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AusPharm news

Louis Roller awarded APSA Life Membership : 10/12/2012 :

Honorary Associate Professor Louis Roller has been awarded life membership of the Australasian Pharmaceutical Science Association (APSA).

Professor Roller’s career has been one in which he has made wonderful and sustained contributions to pharmacy education, pharmacy research and to the profession of pharmacy more broadly. He retired at the end of 2008 after a long and extremely dedicated and productive career.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Antipsychotic augmentation for obsessive compulsive disorder : 10/12/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Antipsychotic augmentation for obsessive compulsive disorder.

"A recent E-Bulletin addressed the subject of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and this edition will further explore an option that can be used in more complex cases. Many patients with OCD have inadequate or only partial response to the recommended first and second line treatments. Failure to respond to initial monotherapy with serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRI) has been reported in up to 40-60% rate of cases. One strategy that can be used is to augment the treatment response – this has been achieved through various means, including the addition of antipsychotic medication.

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

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Multiple morbidities medication review education module online : 10/12/2012 :

At the end of October we alerted 'listers to the publication on a new training module specifically directed towards accredited pharmacists.

The ‘Multiple morbidities: How pharmacists can make a difference through medication reviews’ training module is now available online through the Australian College of Pharmacy and the Guild Pharmacy Academy websites at no cost to interested pharmacists.

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Health related claims for food to need supporting evidence : 10/12/2012 :

Food manufacturers who choose to make health related claims for their products like 'low in fat' or 'contains protein for muscle development' will have to provide scientific evidence to support these claims under a new food standard that will come into force early in 2013.

At a meeting last week of state anc commonwealth ministers, agreement was reached on a new Standard  - the Nutrition, Health and Related Claims Standard - that provides a regulatory system for nutrition and health claims which aims to give consumers confidence in the scientific rigour of claims being made.

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Pharmacists confident with ocular chloramphenicol : 07/12/2012 :

76% of 'listers who responded directly to this week's AusPharm poll question told they were comfortable diagnosing bacterial conjunctivitis and supplying ocular chloramphenicol preparations to treat it.

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NPS publishes consumer resource on drug / grapefruit interactions : 07/12/2012 :

Following a wave of recent publicity, NPS MedicineWise has published new information about interactions between grapefruit and medicines that provides tips to help people avoid any harmful effects.

As all 'listers are aware, it’s been known for some time that the humble grapefruit can interact with many drugs however a recent review points to a rising number of drugs that may interact with grapefruit to potentially cause serious side effects — up from 17 to 43 in recent years. An indicative list of the affected medicines is available on the NPS website.

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Trimethoprim off script in NZ : 07/12/2012 :

Following the reclassification of trimethoprim earlier this year by NZ regulator, Medsafe, suitably accredited pharmacists can now supply a three-day course of trimethoprim to women aged 16-65 with uncomplicated UTIs who meet certain criteria.

Pharmacists at a number of NZ community pharmacies began offering the service this week.

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New UK report shows rise in cost of medicines R&D : 07/12/2012 :

A new report from the Office of Health Economics in the United Kingdom shows the cost of developing a successful new medicine has increased from $199 million in the 1970s to $1.9 billion in the 2000s.

The R&D Cost of a New Medicine identified four factors contributing to increasing R&D costs: higher company out-of-pocket costs, up nearly 600 per cent over the period; lower success rates from clinical development as researchers tackle tougher therapeutic areas such as dementia and arthritis; increase in R&D time as science becomes more complex, from six years to 13.5 years; and increases in the cost of capital from 8% to 11%.

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New health service directory launched : 07/12/2012 :

The Commonwealth Government recently launched a new web based service that will provide the addresses, opening times and phone numbers of GP clinics, pharmacies, emergency departments and hospitals in towns and cities across Australia.

The service is free and can be searched using a desktop or laptop computer or by downloading an app onto an iPhone or Android device. Once a location is entered into the directory, services are listed and their locations can be viewed on a Google map.

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PAC13 moves to Brisbane : 06/12/2012 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s Pharmacy Australia Congress, will next year be held in Brisbane at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) from 11-13 October 2013. It will coincide with the 4th Global Drug Safety Conference and Exposition being held at the same venue from 14-16 October.

PAC13 - under the theme of One Profession, One Focus, One Voice - will continue the Congress’s rich tradition of providing a topical and comprehensive program covering a wide range of educational, business and practice subjects.

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Pharma: Government policy settings the key : 06/12/2012 :

In a speech to the National Press Gallery yesterday, Medicines Australia chairman Mark Masterson today unveiled a new vision for the Australian medicines industry - to double manufacturing output, exports and R&D investment over the next decade.

However, Mr Masterson stressed that the right policy settings were needed to ensure that the industry was equipped to harness the dramatic rise of Asia, the expanding global medicines market, and the emergence of high-tech biological medicines.

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Poll: how confident are you recommending ocular chloramphenicol? : 05/12/2012 :

Over the last week there have been a number of posts to AusPharmList commenting on various aspects of supply to patients of chloramphenicol eye drops.

The tone of mosts posts was that, in the main, pharmacists handle supply of this product well.

How do you feel about supplying chloramphenicol eye drops? Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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Medicines Partnership of Australia updates PBS Scorecard : 05/12/2012 :

The latest Medicines Partnership of Australia PBS Scorecard reports PBS dollar growth for the 12 months to September as 6%, broadly in accordance with the 5.7% AusPharm calculated when the September numbers were released. Year to date PBS dollar growth, to 30 November 2012, is 11% however this figure is likely to be influenced by the erratic PBS reporting from Medicare that became evident in May (link).

In the longer term, the Medicines Partnership, citing AIHW data, highlight that between June 1991 and June 2012, consumer medicine prices have grown by only 57 per cent - less than overall prices growth in the economy of 70 per cent and growth in median household income of 118% over the same period.

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MIMS gives Pharmacists’ Support Service a boost : 05/12/2012 :

The development of a new Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) website has been given a boost through a donation of $2,000 from MIMS. This is the second such donation MIMS has made to PSS.

The website, with a launch planned for early in 2013, will include a range of resources and information to support and assist pharmacists and will enable PSS to broaden its outreach to pharmacists throughout Australia.

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'The patient will never pay more. This is about pharmacists' pay.' : 03/12/2012 :

Responding to a question from a journalist during a doorstop interview on Friday about 'the chemotherapy problem that's hit private hospitals' Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said that the government is in 'very productive discussions with the pharmacists, with the private hospitals, private health insurers and others'.

Ms Plibersek said she is aware that pharmacists have been utilising the generic margin on docetaxel to cross subsidize other areas of their business.

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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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