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AusPharm news

Rural Pharmacy Scholarship recipients announced : 29/05/2014 :

Forty students from across the country have been awarded Rural Pharmacy Scholarships for 2014.

The Rural Pharmacy Scholarships provide financial support to students from rural and remote communities to encourage them to undertake undergraduate or graduate studies in pharmacy at university.

Scholarship holders receive $10,000 each year, for up to four years of study, to help cover the costs associated with study away from home. They also participate in a mentor program aimed at reinforcing the students’ ties to rural and regional Australia.

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PSA ACT Branch gets a new President : 29/05/2014 :

Patrick Reid has been elected President of the ACT Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. Bill Kelly and Elise Apolloni have been elected as Vice Presidents.

Mr Reid, pictured at right, is a Canberra community pharmacist and is Chief Executive Officer of Leading Aged Services Australia. He has previously been President of the ACT Branch of the Pharmacy Guild and has also held a management position in the Guild's National Office.

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Poll: is your pharmacy fielding requests for old formula Oxycontin? : 28/05/2014 :

E

arlier this year Oxycontin manufacturer, Mundipharma, brought to market a new version of its popular opioid analgesic Oxycontin. The new formulation is said to be harder (impossible?) to misuse, particularly by injection.

Since then, on AusPharmList, there has been discussion about pharmacies being asked by consumers if they have any 'old' formula Oxycontin still in stock - particularly the higher 40mg and 80mg strengths.

Has your pharmacy had many requests for old formula Oxycontin? Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in this week's AusPharm poll.

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TGA 'medicine shortage' website now live : 28/05/2014 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration's new 'medicine shortage' website has now gone live.

The facility allows consumers and health professionals to check on the availability of a particular (prescription) medicine and find relevant information, such as the current supply status and the likely duration of medicine shortages.

It contains a comprehensive list of FAQs for consumers, health professionals and industry.

Take a look here.

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Health Minister responds to 'Pharmacy under threat' petition - with a 'no' : 28/05/2014 :

Federal Health Minister Peter Dutton has once again declined to offer government compensation to community pharmacies set to be affected by Simplified Price Disclosure.

The Simplified Price Disclosure  measure was announced just before the 2013 federal election by the then Labor government -  'without consultation and in breach of the Community Pharmacy Agreement' according to the Pharmacy Guild.

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Union disappointed by Guild’s stance on award, penalty rates : 28/05/2014 :

Employee pharmacist union Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA) has condemned what it describes as the latest attack on pharmacists’ pay and conditions by the Pharmacy Guild, outlined in its submission to the Productivity Commission on business costs.

The Guild submission advocates for the reform of penalty rate and minimum shift provisions as a means to mitigate - in part - the loss of pharmacy jobs in the next 12 months, as the goverment's PBS reforms exert their impact on employment in the sector.

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TGA, Customs collaborate to stop trade in counterfeit meds : 27/05/2014 :

During May, the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) jointly contributed to an international week of action aimed at stopping the trade in counterfeit and illegal medicines purchased over the Internet.

Operation Pangea is a worldwide operation that occurs annually, aiming to disrupt organised crime networks behind the online trade of fake and illicit medicines.

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Medicines Australia CEO to move on : 27/05/2014 :

Medicines Australia (MA) Chief Executive, Dr Brendan Shaw, is to leave his post in September to take up 'a senior position within the global pharmaceutical industry'.

MA Chairman, Dr Martin Cross, said yesterday that while he was not able to discuss the specifics of Dr Shaw's new role "the news that Brendan has been appointed to a senior international position is a great step forward for Brendan in his career and recognition of the work he and Medicines Australia have done over the years."

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A big day for the TGA : 27/05/2014 :

Australia's medicines watchdog, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) outdid itself yesterday issuing no less than eight warnings on medicines that 'pose a serious risk to your health and should not be taken'.

Almost all of these contained various amounts of undeclared erect*ion enhancers such as sild*naf*l.

Included in the list were the colourfully named Black Ant Strong tablets, Play Hard for Men capsules, Stree Overlord Strong tablets, Germany Niubian tablets and Top Man 3 capsules.

Details are available on the TGA website, here.

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Pharmacy jobs on the line - Neil Mitchell interviews Guild President : 27/05/2014 :

Guild President George Tambassis was yesterday interviewed by talkback radio host Neil Mitchell on Melboure's 3AW radio station.

The two discussed the impact of what Mr Tambassis described as the 'inflexibility' of the Pharmacy Industry Award - including penalty rates -  on employment in the industry and on pharmacy viability generally.

Listen to the interview here.

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OzBargain / CW ad for Vi*g*a : 26/05/2014 :

As is often the case, the comments are much more fun than the actual ad.

'That price on Vi*g*a is Hard to beat'

'They had to do it, CW is facing some stiff competition.'

Read more here.

