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AusPharm news

40% of Australians smoke, drink too much alcohol or use illicit drugs : 28/11/2014 :

In 2013, over 40% of Australians smoked daily, drank alcohol in ways that put them at risk of harm or used an illicit drug in the previous 12 months, according to a report released this week by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The National Drug Strategy Household Survey detailed report: 2013 builds on key findings from the survey (released online in July 2014), presenting more detailed analysis, including comparisons between population groups and states and territories.

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PAC / CPExpo combined : 28/11/2014 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia yesterday launched PSA15, an initiative which will incorporate the best of two of PSA’s most popular events - PAC and CPEXpo.

National President of PSA, Grant Kardachi, said that PSA recognised that the pharmacy conference market was becoming crowded and in response to feedback from the profession and the industry, had developed a unique formula which combined concepts from PAC and CPExpo into the one offering.

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Victorian opposition details $29 million plan for 24/7 Super Pharmacies : 28/11/2014 :

The Victorian opposition Labor Party has pledged to spend $28.7 million to fund 20 Victorian pharmacies to stay open 24 hours a day and provide night nurses for on-the-spot medical advice if it wins Saturday's Victorian state election.

15 of the proposed '24/7 Super Pharmacies' would operate across Melbourne with five more across regional Victoria. They would be open 24 hours a day and a nurse would be in store to provide medical advice between 6pm and 10pm – after most pharmacies and GP clinics close.

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Some support amongst pharmacists for random pharmacy drug and alcohol testing : 28/11/2014 :

43% of respondents to this week's AusPharm poll support the notion of pharmacists - like many other workforces - being subject to random workplace drug and alcohol testing.

However, 50% of respondents oppose the idea saying that either drug and alcohol related misadventure in the industry is rare or that such testing is not appropriate in a 'professional' workforce, like pharmacy. 8% of respondents were undecided.

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2015 National Student Business Plan Competition goes trans-Tasman : 27/11/2014 :

The 2015 National Student Business Plan Competition has been launched and, for the first time, the competition has been extended to include pharmacy students studying in New Zealand.

Since its inception in 2006, the competition has become a key event on the pharmacy calendar for pharmacy students who wish to learn more about business management as well as demonstrate the innovative ideas that the pharmacy owners of tomorrow have for their future business ventures.

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TGA issues safety advisories on insulin infusion sets : 27/11/2014 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has issued three safety advisories relating to the manufacturer of insulin infusion sets.

There have been reports of tubing disconnections for multiple brands of the sets although the number of disconnections that has occurred is low.

Details are available on the TGA website, here.

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SHPA to tackle three major challenges facing the pharmacy profession : 27/11/2014 :

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) is to progress three priority initiatives that were identified at the inaugural SHPA Future Summit, held in August this year. The two-day event brought together some of pharmacy’s best thinkers and leaders to focus on key challenges facing the pharmacy profession.

Commenting yesterday, SHPA President Professor Michael Dooley said “From the outset, we didn’t want this to be a talk-fest that didn’t lead to change. The aim of the Future Summit was not just to identify the challenges and thrash out some potential solutions, but to go a step further and refine the ideas into projects that will deliver tangible results for the pharmacy profession and ultimately benefit our patients."

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Medicines Partnership of Australia: time for PBS stability and predictability : 27/11/2014 :

Following the implementation on 1 October of the latest round of PBS reforms - Simplified Price Disclosure - the Medicines Partnership of Australia (MPA) says all components of the PBS – pharmacies, wholesalers and manufacturers – are under increasing pressure.

There is now an urgent need, says MPA, for government to make a commitment to further timely investment in cost effective new medicines, viable remuneration arrangements for pharmacist dispensing and professional services, and appropriate funding for wholesaling of PBS medicines.

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Poll: random drug and alcohol tests for pharmacists? : 26/11/2014 :

Floated on AusPharmList yesterday was the idea that pharmacists should be subject to random drug and alcohol tests.

Such testing is the norm in many workplaces - for example in mines, where the use of heavy machinery carries risk.

Dispensing medicines also carries risk so shouldn't pharmacists also be subject to the same procedures?

What do you think? Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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Oxycodone generic 'a' flagged with new tamper resistant Oxycontin : 26/11/2014 :

In news likely to be received with horror by community pharmacists, the December 2014 PBS schedule reveals that Sandoz brand (generic) modified release oxycodone tablets have been 'a' flagged with the tamper resistant Oxycontin brand.

As a result, pharmacies receiving prescriptions for (tamper resistant) Oxycontin which do not have the 'no substitution' box ticked will be able to supply the (non tamper resistant) Sandoz generic instead.

