of modern infrastructure and services has moved apace in areas dominated by white folk, but far slower in its implementation in the black and rural communities.

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PSA: Out-of-date Product Information may be more widespread : 16/01/2007 :

A Medical Journal of Australia article stating that Product Information on thyroid medications may be dangerously out of date points to the potential for the problem being more widespread, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia National Vice-President Debbie Rigby (pictured at right) said today.

"As an organisation concerned about consumers' safe use of medicines, the Society welcomes discussions between the Therapeutic Goods Administration and drug company sponsors that may identify whether the problem is more widespread," Ms Rigby said.

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Do pharmacists use their dispensary scanners? : 12/01/2007 :




According to the results of this week's poll, in the main, they do.

153 AusPharmers answered our call to tell us how it is in their dispensaries with 70% of these saying that they either scanned every script or 'most' scripts.

On the other hand, one wonders why the other 30% don't, given the clear benefits of scanning in reducing the incidence of dispensing errors.

Post a comment to AusPharmList.

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Instructions for giving a cat a pill : 11/01/2007 :

Pharmacists are often asked for advice on giving medication to children/dogs/cats etc

Here is some sage advice unearthed from the depths of cyberspace and sent along by Martine Light

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

1. Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

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Poll: use of dispensary scanners : 09/01/2007 :

Last week's AusPharm poll enquired as to the presence or otherwise of a scanner in the dispensary. We determined that some 86% of pharmacies now have a scanner physically present. But are they being used? Please tell us what happens in your pharmacy by voting in our poll today.

Post a comment to AusPharmList.

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PSA: Pharmacists well placed to supply emergency hormonal contraception : 09/01/2007 :

Pharmacists are well placed to supply emergency hormonal contraception to the public, despite the reported claims by one Australian Medical Association representative that it is being used inappropriately by young teenagers, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia National President Brian Grogan said today.

When the National Drugs and Poisons Schedules Committee decided that public health would benefit from easier access to emergency hormonal contraception, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia developed a range of resources for supplying the product.

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Priceline Pharmacy Post of the month : 08/01/2007 :



The Priceline Pharmacy Post of the Month for December has been won by Steve Maycock for his post of December 11, part of the 'Choice vs Pharmacy' thread that followed the publication of the Choice prescription price survey.

"I may be missing something but I can find no reference in the PBS book to "permitted price"......." Maybe I'm just stoopid but to me this suggests a pharmacy can charge anything up to the $29.50 for scripts that don't receive a government subsidy ie where the PBS dispensed price is listed at less than or equal to $29.50. If that's the case, and I am open to correction there, what is Choice's problem? It's a free market and just like a large flat white coffee can cost you anything from $3.50 to $5.50 so does the spread of prescription prices differ depending on your market. Does that mean the more expensive store is just ripping you off. I would suggest not! "

Click here to read Steven's post in full on the AusPharmList website.

Steven 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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Good advice from Wendy Morton : 06/01/2007 :

Renovations at our house at the moment and in emptying the bookshelves I have had cause to reflect on the cost of some of the dud textbooks I have accumulated that sounded great in the promos but haven't delivered a bronze knut of value in my daily professional practise.

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Poll results: dispensary scanners : 05/01/2007 :





Thanks to the more than 200 people who responded to our call to tell us if they had a scanner in their dispensary to assist in avoiding dispensing errors. 86% of our sample said that they did indeed have a scanner in their dispensary. This is well up on the 29% result obtained in our January 2004 poll.

What may be more interesting is enquiring about the level of *actual* use these scanners get. Watch this space for next week's poll.

Post a comment to AusPharmList.

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Less than 60 days to APP2007 : 04/01/2007 :





The countdown is on - less than 60 days to go until community pharmacy's premier annual conference, APP. Registration is now open and accommodation is booking up fast so register today to avoid disappointment!

APP2007 is not to be missed, according to The Pharmacy Guild of Australia National President, Kos Sclavos. "The Guild and the government will be rolling out some key professional programs at APP - pharmacists and other interested parties don't want to miss it".

High profile speakers Jonar Nader and Dr Mark Hogan have been added to the already stellar line up of speakers. For further details go to www.app2007.com.

