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AusPharm news

Pharmacists split on prospects of success in a new 'ownership' review : 11/07/2014 :

Just under half (47%) of those voting in this week's AusPharm poll believe pharmacy would survive a new ownership review and pharmacy ownership would remain the sole province of pharmacists.

An ownership review in 2000 ('The Wilkinson Review') determined that pharmacist only ownership of pharmacies was 'in the public interest'.

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Continued Dispensing Initiative - information for health professionals : 10/07/2014 :

Medicare has published a new reference guide outlining the PBS requirements for the Continued Dispensing Initiative.

The initiative allows pharmacist to supply a PBS / RPBS listed medicine when there is an immediate need for the medicine, but it is not practical for the patient to get a prescription.

The only medicines currently covered by the initiative are oral contraceptives and statins.

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QPIP trial extended to cover measles, whooping cough : 10/07/2014 :

The success of the trial of pharmacist-delivered flu immunisations in Queensland (QPIP) has led to the Queensland Government extending the pilot to cover two other adult vaccinations - measles and whooping cough.

The QPIP trial - run jointly by PSA and the Guild - has already seen more than 10,000 people vaccinated by pharmacists.

President of the Queensland Branch of the PSA, Professor Lisa Nissen, said the extension of the trial was welcomed and reflected the success of the flu season pilot.

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Chemist Warehouse: scrap pharmacy location rules, ownership restrictions : 10/07/2014 :

In a submission to the National Competition Policy Review - released late last week - Chemist Warehouse (CW) says that there should be no restriction on who can own pharmacies or on where they can be located.

The group says that while it understands ensuring access to medicines at affordable prices, particularly for disadvantaged consumers, is an important matter of public policy, "the present policy settings not only fail to serve this end, but are preventing competitive market conduct that would be more effective in delivering more medicines at lower prices to more consumers."

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HIV meds to be available from community pharmacies : 09/07/2014 :

From July 1 2015 HIV antiretroviral therapies will be able to be dispensed in community pharmacies. At present, HIV antiretrovirals are only supplied through hospital pharmacies.

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Poll: how would another pharmacy ownership review pan out? : 09/07/2014 :

Older 'listers will remember the 2000 Council of Australian Government's National Competition Policy Review of Pharmacy Legislation ('The Wilkinson Review') which found that pharmacist only ownership of community pharmacies was in the public interest. Pharmacy ownership (arguably) remains in the hands of pharmacists to this day.

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New grant program launched : 09/07/2014 :

Not-for-profit groups, health and rehabilitation organisations and research bodies have been invited to apply for new philanthropic funding for projects aimed at improving the lives of people who face health and wellbeing challenges.
 
The new Slater & Gordon Health Projects and Research Fund is calling for applications for grants of between $2,000 and $25,000 as part of a $2 million philanthropic program in Australia and the United Kingdom.

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Professor Peter Fricker appointed to APC governing council : 08/07/2014 :

Professor Peter Fricker OAM, pictured at right, has been appointed to the governing council of the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC).

APC called for expressions of interest for the position in June and says Professor Fricker was one of a number of high calibre applicants.

Commenting on the appointment, APC president, Mr John Low, said, “I am delighted to welcome Professor Fricker to the Australian Pharmacy Council’s Council...

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Pharmacy Guild of Australia Offshore Conference Early Bird Registration extended : 08/07/2014 :

Early Bird registration for the Pharmacy Guild Offshore Conference in Hoi An, Vietnam from 29 September – 2 October 2014 has been extended. Register before 20th July and you'll still get the early bird rate and save $300 on the standard registration fee.

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Analgesics, hypoglycaemics most common cause of poisonings in the elderly : 08/07/2014 :

Analgesics and medications used to treat diabetes were the most common drugs implicated in cases of unintentional poisoning by pharmaceuticals for older Australians - those aged over 65 - in 2011–12.

However, poisoning by pharmaceuticals accounted for only about 1% of all unintentional injuries in older Australians that required hospitalisation in that year. Pharmaceuticals were also involved in about 77% of hospitalisations for intentional self-harm.

