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AusPharm news

Politicians need to 'catch up' on voluntary euthanasia : 02/03/2015 :

Three Australians aged 75 and older kill themselves every week, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data. And if the base age is reduced to 70, then the number is closer to four per week.

Both the ABS and coroners say the figures are under-reported.

“The real tragedy is that elderly people who wish to end their suffering – both physical and existential – can’t even discuss their intentions with their doctor because the doctor will likely try to dissuade them as he or she cannot ‘help’ them,” said Dr Rodney Syme, vice-president of Dying with Dignity Victoria, on Friday.

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New e-learning module for pharmacy technicians : 02/03/2015 :

SHPA has launched an e-learning workbook Principles for the use of medicines for Australian pharmacy technicians for its technician members.

Aimed at experienced technicians who are working towards or have completed the Certificate IV qualification, the tutorials in the workbook build on topics covered in Australia’s qualifications for hospital pharmacy technicians and assistants. The e-learning workbook was developed by the SHPA NSW Medicines Information Special Interest Group.

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Flu vaccines to be obtained from a wide range of facilities : 27/02/2015 :

The result of this week's AusPharm poll reveals that - at least as far as pharmacists are concerned - flu vaccines are likely to be sourced from a wide array of health practitioners and facilities this year.

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Blackmores powers along : 27/02/2015 :

Vitamin company Blackmores yesterday reported a net profit after tax for the first half of financial year 2014/15 of $18.6 million - an increase of 55% of the prior corrsponding period.

The result is the best ever for the company for a 6 month period.

Commenting, Blackmores CEO, Christine Holgate said "This is a very encouraging result that was achieved with all regions and brands in the Blackmores Group delivering strong year on year growth."

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Medicines Australia pushes for faster PBS listing for cancer drugs : 27/02/2015 :

Peak Australia pharma group Medicines Australia said yesterday that the time lag between the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) approval of new cancer drugs and listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is unacceptably long and is costing patients’ lives.

It has foreshadowed that its submission to the Senate Inquiry into the availability of new, innovative and specialist cancer drugs in Australia will 'challenge how the Government values new cancer drugs and better understand how the community values new treatments for themselves, and their family members'.

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Iconic Gold Cross product gets a new flavour : 27/02/2015 :

The iconic Gold Cross Glucojel jelly bean is now available in a new mint flavour, making it the first mint flavoured jelly bean available in Australia.

Glucojel celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2016 and continues to be voted as the best tasting jelly bean in Australia by consumers.

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Ley to speak at APP15 : 26/02/2015 :

APP organisers have confirmed Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley will be presenting a keynote presentation at this year's APP conference.

In her first major address to Community Pharmacy, the Minister will discuss her views on the role Community Pharmacy can play in the health system.

The presentation will take place on Thursday 12 March.

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Alternative to Zovirax eye ointment now available : 26/02/2015 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced yesterday that an alternative ophthalmic acyclovir is now available to address the shortage resulting from the 2014 recall of Zovirax Eye Ointment.

AciVision 30 mg/g Aciclovir ointment has been granted TGA authorisation to be supplied temporarily in lieu of Zovirax Opthalmic ointment (3% aciclovir) for the treatment of keratitis of the eye caused by herpes simplex virus.

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NPS Medicinewise appoints new Board Chair : 26/02/2015 :

NPS MedicineWise has appointed Mr Peter Turner as the new Chair of its Board. 

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Poll: Flu vaccines: will you be having one? : 25/02/2015 :

There's been lots of discussion about flu vaccination in pharmacy circles in the last year or so with pharmacist administered flu vaccination likely to be available in most Australian states and territories this year.

What about you personally? Will you be having a flu vaccine this year? If so, where will you have it done?

Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in this week's AusPharm poll.

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PSA Queensland Branch gets a new President : 25/02/2015 :

Yeppoon community pharmacist Bruce Elliot, the 2009 Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) Young Pharmacist of the Year, has been elected as the new President of the Queensland Branch of the PSA after Professor Lisa Nissen stepped down from the role to concentrate on her position as Head of the School of Clinical Sciences at Queensland University of Technology.

National President of PSA, Grant Kardachi, welcomed Mr Elliot, pictured at right, who has been a Vice-President of the Branch, as “a young pharmacist who is enthusiastic and committed to the profession”.

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*Link corrected* Pharmacists: get ready for your new role in managing HIV medicines : 25/02/2015 :

From July 2015 community pharmacies will be dispensing HIV antiretrovirals and SHPA’s Introduction to HIV workshop will help them to be ready for the role.

The Introduction to HIV workshop is designed to help community pharmacists support new and existing customers who have HIV: from the social, personal and emotional aspects of HIV to managing HIV medicines, interactions, adverse events, adherence and counselling.

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TGA issues safety alert on MDI like smoking devices : 25/02/2015 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has issued a safety alert warning consumers of the risk of confusing asthma reliever medications such as Ventolin / Asmol with smoking devices designed for use with tobacco, cannabis and other herbs.

The PUFFiTTM and PUFFiT-XTM smoking devices closely resemble reliever inhalers as they are of a very similar shape, construction and colour.

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Pfizer wins 'abuse of market power' case brought by ACCC : 25/02/2015 :

The Federal Court has found in favour of drug company Pfizer in a case brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) alleging Pfizer abused its market power when promoting atorvastatin at the time of its Australian patent expiry.

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Pharmacists descend on Parliament House : 24/02/2015 :

50 community pharmacists - all members of the Pharmacy Guild - yesterday descended on Parliament House to lobby federal politicians on the need for the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement to keep pharmacies viable.

The group, who will be meeting with politicians again today, will be arguing that an urgent need exists for a Community Pharmacy Agreement that maintains 'a viable sector, jobs for staff and services for patients'.

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Apply to become a Fellow of SHPA : 24/02/2015 :

The Society of Hospital Pharmacist of Australia (SHPA) has called for SHPA members to consider applying to become Fellows of the Society.

Fellowship of SHPA is awarded to members who have demonstrated a high level of postgraduate academic achievement in areas relevant to the practice of hospital pharmacy.

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Reporting problems with medicines or medical devices : 24/02/2015 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has published a new webpage which consolidates information for both consumers and health professionals on how to report a side effect of a medicine or vaccine, a problem with a medical device, a counterfeit medicine or medical device or an issue with packaging or storage of a medicine.

Take a look here.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Aclidinium : 23/02/2015 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Aclidinium.

"Aclidinium is the newest addition to the range of available medicines for the treatment of airway disease. This drug is a competitive muscarinic receptor antagonist (anticholinergic). It is has been recently approved for subsidised supply through the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) - approved as of March 2014 and indicated as a long-term maintenance bronchodilator for the treatment of moderate to severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in adult patients."

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

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Better Living Through Chemistry : 23/02/2015 :

Back in January this year there was comment on AusPharmList lamenting the relative lack of TV shows / movies that featured pharmacists.

Well, a movie released in 2014 - Better Living Through Chemistry - seems to fit the bill nicely.

A strait-laced pharmacist's (Douglas "Doug" Varney) uneventful life spirals out of control when he starts an affair with a trophy-wife customer who takes him on a joyride involving sex, drugs and possibly murder.

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Guardian tops the poll .... again : 23/02/2015 :

Once again in 2013 Guardian Pharmacy has topped the poll in the Chemist / Pharmacy category of the Roy Morgan Research Customer Satisfaction Awards.

It is the third year in a row the group has won the award.

Qantas emerged victorious as the Domestic Airline of the Year and Domestic Business Airline of the Year in the awards while David Jones reclaimed the title of Department Store of the Year.

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