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AusPharm news

What goes into the initial pack of a DAA? : 20/01/2016 :

As the population ages, more and more people are having their medicines packed into dose administration aids (DAAs) by their local pharmacy. In last week's AusPharm poll we asked about your pharmacy's policy on the initial fill of the DAA and whether you use the patient's own medications, dispense a new batch of meds, or do something else.

Even with a modest number of poll participants (n=155), the majority was overwhelming with 81% of pharmacies making the initial DAA pack using existing medication that people bring in to the pharmacy. Sounds like common sense.

The small balance of respondents was broken out with 8% (of the total) only packing with medication that has been dispensed by them, 3% starting will all fresh medication, and 5% of respondents using off-site packing facilities. Participants might like to comment on whether the use of offsite facilities means all fresh medication is used in all instances?

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NIH grant for antibiotics alternatives research : 20/01/2016 :

Prof Kim Chan, of the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sydney is the recipient of new NIH grant money enabling funding of research into therapeutic alternatives to traditional antibiotics.

The objective of Prof Chan's research project is to harness inhaled bacteriophages as natural predators to combat the superbugs in respiratory infections. This is based on the hypothesis that inhalation delivery of phages as an aerosol will provide a safe and efficacious local treatment for multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections in the lungs.  As phages are already used clinically, there is considerable potential to translate the research findings relatively rapidly to the clinical setting.

The NIH grant is part of a funding programme made through the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for research to address growing antibiotic resistance and identify treatments that could complement or even replace currently available antibiotics that are losing effectiveness. The award to Professor Chan and his team provides support for two years' research, with a possible three additional years of funding.

 

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Free Pharmacy Practice Review to help patients with chronic pain : 19/01/2016 :

Pharmacists are ideally placed to support the management of chronic pain, but patients may not fully understand how you can help.

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February 2016 PBS schedule : 19/01/2016 :

The February 2016 PBS schedule and Summaries of Changes are now available on the auspharmacist.net.au website.

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Painaustralia presses the point on Panadol Osteo : 19/01/2016 :

Painaustralia has raised with the Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, the issue of the risk of adverse clinical events resulting from chronic pain sufferers switching from Panadol Osteo following its delisting from the PBS. Painaustralia is specifically concerned that patients will seek alternative PBS-subsidised therapies with poorer safety profiles, such as NSAIDS or opioids.

“Such a move by patients would clearly add to the complexity of their condition and negate any potential cost savings to government and the consumer,” Painaustralia CEO Ms Lesley Brydon said. “Painaustralia is also concerned about the increased costs for patients arising from the delisting of Panadol Osteo which is currently the recommended first-line treatment for people suffering pain secondary to osteo-arthritis.”

Painaustralia has backed the recommendation of Arthritis Australia and the Australian Rheumatology Association that the delisting of Panadol Osteo be reconsidered pending a formal review of the clinical practice guidelines for its use in OA and consideration given to how other effective management strategies can be adopted.

Painaustralia is a national, not-for-profit body, formed in February 2011 to facilitate implementation of the National Pain Strategy (confusingly, NPS), which was developed by more than 200 delegates at the Pain Summit held at Parliament House, Canberra, in March 2010. To raise awareness, the organisation is currently profiling on their website The Australian journalist Nikki Gemmell's recent column about her mother's unsuccessful battle with chronic pain.

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Closing the gap on medicines safety : 18/01/2016 :

A lack of data on drug safety in Australia’s Indigenous population risks the health of Indigenous people who are on therapeutic drugs from a younger age than the average population, according to experts published today in the Medical Journal of Australia.

Dr Tilenka Thynne, from Flinders Medical Centre, and Dr Genevieve Gabb, from the Royal Adelaide Hospital, warned that drug safety in Indigenous Australians did not have a “robust evidence base” because in Australia “there are no specific reporting requirements for ethnic groups, including Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders”.

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Peak pharma group appoints interim CEO : 15/01/2016 :

Peak Australian pharma group Medicines Australia has appointed Me Lee Hill as interim CEO following the departure of former CEO Tim James from the role in December.

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Faxes rule in Australian pharmacies : 15/01/2016 :

Over two thirds of respondents to this week's AusPharm poll told us the fax machine in their pharmacy gets used 'a lot'.

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Need to catch up on some CE during January? : 14/01/2016 :

If you're looking to catch up on some CE during January you might like to take a look at one of the more popular activities we published in 2015,  Gout and Hyperuricaemia, put together for us by Angus Thomson. 

