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AusPharm news

Government funds Gardasil : 29/11/2006 :

The Commonwealth Government will fund the cervical cancer vaccine, Gardasil (R), for girls and women aged 12 to 26 from 2007.

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Australian Pharmacy wins an award : 28/11/2006 :

AusPharmers will be interested to hear that Australian pharmacy has recently been awarded another 'prestige' award, the Australian Skeptics' Bent Spoon Award.

The Bent Spoon award is "presented to the perpetrator of the most preposterous piece of paranormal or pseudoscientific piffle".

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PBS reforms: poll results : 24/11/2006 :





This week's AusPharm poll asked AusPharmers what they thought about the PBS reforms announced last week. 147 votes were cast with pretty much everyone indicating either that these reforms were NOT good for pharmacy (50%) or that they couldn't say because there isn't enough detail available yet (42%). Only 8% thought that this was a good thing for pharmacy.

AusPharm will have more to say about this in an editorial on Monday and a Mark Nicholson feature on Tuesday. Watch this space.

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Clinical indications' on prescriptions and medicine labels : 22/11/2006 :

AusPharm subscribers may recall discussion threads and a feature article by Peter Bayly earlier in the year about replacing "mdu-isms" with genuine indications and directions on prescriptions and labels. This is of great importance in the case of off-label prescribing, when the standard counselling for many medications may either be at odds with the instructions a doctor has given, or completely baffle the patient.

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Poll: Behold the (PBS) reformation : 22/11/2006 :

By now, everyone has read about the changes set in place for the PBS over the next few years. But will these changes be 'a good thing' for pharmacy?

Please let us know what you think by voting in our AusPharm poll (below) today.

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Pharmacist re-elected as NRHA treasurer : 20/11/2006 :

AusPharm's congratulations go to New England-North Coast pharmacist Alison Aylott, who was recently re-elected as Treasurer of the National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA).

Part-owner of a pharmacy in beautiful Nambucca Heads, Alison is also a NSW Branch Committee Member of the Pharmacy Guild, a member of the Pharmacy Board of New South Wales and serves on the advisory council for the 9th National Rural Health Conference and the Rural Pharmacists of Australia (RPA) Special Interest Group, who host a one-day forum in conjunction with this biannual conference.

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PSA announces executive officers for 2007 : 20/11/2006 :





PSA's National Executive for 2007 was announced last week following a vote by PSA's National Council. Office bearers for 2007 will be:

* National President: Brian Grogan (Vic)
* National Vice-President: Debbie Rigby (Qld)
* National Treasurer: Alison Roberts.

PSA's National Council also voted in its 2007 Elected Directors. They are Joe Demarte (Vic), Alison Roberts (NSW), and Shane Jackson (Tas).

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Behold the Reformation : 17/11/2006 :

Health Minister Abbott's announcement of reforms to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme mandating transparency of generic pricing and removal of discount schemes met with a surprisingly warm reception from the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, sparking speculation that a far more bitter pill may have been avoided. Medicines Australia also supported the reforms, but the Generic Medicines Industry Association (GMiA) was much less enamoured of the package, predicting the focus on reducing the price of generic products would in fact encourage evergreening of patents and paradoxically increase the cost of the PBS. Wholesalers at the time of writing were yet to comment publicly.

The reforms create two formularies of PBS medicines. The first contains molecules which are available as a single brand only and are not interchangeable at the patient level with other multi-branded molecules. Atorvastatin would be an example. This formulary (F1) will be subject to price referencing and not be price linked to the second tier (F2) formulary.

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Should dispensary technicians be held personally responsible for their actions? : 17/11/2006 :





This week's AusPharm poll was a follow on from a story in the NZ press that reported on a pharmacy technician who was to face charges as a result of a dispensing error that (s)he had made. We asked you to tell us whether you thought pharmacy technicians should be held accountable for their actions (errors).

169 AusPharmers cast their votes and, in the main, respondents felt that they should not with 57% casting their vote in this direction. However, a significant minority (36%) said that they thought that pharmacy technicians should be held accountable. What do you think?

Post a comment to AusPharmList.

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Pharmacist wins national IT award : 16/11/2006 :

The 2006 National Pearcey Award for Young Achiever has been awarded to Tasmanian pharmacist Luke Bereznicki.

It is significant that a pharmacist won this award, normally reserved for members of the IT sector.

Luke's role has been critical in bringing together IT experts, health professionals and patients to create a sound system for the management of warfarin therapy, the success of which could be extrapolated to improve the management of other high-risk drugs and chronic disease states.

