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AusPharm news

New member for NPS Medicinewise Board : 22/04/2013 :

GP and professional education advocate Dr Roger Sexton has been appointed as director of the NPS MedicineWise board in the role of Health Practitioner (GP) director.

Announcing the appointment NPS MedicineWise Chair Dr Janette Randall said that Dr Sexton is an active contributor to the medical profession bringing broad professional experience and a desire to positively influence lifelong medical education, quality prescribing and optimal patient care.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Omalizumab for chronic urticaria : 22/04/2013 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Omalizumab for chronic urticaria.

"Type 1 hypersensitivity reactions underlie many common allergic conditions, including allergic asthma, conjunctivitis, rhinitis, anaphylaxis and urticaria. This type of reaction involves the presentation of an antigen to T helper cells, which activate B cells to produce further IgE antibody. These antibodies then bind to mast cells and basophils causing sensitisation, and on repeat exposure to the antigen there is rapid release of inflammatory mediators such as leukotrienes, prostaglandins and histamine. On this basis, IgE has become a target of considerable interest for drug design."

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

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Penrith Pharmacy Battle : 22/04/2013 :

A group of western Sydney pharmacy owners is engaged in a protracted legal battle with entities associated with a Chemist Warehouse site in the Penrith Supacentre.

The dispute concerns the granting of a Council approval to operate the site as a permissible use in a bulky goods precinct, on the basis that a retail pharmacy forming part of the development would  be ancillary to other uses. A group of local pharmacy owners challenged the council consent on the basis that a retail shop is operating at the site and that this shop is not incidental or ancillary to the other uses of the site.

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Nicole Kidman Joins The Checkout + Dodgy Swisse Labelling : 22/04/2013 :

Last Thursday we alerted 'listers to the upcoming ABC TV Checkout story on the Swisse company and events surrounding the removal of of its 'Swisse Ultiboost Appetite Suppressant' from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods and subsequent replacement with the identical, but renamed, product 'Swisse Ultiboost Hunger Control'. The (very funny) video is now available online.

"Consumer affairs Ambassador Nicole Kidman speaks out for the first time about her Swisse ads. And Craig follows up The Checkout's first investigation into dodgy labelling of complementary medicines, analysing Swisse's dodgy reaction to their dodgy products being banned."

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Flu season rapidly approaching : 22/04/2013 :

With winter approaching, NPS MedicineWise is rolling out its annual reminder to consumers that having the flu vaccination is the single best way to protect against the infection and its potential complications.
 
“We’re urging people who are most at risk to have the flu vaccination this autumn, because influenza can lead to serious complications, including pneumonia,” said NPS MedicineWise clinical adviser Dr Philippa Binns.

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Depression and quitting smoking : 22/04/2013 :

Quitting smoking can significantly improve people’s mental health, according to new beyondblue funded research.

The research underpins a new booklet, Depression and quitting smoking, which addresses the unique challenges that people with depression face when trying to give up.

Quit Victoria Executive Director Fiona Sharkie said the perception that people with depression can’t or don’t want to quit is wrong.

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Consultation: Evaluation of complementary medicine substances for use in listed medicines : 22/04/2013 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is seeking comments from interested parties on the draft document Australian regulatory guidelines for complementary medicines (ARGCM) Part C: Evaluation of complementary medicine substances for use in listed medicines.

The ARGCM Part C is a revision and restructure of the current document 'ARGCM Part III: Evaluation of complementary medicine'. Changes to the original document include formatting, corrections and clarification of information. While the revised document does not introduce any new procedures or procedural changes, the existing ARGCM Part III contained outdated information which has been amended to reflect current regulatory practice.

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IMS: we're innocent : 22/04/2013 :

Following media speculation late last week and over the weekend about the ethical status of aspects of its data collection program from pharmacies, IMS Health has moved to reassure patients, pharmacists and prescribers that it only onsells de-identied data and that there is no provision of personal information, including contact details of medical practitioners, to third parties.

Pharmacists were accused of providing IMS with data that may have allowed the company to identify specific prescribers and prescribing patterns and onsell that information to third party clients of IMS. Consumers, regulators and doctors expressed concerns that this might be happening.

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Discrimination, bullying present in 1/4 of pharmacies : 19/04/2013 :

Following a post to AusPharmList on Monday in which a 'lister reported what may have been workplace discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, this week's AusPharm poll sought to determine how prevalent 'discrimination' is in Australian pharmacies. Our poll preamble spelled out that discrimination might be on the basis of age, gender, race, religion or on other grounds.

29% of respondents reported that they had seen an example of discrimination in the last 12 months with an additional 9% reporting seeing discrimination in the last 5 years.

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GPs sending 1 million eRX scripts every week : 19/04/2013 :

Doctors have now achieved a milestone of one million new prescriptions being uploaded to eRx Script Exchange each week, with more than 13,000 doctors sending eRx scripts every day.

