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AusPharm news

April PBS price disclosure prices published : 29/01/2015 :

A full indicative list of PBS prices resulting from the 2015 April Cycle of Price Disclosure has now been published on the PBS Price Disclosure (SPD) web page.

The PBS return prices of over 100 molecules will drop by between 10% and 75% on that date.

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2015 Pharmacy of the Year finalists announced : 29/01/2015 :

The identities of the six community pharmacy finalists for this year’s Pharmacy of the Year Award have been revealed.

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Poll: conference attendance 2015 : 28/01/2015 :

Despite some rationalisation of the pharmacy conference calendar in 2015 the year ahead still brims with choice for conference goers.

March will see the return of the gigantic APP and June will see the new PSA15 conference get underway. Also in 2015, the popular ConPharm (Melbourne, May) will roll out again as will the annual SHPA Medicines Management conference (also in Melbourne, December).

In addition there will be a number of smaller events such as the Australian Friendly Society conference and various pharmacy brand conferences.

Will you be attending any of these in 2015? Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in this week's AusPharm poll.

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European Medicines Agency recommends suspending medicines over flawed Indian studies - TGA ‘considering implications’ : 28/01/2015 :

A number of generic medicines for which authorisation in the European Union (EU) was primarily based on clinical studies conducted at GVK Biosciences in Hyderabad, India should be withdrawn from the market, says the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The recommendation is based on findings from an inspection that raised concerns about how GVK conducted studies at the Hyderabad site.

However, says the Agency, exemptions should be made for medicines which are of critical importance for patients because alternatives are not available. The decision on whether a medicine is critical for patients lies with the national authorities of EU Member States depending on the situation in their particular country.

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Queensland pharmacist, Dr Chris Freeman, Australia Day Ambassador : 28/01/2015 :

2014 Australian Consultant Pharmacist of the Year, Dr Chris Freeman, this week acted as an Australia Day Ambassador in the Lockyer Valley, one of the regions worst affected by the devastating Queensland floods of January 2011.

The Australia Day Ambassador Program sends high achieving Australians to local Australia Day celebrations in towns and cities across the country.

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New NPS Medicinewise Honorary Members : 27/01/2015 :

Three new honorary members of NPS MedicineWise have been appointed following an extensive call for nominations.

Ms Mary Hemming, Professor Gillian Shenfield AM and Associate Professor Andrea Mant were invited by the NPS MedicineWise Board to become honorary members of NPS MedicineWise.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Clostridium difficile management options : 27/01/2015 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Clostridium difficile management options.

"Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), mainly precipitated by the use of broad spectrum antibiotics, has increased in incidence and severity over the last decade and currently ranks as the third most common nosocomial infection. Until recently treatment options for CDI have been limited to oral metronidazole and vancomycin, however due to the emergence of a hypervirulent C. difficile strain known as NAP1/BI/027, CDI has become increasingly difficult to treat with recurrence rates reported as 20-30%. Given that CDI has a 30 day mortality rate of up to 38.1%, recurrent infection represents a major treatment challenge for which new therapeutic options are urgently needed. In May 2011, the FDA approved the use of fidaxomicin, a first-in-class oral macrocyclic antibiotic for the treatment of CDI in adults."

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

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Guild: consumer research shows strong support for broader role for pharmacies : 27/01/2015 :

Two pieces of consumer research released over the weekend by the Pharmacy Guild show strong support by patients for enhancing the role of Australia’s 5,450 community pharmacies in the health system, says the Guild.

The research was undertaken prior to and at the mid-point of the Guild’s Discover More. Ask Your Pharmacist consumer advertising campaign.

The first piece of research, conducted by BBS Communications, interviewed focus groups of patients from Gympie (Qld), Armidale (NSW), Strathpine (Qld) and Sydney (NSW).

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1958 apprenticeship agreement : 27/01/2015 :

Bill Arnold commenced work as an apprentice pharmacist in Manilla, NSW 57 years ago today - on 27 January 1958.

Here is the Indenture that describes the terms and conditions of his apprenticeship to pharmacist Lindsay Alfred Dale.

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Queensland LNP pledges support for community pharmacy : 27/01/2015 :

The Queensland LNP government has pledged its support for community pharmacy in the leadup to next Saturday’s Queensland state election.

In a letter to Queensland Guild Branch President, Tim Logan, Newman government Health Minister Lawrence Springborg wrote that the government "does not support any changes to pharmacy ownership and location regulation".

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King Island's only pharmacy destroyed by fire : 27/01/2015 :

King Island's only pharmacy, in the town of Currie, was completely destroyed by fire in the early hours of Sunday morning. The pharmacy is the only one servicing a community of 1800 people.