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Should dispensary technicians be held personally responsible for their actions? : 15/11/2006 :

AusPharmers will have read in yesterday's (e)news the story from New Zealand about the pharmacy technician who is to face charges as a result of a dispensing error (risperidone instead of prednisolone to a two year old girl). What do AusPharmers think about the notion of techs being held accountable for their actions (errors)? Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll below.

Post a comment to AusPharmList.

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AusPharm to sponsor APP2007 : 15/11/2006 :

AusPharm is delighted to confirm that we will be one of the program sponsors of APP2007.

The event has great speakers lined up and has a sensational social program scheduled. Click here to get the full APP2007 brochure and registration forms (large file warning: 2.9 mb pdf). The APP2007 website is at www.app2007.com.

Guild National President Kos Sclavos said: "The Pharmacy Guild of Australia is pleased to have AusPharm as a Program Sponsor for 2007. AusPharm(e)news provides immediate access to news and views ensuring pharmacists are well informed on developments. The Guild is pleased that the same immediacy of developments on APP2007 will occur via AusPharm(e)news.

On behalf on APP Chairman Tim Logan and the APP Committee I invite the industry to attend."

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NZ pharmacy technician to face charges after drug mix-up : 14/11/2006 :

AusPharm subscribers are most likely not in the habit of perusing the Manawatu Evening Standard, but the news item "Drug Mix-up Charges Due" by Janine Rankin from Nov 02, 2006 deserves some attention.

A New Zealand Pharmacy **Technician** is to face charges after allegedly dispensing a bottle of medicine for toddler Emma Leader which contained a mixture of prednisolone and risperidone, instead of the prednisolone prescribed to treat Emma's cough in January 2006.

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Things could be worse.... : 14/11/2006 :

Pharmacists up in arms over new ruling

South Africa's independent corner chemists say they will die fighting as they fear their survival is hugely threatened by the latest "lunatic ruling" on dispensing fees announced by Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang last week.

Pharmacists have also warned that poor communities in outlying areas are likely to be hardest hit as patients will have to incur travelling expenses to obtain medicine from large chain stores in town centres as more and more local chemists are forced to shut their doors. More....

Post a comment to AusPharmList.

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Olive leaf extract: Same sh*t, different day? : 13/11/2006 :

Last Friday an AusPharmer sent along the comment above and the fax below. Apparently this was faxed to all (?) pharmacies during the day.

While the comment made may be a little harsh AusPharm wonders whether this product would provide value for money for the majority of people who purchase it. What does it actually do? Post a comment to AusPharmList.

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Should our pharmacy organisations be more 'socially' active? : 10/11/2006 :





According to AusPharmers, yes.

Roughly 2/3 of the 134 respondents, (62%) in this week's poll think that our professional organisations *should* extend their advocacy role into issues beyond those immediately relevant to pharmacy. Almost twice the number of respondents agreed (62%) with this premise than disagreed (34%).

What do you think?

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BMJ: New rules for homoeopathic remedies anger UK peers : 09/11/2006 :

The promotion and sale of homeopathic products also generates lively debate in the UK it seems. The text below is taken from a news item in last week's BMJ.

Peers in the House of Lords last week debated the changes, which allow homoeopathic medicines to make medicinal claims. In September, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) introduced a scheme to regulate homoeopathic products in the United Kingdom, which allows manufacturers to specify the ailments that preparations can be used for.

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Hyperlinks are underlined (like this) : 09/11/2006 :

One or two people emailed me after AusPharm published Wendy Morton's article on Tuesday to ask what charcuteries are. This got me to thinking that perhaps not everyone realises that the underlined (sometimes different coloured) words (like this) in articles are actually hyperlinks to further information, as was the case with the word charcuteries in Wendy's article. [Click the word charcuteries in the previous sentence to see what I mean].

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Nurses are environmentally aware : 08/11/2006 :

Seems our friends at the Australian Nursing Federation have a social conscience. Should our own pharmacy organisations be active in such areas?

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Priceline Pharmacy Post of the month : 08/11/2006 :

It is nice to able to announce the day after Delta Blues won the 2006 Melbourne Cup that the winner of the October Priceline Pharmacy AusPharmList Post of the month also followed an equine theme. Last month's prize goes to Peter Allen for his musings on Phar Lap and the possibility that it was arsenic, fed to him by Tommy Woodcock, that did him in. Click here to read Peter post in full on the AusPharmList website.


Peter 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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