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AusPharm news

PBS accounts for just over 7% of total Australian health expenditure : 19/12/2014 :

A new report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reveals that total spending on health care in Australia in 2012–13 was $138 billion.

The report, Health expenditure Australia 2012–13: analysis by sector, shows that $55.9 billion was spent on Hospitals, $52.9 billion on Primary health care and $29.9 billion on Other recurrent areas. Capital expenditure (including expenditure on fixed assets, for example, new buildings and equipment) accounted for a further $8.6 billion.

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Gillard joins beyondblue Board : 19/12/2014 :

Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard is to join the Board of beyondblue.

Commenting on the appointment yesterday, beyondblue Chair and former Victorian Premier, Jeff Kennett said: “We are particularly honoured that Julia Gillard has seen fit to join our organisation as we continue to serve those in the community suffering depression and anxiety and who are at risk of suicide."

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January 2015 PBS schedule : 18/12/2014 :

Download the PBS Summary of Changes

Download the Full PBS schedule

Download the Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy – Summary of Changes

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Cancer cases double since 1982, but survival improving : 18/12/2014 :

The number of new cancer cases diagnosed in Australia more than doubled between 1982 and 2014; however survival from cancer has improved over time, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Cancer in Australia 2014, shows that the number of new cancer cases rose from 47,417 to 123,920 between 1982 and 2014, with significant increases for prostate cancer, bowel cancer, breast cancer and lung cancer.

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April 2015 price disclosure cuts revealed : 18/12/2014 :

The next round of PBS price disclosure reductions were unveiled by the Department of Health yesterday.

The PBS return price of over 100 molecules will drop by between 10% and 75% on 1 April 2015.

Likely amongst the molecules of most interest to community pharmacists is atorvastatin which will drop by a further 25%, making the price for a 40mg supply just under $15, a drop of almost $5.00.

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Poll: what is an appropriate fee to set up and supply a weekly dose administration aid for a patient? : 17/12/2014 :

In the context of calls for a recommended Schedule of Fees for professional pharmacy services, last week's AusPharm poll attempted to determine what pharmacists think an appropriate fee would be for a pharmacist to measure a patient's blood glucose level (poll result and analysis).

This week's poll seeks to determine what pharmacists see as an appropriate fee to both set up and then supply a weekly dose administration aid for a patient.

Please help us find out by casting your vote in this week's AusPharm poll.

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New generic 665mg paracetamol brands off the menu for now : 17/12/2014 :

Hopes from pharmacists that new Panadol Osteo generics would be PBS listed from 1 January have been dashed following a legal judgement handed down yesterday.

In an as yet unpublished decision Apotex have been prevented from launching their 665mg paracetamol generic(s) pending a further court hearing in 2015.

It is likely the currently unavailable Pharmacor generic, Osteomol, will remain the only PBS listed 665mg paracetamol generic for some time to come yet.

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CMA pans NHMRC Homeopathy Review : 17/12/2014 :

Peak complementary medicines body Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA) has questioned the methods used by the National Health and Medical Research Council's (NHMRC) in its recent review of the evidence of effectiveness on homeopathy.

In a seemingly genuine statement issued yesterday, Carl Gibson, Chief Executive of CMA said “A number of independent experts in the sector have expressed strong concerns with the methodology of the review, according to information obtained from NHMRC under Freedom of Information laws."

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New report highlights eHealth progress : 17/12/2014 :

A new report published by eRx Script Exchange yesterday shows that 80% of all prescriptions are now dispensed electronically rather than manually, which, says eRx, 'significantly improves patient safety and reduces the financial and human toll caused by mishaps with medications'.

The new report documents the evolution of electronic prescriptions since eRx Script Exchange was launched in 2009.

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SIGMA trumpets 2014 successes, points to a good year ahead : 16/12/2014 :

Sigma Pharmaceuticals Limited (Sigma) yesterday issued a stock market update saying it remains on track to deliver significant revenue gains to shareholders in FY15/16 following a year that has 'positioned the business as the market leader in the wholesale pharmaceutical business in Australia'.

