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AusPharm news

FIP Awards 2006 Andre Bedat Award to Dr Gloria Francke : 01/09/2006 :

The Board of Pharmaceutical Practice of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) has awarded the 2006 Andre Bedat Award to Dr. Gloria Francke (USA).

The Andre Bedat Award is the premier award presented biennially by FIP to a pharmacist who has made an outstanding contribution to international pharmacy.

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Searching the web for clinical information : 01/09/2006 :

Dr Peter Lavelle

Are Transiderm Nitro patches an effective treatment for tendonitis? What about chilblains? These were some of the questions posed by AusPharmListers in a recent discussion thread sparked by a query from Bourke pharmacist Peter Crothers who had received a script for Transiderm Nitro patches - to be added 'to the dorsum of the right foot' - and who wondered why they were being prescribed this way and for what purpose. Other members noted receiving similar scripts - possibly for treating peripheral vasoconstriction, others possibly for treating chronic tendon injuries. "Not sure why - it would be good to find out", was a typical reply.

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Have you developed a CPD&PI personal training needs analysis? : 31/08/2006 :





This week's AusPharm poll asked people to what degree they had (formally) taken up the concept of CPD&PI, specifically whether they had developed a personal training needs analysis. Only 11% of respondents were able to answer in the affirmative with another 19% having started the process. So about one in three respondents have at least made a start on this. By contrast 39% seems to indicate that they were not familiar with the concept.

If it is the aim of regulators and professional groups that pharmacists go down this path it seems that there is a way to go yet in selling the concept.

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Maintaining professional competence : 29/08/2006 :

The concept of Continuing Professional Development and Practice Improvement (CPD&PI) acknowledges that patient outcomes are affected by both the professional competence of the pharmacist - the CPD component, as well as the quality of the pharmacy service system - the PI component. In embracing this concept pharmacists should, ideally, assess their individual learning needs and then actively plan to meet them. More information is available at http://www.psa.org.au/ecms.cfm?id=437

How far down the CPD&PI path have you progressed? Please let us know in today's AusPharm poll.

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Poll result: pharmacist web search skills : 24/08/2006 :





In Monday's editorial, Wendy Morton wrote:

"Pharmacists are usually quick to collectively define themselves as "the gatekeepers" to an important repository of drug knowledge, the final crucial checkpoint before medications and patients are safely and appropriately united. An enthusiastically embraced discussion thread on AusPharmList recently might however raise some concerns as to how effectively we are utilising available resources in discharging these professional duties."

We asked people to tell us about their web search skills in this week's AusPharm poll. The results are depicted at right. While admittedly a self assessment, only 21% of respondents told us that they feel their skills are in need of upgrading, with 79% reporting that their web search skills are 'high level' or 'adequate'.

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How are *your* web search skills? : 22/08/2006 :

Yesterday's editorial from Wendy Morton may have some AusPharmers questioning whether their web searching skills are adequate to their needs.

"Pharmacists are usually quick to collectively define themselves as "the gatekeepers" to an important repository of drug knowledge, the final crucial checkpoint before medications and patients are safely and appropriately united. An enthusiastically embraced discussion thread on AusPharmList recently might however raise some concerns as to how effectively we are utilising available resources in discharging these professional duties."

How are your search skills? Please help us find out about the skill level amongst pharmacists by participating in this week's AusPharm poll below.

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At what price would you sell to Colesworth? : 15/08/2006 :

An AusPharmer recently emailed me:

"I have been interested lately with Coles acquisition of Pharmacy Direct about what value pharmacy owners would put on their PBS number if the government deregulates pharmacy and Coles or Woolworths (or whoever) wanted to buy them?"

We did run a poll on this back in June 2003 but it would be interesting to see what people think now that another 3 years have passed.

Please tell us what you think in this week's AusPharm poll (below).

Post a comment to AusPharmList.

