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AusPharm news

Tambassis: government support for location rules at risk? : 28/07/2014 :

Amidst concerns some pharmacists are 'gaming the system' with regard to pharmacy Location Rules, Pharmacy Guild President George Tambassis has moved to defend the Rules but has also warned his members that behaviour that could be seen to undermine the Rules' intent and effectiveness could place at risk government support for them.

In a communication to Guild members on Friday Mr Tambassis reported 'concerns' have been expressed in regard to the way the Rules have been applied to applications for new pharmacies in large medical centres and, also, with the Ministerial Discretion provision in the Rules - in particular, that Ministerial Discretion may be being considered without the knowledge input of nearby pharmacies and that, in some instances, the Ministerial Discretion avenue may be being used simply as a right of appeal.

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Large gap between pharmacists' perceived worth and actual pay : 25/07/2014 :

The results of this week's AusPharm poll suggest that pharmacists believe a pharmacist in charge (PIC) is worth far more than either the market dictates or pharmacy owners are able to pay.

Almost one third of repondents (31%) to the poll told us they think an appropriate annual remuneration package for a pharmacist in charge is over $100k per annum.

23% of respondents thought $80-90k about right with a further 24% choosing the $90-$100k range.

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Role of paracetamol in low back pain questioned : 25/07/2014 :

Paracetamol, when used to treat acute low back pain, does not speed recovery or reduce pain, new Australian research concludes.

According to researchers – who included Sydney University School of Pharmacy’s Professor Andrew McLachlan - even though every back pain treatment guideline in the world currently recommends the use of paracetamol as the first-line back pain analgesic, no previous studies have provided convincing evidence that it is effective in people with low back pain.

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Guidelines for the regulatory management of registered health practitioners and students infected with blood-borne viruses : 25/07/2014 :

The Pharmacy Board, together with the other 13 AHPRA Boards are consulting on the draft ‘Guidelines for the regulatory management of registered health practitioners and students infected with blood-borne viruses’.

The closing date for submissions in 26 September 2014.

Details are here.

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SHPA members get access to an extensive e-book library : 24/07/2014 :

Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) members now have access to an extensive e-book library through EBSCOhost, as a new member benefit.

SHPA’s Medicines Information Committee of Specialty Practice (COSP) and Accredited Pharmacists Reference Group selected the library  titles and both groups will be involved in reviewing them to ensure the e-books in the collection are current and of value to members.

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New committee formed to 'focus on the development of pharmacist practitioners' : 24/07/2014 :

A new Pharmacy Practitioner Development Committee (PPDC) has been established to continue the work conducted over the last three years by the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Framework Steering Committee (APPFSC).

The group describes itself as "a profession-wide collaborative forum established to focus on the development of pharmacist practitioners through consideration of competencies and scopes of practice".

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Guild puts trust in Coalition : 24/07/2014 :

The Pharmacy Guild said yesterday it had "no reason to believe that the Coalition is not absolutely committed to the election promises it has made to community pharmacy."

These were:

  • "The Coalition continues to support the model of pharmacies being owned by pharmacists to ensure community pharmacy remains focused to the needs of patients" - Prime Minister Tony Abbott in a pre-election letter to the Guild, and
  • "We also support pharmacy location rules which ensure that Australians regardless of where they live have more equitable access to medicines delivered through a viable, privately owned and financed national network of community pharmacies" - Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss in a pre-election letter to the Guild.

At APP, in March 2014, the Minister for Health, Peter Dutton, continued the theme.

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Opportunity to showcase your practice at PAC14 : 24/07/2014 :

Researchers and practitioners are being given an opportunity to showcase their practice through poster and oral presentations at the Pharmacy Australia Congress (PAC14).

The PAC14 Organising Committee has called for people undertaking pharmacy-related research or implementing pharmacy practice innovation to submit abstracts to be considered for presentation at PAC14.

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International awards for Australian Pharmacist : 23/07/2014 :

Australian Pharmacist, the official monthly journal for the 18,000-plus members of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, has been internationally recognised for excellence with three awards in the worldwide Trade, Association and Business Publications International awards.

Studio Manager and Graphic Designer Rebecca Jones won the top Gold Award in the Front Cover, Photograph category for the August 2013 cover, with the judges commenting:  "This photo has so much soul to it. The woman is jumping out at the page wanting to tell her story! Amazing photograph!" Ms Jones also won an Honourable Mention for the Front Cover, Illustration, category.

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Poll: what is an appropriate rate of pay for a 'pharmacist in charge'? : 23/07/2014 :

In a post to AusPharmList today a 'lister asks: "What is the going rate for a pharmacist in charge, with absolutely no responsibilities other than dispensary?"

