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AusPharm news

Poll: do you use pharmacy / medical apps on your phone? : 21/11/2012 :

Over the last week AusPharm has begun the process of putting together a list of pharmacy / medical apps likely to be of use to Australia pharmacists. This is progressing well - take a look at the directory as it stands now here.

Do you use pharmacy / medical apps in your work as a pharmacist? Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll.

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Consumer Health Forum comments on complementary medicines spark responses : 21/11/2012 :

Following widespread media coverage of comments made on Monday by Consumer Health Forum (CHF) CEO Carol Bennett regarding the safety and efficacy of complementary medicines (CAMs), both NPS Medicinewise (NPS) and the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) issued statements in response yesterday.

Ms Bennett's comments followed the release of the November issue of the organisation's journal, Health Voices, which focused on a number of issues relating to the regulation and use of CAMs. The November issue of Health Voices, available on the CHF website here, features a number of articles on CAMs, including by Pharmacy Board of Australia Chair, Steve Marty, AMA President, Steve Hambleton, NPS CEO Dr Lyn Weekes, CAM regulatory reform advocate Dr Ken Harvey and others.

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Naproxen suspension back on the PBS : 21/11/2012 :

The Australian pharmaceutical company, Phebra, yesterday welcomed the Federal Government’s decision to PBS list its brand of naproxen suspension from December 1.

It is available as 125mg/5mL strength, which is equivalent to 25 mg/mL strength, in a bottle containing 474mL.

Phebra was granted marketing approval for naproxen suspension by the Therapeutic Goods Administration in September this year, replacing the previously available Naprosyn® oral suspension.

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NPS review of OTC cough and cold remedies for young children : 20/11/2012 :

NPS has published a review of the use of over-the-counter cough and cold remedies for young children.

Included in a new NPS resource published for the first time yesterday, NPS Medicinewise Health Professional, NPS Direct, the review explains why these medicines are not appropriate in young children.

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Aged Care Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grants Fund : 20/11/2012 :

The Department of Health and Ageing announced yesterday that it is seeking applications for funding under the Aged Care Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grants Fund (the Fund)¸ to support activities that strengthen the capacity of the health and aged care sectors to deliver high quality aged care and promote healthy and active ageing.

The Fund’s second round has been expanded to include elements of the Living Longer Living Better aged care reform package¸ announced in April 2012. The aged care reform package includes additional funding for activities that increase support for people with dementia¸ support the uptake of evidence based better practice in aged care¸ and greater recognition of and support for older people from diverse backgrounds.

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ASMI pleased by support for information-based advertising for S3s : 20/11/2012 :

The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) said yesterday it is encouraged by the show of support from community pharmacy to expand the range of Pharmacist Only (S3) medicines as well as the support for an information-based approach to advertising for S3 medicines, as suggested by some of the findings of the latest UTS Pharmacy Barometer, released on Monday.

Prescription to non-prescription reclassification (‘Rx to OTC switch’) and lifting the current advertising restrictions on S3 communication are key issues that remain high on its agenda, says ASMI.

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Directory of pharmacy / medical smartphone apps : 19/11/2012 :

Check out the tools in AusPharm's directory of pharmacy/medical smartphone apps useful for Australian pharmacists. A new and growing resource from AusPharm.

About this directory: links to these apps are correct at time of listing but may change over time. If you spot an error or broken link, please let us know.

If you wish to nominate an app for inclusion, click here.

Not all apps nominated are listed - those assessed as most useful for practicing Australian pharmacists that are either free or carry a nominal subscription are favoured. Exceptions to this are the two Australian gold standard drug information apps, from AMH and MIMS.

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Pharmacists well represented on new TGA Advisory Council : 19/11/2012 :

Three pharmacists have been appointed to the Therapeutic Goods Administration's (TGA) new Australian Therapeutic Goods Advisory Council (ATGAC), to be chaired by Australia's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Baggoley.

They are:

  • Prof. Andrew McLachlan - Professor of Pharmacy
  • Ms Debbie Rigby - Consultant Clinical Pharmacist
  • Emeritus Prof. Lloyd Sansom - Emeritus Professor in Pharmacy and Medical Sciences

The aim of the new Council is to strategically guide the TGA as it implements its blueprint for reform.

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Pregabalin PBS listed : 19/11/2012 :

The federal government announced on Friday that pregabalin is to be PBS listed for the treatment of neuropathic pain. 

It is the first drug to be PBS listed for this indication.

By the time we published this morning we were unable to determine the listing date.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Familial Cold Urticaria : 19/11/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Familial Cold Urticaria.

