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AusPharm news

Book review: Taking Medicines in Pregnancy - What’s Safe and What’s Not, What the Experts Say A Plain English Guide : 29/07/2013 :

It’s hard enough, at the best of times, to find accurate and authoritative advice on drugs in pregnancy for health professionals, let alone information appropriate for consumers. Well look no more, now that obstetric drug-information-legend Ron Batagol has released his plain English guide for consumers entitled “Taking Medicines in Pregnancy- What’s Safe and What’s Not, What the Experts Say”.

Ron Batagol is a Melbourne-based pharmacist with over 30 years’ experience researching, teaching and providing expert advice on drugs in pregnancy.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: New contraindications to strontium : 29/07/2013 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is New contraindications to strontium.

"Strontium ranelate (Protos®) is an anti-resorptive osteoporosis treatment, indicated in Australia for use in both post-menopausal women and men with severe osteoporosis. A recent pooled data analysis of placebo controlled-clinical trials involving strontium (conducted by the European Medicines Agency) has revealed an association between strontium use and an increase in cardiovascular events, specifically myocardial infarction."

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

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Pharmacist wages declining: proportion on less than $30/hr up 240% in 4 years : 26/07/2013 :

The proportion of pharmacists earning less than $30 an hour has gone from 10% in 2009 to 24% in 2013 according to the results of this week's AusPharm poll.

The poll asked 'listers what the going rate was for an employed pharmacist in their part of the country and was a repeat of identical polls we ran in  2009 and 2011.

While there are any number of ways the numbers might be interpreted, some standouts are: 90% of pharmacists were earning $31/hr or more in 2009, compared to only 74% in 2013.....

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Panadol, Dettol, Blackmores most trusted brands : 26/07/2013 :

Panadol, Dettol and Blackmores have eached topped the poll in their respective categories in this years Reader's Digest Most Trusted Brands survey.

Panadol came out on top in the Painkiller category, in front of Nurofen and Panamax with Dettol trumping BAND-AID and Elastoplast in the First Aid category.

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Check your Febridol : 25/07/2013 :

The TGA has recalled a batch of Febridol tablets after stray triangular, peach coloured tablets were found in a bottle.

The batch in question is B/M ACN2134, Exp: 08/2014.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 25/07/2013 :

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Click the link to see the best tipsters in last weekends NRL and AFL.

Round 19 of the 2013 NRL Season commenced with the NZ Warriors defeating the Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval, final scores 24-14.

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Professor Claire Anderson to present at PAC13 : 25/07/2013 :

Examining medicines’ use from the patients’ perspective is a critical element in better understanding the needs and experiences of health consumers, and delegates to PAC13 will get a unique insight into this area of healthcare.

Renowned international pharmacist, Professor Claire Anderson from the University of Nottingham, will present on the subject of One patient: Patients’ experiences of using medicines as part of the overall theme for PAC13 of ONE profession, ONE focus, ONE voice.

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Poll: employee pharmacist wages : 24/07/2013 :

Weve run this same poll twice since 2009 - once in 2009 and again in 2011. Given the recent discussions on AusPharmList about pharmacist wages its timely to run it again. On Friday well publish an analysis and compare the results to those from the 2009 and 2011 polls.

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Opioid dependence features strongly among Australian prisoners : 24/07/2013 :

On a snapshot day during 2011, 46,446 people across Australia received pharmacotherapy treatment for opioid addiction, and 7% (3,362) of these were in correctional facilities. This contrasts with the 0.15% of the Australian population as a whole who are in a correctional facility.

The figures are contained in a new report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) - The health of Australia’s prisoners 2012.

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SHPA joins ScrapTheCap alliance : 24/07/2013 :

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) is now one of well over 50 organisations that have joined the ScrapTheCap Alliance opposing the government's proposed $2,000 tax deduction limit on CPD.

SHPA believes the cap is bad policy and should be opposed outright. According to SHPA, it fails to take into account long-term national economic and productivity consequences. A taxation cap on legitimate expenses on learning and continuing professional development appears incompatible with achieving a smarter and capable workforce, says SHPA.

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API moves into new headquarters : 22/07/2013 :

Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (API) recently relocated its corporate headquarters into new premises in Melbourne's Camberwell Junction.