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AusPharm and the legal system : 14/08/2006 :

AusPharmers will be aware that in recent months AusPharm has been experiencing the joys of engagement with the Australian legal system. This occured by virtue of its involvement in the activities of AusPharm Consumer Health Watch. The case has been well covered in the Australian media (for example here, and here) and in the BMJ. AusPharm is now able to report that this matter has been resolved but, sadly, we are unable to make any further comment.

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Use the weekend break to upgrade your AusPharm subscription to 'premium' level : 11/08/2006 :

Thanks to those who upgraded their subscription level to 'premium' over the last couple of days. Those of you who haven't found the time to do this during a busy working week might want to take the 5 minutes it will take to do this over the weekend and take advantage of the special offer ($99/year) available this month only.

For details on how to upgrade your subscription to the 'premium' level, please click the following link.

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Should compounding 'rights' be restricted? : 08/08/2006 :

In her feature article last week Wendy Morton discussed the place of extemporaneous dispensing in community pharmacies in 2006. It was implied if not directly stated that dispensing 'rights' for all but the most basic extemporaneous preparations (eg Olive Oil 10% in Sorbolene Cr) should be reviewed and perhaps restricted to pharmacies who have the appropriate resources to safely prepare such 'extemps'. Or is it appropriate for any pharmacy to dispense any extemp they wish to? A pharmacy is a pharmacy is a pharmacy after all.

What do you think? Please tell us in this weeks AusPharm poll below.

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Fee for service' poll results : 03/08/2006 :





Thanks to the 202 people who voted in this week's poll: "Would you be prepared to charge a 'pharmacist consultation fee' in your pharmacy for all but the most basic advice?"

It seems most people would, or at least they say they would. 43% clicked the 'absolutely' option with a further 31% selecting 'probably'. This suggests that almost 3/4 of respondents are prepared to give this a go. Only 6% gave an outright no to the suggestion.

So, where to now? Who's going to lead the charge?

Post a comment to AusPharmList.

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Pharmacist consultation fees? : 01/08/2006 :

AusPharmers will have seen the discussion on AusPharmList in recent days about pharmacists charging 'consultation fees'.

Peter Crothers started this by writing: "I seriously reckon we need a Guild-recommended schedule of fees for advice that is not associated with the supply of a product. Such a fee schedule might start at, say, $20 for a standard consultation of less than 10 minutes and work upwards to, say, $120 for a consultation requiring 30 minutes of research and a return telephone call, and beyond."

AusPharm would be interested in your thoughts on this. This weeks AusPharm poll asks the question: 'Would you be prepared to charge a 'pharmacist consultation fee' in your pharmacy for all but the most basic advice?' Please tell us what you think in this poll in today's (e)news.

Post a comment to AusPharmList.

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Changes on the way for AusPharm : 31/07/2006 :

AusPharmers will recall the questions in our May member survey that asked members whether they would be prepared to pay for access to 'premium' content on the AusPharm websites and in the (e)news. AusPharm has now decided to introduce a fee to access this 'premium' content. We are doing this because we want to improve the (e)news in a number of ways in coming months, in particular by including more pharmacy relevant articles and industry news items. Additionally even though support from sponsors and advertisers continues to grow, we find that we can no longer 'feed the family' with the revenue generated.

AusPharmers who follow the news of the day will also be aware that AusPharm currently has some legal expenses to pay, incurred by virtue of its participation in the activities of AusPharm Consumer Health Watch. While these costs won't break the bank, they have certainly left a hole in the AusPharm finances. (Our thanks to the many AusPharmers who have offered to help us out financially with these costs). Anyone wishing to assist can do so by signing up for access to the 'premium' content on the AusPharm websites and in the (e)news.

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PE or PSE? The verdict : 27/07/2006 :





Thanks to the 183 AusPharmers who participated in this weeks poll that asked about the market penetration of PE in their pharmacies.

The results show a wide range of supply with about a quarter of responses falling into the middle ground (34-65%). In our sample, 19% of respondents told us that PE containing cold and flu preparations now account for in excess of 2/3 of their total sales in the category, with 58% saying that their cold and flu sales are still PSE products in the main.

