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AusPharm news

Poll: how does your pharmacy measure up against the Victorian Pharmacy Authority dispensing workload guidelines? : 30/10/2013 :

The Victorian Pharmacy Authority (VPA) recently published guidelines on what constitutes 'excessive dispensing workloads'.

In brief (full details below), these suggest a single pharmacist, working without a dispensary technician, should dispense no more than 150 scripts in a standard 9AM - 6PM working day. VPA considers a 'dosing' event to be the equivalent of one script. Up to 220 scripts a day, says VPA, can be dispensed with the assistance of two dispensary technicians. Any more, and a second pharmacist is required, at least for part of the day.

How does your pharmacy measure up against the VPA guidelines? Please let us know by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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More MMR payment delays : 30/10/2013 :

Medicare announced this week that, once again, pharmacists can expect delays in having their RMMR and HMR claims paid.

The agency says it has received an increased number of claims and will be conducting additional ad-hoc payment runs to meet the current demand.

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Perth: MMR Stage One Workshop, 9-10 November : 29/10/2013 :

The Australian College of Pharmacy, in partnership with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Australia, is conducting a Stage 1 Medication Management Review  workshop in Perth on 9-10 November, 2013.

The workshop also aims to enhance the skills of participants that are applicable to aspects of community pharmacy practice including MedsCheck and PPIs.

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Guild, consumers welcome new PBS listings : 29/10/2013 :

Both the Pharmacy Guild and the Consumers Health Forum yesterday welcomed new Health Minister Peter Dutton's announcement that '50 new and amended medicines and technologies to treat cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and a range of other debilitating diseases will be subsidised by the government'.

“About 230,000 people will now be able to receive new and improved medicines they may otherwise not have been able to afford,” Mr Dutton said.

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Pharmacy Board consultation: English language skills and Criminal history registration standards : 28/10/2013 :

Pharmacy Board of Australia parent body AHPRA has commenced a public consultation on two of the registration standards health professionals must meet in order to register with AHPRA.

These are the English language skills registration standard and the Criminal history registration standard.

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Clarification : 28/10/2013 :

Our Friday story on the previous day's launch of the eRx Express app noted it is 'the free app that for the first time allows people to order scripts from their pharmacy using their smart phone'.

The claim that it is the first has been challenged by pharmacist and developer of the Send a Script app, Fabian McCann. Send a Script was awarded a Golden Mobi prize as Best Design Studio Start-Up App and a Best in Medical category award in the recent 2013 Australian Mobile Awards.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Patient-centered barriers and enablers of deprescribing : 28/10/2013 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Patient-centered barriers and enablers of deprescribing.

"Research suggests that between 20 and 60% of elderly patients are taking at least one inappropriate medication (defined as a medication where the potential risks associated with its use outweigh the potential benefits). Inappropriate medication use (IMU) is associated with negative patient outcomes, including an increased risk of adverse drug reactions, hospitalization and mortality. One concept that has been explored in recent literature is that of “deprescribing” – a systematic approach to the withdrawal of medications from a patient’s treatment regimen under supervision of a clinician."

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

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2013 Pat Clear Award : 28/10/2013 :

The 2013 Pat Clear Award, the Australian medicines industry’s most prestigious award, has been won by Sara Pantzer, Head of Government Affairs and Policy, Amgen Australia.

The Award is presented annually to recognise an outstanding performance and contribution by an individual, group or team who work in the industry.

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Don't let your patients stockpile when they reach their safety net limit : 28/10/2013 :

Medicare Australia is asking pharmacists to help keep the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) affordable for everyone by reminding customers not to get more medicines than they need.

The advice is contained in the latest Pharmacy Bulletin Board.

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Anthony Tassone named Guild Victorian Branch President : 25/10/2013 :

The Victorian Branch of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia today named Anthony Tassone as its new Branch President.

The announcement follows the confirmation on Monday of previous Victorian President George Tambassis as the new National President.