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John Chapman to head up ACPPM : 02/01/2007 :

The National President of the Australian College of Pharmacy Practice and Management, Mr Trevor Clarkin, last week announced the appointment of John Chapman as the new CEO of the college. 'The Board of the College is unanimous in welcoming John to this position. He brings with him a wealth of experience and a passion and commitment towards improving community pharmacy practice in Australia.'

John was CEO of AIPM prior to the merger with the College and has recently been teaching part time at the Pharmacy School at Wagga Wagga and working as a consultant on a number of projects for the Guild and for Healthlinks.net Pty. Ltd. He will start with the College on the 8th January 2007.

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Using the Internet to source drug information: poll results : 29/12/2006 :





This was the same poll we ran back in January 2003. Of the 187 people who participated in this week's poll 66% said they use the Internet to look for drug information 'a lot' with 29% saying they do so 'a little'. Only 4% never use the Internet to look for drug information.

It is not surprising that this is a change on the results from four years ago where the same figures were 40%, 58% and 2%. It seems that, for pharmacists, the Internet is now an everyday information resource.

Post a comment to AusPharmList.

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AACP ConPharm'07 : 28/12/2006 :

Registrations for the AACP consultant pharmacy clinical seminar, ConPharm'07 to be held at the Hyatt Regency, Coolum, on Queensland's Sunshine Coast from 31 May ­ 3 June 2007 are now open. To register, click here.

For Early Bird Registrations there is a special Early Bird 'package deal' of $850.

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Santa left a new mail server under the AusPharm Christmas tree : 27/12/2006 :

Over the next week or two we will be test driving the new mail server Santa left under the AusPharm Christmas tree. In the first instance we will send out the morning's (e)news to a small subgroup of AusPharmers and, all being well, will test it on the full AusPharm database during January.

Please let us know if this creates problems for you.

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Finding drug information online : 27/12/2006 :

Almost four years ago, in January 2003, we asked AusPharmers about their use of the Internet in seeking drug information. The results of that poll are published here. This poll found that 40% use the Internet to look fort drug information 'a lot', 58% use it 'a little' and 2% use it not at all.

AusPharm wonders whether things have changed since then. Please help us to find out by doing our AusPharm poll today.

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It may be the festive season, but not everyone has something to celebrate : 22/12/2006 :

Pharmacists may be interested to hear that as of November 1st 2006, some psychological services attract a Medicare rebate. While such services have previously been claimable under many private health insurance schemes and the fee scales of most practitioners still attract a significant Medicare "Gap" payment for the patient, the new initiatives do improve access to Cognitive Based Therapy (CBT) for a wide range of patients with mental illness, who might otherwise not have been able to afford to access such services.

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Colesworth and API poll results : 22/12/2006 :





This weeks' poll asked AusPharmers whether they would (continue to) trade with the API if they were bought by either Woolworths or Coles?

150 AusPharmers answered the call to vote and 2/3 of all respondents said they would *NOT* do business with an API owned by Colesworth with a quarter of respondents saying they would need to see what was on the table. Only 8% said they *would* buy from a Colesworth owned API.

AusPharm wonders whether Colesworth would be encouraged by this result or not? Does the 24% who need more information represent a strong enough base from which to build or is the pharmacy community totally against a Colesworth stake in API?

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Colesworth and API : 20/12/2006 :

The stalling of recent merger talks between API and Sigma has given rise to speculation that Symbion might be interested in API. Could recent entrant DHL also be formulating a bid? Crikey last week floated the prospect of Colesworth taking an interest in API to consolidate their existing foothold in pharmacy. Auspharm wonders how the ACCC would view such a move.

How would you react to a Colesworth takeover of API? Would you trade with them? Please let us know what you think by voting in our poll today

Post a comment to AusPharmList.

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Changes to HRT compounding expected : 19/12/2006 :

Compounding pharmacists are set to be in the news again as the Australian Health Minister's Advisory Council deliberate on the submissions of industry stakeholders as part of the TGA's ongoing review of the need for further regulation of extemporaneous compounding.

The details of the council's recommendations are yet to be released, but media speculation forecasts the introduction of a three tiered accreditation structure for pharmacists who compound non-proprietary products. An audit process to verify purity and dosage of compounded medicines has been suggested as another likely inclusion.

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