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AusPharm news

Have you ever submitted a 'blue ADRAC form'? : 09/05/2006 :

Back in February 2003 we polled members on whether or not they had ever submitted a 'blue ADRAC form'. This was, of course, before it became possible for people to vote directly from the (e)news (or from the AusPharmList posts as it was at the time). We are today running this poll again to see if things have changed in the last 3 years.

Of course, it is now much more easy to submit a report as you can do it online and there is a link on the AusPharmacist page (image above right)

Please tell us about your own experience in today's AusPharm poll below.

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Last day for AusPharm member survey : 08/05/2006 :

Well over 400 people have now logged on to do the AusPharm member survey. Thanks very much to those people! We would very much like to get this up over 500 so if anyone still wants to do the survey and tell us what you want from us in the future today is your last chance. Please click the following link.

http://www.auspharm.net.au/questionnaire.php

(You'll need to log in to do the survey. If you've forgotten your login password you can retrieve it by clicking here.)

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Please do the AusPharm member survey : 01/05/2006 :

It is now almost 2 years since the AusPharm websites were relaunched in their 'new' formats and it is now 9 months since AusPharmList changed format from a text based series of daily emails to one daily formatted email. We are planning further changes and need your input into this planning.

We are looking at how we fund our sites and the (e)news, and one of the options is that we will commence asking members to pay a subscription fee. We may offer a 'basic' level of access and a 'premium' level of access.

We have put together a very brief online survey to ask you what you think about all this. This should take you no more than 5 minutes to complete. All of the questions only require 'tick box' responses although there is space for comments as well and we do encourage you to use these comments fields. Please click the following link to do the survey.

http://www.auspharm.net.au/questionnaire.php

(You'll need to log in to do the survey. If you've forgotten your login password you can retrieve it by clicking here.)

We will keep the survey open for 1 week and, once the responses are analysed, we will publish an analysis in the (e)news.

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Future of pharmacy poll - results : 21/04/2006 :

Thanks to the more than 200 people who voted in this week's poll that asked people what their present feeling are about the future of pharmacy. The results aren't terribly inspiring.

Excluding the 'neutral' responses only 29% of respondents said they were positive about the future while 51% expressed negativity. Twice as many respondents are 'utterly depressed' as 'delightedly upbeat'.

AusPharm has conducted other polls over the years that looked at pharmacist's job satisfaction and how they view the future. While the question asked was different on each occasion, the results of these previous polls had people displaying much more positive points of view.

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The future of pharmacy - what do you think? : 18/04/2006 :

Community pharmacy, as always, seems to be under seige. It is constantly criticised in the mainstream media (eg A Current Affair, Today Tonight, Sydney Daily Telegraph, Choice to name but a few) and the supermarket lobby have finally got a foot in the door with the Coles Myer purchase of Pharmacy Direct. The pending rapid growth of pharmacist numbers will put downward pressure on pharmacist wages and the government's current drive to reduce the price of generics coupled with factors above (and more) has the potential to put downward pressure on the market value of existing community pharmacies.

On the other hand, as many AusPharmers have pointed out, all of these challenges also provide opportunities for pharmacists with vision to differentiate themselves from the pack and provide a whole range of value added clinical and/or primary health focused services.

An AusPharmer suggested that we poll members asking them about their feelings towards the future. Please tell us what you think in our AusPharm poll today.

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Home Medicines Review poll results : 13/04/2006 :

Thanks to the 145 people who voted in the recent AusPharm poll that asked people to give their opinion on whether the HMR program needed change.

Acknowledging the fact that the potential for confounders in this poll is possibly greater than usual, overwhelmingly, those who voted said that change is needed. If you remove the 'don't knows' from the results, fully 91% of respondents said that the HMR process needed tweaking. 63% agreed with the proposition that uptake might be improved: "by allowing direct referral to an accredited pharmacist and/or provision of services within a GP surgery". 28% thought other changes were needed.

What do you think? Post your thoughts to AusPharmList.

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Does the HMR program need further tweaking? : 11/04/2006 :

It has been suggested by some that the Home Medicines Review (HMR) model be reviewed to facilitate better collaboration with general practitioners. Could uptake of HMRs be improved by allowing direct referral to an accredited pharmacist and/or provision of services within a GP surgery.

Please tell us below what you think in our AusPharm poll today?

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Priceline Pharmacy Post Of The Month
March 2006
: 10/04/2006 :

4 posts were nominated for the March Post of the month. These included Michael Khoo's post of March 8 discussing how to 'compete' with a big box pharmacy suddenly appearing around the corner and Adam Hay's post of March 30 that looked at some of the issues around pharmacists issuing 'illness certificates'.

The winning post, however, was from...wait for it....Peter Crothers for his post of March 27, reporting on the effects of SN20DR in his pharmacy in Bourke.

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Results of Pharmacy Direct poll
: 08/04/2006 :

Over the last 48 hours AusPharm has been conducting a poll that asked AusPharmers what they think the effect of the Coles Myer Ltd purchse of Pharmacy Direct will be on community pharmacy in Australia. Well over 300 people cast their votes in this poll.

42% of respondents think that the CML takeover is indeed grim news, selecting the "heralds the end of community pharmacy as we know it" option. A further 29% think that the CML takeover is "of concern". On the other hand, 22% believe that this "is just another challenge to deal with" and 6% agreed with the coimment "Good on 'em".

