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AusPharm news

$6.3 billion spent on mental health services in 200910 : 10/10/2012 :

Over $6.3 billion, or $287 per Australian, was spent on mental health-related services in 2009–10, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

The report, Mental health services: in brief 2012, summarises new information on the AIHW’s interactive Mental Health Services in Australia website including mental health-related expenditure, facilities, hospitalisations and prescriptions.

About 31.1 million prescriptions for mental health-related medications were dispensed in 2010–11, three-quarters of which were PBS subsidised. 
Almost two-thirds of these were for antidepressants.

The updated information and report have been released to coincide with today’s World Mental Health Day.

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Advice for ECPS looking to be pharmacy owners : 09/10/2012 :

Early Career Pharmacists looking to fulfil a dream of owning a community pharmacy can get some useful pointers and advice at this year's Early Career Pharmacist Breakfast being held as part of PAC12.

Simon Carroll, a practising pharmacist for 25 years, pharmacy owner for 15 years and now Senior Professional Practice Pharmacist at PSA,   will speak on the subject of Hurdles to be addressed when considering ownership during which he will address the findings from a recent survey of PSA Early Career Pharmacists   that highlighted concerns and issues relevant to pharmacists aspiring to pharmacy ownership. 

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Australian pharmacy luminaries at FIP : 09/10/2012 :

A number of high profile Australian pharmacy identities were among the 5,500 delegates who have been attending the FIP Centennial Congress, currently drawing to a close in Amsterdam.

Thanks to Bill Arnold for sending along the photos below.

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Blackmores and WWF Sustainable Fish Oils Partnership : 09/10/2012 :

Vitamin and supplement company Blackmores announced last week that it has partnered with the global conservation organisation WWF to launch the Blackmores and WWF Sustainable Fish Oils Partnership.

This is a three-year engagement which Blackmores says will help it achieve the highest possible standard for sustainable fish oils by 2015. The company says it represents Blackmores’ commitment to fulfilling a vision of healthy oceans, healthy communities and sustainable business practices.

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Cairns Seminar: maximising your clinical skills for clinical interventions and MedsCheck : 09/10/2012 :

The Australian College of Pharmacy will be hosting a seminar in Cairns later this year to assist pharmacists develop their clinical skills for clinical interventions and MedsCheck.

This event will be most useful to pharmacists involved in dispensing medications and providing advice to the public. The activity has been accredited for 6 hours of Group Two CPD (12 credits) upon completion of group assessments.

Speakers at the event will be Dr Geraldine Moses and Debbie Rigby.

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Special forum for rural pharmacists at PAC12 : 09/10/2012 :

Pharmacists working in rural and remote areas face issues that are unique to their working environment, a uniqueness that can be both rewarding and challenging.

In Australia, about a third of the population live in rural and remote areas, and an equal proportion of pharmacists work in these areas to service their health needs.  However, rarely do pharmacists who work in these areas have an opportunity to come together to discuss there unique circumstances and the issues surrounding them.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Factors influencing clozapine plasma concentrations. : 08/10/2012 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Factors influencing clozapine plasma concentrations.

"The use of therapeutic drug monitoring for clozapine is indicated in various situations, including poor compliance, inadequate response to treatment, presence of significant adverse effects, the presence of specific disease states (especially hepatic disease) and where there may be drug interactions. In clinical practice, the dose of clozapine is usually adjusted to provide plasma concentrations of 350 - 600micrograms per litre. However some patients may respond to lower concentrations, or conversely may experience limiting adverse effects despite concentrations in the recommended range.

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

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Shedding new light on sunscreens : 08/10/2012 :

In the latest edition of Australian Prescriber, Associate Professor Jane Hanrahan from the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sydney writes that UVB is the cause of sunburn, but UVA can be more damaging to the skin.

It is therefore best to use broad spectrum sunscreens that block both wavebands, she says.

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TGA joins global operation to seize of fake and illegal medicines : 08/10/2012 :

Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) together with Customs and Border Protection recently took part in an international operation to seize counterfeit and substandard medicines purchased over the Internet.

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Call for submissions: Post-market review of products used for diabetes management : 08/10/2012 :

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) has commissioned a review of products and medicines used for diabetes management.

The objective of the review is to systematically evaluate the body of clinical evidence regarding diabetes interventions to ensure the most appropriate management of diabetes in clinical practice.

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New funding announced to boost rural and remote health workforce : 08/10/2012 :

Two new projects aimed at boosting the health workforce in rural areas were announced by the federal government last week.

