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AusPharm news

NPS launches new consumer generics campaign : 22/03/2013 :

NPS MedicineWise has launched a new consumer campaign, featuring digital animation and print media, which dramatises the fact that it’s active ingredients that make a medicine work, and that two brands of the same medicine with the same active ingredient are an equal choice.

Print advertisements will run for the next few weeks in Sunday press and on mydr.com.au, as well as on the radio on the Fairfax and Macquarie networks. 

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AusPharm CPD: RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin Digest No 57 : 21/03/2013 :

The next in our 2013 series of continuing professional development activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 57.

This CPD activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins (Volumes 49-3 - 49-6  --> January- February 2012).

After completing this activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Discuss the important issues to consider with respect to drug therapy during electroconvulsive therapy
  • Describe key findings from recent research into the use of apixaban to prevent VTE in people with AF
  • Outline findings of recent research into the use of strontium as a treatment for osteoporosis in men
  • Discuss the clinical pharmacology of serelaxin.

This activity has been accredited for 1 group 2 CPD credits suitable for inclusion in an individual pharmacist’s CPD plan. Accreditation number: A1304AP0.

Click here to do this Continuing Professional Development activity. Or, if you prefer, you might like to take a look at our other CPD activities here .

AusPharm gratefully acknowledges the financial support provided by MIMS.

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PSA issues pharmacy immunisation guidelines : 21/03/2013 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has released guidelines for providing immunisation services with a view to promoting best practice and the delivery of high-quality immunisation services in pharmacies.

National President of PSA, Grant Kardachi, said the PSA’s Practice guidelines for the provision of immunisation services within pharmacy provided guidance to pharmacists on professional issues and obligations related to immunisation services within the pharmacy setting.

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Senate inquiry into the supply of chemotherapy drugs: SHPA highlights concerns : 21/03/2013 :

Yesterday (20 March) was the deadline for public submissions to be lodged for the Senate inquiry into the supply of chemotherapy drugs.

The inquiry was established after concerns were raised by patients, community pharmacies and public and private hospitals following the 1 December 2012 price disclosure related cuts to the price paid to pharmacies for supplying some cytotoxic drugs, principally docetaxel. Changes to the funding of paclitaxel from 1 April will remove a further $10 million (annual) from chemotherapy services in private hospitals.

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'Save HMRs' petition a hit : 21/03/2013 :

The 'Save HMRs' petition launched by Dr Peter Tenni on Tuesday afternoon has, as of 6AM this morning, been signed by over 1500 people.

The petition calls on Health Minister Tanya Plibersek to reject proposals contained in a leaked Guild / DoHA document to significantly reduce funding for HMRs and some other pharmacy professional programs.

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Poll: will pharmacy ownership go open? : 20/03/2013 :

In November last year Productivity Commission Chair, Gary Banks, flagged that a second National Competition Policy Review of pharmacy ownership remains on the Commission's 'to do' list.

Mr Banks listed pharmacy ownership as one area among many where a 'second, more focused' review would serve a purpose saying [competition policy driven reform] "progress has stalled or even reversed in some policy areas".

What do you think the outcome of such a review might be? Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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Petition launched to 'save' HMRs : 20/03/2013 :

An online petition has been launched to lobby Health Minister Tanya Plibersek to reject proposals to reduce pharmacist remuneration for both Home (HMR) and Aged Care (RMMR) Medication Reviews.

The petition was established by accredited pharmacist Dr Peter Tenni. Dr Tenni is also behind recent moves to canvas the viability of a new pharmacist organisation to represent the specific needs of accredited pharmacists.

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April 2013 PBS schedule : 19/03/2013 :

Download the Full PBS schedule

Download the PBS Summary of changes

Download the Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy – S100 Arrangements Supplement

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Health Minister defends PBS model : 19/03/2013 :

Responding to claims made in the Grattan Institute's new report, Australia’s bad drug deal: high pharmaceutical prices, that the government is spending up to $1.3 billion a year too much for PBS listed drugs, Health Minster Tanya Plibersek yesterday defended the government's handling of the PBS pricing process, specifically highlighting the success of price disclosure in containing PBS costs.

Speaking on ABC radio's AM program yesterday Ms Plibersek said "On the pricing of generic drugs, I'd say that price disclosure has meant that 1400 brands of 137 medicines are up to 87 per cent cheaper over the last four years. And in fact another 60 drugs will go down in price on the 1st of April."

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CSU students get virtual pharmacies : 18/03/2013 :

Charles Sturt University (CSU) has installed ‘virtual pharmacies’ on its campuses in Orange and Wagga Wagga, allowing students to role play real-world scenarios they are likely to encounter during their practical work placements in the community.

