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AusPharm news

New Oxycontin on shelves from today : 01/04/2014 :

The new, reformulated version of OxyContin will start arriving on pharmacy shelves today, 1 April 2014. The old formulation tablets have now been discontinued.

The new tablets have been reformulated to resist misuse and abuse, with the intention of reducing diversion.

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No increase in community pharmacist wages since 2009 : 01/04/2014 :

The wages of Australia’s community pharmacists are stagnating with the 2013/14 Community and Hospital Pharmacists Remuneration Survey showing that average hourly base pay rates have risen by only 23 cents per hour since 2009. 

Professional Pharmacists Australia president Dr Geoff March said the survey of more than 2,672 pharmacists provided “solid evidence” for what many in the sector already suspected.

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Strong interest in PSA Branch Committee positions : 01/04/2014 :

Elections for Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Branch Committee positions will be needed in most states after strong interest was shown in the positions from PSA members.

More nominations than positions available were received for the NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, ACT and Western Australia -  consequently, ballots will be held in these States and Territory.

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 01/04/2014 :

The MIMS March/April 2014 Monthly Medicine Update is now available. Click the link to read it now.

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PSA Intern Training Program awarded Grad Cert status : 01/04/2014 :

Pharmacy interns completing the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia's Intern Training Program (ITP) will now graduate with a Graduate Certificate in Applied Pharmacy Practice, giving them a nationally recognised qualification focussed on management and applied pharmacy practice.

The PSA program is the only ITP able to confer a full postgraduate qualification to interns on completion. It is covered by the Government’s VET FEE-HELP scheme which means there are no upfront course fees - interns can study now and pay later.

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War of words over pharmacist vaccination trial heats up : 31/03/2014 :

Revive nurse practitioner Clinic CEO Louise Stewart has accused some Queensland Terry White Chemist stores of inappropriately taking customer flu vaccine bookings made on the Revive Clinic nurse practitioner booking system and rescheduling them into the Queensland pharmacist vaccination trial.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Cancer pain management guidelines : 31/03/2014 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Cancer pain management guidelines.

"The Cancer Council Australia has recently produced evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for the management of cancer pain in adults, available online here. These are intended to guide community prescribers in the rational management of pain, and as such, have advice on assessment and non-pharmacological management of pain. The interactive sections address a range of areas..."

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

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NatRUM program a winner : 31/03/2014 :

An audit of collections of out-of-date and unwanted medicines sampled from pharmacies all over Australia, released last week, found that an estimated 540 tonnes of medicines annually are disposed of in an environmentally friendly way through the RUM Project.

The majority of medicines (68%) belonged to five therapeutic classes – cardiovascular (18%), nervous system (17%), alimentary tract (16%), respiratory (9%) and anti-infective (8%).

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MA: clinical trials boost 'a great opportunity for Australia' : 31/03/2014 :

Peak pharma company body Medicines Australia (MA) has called on the federal Government to work with the industry to implement its election promise to accelerate clinical trial regulatory reform.

In a speech to the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance last week, MA CEO, Dr Brendan Shaw said that, despite a recent increase in clinical trial activity in Australia, the country's share of the global investment in this area has continued to decline.

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Chemmart pharmacies to offer genetic testing : 29/03/2014 :

Chemmart Pharmacies are to offer genetic testing in partnership with genetic testing company, GenesFX Health.

The test is called DNAdose and, according to information on its website, it "is a once off, pharmacogenomic test that identifies gene variants in four major enzyme systems and how these genes metabolise medications. Put simply, identifies how your individual genetic structure will respond to medication so your doctor can prescribe the most suitable medication at the right dosage for your body."

Casey Central Chemmart Pharmacy in Victoria is the first pharmacy to offer the DNAdose test.

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Sigma travelling well : 28/03/2014 :

Sigma Pharmaceuticals yesterday reported a net profit for the year ending 31 January of $70.3 million, up from last year's $23.1 million, which was significantly affected by a one off legal settlement of almost $50 million. Revenue for the year was up 1.1% to $2.97 billion.

