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AusPharm news

Serious medication mix-ups highlight importance of barcode scanning : 10/03/2015 :

Two incidents reported in the latest issue of Medication safety in the current issue of the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research highlight the importance of barcode scanning in the dispensing process.

In both cases clonazepam 2 mg (Paxam) was dispensed instead of indomethacin 25 mg (Arthrexin). Both patients were admitted to hospital where they were diagnosed as having had a stroke.

This misdiagnosis could have led to unnecessary investigations and treatment and would have caused distress for the patients and families.

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Public consultation on guidelines closes 1 May 2015 : 10/03/2015 :

The Pharmacy Board is currently consulting on the following guidelines:

  • Guidelines for dispensing of medicines
  • Guidelines on practice-specific issues
  • Guidelines on dose administration aids and staged supply of dispensed medicines1
  • Guidelines for proprietor pharmacists

The consultation paper is published under Current consultations on the Board’s website.

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Health Report slams Guild role in 5CPA : 10/03/2015 :

Yesterday's ABC Radio National program The Health Report featured a discussion between host Dr Norman Swan and the Consumers Health Forum's Mark Metherell on last week's Australian National Audit Office report into the administration of the 5th Community Pharmacy Agreement (5CPA).

Both were highly critical of the administration of the Agreement, highlighting what they saw as the Pharmacy Guild's conflict of interest with its role in 5CPA administration. The segment ended with Mr Metherell repeating CHF's call for the commencement of the 6th Agreement - supposed to commence on 1 June 2015 - to be postponed for a year so that Parliament can run an investigation into the 5th Agreement.

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Order in the dispensary : 07/03/2015 :

This week's AusPharm poll asked 'listers how prescription generics are arranged in their dispensaries.

The results tell us that alphabetical order is the norm although the specific ways individual pharmacies do this varies.

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ACCC targets alleged false and misleading Nurofen claims : 06/03/2015 :

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is taking Nurofen manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser to court, alleging it made false or misleading claims that its Nurofen Specific Pain Products were each formulated to treat a specific kind of pain, when in reality the products are identical.

The ACCC claims that Reckitt Benckiser made representations on the packaging of each Nurofen Specific Pain Product - Nurofen Back Pain, Nurofen Period Pain, Nurofen Migraine Pain, and Nurofen Tension Headache - and on its website, that each product was designed and formulated to treat a particular type of pain, had specific efficacy in treating a particular type of pain and solely treated a particular type of pain.

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PSA: IGR highlights opportunity for pharmacists’ skills to be better utilised : 06/03/2015 :

The fourth Intergenerational Report highlights a range of areas where pharmacists’ skills and knowledge can be more fully utilised in an integrated and collaborative health system, says the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).

The IGR forecasts significant increases in the proportion of older Australians and higher health related costs associated with chronic disease.

PSA National President, Grant Kardachi, said these were areas where a greater utilisation of pharmacists’ skills could make a difference.

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Consumers, union call for stay on 6CPA negotiations : 06/03/2015 :

Following the public release yesterday of the Australian National Audit Office report into the Administration of the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement, both the Consumers Health Forum and employee union Professional Pharmacists Australia have called for negotiations on the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement to be put on hold pending a review of the community pharmacy sector.

The audit’s objective was to assess the effectiveness of the development and administration of the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement (5CPA), and the extent to which the 5CPA has met its objectives. Its scope did not include examining the Pharmacy Guild's administration of 5CPA professional programs.

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IGR forecasts (very) subdued PBS growth : 06/03/2015 :

The fourth Intergenerational Report (IGR), released yesterday by Treasurer Joe Hockey, continues the trend shown in budget forward estimates and other analyses that Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme spending will grow only slowly in the short to medium term.

According to the report "Real pharmaceutical spending per person is projected to grow from $420 in 2014-15 to $474 in 2027-28 (in today’s dollars)."

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 05/03/2015 :

The MIMS March 2015 Monthly Medicine Update is now available. Click the link to read it now.

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Strong support for pharmacy from Xenophon : 05/03/2015 :

In a speech to the Senate this week independent Senator Nick Xenophon has called on the federal government to ensure it provides 'a fair and equitable deal for our 5½ thousand community pharmacies' in the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement or risk seeing 'a tearing-down, a disintegration, of a key part of community infrastructure in this nation'.