The first project will aim to recruit an additional 387 nursing and allied health workers across the country. The other will see the roll out of eight projects across Australia to look at ways to improve education networks to allow doctors to continue advanced medical training relevant to the needs of remote and rural locations.

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Online registration opens for final year pharmacy students : 08/10/2012 :

Pharmacy students who will graduate soon can now apply online for provisional registration as a health practitioner. However, the Board is alerting students, all applications require them to submit some supporting documents in hard copy by mail.

Pharmacy Board of Australia Chair Stephen Marty said graduates must make an application for provisional registration to undertake a Board approved period of supervised practice in order to be eligible for general registration in Australia.

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'Listers way over the minimum on CPD requirements : 05/10/2012 :

This week's poll asked 'listers how many Group 2 CPD credits they had achieved during the last 'Board' year, 1 October 2011 to 30 September 2012.

The result suggests that 'listers are a very diligent lot when attending to their professional development responsibilities, with most respondents exceeding the 30 credit requirement for the year with their Group 2 points alone.

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Sydney Uni Faculty of Pharmacy Dean reappointed : 05/10/2012 :

Professor Iqbal Ramzan has been re-appointed as the Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Sydney.

Commenting on the reappointment, Professor Stephen Garton, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said: "The Vice-Chancellor and I believe that Professor Ramzan is the best person to lead the faculty forward and to build on the strong foundations which have now been established in Pharmacy. The Vice-Chancellor therefore offered Professor Ramzan reappointment and I am pleased to advise that he has formally accepted."

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Plibersek: pharmacies an important link : 05/10/2012 :

As reported on AusPharm on Wednesday, to coincide with the FIP Centennial Congress, currently underway in Amsterdam, the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport convened an international summit for Ministers of Health on the theme ‘The responsible use of medicines. Setting policies for better and cost-effective healthcare’.

Australia Health Minister Tania Plibersek, in attendance, said at the conclusion of the summit that she sees community pharmacies as a very important link in any move to improve the PBS and pledged to work hard on her return to Australia to increase the responsible use of medicine.

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An app for PAC : 04/10/2012 :

Delegates to PAC 12 will be able to access an interactive version of the Congress handbook via a PAC12 smartphone app.

The PAC12 app allows delegates to set up a schedule of sessions they want to visit, as well as being kept up to date with all the latest developments through hourly updates.  Another feature is the events section where delegates can view the program and automatically send selected events to be downloaded into their personal attendance schedule.

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Poll: how many Group 2 CPD credits? : 03/10/2012 :

Commenting that he just got across the line just before Sept 30 with his required number of

Pharmacy Board CPD credits, Tasmanian pharmacist David Peachey wrote in a post to AusPharmList yesterday: "The reason for posting was to suggest a poll re CPD point accumulation over the 01/10/2011 - 30/09/2012 period to see what the 'average' was - do most aim for the board requirements, or do most try to get as many as possible?"

Bearing in mind that 50% or more need to be Group 2 credits (ie assessed, more than simply reading or listening...) a more meaningful poll might be to ask how many how many Group 2 credits people managed in the period.

How many did you chalk up? Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll.

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 03/10/2012 :

The MIMS October 2012 Monthly Medicine Update is now available. Click the link to read it now.

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US$500 billion in global health spending can be avoided annually through more responsible medicines use : 03/10/2012 :

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over 50% of medicines are not taken correctly - they may be prescribed or dispensed inappropriately and patients may take them incorrectly. This is in addition to those patients who do not receive the right medicine, or any medicine in a timely manner. These circumstances exemplify the fact that medicines are not always optimally used, resulting in a significant loss of health and increase in healthcare expenditures, contributing to high growth of healthcare spending. With more responsible medicines use, research from the IMS Institute shows that $500 billion US in global healthcare spending could be avoided annually.

On the occasion of the FIP Centennial Congress, currently underway in Amsterdam, the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport is convening an international summit for Ministers of Health on the theme ‘The responsible use of medicines. Setting policies for better and cost-effective healthcare’.

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Medicines Australia welcomes PBS deferral moratorium extension, however.... : 03/10/2012 :

Medicines Australia said on Friday that a Federal Cabinet decision to extend the moratorium on Cabinet deferrals of the listing of some new medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to June 2014 is positive, it does not provide a lasting solution to a policy issue that has been widely criticised by consumer groups, as industry, doctors, academics and the media.

The moratorium applies only to medicines that will cost the PBS less than $10 million a year. Those with a projected cost of more than $10 million will still require Cabinet approval.

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