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AusPharm news

Chemmart pharmacies to offer genetic testing : 29/03/2014 :

Chemmart Pharmacies are to offer genetic testing in partnership with genetic testing company, GenesFX Health.

The test is called DNAdose and, according to information on its website, it "is a once off, pharmacogenomic test that identifies gene variants in four major enzyme systems and how these genes metabolise medications. Put simply, identifies how your individual genetic structure will respond to medication so your doctor can prescribe the most suitable medication at the right dosage for your body."

Casey Central Chemmart Pharmacy in Victoria is the first pharmacy to offer the DNAdose test.

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Sigma travelling well : 28/03/2014 :

Sigma Pharmaceuticals yesterday reported a net profit for the year ending 31 January of $70.3 million, up from last year's $23.1 million, which was significantly affected by a one off legal settlement of almost $50 million. Revenue for the year was up 1.1% to $2.97 billion.

Commenting on the result, Sigma CEO Mark Hooper said "To deliver sales growth in a market that is under pressure from Government PBS price disclosure reform and generally difficult retail trading conditions reinforces the recent investment decisions taken and the direction we are heading."

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Community pharmacist underemployment, unemployment becoming 'significant' : 28/03/2014 :

41% of respondents to this week's AusPharm poll told us that the incidence of community pharmacists either losing their jobs or having their hours cut back was 'becoming significant' or 'big time' in their patch.

A further 29% said that there was 'some loss of employment. not great' in their area. 

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The 25 best sectors to be in for the next 20 years: Pharmacy well positioned? : 27/03/2014 :

Deloitte this week released a report detailing what it considers to be 'the 25 best sectors to be in for the next 20 years'.

On the list are a number of categories that could potentially be filled by pharmacies.

Top of the list is 'Residential aged care' with 'Community care and personal services' coming in at number six. 'Preventative health and wellness' is listed at number seven.

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Sigma picks up small CSO wholesaler : 27/03/2014 :

Sigma Pharmaceuticals has bought CSO wholesaler and owner of the Pharmasave retail pharmacy brand Central Healthcare for $24.5 million.

Sigma says it will continue to operate Central Healthcare as a stand alone business;  it will continue to service its hospital and pharmacy customers and will continue to manage the Pharmasave brand. It is an approved CSO (full line PBS) wholesaler in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and the ACT.

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Guild, PSA run Courier Mail ad to counter pharmacy vaccination misinformation : 27/03/2014 :

The Pharmacy Guild and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia yesterday jointly ran an advertisement in the Brisbane Courier Mail to counter misinformation on pharmacist vaccination contained in an advertisement run in the paper on Sunday by the Revive nurse practitioner Clinic.

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5CPA: PPI Clinical Intervention and DAA Claiming Information : 27/03/2014 :

There are many advantages to the new online 5CPA portal that streamlines both the registration and claiming processes for 5CPA programs.

To claim PPI Clinical Intervention and DAA incentives, pharmacies must register via the 5CPA Registration and Claiming Portal.

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Grant for outstanding contribution to quality use of medicines in pain management : 26/03/2014 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, in association with Mundipharma, has announced it will, once again in 2014, award an educational grant to a pharmacist who has made an outstanding contribution to the quality use of medicines through direct clinical care of consumers with persistent pain.

The Chief Executive Officer of the PSA, Liesel Wett, said pharmacists had a key role in pain management and the award would further encourage development of this role.

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UQ pharmacy students inducted with white coat ceremony : 26/03/2014 :

A sea of white coats recently flanked The University of Queensland’s Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence (PACE) as first-year students were welcomed at an official ceremony.

The School of Pharmacy hosted the annual Student Engagement Ceremony to welcome new students and present them with their white dispensing coat which is symbolic of the pharmacy profession.

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Industry continues down-scheduling push : 26/03/2014 :

The rescheduling of the most commonly used prescription medicines to over-the-counter (OTC) status could save the Australian healthcare system approximately $2.1 billion a year, according to a new industry funded study.

The study, conducted by the Macquarie University Centre for the Health Economy and funded by peak non prescription body, the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI), found that the rescheduling, or ‘switching’ from prescription to Pharmacist Only could achieve savings of $1.1 billion through some 17 million avoided GP visits, and a further $1 billion in productivity savings.

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Time to start thinking about getting a flu vaccine : 26/03/2014 :

Although it is still early in the season, NPS MedicineWise has commenced its annual campaign to encourage people at risk of complications of the flu (influenza) to get vaccinated against the illness.

People at higher risk include those who are 65 years or older, pregnant women, Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders who are 15 years or older, and people who have certain medical conditions including heart disease,  diabetes and lung disease.

