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01/10/2014 : Amidst renewed calls this week from Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA) for the inclusion of `consumers and professional employee pharmacists` in 6CPA negotitations, who should negotiate the Agreement for pharmacy?
The Guild alone
The Guild alone but it needs to *genuinely* collaborate with other pharmacy groups
The Guild and PSA
All the pharmacy groups, including PPA
All the pharmacy groups, including PPA, and consumers

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AusPharm news

Pharma election focus on getting PBAC recommendations implemented : 27/05/2013 :

Medicines Australia (MA) will today launch its 2013 Federal Election document, calling on all sides of politics to fix what MA says are deficiencies in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Launching Medicines Now: the 2013 Federal Election, Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said patients were missing out on some new medicines because the PBS listing system had become too difficult.

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PAC13 call for abstracts : 27/05/2013 :

Researchers and practitioners working throughout pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical science have been invited by the PAC13 organising committee to submit poster and oral presentation abstracts for PAC13.

The committee says it is particularly interested in receiving submissions addressing pharmacy research or practice pearls - sharing the practice experience without necessarily having undertaken structured research activities.

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Which tests make a difference? : 27/05/2013 :

NPS MedicineWise has launched a new educational program on preventive activities in general practice. The program, which primarily focuses on healthy people aged 40 – 49, builds on the work NPS MedicineWise has undertaken in the area of medical tests since 2009.

NPS MedicineWise clinical adviser Dr Andrew Boyden says that while the program has a focus on encouraging appropriate use of tests during preventive activities in general practice, pharmacists also have an important role to play.

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Updated safety information for dabigatran (Pradaxa) : 24/05/2013 :

The TGA has updated its information for health professionals regarding dabigatran (Pradaxa) and the risk of bleeding.

The new information includes consideration of two safety reviews that have recently been completed, advice regarding repackaging dabigatran capsules (ie don't), advice that dabigatran may have an effect on some pathology tests and updated adverse event report numbers.

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Alprazolam to go into Schedule 8 : 24/05/2013 :

In an interim decision announced by the Department of Health and Ageing yesterday, alprazolam is to move from Schedule 4 into Schedule 8. Other benzodiazepines, also recently considered for upscheduling, are to remain in Schedule 4.

The decision follows recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Medicine Scheduling (ACMS) at its March meeting. The proposed date for the scheduling change is 1 January 2014.

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Most pharmacists happy for non prescription codeine to remain S3 : 24/05/2013 :

60% of respondents to this week's AusPharm poll say they're happy for codeine to remain in Schedule 3 with 2/3 of this group saying, however, that they have difficulty handling requests for supply of these products.

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Pharmacies first port of call for one in two : 23/05/2013 :

One in two consumers seeks advice from their pharmacist about whether their symptoms can be treated with over the counter medication before deciding to visit a doctor, according to the results of a recent pharmacy survey.

The survey also compared pharmacy banner groups, with Guardian coming out on top in the Most Satisfied Customers Award for the second year in a row – the group taking out the same award for 2012.

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TGA orders AVN to remove black salve info : 23/05/2013 :

In a decision announced last week, the TGA has ordered the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) to remove from its website an ad promoting a 'black salve' product and a DVD entitled 'One Answer to Cancer'.

The TGA order was made after AVN declined to comply with a Complaints Resolution Panel (CRP) request to remove the offending content. The CRP found, in a lengthy judgment, that the ad breached numerous sections of the Therapeutic Goods Act and Therapeutic Goods Advertising code. AVN has objected to the order on the basis that it is a restriction of its right to freedom of speech.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 23/05/2013 :

NRL Round 10

Round 10 of the 2013 NRL Season commenced with the Broncos thrashing the Titans at Suncorp Stadium, final scores 32-6. Other results of the round included the Rabbitohs annihilating the West Tigers 54-10 at ANZ Stadium, the Dragons defeating the Eels 32-12, and the Panthers demolishing the NZ Warriors 62-6.

AFL Round 8

Round 8 of the 2013 AFL season commenced with a Friday night showdown featuring the Eagles and the Kangaroos. Both teams fought hard however, it was the Eagles who took the win by a slim 2 points. Other highlights of the round included the Lions rising to the occasion and defeating the Bombers by 8 points at Etihad Stadium and the Hawks defeating the Giants at Aurora Stadium by 83 points.

 

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Call for Submissions: Stage 3 of the Post-Market Review of Products Used in the Management of Diabetes : 23/05/2013 :

The TGA is calling for public submissions for Stage 3 of the Post-Market Review of Products Used in the Management of Diabetes.

