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AusPharm news

Sansom sends dabigatran back to the PBAC : 19/12/2012 :

The Sansom review of anticoagulant therapiess has recommended that the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Comittee (PBAC) review its March 2011 decision to PBS list the new oral anticoagulant dabigatran.

The recommendation (see below) was one of 15 in the report of the review, chaired by Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom, and released by the government yesterday.

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Pharmacists welcome report into anticoagulant therapies : 19/12/2012 :

The report of an Australian Government review into anticoagulation therapies has been welcomed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia which provided submissions to the review.

National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, particularly welcomed the report’s recommendations for shared care and collaboration between health professionals in the management of anticoagulation therapy in patients with atrial fibrillation which affects approximately 300,000 Australians.

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January 2013 PBS schedule : 18/12/2012 :

Download the Full PBS schedule

Download the PBS Summary of changes

Download the Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy – S100 Arrangements Supplement

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90% of pharmacists meet registration standards : 18/12/2012 :

More than 90% of pharmacists were found to be compliant with the Board’s registration standards, according to the report on this year's pharmacy audit pilot, published yesterday on the Pharmacy Board website. The pilot was designed to assess compliance with the Boards’ registration standards, in particular with regard to participation in Continuing Professional Development and, also, in verifying that pharmacists had met recency of practice requirements..

The pilot was conducted on pharmacists only on behalf of parent body AHPRA, this approach agreed to by all AHPRA Boards as it enabled a contained, implementable pilot that both trialled the draft audit framework and provided a reliable data baseline for the next phases of audit development.

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NPS Medicinewise: Stay safe with warfarin this Christmas : 17/12/2012 :

NPS MedicineWise is reminding people who take warfarin to take the medicine safely this Christmas season, and in particular, as 'listers will know, that changes in food and drink intake can affect how warfarin works - especially alcohol and vitamin K-rich foods like leafy green vegetables.

The organisation says it is preparing to launch an educational program on the optimal use of anticoagulants for health professionals and for consumers in February 2013.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Medical expulsive therapy for urolithiasis : 17/12/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Medical expulsive therapy for urolithiasis.

"Urolithiasis or urinary stone disease is one of the most common conditions encountered in daily urological practice. Patients may be asymptomatic or present to emergency departments or an outpatient setting with renal colic. The two factors most likely to predict successful stone passage are stone size - stones < 10mm are more likely to pass spontaneously, and secondly, stone location - distal stones are more likely to pass compared to proximal stones. There is a high rate of spontaneous passage (ranging from 71-98%) for small stones < 5mm in size, located in the distal ureter. Depending on the extent of renal compromise caused by the stone and pain experienced by the patient, a trial of non-surgical means to facilitate passage is a useful treatment option, given the high rate of spontaneous stone passage and the fact that surgery and anaesthesia are not without risks.

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

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International drug safety conference heading to Brisbane : 17/12/2012 :

Delegates from across the world will descend on Brisbane in October 2013 for the 4th International Global Drug Safety Conference and Exposition being hosted by the Queensland Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

The conference, with the theme Revitalising Drug Safety – The Decade of the Patient, will be held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre from 14-16 October 2013 with international and Australian speakers presenting on a range of topics focussing on the rapidly changing environment of drug safety.

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Pharmacists happy to upskill for downscheduled S4s : 14/12/2012 :

Following the recent downscheduling in New Zealand of trimethoprim for the treatment of uncomplicated UTIs, we asked 'listers whether they would be prepared to do additional training, as is the case in NZ, to 'qualify' for the right to prescribe downscheduled products.

93% of respondents (n=220 in total) told us they would be prepared to do the additional training although there were levels of preparedness evident in the responses. 

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AusPharm CE: Aspirin who needs it? : 13/12/2012 :

The next AusPharm CE topic is  Aspirin – who needs it? - it's been put together for us by Debbie Rigby.

"The use of aspirin in medicine dates at least as far back as Hippocrates who found analgesic effects for the extract (salicin) of white willow bark. The first aspirin tablets were made by Bayer in 1915."

