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AusPharm news

Stephen Greenwood: Location rules exist for good reason : 18/08/2014 :

Don't miss tomorrow's AusPharm - there a cracker of an article from Stephen Greenwood explaining why the Pharmacy Location rules should not be abolished.

"The real value of the location rules is that anyone almost anywhere in Australia can walk in off the street and gain access to life giving PBS medications and advice from a tertiary trained health professional. That’s gold dust for Government."

Watch this space tomorrow.

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September 2014 PBS schedule : 18/08/2014 :

Download the Full PBS schedule

Download the PBS ‘Summary of Changes’

Download the Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy – S100 Arrangements Supplement

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Choosing wisely – Geriatrics (part two) : 18/08/2014 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Choosing wisely – Geriatrics (part two).

"In this weeks RGH E-Bulletin we continue coverage of the Choosing Wisely® geriatrics guidance. For the five issues covered in this edition, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) used a similar methodology to that employed for previous items. The final five issues/recommendations are summarised here:   Don’t prescribe cholinesterase inhibitors for dementia without periodic assessment for perceived cognitive benefits and adverse gastrointestinal effects."

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

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‘Transpharmation’ launched at Melbourne event : 18/08/2014 :

At a breakfast event in Melbourne last week Victorian pharmacist Robert Sztar launched his new book Transpharmation which, says Robert, will 'help pharmacy owners build smarter, more successful 21st Century Pharmacy Businesses before it’s too late'.

The event was hosted by Victorian Guild Branch President Anthony Tassone and featured a 'state of the industry' update from Guild National President George Tambassis.

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Long term improvements in oral health, but some concerns emerging : 18/08/2014 :

The oral health and dental care of Australians has improved over the long term, however some of the positive trends since the 1970s may be reversing, according to a new report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report - Oral health and dental care in Australia: key facts and figures trends 2014 - shows there are some areas where improvements made in the past have either plateaued or have begun to head in a negative direction.

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Strong pharmacist support to tighten in-pharmacy medicine promotion rules : 15/08/2014 :

In light of PSA President Grant Kardachi's comments in AusPharm on Tuesday that in-pharmacy 'price promotion of medicines may be unethical and increases the risk and danger of adverse effects' this week's follow up poll asked 'listers whether they think the rules around such practices need to be tightened.

The result is a very strong 'yes'.

83% of poll respondents would like to see the rules strengthened because 'they aren't working' while a further 12% think the rules are adequate but just need to be better enforced. In our view, this is just another way of saying they're not working.

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New Guild President in South Australia : 15/08/2014 :

Nick Panayiaris has been elected as the new President of the South Australian Branch of the Pharmacy Guild.

He replaces Ian Todd who has stepped aside after 12 years in the role.

“After filling this position for 12 years, I believe that the SA Branch will be better served by handing over the reins to someone new so that the Branch can refresh its direction and engage anew with the membership," said Mr Todd.

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Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions among Australia’s most costly diseases : 15/08/2014 :

Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions are Australia’s fourth most expensive group of diseases, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Health-care expenditure for arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions 2008-09, shows that in 2008–09, spending on these diseases totalled $5,690 million, accounting for 9% of total health-care spending.

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Open seller version of naproxen proposed : 15/08/2014 :

A proposal to allow the open sale of naproxen is one of several to be considered by the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS) at its November meeting.

The Committee has invited submissions from the public on the naproxen and other proposals with a closing date of 19 September 2014.

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Death rates for respiratory conditions declining : 14/08/2014 :

A report released last week by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) - Mortality from asthma and COPD in Australia - reveals that the death rate from asthma in Australia has fallen by almost 70% since the 1980s.

The report shows that while the United States and the United Kingdom report similar asthma mortality rates to Australia for people aged 5–34, rates are lower in Poland, Italy, Japan, Germany and France.

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Public Consultation on the Post-market Review of the Life Saving Drugs Programme (LSDP) : 14/08/2014 :

The Department of Health announced yesterday that the public submission process for its Post-market Review of the Life Saving Drugs Programme (LSDP review) has commenced.

