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AusPharm news

GMiA calls for generic medicines policy framework to be included in National Medicines Policy : 15/03/2014 :

Highlighting the financial contribution the generic medicines industry makes to the Australia economy, peak body the Generic Medicines Industry Association (GMiA) is calling for the National Medicines Policy to be reviewed so that a national generic medicines policy framework can be incorporated into it.

Speaking at the APP conference on the Gold Coast on Friday, Alphapharm Managing Director Stephen Fraser highlighted the negative impacts on the generic medicines sector of PBS reform including the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the goverment and Medicines Australia in 2010.

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Non-prescription medications important for future pharmacy sustainability : 15/03/2014 :

The Australian Self Medication Industry believes that ‘front of shop’ will play a vital role in improving the future sustainability of some pharmacies.

“The over-the counter (OTC) sector has increasingly out-paced total pharmaceutical growth over the last four years,” said ASMI President, Mark Sargent, speaking  at the Pharmacy Guild’s Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference last week.

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Guild President spells out 6th Agreement objectives - 'stability, certainty and viability' : 15/03/2014 :

In a presentation to delegates at the APP conference today Guild President George Tambassis laid out the Guild's objectives for the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA).

The key objectives for the Agreement, said Mr Tambassis, are 'stability, certainty and viability'. 

"In this we share a common goal with the Government - a strong and prosperous pharmacy network responsible for the high quality supply of PBS medicines," said Mr Tambassis.

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Health Minister Dutton points to a positive future for community pharmacy : 14/03/2014 :

"Pharmacy has a bright future in our country and our Government is intent on doing what we can to secure that future," said Health Minister Petter Dutton at the commencement of his keynote address at the APP conference on the Gold Coast today.

While acknowledging the difficulties facing pharmacies at present in the form of high business costs, high debt and uncertainty around dispensary income brought about by the price disclosure process he said he sees pharmacy as a "cornerstone to the delivery of not just medications but on a daily basis, patient care".

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GuildSmart: A new business tool from GuildLink : 14/03/2014 :

GuildSmart is a brand new pharmacy business tool from GuildLink, designed to assist pharmacies to optimise front of shop and professional services and capture missed opportunities with real-time insights. GuildLink has partnered with PharmaData to launch GuildSmart which is available through the GuildCare platform. 

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Canberra pharmacy wins 2014 QCPP Pharmacy of the Year : 14/03/2014 :

Canberra's Charnwood Capital Chemist is the 2014 QCPP Pharmacy of the Year. The honour was announced yesterday at the APP conference on the Gold Coast.

Charnwood Capital Chemist was first named the Innovation in Professional Services category winner, and was then judged to be the best pharmacy overall. Owner pharmacist Samantha Kourtis accepted the award on behalf of her team.

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Conference cost deters attendance for many : 14/03/2014 :

The result of this week's AusPharm poll suggests that a little less than half of those responding are likely to attend at least one pharmacy conference this year.

29% of respondents said they'd be attending 'one or two' events with a hard core 7% of conference 'junkies' planning to attend several. 8% need to go as part of their job. 13% said they weren't yet sure of their plans.

The most common reason given for not planning to attend any conferences was cost, with 35% of all respondents saying they do not plan to attend a conference in 2014 as it's 'too expensive'.

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PSA CEO moves on : 14/03/2014 :

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Chief Executive Officer, Liesel Wett, has announced her resignation from the role to take up a new position as CEO of Pathology Australia.

Liesel led the PSA through a period of great growth and consolidation - over the past three and a half years under her stewardship PSA’s membership base has grown from 11,000 to more than 18,000 members.

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APP Panel: consumers love us, more on Medschecks cap : 14/03/2014 :

Kicking off the traditional APP panel discussion on Friday moderator Greg Turnbull went straight to one of the consumers on the panel, Trica Greenway, and asked her whether pharmacists were meeting consumers' needs.

Ms Greenway, who is the consumer representative on the Australian Pharmacy Council and also represents consumers on a number of high profile committees, said that her many roles have reinforced to her the "important role that pharmacists play in community health" adding that she was not surprised that the profession was able to secure 1.2 million signatures on last years 'Pharmacy under threat' petition, recently tabled in parliament. Ms Greenway also said that pharmacists assuming expanded roles would help meet consumers' needs.