The company says it is expecting its 2014 acquisitions of Central Healthcare Services (CHS), which included the Pharmasave and Chemist King Pharmacy banners, and Discount Drug Store (DDS) would deliver over $400m new revenue and around $8-10  million in earnings to shareholders in 2014/15.

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API publishes annual report : 16/12/2014 :

Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (API) published its annual report to shareholders on Friday.

It confirms October announcements from the company that it recorded a statutory loss of $90.8 million for the year ending 31 August 2014 following one off impairments of $131 million. However, its underlying net profit after tax was $31.7 million, up 32.5% on the previous year.

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Support for pharmacists throughout the festive season : 16/12/2014 :

Call 1300 244 910 to talk it over with a colleague

Not everyone enjoys the festive season.  Work pressures in pharmacy over the holiday period can be substantial with the end of the year “safety-net” rush, Boxing Day sales, holiday crowds in tourist areas and access to other health services such as medial practices are often limited. 

Many pharmacists do not have the opportunity to relax with family and friends.  A sense of isolation can be exacerbated, especially if those around you are relaxing and celebrating and you are not.  It can also be a time of the year when feelings of grief and loss are more intense.  The New Year can bring anxiety about what the future holds.

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Medicines Australia - MYEFO signifies new PBS listings are affordable : 16/12/2014 :

Never letting a chance go by to reinforce its mantra that the PBS is sustainable, peak pharma group Medicines Australia says that because yesterday's  Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) did not include any reference to upward cost variations for the PBS, new medicine listings are affordable.

Despite a revised Budget deficit for 2014-15 of $40.4 billion, over $10 billion larger than seven months ago, PBS cost forecasts in the MYEFO have remained largely static at $10.5 billion.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Neprilysin inhibition in heart failure : 15/12/2014 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Neprilysin inhibition in heart failure.

"Over the last decade, few changes have been made to heart failure guidelines and efforts towards the development of new agents with significant benefits have been unsuccessful. Neprilysin, an enzyme that breaks down vasoactive peptides such as ANP, BNP, CNP, bradykinin and substance P, is a novel drug target of recent interest. The first drug developed to target Neprilysin was candoxatril. Candoxatril increases levels of ANP and natriuresis, but failed to show benefits in heart failure patients."

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

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Ice the priority for government’s new drugs and alcohol council : 15/12/2014 :

The federal government's reshaped advisory council on drugs and alcohol is to examine as a priority the issues facing Australia from methamphetamine use, and in particular the rising use of the drug ice.

The Australian National Council on Drugs was yesterday renamed the Australian National Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drugs (ANACAD), acknowledging the advisory Council’s focus on alcohol as well as drugs.

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Curtin Pharmacy Professor awarded medal for excellence in pharmacy : 15/12/2014 :

Professor Jeff Hughes from Curtin’s School of Pharmacy has been awarded the 2014 Australasian Pharmaceutical Sciences Association (APSA) Medal.

The Medal is APSA’s highest accolade to recognise excellence and lasting contribution to the pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy practice.

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Generic Paracetamol 665mg : 12/12/2014 :

The confusion about the (non) availability of generic versions of Panadol Osteo has caused pharmacists and patients alike much angst since the imposition of a brand price premium on the originator brand on 1 December.

Posts to AusPharmList cite reports from various reps claiming a range of due dates for the appearance of generic versions of the product.

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Differences in opinion emerge over appropriate fee for blood glucose testing : 12/12/2014 :

Significant differences of opinion over what appropriate fee for pharmacists to charge for measuring a patient's blood glucose level have emerged from this week's AusPharm poll.

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Treatment choice for chronic conditions may depend on where you live : 12/12/2014 :

A report released yesterday by the National Health Performance Authority (NHPA) into GP care for patients with chronic conditions, reveals significant variations in prescribing rates for patients with chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and depression.

It shows that the prescribing rate for statins for at-risk patients ranges from 26 per cent of GP management occasions to 40 per cent of such occasions, depending on which part of Australia the consultations occurred.

 

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AusPharm CE: RGH Pharmacy eBulletin Digest Issue No.76 : 11/12/2014 :

The next in our series of continuing professional development activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 76.

This CPD activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins, Volumes 55-11→56-2 (September 2014).

 

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