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AusPharm news

PBS online rollout to move to next phase : 09/10/2006 :

PBS online is ready for the next phase of rollout to approximately 500 pharmacies according to an announcement from the Guild last Friday.

Commenting on PBS online Guild President Kos Sclavos said: "The PBS Online system, once implemented nationally, will allow community pharmacists to better advise consumers about their medicines." He added "System improvements have been made and will continue to be made." The Guild's media release is here.

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FIP Council approves three new Statements : 06/10/2006 :

The FIP Council recently convened at the 66th FIP Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil to approve three new Statements:

* FIP Statement of Policy on the Role of the Pharmacist in the Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Disease (2006, Brazil) Link
* FIP Statement of Professional Standards on the Role of the Pharmacist in Crisis Management: including Manmade and Natural Disasters and Pandemics (2006, Brazil) Link
* FIP Statement of Policy on the Role of the Pharmacist in Pharmacovigilance (2006, Brazil) Link

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Strong program for 9th National Rural Health Conference : 05/10/2006 :

The program for the 9th National Rural Health Conference will provide insights into many of the key issues affecting the health of people in rural and remote Australia. With over 300 abstracts having been offered for concurrent sessions, the Conference Committee has been able to select a range of research reports and descriptive papers on such thing as the impacts of rurality and poor food supply in remote areas, women's health, and education for rural and remote health workers.

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Community Pharmacy: healthcare or retail? : 05/10/2006 :





Thanks to the 143 people who voted in this week's AusPharm poll that posed the question: "Community pharmacy is, in the main, a retail activity that runs in parallel to the health care system". The results show that roughly twice as many respondents think that pharmacy IS (in the main) a retail activity aligned to healthcare. 63% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement above while 31% disagreed or strongly disagreed.

Perhaps the reality is as put by Veronica Nou in her AusPharmList post today: "I think it's really useless to try to strictly categorise pharmacy as only retail or only healthcare. We need to acknowledge and embrace the fact that it's a creature of both worlds. Community pharmacy in its current form owes some part of its survival to the fact that we are much more accessible to the people who really need us because we do follow a basic retail model."

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CHOICE goes after Roche on Xenical : 04/10/2006 :

Some AusPharmers will have seen the Xenical ads on AUSTRALIAN IDOL. Consumer watchdog CHOICE is demanding the ads be removed immediately and wants Roche Pharmaceuticals fined for breaching the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code which prohibits drug advertising directed at people under 18.

According to CHOICE health policy officer, Viola Korczak (pictured): "The ads for Xenical send a dangerous message to vulnerable weight-obsessed girls that popping a pill is the solution. A healthy balanced diet combined with an exercise regime is the most-effective and safest way of losing weight."

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Priceline Pharmacy Post of the month : 04/10/2006 :

The AusPharm editorial group had some difficulty in choosing the winner of the September Priceline AusPharmList Post of the month prize. It came down to two posts, Debbie Rigby's post of September 4 on CPD&PI or Julie Lord's post of September 1 as part of the 'Photosensitivity' thread. In the end Julie Lord's comments in response to Peter Crothers query: "On behalf of my graduate, does anyone know what the mechanism of action is for photosensitivity i.e with antibiotics and roaccutane?" reigned supreme!


Julie 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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Are community pharmacists really healthcare professionals? : 03/10/2006 :

AusPharmers will have been following the 'Walmart' thread on AusPharmList over the last week. In a post to AusPharmList yesterday, ex-pat Australian pharmacist, Professor Shane Scott noted that: "....the REAL issue for pharmacists on both side of the pacific ocean [is], is pharmacy part of healthcare or does it exist as a retail activity in parallel to the health care system." What do you think? Please let us know in today's AusPharm poll (below).

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Winners of Desert Island Drugs competition : 03/10/2006 :

Thanks to those students who took the time to write and send along their Desert Island Drugs essays. The winners are.......

Curtin University's Archana Haria (pictured right) and Latrobe University's Gavin Flett and Fiona Davey (jointly, pictured at left). Both winners will receive a 12 month subscription to the Australian Journal of Pharmacy kindly provided by our good friends at the Australian Pharmaceutical Publishing Company.

We have published Archana's entry on the AusPharmList website today and will publish Gavin and Fiona's entry tomorrow.

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People's Choice - Pharmacy of the Year : 02/10/2006 :

Another initiative launched during Ask Your Pharmacist Week last week was the People's Choice - Pharmacy of the Year competition. The winner will receive $5000 cash and compete against the winners of two other categories for another $5000 and the overall Pharmacy of the Year title.

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Pharmacist chosen as finalist in Telstra Women's Business Awards : 29/09/2006 :

The Pharmaceutical Locum Company's Sue Muller has been selected as a finalist for the 2006 Telstra Women's Business Awards.

