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AusPharm news

Pharmacy IT security could be better : 20/02/2015 :

This week's AusPharm poll asked 'listers to tell us how they secure their IT systems against virus and other attack. It followed a feature article on the topic  from Irwin Lowe, published on Tuesday.

The results are in and we asked Irwin to comment.

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NSW PSA Branch issues election manifesto : 20/02/2015 :

In the lead-up to the NSW election, the NSW Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has presented a range of policy proposals to reinforce the skills, knowledge and experience that pharmacists have to deliver better health outcomes for NSW in a way that the organisation says makes economic sense.

NSW Branch President of the PSA, Dr Stephen Carter, said the proposals had grown from the policy and program ideas put forward by PSA members throughout NSW.

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Guild: community pharmacists the key to improving adherence : 20/02/2015 :

The Pharmacy Guild said yesterday that community pharmacists hold the key to improving the medication adherence rates of patients, leading to better health outcomes and health budget savings.

The claim was made in response to the release on Wednesday of the latest NPS MedicineWise Evaluation report which showed that non-adherence to medicines is a major health care cost and quality issue.

The report found 37 per cent of consumers in a 2014 survey reported they 'always, often or sometimes' forget to take medicines, and around 25 per cent take less medicine than instructed by their prescriber.

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ASMI calls on Federal Government to fine tune OTC regulatory settings : 19/02/2015 :

The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) has urged the Federal Government to establish a regulatory framework for the non-prescription medicines industry that balances the protection of consumers with regulatory settings that encourage industry to invest in new products and services, which meet the health needs of Australians now and into the future.

ASMI’s 2015 Pre-Budget Submission sets out four measures to increase consumer access to medicines and support a viable and responsible industry. The submission calls on the Federal Government to support the Self Care Alliance in the development of a policy agenda to embed self care in national health policy.

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NPS Medicinewise having an impact : 19/02/2015 :

The NPS MedicineWise Annual Evaluation Report was published this week, providing an overview of the impact of the organisation's work for the 2013-14 financial year.

The report shows that programs delivered in primary care over the past decade have had considerable health impacts leading to improved health outcomes and savings to the health system.

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Terry White parent company in the black : 19/02/2015 :

TWC Group Investments Limited (TWC GIL)- parent company of the $1 billion Terry White Chemists pharmacy franchise network - said yesterday that it expects it first half trading profit for 2014/15 to be in the order of $0.4m to $0.6m, up on the previous period.

TWC GIL CEO, Anthony White, said the result had been achieved through improved revenue streams flowing from ownership of the brand and increased efficiencies in the Group’s management function.

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PSA launches APF23 - latest edition of Australia’s everyday guide to pharmacy practice : 19/02/2015 :

The 23rd edition of the Australian Pharmaceutical Formulary and handbook (APF23) is now available and offers a number of new sections as well as two new counselling guides.

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No ocular Zovirax until September at least : 19/02/2015 :

GSK said yesterday that its product Zovirax Ophthalmic Ointment continues to be impacted by a 'global supply constraint' and is unlikely to be available in Australia prior to September 2015.

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Poll: who looks after your pharmacy's virus & IT security? : 18/02/2015 :

Tuesday's feature article from Irwin Lowe  portrayed only too clearly what can happen if your pharmacy's computer network is attacked by criminals seeking to extort money from you.

How well are your pharmacy's IT systems protected from external attack?

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

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$9.99 in-pharmacy flu vaccines : 18/02/2015 :

It looks like the in-pharmacy flu vaccination marketplace will be a very competitive space in 2015.

The Chemist Warehouse group is offering a flu vaccination service for $9.99 with the vaccines to be administered by either GPs or nurse practitioners.

Customers without a Medicare card will pay $19.99 as the GP / Nurse Practitioner won't be able to bill Medicare for the service.

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Board introduces hair testing for drugs : 18/02/2015 :

The Pharmacy Board is to introduce mandatory hair testing for all pharmacists with substance related impairments, under a screening protocol to be introduced this year.