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Pharmacists have mixed views on the Guild's new leadership team : 25/10/2013 :

In light of the recent 'changing of the guard' at the Pharmacy Guild - the Guild has a new National President and Executive Director as well as new Branch Presidents and Branch Directors in the two most populous States of NSW and Victoria - we asked 'listers whether they think the new team will be 'good for pharmacy'.

42% of respondents expressed the view that things would stay pretty much the same. Of the remaining 58% approximately equal numbers agreed and disagreed that the new team would be good for pharmacy.

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Priceline Sister Club membership tops 4.3 million : 25/10/2013 :

Priceline's Sister Club membership has grown to over 4.3 million. The loyalty program is thought to be the largest of its kind in the country.

The number was revealed by Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (API) CEO and Managing Director Stephen Roche at the company's Full Year Financial Results presentation in Sydney yesterday. Mr Roche also confirmed that there are now 363 Priceline Pharmacies around the country. Priceline Pharmacy sales growth was up 4.3% for the year ending 31 August 2013.

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eRx Express app launched : 25/10/2013 :

eRx Script Exchange has launched eRx Express, a free app that allows people to order scripts from their pharmacy using their smart phone.

The new app was launched last Thursday at Exhibition Pharmacy in Melbourne by Federal member for Higgins, Kelly O’Dwyer, and Guild President George Tambassis..

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Community pharmacy steps up to the plate to help communities affected by bush fires : 25/10/2013 :

The current bushfire emergencies in NSW have seen community pharmacy once again come to the fore in supporting local communities in times of need says NSW Pharmacy Guild Branch President Paul Sinclair.

The NSW Branch of the Guild, in partnership with the Asthma Foundation of NSW and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), has put in place measures to make available emergency supplies of asthma medication and spacer devices for those people directly affected by the current bushfire emergencies.

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Sydney Uni Faculty of Pharmacy wins major NHMRC grant : 24/10/2013 :

Researchers from the University of Sydney's Faculty of Pharmacy and the Sydney Medical School have landed a major research grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to set up a new evidence-gathering research venture that will generate vital information about the role that medicines play over Australians' lifetimes.

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Shortage of Neo-Mercazole (carbimazole) : 24/10/2013 :

Most pharmacists would be aware that, at present, there is a global shortage of Neo-Mercazole (carbimazole). A new, regular supply of the drug is not expected to be available to pharmacies and patients until mid November.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration yesterday published guidelines for both consumers and health professionals on how to obtain carbimazole until then.

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2014 Intern Written Examination dates announced : 24/10/2013 :

The Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) yesterday released the dates of the 2014 Intern Written Examinations.

The Intern Written Examination is developed and conducted by the APC on behalf of the Pharmacy Board of Australia.

7 dates will be available in 2014 with one date still available in 2013 - 8 December. Practice questions and a tutorial are available.

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Poll: will the Guild's new leadership team be good for pharmacy? : 23/10/2013 :

In his opinion piece for AusPharm yesterday, Guild Executive Director David Quilty observed that, in the last 12 months, "the Guild has welcomed a new National President and Executive Director as well as new Branch Presidents and Branch Directors in the two most populous States of NSW and Victoria. This is a major changing of the guard."

Will the Guild's new leadership thing be a good thing for pharmacy? Please let us know what you think by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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Pharmacy Under Threat petition delivered : 23/10/2013 :

The 1.1 million signature strong Pharmacy Under Threat petition has been delivered to the House of Representatives in Canberra.

22 boxes of petition forms were transported up the hill from the Guild national secretariat in Canberra. The mammoth petition response will reinforce to politicians the importance placed by patients all over Australia on community pharmacies, the Pharmacy Guild believes.

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ASMI welcomes new Guild President, looks to Guild for help in progressing S3 advertising : 23/10/2013 :

Welcoming the appointment of George Tambassis as the new national president of the Pharmacy Guild, the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) said yesterday the organisation had, over many years, enjoyed a strong, collaborative partnership with the Guild which included its contribution to ASMI’s proposal for regulatory reform to permit direct to consumer advertising of Schedule 3 medicines.

In his presentation to delegates at the recent PAC13 conference Guild President Tambassis flagged Schedule 3 advertising as one of his priority issues on assuming the Guild Presidency.

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