Head of CSU's School of Biomedical Sciences, Associate Professor Lyn Angel, said the new facilities reflected the University’s focus on producing job-ready graduates who were highly valued by industry.

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John Bronger on HMRs : 18/03/2013 :

In tomorrow's AusPharm(e)news, former Guild President John Bronger, will give his take on the recent HMR imbroglio.

John joins Bruce Annabel and Guild CEO David Quilty as additions to the AusPharm writing team this year. Tomorrow's piece is the first of what will be regular contributions from him.

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Third pharmacy group launches an iPhone app : 18/03/2013 :

Pharmore Pharmacies have released an iPhone app aimed at providing its customers with health information, product offers and store information.

Pharmore joins the Chemist Warehouse and PharmaSave groups in offering iPhone apps as part of their marketing strategies.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) as a complementary medicine : 18/03/2013 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) as a complementary medicine.

"Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a naturally occurring compound found in plants (field horsetail, certain species of algae, fruits, vegetables, and grains), and in bovine and human adrenal glands, milk and urine. It is an odourless metabolite of dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO). MSM is known by various names including crystalline DMSO, dimethylsulfone or DMSO2. This product is promoted as a natural source of sulphur, which has many structural and functional roles in the body. A marketing strategy states that sulphur is required for the formation and maintenance of healthy connective tissue found in cartilage, tendons, ligaments, skin, hair and nails and is a component of the antioxidant compounds N-acetylcysteine and glutathione - thus implying that MSM is also required for these. There is no recommended daily allowance for sulphur and sulphur deficiency is not described in the medical literature."

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

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Registrations now open for Pharmacy College's 2013 Conference : 18/03/2013 :

On-line registrations for the Australian College of Pharmacy's 2013 Conference in Brisbane in July are now open.

According to organisers, the 24th Annual conference promises content that is new, innovative, practical and relevant to everyday pharmacy practice.

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Grattan Institute: slash generic prices : 18/03/2013 :

The PBS could save more than $1.3 billion a year if it changed its approach to drug purchases, according to a new report from Melbourne think tank, the Grattan Institute.

Launching the report yesterday Grattan Institute Health Program Director and former Department of Health Secretary, Stephen Duckett, pictured at right, said that in a time of escalating health costs and pressures on the budget, the savings could be made relatively easily if the political will was there.

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Pharmacists: future looks bleak : 15/03/2013 :

The number of pharmacists who are 'utterly depressed' about the future of the industry in Australia has more than doubled in the last seven years, if the results of this week's AusPharm poll (n=316) are to be believed.

The poll was conducted in the shadow of enormous recent unrest in the profession about future funding for pharmacy professional programs following a CPA5 blowout in HMR costs.

58% of respondents to this week's poll told us they felt 'utterly depressed' about the future.

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Pharmacists’ Support Service website goes live : 15/03/2013 :

The Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) has this week launched its new website as an additional resource for Australian pharmacists who need support.

Launching the website, PSS President John Coppock said “While the website does not in any way replace the value of a listening ear from a colleague and the opportunity to discuss an issue in confidence with a another pharmacist, it does contain some useful information on topics which commonly prompt callers to phone PSS.”

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Penalty rates to stay : 15/03/2013 :

Addressing a conference in Canberra yesterday, Prime Minister Gillard told delegates the government would be inserting new provisions into the Fair Work Act to protect employee penalty wage rates.

"We will ensure that penalty rates, overtime, shift work loading and public holiday pay are definite, formal considerations for the Fair Work Commission when it sets award rates and conditions'" she said.

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Only one week to get HMR claims in : 15/03/2013 :

Pharmacists have only one week to lodge claims for Home Medicines Reviews conducted up to and including 14 March 2013 (yesterday). The Department of Human Services has advised that claims for these HMRs must be lodged on or before Friday 22 March 2013, otherwise claims WILL NOT BE PAID.

Recent amendments to the HMR Program Specific Guidelines and MMR Programs Terms and Conditions come into effect for all Home Medicines Reviews conducted on or after 15 March 2013 – today.  These changes include a requirement for prior approval to conduct a patient interview in any location other than the patient’s home.  They also require prior approval for a registered pharmacist (not accredited) to conduct the HMR interview.

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Final decision due on removing dextropropoxyphene from ARTG : 14/03/2013 :

A final decision is expected soon on whether all brands of dextropoxyphene will be removed from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.

In December 2011, the TGA issued a web statement publicising the decision to cancel all pain-killers containing dextropropoxyphene - Capadex, Di-Gesic, Doloxene and Paradex - from the ARTG, effective 1 March 2012.

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