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AusPharm news

Pharmacy Board releases annual report : 24/11/2014 :

The Pharmacy Board on Friday published a report of its work in regulating the pharmacy profession during 2013/14.

The report is a stand-alone version of the information contained in parent body AHPRA's annual report, released a fortnight ago.

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Neil Petrie awarded Victorian Pharmacist Medal : 24/11/2014 :

Accredited pharmacist Neil Petrie is the 2014 recipient of the Victorian Pharmacist Medal.

He was awarded the medal in recognition of his passion and leadership in quality use of medicine through medication management practice in age care and pharmaceutical care.

Commenting on the award, Victorian Branch President, Ms Michelle Lynch said “Neil deserves the medal as he has been working tirelessly throughout his career in promoting pharmaceutical care and consumer education, and he is truly a quiet achiever amongst our ranks.”

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Pharmacists split on S3 oral contraceptives : 21/11/2014 :

Just under half of those voting this week's AusPharm's poll (n=255) believe the decision on whether or not to supply / prescribe oral contraceptives should remain with doctors.

The poll followed the announcement last Friday that the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS) is to consider a proposal at its March 2015 meeting - likely submitted by a pharma company - to create new entries for oral contraceptives in Schedule 3 of the Poisons List.

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Plans for joint Australian, NZ Therapeutic Goods Agency abandoned : 21/11/2014 :

The Australian and New Zealand governments have abandoned plans, first set in place over a decade ago, to establish a joint therapeutic products regulator, the Australia New Zealand Therapeutic Products Agency (ANZTPA).

The decision, announced yesterday in a joint statement by Australia Health Minister Peter Dutton and New Zealand Health Minister, Jonathan Coleman, was taken following what the pair described as 'a comprehensive review of progress and assessment of the costs and benefits to each country of proceeding'.

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Australians living longer, with more years free of disability : 21/11/2014 :

Australians can now expect to enjoy longer lives with more years free of disability, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Healthy life expectancy in Australia: patterns and trends 1998 to 2012, shows the gains in the number of expected years living free of disability were related to a combination of increasing longevity and decreases in disability prevalence rates.

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Symbion opens new Melbourne warehouse : 21/11/2014 :

Pharmacy wholesaler Symbion yesterday opened a new $40 million medicine distribution centre in Melbourne that Health Minister Peter Dutton said 'will ensure Victorians continue to have reliable and affordable access to important medications'.

Officially opening the centre, Mr Dutton  said the Symbion Distribution Centre would service more than 750 pharmacies and 160 hospitals throughout Victoria every day.

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ASMI Diamond Awards presented : 21/11/2014 :

The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) Diamond Awards, which celebrate best practice in the non-prescription medicines sector, were presented across nine categories - Quality Use of Medicines (QUM), Best Large Budget Campaign (>$1 million), Best Small Budget Campaign (<$1 million), Best New Product Launch and Best Healthcare Professional Campaign, and four sales awards - at a dinner on Tuesday night immediately following ASMI's 2014 conference.

ASMI Marketing and Business Development Director Filomena Maiese said: “The ‘Judges Choice for QUM Award’ was won by RB for its ‘Live Well’ campaign.

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December 2014 PBS schedule : 20/11/2014 :

Download the PBS Summary of Changes

Download the Full PBS schedule

Download the Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy – Summary of Changes

Download the Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy – full Supplement

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News Ltd picks up ACCC / CW ad story : 20/11/2014 :

News Ltd publications have picked up on the 'Chemist Warehouse faces accusations of misleading discount advertising' story written and researched by ABC consumer affairs reporter Amy Bainbridge.

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ASMI details down-scheduling agenda and S3 advertising plan : 20/11/2014 :

Speaking at this week's Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) conference, ASMI Executive Director Dr Deon Schoombie detailed the organisation's plans to promote down-scheduling and prescription medicines and to reform Schedule 3 advertising rules.

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Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease affect over a quarter of Australians : 20/11/2014 :

A new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) shows that over one in four (29%) Australian adults have cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.

The report, Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease: Australian facts: Prevalence and incidence, shows that of the 4.9 million Australian adults (29%) with at least one of these three diseases in 2011–12, 1.2 million (about 7%) and 182,000 (about 1%) had two and three of the diseases, respectively.

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Poll: Is it appropriate for community pharmacists to supply oral contraceptives through a Schedule 3 listing? : 19/11/2014 :

News surfaced on Monday that the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS) is to consider a proposal at its March 2015 meeting - likely submitted by a pharma company - to create new entries for oral contraceptives in Schedule 3 of the Poisons List.

