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AusPharm news

Union not invited to Guild 6CPA forum : 07/03/2014 :

It has emerged that employee pharmacist union Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA) was not invited to attend last week's Pharmacy Guild hosted stakeholder forum on the future of community pharmacy.

Groups present included other pharmacy organisations (PSA, the Pharmacy Board, SHPA, the Australian  Pharmacy Council, AACP, the Australian College of Pharmacy and NAPSA), disease state representatives, other peak health bodies, representatives of health professionals, industry associations, consumer groups, and State and Federal Government Departments.

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SA pharmacist wins a Fullbright scholarship : 07/03/2014 :

South Australian pharmacist Suzanne Schultz has been named as a Fullbright scholar for 2014.

Suzanne, from the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences at the University of South Australia, was presented with the prestigious award at a ceremony in Brisbane on Wednesday night.

She is one of 31 Australian recipients for 2014, chosen from all fields of endeavour, who will travel to America for up to eight to 10 months to further their research.

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No confidence in future funding for professional services : 07/03/2014 :

The results of this week's AusPharm poll suggest that pharmacists are not confident government funding for professional pharmacy services beyond 5CPA will meet the profession's needs.

The poll - put in the context of recent revelations of alleged rorts of both the HMR and Medschecks programs - asked 'listers to tell us both how well they thought professional pharmacy services might be funded following the conclusion of the current agreement and, also, by what mechanism any funding might come.

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Pharmacy Guild donates $4000 to help drought affected farmers : 07/03/2014 :

To assist drought affected Australian farmers, the Pharmacy Guild has made a donation of $4000 to the Aussie Helpers organisation and is calling on the broader pharmacy community to show its support too by also making a donation.

Both farmers and pharmacy are small businesses that have a profound sense of community and provide vital goods, services and jobs to their regions. We need to make sure our farmers get the help they need to get through this drought, says the Guild.

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Chemmart launches new eCommerce platform : 06/03/2014 :

Chemmart Pharmacy has launched the first stage of a new eCommerce initiative that allows each pharmacy to manage its own online store, including its online range and pricing.

Customers select their local store before placing their order. It is then picked, packed and despatched by the selected store.

Proceeds from sales are directed back to the individual store which, says Chemmart, differs from some other brands which operate from one central location with profits kept by that vendor.

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AusPharm CPD: Dysphagia and crushing medications : 06/03/2014 :

The next AusPharm CPD topic for 2014 is Dysphagia and crushing medications - it's been put together for us by Dr Jenny Gowan.

"Crushing medications in Aged Care Facilities is very common in a high care environment but crushing medications is becoming more common in the community, with pharmacists not being aware that this practice is happening. Many patients are unable to swallow tablets whole and either cut them in half or smaller or crush them, or have them crushed by carers, in order to ingest them."

This activity has been accredited for 1.5 hours of Group Two CPD (1.5 CPD Credits) that may be converted to 3 Group Two CPD Credits upon successful completion of the corresponding assessment for inclusion on an individual pharmacist's CPD Record. Accreditation number: A1403AP0.

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CPA5 helpline: patience please... : 06/03/2014 :

In view of the number of reports we've had of people having difficulty contacting the 5CPA helpline over HMR registration and claiming changes we asked the Guild for a comment.

A Guild spokesperson told us that in these early stages there is a large volume of traffic which the helpline is doing its best to deal with.

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Entries open for National Medicinewise awards : 05/03/2014 :

Entries are now open for the National Medicinewise Awards, which will be presented by NPS MedicineWise as part of the 2014 National Medicines Symposium to be held in Brisbane in May.

The biennial National Medicinewise Awards are an opportunity to recognise the wide range of exciting and innovative quality use of medicines and medical test activities happening across Australia.

NPS MedicineWise executive manager and chair of the NMS 2014 Scientific Programming Committee, Ms Karen Kaye, says organisations and individuals can nominate their own work for an award or put forward the achievements of others.

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Greens Senator grills bureaucrats on HMR caps : 05/03/2014 :

Greens Senator Richard Di Natale has used a Senate Estimates Hearing to question senior Health Department bureaucrats on the 20 a month Home Medicines Review cap introduced on 1 March.

Both Department of Health Secretary, Professor Jane Halton, and Deputy Secretary David Learmonth, were grilled by Senator Di Natale on the rationale for the caps.

Both, as well less senior officials, stuck to the script – it was simply a matter of a budget overrun.

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Desktop version of eMIMS now available : 05/03/2014 :

Late in 2013 MIMS Australia launched its new web based product, eMIMSCloud, with the promise that eMIMSDesktop would “launch soon”. The desktop version has now been released.

