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AusPharm news

Most satisfied pharmacy customers are Amcal's : 02/06/2014 :

Pharmacy banner group Amcal won this year's Canstar Blue Pharmacies 2014 - Most Satisfied Customers award.

The brand topped the overall ratings however, unsurprisingly, the Chemist Warehouse group received top billing for both value for money and for its range of health products.

Guardian pharmacies matched Amcal for service and advice provided while both the Terry White Chemists group and Amcal scored top marks in the health programs category.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Garcinia cambogia for weight loss : 02/06/2014 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Garcinia cambogia for weight loss.

"Garcinia cambogia is a herbal product that in recent times appears to be promoted heavily for weight loss via the Internet, social media and television. Hydroxycitric acid is the active ingredient of the Malabar tamarind (garcinia cambogia), a tropical fruit found in South East Asia. In cookery, garcinia cambogia is used as a condiment in Thai and Indian cuisine. Information published over the Internet promotes that this product ‘reduces appetite, stops carbohydrates converting to fat, elevates the metabolism and helps people lose weight without dieting or exercise."

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

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MPA highlights PBS savings. Dutton: PBS tracking on a sustainable path : 02/06/2014 :

In its latest PBS scorecard, released on Friday, the Medicines Partnership of Australia (MPA) has once again highlighted the PBS savings that have flowed - and will continue to flow - from the PBS reforms implemented in recent years.

In particular it stressed that this year's federal budget forecasts that the PBS will cost $4.5 billion less from 2013-14 to 2016-17 than was expected in last year’s Budget. $0.7 billion of that is attributed to increases in co-payments and safety net thresholds to be introduced from January 2015 however the remaining $3.8 billion stems from existing reforms and lower than expected growth.

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Prevalance of Oxycontin misuse high : 30/05/2014 :

Over 70% of respondents to this week's AusPharm poll told us their pharmacies have received at least a few requests for old formulation Oxycontin. 20% have received 'lots' of requests.

This suggests to us that there are an awful lot of folk out there looking to inject (or sell) their Oxcycontin.

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Union says increase award rates to counter discount pharmacy : 30/05/2014 :

The best way to address the impact of discount pharmacy operators on pharmacy profitability is to significantly lift the pharmacy Industry Award rate says Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA).

The union's claim came yesterday in response to Pharmacy Guild Executive Director David Quilty's comment in this week's Forefront that reducing penalty rates was necessary if Guild member pharmacies were to compete with discount pharmacy.

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CPExpo 2014 opens in Sydney : 30/05/2014 :

CPExpo 2014 opens at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney today, with hundreds of pharmacists from across Australia gathering to connect with industry partners, engage with colleagues and invigorate their professional practice.

Enjoying an interactive workshop program covering diverse topics in mental health, oncology and professional practice, NSW Branch President John Bronger said “CPExpo gives pharmacists the knowledge, skills and networks to make their practice sustainable and rewarding."

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Practice-based research in hospital pharmacy - survey : 29/05/2014 :

Andrew Campbell at the Curtin University School of Pharmacy invites you to take a survey as part of his honours project to identify the beliefs and attitudes of hospital pharmacists towards conducting research.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the volume of research conducted by pharmacists in Australian hospitals is significantly lower than that undertaken by our international counterparts.

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National Medicinewise awards winners announced : 29/05/2014 :

The winners of the biennial National Medicinewise Awards were announced at a dinner at the National Medicines Symposium in Brisbane last week.

The awards recognise outstanding Australian contributions to quality use of medicines and medical tests.

“We received nominations about a wide range of exciting and innovative quality use of medicines and medical test activities happening across Australia, and the winners in each of the seven categories are certainly each worth celebrating for their contributions,” said NPS MedicineWise executive manager and chair of the NMS 2014 Scientific Programming Committee, Ms Karen Kaye

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Review of 'Authority Required' PBS Listings : 29/05/2014 :

The federal Department of Health is to review the criteria presently in use to determine Authority Required PBS listings and will also review all current listings with the objective of ‘reducing the administrative burden on prescribers and dispensers’.

The TGA says the need for a review of the PBS Authority System was identified in the Review of Chemotherapy Funding Arrangements, where it was found that Authority Required listings caused significant regulatory burden to prescribing medical oncologists.

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Pharmore group targets youth homelessness : 29/05/2014 :

Melbourne based pharmacy group Pharmore has raised $55,000 in support of the Kids Under Cover Studio Program with the money to go towards the construction of a two bedroom studio.

Kids Under Cover is a not-for-profit organisation that works to prevent youth homelessness. It supports vulnerable young people between the ages of 12 and 25 years who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness.