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GPs challenge pharmacists on dispensing rights : 26/11/2014 :

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is moving to obtain limited dispensing rights for GPs according to a report in doctor publication Medical Observer.

In a story published yesterday Dr Evan Ackermann, chair of the RACGP’s National Standing Committee on Quality Care, is reported as saying “It’s time to make burgers of a few sacred cows within pharmacy. Cost pressures on the health system simply cannot support the old pharmacy business models.”

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Prime Minister's speech to the Pharmacy Guild annual dinner : 26/11/2014 :

We reported yesterday on the reassuring words Prime Minister Abbott had for community pharmacy during his speech at the Pharmacy Guild's annual dinner in Canberra on Monday night. 

His office yesterday released the full transcript of the speech and we've reproduced it in full below.

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Australian Pharmacist journalist wins national award : 25/11/2014 :

Peter Waterman, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) Director of Public Affairs and feature writer for Australian Pharmacist, has been named the Business Media Journalist of the Year at the recent Publishers Australia Excellence Awards.

In a very close category, the judges said ‘Peter writes strong stories on important topics in the pharmaceutical industry. While they are technical in nature, they proved to be engaging and his writing wouldn't look out of place in many consumer titles.’

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PSA President awarded Honorary Life Membership of Asthma Foundation SA : 25/11/2014 :

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia President, Grant Kardachi, has been honoured by being awarded Honorary Life Membership of Asthma Foundation SA.

This category of membership is awarded to those individuals who, under the Asthma SA Constitution, “have rendered specially valuable services to the Foundation”.

Asthma Foundation SA said the Board of Directors was pleased to confer Honorary Life Membership upon Mr Kardachi in recognition of his contribution over the past 14 years to Asthma SA’s Medical and Scientific Committee (MASAC).

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Reassuring words from PM on community pharmacy : 25/11/2014 :

With Government support I am confident community pharmacy can do more,” said Prime Minister Tony Abbott, speaking at last night's Pharmacy Guild annual dinner at Parliament House Canberra.

In an apparent rebuttal of the recent Harper Review's (draft) recommendations that pharmacy ownership should go 'open' and location rules abolished Mr Abbott also said “I am not going to run around solving non-problems and I am not going to put theory ahead of practice. And when I know that something works I am going to support it. I never want to promote theory over practice.”

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Bayer’s Mark Sargent re-elected as ASMI President : 25/11/2014 :

Mark Sargent, General Manager Consumer Care Australia & New Zealand, Bayer Australia Limited, has been re-elected as President of the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI).

Speaking on his re-election, Mark Sargent said: “I am delighted to continue for another term as President to advance a strong, sustainable non-prescription medicines industry and to drive ASMI’s long-term strategic goal of having self care integrated into healthcare policy."

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Pun of the Day: 18 and over : 25/11/2014 :

19 pharmacists go to the cinema, the ticket lady asks "Why so many of you?" Mick replies, "The film advert said 18 or over."

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Novel alternatives for treatment-resistant schizophrenia : 24/11/2014 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Novel alternatives for treatment-resistant schizophrenia.

"Schizophrenia is a complex brain disorder characterised by abnormal social behaviour and a distorted perception of reality. Many patients continue to be symptomatic despite receiving recommended treatment, including clozapine (which is generally reserved for refractory schizophrenia). A number of unconventional therapies have been studied for treatment-resistant schizophrenia, including adjunct allopurinol, minocycline, omega-3 fatty acids and other therapies."

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

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Rural stalwart moves on : 24/11/2014 :

Anne Leversha, the Society of Hospital Pharmacists inaugural National Rural Adviser is moving on from the role she has filled for 18 years.

As a champion of rural health, Anne has made a substantial contribution to rural health by supporting and educating rural practitioners for more than 30 years.  She has done this in many roles: as a pharmacist clinician and manager in a rural hospital; as an academic at a rural campus; representing SHPA on Allied Health Professions Australia Rural and Remote, and Rural Pharmacists Australia; chairing SHPA’s Rural Network; and as SHPA’s Rural Adviser.

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Professor Michael Dooley re-elected as SHPA Federal President : 24/11/2014 :

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia's Federal Council has re-elected Professor Michael Dooley as the Federal President of SHPA for another 12-month term. Professor Dooley is the Director of Pharmacy at Alfred Health and Professor of Clinical Pharmacy, Centre for Medicine Use and Safety, Monash University.

SHPA’s Federal Council also re-elected the other executive members: Dr Ian Coombes as Vice-President, Dr Sasha Bennett as Treasurer and Karen Kaye as the Fourth Executive Member.

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