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AusPharm news

Pharmacists vote along party lines on GP co-payment merits : 05/09/2014 :

Pharmacists are divided on whether or not the proposed $7 GP co-payment is a good idea, apparently along party lines.

29% of poll respondents told us they think the co-payment is 'a good idea' with a further 27% adding the caveat that some groups would need to be exempted from the payment - giving a total of 56%.

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PSA: Time for debate on maximising pharmacists’ role in improving consumer health outcomes : 05/09/2014 :

Pharmacists, doctors and other health professionals need a serious and objective discussion on the future role of pharmacists in the health system, the Acting National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Joe Demarte, pictured at right, said yesterday.

Mr Demarte was responding to calls earlier in the week by AMA President, A/Prof Brian Owler, for the Government to immediately rule out any arrangement to fund pharmacists to provide health checks, particularly for minor ailments.

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FIP post for NSW pharmacist : 05/09/2014 :

President of the NSW Branch of the Pharmacy Guild, Paul Sinclair, has been elected President of the Community Pharmacy Section of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP).

Mr Sinclair has been Vice President of the Section since 2010.

Commenting of the election result, Guild National President, Tim Logan, said: “Paul is the ideal person to be representing community pharmacy at this international level.

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PSA welcomes appointment of new Health Dept secretary Martin Bowles : 05/09/2014 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has welcomed the appointment of Mr Martin Bowles as Secretary of the Department of Health.

PSA CEO, Dr Lance Emerson, said Mr Bowles’ appointment brought great experience to the position at a time of challenges and opportunities for the health sector.

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Some improvement in Indigenous life expectancy, but a 10 year gap remains : 05/09/2014 :

While significant improvements in Indigenous life expectancy have been observed in recent years, Indigenous Australians still have a life expectancy that is about 10 years lower than non-Indigenous Australians, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Mortality and life expectancy of Indigenous Australians 2008 to 2012, provides an overview of current patterns and trends in mortality and life expectancy among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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Third NPS Board term for Debbie Rigby : 04/09/2014 :

Consultant pharmacist Debbie Rigby has been reappointed to the NPS MedicineWise board for a third and final three-year term.

NPS MedicineWise Chair Dr Janette Randall congratulated Ms Rigby and thanked her for her ongoing commitment to the work of the organisation.

“Debbie has been a strong performer for NPS MedicineWise and continually demonstrates her breadth of experience and widespread knowledge of the pharmacy sector. Her public profile and extensive networks across both pharmacy and the broader health sectors are of significant benefit to the board.”

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Osteoporosis common in over 50s : 04/09/2014 :

In 2011–12, about 15% of women and 3% of men aged over 50 reported that they had osteoporosis; however the prevalence may actually be much higher, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report - Estimating the prevalence of osteoporosis in Australia - presents information about the prevalence and impact of osteoporosis in Australians aged 50 and over. It uses self-reported data from the Australian Health Survey for women and men who were living in the community (not in residential aged care) who had a diagnosis of osteoporosis.

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UK Healthy living pharmacy model shown to prevent visits to the doctor : 04/09/2014 :

Adopting a Healthy Living Pharmacy model has allowed pharmacies in the UK to bring about better use of health care resources, according to evidence presented this week at the FIP 2014 Congress.

In a survey of 1,304 users of healthy living pharmacies, which offer a range of services such as smoking cessation, sexual health, weight management and alcohol awareness, 60% said they would have used their doctors if they had not accessed the Healthy Living Pharmacy service. 21% of patients would not have done anything to improve their health.

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AMA accuses Guild of attempting to 'plunder' primary care : 04/09/2014 :

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has called on the federal Government to immediately rule out funding pharmacies to provide 'health checks'.

The call follows an Australian Financial Review story published on Monday which the AMA claims cites Guild efforts "for pharmacists to take over the role of doctors in primary care".

AMA President A/Prof Brian Owler said the Guild is not behaving like a ‘model citizen’ in the health community.

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Call for consolidation of pharmacy conferences into a 'Pharmacy General Assembly' : 04/09/2014 :

President of the Australian College of Pharmacy, Patrick Reid, has called for a consolidation of minor pharmacy conferences into a 'Pharmacy General Assembly' to be held in September each year.

Mr Reid believes the initiative would result in better quality conference content that would deliver a return on investment for attendees and sponsors 'while maintaining a unity of purpose that transcends politics'.

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Health Department gets new head : 04/09/2014 :

Martin Bowles PSM has been appointed new Secretary of the Department of Health for a period of five years from 13 October 2014. He replaces outgoing Secretary Professor Jane Halton, who now heads up the Department of Finance.

