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AusPharm news

Nominate now for 2014 PSA Excellence Awards : 04/08/2014 :

Nominations for the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia prestigious Awards for Excellence - acknowledged as the pharmacy profession’s most prestigious and sought-after awards – are open for only another four weeks.

National President of PSA, Grant Kardachi, said the PSA Excellence Awards acknowledged and recognised some of the profession’s great achievers and he encouraged pharmacists to nominate or put forward their peers for an award.

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TGA warns on fentanyl patches and accidental exposure in children : 04/08/2014 :

Following reports over the last two years of fentanyl patch related misadventure in children, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is reminding health professionals to be conscious of the risks of accidental exposure to or ingestion of fentanyl patches, especially in children.

The reminder is contained in the current issue of the TGA's Medicines Safety Update (Volume 5, Number 4, August 2014), released on Friday.

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25,455 registered pharmacists : 04/08/2014 :

Data released by the Pharmacy Board of Australia on Friday reveals that, as of 30 June, 2014, there were 25,455 registered pharmacists on the Board's register - a slight increase on the 25,306 on the Register at 31 March.

Also on the register were 1,846 provisionally registered pharmacists (interns) (31 March: 1,912) and 964 pharmacists with non-practising registration (31 March: 953).

17 pharmacists have limited registration, either because they are undergoing a period of supervised practice or undertaking postgraduate training.

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Healthy Bones Action Week : 04/08/2014 :

Bone health experts are using today's start of Healthy Bones Action Week (4-8 August) to warn that osteoporosis is emerging as a major national health burden.

According to Austin Health Endocrinologist Professor Ego Seeman, who helped launch the first Healthy Bones Action Week 20 years ago,  osteoporosis is often called “the silent thief” because bone loss occurs without symptoms.

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Most pharmacists enjoy their work most of the time : 01/08/2014 :

Just under three quarters (74%) of pharmacists enjoy their work most of the time according to the results of this week's AusPharm poll (n=358).

While the proportion of respondents saying they enjoy their work as pharmacists 'most always' has steadily declined since 2003, when we first ran this poll, the proportion who enjoy their work 'mostly' or 'most always' has increased since 2003.

 

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Pharmacist guide to cultural responsiveness with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people : 01/08/2014 :

The importance of pharmacists and pharmacy staff being responsive to the health beliefs, practices, culture and linguistic needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, families and communities has been highlighted in a new guide just released by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

The Guide to providing pharmacy services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people suggests all people working in this area undertake cultural responsiveness training.

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First esomeprazole generic PBS listed from today : 01/08/2014 :

The first esomeprazole generic - RBX Esomeprazole - is PBS listed from today, 1 August.

Ranbaxy’s generic esomeprazole is the only one so far PBS listed, although a number of other brands have been registered on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.

As the only PBS listed generic esomeprazole, Ranbaxy says it is anticipating strong support for the product.

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SHPA makes available free CPD for community pharmacists on HIV meds : 01/08/2014 :

In July, the Federal Health Department announced changes to the supply of PBS HIV antiretroviral medicines that are accessed under the Highly Specialised Drugs Programme. 

From 1 July 2015, all community pharmacies will be able to dispense HIV antiretroviral drugs - patients will no longer be required to attend a hospital to access their medicine.

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Alerts improve asthma inhaler adherence: study : 31/07/2014 :

Asthmatics can reduce their risk of flare-ups with personalised alerts that remind them to use their inhaler, according to a new study.

Researchers at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research in Sydney investigated the use of a device that clips on to the inhaler, with personalised ring tones and ring times that remind the patient to take a puff if they miss a dose.

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Tambassis rebuts latest Clarke missive : 31/07/2014 :

Pharmacy Guild President, George Tambassis, yesterday responded to renewed calls for the abolition of the pharmacy location rules by saying they "provide a strong public policy benefit of ensuring that there is fair and equitable access to PBS-subsidised medicines delivered through an accessible pharmacy network."

Mr Tambassis's comments came in response to an article by health economist Professor Philip Clarke published in yesterday's Financial Review newspaper in which he described the location rules as ‘perniciously anti-competitive’. 

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Poll: do you enjoy your work as a pharmacist? : 30/07/2014 :

With all of the challenges thrown at pharmacies / pharmacists these days (low employee wages, difficult trading conditions, difficult working conditions etc) we're wondering whether people are enjoying their roles as pharmacists.

We've asked 'listers this before and will compare this week's poll result with those obtained from identical polls in 2012, 2007 and 2003.

