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AusPharm news

Priceline Pharmacy June Post of the month : 06/07/2006 :

There were 2 nominations for the June AusPharmList Post of the month. One of these was Bruce Miller's post of June 9 that suggested" "...the Generic name be given ABOVE every mention of the brand name on packaging, and be DOUBLE the size of the Brand name below it....".

While this would have been a worthy winner the AusPharm editorial group were more taken by Josephine Isaacs' contributions to the recent threads relating to veterinary issues. These can be seen here and here. Congratulations to Josephine on winning the June prize.


Josephine 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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Podcasting --> do you? : 05/07/2006 :

There has been a brief discussion about 'podcasting' on AusPharmList in recent days. Brett Phillips started the thread commenting: "...it is possible to download audio programs from the internet onto my MP3 player, and then listen to them at my convenience (i.e. in the car, while walking the dog, or whatever). I find this is a very convenient way of getting some continuing education."

As AusPharm has some plans to embrace this medium in future we are interested to know about the present takeup of this relatively new phenomenon amongst our members. Please let us know in today's poll below.

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Servier have been listening
: 03/07/2006 :

In a letter to pharmacists published in today's AusPharm(e)news and on AusPharmList Servier announces that, in response to criticisms aired in last week's AusPharmList discussions, it will be making changes to the packaging of its new Coversyl formulation. The proposed changes will make it possible to affix a 'standard' dispensing label to the pack without obscuring relevant product information.

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Results of July 1 PBS changes poll : 28/06/2006 :


Thanks to the 160 AusPharmers who voted in this week's poll. We asked people whether they thought the July 1 changes to pharmacy remuneration would impact unfairly on pharmacies. This relates to the impression most pharmacists had that wholesalers had to reduce their price to pharmacy by 3% on July 1 in line with the changes to PBS payments and the introduction of the new Community Service Obligation (CSO). Information currently at hand suggests that this won't be the case.



While the results shown at right don't necessarily comment on the actual fairness or otherwise or the changes they DO tell us that pharmacists overwhelmingly feel short changed by what is (or isn't) happening. 86% of pharmacists told us they think the changes ARE unfair with only 1% disagreeing with this.

Post a comment to AusPharmList.

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Confusion surrounds July 1 PBS changes - AusPharm poll : 26/06/2006 :

Many pharmacists have been approaching July 1 under the impression that the wholesalers had to reduce their price to pharmacy by 3% in line with the changes to PBS payments and the introduction of the new Community Service Obligation (CSO).

This now seems far from clear with many pharmacists thinking that they have been shafted. It now appears likely that many pharmacies will be asked to bear the full brunt of the changes in the way of detrimental changes to the trading terms they have with their major wholesaler.

Please tell us your views in our AusPharm poll below today.

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Results of AusPharm recording of S3s poll : 22/06/2006 :




In this week's AusPharm poll we asked people what they thought about mandating the recording of the sales of S3 (pharmacist only) medicines. The results were clear with half of all respondents thinking that ALL S3 sales should be recorded with a further 41% agreeing that SOME S3 medications should have their sale recorded.

Clearly, pharmacists collectively think that there IS a need to monitor the sales of most (if not all) S3 medications.

Taking a lead from posts in another thread, one class of medication that should be included in a 'to be recorded' schedule is compound preparations containing codeine.

Post a comment to AusPharmList

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Priceline Pharmacy AusPharmList
May post of the month
: 20/06/2006 :

The winner of the May Priceline Pharmacy AusPharmList post of the month award was AusPharm Pearlcaster and long time serial AusPharmList poster Peter Allen for his 30 word post of May 22 titled "Pillers of society" that asked for the correct name for a group of pharmacists. He was awarded the prize on the basis that it "opened a novel thread that creates wide discussion".

Peter's post and the posts of the 21 separate people who responded to his call is here.


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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First PSA Pharmacy Student of the Year finalist selected : 15/06/2006 :

Josephine Hatch, a fourth year pharmacy student at the University of Tasmania, has been selected as the Tasmanian Finalist for the national “PSA Pharmacy Student of the Year” competition.

Josephine will receive the Alphapharm State Travel Prize of travel, accommodation and registration to attend the national pharmacy conference Pharmacy Australia Congress being held over 6th to 8th October 2006, in Cairns.

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Results of AusPharm generics packaging poll : 15/06/2006 :


Over the last 48 hours AusPharm members have cast their votes in the latest AusPharm poll, which posed the question "Should generic medicines' packaging feature the GENERIC name above the brand name in double sized font?".

The results of the poll should send a clear message from pharmacists to regulators and others involved in decision making with respect to packaging. A whopping 94% of the 207 respondents agreed with the suggestion. Over to you TGA, Generic Medicines Industry of Australia, Medicines Australia et al.

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Queen's Birthday awards for pharmacists : 14/06/2006 :

2 prominent Australian pharmacists received awards in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, announced over the weekend.

Victorian pharmacist Geoff Sussman (pictured at left) received the Medal of the Order of Australia "For service to pharmacy and to the multidisciplinary field of wound care as a clinician, researcher and educator, and to the sports of diving and gymnastics."

