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AusPharm news

Pharma: Don't import NZ medicines system to Australia : 10/10/2013 :

Speaking at a Medicines New Zealand conference in Auckland yesterday, Medicines Australia Chief Executive, Dr Brendan Shaw, said that Australia should avoid adopting the New Zealand model of medicines funding.

“While New Zealand has exported many good things to Australia, its system of funding medicines should not be one of them,” Dr Shaw said.

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Poll: CPD for the year just ended : 09/10/2013 :

The CPD year ended on September 30 with this year's Pharmacy Board requirement being that pharmacists need to have accumulated 40 CPD credits, not more than half of which can be Group 1 credits.

This week, the Board reminded pharmacists that they might, at any time, be randomly selected for audit to confirm they have complied with the Board's CPD standard.

How would you go if selected for audit? Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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Bill Scott moves on : 09/10/2013 :

Respected Australian pharmacy leader Bill Scott has stepped down as Chairman of both GuildLink and the Fred IT Group.

Mr Scott chaired GuildLink, formerly known as healthlinks.net, from the time of the Pharmacy Guild’s purchase of the company in October 2004. He oversaw the transition of the company from a facilitator of Consumer Medicines Information (CMI) leaflets, to a developer and distributor of national systemised patient support programs via its GuildCare platform.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Lamotrigine in bipolar depression : 08/10/2013 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Lamotrigine in bipolar depression.

"Bipolar disorder is characterized by episodes of recurrent mania or hypomania and recurrent depression. The disorder is categorised into the bipolar I and bipolar II subtypes. Major depressive episodes are a debilitating aspect of the illness for most patients with bipolar disorder, and there is an associated significant risk of suicide. In general terms, pharmacological management options for the treatment for mania have been more extensively studied than for bipolar depression. One of the major challenges in treating bipolar depression is to reduce depressive symptoms without inducing mania (a phenomenon sometimes referred to as treatment-emergent affective switch – TEAS)."

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

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Increased role for pharmacists poor prescription for rural ills : 08/10/2013 :

Calls to allow pharmacists in country areas to issue prescriptions and administer vaccinations would condemn rural Australians to substandard care, the AMA believes.

AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton said it was a flawed idea that would compromise the standard of care rather than improve access to primary health services.

He was responding to proposals in a recent Grattan Institute Report that pharmacists could play a greater role in health care in rural areas underserviced by GPs by administering vaccinations and issuing repeat prescriptions for chronic medications.

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Board concerned about proposed new dextropropoxyphene supply arrangement : 07/10/2013 :

It was announced last month that prescribers wishing to prescribe Aspen's dextropropoxyphene products Di-Gesic and Doloxene may soon need to provide pharmacists with an additional 'Prescriber Form' as well as the actual prescription.

In its regular monthly communiqué, published on Friday, the Pharmacy Board said "it is concerned about the ramifications for pharmacists in that additional requirements must be complied with if supplying these products."

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Pharmacy Board audits can happen at any time : 07/10/2013 :

Pharmacy Board parent body AHPRA recently undertook work  to determine the frequency, size and type of audits required to determine health professionals' compliance with mandatory registration standards.

In its regular monthly communiqué, issued last week, the Board said pharmacists should be aware that auditing may occur at any time - not just as part of the registration renewal process - and ensure evidence (records of activities which meet the requirements of the standard) are retained for three years. 

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RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin CPD Digest - Issue No 63 : 04/10/2013 :

The next in our 2013 series of continuing professional development activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 63.

This CPD activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins, Volumes 51-3 → 51-6 (July/August 2013).

You can access these E-Bulletins individually here or as a group here (this Digest includes the 4 bulletins, the references and the questions).

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Expanded role for pharmacists in rural areas a 'great idea' : 04/10/2013 :

82% of the respondents to this week's AusPharm poll think it's a 'great idea' for pharmacists to take on an expanded role in health in rural areas poorly servcied by GPs.

The idea was floated recently in a new Gratten Institute report, authoted by former Health Department head, Stephen Duckett. Ducket sees a role for pharmacists in areas underservied by GPS in giving vaccinations, issuing and filling repeat prescriptions and taking a greater role in managing medications for people with chronic conditions.

Roughly half of those endorsing the idea in the poll think it has a good chance of getting up with the other half believing the doctor lobby will stymie progression of the iinitative.

 

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40 CPD points your target for 2013/14 : 04/10/2013 :

The Pharmacy Board confirmed yesterday that for the period 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2014, pharmacists will be required to achieve at least 40 CPD credits.

