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AusPharm news

Pharmacists believe budget will impact on community pharmacy business : 16/05/2014 :

60% of the respondents to this week's AusPharm poll believe the 2014 federal budget will mean less business in community pharmacy.

22% of respondents told us they think it will mean 'significantly' less business with a further 38% believing it will lead to 'marginally' less business in community pharmacy.

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Arthritis, back pain, osteoporosis across life stages profiled in new report : 16/05/2014 :

The prevalence, treatment and experiences of people affected by arthritis, back pain, osteoporosis and other musculoskeletal conditions have been quantified in a new report released on Friday by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions across the life stages, looks at these conditions across various stages of life.

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Almost $1 billion spent annually on PBS mental health scripts : 15/05/2014 :

Almost 9% of PBS subsidised prescriptions in 2011–12 were mental health-related, and totalled $854 million, or $38 per person.

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South Australian pharmacist Peter White features on The Voice : 15/05/2014 :

South Australian hospital pharmacist Peter White is proving to be a hit on this year's 'The Voice'.

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Do steroid users pose a unique challenge to pharmacists? : 14/05/2014 :

Researchers from Deakin University are looking for pharmacists to take part in a study to discuss their experiences with steroid and other performance and image enhancing drug users.

Potential participants should have worked in a community pharmacy for at least six months and have come into contact with customers who they believe are using performance or image enhancing substances.

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Help plan CPD activities for pharmacists on the management of chronic headache : 14/05/2014 :

Headaches can be distressing and complicated to treat with many patients choosing to self-medicate. Pharmacists are important contact points for patients with chronic headache as a source of trusted evidence based information. However regular use of analgesics by sufferers of chronic headache has raised the question of how pharmacists address their potential for misuse and overuse.

In Vivo Academy, an independent, accredited education provider of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners is conducting a needs assessment survey for a continuing professional development (CPD) activity on chronic headaches. The results of this survey will be used in the planning of a CPD activity for general practitioners and pharmacists.

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TGA highlights that nicotine products are S4 : 14/05/2014 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is highlighting to consumers that nicotine in preparations for human therapeutic use (except for use as an aid in withdrawal from tobacco smoking in preparations for oromucosal or transdermal use) is a prescription only product.

The TGA advice follows recent media reports which suggest the importing of nicotine in personal amounts is exempt from regulation, apparently in reference to the personal importation scheme for therapeutic goods under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.

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Poll: budget impact on community pharmacy : 14/05/2014 :

A range of cost saving measures included in last night's federal budget have the potential to impact on community pharmacy revenue and profitability.

These include cuts to family tax benefits, health care card eligibility, restrictions on pension eligibility and PBS co-payment increases.

How do you think these measures will impact community pharmacy? Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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Budget leaves PBS alone : 14/05/2014 :

Apart from increasing patient co-payments for PBS prescriptions in last night's budget the federal government has resisted the temptation to introduce further PBS reforms.

In a measure that will save $1.3 billion over four years, the co-payments for general patients will rise by $5 and the concessional co-payment will rise by 80 cents.  These increases will be on top of the scheduled consumer price indexation increase from 1 January, 2015. The Government estimates the new co-payments from 1 January will be $42.70 for general patients (currently $36.90) and $6.90 for concession card holders (currently $6.00).

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National Volunteer Week 2014 – say thanks to the Pharmacists’ Support Service and give a tax deductible donation now. : 14/05/2014 :

National Volunteer Week, which runs from 12th to 18th May, is an ideal time to acknowledge the work of the pharmacists who support their colleagues as volunteers with the Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS). 

About 20 pharmacists professionally trained for this role work behind the scenes to provide telephone support service to Australian pharmacists, interns and pharmacy students who call to discuss issues causing stress in their lives.

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CHC: Australians missing out on quality nutrients : 13/05/2014 :

A new report,  released on Friday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that, while the typical Australian is eating plenty of food, they are starved of quality nutrients, says the Complementary Healthcare Council (CHC).

Based on self-reporting, just 6.8 per cent of the population met the recommended usual intake of vegetables and just over half, at 54 per cent, met the recommendations for serves of fruit.

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Budget 2014-15 : 13/05/2014 :

The 2014-15 Budget papers will be available here from 7.30pm AEST tonight

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Draft Report – Post Market Review of PBS Medicines Used to Treat Asthma in Children : 13/05/2014 :

The draft report of the Post Market Review of PBS Medicines Used to Treat Asthma in Children has been published on the Department of Health website, here.

The review focused on the use of fixed dose inhaled corticosteroid / long acting beta agonist combination therapies, thought to be both overused and used outside PBS guidelines in children. The report proposes a number of options for consideration based on the outcomes of the Review and the issues identified.

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Photo of the week - correction : 12/05/2014 :

Last Friday's Photo of the week was incorrectly attributed to Rob Anderson - the photo was actually the work of Peter Ryan.

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Guild President features in new promotional video : 12/05/2014 :

Pharmacy Guild National President George Tambassis is featured in a new Guild video updating pharmacists and others on some of the work the Pharmacy Guild is doing on behalf of its members to combat the various risks facing community pharmacies.

The Guild, says Mr Tambassis, 'continues to prosecute the price disclosure issue strongly. We are continuing to call on the Government to ameliorate the impact on pharmacies of the pre-election changes to price disclosure and that there should be no further changes in the upcoming Federal Budget'.

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Budget 2014-15 : 12/05/2014 :

The 2014-15 Budget papers will be available here from 7.30pm AEST tomorrow night

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Infliximab – a brief review : 12/05/2014 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Infliximab – a brief review.

"Infliximab (Remicade®) is an immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) human monoclonal antibody produced from human and mouse proteins, and has affinity to human tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), a pro-inflammatory and immunoregulatory cytokine. Infliximab neutralises the biological activity of TNF-α by binding to the transmembrane forms of TNF-α, which in turn inhibits TNF-α from binding to its receptors."

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

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Pharmacists suspended over excessive PSE sales : 12/05/2014 :

Two pharmacists from Terry White Chemist Wynnum Plaza Pharmacy in Queensland have had their registration suspended for one month after being caught selling excessive amounts of pseudoephedrine, some to suspected 'pseudo runners'. One of those suspended was the owner of the pharmacy, John Tavakol. The other was one time pharmacy manager, Sara Naghdi - Mr Tavakol's wife. A third pharmacist, Phillip Hung, was reprimanded.

Between 23 June and 9 July 2010, evidence was gathered by Queensland Health officers who covertly purchased 11 packets of products containing PSE from the pharmacy.

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Guild, PSA pitch for greater role for pharmacists in diabetes care : 12/05/2014 :

In submissions to the Post-Market Review of Products Used in the Management of Diabetes, both the Pharmacy Guild and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) have called for pharmacists to play a greater role in the care of patients with diabetes.

In submissions to the Post-Market Review of Products Used in the Management of Diabetes, both the Pharmacy Guild and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) have called for pharmacists to play a greater role in the care of patients with diabetes.

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Indicators show mixed results for health-care quality : 12/05/2014 :

A new report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) today shows that across many indicators for health-care quality, Australia performs well, but there is room for improvement in some.

The report, OECD health-care quality indicators in Australia 2011-12, profiles the information Australia provided in 2013 to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation covering quality in primary care, hospital acute care, and mental health-care, as well as information on cancer care, hospital patient safety and patient experience.

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