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AusPharm news

Consumers Health Forum loses another CEO : 13/01/2015 :

The Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) has lost its second CEO in just over a year following the resignation of current CEO, Adam Stankevicius, for personal reasons.

CHF's former long term CEO, the high profile Carol Bennett, left the organisation in October 2013, also for personal reasons. She is now CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia.

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2014: A year of Significant Change in the Management of Medications and their Role in the Economics of Health : 13/01/2015 :

As 2015 begins, we look back on 2014, the year that was.

This article was first published in the summer edition of MIMS Matters.

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2014 saw the funding of Australian healthcare become a water-cooler topic as the new federal government warned of unsustainable healthcare spending. Healthcare currently costs the nation 4.1% of GDP and the projections used by the government predict a rise to 7% if no strategic changes are made.

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Australian pharma supports overseas medicines approvals : 13/01/2015 :

Peak Australian pharma group, Medicines Australia (MA), has come out in support of proposals that would see Australian regulators recognising new medicine approvals granted by overseas regulatory agencies.

In its submission to the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) Expert Review of Medicines and Medical Devices Regulation it said optimising work sharing activities with overseas regulatory agencies would increase efficiency.

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FDA issues safety advisory on analgesic use in pregnancy : 12/01/2015 :

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a safety advisory regarding the use of analgesics during pregnancy saying it is 'aware of and understands the concerns arising from' recent reports questioning their safety. 

The agency says, however, that the existing research studies are too limited to make any firm recommendations on the issue. It advises that the use of pain medicines during pregnancy should be carefully considered and that pregnant women should discuss the use of analgesics with their health care professionals before using them. 

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NPS MedicineWise warns on photosensitivity : 12/01/2015 :

NPS MedicineWise has issued a summer warning to consumers to exercise caution if they are taking medicines that might predispose them to drug induced photosensitivity reactions.

The organisation is advising consumers to avoid lengthy exposure to sunlight when taking potentially risky medicines and to utilise protective measures such as using sunscreen, wearing protective clothing and a hat, and avoiding going out in peak UV times of the day as much as possible.

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It's hard to keep up : 09/01/2015 :

It's no surprise really, that in a fast paced 21st century, pharmacists struggle to keep up with their professional reading. Or is it, rather, that 'journal reading' is no longer the best way to 'keep up' in 2015?

Only 40% of the respondents to this week's poll told us they're 'always' or 'mostly' on top of their journal reading. This result is slightly better than that obtained in an identical poll run in January 2015, almost exactly three years ago. In that poll, only 32% of respondents ticked the 'always or mostly on top of their journal reading' boxes.

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Union to oppose penalty rate cuts : 09/01/2015 :

Unsurprisingly, employee pharmacist union Professional Pharmacists Australia says it will oppose a proposal before the Fair Work Commission to reduce penalty rates paid to pharmacists on weekends and public holidays.

The proposal was lodged by the Pharmacy Guild in a submission to the Commission's Review of Modern Awards - which includes the Pharmacy Industry Award 2010.

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Consumers: Federal government must not send medicines safety checks offshore : 08/01/2015 :

Australia will seriously erode the capacity to make its own assessment of new medicines and medical devices if the Federal Government follows through on proposals to outsource these checks to single foreign regulators, the Consumers Health Forum (CHF) said this week.

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Guild President out bush : 08/01/2015 :

Pharmacy Guild National President George Tambassis is visiting the remote WA community of Warburton this week with travelling partner, bush pharmacist Andrew Robbo Roberts.

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Pharmacist survey: Review of pharmacist competency standards : 08/01/2015 :

Late in 2014, the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) was commissioned by the Pharmacy Practitioner Development Committee (PPDC) to undertake research and conduct a literature review to inform the review of the National competency standards framework for pharmacists in Australia.

A discussion paper was published on 19 December 2014 and a national consultation with pharmacists and others has now begun through an online survey. Three separate surveys tailored for pharmacists, pharmacy organisations and non-pharmacy stakeholders are available.

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Free asthma relievers from pharmacies in bushfire affected South Australia : 08/01/2015 :

The Pharmacy Guild in partnership with the Asthma Foundation SA is providing information and extra supplies of asthma reliever medication, donated by GSK, to several pharmacies in the Adelaide Hills fire affected areas.

“We understand that as people need to leave their homes quickly it is easy to leave medications behind," said David Bedson, Chief Executive of Asthma Foundation SA.

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 07/01/2015 :

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

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Chemist Warehouse: competition the key : 07/01/2015 :

In a supplementary submission to the National Review of Competition Policy (the Harper Review), the Chemist Warehouse group contends that competition is the most effective way to control pharmacy business costs and maintain the viability of the community pharmacy network.

The group says that the impact it has had on prices in location where it has pharmacies suggests there is more benefit available to communities in the form of improved access and lower prices from encouraging competition than there is from ‘stifling it by limiting pharmacy ownership to registered pharmacists’.

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Bowel cancer screening significantly reduces risk of bowel cancer death : 06/01/2015 :

In a study of people diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2006–2008, those invited to participate in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) were less likely to have died of bowel cancer before 2012, according to a report released recently by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

This finding is consistent with the evidence from the major bowel cancer screening trials of the 1990s.

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Bohemian Polypharmacy : 06/01/2015 :

For those with a quiet moment this month....

Bohemian Polypharmacy - a song all about polypharmacy - is a parody of Queen's classic song Bohemian Rhapsody. Click anywhere on the image below to watch it.

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Tambassis to follow Abbott’s lead and go bush : 06/01/2015 :

Pharmacy Guild National President, George Tambassis, will spend this week in some of the most remote communities in Australia, learning about the special conditions and challenges faced in delivering medicines to Aboriginal people.

George will be hosted by experienced bush pharmacist Andrew Robbo Roberts, whose base is at the community of Jameson WA, 924 kilometres west of Alice Springs. Robbo is a veteran of remote medicine supply, and is well known for his ‘bitethedust’ website and blog. He will brief Mr Tambassis on Indigenous Remote Health and the S100 remote supply scheme.

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Pharmacists: In-pharmacy vaccinations a good thing : 06/01/2015 :

Most pharmacists voting in this week's AusPharm poll (n=203) think that the establishment of pharmacist administered vaccination services in community pharmacies is good for the profession.

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APC releases 2014 practice exam papers : 05/01/2015 :

The Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) has released three practice examination papers to support pharmacy interns and overseas trained pharmacists due to sit APC examinations.

The three papers are...

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ACCC to investigate FINDCHEMIST : 05/01/2015 :

In November last year, ‘lister Robert Laird drew our attention to a company called FINDCHEMIST which, according to Robert, had sent him a 'Renewal Advice'  even though he had never engaged their services. "It looks exactly like a common bill with account number, date of payment, overdue amount etc," he wrote at the time.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has taken an interest in the activities of the company and, in a letter seen by AusPharm, says the 'Renewal Advice' it sends out may contravene Australian consumer law.

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Board: audits occur all year round : 05/01/2015 :

The Pharmacy Board says it will be continuing with audits of  pharmacists’ compliance with the its registration standards throughout 2015.

In a communiqué issued following its December meeting the Board confirmed that audits of random samples of pharmacists will occur throughout 2015 - not just when pharmacist registration comes up for renewal on 30 November each year.

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