Details are on the Board's website here.

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Wound care in practice - new resource for health professionals to be launched at PAC13 : 04/10/2013 :

A practical hands-on wound care guide for frontline health-care professionals has been developed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and will be released at the Society’s upcoming Congress in Brisbane.

The new Wound care in practice book contains full-colour illustrations and is a quick and easy reference to help assess and manage common wounds.

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October Australian Prescriber : 03/10/2013 :

The October 2013 issue of Australian Prescriber is now available online. Topics featured in this issue include:

  • Asthma drugs in pregnancy and lactation
  • Assessment and management of eating disorders
  • Prescribing for refugees

It also contains the most recent Medicines Safety Update.

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Rigby, Tenni join new SHPA accredited pharmacists group : 03/10/2013 :

Debbie Rigby and Dr Peter Tenni are both members of a new, SHPA affiliated, accredited pharmacists' group that has been formed to enhance support and advocacy for pharmacists who provide clinical pharmacy services, such as medication reviews, to patients in the community setting.

SHPA President Sue Kirsa said “SHPA has been supporting our many members who are accredited pharmacists since the inception of this area of pharmacy practice. As one of only two organisations in Australia that is authorised to accredit pharmacists, it is a natural progression for SHPA to reinforce its commitment to this aspect of pharmacy practice and to our members who practise in this field, especially with the anticipated introduction of the post-discharge hospital referral pathway for home medicines reviews."

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PSA National President receives South Australian Guild Branch's highest honour : 03/10/2013 :

National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Grant Kardachi, has been awarded the Pharmacy Guild's South Australian Branch’s highest honour for his work in pharmacy.

Mr Karachi was presented with the Barry Schultz Medal for Excellence in Pharmacy by the Pharmacy Guild’s National President, Kos Sclavos at a ceremony in Adelaide on Tuesday night.

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NSW Guild Branch gets a new President : 02/10/2013 :

Paul Sinclair is the new President of the NSW Branch of the Pharmacy Guild.

Mr Sinclair, pictured at right, is a Sydney community pharmacist and National Councillor of the Guild, having been elected to that position in 2007. In 2010, he was elected to the Community Pharmacy Section Executive Committee of FIP.

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Telstra acquires 50% of FRED : 02/10/2013 :

Telstra has acquired a 50% share in market leading pharmacy IT company the FRED IT group.

Fred IT Group CEO and pharmacist Paul Naismith, said “This new strategic partnership with Telstra underpins Fred’s core commitment to providing IT innovation and leadership for pharmacy and pharmacy customers over the long term. It allows us to continue to invest strongly in eHealth and cloud computing which are vital in improving patient health and safety, creating new ways for pharmacy to service its customers and run its business. Our commitment to, and focus on, pharmacy remains our absolute priority.”

Telstra’s Head of Health, Shane Solomon said the investment was part of Telstra’s ongoing focus on building capability in the health sector.

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Poll: an expanded role for pharmacists in rural Australia? : 02/10/2013 :

A new Grattan Institute report widely reported this week in both mainstream and pharmacy press -  Access all areas: new solutions for GP shortages in rural Australia - suggests that pharmacists may have a greater role to play in health in areas where GP shortages exist. The report proposes that pharmacists:

  • give vaccinations
  • issue and fill repeat prescriptions
  • take a greater role in managing medications for people with chronic conditions

Is this a good idea and is there any chance the proposal will actually be implemented? Please let us know what you think by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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Government hits pharmacy with $25,000 bill : 01/10/2013 :

After admitted to claiming the Medscheck incentive without complying with the requirements of the program a pharmacy has been billed over $25,000 for incorrect claims.

The case is highlighted in the Department of Human Services 2013-15 Compliance Program, which outlines the key departmental compliance activities for the period.

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The future of pharmacy: UTAS combines practical skills and research theory in new pharmacy course : 01/10/2013 :

Early career pharmacists are given greater opportunities with the Bachelor of Pharmacy with Professional Honours course at the University of Tasmania

The new Professional Honours course offered by the School of Pharmacy at the Faculty of Health Science builds on the practical skills of budding pharmacists that are learnt during their intern year. Course Coordinator Mr Colin Curtain has high hopes for the course.

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Time to renew your pharmacist registration : 01/10/2013 :

Over 25,700 pharmacists with general or non-practising registration are due to renew their registration with the Pharmacy Board by 30 November.

Last year over 90 per cent of all health practitioner registration renewals due by 30 November were submitted online.

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