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AusPharm news

State of the Industry symposium kicks off APP2015 : 13/03/2015 :

As has become the tradition at APP, the event began with a State of the Industry symposium, featuring presentations from a range of industry luminaries.

Speaking about the state of play in their industry sector were representatives from IMS, the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI), Medicines Australia, the pharmacy wholesalers, the Generic Medicines Industry Association and the Pharmacy Guild.

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Remote area pharmacy wins 2015 QCPP Pharmacy of the Year award : 13/03/2015 :

Kimberley Pharmacy Services of Broome is the 2015 QCPP Pharmacy of the Year.

The pharmacy was named the overall winner of the competition at the Australian Pharmacy Professional conference (APP) on the Gold Coast yesterday, with the award presented by the Federal Minister for Health Sussan Ley.

The remote area pharmacy had earlier won the Excellence in Community Engagement category, before being judged to be the best pharmacy of the 2015 competition. Owner pharmacist Hannah Mann accepted the award on behalf of her team.

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Health Minister commits to maintaining community pharmacy network : 13/03/2015 :

In a mostly uncontroversial speech at the APP2015 conference on the Gold Coast yesterday, Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley said the Abbott government was committed to maintaining an effective network of community pharmacies in Australia as a means of maintaining community access to PBS medicines.

Hinting at possible new roles for pharmacists Ms Ley said that while pharmacists could not replace doctors "as allied health professionals you can fill gaps and provide additional services that do not require the additional expertise of a doctor".

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AusPharm @ APP : 13/03/2015 :

AusPharm's Mark Dunn is at APP and would love to meet to any other 'listers who are also here.

Mark will be be hovering in the vicinity of the Fred IT group stand around 6PM tonight at the welcome reception, so pop along and say g'day to Mark and any other 'listers who might be around.

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Pharmacists uncertain on likelihood of 6CPA delay : 13/03/2015 :

42% of respondents to this week's poll believe recent calls for a delay in the commencement of the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA) will come to nothing. 30% told us they think the media 'noise' will result in a delay.

The calls, from employee pharmacist union Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA), the Consumers Health Forum (CHF) and others followed the release of the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report into the administration of te 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement. There were also calls for a full inquiry into the 5th Agreement and the community pharmacy sector more broadly.

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Pharmacist input lacking on crushing meds : 12/03/2015 :

People who take more than four doses of medicines a day are more likely to crush or modify their tablets or capsules to make them easier to swallow according to research published in the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research. The researchers found that some people modify their tablets or capsules even when they have no trouble swallowing them.

Most participants in the study who modified their medicines did so without seeking advice from healthcare professionals, turning to family and friends for advice instead. None of the participants were advised by a pharmacist on what do to make it easier for them to swallow their tablets.

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S3 a dead duck? Think again : 12/03/2015 :

It has been called a black hole and a dead duck but the Pharmacist Only (Schedule 3) category could be the saving grace for community pharmacies struggling in a post-accelerated price disclosure world.

Many ‘progressive’ pharmacy owners have embraced the potential presented by S3 medicines and have already replaced pharmacy income that disappeared through accelerated price disclosure.

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New AusPharm CE: RGH Pharmacy eBulletin Digest Issue No.78 : 12/03/2015 :

The next in our 2015 series of continuing professional development activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 78.

This CPD activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins, Volumes 56-7→56-10 (October/November 2014).

 

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APP rural and remote pharmacy forum : 12/03/2015 :

A Rural Pharmacy Forum at APP this afternoon (Thursday 12 March) will provide pharmacists from rural and remote Australia the opportunity to come together to discuss and share information on innovative rural and remote pharmacy practice.

The Forum will showcase two rural/remote pharmacists who employ innovative practice and engage with their local communities.

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NHMRC: no evidence homeopathy works. Call on pharmacies not to sell : 12/03/2015 :

In news that will come as no surprise to most pharmacists, the National Health and Medical Research Council said yesterday that there is no good quality evidence to support the claim that homeopathy is effective in treating any health conditions.

