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AusPharm news

Correction: Photo of the week : 29/09/2014 :

In Friday's Photo of the week, we incorrectly named the person associated with Global School Partners as Simon Reynolds.

This was incorrect. Simon Carroll is the driving force behind Global School Partners.

Our apologies to Simon for getting this wrong.

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Final 2013-14 PBS costs less than forecast - again : 26/09/2014 :

Yesterday’s release of the 2013-14 Final Budget Outcome shows the Government has once again spent less than anticipated on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

The total government spend for the year came in at $10.351 billion, $168 million less than forecast four months earlier in the the 2014 Federal Budget.

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Pharmacists confident of retaining ownership, less confident location rules will remain : 26/09/2014 :

76% of those expressing a firm view in this week's AusPharm poll believe pharmacy's prospects of retaining pharmacist only ownership of community pharmacies are good. (We've removed the 'Who can say?' votes from our analysis).

44% think the location rules will stay as they are.

Only 15% of (total)  poll repondents think both ownership and location rules will be abolished, as recommended in this week's Draft Report of the Review of National Competition Policy.

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Lloyd Sansom AO to speak at PAC14 : 26/09/2014 :

Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom AO will speak about where he believes pharmacist practice in Australia is heading at the opening of the 2014 Pharmacy Australia Congress (PAC14).

Emeritus Professor Sansom has been a major influence on pharmacy education and research over many years. His contribution to research has been recognised by the establishment of the Sansom Research Institute for Health Research at the University of South Australia.

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Today is World Pharmacists Day : 25/09/2014 :

Pharmacists and pharmacy students around Australia will celebrate World Pharmacists Day today (Thursday 25 September 2014) with a series of health promotion events, health check services and fun activities.

The theme of this year’s events, Access to pharmacists is access to health, aims to increase public awareness of the role pharmacists play to support healthy living and how pharmacists provide essential healthcare services to Australians every day through the supply of medicines, health advice and professional services.

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NPS MedicineWise adds medical test information to its armoury : 25/09/2014 :

As part of a collaboration with Lab Tests Online Australasia, NPS MedicineWise has added a a new section about medical / pathology tests to its website.

Information suitable for both consumers and health professionals on medical tests and conditions is provided.

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Strong growth in numbers for Terry White Chemists group : 25/09/2014 :

The Terry White Chemists group now numbers 176 pharmacies nationally - an increase of 23 in the last 12 months.

The number was disclosed in the Terry White Chemists Group Investments Limited (TWC GIL) Annual Report for 2013-2014, released yesterday.

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New study highlights positive outcomes for donor families : 25/09/2014 :

A new study released yesterday by the Organ and Tissue Authority reveals that organ and tissue donation can bring comfort to donor family members in their loss of a loved one and enable something positive to come out of tragedy.

Launching the study, Assistant Minister for Health, Fiona Nash said “The Donor Family Study provides a valuable insight into the family experience of the donation process, from initial donation conversations through to follow-up support given to donor families.”

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TGA launches new ADR reporting website for consumers : 25/09/2014 :

Acknowledging that adverse medicine events are under-reported, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has launched a new web-based service to make it easier for consumers to report adverse events associated with medicines and vaccines.

Each year the TGA receives more than 17,000 reports of suspected adverse events to medicines and vaccines. In 2013 about 3% of these reports came from consumers, compared with 55% coming via pharmaceutical companies, 17% from state and territory health departments, 10% from hospitals and hospital pharmacists and the remainder from community pharmacists and general practitioners.

The TGA has also published a consumer brochure outlining what and how to report adverse events.

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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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