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Consumers want more input into PBS listing process : 13/03/2014 :

The Consumers Health Forum (CHF) has called for a second consumer representative to be appointed to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC).

According to CHF, this would balance the loss of consumer input into the PBS listing process brought about by the abolition of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Pricing Authority (PBPA), which had one consumer representative.

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AusPharm at APP : 13/03/2014 :

AusPharm is at APP and, in addition to our usual morning news run tomorrow, we'll be updating our website with APP happenings over the weekend.

Keep an eye on our website, our Twitter feed @AusPharm and our Facebook page for updates.

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Federal Health Minister opens new packing facility : 13/03/2014 :

Federal Health Minister Peter Dutton yesterday officially opened the new APHS Packaging medication packaging facility at Mansfield, in south-east Brisbane.

The facility has the capacity to deliver up to 100 million medication compliance packs annually through community pharmacies.

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Guild, PSA: Pharmacists need to know new privacy laws : 13/03/2014 :

All pharmacists need to be aware of new privacy laws which have a stronger emphasis on compliance and enforcement, says both the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Pharmacy Guild

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Australian Vaccination Network changes name : 12/03/2014 :

AVN has announced that, as of 7 March 2014, it will be known as the 'Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network' rather than 'Australian Vaccination Network'. 

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IMS Health – College Young Pharmacist Innovation Grant : 12/03/2014 :

Applications are now open for the 2014 IMS Health - College Young Pharmacist Innovation Grant.

This year, the grant judging criteria have changed - young pharmacists need to show that they are a leader amongst their peers and demonstrate how they have worked as part of a management team to implement at least one professional service within a community pharmacy.

Australian College of Pharmacy President Trent Twomey said “I am excited by the new direction. The challenges in pharmacy today can also be regarded as opportunities for those with skill, initiative and drive."

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Poll: conference attendance 2014 : 12/03/2014 :

The 2014 pharmacy calendar positively brims with pharmacy conferences ranging from the long standing and now gigantic APP (to which AusPharm is heading today), PAC and SHPA conferences to the newer NSW events, the NSW Pharmacy - National Convention & Exhibition and the PSA Clinical & Practice Expo.

There are also a number of smaller conference events on the calendar, including ConPharm, the Australian Friendly Society conference and the Australian College of Pharmacy conference.

Will you be attending any of these this year? Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in this week's AusPharm poll.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Testosterone and the link to MI, stroke and death : 11/03/2014 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Testosterone and the link to MI, stroke and death.

"Treatment with testosterone is primarily indicated for confirmed androgen deficiency. Physiological androgen deficiency may result from disorders of the testes or hypothalamic/pituitary system, and is thought to affect about 5 in 1000 men. Despite the lack of any clear new indications for testosterone therapy, global sales of testosterone have increased 12-fold from 2000 to 2011. In Australia, PBS expenditure on testosterone rose 9-fold during the period spanning 1992 to 2010. The growing expenditure is likely to reflect increasingly broader use of testosterone, in particular to increase strength and wellbeing, for infertility and to treat sexual dysfunction and normal age-related male testosterone decline (the ‘male menopause’)."

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

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Survey suggests many job losses for accredited pharmacists : 11/03/2014 :

Results of a recent survey conducted by accredited pharmacist Dr Peter Tenni suggest the number of people affected by the recent changes to the HMR program may be quite different to the number cited by the Pharmacy Guild and the numbers quoted in the recent Senate estimates hearing.

Of the 590 survey respondents, 370 (62.5%) said they did less than 20 HMRs a month - suggesting the 20 a month cap will have some impact on the other 37.5%. 43% (254) of respondents indicated that the cap will limit the services they provide to patients or to pharmacies they are contracted to provide HMRs for.

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Faster PBS listing for new medicines : 11/03/2014 :

As part of a new, streamlined PBS listing process the Pharmaceutical Benefits Pricing Authority is to be abolished, effective 1 April.

This, says the government, will allow agreement on price to be reached between government and pharma companies in shorter timeframes following a positive recommendation from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC).

The final decision on the price of a medicine will remain with the Health Minister (or delegate) however the streamlined process will allow new medicines to be PBS listed at least four weeks earlier than is the case at present.

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Webstercare launches new credit card sized PocketProfile Medicines List : 07/03/2014 :

Webstercare has launched a new PocketProfile Medicines List to ensure their Webster-pak customers have quick access to an up-to-date medication profile wherever they go.

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