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AusPharm news

Pharmacists: $5 the right fee to measure blood pressure : 31/12/2014 :

The result of this week's AusPharm poll suggests that pharmacists believe $5 is about the right fee to measure a patient's blood pressure.

40% of poll respondents ticked the $5 option with 19% choosing $2 and 12% and 17% respectively choosing the $7.50 and $10 options.

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New strengths of Norspan, Targin likely : 31/12/2014 :

Adding to the stock pressure on pharmacy narcotic safes, new strengths of both Norspan and Targin are likely to be PBS listed in 2015.

Manufacturer Mundipharma has applied to the Pharmaceutical Benefit Advisory Committee (PBAC) to have a number of new strengths of each product PBS listed with the application due to be heard at the March meeting of the PBAC.

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Have you renewed your registration as a pharmacist? : 31/12/2014 :

Today (31 December) is the last day pharmacists can renew their registration as a pharmacist without having to make a new application for registration.

Registration was due for renewal by 30 November 2014 but pharmacists can renew until 31 December 2014 if they pay a late fee.

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Funding provided to increase awareness of organ donation : 30/12/2014 :

Government funding of $462,064 has been made available to 22 organisations across Australia for public awareness initiatives to encourage Australian families to discuss and know each other's organ and tissue donation wishes.

Announcing the grants this month, Assistant Health Minister, Fiona Nash, said "This is a subject many people avoid; yet it is vital because in Australia families are asked to support the donation decision of their loved one before donation for transplantation can proceed."

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Board warns on expired stock : 30/12/2014 :

The Pharmacy Board has reminded pharmacists that the expiry date of every dispensed medicine must be checked to ensure that the medicine is in date for the expected duration of treatment.

The reminder comes after the Board received several notifications (complaints) involving expired medicines being dispensed to patients.

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Poll: what is an appropriate fee for a pharmacist to a patient's measure blood pressure : 29/12/2014 :

During December AusPharm has run two polls that looked at what pharmacists might charge for specific professional services – measuring blood glucose and to set up and maintain a weekly Dose Administration Aid service.

The polls were conducted in a climate of declining dispensary margins and amidst calls for pharmacists to replace the lost revenue by charging for things they have often done either for free or for token charges in the past.

Today's poll asks what pharmacists should charge to measure a patient's blood pressure.

Putting aside the issue of a 'setup fee' what do you think is an appropriate fee for a pharmacist to measure a patient's blood pressure? Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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WA to allow pharmacist-delivered vaccinations : 28/12/2014 :

Western Australia has become the latest State to sanction pharmacist administered vaccinations.

The WA Government announced this week that changes to the WA Poisons Regulations would allow pharmacists to adminster influenza vaccines in accordance with the pharmacist vaccination code.

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Best wishes from AusPharm for the festive season and for 2015 : 24/12/2014 :

Please accept, with no obligation, implied or implicit, our best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non addictive, gender neutral celebration of the summer solstice holiday practiced with the most enjoyable traditions of religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice with respect for the religious / secular persuasions and / or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

We also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2014, but not without due respect for the calendar of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make our country great (not to imply that Australia is necessarily greater than any other country) and without regard to the race, creed, colour.....

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PSA: community pharmacy should be Ley’s first priority : 24/12/2014 :

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia President Grant Kardachi said yesterday that new federal Health Minister Sussan Ley’s first priority must be 'to ensure the sustainability of the community pharmacy sector, and also to make certain the network of pharmacies and the range of professional pharmacist services are maintained'.

Mr Kardachi said that Minister Ley, pictured at right,  was taking over the portfolio at a critical time for consumers and health professionals - as negotiations are about to get underway for the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement which, he sad, is pivotal to the ongoing future of the whole healthcare system in Australia.

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PAYG Christmas parties on the increase : 24/12/2014 :

The tightening of pharmacy profitability over the last few years is evidenced in the results of this week's AusPharm poll (n=148) which shows that pharmacy Christmas parties are much more of a 'Pay as you go' affair for pharmacy staff than in past years.