This activity has been accredited for 1 hr of Group 1 CPD (or 1 CPD credit) suitable for inclusion in an individual pharmacist’s CPD plan which can be converted to 2 hrs of Group 2 CPD (or 2 CPD credits) upon successful completion of relevant assessment activities. Accreditation number: A1505AP0.

AusPharm gratefully acknowledges the financial support provided by the sponsors of our Continuing Education program, MIMS.

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Harvey appointed to FSM executive : 14/01/2016 :

One of Australia’s foremost champions of public health, Dr Ken Harvey, has been appointed to the executive of Friends of Science in Medicine (FSM).

FSM campaigns to ensure that health care strategies in Australia are supported by credible scientific evidence of their effectiveness. Established in 2011, FSM is supported by nearly 1200 leading Australian scientists and clinicians who appreciate the importance of scientific evidence-based medicine.

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Sparking future pharmacy leaders through innovation : 14/01/2016 :

Applications have opened for the 2016 round of the prestigious ignite Pharmacist Leadership Program.

The ignite program, an initiative of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA), aims to nurture and develop high-performing early career pharmacists into future leaders to drive pharmacy strategy, change and innovation.

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53% of pharmacies want to charge for postage : 13/01/2016 :

In line with the latest Pharmacy Guild Digest data reported above, while only 13% of those responding to this week's AusPharm poll told us they already charge for postage 25% are considering doing it with a further 15% ticking the 'thanks for the suggestion' option, suggesting they too are considering imposing a charge.

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Poll: does your workplace fax get a workout? : 13/01/2016 :

There has been some recent discussion on AusPharmList about the ongoing use of faxes in both pharmacies and medical practices. Faxes are of course now 'old' technology (although AusPharm remembers well their initial introduction into pharmacies in the early 1980s).

To what extent is your workplace's fax machine still used? Heaps? Or has newer technology such as email or other internet based app taken over.

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

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Guild Digest: business conditions tightening : 13/01/2016 :

The latest Guild Digest, released to Guild members yesterday and covering financial year 2013/14, confirms what most in the industry knew already - that the cost of operating a community pharmacy business is increasing steadily and profitability is on the decline.

The Digest reports that the 'average' pharmacy during the reported period had a turnover of $2.84 million of which $1.07 million was gross profit. The average net profit was just over $107,000 after allowing for proprietor salary.

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Appel honoured : 13/01/2016 :

Well known pharmacist Simon Appel OAM has been appointed an honorary member of NPS MedicineWise, recognising his contribution to the quality use of medicines in Australia.

Also just appointed honorary NPS MedicineWise members are Dr Sue Hunt and Professor Robert Moulds.

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Comp med lobby group disputes chromium / cancer link : 12/01/2016 :

Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA) says the recently published study linking chromium III effects on mice cells with cancer as inconclusive and 'unable to make a meaningful contribution to human use.'

CMA chief executive officer, Mr Carl Gibson, pointed out yesterday that that the study looked at the injection of chromium III directly into mice fat cells - not taking into account the physiological mechanisms of chromium handling by the human body.

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Guild: Panadol Osteo de-listing a PBAC error : 12/01/2016 :

The Pharmacy Guild claimed yesterday that Panadol Osteo has been de-listed from the PBS by mistake and called for its re-listing.

Last April, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee set criteria for de-listing PBS medicines including that they were available outside the PBS at a price no higher than the then PBS Concessional co-payment of $6.10.

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Chemist Warehouse ‘makes mockery of government regulation’ : 11/01/2016 :

An article in last Friday's Financial Review provides an interesting summary of the Chemist Warehouse juggernaut and, in particular, speculates on how the group's stores are 'controlled' by the Gance and Verocchi families.

It compares the way the CW principals have optimised the way they engage with state and territory ownership laws with the Uber phenomenon saying 'Disruptive business models in the technology sector often involve ignoring government restrictions and regulations in the interests of serving consumers.'

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New approach to medication counselling shown to be effective : 11/01/2016 :

Pharmacists who employ an unconventional, interactive patient counselling technique can more than double the chance that people will understand key issues on how to take, understand and manage their use of prescription drugs, according to research published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.

According to the authors the study provides 'compelling evidence that the technique could significantly improve the understanding of drug use and storage, possible side effects, what to expect from a medication and what to do if something isn’t working’.

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Poll: does your pharmacy charge for postage? : 11/01/2016 :

Postage costs went up by over 40% on 1 January, adding to the already significant and ever increasing cost of doing business.

Will the pharmacy you work in be passing this increased cost on to customers by implementing a fee for posting articles such as customer account statements or owing / new script reiminders?

Please let us know what will happen in your pharmacy by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll.

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