The NHMRC advice is based on the findings of a rigorous assessment conducted by the NHMRC of more than 1800 papers, of which 225 studies met the criteria to be included in NHMRC’s examination of the effectiveness of homeopathy.

The review found no good quality, well-designed studies with enough participants to support the idea that homeopathy works better than a placebo, or causes health improvements equal to those of another treatment.

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Confirmed 1 April 2015 prices resulting from 2015 April Cycle of Price Disclosure : 11/03/2015 :

1 April 2015 PBS prices resulting from the 2015 April Cycle of Price Disclosure have now been confirmed and published on the PBS Price Disclosure (SPD) web page.

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Poll: will the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement commence on July 1? : 11/03/2015 :

There has been plenty of recent media coverage of the Community Pharmacy Agreement(s) following the release last week of the Australian National Audit Office's audit report into the administration of the 5th Agreement.

Numerous shortcomings were found and, as a result, there have been calls from critics of the existing Agreement framework to conduct a full inquiry into the 5th Agreement (and in one case the entire community pharmacy sector) and delay the commencement of the 6th Agreement, due to commence on 1 July.

Will these calls come to anything or is this all a storm in a (media) teacup? Please let us know what you think by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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Truly Targeted Pain Relief is Available : 11/03/2015 :

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FDA updates varenicline warnings : 11/03/2015 :

The FDA has issued a safety alert warning clinicians of the potential for the stop smoking drug varenicline (Champix) to increase the intoxicating effects of alcohol.

In addition, responding to rare accounts of seizures in patients being treated with varenicline, the FDA has approved changes to the varenicline label to warn about these risks.

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Details of 2015 flu vaccines published : 10/03/2015 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has released the details of the influenza vaccines available for use in Australia for the 2015 flu season.

Available brands vary according to age and, once again in 2015, a special warning has been included in the CSL brand Fluvax vaccine.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: CitAD (Citalopram on Agitation in Alzheimer Disease) Trial : 10/03/2015 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is CitAD (Citalopram on Agitation in Alzheimer Disease) Trial.

"Behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) occur in the majority of patients with AD. Agitation is common, can be persistent, and is difficult to treat and costly to society. First line treatment is non-pharmacological with an emphasis on supporting families and carers, but instances may arise where pharmacological therapy is sought."

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

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... and TGA warns pharmacies off advertising them : 10/03/2015 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has issued a statement saying that the practice of some pharmacies to advertise the supply of vaccines, (including some influenza vaccines which are no longer able to be legally supplied in Australia) is illegal.

Pharmacies are permitted to advertise a vaccination service only, says the TGA, not the actual vaccine itself.

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Pharmacists: prepare to manage vaccine-associated anaphylaxis : 10/03/2015 :

Pharmacists who inject vaccines must be prepared to give adrenaline using an auto-injector if a patient suffers the extremely rare side effect of anaphylaxis, say researchers.

This advice comes as pharmacists across Australia will soon be administering vaccines to patients, depending on state legislation.Using an auto-injector differs from advice in the Australian Immunisation Handbook, which recommends using adrenaline ampoules and measuring the dose with a syringe.

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Symbion launches healthSAVE : 10/03/2015 :

Symbion has launched a new banner brand - healthSAVE – that, according to the company 'offers members a comprehensive solution which enables them to retain a community health service focus while responding to the ever-changing retail pharmacy market.'

Symbion Pharmacy General Manager Brett Barons said healthSAVE was a 'refreshing new offer that enabled pharmacies to retain their community pharmacy appeal while pursuing growth'.

The new brand will feature at the Symbion stand at APP.

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25,096 registered pharmacists : 10/03/2015 :

Data released by the Pharmacy Board of Australia this month reveals that, as of 30 December, 2014, there were 26,096 fully registered pharmacists on the Board's Register – an increase of 471 on the 25,625  on the Register at 30 September 2014.

Also on the Register were 1,724 provisionally registered pharmacists (interns) (30 September: 1,796) and 1947 pharmacists with non-practising registration (30 September: 965).

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