Mr Bowles has been performing the role of Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection since 2012 after joining the department in 2011.

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Boost for pharmacy workforce in Africa, with other areas of the world to follow : 03/09/2014 :

A "centre of excellence" that aims to increase capacity for pharmacy education in the African region was officially launched today at the FIP 2014 Congress, currently underway in Bangkok, Thailand.

Its main purpose is to help pharmacy schools in Africa produce desperately needed pharmacists through the sharing of teaching resources and staff exchange to increase academic capacity and joint problem-solving.

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EBOS launches Endeavour consumer business : 03/09/2014 :

The EBOS Group has formed a new Trans-Tasman business entity - Endeavour Consumer Health - to bring together Symbion Consumer Products in Australia and the Consumer Division of EBOS Healthcare in New Zealand and Australia.

This, says EBOS, will provide pharmacies with high-quality brands and products managed under one business unit.

In Australia the group will sell and market Chemmart & Pharmacy Choice brand medicines, the Faulding brand and Allersearch asthma products and in New Zealand, the market leading brand Anti-Flamme crème and Ansell, Philips Avent, Deep Heat and Bioceuticals products.

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Mundipharm spruikes success of Oxycontin transition : 03/09/2014 :

In a 20 August letter to Australian pharmacists, Oxycontin manufactuer Mundipharma says the changeover to the new, abuse-resistant, formulation of the tablets 'has been a great success and has been managed with the highest level of professionalism'.

The company says Australia is now a case study of success to other countries that are considering introduction of the reformulated abuse-resistant OxyContin tablets.

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Poll: is a GP co-payment a good idea? : 03/09/2014 :

Since Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey brought down this year's budget in May, debate has raged over whether or not it is appropriate to introduce a $7 co-payment for all GP visits.

The Treasurer argues that sending a 'price signal' in order to encourage people to better value doctor visits is a good thing. Opponents of the measure argue that the 'GP tax' disproportionately targets the most vulnerable in our society - the elderly, the unemployed and other disadvantaged groups.

What do you think? Is a GP co-payment good policy or is it an unfair tax on the sick and the poor?

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

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PDL comes out in support of conference rationalisation : 03/09/2014 :

Pharmaceutical Defence Ltd (PDL) - a major supporter of pharmacy conferences, events and activities - has come out in support of a proposal floated yesterday by the President of the Australian College of Pharmacy, Patrick Reid, calling for a consolidation of minor pharmacy conferences into an annual 'Pharmacy General Assembly'.

PDL said yesterday it believes improved calendar planning and event scheduling could benefit the pharmacy profession and that it 'embraces the opportunity to engage in dialogue for meaningful change in relation to national conference structuring'.

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Preparations for Advanced Pharmacy Practice progressing : 02/09/2014 :

The results of the first round of public consultations on the Advanced Pharmacy Practice (APC) recognition model were published last week on the APC website.

The APC Advanced Practice Credentialing Committee considered the feedback to the consultation paper released in May and have extracted the key issues identified.

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Location rules exist for good reason – if you’re a Guild pharmacist : 02/09/2014 :

A fortnight ago today we ran a cracker of an article from former Guild Executive Director Stephen Greenwood in which he defended the pharmacy Location Rules saying they were 'gold dust' for government.

In AusPharm tomorrow co-author of the 2000 Wilkinson (Pharmacy Ownership) Review and author of the proposal that started the current GP co-payment debate, Terry Barnes, puts the counter view.

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Dose administration aids: a growth opportunity : 02/09/2014 :

Australia's rapidly ageing population is the driver behind the growth opportunities in dose administration aid services, John Chapman reminded the audience at this year's ACP conference in Hobart, before going on to outline the opportunities and watch-outs in DAA service provision.

Peak use of DAAs is within the 65 - 84 year age group explained John, and compliance improvements when a dose administration aid is used range from 14 to 43%. If this scale of compliance improvement were to be translated to larger dispensing volumes, increased revenue, and improved health outcomes, it would be substantial.

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Australian pharmacists honoured by FIP : 02/09/2014 :

Three Australian pharmacists have been honoured for their contribution to pharmacy at the World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (FIP Congress), currently underway in Bangkok, Thailand.

Heading the list was Professor William (Bill) Charman, pictured at right, who received a Lifetime achievement award in recognition and acknowledgement of the contribution he has made, over many years, to the development of the pharmaceutical sciences.

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