Stage 3 focuses on medicines used in the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus. This will include analyses of utilisation, safety and adverse events, PBS listing, and PBS restrictions for these medicines.

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Zubin Austin to present at global drug safety conference and exposition : 22/05/2013 :

Leading international pharmacy figure Zubin Austin has been confirmed as the keynote speaker at the opening plenary of the Global Drug Safety (GDS) Conference and Exposition being held in Brisbane.

Professor Austin is the inaugural holder of the OCP Research Professorship in Pharmacy at the University of Toronto and has published more than 80 peer-reviewed manuscripts and three textbook.

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Poll: what to do with non prescription codeine : 22/05/2013 :

A recent paper in the International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, looked at issues around the misuse of non prescription pain relief medications containing codeine, sourced from Australian community pharmacies. Amongst the findings were that codeine-dependent consumers found it generally easy to access non prescription codeine, describing ‘standard’ questioning, minimal intervention from pharmacists and only occasional refusal to supply. A better appearance and presentation was generally linked to easy codeine supply.

Any pharmacist working in community pharmacy will be familiar with the challenges associated with assessing requests for supply of non prescription compound analgesics containing codeine. Pharmacists working in settings where dependence is managed with methadone or buprenorphine will know that many clients of these services now get there through their misuse of non prescription codeine.

What should be done to address these issues? Please let us know your thoughts by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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Peak bodies defend CAMs : 21/05/2013 :

Both the Complementary Healthcare Council (CHC) and the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) have leapt to the defence of complementary medicines (CAMs) following the publication last week of a story critical of CAMS in the Fairfax press.

The story highlights the view of some commentators that, despite recent moves for regulatory change, much more still needs to be done to protect consumers  from the unfounded therapeutic claims made for some CAMs by some manufacturers.

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GMiA: new report flawed : 21/05/2013 :

The Generic Medicines Industry Association (GMiA) said yesterday that the report of the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies into the PBS reforms is flawed because it does not consider the medium term impact of competition in the generic medicines sector, the consequences for the future viability of the generic medicines sector and the sectors ongoing ability to deliver medicines to patients.

GMiA acknowledges that PBS reform will generate significant savings - up to $18 billion dollars over eight years - but says that its members are very concerned about the medium term consequences of 'reaping such significant sums of money from the generic medicines industry and the ramifications this will have on the continued surety of supply of generic medicines to patients'.

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AHPRA appoints Community Reference Group : 21/05/2013 :

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has announced the appointment of a Community Reference Group to work with the National Boards, including the Pharmacy Board, on how best they can engage with communities.

Seven community members, who are not health practitioners, have been appointed to the group which will be chaired by Mr Paul Laris, a community member on two Boards in the National Scheme.

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Reminder: PDL warning: Coveram or Reaptan : 20/05/2013 :

PDL recommends EXTREME care to be taken when dispensing Coveram or Reaptan.

NPS Medicinewise has now also issued issued an alert about this.

Check the original prescription.

CONTACT THE PRESCRIBER IF THERE IS ANY UNCERTAINTY.

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June 2013 PBS schedule : 20/05/2013 :

Download the Full PBS schedule

Download the PBS Summary of changes

Download the Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy – S100 Arrangements Supplement

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Variant angina : 20/05/2013 :

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

"Variant angina, also known as Prinzmetal angina or coronary artery spasm (CAS), is caused by the temporary spasm in one or more of the coronary arteries. Typically occurring during the early hours of the morning, variant angina differs from angina caused by coronary heart disease in that the symptoms usually occur at rest and last for a shorter duration (typically between 5 – 15 minutes)."

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

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Another report concludes PBS is sustainable : 20/05/2013 :

Yet another report on the impact of PBS reforms, this one from the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies at Victoria University, has concluded that the reforms, including the MoU between Medicines Australia and government, have put the PBS on a sustainable footing.

The report, commissioned by Medicines Australia, estimates that the 2007 PBS reforms are likely to deliver $14.5 billion in savings in the period to 2017-18 and that the 2010 reforms will deliver an additional $3.4 billion in savings in the same time period.

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OTC pain relievers are for relieving pain, not for pain prevention : 20/05/2013 :

As one of those who puffed and panted their way through yesterday's 11k City To Casino fun run in Hobart, AusPharm took more notice than we othwewise might have of a media release issued by The Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI) on Friday counselling that OTC NSAIDs should not be used to avoid or prevent pain.

ASMI highlighted a study published last month in BMJ Open which looked at the pre-race use of pain relievers among runners at the 2010 Bonn Marathon in Germany. >From almost 4,000 runners surveyed, half (49 per cent) said they took them to curb or ward off pain during the race, and most reportedly used the medications at higher doses than recommended.

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