This follows on from Sue's 2005 success in winning the Telstra NSW Small Business Award.

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Desert Island Drugs essay competition - last day to enter! : 29/09/2006 :

"If you were marooned on a desert island, which 5 drugs would you like to have with you (and why)?"

Fancy a 12 month subscription to the Australian Journal of Pharmacy? Our good friends at the Australian Parmaceutical Publishing Company have joined with AusPharm to offer a 12 month AJP subscription to the best two answers to this question submitted by an undergraduate pharmacy student.

Any of you out there who have an entry half written might like to get it in today. There have only been a few entries to date so your chances of winning one of the two prizes are actually quite good.

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Do you want information with that?' : 28/09/2006 :

As part of Ask Your Pharmacist Week pharmacy staff across Australia are being encouraged to ask "Do you want information with that?" and many will be wearing badges with this message. It is hoped that this will encourage customers to take an active role in managing their health and medicines.

"Every day we are being told that knowledge is power, and that people should take more control of their lives. A person's health is something that they can take control of in partnership with their health professionals; and certainly the more information they have, the better prepared they can be," said Mr Scott.

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API responds to market speculation : 28/09/2006 :

A spike in the API share price yesterday prompted the Australian Stock Exchange to enquire of API whether they were aware of factors that might have caused this.

API issued a statement in response noting that they have "received approaches from a number of parties regarding the company's ownership" but "these approaches have been of an informal nature."

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Pharmacists enjoy their work! : 28/09/2006 :





This week's AusPharm poll produced the pleasing result that 71% of pharmacists enjoy their work 'mostly' or 'all the time', this despite the apparently increasing recent challenges to this (government rule changes, raised interest rates, apparently increasing Medicare Australia 'bastardry' and a perceived threat to the profession from 'big box' style 'chemists' etc). Only 12% of respondents say they 'never' enjoy their job.

This seems to AusPharm to be a good result with job satisfaction ratings in other industries unlikely to be so high. What do you think?

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Health Minister Abbott launches Ask Your Pharmacist Week : 27/09/2006 :

At the launch of Ask Your Pharmacist Week in Canberra yesterday, the Federal Health Minister, Tony Abbott (pictured right) praised the accessibility and expertise of Australia’s pharmacists:

"You don't have to make an appointment to see your pharmacist. If you have to stand in a queue, it's normally a pretty fast moving queue. The pharmacist is as visible, as accessible and as knowledgeable as just about anyone in our community when it comes to health," Mr Abbott said.

Guild National President, Kos Sclavos, said "I guess the exciting thing about Ask Your Pharmacist Week is that it brings a focus on the fact that pharmacists are medicines experts and play a vital role in healthcare. "Pharmacists are the most accessible of all health professionals."

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Pharmacy students active throughout Ask Your Pharmacist week : 26/09/2006 :

Pharmacy students will be playing a part in this year's Ask Your Pharmacist week (September 25-30), running health promotion activities at shopping centres in each state (see schedule below).

Throughout the week the many services pharmacists provide to their local communities, including medicine management programs, medicine information and professional advice will be show-cased via national and local activities.

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Do you enjoy being a pharmacist? : 26/09/2006 :

In yesterday's (e)news Veronica Nou told us why she likes being a pharmacist and why she enjoys her job. While the public focus is on pharmacy this week during "Ask your pharmacist' week, we thought we'd repeat a poll we did back in June 2003 and ask people whether they enjoy their job. Please tell us how it is for you in today's poll (below).

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Ask Your Pharmacist week starts today : 25/09/2006 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, in partnership with the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA), the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) and the National Australian Pharmacy Students' Association (NAPSA), is undertaking a national campaign to encourage the public to "Ask Your Pharmacist".

Ask Your Pharmacist Week is being held from 25 to 30 September and aims to raise awareness of the essential services provided through pharmacy. The focus of the week will be medicine management services such as Home Medicines Reviews and Consumer Medicine Information.

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Ask Your Pharmacist week: Ask for a CMI with your next prescription
: 22/09/2006 :

According to Pharmaceutical Society of Australia National President Brian Grogan: "All health consumers need to ask about a CMI leaflet when they next pick up a prescription medicine, even if they have been taking it long-term."

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Pharmacy helps tackle depression
: 22/09/2006 :

The Victorian Branch of The Pharmacy Guild and beyondblue: the national depression initiative have joined forces and launched a pharmacy-specific resource aimed at raising awareness of depression.

To be distributed to pharmacies in Victoria in the lead up to Mental Health Week on 8 October 2006, the flyers provide pharmacies with a tool to encourage patients to find out more about depression via their doctor, other health professional or by contacting the beyondblue information line 1300 22 4636 or the beyondblue website - www.beyondblue.org.au

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