The proprotion of 'boss pays' Christmas parties has dropped from over 90% in 2010 to just 65% this year - last year it was 82%.

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Paracetamol 665mg generics, again... : 23/12/2014 :

Generics manufacturer Pharmacor said yesterday that its paracetamol 665mg generic, Osteomol 665 Paracetamol, *is* currently available through DHL.

The company says it has also 'made efforts to have the product available through Symbion, API and Sigma as soon as possible'.

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NPS Medicinewise counsels consumers to be Medicinewise travellers over the holiday season : 23/12/2014 :

NPS Medicinewise has issued its usual end of year message counselling consumers to be 'medicinewise' when travelling with their medicines.

Its helpful hints for travellers are...

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GSK tops 2014 Access to Medicine Index : 22/12/2014 :

The world’s pharma companies are doing more to improve access to medicine in developing countries, with a raft of new initiatives, scale-ups and innovations over the last two years. However, the industry struggles to perform well in some practices that matter, according to the 2014 Access to Medicine Index, published recently.

GSK tops the Index for the fourth time with  Novo Nordisk making the most progress, improving in five of the seven areas the on which the Index focuses.

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PBAC knocks back Mundipharma attempt to block 'a' flagging of oxycodone SR generics : 22/12/2014 :

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee has rejected a bid by Oxycontin manufacturer, Mundipharma, to block the PBS 'a' flagging of sustained releases oxycodone generics.

Mundipharma had requested the PBAC reverse its earlier decision to allow the 'a' flagging, which allowed substitution by pharmacists of generics for its new tamper resistant Oxycontin range.

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Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease responsible for 20% of hospitalisations : 22/12/2014 :

Around 20% of all hospitalisations in Australia in 2012/13 were associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease, according to a new report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease - Australian facts: Morbidity looks at hospitalisations resulting from these three chronic diseases, acting alone or together.

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Pharmacy Board: final DAA check the supply pharmacist's responsibility : 22/12/2014 :

The Pharmacy Board of Australia is reminding pharmacists that it is the supply pharmacist who is responsible for ensuring the contents of a dose administration aid supplied to a patient are correct.

In its December newsletter, the Board reported that errors in dose administration aids (DAAs) continue to be the subject of notifications.

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Paracetamol 665mg generics : 22/12/2014 :

For those of you wanting to know the details of the legal issues preventing the 1 January PBS listing of paracetamol 665 mg generics, last week's Federal Court judgement in the GSK v Apotex case has now been published on the Federal Court website.

Read it here.

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Goodbye Peter, hello Sussan : 22/12/2014 :

After 15 months of getting used to working with now former Health Minister Peter Dutton, pharmacy will now have to do it all over again following the appointment of Sussan Ley as the new Health Minster in yesterday's Coalition Cabinet reshuffle.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Christmas Edition – Best wishes for the festive season : 22/12/2014 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Christmas Edition – Best wishes for the festive season.

"The festive season does provide an opportunity to reflect on the lighter side of our work. We rely so heavily upon the published literature to guide our views, but humour and fun have a place in the biomedical publishing arena: Abrahams M. Comparing apples and oranges: a randomised prospective study. BMJ. 2000; 322: 93. For many years the comparison of apples and oranges was thought to be impossible. In this study red delicious apples were compared with navel oranges. A total of 12 objects (6 apples, 6 oranges) made up the experimental population. Measurements were performed using a standard tape measure. Weight was recorded to the nearest tenth of a gram using a scale."

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

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Pharmacists: weekly DAA fee should be between $5 and $10 : 19/12/2014 :

Almost all pharmacists believe the appropriate fee to supply a weekly dose administartion aid (DAA) to a patient with lies between $5 and $10.

The result was revealed in this week's AusPharm poll which asked 'listers what an appropriate fee would be to both set up a DAA service for a patient and then supply the weekly DAA.

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