Predictably, medical groups are outraged with chair of the AMA Council of General Practice, Dr Brian Morton (apparently believing the proposal comes from pharmacy), saying “We need AHPRA to look at the scope of practice for pharmacy and, to put it bluntly, if pharmacists want to be doctors then they should do a degree.”

What do you think? Is 'counter prescribing' oral contraceptives an appropriate role for community pharmacists? Or is this best left to doctors?

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

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Guild rejects Harper Competition Policy Review findings : 19/11/2014 :

The Pharmacy Guild yesterday released its submission in response to the Harper (Draft) Report of the Review of National Competition Policy.

The submission - COMMUNITY PHARMACY: DELIVERING ACCESSIBILITY, QUALITY AND CHOICE FOR ALL AUSTRALIANS - draws heavily on new Guild commissioned research, and shows, says the Guild, that the existing community pharmacy model provides 'near universal access, high quality service and choice for consumers’.

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Doctors swayed by patients on antibiotics : 19/11/2014 :

Misconceptions about antibiotics continue to drive inappropriate patient and doctor behaviour, contributing to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance says NPS MedicineWise.

Recent research - released by the organisation on yesterday's Global Antibiotic Awareness Day - showed that patient expectations lead many general practitioners to prescribe antibiotics when they may not be effective.

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Go home on time day – achieving a work life balance for pharmacists : 19/11/2014 :

Wednesday 19 November 2014 is “go home on time day” in Australia. 

The Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) is reminding all pharmacists that while they often work irregular hours it is still important to have adequate recreation, relaxation and rest to balance our work, study and CPD commitments. 

Inadequate rest and relaxation can lead to symptoms of stress and prolonged periods of stress can precipitate mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, says PSS.  Pharmacists spend a lot of time caring for others and do not always pay attention to our own health and well-being.

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Industry welcomes Free Trade Agreement with China : 19/11/2014 :

Both Medicines Australia (MA) and Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA) have welcomed this week's finalisation of the Free Trade Agreement with China.

MA CEO Tim James said the FTA opened another open door to growth for Australia’s pharmaceutical industry and Carl Gibson, CMA CEO, highlighted the importance of the specific inclusion of complementary medicines within the agreement.

“The global market for medicines and vaccines is set to double over the next 10 years, with much of this growth coming from China and other emerging markets,” said Mr James.

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Exceptional Tasmanian pharmacists honoured : 18/11/2014 :

Visionary pharmacist, Professor Gregory Peterson is winner of the inaugural Tasmanian pharmacy Lifetime Achievement Award and Luciana Torrents, from City Capital Chemist in Launceston is the inaugural Tasmanian Pharmacist of the Year.

The awards were presented at the Tasmanian Pharmacist Dinner on Friday evening (14 November) at the Henry Jones Art Hotel in Hobart, supported by Symbion and Guild Superannuation.

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Antibiotic Awareness Week 2014: Imagine a World Without Antibiotics : 18/11/2014 :

During this week's Antibiotic Awareness Week, NPS MedicineWise is asking all Australians to imagine a world without antibiotics and join the fight against antibiotic resistance.

NPS MedicineWise CEO, Dr Lynn Weekes, says that Antibiotic Awareness Week, which runs from 17-13 November,  is a timely reminder that we all urgently need to take action to change the course of antibiotic resistance. The threat of antibiotics losing their power is a real prospect in the Australian community: without individual action, Australians face a dire future where simple infections could be life-threatening and surgery is deemed too high risk.

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ASMI celebrates its 40th anniversary : 18/11/2014 :

The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year at the ASMI 2014 Annual Conference and a gala dinner tonight.

ASMI Executive Director Dr Deon Schoombie said: “Over the last 40 years ASMI has become the voice of Australia’s non-prescription medicines industry, significantly influencing medicines policy and regulation."

“Whether embracing self and co-regulation, championing QUM or placing self care on the national agenda, ASMI has always taken a broader view in order to become an organisation aligned with the National Medicines Policy,." he added.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Preventer therapy for asthma in children : 17/11/2014 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Preventer therapy for asthma in children.

"Considerations regarding regular preventer treatment for children after the initial diagnosis of asthma are based on age and patterns of symptoms, according to the recently published Australian Asthma Handbook (asthmahandbook.org.au). A stepped approach to adjusting asthma medication is suggested in which all children will need a reliever for use ‘as needed’ (short acting beta2 agonist, SABA); some children will need a regular preventer such as a low dose inhaled corticosteroid (ICS), leukotriene receptor antagonist (montelukast), or a cromone; and very few children will require an increased dose of ICS or combination such as low dose ICS plus montelukast or ICS/long acting beta2 agonist (LABA) combination. The majority of children requiring preventers will be well controlled on low dose ICS or montelukast."

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

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