This milestone came as eRx was formally recognised by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) as a provider of ETP (electronic transfer of prescriptions).

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Rise in hospital admissions for older people : 19/04/2013 :

Hospital admissions for older Australians are rising rapidly, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Australian hospital statistics 2011–12, shows that the number of hospital admissions for people aged 85 and over rose by 9% each year between 2007–08 and 2011–12. This compared with an average increase of 4% per year overall for hospital admissions over this period.

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API delivers sound half yearly result : 19/04/2013 :

API yesterday reported a net profit after tax of $12.9 million for the 6 months to 28 February 2013, compared with $18.3 million in the prior corresponding period. As the prior corresponding period included insurance proceeds of $14.5 million underlying profit was actually up 6.8 per cent.

Commenting on the result, Stephen Roche, API’s Chief Executive and Managing Director, said that the Priceline Pharmacy store network programme was proceeding well and that the pharmacy division was proving resilient in the face of on-going sector reform.

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Trans Tasman Evaluation of OTC meds a reality : 19/04/2013 :

A new process for assessing OTC medicines takes effect this week marking a step towards establishing a single Trans-Tasman regulatory agency for therapeutic products.

New Zealand Health Minister Tony Ryall and Australian Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Shayne Neumann made the announcement yesterday.

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Tributes flow for Kos Sclavos : 18/04/2013 :

Following Monday's news that Guild President Kos Sclavos is to stand down from the role in October a number of national health organisations have praised the key role Mr Sclavos has played in Australian pharmacy over the last 20 years.

PSA National President Grant Kardachi said Mr Sclavos had made a huge contribution to the pharmacy profession in Australia and his untiring commitment to community pharmacy was legendary.

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Nurofen, Swisse feature in tonight's episode of 'The Checkout' : 18/04/2013 :

'Listers might want to take a peek at tonight episode of ABC TV's The Checkout.

THE CHECKOUT - Episode 5 - Thursday April 18 at 8pm on ABC1

In this week’s episode:

  • Fast, targeted relief from your money – Jules and Kirsten, with the help of Andrew McLachlan (Professor of Pharmacy for the University of Sydney) give Nurofen and other pharmaceutical companies a headache over bogus medicine variants that are painfully expensive. Is the most active ingredient actually marketing?
  • Nicole Kidman joins The Checkout team – consumer affairs ambassador Nicole Kidman speaks out for the first time about her Swisse ads. And Craig follows up The Checkout’s first investigation into dodgy labelling of complementary medicines, analysing Swisse’s dodgy reaction to their dodgy products being banned.

and lots more besides....

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Master Class anyone? : 17/04/2013 :

Are you a current or aspiring pharmacy manager or owner?  Are you enrolled or planning to enroll in one of the Australian College of Pharmacy’s Diploma programs?  The College’s Management Master Class is for you! 

Based on the success of previous Master Classes, the 2013 Management Master Class program, to be conducted at this year's College conference in Brisbane in July, will enable you to develop skills and knowledge that are critical in setting the foundation for building a new or better pharmacy business.

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May 2013 PBS schedule : 17/04/2013 :

Download the Full PBS schedule

Download the PBS Summary of changes

Download the Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy – S100 Arrangements Supplement

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Poll: have you seen discrimination in your workplace? : 17/04/2013 :

In a post to AusPharmList on Monday a 'lister reported what may have been workplace discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. 

Of course, there are many kinds of discrimination that might manifest in any workplace, including in a pharmacy. These include age, gender, race and religion to name just a few.

Have you seen discrimination in your workplace in the last 12 months.

Please let in know by ticking the relevant box in this week's AusPharm poll.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 17/04/2013 :

AFL - Round 3

Round 3 of the 2013 AFL season started off with the Bombers and the Dockers with the Bombers coming from behind to take the win by 4 points. Other matches for the week saw the Swans outplay the Kangaroos at Blundstone Arena by a 39 point margin.

NRL - Round 6

Round 6 of the 2013 NRL season commenced with the Broncos defeating the Cowboys 12-10. Other games for the round saw the Roosters demolish the Bulldogs to secure the win 38-0 at Canberra Stadium. The Knights defeat the Panthers 8-6 and the Raiders defeat the NZ Warriors 20-16 at Canberra Stadium.

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Pharmacies to offer private health insurance : 16/04/2013 :

A new in-pharmacy and online service, PharmaChoice, is to be launched in May that will see franchised pharmacies offer consumers private health insurance.

The PharmaChoice company describes itself as a 'health insurance aggregator and a franchisor'. Its strategy aims to leverage the trust consumers place in their pharmacist with participating pharmacies able to advise consumers on what private health insurance will best meet their individual needs.

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