The move was prompted by the company's assessment that the presentation of its previous offices in Bayswater, in outer Melbourne, was not ideal for a company looking to 'drive high quality performance in a rapidly changing pharmaceutical and retail industry'. The company also had concerns about its ability to achieve satisfactory workplace productivity at the old site.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Treatment considerations for neuropathic pain : 22/07/2013 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Treatment considerations for neuropathic pain.

"Neuropathic pain is a type of pain that is most commonly associated with injury or altered function of the peripheral nervous system. Neuropathic pain is common, particularly amongst the elderly, who frequently have multiple medical comorbidities that can contribute to the pathophysiology. Common examples of neuropathic pain syndromes include phantom limb pain, diabetic neuropathy, post-herpetic neuralgia and neuropathic pain arising from nerve trauma or nerve root compression."

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

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Three new ACP Fellows : 22/07/2013 :

Three Australian College of Pharmacy Fellowships were formally conferred at the recent College conference in Brisbane.

Dr Jenny Giam was elevated to full Fellow status and Chris Piggott and Elisabeth Sabolch were elevated to the status of Associate Fellow.

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TGA asked to intervene in Nurofen ad sanctions : 22/07/2013 :

The Complaints Resolution Panel (CRP), the body that assesses complaints lodged about advertisements for OTC and complementary medicines, has written to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) requesting that it 'order' Nurofen manufacturer Reckitt Benckisser to comply with CRP requests that the company withdraw a number of ads it determined to be 'misleading and likely to arouse in consumers unwarranted expectations about the products'.

The CRP request to the TGA comes after Reckitt Benckisser failed to indicate to the CRP, in the required time frame, that it intends to comply with the requests the CRP made regarding the advertisements. These were that the company withdraw the advertisements from further publication and refrain from making any representations that include the misleading claims.

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UTAS to take innovative sedative reduction program national : 22/07/2013 :

Researchers from the UTAS School of Pharmacy’s Unit for Medication Outcomes, Research and Education have successfully obtained $3 million in funding to deliver their RedUSe program across Australia.

RedUSe (Reducing use of sedatives) is an innovative UTAS-led project aiming to reduce the use of sedatives in aged care facilities.

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August 2013 PBS schedule : 19/07/2013 :

Download the Full PBS schedule

Download the PBS Summary of changes

Download the Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy – S100 Arrangements Supplement

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Support for union participation in 6th agreement negotiations lukewarm : 19/07/2013 :

Just under half of the respondents to this week's poll believe that employee pharmacist union Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA) should be included in negotiations for the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement.

Two main themes emerged in voting around who should be around the 6CPA negotiating table. 36% of all respondents told us that only the Guild should be represented while 29% responded that all groups with a claim should be represented. 45% chose one of the options that included PPA. 41% chose one of the options that included consumer group, the Consumers Health Forum.

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Diabetes spending doubles between 2001 and 2009 : 18/07/2013 :

Spending on diabetes has almost doubled in recent years, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Diabetes expenditure in Australia 2008-09, shows that spending on diabetes rose by 86% between 2000–01 and 2008–09, after taking inflation into account — this compares with a rise of 60% for all diseases combined.

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Next week is National Pain Week : 18/07/2013 :

The third annual National Pain Week, organised by Chronic Pain Australia, will take place from Monday 22 July to Sunday 28 July, 2013.

Chronic pain - defined as a pain that doesn't go away when an illness or injury has resolved and which is experienced daily for more than 3 months - is a  condition affecting one in three Australians. It is estimated it costs Australians $34 billion per year in health care, out of pocket expenses, lost income and lower economic productivity.

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Wholesalers renew call for ban on exclusive supply arrangements for PBS medicines : 18/07/2013 :

The National Pharmaceutical Services Association (NPSA), representing full line pharmacy wholesalers, has warned that reliable access to PBS medicines will be threatened if others in the industry move to an exclusive direct distribution model. This follows recent media reports that almost one-third of pharma companies are considering moving to a Pfizer Direct type distribution model.

Referring to the 2011 Deloitte Access Economics Report: ‘Economic analysis of exclusive distribution of PBS medicines’ the NPSA has warned that further moves by manufacturers to sideline the full-line wholesalers will erode the viability of the Community Service Obligation (CSO).

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