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AusPharm news

Board approval needed to begin internships : 03/03/2014 :

The Pharmacy Board is reminding interns and preceptors that, to begin an internship, interns must be (provisionally) registered with AHPRA.

It is also reminding  interns and preceptors that supervised practice as an intern cannot be accumulated unless an intern has had their period of supervised practice approved by the Board before starting their internship.

Application forms for provisional registration and approval of supervised practice are available on the Board’s website.

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6th Agreement consultation process begins : 28/02/2014 :

Representatives of over 50 organisations in the health sector met in Canberra yesterday in a 'stakeholder forum' for discussions on what initiatives might be included in the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement, due to commence on 1 June 2014 when the current Agreement concludes.

Those in attendance represented a broad cross-section of interests: pharmacy organisations, 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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Esomeprazole to go S3 : 28/02/2014 :

Esomeprazole preparations containing 20mg or less of the active ingredient will likely be available from pharmacies without a prescription from 1 June 2014.

The approved indication will be 'for the relief of heartburn and other symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, in packs containing not more than 14 days supply'.

The TGA's Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling made the decision to downschedule 20mg esomeprazole at its November 2013 meeting. At this stage it is an 'interim' decision, and awaits final confirmation.

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Pfizer direct to pharmacy supply model set to continue : 28/02/2014 :

Pfizer's direct to pharmacy exclusive supply model looks set to continue for at least another three years after logistics company DHL signed on with the company to deliver its products for another three years. There had been speculation in pharmacy circles that Pfizer would dump the model once the genericisation of its blockbuster atorvastatin brand, Lipitor, had run its course.

DHL was first appointed as the logistics provider for Pfizer Direct in 2011. Since Pfizer Direct launched on 1 February 2011, DHL has processed over 1.3 million orders incorporating over 73 million units. According to DHL, 99.5% of the orders have been delivered in full and on time with warehouse key performance indicators achieving 99.98% inventory accuracy and 99.89% pick accuracy.

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GPs back HMRs over Health Checks : 28/02/2014 :

United General Practice Australia (UGPA), a group comprised of all the major GP groups, has thrown its support behind 'collaborative care arrangements' such as Home Medicines Reviews (HMRs) and spoken out against proposed pharmacist conducted health checks.

The group says the value of preventive health checks performed outside of general practice like those proposed by the Pharmacy Guild in a pre-budget submission to the Department of Health - lack an evidence base, adding that expanded pharmacists’ roles must link with general practice to achieve improved patient outcomes.

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Pharmacists: broad input into 6CPA negotiations needed : 28/02/2014 :

The results of this week's AusPharm poll to suggest that most pharmacists are keen for there to be broad input from pharmacy into the negotiation process for the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement.

13% of poll respondents siad the 'Guild only' should be involved in negotiations however another 28% said the 'Guild only' should be involved but it should *genuinely* collaborate with other groups. 18% thought negotiations should involve the PSA as well as the Guild and 23% told us all the pharmacy groups should be involved.

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Preliminary survey results suggests more than 97 affected by HMR capping rules : 28/02/2014 :

Preliminary survey results for the 'Impact of HMR program changes' survey, set up by accredited pharmacist Dr Peter Tenni, suggest that the impact of the rule changes could be much wider than originally estimated, with 35% (90) of respondents saying they do more than 20 HMRs per month, and 36% (96) indicating that their, or another person’s, job will be lost as a result.

Dr Tenni said "While it may be that this data is selected by the people that have taken the 5 minutes to complete the survey, it certainly seems at odds with the “small number” (3%) of affected providers being stated elsewhere."

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Opportunity? Peak consumer group seeks Board member for casual vacancy : 27/02/2014 :

Opportunity for a BYT pharmacist?

Peak consumer group the Consumers Health Forum is looking to fill a casual vacancy on its Board following the recent resignation of former Chair, Karen Carey.

The Expression of Interest information sheet describes CHF as 'the national voice for health consumers. As an independent non-government organisation, CHF helps shape Australia’s health system by representing and involving consumers in health policy and program development. CHF member organisations reach millions of Australian health consumers across a wide range of health interests and health system experiences.'

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'Pharmacy under threat' petition tabled : 27/02/2014 :

The 'Pharmacy under threat' petition, signed in community pharmacies by over 1.2 million consumers during August and September last year, was yesterday tabled in the federal parliament by the Member for Ryan, Jane Prentice.

At 1,210,471 signatures, the petition is the largest ever presented to the Australian House of Representatives. The previous record holders were a petition on beer prices lodged in 2000 (792,985 signatures), followed by a 1993 petition calling for greater healthcare funding (approximately 500,000 signatures).

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Kate Carnell new ACCI CEO : 27/02/2014 :

Pharmacist Kate Carnell AO has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).