The LSDP allows patients with very rare conditions to have subsidised access to expensive medicines. The Review will examine issues such as access and equity, value for money and the future administration of the program.

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AusPharm CPD: RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin CPD Digest - Issue Number 72 : 14/08/2014 :

The next in our 2014 series of continuing professional development activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 72.

This CPD activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins, Volumes 51-5→51-8 (April/May 2014).

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Guild, nurses join Vic government in QUM project : 14/08/2014 :

The Victorian Department of Health has agreed to fund a Quality Use of Medicines project that aims to improve health outcomes for consumers who take multiple medications.

The Department will partner with the Pharmacy Guild and the Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) to target elderly patients taking more than seven medications.

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QPIP success heralds call for phase two expressions of interest : 14/08/2014 :

Following the success of the Queensland Pharmacists Immunisation Pilot, expressions of interest have been invited for phase two of the pilot. It will see the  number of pharmacies participating in the pilot increase from 80 to 200.

To be conducted in 2015, phase two of the pilot will include the provision of immunisations for measles and whooping cough (for adults) as well as for influenza.

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NPS Medicinewise: no antibiotics for flu : 14/08/2014 :

News this week that the winter flu season is in full swing has prompted NPS MedicineWise to issue one of its regular reminders to consumers that for most people, resting and treating the symptoms is the best course of action when a cold or flu hits - because flu is caused by viruses, not bacteria, so antibiotics won’t help.

Most people who have the flu and who are generally healthy will get better without any treatment because the body’s immune system can take care of the infection on its own.

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Guild hierarchy supports ALS : 14/08/2014 :

Over the weekend  two senior Pharmacy Guild identities - Tasmanian Branch Vice President Joe O'Malley and Victorian Branch President Anthony Tassone – took the 'ice bucket challenge' in support of Motor Neurone Disease.

The challenge dares nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and then challenge others to do the same. The aim is to promote awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Motor Neurone Disease) and encourage donations to research.

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Chemist Warehouse backs Men’s Health Week : 13/08/2014 :

Chemist Warehouse has joined the AFL Coaches Association to promote Men’s Health this week

Men’s Health Week seeks to shine a light on the range of health issues facing men with a particular focus on addressing the problems associated with smoking in the community.

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Poll: do the rules around in-pharmacy medicine promotion need strengthening? : 13/08/2014 :

Writing in AusPharm yesterday PSA President Grant Kardachi raised concerns about the aggressive marketing and sales tactics in use by some pharmacy banner groups to promote medicine 'specials'.

He said the practice is considered by many to be 'unethical and often dangerous' and suggested that what is needed to tackle the problem is a unified whole-of-profession approach.

"We owe it to ourselves and to the community to regulate, or even self-regulate, on this matter and ensure that making these products all too freely - and cheaply - available does not damage the profession and endanger the members of the communities we serve."

Is he right? Is tighter regulation of the promotion and sale of scheduled medicines in pharmacies needed or are the existing rules adequate?

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

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ATSI population over-represented in drug misuse and treatment : 13/08/2014 :

A new report, released yesterday by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), reveals that alcohol continues to be the most common principal drug of concern and treatment in Australia.

The report, Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia: 2012-13, shows that alcohol, cannabis, amphetamines and heroin have remained the top four principal drugs of concern since 2003-04.

Despite making up 3% of the Australian population, 14% of treatment episodes were provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

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Abetz: penalty rate changes the province of Fair Work Commission : 13/08/2014 :

Following comments from an Abbott government minister yesterday, reported in Fairfax media, that Sunday and public holiday penalty rates were 'unfair', employment minister Eric Abetz moved to distance the government from the comments.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported Assistant Infrastructure Minister Jamie Briggs saying "it was unfair that small businesses had to pay double on Sundays and triple on New Year’s Eve, and it was on the government’s radar."

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