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AusPharm news

Latest Edition of Australian Prescriber published : 03/12/2012 :

The December 2012 issue of Australian Prescriber is now available online. Topics featured in this issue include:

  • Drug treatment of acne
  • Parenteral antibiotics at home
  • Editorial: Quality use of medicines – are we there yet?
  • Management of Parkinson’s disease

It also contains the most recent Medicines Safety Update.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Re-think enoxaparin dosing in mild renal impairment : 03/12/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Re-think enoxaparin dosing in mild renal impairment.

"A linear relationship between enoxaparin clearance (as reflected by antifactorXa levels) and renal function has been consistently described. However, there are no specific recommendations to guide the adjustment of enoxaparin dosage for patients with a creatinine clearance (CrCl) between 30-50ml/min, representing a milder extent of renal impairment than that addressed in current dosage guidelines. The results from recently conducted research have provided data that strongly indicate this approach needs to be re-considered.

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

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Directory of pharmacy / medical smartphone apps : 01/12/2012 :

Have you had a look at AusPharm's new health / pharmacy related smartphone app directory yet?

Thanks to all those sending suggestions along - keep them coming please.

Are you using an app other 'listers might useful? Send us a link to it and we'll put it in the AusPharm app directory.

Click here to see the list so far.

 

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Pharmacists believe there are too many pharmacists : 30/11/2012 :

In the context of recent South Australian research which suggested that 44% (~11,000) of registered pharmacists in Australia are not actively engaged in direct patient care, we asked 'listers whether they think there exists a pharmacist workforce oversupply in Australia at present.

91% of respondents (n=270) told us they think there is with 26% of this group believing the problem is only evident in the larger cities. Only 7% of respondents disagreed that there is an oversupply.

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Health Report gets it wrong: Guild : 30/11/2012 :

The Pharmacy Guild has disputed comments on the price of PBS drugs in Australia made in this week's edition of ABC Radio National's Health Report by Professor of Health Economics in the School of Population Health at the University of Melbourne, Professor Philip Clark.

According to Professor Clark, Australia is now the third most expensive country in the world for pharmaceuticals and we pay up to 40% more for generics than the UK, which amounts to an annual excess of between $1.5 and $3 billion dollars of taxpayers' money.

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Benzos to S8? : 30/11/2012 :

A proposal to reschedule benzodiazepines from Schedule 4 to Schedule 8 is one of several set to be considered by the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling at its March 2013 meeting.

Public submissions have been invited on the benzodiazepine and other proposals with a closing date of 17 December 2012.

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Xenophon highlights threat to chemotherapy services : 30/11/2012 :

Independent Senator for South Australia, Nick Xenophon, pictured right, has succeeded in lifting the looming December 1 threat to chemotherapy service provision on to the political agenda.

Senator Xenophon has foreshadowed his moving of a motion in the Senate today – jointly with Coalition, Australian Greens and DLP Senators – calling on the Government to urgently consider the repercussions of the cutting the price of chemotherapy drug Docetaxel.

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Unintentional falls remain the top cause of injury hospitalisation in Australia : 30/11/2012 :

Unintentional falls continue to be the leading cause of injuries requiring hospitalisation in Australia, accounting for 38% of all injuries requiring hospitalisation.

Poisoning by pharmaceutical drugs accounted for 1.5% of all community injury hospitalisations in 2009/10 with intentional self-poisoning with pharmaceuticals accounting for almost 5%.

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Haemorrhage rates with warfarin up to 16.7% in first month : 29/11/2012 :

A recently published Canadian population-based cohort study (n=125,195) conducted over 13-years has found that the rate of haemorrhage attributed to warfarin therapy in patients with atrial fibrillation is as high as 11.8% per person-year within the first 30 days of treatment.

This rises even further to 16.7% per person-year in the subgroup of higher risk patients i.e. those with congestive heart failure, hypertension, age ≥ 75 years, diabetes mellitus and prior stroke, transient ischemic attack or thrombo-embolism.

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Three honorary members appointed by NPS Medicinewise : 29/11/2012 :

new honorary members of NPS MedicineWise have been appointed following an extensive call for nominations in this second year of honorary appointments.

The NPS MedicineWise Board resolved to invite Dr Stephen Phillips OAM, Emeritus Professor Anthony Smith and Ms Janne Graham AM to become honorary members of NPS MedicineWise.

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Nice business if you can get it : 29/11/2012 :

'Listers may recall, earlier this week, we provided a link to this week's ABC Radio National's Health Report with Norman Swan.

Dr Swan's guest was health economist and vocal critic of the pace of PBS price reduction that flows from price disclosure, Professor of Health Economics in the School of Population Health at the University of Melbourne, Philip Clark.