Announcing the eMIMSDesktop release yesterday, MIMS Siobhan Murphy said “MIMS understands that not all our customers are ready for or able to access medicine information via the internet and that installing the software onto their hard drive remains the preference of many.” 

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Poll: government funded professional pharmacy services : 05/03/2014 :

The capacity of pharmacy to be trusted with government money has likely taken a hit in recent times following allegations of rorting of both the HMR and Medscheck programs. What impact will this have on the future of government funding for professional services in pharmacy?

Will pharmacy's single most important funder (by a long shot) see past the apparent wrong doing and understand both the value of having pharmacists perform HMRs, RMMRs, Medschecks and the like and know that most providers 'do the right thing'? Or will they throw their collective hands in the air and decide the profession can't be trusted?

What do you think will happen to government funded professional pharmacy services once the 5th Community Pharmacy Agreement ends? Please let us know in this week's AusPharm poll.

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Self Care launches Immunisation Action Kit : 04/03/2014 :

PSA Self Care has launched an Immunisation Action Kit that will help pharmacies both implement in-store influenza immunisation promotional activity and host an influenza immunisation service.

The launch of the kit follows the approval of a Queensland pharmacist immunisation service pilot, being run by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, to cover the upcoming Queensland influenza season.

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Expressions of interest for appointment to Pharmacy Board panels : 04/03/2014 :

The Pharmacy Board has foreshadowed that it will soon call for expressions of interest from experienced practising pharmacists interested in being considered for appointment to panels.

Health panels and performance and professional standards panels are convened when required by the Board to hold hearings into specific health, performance or conduct matters for individual pharmacists.

The Board says further information regarding the expression of interest process will be published on its website in early March 2014.

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Harvey to 'keep on keeping on' : 04/03/2014 :

Public health physician Dr Ken Harvey announced yesterday that he is to defer his planned retirement and accept a new university appointment as an Adjunct Associate Professor - the same role from which he recently resigned at Latrobe University.

In February Dr Harvey tendered his resignation from his position at Latrobe University in protest against a decision by the University to accept research funding from the Swisse vitamin company.

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Medschecks 'rorts': 'No comment' from Health Dept, CW : 04/03/2014 :

In light of recent reports that some Chemist warehouse pharmacies are performing unusually high numbers of Medschecks, AusPharm asked the Department of Health whether it was investigating the reports. We also asked whether attempts would be made to recover any government money found to have been inappropriately claimed.

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New PBS info paper launched : 03/03/2014 :

A new publication which aims to explain the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) was launched last week at Parliament House in Canberra by the Medicines Partnership of Australia.     

An Introduction to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme details the history of the PBS, what it does, the key participants in the manufacturing and supply process, and key issues for the Scheme in the future.

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Dutton: new medicines PBS listed 'as soon as possible' after proven : 03/03/2014 :

Health Minster Peter Dutton has formally announced the new PBS listings that took effect on 1 March. These have, of course, been available to AusPharm members for more than two weeks now, here.

In making the announcement of the new listings he said “The Government believes that Australians should have access to new medicines through the PBS as soon as possible after they are proven.”

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TGA reviewing claims EHC doesn't work in women over 70kg : 03/03/2014 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) says it is reviewing recent information which suggests levonorgestrel, when use for emergency hormonal contraception in a dose of 1.5mg stat, may not be effective for women who weigh more than 70 kg.

It is advising consumers that, irrespective of the weight of the woman taking it, levonorgestrel may not prevent pregnancy in every case. The sooner you take emergency contraceptive, says TGA, the more likely it is that it will work.

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BOTOX PBS listed for chronic migraine : 03/03/2014 :

From this month BOTOX (botulinum toxin type A) is PBS listed for the prophylaxis of headaches in adults with chronic migraine - these are people who experience headaches for 15 days or more per month with a migraine on at least eight of those days.

This will enable trained Australian neurologists to administer BOTOX for this condition.

Treatment with BOTOX can reduce the number of headache days and hours per month in addition to reducing acute medication use and increasing the number of migraine-free days.

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27,560 pharmacists : 03/03/2014 :

Quarterly data released over the weekend by the Pharmacy Board reveals that, at 31 December 2014, there were 27,560 registered pharmacists in Australia, an increase of 221 practitioners over the 31 October tally.

Of these, 24,867 have general registration and 1,763 have provisional registration. A total of 917 pharmacists are non-practising and 13 have some form of limited registration.

16,554 (60%) were female and 11,006 (40%) were male.

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