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AusPharm news

RMMR report writing service pulled : 22/02/2013 :

The NSW branch of the Pharmacy Guild, operating as Guild Clinical, has withdrawn a Residential Medication Management Review (RMMR) report writing service it was offering after concerns were raised about its compliance with the RMMR program rules.

According to the webpage promoting the service:

Guild Members can take advantage of the Guild Clinical RMMR Report Writing Service. Our team of accredited pharmacists can write your RMMR report for you.

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ACCC goes after homeopathy website : 22/02/2013 :

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission yesterday instituted Federal Court proceedings over claims made on the Homeopathy Plus! website regarding the effectiveness of the whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine.

The claims on the website include statements that the whooping cough vaccine is “unreliable” and “largely ineffective” in preventing whooping cough and that homeopathic remedies are a safe and effective alternative for the prevention and treatment of whooping cough. The ACCC alleges that these claims are misleading and deceptive and are, therefore, in breach of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

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Few pharmacists getting four weeks holiday : 22/02/2013 :

In the 'good old days' (still?) 4 weeks annual holiday was considered normal.

If the results of this week's poll are a true reflection of the pharmacy workforce as a whole, fewer than 40% of us get that many holidays each year with more than 40% of poll respondents taking 10 or fewer days leave last year.

The 17% of respondents who told us they took more than 30 days last year are presumably drawn from a group who've saved up holidays for an extended break, perhaps an overseas trip.

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Medicines Australia Chairman moves on : 21/02/2013 :

Medicines Australia Chairman, Mark Masterson, is to leave the role to take up a new business opportunity in a leadership role with a technology company.

Mr Mark Fladrich, the managing director of AstraZeneca Australia and New Zealand and a Medicines Australia director, will be acting Chairman until a new independent Chair is appointed.

The Medicines Australia board will shortly commence a search for a replacement independent Chair.

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Calcium supplements and CVD risk : 21/02/2013 :

Yesterday, in AusPharmList, 'lister Nick Backhouse referred to an article in the current Australian Prescriber regarding cardiovascular disease risk with the use of calcium supplements.

As Nick pointed out, while study’s authors concede to some controversy surrounding the results they go on to state “Widespread use of calcium supplements to prevent fractures is therefore no longer appropriate”.

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Poll: how many days holiday did you take in 2012? : 20/02/2013 :

Pharmacists who work 'full  time' are busy people, right? Too busy even to take holidays...

Did you get a proper break from work last year? How many days holiday did you take in 2012?

Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll.

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March 2013 PBS schedule : 20/02/2013 :

Download the Full PBS schedule

Download the PBS Summary of changes

Download the Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy – S100 Arrangements Supplement

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Hep C drugs to be PBS listed : 20/02/2013 :

Health Minister Tanya Plibersek announced yesterday that it would PBS lists boceprevir (Victrelis®) and telaprevir (Incivo®), for people at least 18 years old with a certain type of chronic hepatitis C (genotype 1). PBS costs are expected to top $220 million over the first five years.

The date on which the drugs will be PBS listed has not been announced.

See our regular PBS update below for details of the March 1 PBS changes.

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Post-Market Review of PBS Medicines Used to Treat Asthma in Children : 19/02/2013 :

The Department of Health and Ageing is conducting a post-market review of medicines used to treat asthma in children, and is seeking comment from interested parties.

The objective of the review is to systematically evaluate the body of evidence regarding asthma medicine interventions to ensure the most appropriate management of children with asthma. Drugs included in the review are: salmeterol with fluticasone, eformoterol with budesonide, beclomethasone dipropionate, ciclesonide, sodium cromoglycate and nedocromil sodium, montelukast, and eformoterol.

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Had a success? Tell us about it..... : 19/02/2013 :

'Listers may recall we republished an article in January, The 'List, the Man, and the Eye', written (beautifully!) by Sydney community pharmacist Veronica Nou and originally published on AusPharm in June 2011.

In it, Veronica, pictured at right, describes a clinical encounter in which she decides that the patient she has in front of her may well be at acute risk of stroke. Displaying excellent communication skills and
clinical judgment, Veronica convinced the man to visit a doctor urgently where he promptly ... had a stroke.

AusPharm thinks there must be plenty of stories out there where pharmacists have used their diverse skill set to produce a positive patient outcome, perhaps like the example above, a stunningly positive outcome.

In partnership with Associate Professor Chris Alderman, AusPharm would like to publish other stories highlighting the valuable role played by pharmacists in the health system.

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Clinical trial, research reforms welcomed by industry : 19/02/2013 :

Both Medicines Australia and the Generic Medicines Industry association have praised the government for confirming support for clinical trials and medical research in its A Plan for Australia Jobs statement, announced on Sunday.