We read this to mean that nearly 3/4 of respondents believe this to be a defining moment in the history of community pharmacy in Australia. The other 1/4 see it one of the normal trials of operating a business. As to who is right, time will tell.

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Coles Myer Ltd acquires Parmacy Direct : 03/04/2006 :

In a media release last Friday Coles Myer Ltd (CML) announced that they had acquired Pharmacy Direct (PD).

There were many posts to AusPharmList over the weekend all making the point: "How is it possible for Coles Myer to buy a pharmacy? I thought we won this battle (at least for the time being)."

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COLES MYER ACQUIRES PHARMACY DIRECT : 31/03/2006 :

Coles Myer today announced it had acquired Sydney Drug Stores Pty Ltd (trading as Pharmacy Direct), which operates a retail shop in western Sydney, as well as a significant online, mail, fax and phone order pharmacy business.

Click here to read the Coles press release

The Guild media release in response is here

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Another data backup poll (and results) : 30/03/2006 :

Thanks to the 160 people who contributed to our data backup poll over the last few days.

In short, what it told us is that the vast majority of pharmacies backup their data once a day (or more often) which is as it should be. The detailed results are here.

However......another issue it that raised by Patrica Stott in her post yesterday; where is this backup data stored?

Please let us know where your backup data is stored in our new poll today!

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What's happened to Quackbusters? : 29/03/2006 :

Quite a lot actually.

We have been working away behind the scenes and are not too far off commencing our work. The working group of 9 is firmly in place and now includes a consumer representative. The group has decided on a name change to ensure that their work is taken seriously. It was felt that "Quackbusters" had an element of frivolity to it that was best avoided. The name eventually chosen was AusPharm Consumer Health Watch.

We have registered the domain www.consumerhealthwatch.net.au and expect to have the website up and running in about a week. I will provide a more comprehensive summary of where we are up to when the website goes live.

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Data security poll : 28/03/2006 :

We all know how important it is to backup our electronic data. Right?

An AusPharmer emailed me to suggest we run a poll on this issue. This AusPharmer commented that for many people their backup procedures might best be described as: "....backups? Heh heh heh. What a good idea!"

We have indeed included this (slightly reworded!) option in our poll, published immediately below today in your (e)news. Please tell us what happens in the pharmacy you work in.

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Sydney Morning Herald article on pharmacy, NRT etc : 24/03/2006 :

A number of AusPharmers have been in touch to say that they have been contacted over the last day or two by Ruth Pollard, health reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald. She has been asking about the NRT in grocery issue, amongst other things. I'm not sure exactly what her article will be about nor when it will run (I suspect tomorrow, Saturday March 25) but I am hopeful that it might portray pharmacists in a more positive light than other newspapers have in recent years.

Thanks to all the AusPharmers who let me know about this.

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Wyeth (almost!) show how price reductions should be handled : 23/03/2006 :

In Tuesday's (e)news AusPharm reported that "the wholesale price of Zoton would drop on April 1. The people at Wyeth decided that, because of this, it was appropriate to reduce the price to wholesalers (and it therefore follows to pharmacies) from March 1, 2006." Sadly, this has proved to be incorrect with Wyeth "correcting" this advice in a fax to pharmacies yesterday saying:

"Unfortunately while Wyeth reduced the price to wholesalers on March 1st, we miscommunicated the effective date to the. Althought them proce reduction occurred, the wholesalers were unaware of it and consequently were unable to pass this reduction on. We are working with wholesalers to resolve any issues that have arisen from the miscommunication."

To read this fax in full, click on the folowing link:

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Ps**doeph**ne pricing poll results : 17/03/2006 :

Thanks to the 124 people who responded to our ps**doeph**ne pricing poll.

"Since all peudoephedrine containing products changed to Schedule 3 the retail prices of these products in my pharmacy have: increased/decreased. stayed the same?"

Strangely, 2/3 of people continue to charge what they always have despite the increased workload.

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Supplying ps**doeph**ne products now takes much more time : 16/03/2006 :

All of you who are working in community pharmacies will be familiar with the new rules and regs relating to the storage and supply of ps**doeph**ne, specifically the need to obtain photo ID and record sales.

I'm sure that most people have found that supplying these products now takes an additional few minutes each time. It would seem logical, therefore, that pharmacies will have increased the retail price of these products to reflect the additional work required in supplying them. What is the situation in your pharmacy? Please let us know (below) in our AusPharm poll.

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GSK takes Nicabate ® into grocery:
Nicorette ® to remain pharmacy only
: 12/03/2006 :

News broke last Friday that GSK have decided to take their nicotine replacement product range Nicabate ® into supermarkets. Stock is expected to begin to appear in these outlets in late April.

GSK say that Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing, Christopher Pyne, forced their decision. They say they will take the whole Nicabate range open and are also saying that there are no special deals to supermarkets. GSK say they will continue to support the pharmacy channel. They will be communicating their decision in a letter expected to arrive in pharmacies today.

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Some pharmacists failing to deliver on CMI : 08/03/2006 :

Both health consumers and government have made it clear – they are not happy with the way many of Australia’s pharmacists are handling Consumer Medicines Information (CMI), according to Pharmaceutical Society of Australia National President Brian Grogan.

“Those pharmacists who are not supplying CMI appropriately are undermining the work of those who do,” Mr Grogan said.

“The end result is less-than-optimal medicines use in the community, and the lack of CMI may even contribute to adverse health outcomes.

Click here for full story in Industry News section.

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