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AusPharm CE: RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin No 54 : 29/11/2012 :

The next in our 2012 series of continuing education activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 54

This CE activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins (Volumes 48-2 - 48-5  --> October- November 2012).

After completing this activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Understand the manifestations and possible treatment of Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome
  • Outline clinically important drug interactions with rifampicin
  • Discuss the current treatment options for obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Describe the principles of the potential application of exanatide as a drug to facilitate weight loss.

This activity has been accredited for 1 group 2 CPD credits suitable for inclusion in an individual pharmacist’s CPD plan. Accreditation number: A1211AP1.

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 MIMS.

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Group reports favourably on calcium supplements and CVD risk : 28/11/2012 :

A combined industry/academic expert group funded by the US trade association, the Council for Responsible Nutrition, has concluded an examination of available scientific literature on the relationship between calcium supplement use and risk of cardiovascular events.

The group found that the evidence presented to date regarding a hypothesized relationship between calcium supplement use and increased cardiovascular disease risk does not warrant a change in recommendations advocating the use of supplements to promote optimal bone health in individuals whose dietary intake is lacking.

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Poll: too many pharmacists? : 28/11/2012 :

'Listers will have read in yesterday's (e)news a report of recent South Australian research that suggested that 44% (~11,000) of registered pharmacists in Australia are not actively engaged in direct patient care, either because they are no longer working in the profession at all or are working in non clinical roles.

This has us wondering again whether or not there exists an oversupply of pharmacists in Australia. What's your sense of things? Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm poll below.

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Complex Compounding guideline a work in progress : 28/11/2012 :

The Pharmacy Board’s Compounding Working Party met again earlier this month and says it is continuing to make progress in revising the Board’s current guideline on extemporaneous dispensing (compounding) to address Complex Compounding. Complex Compounding is defined in the current edition of the APF (APF22)and, according to the working party, the Board Guideline's definition of complex compounding will be aligned with the definition in the APF22.

The Working Party also progressed the development of a Professional Practice Profile for Complex Compounding. It is proposed that this will address the issue of the minimum training requirements for pharmacists engaging in complex compounding.

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First National Mental Health Report Card Released : 28/11/2012 :

The National Mental Health Commission’s first National Report Card on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention was released yesterday.

Launching the report, Minister for Mental Health Mark Butler said the Report Card should remind us of the significant needs of an estimated 3.2 million Australians who live with a mental health issue, and highlights the importance of investments to grow and improve the mental health system.

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AHPRA launches health professional course database : 28/11/2012 :

AHPRA last week launched a searchable national list of approved programs of study for health practitioners including pharmacists.

Practitioners, the public and education providers can now conduct an immediate, online search of approved programs of study, through a new database launched by AHPRA and the National Boards.

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The true size of the direct patient care pharmacist workforce is..? : 27/11/2012 :

To determine actual employment status, type of pharmacy practice and level of professional satisfaction amongst pharmacists, a postal survey of registered pharmacists was conducted in South Australia and Victoria in 2010. The researchers were particularly interested in determining the proportion of pharmacists working in direct patient care roles, just a subsection of the Pharmacy Board of Australia's very broad definition of "practice". Pharmacist workforce estimates in Australia tend to have been based on the blunt figure of number of pharmacists registered. But this study determined the number of pharmacists working in direct patient care roles by:
- excluding those in non-clinical roles;
- excluding those not strongly engaged in clinical services;
- excluding those not working in the pharmacy profession; and
- factoring in the extent of part-time work.

Referring to 2010/2011 figures, "when extrapolated to the current registered pharmacist workforce in Australia (25 944 registered pharmacists), it provides an indication that ~4125 (16%) are registered but no longer working in the profession; a further 7264 (28%) are either working in other areas of the profession, are undertaking further studies or are not strongly engaged in clinical service delivery." The study authors are cautious about making this Australia-wide extrapolation, but point out the similarities in pharmacy practice across the country and past workforce studies.

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Benalla Pharmacist named Victorian Pharmacist of the Year : 27/11/2012 :

Benalla pharmacist Marsha Watson has been named the 2012 Victorian Pharmacist of the Year at the recent annual Victorian Pharmacists Dinner at the Cossar Hall.

Ms Watson was awarded the prestigious Victorian Pharmacist Medal for being a quiet achiever who has passionately served her local community for many years, making excellent contributions to the health and wellbeing of many people in Benalla. 

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New immunisation resource published : 27/11/2012 :

Common myths about immunisation have been laid to rest in a comprehensive new booklet written by the nation’s top immunologists and published by the Australian Academy of Science.

Devised by a national panel of experts in response to confusion created by contradictory information in the public domain, The Science of Immunisation: Questions and Answers explains the latest immunology science in accessible language.

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