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AusPharm news

Braun takes up Directorship of Blackmore's Institute : 10/02/2014 :

Well know Australian pharmacist, Lesley Braun, has taken up her new position as Director of the Blackmores Institute.

Commenting on her appointment Associate Professor Braun said “Complementary medicine plays an important role in people’s healthcare in Australia.”

“I’m really proud to be leading the Blackmores Institute to develop more high quality research and education in this area so the public, pharmacists and GPs they see are better able to use and recommend CM safely and effectively.”

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How does the pharmacy profession ensure the competency and employability of our future graduates? : 10/02/2014 :

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Guild pitches for expanded role for community pharmacy : 10/02/2014 :

The Pharmacy Guild has lodged a Pre-Budget submission with the Federal Government which highlights the potential benefits and savings to the health system achievable through expanding the role of pharmacists working in community pharmacies.
 
This is the first time in recent memory that the Guild has made a Pre-Budget submission - the Guild’s focus is usually on the five year Community Pharmacy Agreements, which have largely removed community pharmacy from the yearly Budget cycle.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation : 10/02/2014 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation.

"Electronic cigarettes (E-cigarettes) are battery operated devices for making mists for inhalation that usually simulate cigarette smoking. They may or may not contain nicotine plus other chemicals or flavouring. E-cigarettes may appeal to some smokers as a smoking cessation aid. They can be accessed in many countries without the restrictions around medicines that apply to licensed nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), or without costly involvement of health professionals. They may be considered safer than cigarettes."

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

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MIMS Monthly Medicine Update : 10/02/2014 :

The MIMS January/February 2014 Monthly Medicine Update is now available. Click the link to read it now.

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Pharmacists pessimistic about further cuts in federal budget : 07/02/2014 :

Only 15% of the respondents to this week's AusPharm poll believe community pharmacy remuneration will be left alone in the 2014/15 federal budget, due to be handed down in May.

61% of those voting in the poll believe pharmacy will get caught up in across the board budget cuts.

27% said "let's wait and see'.

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Big Pharma calls on Government to 'save the PBS' : 07/02/2014 :

Peak pharma group, Medicines Australia, has called on the Australian Government to 'save the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)' by delivering stable policies that support the medicines industry and ultimately Australian patients. 

“Medicine Australia’s Budget submission sets out six measures that will protect the PBS for future generations,” Medicines Australia Chief Executive, Dr Brendan Shaw, said.

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Pressure mounts on Latrobe to kill Swisse deal : 07/02/2014 :

The Consumers Health Forum is the latest group to oppose La Trobe University's partnership with the Swisse vitamin company in a new Complementary Medicine Research centre.

The group says the $15 million research deal with 'a purveyor of unproven pills and potions is a disturbing misdirection of university effort when so many areas of valid health research are desperate for attention'.

“CHF calls on La Trobe to cancel the research agreement with Swisse,” CHF’s spokesman, Mark Metherell, said.

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You'll feel better on The Checkout : 07/02/2014 :

With the Swisse vitamin company being prominent in the news this week, 'listers might enjoy the promotional video for the second series of ABC TV consumer affairs program The Checkout, due to commence its 2014 season later this month.

Clearly, the team at the Checkout haven't 'forgiven and forgotten' over their (as yet unresolved) stoush with individuals connected with the Swisse company last year.

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First AusPharm CPD for 2014: Red eye conditions in the pharmacy : 06/02/2014 :

The first AusPharm CPD topic for 2014 is Red eye conditions in the pharmacy - it's been put together for us by Ella Van Tienen.

"Pharmacists are the first contact for many people seeking advice and treatment for a wide range of symptoms. With the increasing awareness of the availability of chloramphenicol eye preparations over the counter (OTC), pharmacists are likely to see more consumers seeking treatment options for eye conditions, and particularly for suspected conjunctivitis."

This activity has been accredited for 1 hour of Group One CPD (1 CPD Credit) that may be converted to 2 Group Two CPD Credits upon successful completion of the corresponding assessment for inclusion on an individual pharmacist's CPD Record. Accreditation number: A1401AP0.

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Friends of Science in Medicine backs Harvey : 06/02/2014 :

The group Friends of Science in Medicine (FSM) has come out in support of Dr Ken Harvey following his decision earlier this week to resign his post at Latrobe University after the University announced it would be partnering with the Swisse vitamin company in a new research facility.

