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AusPharm news

DoH activates disaster arrangements for pharmacies affected by Cyclone ITA : 11/04/2014 :

The Department of Health has introduced temporary arrangements to assist residents and pharmacists in areas in Far North Queensland being impacted by Tropical Cyclone Ita.

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Union issues warning on dodgy redundancies : 10/04/2014 :

Following a Pharmacy Guild warning last week that up to 2,200 pharmacist jobs are at risk in community pharmacy, employee pharmacist union Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA) says employee pharmacists need to be aware of their rights regarding redundancy.

PPA President, Dr Geoff March, said that the union is concerned that unscrupulous pharmacy operators may use this report as an excuse to let staff go, only to re-hire other pharmacists on lower wages.

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Think tank recommends mandatory generic prescribing : 10/04/2014 :

Canberra think tank, the Australia Institute, says that software used to write prescriptions for pharmaceuticals should be required to prescribe by active ingredient rather that by brand name.

The proposal is contained in a submission by the Institute to the Senate inquiry into out-of-pocket costs in Australian healthcare. The only exception, says the Institute, should be when the prescriber ticks the “no brand substitution” box on the prescription.

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Diabetic kidney disease on the up : 10/04/2014 :

A report released last week reveals that the rate of end-stage diabetic kidney disease treated with dialysis or kidney transplantation in Australia more than doubled (130 per cent) between 2000 and 2010 – one of the largest increases of any developed country.

The report also projects that the number of Australians with diabetes and kidney disease commencing dialysis or kidney transplantation each year – nearly 1,000 in 2012 – could more than double by 2025 if the incidence of diabetes in the Australian population continues to increase. The number of people with diabetic kidney disease is also anticipated to rise from around 250,000 to around half a million in the next ten years.

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On World Parkinson’s Day tomorrow, tell your Parkinson's patients about the new Parkinson’s Passport : 10/04/2014 :

Tomorrow is World Parkinson’s Day (11 April 2014)  and Parkinson’s Australia and NPS MedicineWise are encouraging anyone with Parkinson’s — or people caring for someone with the condition — to order a new Parkinson’s Passport to help avoid medicine problems.

The Parkinson’s Passport is a pack of materials, including a compact booklet containing a plastic card stating that you need your Parkinson’s medicine on time, to show if you go to a hospital emergency department. It also includes other checklists, facts, tips and a Medicines List.

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Poll: what does your pharmacy charge for staged supply? : 09/04/2014 :

In a post to AusPharmList today, Rebecca Cause asks 'What do you charge for staged supply?'

Looks like a good poll topic to us.

For the sake of the poll let's exclude methadone / bupe from the definition of 'staged supply'.

Please tick the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll to let us know what your pharmacy charges for for each collection for staged supply.

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NHMRC: no reliable evidence for homeopathy : 09/04/2014 :

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) today released its long awaited draft report on the credibility of homeopathy.

The Draft Information Paper on the Evidence on Homeopathy is a summary of rigorous assessment of available research examining the effectiveness of homeopathy for treating 68 health conditions, the results of which are published in an overview report.

On assessment of the current evidence, it found ‘there is no reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective for treating health conditions.’

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Advanced pharmacy practice credentialing a step closer : 09/04/2014 :

An Advanced pharmacy practice recognition model has been endorsed by all members of the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC), the body charged with credentialing advanced practitioners.

It is anticipated that APC will undertake the assessment of portfolios submitted by candidates. APC will also begin work on an implementation model for advanced practice.

Chair of the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Framework Steering Committee (APPFSC), Dr Shane Jackson, said yesterday that APPFSC has now completed the body of work it agreed to undertake when the group was established in 2011.

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TGA safety alert: strontium ranelate (Protos) and risk of adverse events : 08/04/2014 :

The Product Information (PI) for strontium ranelate (Protos) has been updated after the completion of a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) review.

The updates to the PI emphasise the contraindications, reinforce precautions, highlight the need for regular monitoring and update data relating to the risk of adverse events.

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World’s top Pharmaceutical Scientists come to Melbourne : 08/04/2014 :

One thousand of the world’s top pharmaceutical scientists will converge on Melbourne this month to attend the fifth annual Pharmaceutical Sciences World Congress (PSWC), the largest pharmaceutical science congress hosted in the Southern Hemisphere. 

