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AusPharm news

Poll: what impact will recent news stories critical of community pharmacists have on consumers? : 25/03/2015 :

Unless they've been asleep for the last 10 days, pharmacists will be aware of at least four News Ltd articles (three from Sue Dunlevy) critical of community pharmacists in general and the Pharmacy Guild in particular (eg here, here and here).

What impact do you think these stories will have on consumers’ perceptions of community pharmacists?

Please let us know what you think by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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WA's finest honoured : 25/03/2015 :

The best of Western Australia’s pharmacists were acknowledged at the Western Australian Pharmacists Award night in Perth this week.

The WA Young Pharmacist of the Year is Kenny Lee (pictured at right) and the WA Pharmacist of the Year is Bridgett McKay. The WA Life Time Achievement Award went to Dr Phillip Passmore.

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Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease risk factors common among Australians : 25/03/2015 :

A new report, released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), shows that two-in-three Australian adults have at least 3 or more risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.

The report, Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease - Australian facts: risk factors shows that multiple risk factors are more common among people with cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes or chronic kidney disease (CKD) than for the overall population.

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NZ ahead of Australia in down-scheduling : 24/03/2015 :

New research published in PLOS ONE suggests that the reasons for the generally conservative approach taken towards medicines 'switching' (downscheduling from prescription only to non-prescription status) in Australia in recent years includes changes in the individuals involved, politics, and advertising limitations for pharmacist-only medicines.

In contrast, the researchers found that New Zealand displayed 'an open attitude, proactivity and flexibility' towards switching. Additionally, effective lobbying from a NZ pharmacy retail group - known as 'third party switch' - played a part in maintaining the momentum of switching in that country.

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Zinc lozenges effective in treating common cold symptoms : 24/03/2015 :

A new meta-analysis, recently published in the journal BMC Family Practice, found that high dose zinc lozenges reduced the duration of a range of common cold symptoms.

For the meta-analysis, researchers analysed three randomized trials on zinc acetate lozenges for the common cold, administering zinc in doses of 80-92 mg/day, with all three trials reporting the effect of zinc on seven respiratory symptoms, and three systemic symptoms.

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Guild supports doctors’ call for real time prescription drug database : 24/03/2015 :

The Pharmacy Guild has come out in support of doctor calls for the establishment of a real-time prescription drug database to try to reduce the number of people dying from prescription drug related overdoses.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) renewed calls for a database after the release of data around drug related fatalities by Victorian Coroner Audrey Jamieson .

Coroner Jamieson told the International Medicine in Addiction Conference - held in Melbourne over the weekend – that of 384 deaths attributed to drugs and alcohol in Victoria in 2014, prescription drugs were found to have contributed to 82% of cases.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: An overview of dose administration aids : 23/03/2015 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is An overview of dose administration aids.

"Dose Administration Aids (DAAs) are adherence devices for solid-dose medications (e.g. tablets and capsules). Medications are organised into individual doses and arranged according to dosing times throughout the day (e.g. breakfast, lunch, dinner, bed). DAAs may be tamper-evident (sealed) or non-tamper evident (reusable). The most commonly used DAAs include: Sealed bubble packs."

Click here to read the bulletin in full. The E‑Bulletins are archived on the AusPharmList website here.

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Consumers Health Forum CEO moves on : 23/03/2015 :

Consumers Health Forum CEO, Adam Stankevicius, is to leave the organisation after just one year in the job.

Mr Stankevicius succeeded Carol Bennett in the role - it was during Ms Bennett's time as CEO that the group first voiced (public and frequent) concerns about the Australian community pharmacy model.

The new CEO, Leanne Wells, pictured at right, will take up the position in April.

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Nominate now for 2015 PSA Excellence Awards : 23/03/2015 :

Nominations for the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia prestigious Awards for Excellence - acknowledged as the pharmacy profession’s most sought-after awards are now open.

PSA National President, Grant Kardachi, said the PSA Excellence Awards acknowledged and recognised some of the profession’s great achievers.

“I encourage pharmacists to nominate or put forward their peers for an award,” he said.