This activity has been accredited for 1 hour of Group One CPD (1 CPD Credit) that may be converted to 2 Group Two CPD Credits upon successful completion of the corresponding assessment for inclusion on an individual pharmacist's CPD Record. Accreditation number: A1212AP0.

Click here to do this Continuing Education activity. Or, if you prefer, you might like to take a look at our other CE activities here .

AusPharm gratefully acknowledges the financial support provided by the sponsors of our CE program, MIMS.

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Average age of mums still on the rise : 13/12/2012 :

The average age of first time mothers continues to rise, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Australia's mothers and babies 2010, shows that in 2010, the average age of women having their first baby was 28 years, up slightly from 27.9 the previous year, and 27.5 in 2001.

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Warfarin vs Rivsroxaban - NPS Radar weighs up the evidence : 13/12/2012 :

The latest edition of NPS RADAR reviews the new oral anticoagulant rivaroxaban, and concludes that there is no evidence that people with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) who are well controlled on warfarin will benefit clinically from a switch to rivaroxaban.

Rivaroxaban is one of several new oral anticoagulants now available as an alternative to warfarin. Although approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for use in stroke prevention in NVAF, it is not PBS listed for this indication and is currently only available on private prescription for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation (AF).

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Poll: additional accreditation for S3 supply? : 12/12/2012 :

'Listers will have seen the item we ran last week about trimethoprim coming off script in NZ.

It can now be supplied by pharmacists but only if they have completed a specific training course for prescribing trimethoprim.

What do you think of this model of S3 supply? A good idea or all a bit too hard?

Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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Aged care residents will miss out on medical care : 12/12/2012 :

Older Australians living in residential aged care facilities have limited access to medical care and the situation is going to get worse as the number of doctors who conduct residential aged care visits continues to decline, according to the AMA 2012 Aged Care Survey, released yesterday.

The Survey shows that the older medical workforce is providing the majority of medical services in residential aged care, and that more than 15 per cent of them intend to reduce their visits over the next two years.

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Over 315,000 Australians experience severe incontinence : 12/12/2012 :

Severe incontinence affects over 315,000 people in Australia, and the associated care and costs can be substantial, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

'Severe incontinence' means always or sometimes needing help with managing bladder or bowel control and/or using continence aids.

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Peter Turner appointed to NPS Medicinewise Board : 12/12/2012 :

Mr Peter Turner has been appointed to the Board of NPS MedicineWise in the position of Additional Director effective 9 December 2012.

Chair of NPS MedicineWise Dr Janette Randall says that with over 40 years experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, Mr Turner will bring vast experience from both domestic and international appointments.

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RGH Pharmacy Cookbook : 11/12/2012 :

Every year around Christmas time the Pharmacy Department at the Repat General Hospital in Adelaide run a little fund raising project for charity.

This year they are producing the RGH Pharmacy Cookbook, filled with terrific recipes from their very multicultural group of staff.

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Cancer survival improves, increased new cases as we age : 11/12/2012 :

Survival rates for most types of cancer are improving, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Cancer in Australia: an overview, 2012, shows that five-year survival from all cancers combined increased from 47% in 1982–1987 to 66% in 2006–2010. Further, Australians diagnosed with cancer generally have better survival prospects compared with people living in other countries and regions.

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Medication Reconciliation - how do pharmacists add value? : 11/12/2012 :

The Society of Hospital Pharmacist of Australia (SHPA) has published a new Medicines in focus Fact Sheet - Medication reconciliation: How do pharmacists add value?

Medication reconciliation is a formal process of obtaining and verifying a complete and accurate list of each patient's current medicines (using a standardised and consistent approach), matching the medicines the patient should be prescribed to those they are actually prescribed.

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US government links Rx costs to global health cost reduction : 10/12/2012 :

A new report from the US Congressional Budget Office has found that a 1 per cent increase in the number of prescriptions filled causes Medicare spending to drop by roughly 0.2 per cent.

For the first time, the US agency has accepted that prescription medicines, when taken properly, generate offsetting savings in other parts of the health sector. It says it will build the benefit of prescription medicines it into its future costings of budget proposals.

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 10/12/2012 :

The MIMS December 2012 Monthly Medicine Update is now available. Click the link to read it now.

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