Co-owner, Victorian pharmacist Divesh Sangvhi, has commenced the task of establishing a temporary pharmacy to dispense medicines to the island community.

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NSW pharmacy luminary wins citizenship award : 23/01/2015 :

NSW pharmacist Gerry McInerney has been named the 2015 Kiama Citizen of the Year.

Mr McInerney was the President of the Pharmacy Board of NSW from 2006 to 2009 and has been a member of the Pharmacy Board of Australia since its inception in 2010. He was co-proprietor of Priceline Pharmacy Kiama from 1966 to 2013 – a total of 47 years in the one pharmacy.

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ASMI disputes fish oil claims : 23/01/2015 :

Following adverse media commentary yesterday suggesting that most fish oil prodyucts on the market either had lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids than claimed or that the products deteriorated, peak supplier group the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) said the results did not apply in Australia.

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2015 NAPSA Congress starts tomorrrow : 23/01/2015 :

This year's National Australian Pharmacy Students Association (NAPSA) Congress is set to get underway on the Gold Coast tomorroqw - it will run from the 24th to the 30th of January at the Griffith University Gold Coast campus.  

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Pharmacists lukewarm on prospects for extended roles : 23/01/2015 :

Just one in five respondents to this week's AusPharm poll think it 'quite likely' or 'certain' that a range of new pharmacy services will be funded in 2015/16, possibly as part of the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement.

40% believe there's 'no hope' of this happening with another 40% providing a cautiously optimistic 'maybe' as a response.

 

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Need to catch up on some CE during January? : 22/01/2015 :

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 2014,  The Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance) put together for us by Angus Thomson. It's worth a full 3 CPD credits.

"Antimicrobial resistance is not a new phenomenon. From the very earliest days of the antibiotic era it was recognised that some drugs were not active, neither bactericidal nor bacteriostatic, against some pathogens. Further proof of the resilience of microbes comes from the finding that some bacteria living in caves that have been isolated from earth's surface for 4 million years are antibiotic resistant."

After completing this activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Describe the factors that have made tackling antimicrobial resistance an international priority
  • Outline strategies that may be useful in addressing the challenge of antimicrobial resistance
  • Recognise opportunities in pharmacy practice that may assist with the prudent use of antimicrobials

Click here to do this Continuing Education activity. Or, if you prefer, you might like to take a look at our other CE activities here .

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

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PSA releases revised immunisation guidelines : 22/01/2015 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has released revised immunisation guidelines to reflect the growing movement among State and Territory Governments to allow pharmacist-delivered vaccinations.

The revised guidelines focus on the pharmacist being the immuniser and promote best practice in the delivery of high-quality immunisation services in pharmacies.

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48 pharmacists enter next phase of Advanced Practice Pharmacists pilot credentialling program : 22/01/2015 :

48 pharmacists, covering all areas of pharmacy practice, have been selected as participants in the Credentialing of Advanced Practice Pharmacists pilot program.

138 pharmacists submitted an expression of interest for the trial with 50 invited to take part and 48 confirming they will participate in the next phase.

The 48 pharmacists will now prepare their practice portfolios for evaluation and possibly be awarded the credential of advanced practice pharmacist.

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Preliminary 'Ask your pharmacist' campaign evaluation positive : 22/01/2015 :

The results of recent research into the Pharmacy Guild's 'Ask your pharmacist' campaign suggest it has had an impact on consumers.

The research found that customers who use a pharmacy less frequently - between two and six times a year - were more likely to consider using a pharmacy for advice and/or treatment for a non-emergency illness, injury or medical condition after seeing the 'Ask your pharmacist' TV commercial. This was evidenced in a jump from 63% of this group in pre research, up to 75% in the post research results.

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Poll: pharmacies as part of a more sustainable Medicare? : 21/01/2015 :

The idea was floated this week by the Pharmacy Guild that community pharmacy could play a significant role in ensuring the long term sustainability of Medicare.

Guild President George Tambassis said “The Government’s Medicare reforms, combined with the upcoming new community pharmacy agreement, aged care reforms, primary health networks and potential changes to the private health insurance rebate provide the right climate to transform pharmacies into true health destinations.”

A new array of enhanced pharmacy services, says the Guild, will make the health system more affordable and more accessible for consumers. Cited as examples by the Guild are enhancing access to repeat prescriptions for stable, long term conditions, extending the treatment of minor ailments to community pharmacies, improving access to vaccinations, post hospital and transitional care medicine reconciliation support, basic health checks, screening and preventative health services and mental health support.

What do you think pharmacy's chances are, in the short to medium term, of getting government funding for such services, perhaps in the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement, set to commence 1 June 2015?

Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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