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Guild rejects latest Dunlevy claims : 23/03/2015 :

For the third time in a week News Ltd papers have run a piece by journalist Sue Dunlevy highly critical of the Pharmacy Guild.

Yesterday's story claims the Guild 'was paid $29.3 million in administrative fees by taxpayers and refuses to say how many staff it employed with the money. The money was to administer just $67 million worth of professional programs relating to rural pharmacy...'

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April 2015 PBS schedule : 20/03/2015 :

Download the PBS schedule Summary of Changes

Download the PBS schedule

Download the PBS Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy Summary of Changes

Download the PBS Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy - Full Supplement

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More than 2/3 of pharmacies stock homeopathic products : 20/03/2015 :

The result of this week's AusPharm poll suggests that those calling for pharmacies to stop stocking homeopathic products may have their work cut out for them.

Over 2/3 of poll respondents (after adjusting for pharmacists not working in a clinical setting) told us their pharmacies stock homeopathic products with 15% of pharmacies both stocking and *recommending* them.

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PBAC adds to the health budget challenge : 20/03/2015 :

In news unlikely to be welcomed by those negotiating the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement it has been revealed that the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee recommended another $2.5 billion in new PBS listings at its meeting last week. This comes on top of the $1.5 billion it recommended at its November meeting.

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They are all millionaires – a call to action from Sophia Avery : 20/03/2015 :

My name is Sophia Avery and I am a proud ‘adopted’ Tasmanian, 2009 UTas graduate, PSA Early Career Pharmacist working group member and I love my profession.

I know we can support Australia’s primary health care and public health care areas even more than we already do .... but to start with we need to recognise services we provide already, and then fight for that recognition from others.

This week I was hurt by stories published in widely-read newspapers, which attacked my identity – and the attack was unfounded.

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Owner of pharmacy featured in Dunlevy photo 'not a millionaire' : 20/03/2015 :

The owner of the pharmacy featured in a photo associated with some versions of last Sunday's Dunlevy attack on pharmacy has spoken of her shock at seeing her pharmacy featured.

Mary Noussair purchased Fairlight Pharmacy, a small strip pharmacy on Sydney's north shore, in 2014.

"I have taken over this pharmacy 10 months ago and doing all my best to keep it running at even a higher level of customer healthcare.

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Fred launches new website : 20/03/2015 :

The Fred IT Group has launched a new website it says will better reflect the technology changes that are transforming pharmacy IT, particularly eHealth, cloud computing and mobility.

The site’s navigation and layout have been designed to make it easier for people to find what they need with the least clicks possible. This includes access to the diverse range of IT solutions provided by Fred, including Fred NXT, dispensing, retailing, head office management, and Telstra phone and internet bundles and communication offerings.

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GSK helps out in Vanuatu : 20/03/2015 :

GSK has given a £50,000 (~AU$97,000) donation to international children’s charity Save the Children Australia to support relief efforts following the trail of destruction left by Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu.

General Manager for GSK Australia Geoff McDonald said “We have had a partnership with Save the Children for many years. Their immediate response on the ground to identify priority areas of need was exemplary. I am proud we can work together to support those impacted by the devastation.”

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PHARMeFOOTY on again in 2015 : 19/03/2015 :

Australia's only on-line Australian Football League and National Rugby League tipping competition for pharmacy starts again this month.

PHARMeFOOTY is a free, on-line tipping service sponsored by Fred IT Group and Medici Capital. Pharmacies and pharmacy students can compete in either AFL or NRL tipping, or both. Cash prizes of up to $5000 apply for the competition.

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Professional services 'pricelist' on the way : 19/03/2015 :

Speaking from the audience at the APP2015 conference on Friday Darwin community pharmacy owner Shelley Forrester floated the idea of the Guild providing pharmacies with a 'recommended pricelist' for professional services - backed up with information supporting the fees proposed.

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2015 QCPP Pharmacy of the Year video : 19/03/2015 :

As reported last month, Broome's Kimberley Pharmacy Services is the 2015 QCPP Pharmacy of the Year champions.

A video, depicting the pharmacy's work is now online on the Pharmacy Guild’s website.

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