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AusPharm news

New professional indemnity standard flagged : 14/12/2015 :

A revised registration standard for professional indemnity insurance has been published by the Pharmacy Board of Australia.

The revised standard has not changed significantly from the existing standard, continuing to set a minimum amount of cover of $20 million but adding a requirement that policies have retroactive cover and automatic reinstatement. There is also additional detail in some other areas.

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Chemist Warehouse will be discounting PBS co-payment by $1.00 : 14/12/2015 :

The Chemist Warehouse group has confirmed that it will be discounting the PBS co-payment for all subsidised scripts from 1 January.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Lurasidone – a new antipsychotic : 14/12/2015 :

The topic of this weeks RGH E-Bulletin is Lurasidone – a new antipsychotic.

"Lurasidone (Latuda®) is a newly registered antipsychotic drug. As with other antipsychotics, the mechanism of action of the drug is not fully understood. However it is believed that the effects of lurasidone are mediated through blockade of dopaminergic transmission through antagonist activity at the D2 receptor. Lurasidone also antagonises 5HT7 and 5HT2A receptors and is a partial agonist of 5HT1A."

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

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More than half of pharmacies likely won't be discounting the PBS co-payment : 11/12/2015 :

36% of those responding to this week's AusPharm poll told us there is no way they'll be discounting the PBS copayment from 1 January as their pharmacy cant afford to do so. A further 21% said it was unlikely they'll be discounting but are yet to make a firm decision

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SHPA hails success of MM2015 : 11/12/2015 :

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has hailed the success its Medicines Management 2015 conference which attracted more than 1,000 delegates to Melbourne last weekend.

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What effect will the $1 discount have on individual pharmacies? : 11/12/2015 :

To help answer this question, Fred IT have created a Discounting Analyser tool to provide pharmacies with accurate data around the discounting of PBS claimable scripts.

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Fire flood or cyclone the pharmacy still opens : 10/12/2015 :

Australia is known for its outback, intriguing wildlife and laidback lifestyle. However Australia is also notorious for its natural disasters. And when it comes to dealing with the consequences of natural disasters pharmacist are often in the thick of it, Catherine Waterman writes in the cover story of the December issue of Australian Pharmacist published last Friday.

In the article several pharmacists who have experienced the fury and aftermath of natural disasters discuss their experience.

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NMS16: call for submissions : 10/12/2015 :

NPS Medicinewise has called for submissions for the 2016 National Medicines Symposium, to be held in Canberra from 18-20 May 2016.

The NMS16 theme of Making wise decisions about medicines, tests and technologies: co-designing policy, practice and priorities will centre on three program streams:

  • Foundations: exploring issues relating to evidence, knowledge, access, quality, and safety
  • Sustainable systems which will consider aspect like policy, regulatory, workforce and cost
  • In practice will examine topics like models of care, health literacy and enabling best practice.

While in previous years organisers have invited traditional abstracts for oral presentations, this year they have issued an open invitation to submit an abstract for one of the following...

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ScriptWise: OTC codeine up-scheduling decision deferral at odds with rising harmful opioid misuse : 10/12/2015 :

The recent TGA decision to defer a decision on the up-scheduling of non-prescription codeine-containing medications conflicts with rising codeine analgesics misuse, its devastating consequences and the recognition that opioid misuse is a public health concern, says ScriptWise, a non-profit organisation initially formed to raise public awareness of prescription medication addiction.

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Drilling down into health expenditure 2013-14 : 10/12/2015 :

New data has confirmed that PBS costs are dropping as a percentage of total health spending, despite a rise in the number of prescriptions dispensed.

Growth in expenditure on benefit-paid pharmaceuticals slowed in the last three years compared with the rest of the decade, despite a steady increase in the number of prescriptions dispensed over the same period. In 2013–14 growth in benefit-paid pharmaceuticals expenditure was 1.0% in real terms, compared with 6.3% growth in the number of prescriptions dispensed (the highest in the decade).

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New NPS resources on osteoporosis : 09/12/2015 :

Despite an ageing population, prescriptions for osteoporosis medicines in Australia have remained stable.