Patti Payne (pictured at right) also received the Medal of the Order of Australia "For service to pharmacy, and to the community through fundraising for children's medical research."

AusPharm congratulates them both!

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Results of AusPharm SN20DR poll : 08/06/2006 :

Thanks to the 192 AusPharmers who participated in out latest poll that looked at the impact in pharmacies of SN20DR since its introduction on January 1.

We asked "All things considered, my experience with the new SN20DR has been:" and suggested that factors such as how patients have reacted and how much time it takes to explain the new rules should be considered when selecting one of the options to click.

56% of respondents told us that "it has been hard" or '"yuk" with the remaining 44% reporting no major issues.



What have the issues been for those experiencing difficulties? Please post a comment to AusPharmList and let us know!

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SN20DR: how has it been for you? : 06/06/2006 :

AusPharmers will recall the animated discussion on AusPharmList late in 2005 that centred on the pending changes to the 20 day rule, in particular the SN20DR provision that means patients can't have certain medications within 20 days of their previous supply without incurring a financial penalty, either real or potential, depending on the individual circumstances.

Now that 5 months have passed since SN20DR commenced it seems like a good time to ask people how they are faring. Please let us know how SN20DR has rolled out so far in your pharmacy. How have patients reacted? Does it take much of your time to explain the new rules? Please click the relevant option in this week's AusPharm poll below.

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Results of AusPharm Nicabate ® poll : 01/06/2006 :


In this weeks AusPharm poll 170 people told us what had happened in the 'stop smoking' sections of their pharmacies as a result of the GSK decision to take Nicabate ® into grocery.

48% of respondents changed their shelf layout by either reducing the number of facings allocated to Nicabate ® (39%) or deleting it from their range altogether (9%).

What does this mean? This appears to show that companies who drop their level of support for pharmacy will, in turn, receive less support from pharmacy!

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AusPharm poll: have you 'downsized'
Nicabate ®?
: 29/05/2006 :

Anthony Tassone's interesting commentary in Fridays' (e)news regarding the advice he had received from a supermarket employee reminded me of the concern expressed by many pharmacists when, back in March, GSK announced its decision to take its NRT product Nicabate ® into grocery.

Some pharmacists thought that this would change the level of support they provided for the GSK product in their pharmacies. Please tell AusPharm what actually happened in the pharmacy you work in by participating in our AusPharm poll today.

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Results of AusPharm scam poll : 25/05/2006 :





Over the last 2 days we have been asking people about their experience with scams in their pharmacies.

Many thanks to the 108 AusPharmers who participated in the poll and also to the many people who posted comments about this in AusPharmList.

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Scams --> have you been targetted? : 23/05/2006 :

Scams, or fraudulent offers/requests to businesses, seem to be increasing; eg false invoices, false information to obtain bank account details.

Our good friends at the Guild have asked AusPharm to help them with a quick poll. They have been asked to provide examples of scams experienced in community pharmacies, particularly where they are health related or specific to pharmacy.

There are 2 threads to this request. Firstly, please participate in our poll below and, secondly, if people who have been targetted could post examples, based on their personal experience, to AusPharmList we wil publish them tomorrow, and the Guild may be able to use these (suitably de-identified) examples in their response.

Lastly, this is urgent - the deadline for comment is this Thursday.

To post a comment to AusPharmList click here.

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Who does the books? : 18/05/2006 :



Thanks to the 139 AusPharmers who participated in this week's poll. Our poll question was "Who 'does the books' in the pharmacy you work in?"

The results, as shown at right, indicate that people either do the books themselves (51%) or employ a 'good bookeeper' (42%), presumably someone they are satisfied does a good job. The 51% result for 'do the books myself' is a worry in an industry where 81% of pharmacists claim to have insufficient time to 'properly counsel patients with their prescriptions' (March 2006 poll results).

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Poll: who does the books? : 16/05/2006 :

AusPharm received an email from a colleague during the week complaining about the difficulty he was having in finding someone good to 'do the books' in his pharmacy. He suggested we ask AusPharmers who looks after this in their pharmacies. Always eager to please we've run this poll in the (e)news today. Please click the appropriate answer below!

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Kieran Schneemann Guild's new Executive Director : 15/05/2006 :

Former CEO of Medicines Australia, Kieran Schneemann (pictured), is the Pharmacy Guild of Australia's new Executive Director.

This looks to be a fine strategic appointment for the Guild given the generics medicines minefield they are going to have to be negotiating shortly.

Wendy Phillips, who has worked in the Guild’s National Secretariat for the past 14 years and is the Director – Strategic Policy, has been appointed to the newly created role of Deputy Executive Director.

The Guild media release on Mr Schneemann's appointment and his CV are posted on the Guild's website.

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Results of ADRAC form poll : 11/05/2006 :



Thanks to the 168 AusPharmers who told us of their experience in this week's poll that asked people whether or not they had ever submitted a blue ADRAC form. The results are shown at right.

69% HAVE submitted an ADR report. This compares favourably with the 48% positive result obtained in our identical February 2003 poll. Does this tell us that people are more aware of the responsibilies now?

Post a comment to AusPharmList

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