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AusPharm news

CPExpo 2014 handbook now available : 12/05/2014 :

An e-handbook for CPExpo 2014 has been published on the CPExpo website, providing delegates and prospective delegates the opportunity to plan their CPExpo experience before they arrive.

NSW Branch President John Bronger said it was “the perfect resource to plan an education program to suit individual needs”.

“It has full session details, speaker biographies, program information and industry partner contacts; everything you need to know and more about CPExpo.  Great to use alongside the CPExpo App too,” Mr Bronger said.

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Guild working to clear 5CPA program payment backlog : 09/05/2014 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia said yesterday it is committing extra resources in a bid to urgently address the current backlog of claims for payment for 5CPA programs – Home Medicines Reviews, Residential Medication Management Reviews, Quality Use of Medicines, and MedsCheck programs.

The Guild took over administration of the registration and claiming for these programs from 1 March this year. Under previous claiming arrangements through the Department of Human Services, pharmacists would normally have received payment in the first week of each month for claims submitted within the first 14 days of the previous month.

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Half of pharmacists claim to demonstrate inhaler technique 'frequently' : 09/05/2014 :

In light of comments from researchers at the Woolcock Institute this week that 90% of patients with asthma are not using their inhalers correctly, we asked 'listers how often they demonstrate good inhaler technique to their asthma patients.

Almost half - 47% - told us they demonstrate inhaler technique 'frequently' with a further 33% saying they do so 'sometimes'.

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MedicineInsight provides good, practice specific prescribing data for GPs : 08/05/2014 :

MedicineInsight - an initiative of NPS MedicineWise to gather and analyse non-identifiable prescribing data from general practices - is closing the gaps in knowledge on general practice prescribing, according to early data captured through the program.

In the first 12 months of the program, 200 general practices across Australia signed up to participate in MedicineInsight, representing well over 1000 general practitioners (GPs) and over one million patient encounters. By mid 2015, NPS MedicineWise hopes to have 500 practices participating in MedicineInsight.

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Heart disease death rates fall, but improvements slowing for younger and middle age groups : 08/05/2014 :

While death rates for coronary heart disease (CHD) have fallen over the last few decades, the degree of improvement has slowed for younger and middle age groups, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Trends in coronary heart disease mortality: age groups and populations, shows that, overall, CHD death rates fell by over 70% between 1979 and 2010 for Australians aged 25 and over.

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Screening test for coeliac disease approved : 08/05/2014 :

A screening test for coeliac disease was recently approved for use in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

The Simptomax test - which can be conducted in pharmacies - utilises a blood sample from a finger pinprick. It will available to pharmacists, GPs and gastroenterologists.

Coeliac disease is thought to affect approximately 1 in 100 Australians, approximately 75% of who currently remain undiagnosed.

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Guild commits to working closely with PSA on 6CPA : 08/05/2014 :

In congratulating Dr Lance Emerson on his appointment as the new PSA CEO, Guild Executive Director David Quilty said yesterday the Guild is 'committed to working closely and constructively with Dr Emerson and his team at the PSA, including in relation to the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement.'

Mr Quilty spoke highly of Dr Emerson, saying he "has been a committed contributor to the health sector for many years and has a wealth of knowledge about the pharmacy sector. His experience with the profession and the industry, including through a significant former role with the Pharmacy Guild, will stand him in good stead in his challenging new position."

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Dutton repeats 'no pharmacies in supermarkets' pledge : 08/05/2014 :

Health Minister Peter Dutton has repeated the Coalition’s pledge, most recently delivered at APP2014, to oppose the entry of supermarkets into pharmacy.

The pledge, made following Guild representations after the publication of last week's National Commission of Audit report that floated the idea, was revealed by the Pharmacy Guild in an article in this week's Forefront publication.

The Minister also made clear, says the same article in Forefront, that he does not support the medicine tendering model used in New Zealand which, says the Guild, restricts patient choice and access to medicines.

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New Board member for API : 08/05/2014 :

Ken Gunderson-Briggs has joined the Board of pharmacy wholesaler API as an independent director.

He replaces Miles Hampton, who retired from the Board in January.

A chartered accountant, Mr Gunderson-Briggs is also on the Board of Harvey Norman.

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Lance Emerson new PSA CEO : 07/05/2014 :

Dr Lance Emerson has been appointed as PSA’s new Chief Executive Officer. He replaces Liesel Wett, who recently resigned from the post.