So, how is it for you? Do you enjoy your work as a pharmacist? Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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Union: confusion over award changes : 30/07/2014 :

Employee pharmacist union, Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA) is calling for greater industry awareness of the changes to the Pharmacy Industry Award that came into effect on 1 July 2014 - in particular the change that all pharmacists previously working as permanent casuals (working 'reasonably predictable' hours) must be moved to either permanent full-time or permanent part-time status.

PPA says it has received many calls from pharmacists who have experienced problems in the transition to the new arrangements and wants to ensure pharmacists are aware of their new rights.

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PAC14 Early Bird registrations closing soon : 30/07/2014 :

Early Bird registrations for PAC14, which offer savings of up to $188 on a full registration, close on Thursday, 31 July, so act now to make the most of a great opportunity to save money while securing your attendance at one of Australia's premier pharmacy events.

National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said PAC14 would present an exciting and highly interactive education and networking program.

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PBS Hospital Medication Chart under development : 29/07/2014 :

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care is developing a national standard medication chart for use in inpatient and outpatient settings in both public and private hospitals to provide for the prescribing, dispensing and claiming of PBS medicines directly from the chart. The chart will also accommodate the provision of non-PBS medicines.

The project is a key initiative in the Commission’s Medication Safety Program, which is charged with improving the safety and quality of medication use in Australia.

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Expressions of interest invited for review of the competency standards : 29/07/2014 :

The Pharmacy Practitioner Development Committee (PPDC) is commencing a review of the Australian pharmacy profession’s competency standards. The National competency standards framework for pharmacists in Australia, issued in 2010, is regarded as a dynamic document and is formally reviewed on a regular basis.

On behalf of the profession, the PPDC is seeking expressions of interest from suitable individuals or groups to assist with the first stage of the review - to undertake background research and literature review on national and international competency standards development for pharmacists and other health professions.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Antidepressants in pregnancy : 28/07/2014 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Antidepressants in pregnancy.

"Depression is very common in pregnant women and in the postnatal period, with an estimated 13% affected. Treatment of depression in pregnant women remains a challenge as exposure of a foetus to severe maternal depression may well be as risky as exposure to antidepressants. Factors such as a deficiency in randomized controlled trials, the limited power of studies, failure to control for confounding variables and the lack of information about disease state of the women contribute to the challenge of deriving a solid evidence base for the treatment of depression in this context. As a result clinicians have to work in a clinical situation that is characterised by less information and more risk."

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

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Winners of 2014 Reader's Digest most trusted brands survey announced : 28/07/2014 :

The winners of 2014 Reader's Digest most trusted brands surveys were announced recently.

Dettol topped the First Aid Brand category with Colgate coming in a number one in the Oral healthcare category ahead of Oral B. Panadol topped Nurofen in the Pain relief category.

In the supermarket category Coles was number one, ahead of Aldi at number 2 with Woolworths only managing a third placing on the list.

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Medication Management Programs - have your say : 28/07/2014 :

As part of a broad PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) Review of Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement (5CPA) Medication Management programs, the organisation has put up an online survey to get health professionals' views and perspectives on them.

The programs and services covered by the Review include: Home Medicines Review (HMR),  Residential Medication Management Review (RMMR), MedsCheck/Diabetes MedsCheck, Clinical Interventions, Dose Administration Aids and Staged Supply.

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Harvey scathing of lack of transparency in new MA Code of Conduct : 28/07/2014 :

Public health physician, Dr Ken Harvey, has hit out at Medicines Australia's draft 18th Code of Conduct, recently submitted to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for approval, saying it does little to improve transparency around payments to health professionals.

In 2012, when edition 17 of the Medicines Australia Code was released, the ACCC limited its authorisation to 2 years rather than the 5 years sought in order to encourage Medicines Australia to improve transparency. While Edition 18 of the Code “encourages” healthcare professionals to consent to disclosure, it also allows them to opt-out while retaining the financial and related benefits of their interaction with member companies.

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Quarter of a million Australians in ‘liver danger zone’ : 28/07/2014 :

A new analysis, released to mark today's World Hepatitis Day, warns that approximately 250,000 Australians with untreated hepatitis B or C are have reached the critical age-point (aged over 40 years) where liver scarring accelerates and the risk of cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure dramatically increases.

“We dub this the ‘liver danger zone’ – where middle-age accelerates the impact of viral hepatitis on the liver,” said Professor Greg Dore from the Kirby Institute in Sydney, whose analysis forms part of a Hepatitis Report Card.

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