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Pharmacists need to 'play more of an active role' with NSAID advice : 26/05/2014 :

Pharmacists need to play a more active role in educating consumers about the potential for NSAID-related adverse effects at the point of sale of these products says Dr Judy Mullan, author of a recent study on NSAID purchases.

Dr Mullan, a senior lecturer at the Graduate School of Medicine at the University of Wollongong, surveyed consumers who had purchased ibuprofen from seven different community pharmacies in NSW.-

Detailing the results of the survey in a presentation at last week's National Medicines Symposium (NMS 2014) in Brisbane, she said that 41% of consumers surveyed were unaware that the medicines could cause 'stomach problems' and more than 50% were not aware of the medicines’ potential to cause stomach bleeding and/or kidney problems.

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Advanced Pharmacy Practice - Public Consultation : 26/05/2014 :

The inaugural meeting of the newly formed Advanced Practice Credentialing Committee (APCC) took place on 1 May 2014. The committee works under the auspices of the Australian Pharmacy Council, who is tasked with credentialing advanced practice pharmacists in Australia.

The first drafts of the credential evaluation standards, policies, and processes have been released for public consultation. The documents and associated online response survey are available on the APC website here.

The consultation period ends 5pm (AEST) on 27 June 2014.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Ruxolitinib for the treatment of myelofibrosis : 26/05/2014 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Ruxolitinib for the treatment of myelofibrosis.

"Myelofibrosis is a disorder of bone marrow. Also known as chronic idiopathic myelofibrosis or  primary myelofibrosis, it is classified as a myeloproliferative disease and causes proliferation of an abnormal clone of haematopoietic progenitor cells within the bone marrow and at other sites, resulting in fibrosis. This in turn impairs the ability to generate new red blood cells, eventually resulting in progressive pancytopenia. The proliferation of fibroblasts and deposition of collagen within the bone marrow is a secondary phenomenon. An enlarged spleen (hypersplenism) also contributes to the pancytopenia and in particular thrombocytopenia and anaemia. Other myeloproliferative disorders such as polycythaemia vera and essential thrombocytosis can progress to myelofibrosis."

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

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Poll result: should the PBS price for atorvastatin be dropped immediately to `international market rates`? : 23/05/2014 :

We have to say AusPharm is somewhat surprised at the result of this week's poll.

One third of respondents appear to agree with pharmacy's favourite journalist, Sue Dunlevy, that PBS reform is too slow to lower the price of off patent medicines, with the most obvious recent example being atorvastatin.

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Guild members Sleep at the ‘G to support Melbourne City Mission : 23/05/2014 :

Members of the Pharmacy Guild Victorian Branch leadership including Branch President Anthony Tassone, Branch Director Allan Crosthwaite and Professional Services Manager Stan Goma were among hundreds of Victorians who went without their home-cooked dinner and braved the cold to get a feel for life on the streets.  

Equipped with only a beanie, pillow and cardboard box to sleep on, the Guild team gained an understanding of the hardships faced every night by more than 6,000 homeless young Victorians who are forced to sleep rough on any given night when they took part in the second Melbourne City Mission Sleep at the ‘G fundraising event on 22 May at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. 

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College unveils new leadership group : 23/05/2014 :

The results of the recent College Board election - in which 12 candidates vied for Board positions - sees Susann Holzberger, Treasure McGuire, Peter Saccasan, Patrick Reid and Georgina Twomey elected to the Board for the period 2014 - 2017. 

Outgoing President Trent Twomey did not stand for re-election.

Commenting yesterday, Mr Twomey said "I am delighted to report that outgoing Directors leave the College with sadness but are very gratified that they are leaving the College in good shape. The College has gone from strength to strength as reflected in the achievements of the College business plan objectives, including the achievement of education, financial, conference and membership targets."

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TGA to launch 'medicine shortage' resource : 23/05/2014 :

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has announced plans to provide both consumers and health professionals with an online resource to supply them with information about the availability of medicines that are in short supply.

The facility will allow consumers and health professionals to check on the availability of a particular medicine and find relevant information, such as the current supply status and the likely duration of medicine shortages.

The new 'medicine shortage' website will be officially launched by the Assistant Minister for Health, Senator Fiona Nash, on Monday.

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AusPharm CPD: RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin CPD Digest - Issue Number 69 : 22/05/2014 :

The next in our 2014 series of continuing professional development activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 69.

This CPD activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins, Volumes 53-3→ 53-7 (January 2014/February 2014).

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AHPRA releases updated advertising guidelines : 22/05/2014 :

AHPRA has released an updated version of its Guidelines for advertising regulated health services (Advertising guidelines) after receiving a large amount of feedback critical of the original version's apparent requirement that registered health professionals, including pharmacists, seek to have removed from social media and other websites testimonials posted by consumers of their services.

No substantive changes have been made to the new guidelines other than to make clear the guidelines are not intended to stop members of the public, including patients, from discussing their experiences online or in person.


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