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AusPharm news

More than 40% of pharmacies discounting PBS co-payment : 08/01/2016 :

The results of this week's AusPharm poll show that more than 40% of pharmacies are already discounting the PBS prescription co-payment with a further 9% saying that, while they're not yet doing it, it's likely they will.

However, almost a third of respondents told us they won't be discounting the co-payment either 'on principle' (17%) or because they 'can't afford to' (15%).

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New video explains AHPRA role : 07/01/2016 :

A new video and an accompanying infographic explaining the Australia-wide scheme that regulates health professionals were launched today by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

Chair of the Physiotherapy Board of Australia, and Chair of the Forum of Chairs of National Boards, Paul Shinkfield, said the video provides a simple introduction to the National Scheme, which has been in place since 2010.

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End of 2015 Panadol Osteo scripts way up on normal : 06/01/2016 :

The result of our first poll for 2016 tells us that, in anticipation of PBS de-listing, Panadol Osteo scripts were way up on normal in the last few days of 2015.

After adjusting the raw data to exclude the 'I don't work in a community pharmacy' component, 52% of respondents told us Panadol Osteo scripts were 'through the roof' with a further 28% saying th number was 'markedly up on normal' - a total of 80%.

Later in 2016 we'll run another poll to try and determine whether those folk who have been taking Panadol Osteo regularly are still doing so now it's been de-listed.

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Poll: is your pharmacy discounting the PBS co-payment? : 06/01/2016 :

By now it's likely that commercial (and possibly philosophical) imperatives have determined who will and who won't be discounting the PBS co-payment by up to the allowable $1.00.

Let's see if we can find out how widespread (or not) discounting is.

Please tick the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll below.

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Beerens moves on from wholesaler body : 05/01/2016 :

After more than a decade of advocacy on behalf of the Community Service Obligation (CSO) wholesalers, well known pharmacy figure Pattie Beerens is moving on from her role as Executive Director of the National Pharmaceutical Services Association (NPSA).

Ms Beerens led the original establishment of the Community Service Obligation (CSO) and worked with numerous groups in the pharmacy sector and within government over three Community Pharmacy Agreements (CPA)  - from the 4CPA to 6CPA. At the conclusion of the 6CPA negotiations, she decided she wanted to pursue other opportunities and would not be renewing her NPSA contract.

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PBS ‘early supply’ can’t be discounted : 05/01/2016 :

The Department of Health has published a number of new PBS explanatory notes for both consumers and pharmacists.

Included amongst them is PBS Safety Net early supply rule - Pharmacist Questions and Answers which notes that the Safety Net early supply rule ‘expands the former Safety Net 20 day rule so that early supply provisions apply for a wider range of medicines’. 

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New mental health resource for Victorian pharmacists : 05/01/2016 :

A new mental health resource sheet has been jointly produced by the Victorian Branch of the Pharmacy Guild and the Eastern Melbourne PHN to provide contact details for useful mental health services and information about how to access health system referral and navigation tools.

The resource sheet is one outcome of the final report of the Eastern Melbourne Partners in Recovery Pharmacy Integration Project.

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Guild puts the facts on PBS co-payment discount, Panadol Osteo de-listing : 04/01/2016 :

The Pharmacy Guild has responded to what it sees as ill informed and biased media reports about the optional PBS co-payment discount and the de-listing of Panadol Osteo by issuing a list of 'facts' on the two issues.

Topping the list is that the cost of the co-payment discount is being borne by pharmacies, not by government. It also repeats the Guild's line that patients who reach theior safety net may not benefit at all from the discount

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Ley trumpets start of $1 script discount, takes a swipe at the Guild : 02/01/2016 :

Health Minister Sussan Ley said on Friday (1 January) that the introduction of the (optional) $1 PBS co-payment discount marked 'the start of landmark competition reforms in the medicines sector'.

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Guild asks for review of PBS de-listings : 01/01/2016 :

In light of the news that GSK will raise the wholesale price of Panadol Osteo by 50% from today (1 January), the Pharmacy Guild has asked the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) to review its decision to PBS de-list it and a number of other commonly used OTC medicines.

