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AusPharm news

ACCC wants beefed up individual reporting provisions in Pharma Code of Conduct : 20/10/2014 :

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says it will only grant conditional authorisation to the new edition (No 18) of Medicines Australia’s Code of Conduct if provisions relating to payments provided to individual health professionals by drug companies are strengthened.
 
The issue of individual disclosure has long been a matter of debate - when authorising edition 17 of the Code in 2012, the ACCC made clear that it expected Medicines Australia to complete its review of transparency and introduce greater disclosure around sponsorship and fees paid to individual health professionals.

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NZ gets OTC Sildenafil : 20/10/2014 :

Kiwi men will be the first in the world able to access sildenafil direct from pharmacies without a prescription.

The move - effective from 16 October - comes after New Zealand’s largest drug manufacturer, Douglas Pharmaceuticals, gained approval from New Zealand regulator, Medsafe, to have Silvasta ‘reclassified’ to be available through trained pharmacists without prescription.

“We expect to have the product available under its new classification progressively from today (16 October) as soon as pharmacists have completed their training,” said Douglas Pharmaceuticals medical marketing manager, Mike Siermans.

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Anyone's guess as to quantum of 6CPA professional services funding : 17/10/2014 :

The result of this week's AusPharm poll reveals a wide range of expectations from pharmacists on the level of funding for professional services likely to be in the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement, set to commence on 1 July 2015.

The poll followed calls from the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia last week that 6CPA funding needed to focus on evidence based, outcomes focused professional services.

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Pharmacy satisfaction: gold stars for all : 17/10/2014 :

Earlier this year, the Roy Morgan Image of Professions Survey found that 86% of Australians rate pharmacists highly in terms of their honesty and ethical standards (second only to nurses). The results of the company's latest Customer Satisfaction Awards reveal that most people are very happy with the service they receive from their pharmacies too.

The survey revealed little difference in customer satisfaction levels between the top five pharmacy banners, with just 2% separating Guardian in first place from Chemmart in fifth place.

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PSA hails reappointment of 'pragmatic' George Tambassis Guild President : 17/10/2014 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has welcomed last week's re-election of George Tambassis as Guild President saying it is 'impressed by his great passion for community pharmacy as well as his ongoing pragmatism as to the challenges the profession is facing.'

PSA President, Grant Kardachi, said the re-election of Mr Tambassis came at an important time with the Guild, PSA and the pharmacy profession now in the preparation phase of the next Community Pharmacy Agreement.

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Overuse of OTC analgesics *a bad thing* : 17/10/2014 :

On the final day of Be Medicinewise Week 2014, NPS MedicineWise is cautioning consumers that excess consumption of common pain relievers can be a serious medicine safety issue.

A recent poll on behalf of NPS MedicineWise suggests that many Australians have exceeded the maximum daily dose of over-the-counter painkillers, potentially posing significant risks to their health.

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Pharmacies have a role to play in an ageing population : 16/10/2014 :

Two presentations at PAC14 on Saturday highlighted the looming strain on the health system that will be presented by an ageing Australian population.

Patrick Reid, pharmacist and CEO of Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), the industry peak body for all aged service providers, pointed out that by 2024, in a projected total Australian population of 28 million, 5 million will be over 65 with almost 60,000 of these over 85. By 2044, out of a projected total population of 38 million, 8 million will be over 65 and 1.7 million will be over 85.

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RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin CPD Digest - Issue Number 74 : 16/10/2014 :

The next in our 2014 series of continuing professional development activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 74.

This CPD activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins, Volumes 55-2, 3, 5 & 6 (June/July 2014).

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Australian Pharma sector gets a leg up : 16/10/2014 :

Medical technologies and pharmaceuticals is one of five areas identified for focused support in the Coalition government's Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda, released this week.

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Victorian government committee support for pharmacy : 15/10/2014 :

A Victorian Government committee inquiry into community pharmacy has formally recognised the role of the pharmacist in the community and pointed to the potential for pharmacists to play a much greater role in improving health outcomes.

The Parliamentary Legal and Social Issues Legislation Committee report, tabled yesterday, makes 17 recommendations...

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NPS MedicineWise: follow doctor’s directions with prescription meds : 15/10/2014 :

Day three of Be Medicinewise Week 2014 sees NPS MedicineWise urging Australians taking prescription medicines to follow the instructions of their doctor.