Dr Emerson, pictured at right, comes to PSA from the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) where he has been CEO since 2007.

He has a background in primary healthcare and quality improvement and has extensive experience in pharmacy programs - he was Director of Professional Services at the Pharmacy Guild before taking up his appointment at ARACY.

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Poll: do you educate your asthma patients on inhaler technique? : 07/05/2014 :

On World Asthma Day yesterday researchers from the Woolcock Institute issued a call for health professionals, in particular pharmacists, to do a better job of educating their asthma patients on how to most effectively use their inhalers.

The Institute says research shows 90% of patients with asthma are not using their inhalers correctly.

How well do you educate your asthma patients on inhaler use? Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in this week's AusPharm poll.

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25,306 pharmacists : 07/05/2014 :

Data released by the Pharmacy Board of Australia on Friday reveals that, as of 31 March, there were 25,306 registered pharmacists on the Board's register.

Also on the register were 1,912 provisionally registered pharmacists (interns) and 953 pharmacists with non-practising registration.

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Medicines Australia: Commission of Audit puts Australian patients in danger : 07/05/2014 :

Speaking at today’s Future of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Summit, Medicines Australia’s Chief Executive, Dr Brendan Shaw, spelled out the organisation's view that that the National Commission of Audit’s recommendations, if accepted and implemented by the Government, would effectively end the PBS as we know it.

It is a message likely to be repeated by MA, the Guild, PSA and other PBS stakeholders in the lead-up to next week's federal budget.

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Call to arms for pharmacists over inhaler use : 06/05/2014 :

On World Asthma Day today pharmacists are being urged to do a better job of showing their asthma patients how to use their inhalers correctly.

Researchers from the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research say their research shows that 90% of patients with asthma are not using their inhalers correctly, either holding it inaccurately, inhaling at the wrong time, or using old, broken or empty devices.

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Naismith joins PDL Board : 06/05/2014 :

Fred IT Group CEO Paul Naismith has joined the Board of PDL as its Victoria Director.

Previous Victorian Director, John Guy, has been appointed to the PDL head office team as its Professional Officer.

The two appointments bring to PDL a combined total of over 40 years of experience from within the pharmacy profession.

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Medicines Partnership: National Commission of Audit report wrong on the PBS : 06/05/2014 :

The recommendations of the National Commission of Audit on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme would see the dismantling of a system that is ‘safe, sustainable and effective for patients’ says the Medicines Partnership of Australia.

It is urging the Federal Government to reject the PBS recommendations in the report, which the Partnership claims reflect a 'disappointingly superficial analysis of a very complex and crucial part of the health system'.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Inhaled Glycopyrronium Bromide for COPD : 05/05/2014 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Inhaled Glycopyrronium Bromide for COPD.

"Chronic obstructive pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a progressive, chronic inflammatory disease of the lung: smoking is the most common risk factor. Common symptoms include dyspnoea, cough, increased sputum production, emphysema and comorbidities (cardiovascular disease, lung cancer and osteoporosis). It is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Given that symptoms are due to increased airway resistance, treatment relies on the use of bronchodilators which influence the activity of β₂ and muscarinic receptors for maintenance therapy."

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

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Union floats supermarket ownership boat : 05/05/2014 :

In response to the National Commission of Audit recommendation that ownership and location rules be deregulated, employee pharmacist union Professional Pharmacists Australia is asking non-owner pharmacist to put their views on whether deregulation could contribute to fixing the problems facing pharmacy.

President Dr Geoff March said yesterday “The question for pharmacy in the face of the National Commission of Audit recommendations, as well as increasing criticisms from other areas is; what reforms do we need to fix the problems facing the industry?”

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Propofol batches quarantined : 05/05/2014 :

Two batches of the intravenous anaesthetic drug - Provive MCT-LCT 1% (propofol 1%) emulsion for injection in 20 ml vials - have been  quarantined by AFT Pharmaceuticals, in consultation with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

The quarantine follows reports of three patients developing sepsis after receiving the drug last month. The TGA is reporting that there is a risk some vials in the affected batches may be contaminated with the bacteria Ralstonia pickettii.

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Pharmacy Board audits - watch your mailbox : 02/05/2014 :

The Pharmacy Board has issued another reminder that pharmacists may be selected for audit at any time, not just when they renew their registration. 

In a statement issued on Wednesday the Board said it believes audits are an important part of the way it can better protect the public, helping to ensure that pharmacists are meeting the mandatory registration standards and providing important assurance to the community and the Board.

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