What does this tell us? One thing that seems clear is that PE sales are significant in many pharmacies, with 42% reporting that products containing PE account for at least 1/3 of sales.

Is it the case that bigger faster turnover pharmacies go for PE because it is easier/quicker? Or are the bigger PE suppliers spread across the range of pharmacy types? What drives people to more actively promote one over the other? How have customers responded to the changes?

One important question is what has been the effect on methylamphetamine production of the decrease in PSE sales? Perhaps one of our AusPharmers with police or health department connections might be able to provide some information on this?

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Phenylephrine or pse**oeph***ine? : 25/07/2006 :




Now that winter is well and truly with us AusPharm is wondering what cold and flu tablets are actually being supplied out of pharmacies now, bearing in mind that pseu**eph**rine supplies must now be recorded in most instances. Please tell us what is happening in your pharmacy in this week's AusPharm poll below.

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Medication overuse ('rebound') headache : 20/07/2006 :





Thanks to the 140 people who participated in this week's AusPharm poll, which looked at people's practice with frequent purchasers of analgesics, specifically whether they discussed medication overuse headache with patients.

AusPharm thought that the results weren't too bad, with 77% of respondents claiming to screen for medication overuse headache often or occasionally. Only 21% never dicussed this possibility and there were the inevitable 2 or 3 cynics who clicked the "Why should I ask?" option. For the benefit of members Karalyn Huxhagen has posted a couple of relevant articles in today's (e)news to provide more information about medication overuse headache. Thanks to Karalyn for this.

In an email to AusPharm this week a member suggested that AusPharm should look at providing formally accredited CPE. This week's poll provides some food for thought as to how this might be done. The AusPharm editorial group thought this sounded OK at face value and AusPharm will investigate this further in the weeks and months to come.

Post a comment to AusPharmList.

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AusPharm(List) now on new server : 16/07/2006 :

As advised last week we moved the AusPharm websites to new servers over the weekend. While the move went fairly well, we are aware that there were some issues between about 5PM Friday and 2PM Saturday that will have prevented people from posting online to AusPharmList.

We think we have now sorted out most of the teething issues we experienced with the new server and from our end the new server seems to respond much more quickly than the old.

The two problems that we are still aware of is that the AusPharmList search engine is down and the online version of the (e)news, accessible from the AusPharm and AusPharmList home pages is also down. We will advise when these are up and running again.

Please let us know if you spot any other issues.

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AusPharm(list) is moving house tonight : 14/07/2006 :

We are moving both the AusPharm and AusPharmList websites to a new home tonight. We hope our new home will result in faster and more reliable access for our members.

In order to do this we will need to suspend the ability for people to register, change their details or post (online) to AusPharmList for between 3 and 18 hours. We anticipate that this process will commence at about 5PM today (Friday).

All should be returned to normal by some time on Saturday.

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Should it be mandatory for ALL registered pharmacists to have a current first aid certificate? : 11/07/2006 :

In some parts of Australian (eg Tasmania) it is a prerequisite for ongoing registration as a pharmacist that people have a current first aid certificate.

In Queensland (and Vic?) it is necessary to have a first aid certificate to initially register but not to reregister each year.

Should it be mandatory for ALL registered pharmacists to have a current first aid certificate? Please tell us what you think by participating in this week's AusPharm poll (below) in today's (e)news.

Post a comment to AusPharmList.

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Do you Podcast? Results of poll
: 07/07/2006 :





Our Podcasting poll this week produced some interesting results. While 29% of (the 163) poll respondents actually listen to podcasts already a further 33% told us that they would be interested in doing so by choosing the 'not quite yet' or 'maybe, excite me' options in our poll.

This suggests to AusPharm that Podcasting content would be well received by almost 2/3 of our members. Does it also tell us something about the ages of our members (or at least those who participated in this poll)? AusPharm will try and push along our plans to trial a Podcast.

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