According to the Chairman of the Generic Medicines Industry Association (GMiA), Dr Martin Cross, the weekend’s release of the statement is good news for Australian patients.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Apixaban for prevention of stroke/systemic embolism in AF : 18/02/2013 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Apixaban for prevention of stroke/systemic embolism in AF.

"Apixaban is a direct oral factor Xa inhibitor which is currently approved for subsidised supply through the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for the prevention of venous thromboembolism in patients undergoing total knee or knee replacement. In the ARISTOTLE trial (randomized and double-blinded), the efficacy of apixaban 5 mg twice daily (2.5mg twice daily used in subset of patients predicted to have higher exposure to the drug), was compared to warfarin (target INR of 2 to 3) in 18,201 patients with atrial fibrillation and at least one additional risk factor for stroke."

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

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College launches new Retail Management Diploma : 18/02/2013 :

The Australian College of Pharmacy has announced the release of an updated Diploma of Retail Management. The new course adds to the suite of Diploma qualifications offered by the college including Management and Human Resources Management.

The College offers a large range of subject areas from which pharmacists can tailor a Diploma course to best match their individual needs.

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Advanced pharmacy practice process progressing : 18/02/2013 :

An implementation plan for the recognition of advanced pharmacy practice, including a possible recognition pathway, is in the process of being developed by the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Framework (APPF) steering committee.

Committee Chair, Dr Shane Jackson, says the committee wishes to to seek input from pharmacists aspiring to advanced practice recognition through consultation on specific issues and by participation in working groups. Dr Jackson said an initial survey is currently being developed for release later this month. The committee is also seeking to identify specific areas of practice in which pharmacists are accepted to be practising at an advanced level.

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Pharma savages generics proposal : 15/02/2013 :

Responding to a call from the Generic Medicines Industry Association (GMiA) for the PBS to preference generic brands over originator brands Medicines Australia has branded the idea 'half baked'.

GMIA said on Wednesday that 4% of PBS cost currently went to originator brands where a generic alternative was available. It claimed that policy initiatives to reduce this percentage had the potential to save the PBS up to $205 million.

“These proposals argue that substituting generic brands of medicines for originator brands will create savings for the PBS. That proposition is flawed on a number of fronts," said Medicines Australia CEO DR Brendan Shaw .

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NPS Medicinewise issues advice on third generation OCs : 15/02/2013 :

In response to new data indicating that some newer oral contraceptives (OCs) carry a higher risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) than older drugs NPS MedicineWise is advising health professionals to weigh patient needs against the possible increased risk of VTE when prescribing or dispensing combined oral contraceptives (OCs) containing new generation progestogens.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has recently announced a review of combined OCs containing new-generation and anti-androgenic progestogens.

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Some support for new accredited pharmacists organisation : 14/02/2013 :

This week's poll asked 'listers to tell us whether they think a new pharmacy organisation to represent the specific needs of Australian accredited pharmacists should be formed.

42% of repondents (n=255) replied in the affirmative - a new group should be formed -  with 51% against the idea. 6% of repondents ticked the 'Yawn' option.

3/4 of those opposing the idea do so because they think there are already too many pharmacy groups in Australia.

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Fair Work pharmacy education and compliance campaign underway : 14/02/2013 :

The Fair Work Ombudsman's national education and compliance campaign focusing on the pharmacy industry has commenced.

The campaign aims to educate pharmacy employers and workers in the community pharmacy industry covered by the Pharmacy Industry Award 2010. It will promote and assess compliance with the award, the Fair Work Act 2009, Fair Work Regulations 2009 and the National Employment Standards in the sector.

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ACP life membership for Derick Seaborn : 13/02/2013 :

The Australian College of Pharmacy has granted Life Membership to long standing member, Derick Seaborn.

A community pharmacist (now retired) who practised on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Mr Seaborn joined The College in 1978 and was one of the first six pharmacists to be honoured as Fellows in 1980.

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Poll: should a new pharmacy organisation to represent the specific needs of Australian accredited pharmacists be formed? : 13/02/2013 :

In the midst of the recent furore over the Pharmacy Guild's proposal that HMR funding be paused and the subsequent rejection of this by Health Minister Tanya Plibersek, a call emerged in sections of the accredited pharmacy community for the formation of a new organisation to represent the specific needs of accredited pharmacists conducting medication reviews.

Is this a good idea? At first glance the notion seems fair enough. On the other hand does Australian pharmacy have enough (or too many) 'representative' bodies already?

Please let us know what you think by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll.

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