The ACCI is the peak body for Australia's businesses organisations and includes amongst its members the State and Territory Chambers of Commerce and Industry and national industry associations from all sectors of the economy, including pharmacy.

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Online survey: impact of HMR program changes : 27/02/2014 :

An online survey has been organised by accredited pharmacist Dr Peter Tenni that aims to gather information on the number of accredited pharmacists who will be affected by the recent changes to the Home Medicines Review program.

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Problems with the emailed version of the daily AusPharm(e)news : 26/02/2014 :

AusPharm has encountered difficulties in reliably getting each day's (e)news into member's inboxes over the last week.

We *think* have now identified the problem and are working towards a resolution. Sadly, this may take a few days yet.

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Pharmacy of the Year finalists named : 26/02/2014 :

The names of the ten finalists in the 2014 Quality Care Pharmacy Program (QCPP) Pharmacy of the Year have been announced.

The awards recognise excellence in pharmacy across three categories, Business Management, Community Engagement and Innovation in Professional Services.

Category winners and the overall winner for 2014 will be announced at the APP conference on the Gold Coast on Thursday 13 March.

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Connect, Engage and Invigorate @ CPExpo 2014: Register now! : 26/02/2014 :

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Further changes to HMR capping rules : 26/02/2014 :

The number of Home Medicines Reviews able to be claimed by a single accredited pharmacist from March 1 will now be capped at 20, regardless of whether the pharmacist is operating independently or performing HMRs on a contract basis for another service provider, including a community pharmacy.

Prior to the announcement yesterday - made on the Pharmacy Guild's 5th Agreement website - it was assumed that accredited pharmacists would be able to perform (and claim for) up to 20 HMRs a month while operating 'independently' and, additionally, perform up to 20 HMRs a month for other service providers, such as community pharmacies.

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Poll: should the Guild alone represent pharmacy in 6CPA negotiations? : 26/02/2014 :

Amidst mixed reactions from pharmacists since changes to the HMR and Medschecks programs were announced last week, there have been calls from pharmacy leaders including Guild Executive Director David Quilty and PSA NSW President (and former Guild President) John Bronger for pharmacy to present a united front in the lead up to negotiations for the next Pharmacy Agreement.

In his article, published on AusPharm yesterday, John Bronger expressed the view that the Guild should represent pharmacy in these negotiations but that 'there is more room for greater information sharing and collaboration.'

What do you think? Should the Guild carry pharmacy's flag in 6CPA negotiations or should they just be one of the players?

Please let us have your view by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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Doctor poll: in your experience, are HMRs an efficient and effective use of taxpayers' money? : 25/02/2014 :

Medical publication, Australian Doctor, is currently running a poll that aims to determine whether or not doctors think ‘HMRs [are] a worthwhile use of taxpayers' money’.

The options presented for voting are:

  • Yes - I think they are worthwhile. They offer a cost effective way of reducing adverse drug events and supporting older patients
  • Maybe – I think they are worthwhile, but they are far too expensive
  • No – I think they are a waste of time and money

At the time of writing (6AM Tuesday) almost 150 votes had been cast. 44% of respondents had ticked the 'worthwhile' box with 40% ticking the 'waste of time and money' box. 15% were undecided.

The poll is online, at the Australian Doctor website, here.

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Tambassis: Guild won't relent on price disclosure offset : 25/02/2014 :

The legislation enacting changes to price disclosure policy announced just prior to last year's federal election - without consultation with pharmacy - has now been passed by federal parliament and will come into force on 1 October 2014.

Pharmacy Guild financial modelling estimates that the policy change will reduce bottom line profit by an average of $30,00 a pharmacy.

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Strongly expressed posts to AusPharmList : 24/02/2014 :

Over the last week or so we've received a few emails commenting that some posts to AusPharmList have been a little more 'spirited' than usual. It has been suggested that our moderators might have done well to tone these down.

Be assured, we do take care to ensure that posts are appropriately expressed and do not become too 'aggro'.

Seasoned users of AusPharmList and other internet discussion fora aren't usually too fussed by 'assertive' exchanges however some other users are more sensitive - we are conscious of this and, when necessary, negotiate with post authors on the way a post is expressed.

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Online e-learning modules for intern pharmacists launched : 24/02/2014 :

The Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) has developed and launched a set of four online e-learning modules to support pharmacy interns in their preparation for the Intern Written Exam.

The modules have been developed in response to intern feedback and as part of the APC’s ongoing continuous improvement of its examination services.

These modules cover all aspects of the Intern Written Examination experience comprehensively, from examination format and content to the candidate experience on the day of the examination. There is also a module specifically designed to support those candidates who have been unsuccessful in sitting the examination.

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