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AusPharm news

More detail revealed for 'Discover More. Ask your Pharmacist' campaign : 25/09/2014 :

The Pharmacy Guild yesterday revealed more detail of its upcoming national advertising campaign - ‘Discover More. Ask Your Pharmacist’.

Set to launch next month, the campaign will promote the wide range of services offered by pharmacies. The goal is to raise consumer awareness of what pharmacies offer, drive people in-store more often and reinforce pharmacists' position as primary healthcare providers to the community. 

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Poll: will pharmacy ownership, location rules be abolished? : 24/09/2014 :

The draft report of the Review of National Competition Policy - released on Monday - has recommended the abolition of rules relating to both pharmacist only ownership of pharmacies and to pharmacy location rules, which specify where pharmacies may be situated. The recommendations synch with those of the National Commission of Audit, which also recommended the abolition of pharmacy ownership and location rules. Some prominent health commentators also agree the rules should go.

However, Health Minister Peter Dutton has said repeatedly that the Coalition supports the existing regulatory framework and has no intention of changing either the ownership or location rules.

What do you think will happen now? Will Mr Dutton be able to keep his word or will the repeated calls to ditch the rules win the day?

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

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Xenophon, other pollies back pharmacy : 24/09/2014 :

Independent Senator for South Australia, Nick Xenophon, has vowed to block any deregulation of community pharmacy ownership and location rules saying pharmacies are the front line in Australia’s health system and should not be "an experiment in competition theory".

Responding to the (draft) Harper Report into competition policy – released on Monday - Senator Xenophon, pictured at right, described the recommendations around pharmacy as bizarre.

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PBS slowdown triggers lowest health spending growth since the 1980s : 23/09/2014 :

Growth in spending on health in 2012–13 slowed to record low levels according to a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW),in no small part due to a reduction in reductions in government PBS costs.

The report, Health expenditure Australia 2012–13, shows total spending on health goods and services in Australia was estimated at $147.4 billion in 2012–13 (9.67% of GDP). This was just 1.5% higher than in 2011–12.

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TGA warns of serotonin syndrome with 5-HT3 receptor antagonists : 23/09/2014 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is advising health professionals, including pharmacists, to be alert to the possibility that the 5-HT3 receptor antagonists granisetron, dolasetron, tropisetron, ondansetron and palonosetron may contribute to the development of serotonin syndrome.

Serotonin syndrome has been seen in patients using 5-HT3 receptor antagonists at the same time as other serotonergic medicines.

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Harper: dump ownership, location rules : 23/09/2014 :

The draft report of the National Review of Competition Policy (The Harper Review), released yesterday, has recommended the abolition of pharmacy ownership and location rules, saying the Review Panel considers the present restrictions unnecessary to uphold the quality of advice and care provided to patients.

"It is clear that such restrictions limit the ability of consumers to choose where to obtain pharmacy products and services, and the ability of providers to meet consumers’ preferences."

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Global School Partners container arrives in Kenya : 22/09/2014 :

'Listers may remember our appeal in May this year for assistance to get a container load of educational material donated by Aussie school children to school children in Kenya.

Well the container eventually arrived in Kenya, thanks in part to the wonderful support from many AusPharmlisters - the students in the Kenyan schools are thrilled and grateful for the generosity of so many Australians - thank you!

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Dipeptidyl peptidase inhibitors for Type 2 diabetes : 22/09/2014 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Dipeptidyl peptidase inhibitors for Type 2 diabetes.

"Diabetes is one of the world’s fastest growing chronic diseases with 382 million people thought to be affected globally in 2013. It is currently estimated that this number will escalate to approximately 592 million by 2035. The prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) is increasing in every country and the global financial cost associated with T2DM is estimated to be in the order of $10.3 billion. The use of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors as monotherapy agents can be expected to decrease glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) by approximately 5 to 10%"

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

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Private tours of Arthur Boyd exhibition for PAC14 Gala Dinner attendees : 22/09/2014 :

Delegates to PAC14 in Canberra who choose to attend the Gala Dinner will have a unique opportunity to attend a private viewing of the magnificent Arthur Boyd Agony and Ecstasy exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia

The masque Gala Dinner, on Saturday 11 October, will also be highlighted by the announcement of the Pharmacy Student of the Year. This will see the winner announced form the eight State and Territory finalists, as well as the NAPSA wildcard finalist, who earlier will have taken part in their counselling competition.

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Leyonhjelm takes aim at ownership, location rules - Guild responds : 22/09/2014 :

Writing in Friday's Financial Review, Liberal Democratic senator for NSW, David Leyonhjelm (pictured at right), joined the list of those critical of the community pharmacy ownership and location rules.