New NPS MedicineWise polling reveals that while a high number of respondents take prescription medicines, advice on taking medicines safely and effectively is not necessarily being followed with around 30% of respondents stopping taking a prescription medicine without talking to their doctor first, or against their doctor’s advice.

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Fred IT Group named in BRW’s 50 Most Innovative Companies List : 15/10/2014 :

The Fred IT Group has been named as one of Australia’s most innovative companies, coming in at number 25 on the 2014 BRW 50 Most Innovative Companies List.

CEO and pharmacist Paul Naismith said, “We are delighted to be recognized alongside Australia’s most innovative companies. Fred was born out of the vision of innovating as a means of making things easier for pharmacy, and this motto remains central to our operations and to how we partner with others.”

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TGA Safety advisory: Children's Panadol 1-5 Years Colourfree Suspension : 15/10/2014 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has issued a safety advisory for Children's Panadol 1-5 Years Colourfree Suspension over potential confusion in reading the correct dose using the syringe supplied in the pack.

The syringe supplied with Children's Panadol 1-5 Years Colourfree Suspension is shaped in such a way that the dose should be measured where the widest side of the plunger meets the barrel of the syringe.

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Poll: shape of the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement : 15/10/2014 :

PSA's vision for the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement, released at PAC14 over the weekend, proposes significant increases to both the range of professional services funded and to the quantum of the funding. This is in line with thinking in recent years that community pharmacy's focus needs to shift from product to service.

But, even if whomever ends up on the pharmacy negotiating team pushes this line, will government listen? After all, aren’t the agreements primarily about the distribution of PBS medicines?

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

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Registration opens for final-year pharmacy students : 14/10/2014 :

Final-year pharmacy students can now apply for registration at the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) website.

The online graduate application service allows final-year students to apply for registration four to six weeks before completing their course.

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ASMI: S3 advertising reform long overdue : 14/10/2014 :

S3 advertising restrictions constrain the ability of sponsors to make consumers aware of medicines that are available without a prescription, and regulatory reform is long overdue, says the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI), representing the makers of non prescription medicines.

In a presentation at PAC14 over the weekend, ASMI Executive Director, Dr Deon Schoombie, pictured at right, described the regulatory model of consumer communication favoured by ASMI for S3 medicines - 'based on a structured framework to provide information in a balanced way'.

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Consumers urged to talk to their health professional about CAMs : 14/10/2014 :

On day two of Be Medicinewise Week 2014, NPS MedicineWise is urging Australians to tell their health professionals about all the medicines they take, including complementary medicines, to avoid the risk of possible interactions.

Multivitamins and mineral supplements are widely used in Australia. Polling released today* by NPS MedicineWise reveals that of the 1,000 Australians surveyed:

  • 66% had taken a multivitamin or mineral supplements in the past 12 months 
  • 64% were taking multivitamin or mineral supplements on most, or every day of the week
  • 52% of baby boomers surveyed take a multivitamin or mineral supplement on most or every day of the week. 

NPS Medicines Line Manager and pharmacist, Sarah Spagnardi, says that people may not think about complementary medicines in the same way as other medicines.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Mirabegron : 13/10/2014 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Mirabegron.

"Mirabegron (Betmiga®) is beta 3 adrenergic agonist - a new class of agent that induces detrusor muscle relaxation resulting in increased bladder storage capacity. This product was registered with the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration in October 2013 for the symptomatic treatment of urgency, increased micturition frequency and/or urgency incontinence as may occur in patients with overactive bladder (OAB) syndrome."

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

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PSA: focus needs to be on professional services in 6CPA : 13/10/2014 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has called for a greater focus on improving patient health outcomes through the utilisation of professional pharmacy services in the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement.

It has also called for PSA to be a joint signatory to the parts of the Agreement relating to professional services.

In a discussion paper released on Friday, PSA says that the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement presents an opportunity to focus on the improvements in consumer health outcomes that can be achieved from the delivery of high quality pharmacist services, particularly for those with chronic diseases and on multiple medications.

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Lloyd Sansom: time ripe for change : 13/10/2014 :

Respected pharmacy elder Professor Lloyd Samsom says the time is now ripe for pharmacy to transition to a new model of care based on the provision of high quality primary care.

Speaking to delegates at this weekend's PAC14, he referred to comments made by Health Minister Peter Dutton at APP in March that the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement provided an opportunity 'to look at innovative ways of funding and continuing pharmacy to develop', and said the political climate was now right to embrace a change in the role of pharmacists in the health system.

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