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AusPharm news

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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Terry White group offloads Pharmacy Direct - at a big loss : 17/09/2014 :

The Terry White group (TWC) has sold its Pharmacy Direct business for $2.75 million, losing $4.4 million in the process. Subject to satisfaction of sale conditions, the transaction is expected to settle in late October 2014.

TWC acquired Pharmacy Direct in 2009 after its owner at the time - Coles - was forced to sell after falling foul of Australian legislation preventing non pharmacist ownership of pharmacies. Coles had acquired Pharmacy Direct in 2006.

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Pharmacies under attack for promoting unscientific "pseudoscience" : 16/09/2014 :

Pharmacies have again come under attack for promoting unscientific treatment modalities.

Writing in the September issue of The Skeptic - the journal of the Australian Skeptics Association - three time Australian Skeptic of the Year and CEO of Friends of Science in Medicine, Loretta Marron OAM, takes aim at pharmacies who host naturopaths, saying they promote unproven and ineffective treatments. With the permission of The Skeptic, we’ve reprinted the article below in full.

"Pharmacies are supposed to be frontline agents of primary care," writes Ms Marron, adding "Their role includes protecting patients from the fraudulent and the unscientific."

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GuildLink – Providing the tools to empower Australian Pharmacies : 16/09/2014 :

GuildLink is a leading innovative provider of unique software solutions for patient care management in pharmacy. A wholly owned subsidiary of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, one of GuildLink’s core strategies is to enhance sustainability of pharmacy through innovative development and strategic partnership.

In light of recent changes, pharmacies need to develop plans to effectively counteract the impact of the price disclosure reforms. There are many untapped opportunities that community pharmacies have the potential to realise and by simply identifying these opportunities, pharmacies can gain additional revenue streams.

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Input sought on medicine monographs : 16/09/2014 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration is seeking input on a number of medicine monographs currently under development.

Also up for comment are proposed new advisory statements for esomeprazole when included in non-prescription medicines for oral administration.

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UoC / CSU team takes out business planning prize : 16/09/2014 :

A joint team from the University of Canberra and Charles Sturt University have taken out this year’s Pharmacy Guild of Australia National Student Business Plan Competition.

The winning team of  (pictured, left to right) Jessica Cahill, Jamie Pisani and Cyd Soriano won with their fictitious “Primelink Pharmacy” which featured two innovative programs – one providing telehealth services to patients aged over 65, and another involving a Sun Care app aimed at reducing the incidence of skin cancer in the region.

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Organisers hail success of Pharmacy Business Network 2014 : 16/09/2014 :

The Pharmacy Guild’s Pharmacy Business Network (PBN) 2014 - held in Melbourne over the weekend - has been hailed a big success by organisers. It was the first year that PBN had come to Melbourne’s Crown Conference centre after being hosted in Canberra for its first two years.

PBN2014 Organising Committee chair and Victorian Branch President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Anthony Tassone was thrilled with the turnout of the event.

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Guild backs MPS : 16/09/2014 :

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.

The MPS system has been used in the aged care setting for over 15 years and was introduced into the community pharmacy environment towards the end of 2013.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Role of aspirin in cancer prevention : 15/09/2014 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Role of aspirin in cancer prevention.

"A review of the literature surrounding aspirin’s use in cancer prevention was recently published, utilising follow-up data from a number of systematic reviews and individual studies. It is well established that aspirin at any dose can reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC). A 20-year follow-up of two high-dose aspirin randomised controlled trials (RCTs) showed an overall reduction in CRC incidence of 73% in participants scheduled on treatment for  > 5 years, but the effect was seen only 10 years after randomisation."

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

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AMA: Pharmacy Guild's plans to perform medical checks are dangerous : 15/09/2014 :

In case anyone missed last week's comments from AMA President Brian Fowler, made during a doorstop interview at Parliament House, rejecting a role for pharmacy in primary care, he's repeated them on camera and posted the segment online.

In the two minute video, he offers support for a joint PSA / AMA proposal to place pharmacists in general practices, saying there is a legitimate role for them there, but condemns what it describes as Pharmacy Guild plans to establish community pharmacies - or, as A/ Prof Owler calls them 'chemists' - as places where primary care is provided.

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SHPA Medal of Merit awarded for leadership in pharmacy education : 15/09/2014 :

Also honoured at Medicines Management 2014 was Kirstie Galbraith. Ms Galbraith was presented with the SHPA Medal of Merit by Professor Dooley.

The SHPA Medal of Merit is awarded by SHPA’s Federal Council to a member of SHPA, in recognition of an outstanding recent contribution to the practice of hospital pharmacy or the professional development of pharmacy in the past 3 years.

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AMA: supermarkets are potential PBS supply points : 14/09/2014 :

Australian Medical Association President, A/Prof Brian Owler, said this week that 'other providers such as Woolworths and Coles' were potential alternatives to traditional community pharmacies for the supply of PBS medicines.

Highlighting the role of the individual rather than the facility, A/Prof Owler said that 'having the pharmacist' is the most important thing so they can 'advise patients and provide them with advice about their medication'.

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