While the question asks about actual rates in the marketplace, we'd be interested to know what you think an appropriate rate is.

Please tick the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll to let us know what you think.

For the purposes of the poll let's assume that we're talking about a pharmacist who is in charge of a dispensary in a large regional town doing about 250 scripts a day. He/she has about 1.5 FTE dispensary techs to assist. The dispensary also doses about 10 pharmacotherapy clients a day and packs about 50 weekly DAAs. The pharmacist must also deal with requests for S3 products and  supervise S2 sales.

Also, for the purposes of the poll, let's assume we're talking about a total remuneration package that includes all benefits paid (car, CE allowance etc) except for superannuation.

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PSA, AMA push for pharmacists in general practice : 23/07/2014 :

In a joint statement issued yesterday, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) say they are working together on the development of a model to better support a more integrated role for pharmacists in GP clinics as part of the primary care team.

The two organisations say the benefits would include improved use of medicines, reduced adverse drug events, and better coordination of patient care. Recent surveys conducted by both the AMA and PSA indicated strong interest from members their respective members for such an arrangement.

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ASMI backs CAM use following News Ltd columnist criticism of pharmacies : 23/07/2014 :

In response to an article published in the Weekend Australian - Hard to Swallow this Bitter Pill - which claimed that pharmacists should think twice about selling complementary medicines, the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) said yesterday there is a growing evidence base to support the use of many complementary medicines.

ASMI Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Director, Steve Scarff, said: “Complementary medicines play an important role in maintaining good health and preventing and treating illness. Millions of Australians have embraced complementary medicines as a way of treating short term ailments, preventing and managing chronic conditions and staying healthy."

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October 1 Price Disclosure prices : 22/07/2014 :

A complete list of indicative 1 October 2014 prices resulting from the 2014 October Cycle of Price Disclosure has now been published on the PBS Price Disclosure (SPD) webpage.

The indicative prices may still change if there are changes in prices or listings before the effective date (e.g. lower price / pricing quantity changes).

Click here to visit the PBS Price Disclosure page.

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Pain is Ageless : 22/07/2014 :

Pain is Ageless is the theme of this year's National Pain Week, which began yesterday.

Chronic pain affects one in three Australians and is one of the nation's most costly health problems.

A partnership between Chronic Pain Australia and the Cronulla Sharks will help spread the word that its ok to say you have pain, and to ask for help no matter what age or stage you are at. Even footy players have BIG problems with pain.

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New script folders help NSW pharmacies support pain management : 22/07/2014 :

In related news, NSW pharmacies will be helping to promote a new Pain Management Network website by using branded repeat script folders.

The website offers practical advice and resources to manage pain and prevent its escalation. It contains a toolkit including assessment and management tools, factsheets for patients and information about NSW Pain Clinics.

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New AusPharm CE: RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin Digest - Issue Number 71 : 21/07/2014 :

The next in our 2014 series of continuing professional development activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 71.

This CPD activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins, Volumes 51-1→51-4 (March/April 2014).

 

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August 2014 PBS schedule : 21/07/2014 :

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: Iloprost for symptoms of Reynaud`s phenomenon : 21/07/2014 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Iloprost for symptoms of Reynaud's phenomenon.

"Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune disease associated with an excessive deposit of collagen at visceral and cutaneous levels. SSc is associated with a variety of clinical features ranging from Raynaud’s disease to cutaneous fibrosis. Most patients with systemic sclerosis display symptoms of Reynaud’s phenomenon, which could be defined as vasospasm of arteries or arterioles due to microvascular endothelial damage, and collagen accumulation which can lead to narrowing and obliteration of vascular lumen. This contributes to digital ulcers and ischaemic complications."

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

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NAPSA Charity Cup sets new fundraising record : 21/07/2014 :

The National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association's 2014 Charity Cup campaign has, this year, set a new fundraising benchmark.

$30,738 was raised during this year’s campaign - surpassing the previous record of $21,598, set in 2013.

Throughout a six week period in April and May, pharmacy students across Australia participated in Charity Cup events to raise funds for the James Macready-Bryan (JMB) Foundation. The James Macready-Bryan Foundation supports the rehabilitation and care of young Australians suffering from acquired brain injuries (ABI).

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Food and medicine interactions – get the real facts from your pharmacist : 21/07/2014 :

A warning issued on Friday by consumer group Choice about the dangers of mixing some foods and drinks with prescription medicines highlights the need for people to talk to their pharmacists about the medications they are taking, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia says.

The Choice article takes a simplistic 'yes or no' approach to the advice it offers and some consumers may be unnecessarily concerned by some of the advice given.

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