Held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from April 13 – 16, the congress aims to provide an opportunity for a global discussion about a new era in healthcare.

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Action Kit a Breath of fresh air : 08/04/2014 :

To help improve health outcomes for asthma suffers and others with respiratory problems, pharmacies which are part of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s Self Care program now have access to a new Action Kit entitled, A breath of fresh air.

Studies show there are information gaps for people with asthma in relation to medicines, managing asthma, trigger factors and latest research. Pharmacists are in an ideal position to close this information gap and play an important role in motivating people to take better control of their asthma and to correctly use their medicines.

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Applications called for 2014 Novartis SHPA Pharmacoeconomics Grant : 08/04/2014 :

With the growing use of health economics as a tool to guide resource allocation, there is increasing demand placed upon hospital pharmacists involved in the formulary process to be equipped with the necessary skills to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of new pharmacological treatments.

Novartis and SHPA are calling for applications from SHPA members for the 2014 Novartis SHPA Pharmacoeconomics Grant.

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TGA seeks input on cough medicine, nasal spray labels : 07/04/2014 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is seeking comments from interested parties on proposed advisory statements for

  • OTC cough medicines and
  • OTC nasal decongestant preparations

for inclusion in the respective Required Advisory Statements for Medicine Labels (RASML) documents when they are next updated.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Drugs and parotitis : 07/04/2014 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Drugs and parotitis.

"Parotitis is defined as inflammation of the parotid glands, and can be unilateral or bilateral. Symptoms range from mild to severe, and include pain, erythema, swelling, dehydration and fever. Common causes of parotitis include bacterial (usually staphylococcus aureus) and viral (e.g. mumps, HIV) infections, the presence of stones within the duct system and also autoimmune disorders. Although drug-induced parotitis is a rare adverse reaction and case reports are limited, a number of agents have been implicated. Therefore, if bacterial and viral etiologies have been ruled out and the absence of stones has been confirmed by ultrasound, a thorough review of the medication received prior to development of the gland swelling is warranted."

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

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Big referral rate from Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check : 07/04/2014 :

25% of people who had their blood pressure checked by Chemmart pharmacists during last Wednesday's Biggest Blood Pressure Check were referred to their GP for further assessment.

Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check was hosted by Chemmart Pharmacy in partnership with the National Stroke Foundation.

10,271 people had their blood pressure checked on the day - 6,077 of them in Chemmart pharmacies.

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TGA publishes CAM review details : 07/04/2014 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has released some details of its complementary medicines compliance program for the period September 2012 to December 2013.

145 'issues' were identified in the 249 reviews conducted, leading to the removal from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) of 64 products. Between 14% and 16% of the products listed during the period were reviewed.

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FDA approves new hand-held naloxone auto-injector : 07/04/2014 :

The first naloxone treatment specifically designed to be given by family members or caregivers was last week approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Evzio (naloxone hydrochloride injection) is intended for the emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid overdose. It rapidly delivers a single dose of naloxone via a hand-held auto-injector that can be carried in a pocket or stored in a medicine cabinet.

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Error in poll result : 06/04/2014 :

Sadly, we have to report that a database glitch caused us to incorporate incorrect data into our poll analysis for last week's poll which looked at whether 'listers members of employee pharmacist union Profesional Pharmacists Australia and, if not, why not. We then compared the results to the same poll, conducted in November 2011.

Our initial poll analysis (based on the incorrect data) suggested that the union's higher profile over the last few years had resulted in both growth in member numbers and in the perception of whether or not the union is effective. These conclusions can't be drawn from the corrected data, shown below.

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Image of union, membership improving : 04/04/2014 :

This week's AusPharm poll asked 'listers to tell us if they are a member of employee pharmacist union, Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA) or, if not, why not. This was a repeat of an identical poll we ran back at the end of 2011.

A few differences have emerged in the results from the two polls.

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New report highlights urgency of taking action against antibiotic resistance : 04/04/2014 :

With new data released last month showing the prevalence of healthcare-associated Staphylococcus aureus or ‘Golden Staph’ bloodstream infections in Australian hospitals, NPS MedicineWise is once again urging everyone to take action to help stop the spread of antibiotic-resistant infections.

The report by the National Health Performance Authority shows there were 1,724 cases of the potentially deadly Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infection acquired through public hospitals in 2012–13.

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