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NPS launches new MedicineList+ app : 06/02/2014 :

NPS MedicineWise has launched a new app, MedicineList+, available for both Android and iOS devices. The free app is designed to help consumers know about and manage their medicines, as well as record important health information including measurement and test results.

The app is also capable of keeping track of more than one person’s medicines list, a feature that may be particularly handy for parents and carers of older family members.

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Guild calling on members for tales of woe from the trenches : 06/02/2014 :

The Pharmacy Guild is asking members to send along real life examples of how their pharmacies are being forced to reduce services because of the impact of price disclosure.

Writing in the Guild's Forefront publication, Guild Executive Director David Quilty, says the Guild must demonstrate to the politicians that the unpaid services, support and advice provided by pharmacies who put their patients before their own financial bottom-lines are being put at risk.

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Guild calls for MedsCheck audit : 06/02/2014 :

Following reports that some Chemist Warehouse pharmacies have performed extraordinary numbers of Medschecks, the Pharmacy Guild has called on the Federal Government to undertake a full audit of the Medschecks program.

Guild Executive Director, David Quilty, said: “Pharmacies, including some who are being forced to put off staff, are understandably unhappy that their responsible use of MedsChecks is being curtailed, particularly if this is a result of other pharmacy groups allegedly not abiding by the rules."

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Poll: will pharmacy suffer more pain in this year's federal budget? : 05/02/2014 :

In his opinion piece, published on AusPharm on Tuesday, former Guild Executive Director Stephen Greenwood, warns that the government's Commission of Audit "could provide the excuse to further attack pharmacy incomes in 2014 under the guise of the need for cuts across the board to Government expenditure."

"When Governments want to save money," he wrote "almost nothing will stop them."

Are further cuts to pharmacy income likely in the 2014/15 federal budget to be brought down in May? Or will the government accept that the (through price disclosure) cuts to the PBS over the last few years have done enough to make the PBS sustainable and leave pharmacy alone?

Please let us know what you think by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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Harvey parts company with Latrobe University over Swisse partnership : 05/02/2014 :

Prominent public health physician Dr Ken Harvey has resigned his position as Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Public Health at Latrobe University because of the recently announced partnership between La Trobe University and the Swisse vitamin company.

While the University says that it's proposed Complementary Medicine Evidence Centre (CMEC) will 'scientifically examine the quality and efficacy of its [Swisse] products' Dr Harvey says Swisse is well known for prioritizing the marketing of its products 'especially by the use of celebrities' over their scientific assessment.

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Confusion, misinformation over alprazolam scripts : 05/02/2014 :

As has been commented on frequently on AusPharmList over the years, the various state and territory Poisons Acts and Regulations not uncommonly take a different stance on a particular issue. Although AusPharm is not familiar with the legislation in all states, this appears to be the case with alprazolam. 

Reports in some pharmacy media have put some of the facts incorrectly. Comments on some social media websites have also been incorrect. The facts on alprazolam in each state or territory can be obtained from that state or territory's drugs and poisons unit.

Links to these are available on the TGA website, here.

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250 students attend 2014 NAPSA Congress : 05/02/2014 :

The 2014 National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NASPSA) Congress - this year held in Bendigo - attracted over 250 student delegates.

NAPSA President, Xavier Agostino said he was impressed by how well educated delegates were on the major issues that face the pharmacy profession at present such as accelerated price disclosure and the administration of vaccinations in community pharmacy.

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AMA TV: Steve Hambleton on pharmacists and vaccination : 05/02/2014 :

AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton has called for a trial of community pharmacists providing flu vaccinations to be stopped.

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SHPA's Accredited Pharmacists Reference Group sets its course : 04/02/2014 :

In December 2013, the SHPA Accredited Pharmacists Reference Group held its inaugural meeting and confirmed its primary purpose - to support accredited pharmacists who provide medication review services to consumers.

The Reference Group has spelt out that its core objectives are to develop strategies to facilitate and support

  • a sustainable funding model for providing medication reviews
  • targeting the service at those who are most at risk.

Membership of the Reference Group has now been expanded to include a geriatrician, in addition to a general practitioner.

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