Under the protocol, all pharmacists who have restrictions on their registration linked to past substance abuse will have routine hair testing in addition to urine testing.

Routine hair testing helps provide comprehensive information about the use – over time - of a wide range of drugs (not just based on the practitioner’s drug taking history).

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Consumers issue 6CPA wishlist : 18/02/2015 :

The 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA) should be transparent, accountable, inclusive, consumer driven and health outcome focused with an inbuilt independent, public evaluation and mid term review says peak consumer health group, the Consumers Health Forum.

The log of claims is contained in CHF's 2015 budget submission to the federal government.

CHF also says that, if the Agreement is to support an extended range of professional pharmacy services, these should be funded through the Medical Benefits Schedule process, rather than be included in 6CPA.

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March 2015 PBS schedule : 17/02/2015 :

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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$100,000 of Vaxigrants available for bright immunisation ideas : 17/02/2015 :

Given the widespread commencement of pharmacist administered vaccination services in 2015 the annual Sanofi Pasteur Vaxigrants program might well be of interest to pharmacists this year.

The company is calling on Australian immunisation providers to submit unique, sustainable and replicable ideas to be in the running for one of four $25,000 grants.

In its fourth year, the Sanofi Pasteur Vaxigrants program encourages healthcare professionals to consider new ways to implement immunisation programs, provide funding to assist these ideas to come to life, and share best practice amongst the immunisation community.

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Warfarin review leads to PI update : 17/02/2015 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) said yesterday that, after completing a review of the Product Information (PI) for warfarin, it is to be updated to include information relating to potential drug interactions, patient monitoring for anticoagulant status and treatment of overdose.

The agency says it is working with the manufacturer to update the PI to provide clearer and more up-to-date information and will provide further details of the proposed changes to the PI in a future safety alert.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Patiromer – a new treatment for chronic hyperkalaemia : 16/02/2015 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Patiromer – a new treatment for chronic hyperkalaemia.

"Hyperkalaemia is an electrolyte disturbance commonly seen amongst patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and those with heart failure. The reasons for high serum potassium concentrations in these patients include a combination of aldosterone resistance leading to decreased potassium excretion in the distal tubule, acidosis, and increased potassium intake. These patients also commonly require treatment with medications that can further increase serum potassium concentrations: these include Renin Angiotensin Aldosterone System (RAAS) inhibitors, spironolactone or eplerenone and potassium supplements."

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

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6CPA discussions a 'positive and constructive start' : 16/02/2015 :

Health Minister Sussan Ley said on Friday that the first of a series of planned discussions on the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement - held last week - was a 'positive and constructive start' to negotiations.

According to Minister Ley the discussions - involving pharmacists, consumers, doctors and medicines manufacturers - are 'part of the Abbott Government’s commitment to being open and consultative on health policy.

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PSA to get new headquarters : 16/02/2015 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has entered into a joint venture arrangement with a Canberra developer to demolish its existing premises and redevelop it into a pharmacy hub which will house PSA and offer space to other pharmacy bodies.

PSA CEO, Dr Lance Emerson, said this would be a state-of-the-art, three-level building which would symbolise PSA’s progressive and forward-looking approach, and would unite various pharmacy bodies under the one roof.

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Tasmanian Branch of PSA gets a new President : 16/02/2015 :

The Tasmanian Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has elected Rachel Dienaar as its a new President.

Ms Dienaar, pictured at right, succeeds Dr Shane Jackson who recently stepped down from the position after six years in the role and 15 years on the Branch Committee.

Ms Dienaar is a practising community pharmacist who has worked with PSA in a variety of roles over many years.

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ASMI on CAMS: only buy Australian : 16/02/2015 :

Peak body for non-prescription medicines in Australia, the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI), has moved to warn consumers that only complementary medicines approved for supply in Australia should be purchased.

The ASMI warning comes after a West Australian man came close to death after taking a complementary medicine weight loss product - with green tea extract thought to be the culprit.

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