His artfully written piece demonstrates that he has positioned himself to be a formidable nemesis for pharmacy’s ambitions.

"It is night, a fever takes hold and a mother starts to worry. A bathroom cupboard is raided, but it is full of medicine past its use-by date. A child is bundled into a car. A waiting room is endured. Then a GP provides a prescription.

With child in arms the mother returns to the car, then scratches her head. Where is a chemist that would be open at this time of night?

The mother scrounges for her mobile phone, but it is out of charge. Should she drive around in the hope of finding a chemist that’s open, or trek back home to look one up? Driving past the lit-up supermarket, the mother wonders, “Why is it so hard to find a chemist?”

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DAA preparation - in house or outsourced? : 19/09/2014 :

In light of this week's announcement of Pharmacy Guild endorsement of MPS Australia’s Medication Management System for the provision of outsourced Dose Administration Aids (DAAs) we asked 'listers whether such outsourced services are a good idea for community pharmacies ‘under pressure’ or whether they are best conducted 'in house'.

66% of poll respondents told us they prefer the in house option with most of these seeing an outsourced solution as 'distancing the process from the responsible person, the dispensing pharmacist'. Only a small percentage (7%) thought that a DAA prepared remotely 'increases the chance that a final check won’t be made by a pharmacist and therefore increases the chance of error'.

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2014 IMS Health – College Young Pharmacist Innovation Grant winner announced : 19/09/2014 :

Coffs Harbour pharmacist Lloyd Smith is the winner of the 2014 IMS Health – College Young Pharmacist Innovation Grant.

The award was presented to Lloyd at the recent Australian College of Pharmacy conference in Hobart.

Young pharmacists competing for the award were required to show evidence of their leadership skills and demonstrate how they have worked as part of a management team to implement at least one professional service within a community pharmacy.

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New Pharmacy Practice Review now available: Addressing elements for good asthma control : 19/09/2014 :

A new NPS MedicineWise educational activity has been launched specifically for pharmacists to help people achieve better asthma control.

Around 50% of people with asthma live with poor control of their condition and consider this to be normal. 

NPS MedicineWise clinical adviser Dr Andrew Boyden says that studies have shown that up to 90% of people with asthma have incorrect inhaler technique.

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AusPharm CPD: RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin CPD Digest - Issue Number 73 : 18/09/2014 :

The next in our 2014 series of continuing professional development activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 73.

This CPD activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins, Volumes 54-9→55-1 (May/June 2014).

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Tambassis: pharmacists core clinical dispensing role must remain viable in 6CPA : 18/09/2014 :

Pharmacy Guild President, George Tambassis, said yesterday that ensuring pharmacies’ core clinical dispensing role remains viable will be the Guild's first priority as negotiations for the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement approach.

Writing in this week's Forefront, Mr Tambassis said the Guild team is well prepared and ready to negotiate the Agreement.

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Wholesalers work together on common database : 18/09/2014 :

Australia’s Community Service Obligation (CSO or PBS full line) wholesalers – Symbion, Sigma, API and National Pharmacies – have agreed to set up a common, central source for all medicine supply chain product information.

Information about all the products offered by the CSO wholesalers will be brought into a single database managed by GS1 Australia.

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Medicines Australia appoints new CEO : 18/09/2014 :

Medicines Australia has appointed Tim James as its new Chief Executive.

Mr James will replace outgoing Chief Executive, Dr Brendan Shaw, who finished in his role on 12 September to take up a senior role with the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) in Geneva.

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October 2014 PBS schedule : 17/09/2014 :

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: is outsourcing DAA preparation a good idea? : 17/09/2014 :

We learned this week that the Pharmacy Guild, through its commercial arm, Gold Cross Products, has endorsed MPS Australia’s Medication Management System for the provision of an outsourced Dose Administration Aid (DAA) solution to community pharmacy.

Is outsourcing the preparation of medication management services such as DAAs a good thing for community pharmacy or are such services best prepared ‘in house’?

On the one hand, it transfers the time and effort required to conduct and manage such activities away from the pharmacy, allowing staff to spend time on other duties. On the other hand, say critics, the chances of incorrect packing may be greater as the final pharmacist check is also likely outsourced and it abrogates core pharmacy practice responsibilities – perhaps a step towards commoditising medicines.

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

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Health Department to go after unapproved pharmacies : 17/09/2014 :

The Department of Health said yesterday it would be moving to stop “a small number of pharmacists” who are supplying PBS benefits from unapproved premises.

Under federal legislation, pharmacists can only claim for PBS medicines dispensed from premises which have been approved to supply them.

Health Minister Peter Dutton said the conditions of approval for pharmacists would be amended to make their legal obligations under the National Health Act clearer.

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