NPS MedicineWise has launched a range of health professional resources on osteoporosis to assist in identification of patients at increased risk of osteoporosis, choosing and initiating therapy in patients - particularly following minimal trauma fractures - and to encourage adherence to medicines.

Approximately 40% of those taking osteoporosis medicines are insufficiently adherent to obtain full clinical benefit says NPS with poor adherence associated with higher risk of fractures and hospitalisation.

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Poll: will your pharmacy be discounting PBS scripts come January 1? : 09/12/2015 :

January 1 approaches. From that date pharmacies are permitted to discount the PBS prescription co-payment by up to $1.00.

The Pharmacy Guild strongly opposed the move in the lead-up to the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement but lost out to a government determined to introduce ‘more competition’ into the sector.

What will your pharmacy be doing come January 1? Discounting or not? Haven't made up your mind yet? Not discounting?

Please let us know what your plans are by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 09/12/2015 :

The MIMS December 2015 Monthly Medicine Update is now available. Click the link to read it now.

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 09/12/2015 :

The MIMS January 2016 Monthly Medicine Update is now available. Click the link to read it now.

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FIP: Pharmacists and scientists can take the lead in reducing the environmental impact of medicines : 08/12/2015 :

The entire medicines use process must be changed so as to minimise the environmental effects of pharmaceuticals, says the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP). The statement is made in a reference document published by FIP as United Nations leaders meet in Paris to talk about climate change.

Green pharmacy practice: Taking responsibility for the environmental impact of medicines - describes the different ways in which pharmaceuticals find their way into our water supplies, soil and atmosphere, and presents current findings on their levels in the environment.

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Funding for commercialisation of health and medical research announced : 08/12/2015 :

The Australian Government announced yesterday that it is to invest $250 million over two years, through the Biomedical Translation Fund, to help translate Australian health and medical research into commercial reality.

The initiative is part of the government's National Innovation and Science Agenda and is the first substantial investment from the larger Medical Research Future Fund. It will operate alongside the Medical Research Future Fund to expedite investments in biomedical innovations.

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PSA to rebuild Canberra HQ : 08/12/2015 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) is to redevelop Pharmacy House, its national headquarters in Canberra.

Immediate Past President of PSA and building project Chair, Grant Kardachi said the new Pharmacy House will be rebuilt on the existing site to create a purpose built hub for pharmacy in Australia in the 21st Century

“The new Pharmacy House will be able to cater for the needs of the Pharmaceutical Society as it evolves into the future,” Mr Kardachi said.

“The building will be a pharmacy hub and a landmark in its own right. Located close to the national Parliament, government departments and other peak health organisations..."

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Vitamin K2 in osteoporosis : 07/12/2015 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Vitamin K2 in osteoporosis.

"The vitamin K (Vit K) group consists of a range of naphthoquinone compounds that includes phylloquinone or phytomenadione (Vit K1), menatetrenone or menaquinone (Vit K2), menadione (Vit K3), acetomenaphthone or menadiol (Vit K4) and 4-Amino-2-Methyl-1-Naphthol (Vit K5). Vit K2 is designated as MK-1 to MK-13 according to the length of the side chain and the forms that have been most studied are MK-4 and MK-7."

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

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Revised Board guidelines effective today : 07/12/2015 :

Revised guidelines first published by the Pharmacy Board in September will come into effect today (7 December 2015). The revised guidelines are the:

  • Guidelines for dispensing of medicines
  • Guidelines on practice-specific issues
    • Guideline 1 Reference texts for pharmacists
  • Guidelines on dose administration aids and staged supply of dispensed medicines, and
  • Guidelines for proprietor pharmacists.


According to the Board, these (and other) guidelines can be used in disciplinary proceedings as evidence of what constitutes appropriate professional conduct or practice for pharmacists.

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GP body wants non-dispensing pharmacists in general practices : 07/12/2015 :

Umbrella group for general practice in Australia, United General Practice Australia (UGPA), has re-affirmed its support for the inclusion of non-dispensing pharmacists in GP practices, citing international evidence suggesting that integration as part of a GP-led team could lead to improved patient outcomes and better coordination of care.

The organisation said last week that, as a first step to broader implementation, the concept should be trialled and robustly evaluated in the Australian context to 'get the model right and maximise the potential benefits for patients'.

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