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Propofol preps cleared : 08/07/2014 :

The TGA said yesterday that all sizes and batches of the AFT-distributed Provive and Sandoz Propofol 1% products are no longer under a precautionary supply restriction.

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PSA backs real time reporting for benzodiazepines : 07/07/2014 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has welcomed calls by the NSW Deputy State Coroner Carmel Forbes for real-time reporting (RTR) for all benzodiazepines. The coroner's recommendation calls on the NSW Health Minister to consider the steps to be taken for the implementation of real-time reporting within twelve months.

The RTR recommendation is one of 13 arising from an inquest into the deaths of three people from prescription drug overdoses.

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New MA Code of Conduct under attack : 07/07/2014 :

Opposition is mounting to the latest version of the Medicines Australia Code of Conduct with critics saying the new 'transparency' measures contained in it do not go far enough.

The new Code requires MA member companies to report the details of benefits paid to individual doctors and other health professionals - but only if the health professional concerned agrees to this - purportedly to comply with privacy requirements.

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Clarke: Pharmacy ownership, location rules outdated : 07/07/2014 :

Health Economist Professor Philip Clarke has broadened his criticism of the Australian community pharmacy model saying that the existing restrictions on pharmacy ownership and location are outdated concepts that need fresh evaluation.

Writing in an editorial in the latest issue of Australian Prescriber, Professor Clarke - who believes existing price disclosure policy is too slow to lower PBS prices for generics - said that pharmacies should not be compensated for the September 2103 Simplified Price Disclosure initiative.

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Sam Turner new NAPSA President : 07/07/2014 :

Queensland University of Technology pharmacy student Sam Turner has been elected as the new President of the National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA).

Mr Turner was elected at NAPSA’s Annual General Meeting which was held over the weekend on the Gold Coast. He will lead an Executive Committee of Vice President Lauren Haworth (University of Tasmania), Secretary Samara McInerney (University of South Australia) and Treasurer John Traynor (La Trobe University).

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Aspirin and atrial fibrillation : 07/07/2014 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Aspirin and atrial fibrillation.

"Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia and its prevalence increases with age, affecting 10% of people over 80 years.  Patients with AF have an increased risk of stroke and usually have associated cardiovascular disease.   Prevention of thrombotic complications in the elderly is a challenging issue, and is characterised by the need to balance the risks and benefits of different therapies with multiple comorbidities and an increased risk of bleeding. The elderly also have an increased risk of stroke, which approaches 30% for those aged between 80-89 years."

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

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Pradaxa: what pharmacists should tell patients : 06/07/2014 :

'Listers will have seen media reports suggesting that Pradaxa manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim withheld information about the product that may have cast doubts on its safety.

In response, the company said in a statement issued on Monday 'Many of these reports are misleading and inaccurate'.

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Pharmacists: supermarket pharmacies probable .... soon : 04/07/2014 :

61% of respondents to this week's AusPharm poll believe supermarkets will, one day, have their own pharmacies in them and that this may well occur 'quite soon'. When we ran the identical poll in March 2012, only 43% of respondents took this view.

There was a corresponding decline in the percentage of repondents who think supermarkets will 'maybe' get pharmacies but 'not for a long time - down from 46% to 34% - and in the 'they'll never get them' group because 'the pharmacy lobby is too strong' - down from 10% to 5%.

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Kardachi gets 4th term as PSA President : 04/07/2014 :

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia National President Grant Kardachi was yesterday re-elected by the PSA Board for a fourth term as President.

Victoria’s Joe Demarte was re-elected as one of the two National Vice Presidents with Victorian President, Michelle Lynch, elected as the other Vice President.

Mr Kardachi said he was honoured to be have been chosen once again by the Board to lead the 18,000-strong PSA over the coming year.

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Input sought on pharmacists’ vaccination training courses : 04/07/2014 :

The Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) is seeking comment from pharmacists and from the public about the accreditation of pharmacists’ vaccination training courses.

The Council has released a consultation paper - ‘Standards for the accreditation of programs to support pharmacist administration of vaccines’ - for review and comment.

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