"Familial cold urticaria or familial cold auto-inflammatory syndrome (FACS) is in the rare family of genetic conditions known as Cryopyrin Associated Periodic Syndrome (CAPS). This includes Muckle Wells Syndrome (MWS) and Neonatal Onset Multi-System Inflammatory Disease (NOMID). FACS is the milder form, MWS is an intermediate form and NOMID is the more severe form. FACS is an autosomal dominant condition inherited from one affected parent.

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

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Nicabate, Swisse, Reckitt Benckiser win OTC marketing awards : 19/11/2012 :

GSK and Swisse have jointly won this year's award for the Best Marketing Campaign of a Consumer Healthcare Product (Large Budget) for their Powering Australia’s Olympic Dream and Nicabate – Pledge to Quit campaign respectively.

The awards were announced at the recent Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI) Conference in Sydney.

The award for the Best Healthcare Professional Initiative went to Reckitt Benckiser for its Nurofen – What You Thought You Knew campaign.

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Alcohol remains the biggest drug problem : 19/11/2012 :

Nearly half of government-funded drug treatment episodes in 2010-11 were for alcohol use, according to a report released on Friday by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2010-11: report on the National Minimum Data Set shows that alcohol was the principal drug of concern in 47% of treatment episodes, and in 62% of all treatment episodes it was listed as a drug of concern.

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December 1 PBS schedule : 19/11/2012 :

Download the Full PBS schedule

Download the PBS Summary of changes

Download the Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy – S100 Arrangements Supplement

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Collaboration key to developing new antibiotics : 16/11/2012 :

Governments around the world must work with the medicines industry and other parties to create a policy environment that will encourage the development of new antibiotics, Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said yesterday.

Dr Shaw said Antibiotics Awareness Week, which ends today, was a good time for governments around the world to focus on the problem of antibiotic resistance.

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Electronic prescriptions widely used, accepted : 16/11/2012 :

This week's poll asked 'listers to comment on their experience with electronic prescription transfer, three years after their introduction into community pharmacies by eRx Script Exchange or MediSecure Script Vault. According to IT blog Pulse+IT,  the two vendors have reached an agreement that will allow interoperability'.

73% of respondents reported that their experience was 'good', 'great' or 'love it'. 10% responded that their pharmacy had yet to install the relevant software.

Commenting on the poll result, David Freemantle from eRx told us that over the last three and a half years the company had seen great uptake of eRx.

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Can you drink alcohol with my antibiotics? : 16/11/2012 :

Rounding out Antibiotic Awareness Week, NPS MedicineWise is reminding Australians that while alcohol might not interact with many antibiotics, it’s still important to follow certain rules for taking antibiotics correctly.

As pharmacists know, drinking  alcohol in moderation is unlikely to be a problem with most antibiotics but, says NPS, it’s wise to avoid alcohol when you’re sick, whether you’re taking antibiotics or not.

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AusPharm CE: Medication Overuse Headache : 15/11/2012 :

Following recent coverage in Australian media of 'medication overuse headache', we thought it timely to ask Debbie Rigby to review and update last year's AusPharm Continuing Education activity of the same name.

-----------

The next AusPharm CE topic for 2012 is  Medication Overuse Headache - it's been put together for us by Debbie Rigby.

"Headache is one of the most common presentations in community pharmacy, with consumers often self-selecting medications. It has been shown that up to 70% of the Australian population uses over-the-counter analgesics regularly for headaches or musculoskeletal pain."

This activity has been accredited for 1 hour of Group One CPD (1 CPD Credit) that may be converted to 2 Group Two CPD Credits upon successful completion of the corresponding assessment for inclusion on an individual pharmacist's CPD Record. Accreditation number: A1211AP0.

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

AusPharm gratefully acknowledges the financial support provided by the sponsors of our CE program, MIMS.

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NPS continues focus on superbug threat : 15/11/2012 :

During this week's Antibiotic Awareness Week, NPS is continuing to highlight to consumers and health professionals the threat posed by resistant strains of bacteria.

According to NPS, more than 2 in 3 Australians know bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics — but many don’t know what to do about it.

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ASMI conference looks to the future for world class reform : 15/11/2012 :

Initiatives to deliver Australia a world class regulatory system for medicines, and the future of healthcare retailing were the key features at the recent Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI) 2012 Annual Conference in Sydney.

The conference, “Future Proofing the Consumer Healthcare Industry”, heard from a range of local and international speakers from the consumer healthcare industry, government, the healthcare professions and academia.

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Poll: my experience with electronic transfer of prescriptions is.... : 14/11/2012 :

'Listers may recall the recent news, as reported in IT blog Pulse+IT, that 'GPs and pharmacists will soon be able to send and receive electronic prescriptions from either eRx Script Exchange or MediSecure Script Vault following an agreement between the two vendors to allow interoperability'.

Now that electronic transfer of prescriptions (ETP) has been running for over three years, how are you finding your experience with ETP?

Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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