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AusPharm news

Recall: Zovirax Ophthalmic ointment : 27/10/2014 :

GSK, in consultation with the TGA, is undertaking a recall of unsold Zovirax Ophthalmic ointment (3% aciclovir) after metal particles were found in three different lots of aciclovir, which was used in 11 batches of the ointment.

The size of the metal particles detected in the raw materials used to manufacture the Zovirax Ophthalmic ointment range in size from 0.15 to 0.85 mm.

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MIMS for Android : 27/10/2014 :

The recently released MIMS for Android app has been rated 4.8 out of 5 by reviewers at the Google Play store.  The app was developed in response to demand from clients for an Australian specific locally installed Android medicines information app. The MIMS app is the first of its kind.

MIMS was the first to launch a locally installed iPhone app (iMIMS) a number of years ago and in recent months, says MIMS,  demand for an Android version has increased.  According to MIMS, the new Android app fulfils an unmet need of pharmacists, doctors and other healthcare professionals who work remotely or are mobile and either do not want to use or do not have access to wireless internet.

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Pharmacists not keen on recommending pharmacy as a career : 24/10/2014 :

The results of this week's AusPharm poll (n=364) show that pharmacists are not likely to recommend a career as a pharmacist to secondary school students.

Over 80% of poll respondents said they would not recommend pharmacy as a career with a few - 15% - saying they might, depending on the individual student.

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PSA: Code of Ethics underpins consumer confidence in pharmacists : 24/10/2014 :

National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA), Grant Kardachi, said this week that the high perception consumers had of pharmacists was underpinned by their operating to the PSA's Code of Ethics.

The latest data from Roy Morgan Research, released last week, reinforces its survey earlier this year on the image of the professions which rated pharmacists second only to nurses in terms of ethics and honesty. Pharmacists received an 86 per cent rating against a 91 per cent rating for nurses.

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Medicines Australia pushes “new PBS listings” mantra : 24/10/2014 :

Following confirmation at Senate Estimates this week that PBS expenditure growth is minimal and less than inflation, Medicines Australia (MA) has renewed its call for new medicines to be PBS listed expediently.

“This latest data just confirms what Medicines Australia has been pointing out for a long time,” said new MA CEO Tim James.

“The tough price disclosure reforms the medicines industry developed and agreed with government over the past eight years are paying off, with massive ongoing savings for taxpayers and consumers," he added.

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Chemmart spruiks positive skin cancer testing results : 24/10/2014 :

14% of spots checked at the launch of Chemmarts's Spotcheck skin cancer testing service this week required GP follow up.

Free Spotchecks were offered to passers-by at Bondi to mark the launch of Spotcheck. 105 people had their spots checked and 185 spots were checked in total. Once the spots were assessed, it was found that 14% of the spots required further follow-up by the GP.

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API profit up, Priceline stable continues to grow : 24/10/2014 :

API yesterday reported a full year (to 31 August 2014) underlying net profit after tax of $31.7 million, up 32.5% on the previous year.

However, the company recorded a statutory loss of $90.8 million for the year, following the impairments of $131 million announced earlier in 2014.

Its Priceline and Priceline Pharmacy network now numbers 390 stores nationally with the banner group showing a 6% like for like increase in sales on the previous year. The company says it expects to add another 20 stores to the group in the coming 12 months.

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Large number of October ARTG cancellations : 24/10/2014 :

35 complementary medicine products were removed from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) on 22 October after the sponsor - Newlite Enterprises Pty Ltd - failed to supply the TGA with documentation it had requested about the products.

It is by far the largest number of monthly ARTG cancellations for 2014.

A list of the products is available on the TGA website here.

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PSA QUM in Pain Management Award goes to NSW pharmacist : 23/10/2014 :

NSW medical centre pharmacist Olly Zekry has won the 2014 PSA Award for QUM in Pain Management.

Ms Zekry won the award because of her strong advocacy for pharmacists to play a key role in pain management and in preventing the progression of acute pain to chronic pain by clinical interventions and patient education.

She believes pharmacists can identify red flags, and the yellow flags that play a pivotal role in the progression of acute pain to chronic pain.

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New data shows GPs cautious on NOAC uptake : 23/10/2014 :

New data reveals that one year on from the introduction of novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for the teatment of non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF), uptake of these agents is increasing slowly – from 6.8 per cent of total NVAF patients in September 2013 to 18 per cent by July 2014 (1).

The data, collected on a rolling quarterly basis using a panel of 400 Australian GPs, show that although the use of NOACs is increasing, warfarin remains the anticoagulant of choice for prevention of stroke in patients with NVAF. Figures highlighting prescription practice for the previous three months to July 2014 show that warfarin accounts for 82 per cent of the anticoagulation market, with rivaroxaban (Xarelto) at 10.8 per cent, Dabigatran (Pradaxa) at 4.5 per cent and Apixaban (Eliquis) at 2.5 per cent of the market.