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Poll: what was the reaction in your pharmacy to the Panadol Osteo de-listing? : 01/01/2016 :

The 1 January PBS de-listing of Panadol Osteo featured heavily in mainstream media over the Christmas / New Year period.

AusPharm also received a few emails towards the end of 2015 commenting on 'panic buying'. Some consumers even (mistakenly) thought all their scripts were going up by $4-5.

How was the action in your pharmacy? Panic buying? A slight increase in Panadol Osteo scripts? No change?

Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll.

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We're back : 01/01/2016 :

There's been quite a bit of pharmacy action during the usually quite festive season with the Panadol Osteo price rise and the Jan 1 (optional) $1 PBS co-payment discount both featuring in mainstream media.

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Ley refers GSK to ACCC over pending Panadol Osteo price rise : 30/12/2015 :

Health Minister Sussan Ley has asked her Department 'to urgently alert the ACCC to plans by the makers of Panadol Osteo to increase their price by 50 per cent on January 1 2016.'

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AusPharm over the Christmas / New year period : 24/12/2015 :

AusPharm will be taking a short break over the festive season.

We won't be publishing from Friday 25 December through until Sunday 3 January. We'll be back as usual on Monday 4 January 2016.

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.

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PSA: Visit a pharmacist to avoid PBS headache : 24/12/2015 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) is advising consumers to visit their pharmacist to prepare for the PBS changes taking effect from January 1 that will see 17 types of over-the-counter medicines, including paracetamol and aspirin, delisted from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

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Sunday penalty rates: double time say employees, time and a half say owners : 24/12/2015 :

Almost 70% of the 'non pharmacy owner' cohort voting in yesterday's AusPharm poll believe double time (55%) or better (14%) would be a 'fair and reasonable' penalty rate of pay for community pharmacists working on a Sunday.

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AusPharm CE: RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin Digest Issue No.89 : 23/12/2015 :

The last of continuing professional development activities for 2015 is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 89.

This CPD activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins, Volumes 60-4 → 60-7 (September and October 2015).

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PSS can provide support for pharmacists through the festive season : 23/12/2015 :

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 and holiday crowds in tourist areas.  

In addition access to other health services such as medial practices is often limited and many people turn to their local pharmacist for advice.  Many pharmacists do not have the opportunity to relax with family and friends.  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 and holiday crowds in tourist areas.  

In addition access to other health services such as medial practices is often limited and many people turn to their local pharmacist for advice.  Many pharmacists do not have the opportunity to relax with family and friends.  

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Poll: what penalty rate should apply on Sundays? : 23/12/2015 :

Early this week the Productivity Commission recommended changes to Sunday penalty rates for some professions including retail, calling for the rate to be reduced to time-and-a-half.

The Commission said "Sunday penalty rates for hospitality, entertainment, retailing, restaurants and cafes are inconsistent across similar work, anachronistic in the context of changing consumer preferences, and frustrate the job aspirations of the unemployed and those who are only available for work on Sunday".

Its view is not shared by employee pharmacist union Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA) who argues that weekends are not 'normal' trading days and that penalty rates should apply.

PPA President Dr Geoff March said cuts to existing penalty rates 'will harm the pharmacy profession; it will widen a gap in working conditions between employee pharmacists and other health professionals'.

What do you think Sunday penalty rates should be for employee pharmacists in community pharmacy? Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Christmas Edition - Best wishes for the festive season : 21/12/2015 :

RGH E-Bulletin: Christmas Edition - Best wishes for the festive season

"The festive season of 2015 will mark the 15th and final occasion on which the Christmas edition of the RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin will be distributed. It is with some regret that we announce that as a result of internal reorganisations within SA Health, the Repatriation General Hospital and its pharmacy department are scheduled for closure. Naturally, for a hospital (and a department) with a long history of service, this development is marked with a note of sadness, but also provides an opportunity to look back with pride upon what has been achieved."

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

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