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The problem with 'Integrative' Pharmacy : 29/05/2014 :

Great article on Science Based Pharmacy this week on whether or not pharmacies should confine themselves to supplying products with an evidence base.

"Imagine a retail pharmacy where some of the medicines on the shelves have been replaced with similar-looking packages that contain no active ingredients at all. There is no easy way to distinguish between the real and the fake."

Read it here.

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Rural Pharmacy Scholarship recipients announced : 29/05/2014 :

Forty students from across the country have been awarded Rural Pharmacy Scholarships for 2014.

The Rural Pharmacy Scholarships provide financial support to students from rural and remote communities to encourage them to undertake undergraduate or graduate studies in pharmacy at university.

Scholarship holders receive $10,000 each year, for up to four years of study, to help cover the costs associated with study away from home. They also participate in a mentor program aimed at reinforcing the students’ ties to rural and regional Australia.

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PSA ACT Branch gets a new President : 29/05/2014 :

Patrick Reid has been elected President of the ACT Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. Bill Kelly and Elise Apolloni have been elected as Vice Presidents.

Mr Reid, pictured at right, is a Canberra community pharmacist and is Chief Executive Officer of Leading Aged Services Australia. He has previously been President of the ACT Branch of the Pharmacy Guild and has also held a management position in the Guild's National Office.

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Poll: is your pharmacy fielding requests for old formula Oxycontin? : 28/05/2014 :

E

arlier this year Oxycontin manufacturer, Mundipharma, brought to market a new version of its popular opioid analgesic Oxycontin. The new formulation is said to be harder (impossible?) to misuse, particularly by injection.

Since then, on AusPharmList, there has been discussion about pharmacies being asked by consumers if they have any 'old' formula Oxycontin still in stock - particularly the higher 40mg and 80mg strengths.

Has your pharmacy had many requests for old formula Oxycontin? Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in this week's AusPharm poll.

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TGA 'medicine shortage' website now live : 28/05/2014 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration's new 'medicine shortage' website has now gone live.

The facility allows consumers and health professionals to check on the availability of a particular (prescription) medicine and find relevant information, such as the current supply status and the likely duration of medicine shortages.

It contains a comprehensive list of FAQs for consumers, health professionals and industry.

Take a look here.

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Health Minister responds to 'Pharmacy under threat' petition - with a 'no' : 28/05/2014 :

Federal Health Minister Peter Dutton has once again declined to offer government compensation to community pharmacies set to be affected by Simplified Price Disclosure.

The Simplified Price Disclosure  measure was announced just before the 2013 federal election by the then Labor government -  'without consultation and in breach of the Community Pharmacy Agreement' according to the Pharmacy Guild.

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Union disappointed by Guild’s stance on award, penalty rates : 28/05/2014 :

Employee pharmacist union Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA) has condemned what it describes as the latest attack on pharmacists’ pay and conditions by the Pharmacy Guild, outlined in its submission to the Productivity Commission on business costs.

The Guild submission advocates for the reform of penalty rate and minimum shift provisions as a means to mitigate - in part - the loss of pharmacy jobs in the next 12 months, as the goverment's PBS reforms exert their impact on employment in the sector.

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TGA, Customs collaborate to stop trade in counterfeit meds : 27/05/2014 :

During May, the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) jointly contributed to an international week of action aimed at stopping the trade in counterfeit and illegal medicines purchased over the Internet.

Operation Pangea is a worldwide operation that occurs annually, aiming to disrupt organised crime networks behind the online trade of fake and illicit medicines.

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Medicines Australia CEO to move on : 27/05/2014 :

Medicines Australia (MA) Chief Executive, Dr Brendan Shaw, is to leave his post in September to take up 'a senior position within the global pharmaceutical industry'.

MA Chairman, Dr Martin Cross, said yesterday that while he was not able to discuss the specifics of Dr Shaw's new role "the news that Brendan has been appointed to a senior international position is a great step forward for Brendan in his career and recognition of the work he and Medicines Australia have done over the years."

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A big day for the TGA : 27/05/2014 :

Australia's medicines watchdog, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) outdid itself yesterday issuing no less than eight warnings on medicines that 'pose a serious risk to your health and should not be taken'.

Almost all of these contained various amounts of undeclared erect*ion enhancers such as sild*naf*l.

Included in the list were the colourfully named Black Ant Strong tablets, Play Hard for Men capsules, Stree Overlord Strong tablets, Germany Niubian tablets and Top Man 3 capsules.

Details are available on the TGA website, here.

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