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Poll: are pharmacists in community pharmacies in your part of the country either having their hours cut back or losing their jobs altogether? : 26/03/2014 :

In a post to AusPharmList yesterday, a 'lister wrote: "A group pharmacy managed by one pharmacist with another employed and only just enough staff have let go a senior full-timer with tears all round. This person was highly knowledgeable and the customers loved her. The manager told me (the locum ) that head office had decided the bottom line had dropped so far due to price disclosure that something had to give."

AusPharm has heard a number of similar stories involving both pharmacists and non pharmacist staff having their hours cut back and losing their jobs altogether.

What have you heard? With regard just to pharmacists, is employment dropping off in your part of the country?

Please help us find out by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll.

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Revive Clinic nurse practitioner group clarifies position on pharmacist vaccination : 25/03/2014 :

Following scathing criticism from pharmacy groups of the Revive Clinic's Sunday Mail advertisement which claimed that pharmacists were not legally approved to vaccinate and implied that pharmacist vaccination would be unsafe, the group moved yesterday to clarify its position on pharmacists vaccinating

The Revive Clinic Group says it is not opposed to pharmacists vaccinating but believes the Queensland trial has been implemented to benefit one pharmacy group without proper training provided to the pharmacists participating. 

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Ticagrelor-induced Dyspnoea : 24/03/2014 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Ticagrelor-induced Dyspnoea.

"Ticagrelor, an oral antiplatelet indicated for use in acute coronary syndromes, is a reversibly binding P2Y12 receptor antagonist. It selectively inhibits receptor activation mediated through adenosine diphosphate (ADP). The extent/reliability of inhibition of platelet aggregation is thought to be superior to clopidogrel, as reflected by a reduced incidence of ischaemic events and deaths in the ticagrelor arm of the PLATO study. Ticagrelor’s primary safety variable is the risk of major bleeding, however in three multi-centre, double-blind, randomized trials (PLATO, ONSET/OFFSET & DISPERSE-2); the use of ticagrelor was correlated with an increased incidence of dyspnoea compared to that observed during treatment with clopidogrel."

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

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Petition seeks change to New AHPRA advertising guidelines : 24/03/2014 :

A petition launched by a Melbourne doctor which aims to have a section removed from the new AHPRA advertising guidelines has gained over 650 signatures since its launch last week.

The section in question - Section 6.2.3 - says: “A practitioner must take reasonable steps to have any testimonials associated with their health service or business removed when they become aware of them, even if they appear on a website that is not directly associated and/or under the direct control or administration of that health practitioner and/or their business or service. This includes unsolicited testimonials.”

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Revive: pharmacists 'not legally approved' to vaccinate : 24/03/2014 :

Reviveclinic, who run nurse practitioner clinics in pharmacies around Australia, is urging consumers to avoid having flu vaccines administered in pharmacies participating in the Queensland pharmacist influenza vaccination trial as 'Pharmacists are not legally approved to vaccinate anywhere in Australia due to not having the required medical training'.

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JPPR teams up with Wiley : 24/03/2014 :

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has engaged publishing company Wiley to manage the future production and publication of its official journal, the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research (JPPR).

SHPA will retain ownership of JPPR while outsourcing the day-to-day management of manuscripts and production of each issue to Wiley, starting with the June 2014 issue.

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Guild welcomes government move on parental leave : 24/03/2014 :

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia said on Friday that it strongly supports the move by the Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson, to relieve businesses of the requirement to act as the paymaster under the Paid Parental Leave scheme.

The introduction by the Minister of the Paid Parental Leave Amendment Bill 2014 is a victory for common sense says the Guild who points out that, if passed, the bill will result in a reduction in the red tape burden on business. This is particularly the case for pharmacy the Guild says, as the pharmacy workforce is 87 per cent female and the instance of paid parental leave is high in the sector.

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The Dunlevy spin on April 1 PBS price cuts : 21/03/2014 :

Writing in News Ltd papers yesterday morning Sue Dunlevy described the 1 April PBS price disclosure price reductions as 'the goverment stop[ping] overpayments to chemists' adding that 'the government has been paying pharmacists up to 80% above the market price'.

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Pharmacists in no hurry to review new Board documents : 21/03/2014 :

In light the Pharmacy Board`s revised mandatory notification and advertising guidelines, revised code of conduct and new social media policy, which came into effect on Monday, this week's poll asked 'listers whether they'd taken a look at them.

Only 31% of respondents had with 45% saying they planned to soon. 22% had no plans to have a look at the new documents as 'it's just common sense'.

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