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myCPD site tops 30,000 registrants : 22/10/2014 :

The Pharmacy Guild’s myCPD site has just passed 30,000 registered users, with between 300 and 500 new users continuing to join up each month.

Commenting on the result yesterday, Guild Victorian Branch President and Chair of the Academy Management Committee, Anthony Tassone, who was responsible for the initial development of the myCPD site said: "This is a fantastic result for myCPD and the broader industry taking up the Guild's offer."

"The growth in registered users has occurred in a little over three years and indicates that the Guild is assisting a large proportion of pharmacists to meet their annual CPD requirements."

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Poll: would you recommend pharmacy as a career? : 22/10/2014 :

Employee pharmacist wages are stagnant and job satisfaction is low in some sections of the Australian pharmacy community.

On the other and, a level of optimism is evident in others, as the prospect of pharmacists assuming an expanded primary care role - including through providing vaccination services -  seems likely.

Would you recommend pharmacy as a career to a senior secondary school student? Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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Qld pharmacist immunisation pilot team wins national award : 22/10/2014 :

The Queensland Pharmacist Immunisation Pilot implementation team, led by Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Queensland President Professor Lisa Nissen, pictured at right, has won the University of Technology Sydney Innovative Pharmacist of the Year award. The award was presented at a dinner in Sydney last night.

The implementation team is made up of Professor Nissen; Chris Campbell, Professional Services Pharmacist for the Terry White Group; Michelle Rosenthal, PSA Queensland Branch Director; and Megan Del Dot, PSA Queensland Branch pharmacist.

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More emergency department patients ‘seen on time’ : 22/10/2014 :

The proportion of hospital emergency department patients who were ‘seen on time’ for their urgency (triage) category rose from 70% to 75% between 2009–10 and 2013–14, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Australian hospital statistics 2013–14: emergency department care, presents the latest information on emergency department care in Australia's public hospitals.

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New Poisons Schedule released : 21/10/2014 :

Version 5 of the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons (SUSMP) has been published on the TGA website.

The SUSMP is a complete list of the classification of medicines and chemicals into the various Schedules for inclusion in relevant legislation of the states and territories. It also includes model provisions about containers and labels, and recommendations about other controls on medicines and chemicals.

SUSMP No.5 includes the consolidated edition dated July 2013 and Amendments No.1 to No.3. SUSMP No.5 and all future editions of the Poisons Standard will only be available online, here.

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ASMI: extend acceptance of trusted international standards to OTC meds : 21/10/2014 :

Following this week's Federal Government’s announcement that it will examine opportunities for greater acceptance of international standards and risk assessments of medical devices, the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) says the measure should also include over-the-counter and complementary medicines.
 
“There is no compelling reason why the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) should re-assess non-prescription medicines where they have already been assessed by comparable overseas regulators," said ASMI Executive Director Dr Deon Schoombie.

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APC gets new Credentialing Manager : 21/10/2014 :

Andrew Matthews is to take up a position as the Australian Pharmacy Council's (APC) new Credentialing Manager.

The role has been created to support the APC's Director, Accreditation and Policy in the establishment of the advanced practice credentialing process.

Mr Matthews is currently Group Executive in charge of the Pharmacy Guild's Pharmacy Transformation Group.

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November 2014 PBS schedule : 20/10/2014 :

Download the Full PBS schedule

Download the PBS ‘Summary of Changes’

Download the Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy – S100 Arrangements Supplement

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Adverse effects of cholinesterase inhibitors : 20/10/2014 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Adverse effects of cholinesterase inhibitors.

"Cholinesterase inhibitors are used in patients with mild to moderately severe Alzheimer’s disease to improve dementia symptoms.   In Australia, donepezil, rivastigmine and galantamine are subsidised for supply through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), based on the results of a Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) or Standardised Mini-Mental State Examination (SMMSE). Ongoing funding is based on whether or not the patient has had a clinically meaningful response to treatment after six months (see http://www.pbs.gov.au/pbs/home) for full details)."

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

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Discover More. Ask your Pharmacist ads commence : 20/10/2014 :

The first advertisement in the Pharmacy Guild's ‘Discover more. Ask your pharmacist,’ campaign aired on commercial television last night.

The multi-media campaign is designed to advance the community’s knowledge of the value of their local pharmacy.

The Guild is urging pharmacies to display campaign materials in-store saying the campaign will work best for individual pharmacies and for the broader pharmacy community if everybody gets involved.

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