Highlighting the adverse effect of the introduction of simplified price disclosure on the sector Senator Xenophon accused former Health Minister Peter Dutton of breaking a promise to pharmacy by imposing the measure, saying it was 'a clear breach' of the 5th Community Pharmacy Agreement.

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API upgrades profit forecast : 05/03/2015 :

Australia Pharmaceutical Industries (API) said yesterday it now expected its net profit after tax for the 6 months to 28 February would be a minimum of $21.1 million, up from $16.2 million in the previous corresponding period.

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Cathie Reid inducted into Hall of Fame : 05/03/2015 :

Prominent Queensland pharmacist and Managing Partner of Epic Pharmacy, Cathie Reid, is to be inducted into the Australian Businesswomen’s Network (ABN) Hall of Fame

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Australian Pharmacy Council updates communications strategy : 05/03/2015 :

The Australian Pharmacy Council (APC), the independent accreditation agency for Australian pharmacy,  has developed a new communications and marketing plan.

John Low, President of APC said that the update to the APC brand was prompted by discussions with stakeholders and the wider profession.

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Poll: order in the dispensary : 04/03/2015 :

In a recent post to AusPharmList David Haworth reports that the pharmacy he's currently in arranges its prescription generics 'alphabetically but with all the generics next to the original brands - eg, the simvastatins are in Z for Zocor....'

How is it done in the pharmacy you work in? Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll.

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NPS warns on accidental fentanyl OD in children : 04/03/2015 :

In an article in its Health News and Evidence publication, NPS MedicineWise warns that accidental exposure in children to fentanyl via transdermal patches can be fatal.

Fentanyl patch use in Australia has increased over the last decade, and so has accidental exposure to the patches in children under five. The Health News and Evidence article reminds pharmacists and other health professionals of the need to both educate and remind people about the appropriate use of and disposal of fentanyl patches.

NPS Medicines Line Manager, Sarah Spagnardi says extreme care must be taken with this medicine as exposure in children has resulted in tragic outcomes.

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Peak bodies collaborate to improve oral health in Victoria : 04/03/2015 :

The Victorian Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, the Australian Dental Association Victorian Branch and Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV) yesterday launched a joint position statement on oral health.

The position statement provides a foundation for pharmacists and the dental sector to work collaboratively to support better oral health in the community and, consequently, better general health.

Tooth decay is Australia’s most prevalent health problem, with more than half of all children and almost all adults affected. It is also the second most costly diet-related disease in Australia.

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Pharmacy Board releases new guidelines on compounding of medicines : 03/03/2015 :

The Pharmacy Board yesterday published its long awaited new Guidelines on pharmacy compounding.

The intent of new Guidelines on compounding of medicines - which will come into effect on 28 April 2015 - is to provide detailed guidance to pharmacists who compound medicines to ensure product quality, safety and efficacy.

It also released two associated documents yesterday - Background on the regulation of compounding by pharmacists, and Professional practice profile for pharmacists undertaking complex compounding.

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Guild high flyer flies high for brain cancer : 03/03/2015 :

Pharmacy Guild President, George Tambassis, has taken a plunge off an aircraft over Melbourne to raise funds for the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.

Mr Tambassis embarked on his first ever skydive to mark the beginning of a partnership between the Foundation and the Guild to support research aimed at earlier diagnosis of brain cancer. The Foundation’s goal is to improve the five-year survival rate for brain cancer from around 20 per cent of patients to 50 per cent by 2023.

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Name that tablet - the answer is.... : 02/03/2015 :

"Can anyone name the white tablet in this medicine cup?"

----

Yes, it is chewing gum.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Antiplatelet therapy beyond 12 months after drug-eluting stent : 02/03/2015 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Antiplatelet therapy beyond 12 months after drug-eluting stent.

"Percutaneous coronary intervention with either a bare metal stent or drug-eluting stent is a mainstay of treatment for myocardial infarction (MI). Drug-eluting stents have a reduced rate of stenosis when compared to bare metal stents, but a stent may re-thrombose beyond a year after insertion. This re-thrombosis is relatively rare event, but can be associated with MI and may be fatal. Current practice to protect against stent re-thrombosis involves the use of dual antiplatelet therapy (DEPT) that includes both aspirin and a thienopyridine medication such as clopidogrel or prasugrel. "

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

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