Commenting on the result, Sigma CEO Mark Hooper said "To deliver sales growth in a market that is under pressure from Government PBS price disclosure reform and generally difficult retail trading conditions reinforces the recent investment decisions taken and the direction we are heading."

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Community pharmacist underemployment, unemployment becoming 'significant' : 28/03/2014 :

41% of respondents to this week's AusPharm poll told us that the incidence of community pharmacists either losing their jobs or having their hours cut back was 'becoming significant' or 'big time' in their patch.

A further 29% said that there was 'some loss of employment. not great' in their area. 

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The 25 best sectors to be in for the next 20 years: Pharmacy well positioned? : 27/03/2014 :

Deloitte this week released a report detailing what it considers to be 'the 25 best sectors to be in for the next 20 years'.

On the list are a number of categories that could potentially be filled by pharmacies.

Top of the list is 'Residential aged care' with 'Community care and personal services' coming in at number six. 'Preventative health and wellness' is listed at number seven.

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Sigma picks up small CSO wholesaler : 27/03/2014 :

Sigma Pharmaceuticals has bought CSO wholesaler and owner of the Pharmasave retail pharmacy brand Central Healthcare for $24.5 million.

Sigma says it will continue to operate Central Healthcare as a stand alone business;  it will continue to service its hospital and pharmacy customers and will continue to manage the Pharmasave brand. It is an approved CSO (full line PBS) wholesaler in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and the ACT.

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Guild, PSA run Courier Mail ad to counter pharmacy vaccination misinformation : 27/03/2014 :

The Pharmacy Guild and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia yesterday jointly ran an advertisement in the Brisbane Courier Mail to counter misinformation on pharmacist vaccination contained in an advertisement run in the paper on Sunday by the Revive nurse practitioner Clinic.

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5CPA: PPI Clinical Intervention and DAA Claiming Information : 27/03/2014 :

There are many advantages to the new online 5CPA portal that streamlines both the registration and claiming processes for 5CPA programs.

To claim PPI Clinical Intervention and DAA incentives, pharmacies must register via the 5CPA Registration and Claiming Portal.

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Grant for outstanding contribution to quality use of medicines in pain management : 26/03/2014 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, in association with Mundipharma, has announced it will, once again in 2014, award an educational grant to a pharmacist who has made an outstanding contribution to the quality use of medicines through direct clinical care of consumers with persistent pain.

The Chief Executive Officer of the PSA, Liesel Wett, said pharmacists had a key role in pain management and the award would further encourage development of this role.

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UQ pharmacy students inducted with white coat ceremony : 26/03/2014 :

A sea of white coats recently flanked The University of Queensland’s Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence (PACE) as first-year students were welcomed at an official ceremony.

The School of Pharmacy hosted the annual Student Engagement Ceremony to welcome new students and present them with their white dispensing coat which is symbolic of the pharmacy profession.

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Industry continues down-scheduling push : 26/03/2014 :

The rescheduling of the most commonly used prescription medicines to over-the-counter (OTC) status could save the Australian healthcare system approximately $2.1 billion a year, according to a new industry funded study.

The study, conducted by the Macquarie University Centre for the Health Economy and funded by peak non prescription body, the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI), found that the rescheduling, or ‘switching’ from prescription to Pharmacist Only could achieve savings of $1.1 billion through some 17 million avoided GP visits, and a further $1 billion in productivity savings.

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Time to start thinking about getting a flu vaccine : 26/03/2014 :

Although it is still early in the season, NPS MedicineWise has commenced its annual campaign to encourage people at risk of complications of the flu (influenza) to get vaccinated against the illness.

People at higher risk include those who are 65 years or older, pregnant women, Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders who are 15 years or older, and people who have certain medical conditions including heart disease,  diabetes and lung disease.

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