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AusPharm news

GSK helps out in Vanuatu : 20/03/2015 :

GSK has given a £50,000 (~AU$97,000) donation to international children’s charity Save the Children Australia to support relief efforts following the trail of destruction left by Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu.

General Manager for GSK Australia Geoff McDonald said “We have had a partnership with Save the Children for many years. Their immediate response on the ground to identify priority areas of need was exemplary. I am proud we can work together to support those impacted by the devastation.”

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PHARMeFOOTY on again in 2015 : 19/03/2015 :

Australia's only on-line Australian Football League and National Rugby League tipping competition for pharmacy starts again this month.

PHARMeFOOTY is a free, on-line tipping service sponsored by Fred IT Group and Medici Capital. Pharmacies and pharmacy students can compete in either AFL or NRL tipping, or both. Cash prizes of up to $5000 apply for the competition.

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Professional services 'pricelist' on the way : 19/03/2015 :

Speaking from the audience at the APP2015 conference on Friday Darwin community pharmacy owner Shelley Forrester floated the idea of the Guild providing pharmacies with a 'recommended pricelist' for professional services - backed up with information supporting the fees proposed.

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2015 QCPP Pharmacy of the Year video : 19/03/2015 :

As reported last month, Broome's Kimberley Pharmacy Services is the 2015 QCPP Pharmacy of the Year champions.

A video, depicting the pharmacy's work is now online on the Pharmacy Guild’s website.

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More anti pharmacy bile from News Ltd : 19/03/2015 :

Conspiracy theorists in pharmacy will be having a field day following the publication of an anti pharmacy rant in The Australian from Janet Albrechtsen yesterday. It follows closely on the heels of Sun Dunlevy's 'openly hostile and biased' hatchet job on the sector, published in News Ltd papers on Sunday.

The Albrechtsen piece describes the Pharmacy Guild as a "powerful union” that “is allowed to dictate to government the terms of its own self-serving, competition-free cartel with no input from outside stakeholders".

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... and more from Dunlevy too : 19/03/2015 :

This morning's News Ltd publications feature yet another piece from Sue Dunlevy on pharmacy.

It describes calls from Medicines Australia that "efforts to promote the judicious, safe and effective use of medicines should be at the heart of the CPA" and also quotes a joint letter from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, the Royal Australian College of Physicians and the Consumer’s Health Forum calling on the Federal Government to "initiate a thorough review of the future of CPAs in order to inform future policy".

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New research shows Australia lags behind other countries in access to new medicines : 19/03/2015 :

A new report launched at the National Press Club yesterday by Medicines Australia Chairman Dr Martin Cross shows that Australia ranks 18th out of 20 comparable OECD countries in time taken to bring new medicines to market via the PBS.

The COMPARE report – Comparison of Access and Reimbursement Environments – an independent analysis of 247 new and innovative pharmaceutical medicines first registered between 2009 and 2014, shows that out of 20 comparable OECD countries, Australia ranks 3rd last, only above New Zealand and Portugal.

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ACCC appeals Pfizer decision : 19/03/2015 :

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is to appeal the recent Federal Court decision to dismiss the ACCC’s challenge to Pfizer's commercial tactics when launching its generic atorvastatin product.

The ACCC had alleged that Pfizer had broken the law by 'misusing its substantial market power and engaging in exclusive dealing conduct for the purpose of substantially lessening competition' in relation to particular cholesterol lowering products by its offers to supply its originator brand of atorvastatin, Lipitor, and its own generic atorvastatin product to community pharmacies in early 2012. 

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Send Sue Dunlevy a message : 18/03/2015 :

Outrage from pharmacists over News Ltd journalist Sue Dunlevy's 'openly hostile and biased' story about community pharmacy continues unabated on various social media platforms.

For those so minded, Ms Dunlevy has a Facebook page on which you can leave a comment about the story. Many pharmacists have already done just this.

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Poll: does your pharmacy sell homeopathic products : 18/03/2015 :

Last week, the National Health and Medical Research Council released its long awaited report into the evidence (or not) for homeopathy - Evidence on the effectiveness of homeopathy for treating a clinical condition.

Unsurprisingly, the review found no good quality, well-designed studies with enough participants to support the idea that homeopathy works better than a placebo, or causes health improvements equal to those of another treatment.

Commenting on the review, Emeritus Professor Alastair MacLennan AO, Co-Vice President of Friends of Science in Medicine (FSM), a non-industry aligned advocacy group for quality evidence in health, said that homeopathic products should now be removed from pharmacies and retail outlets.

“It is completely unprofessional and unethical now for pharmacies to sell homeopathic products,” he said.

Does your pharmacy stock homeopathic products? Please let us know by voting in this week's AusPharm poll.

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PSA: attacks on pharmacy profession unfounded and irresponsible : 18/03/2015 :

Recent media attacks on pharmacists and their integrity are both unfounded and unwarranted, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia says.

National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said the attacks contained factual errors, misrepresentations and questioned the ethics and commitment of pharmacists.

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Watch Nick Xenophon at APP : 18/03/2015 :

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon delivered a stirring speech at APP2015 on Saturday urging pharmacists to 'get angry' about its treatment from federal governments in recent times.

The speech is now up on YouTube. Click below to watch it.

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Another honour for Webstercare founder Gerard Stevens AM : 17/03/2015 :

The University of Sydney has awarded Gerard Stevens AM, founder and Managing Director of Webstercare, a Master of Pharmacy (honoris causa) and invited him to present the Occasional Address for the University of Sydney Faculty of Pharmacy 2015 graduation.

Gerard shared with the students reflections from his 48 year career in pharmacy.

“When someone is standing in front of you with health problems at the pharmacy, and relying on you for help, it is the moment that we’ve all been trained for – problem-solving gears start turning and a moment of magic arrives – and for the patient turning the problem into a solution and the relief of hope they feel," said Mr Stevens.

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NSW intern takes out the MIMS Intern of the Year : 17/03/2015 :

Luke Vrankovich - intern at CHC Pharmacy, Coffs Harbour - is the Inaugural MIMS Pharmacy Guild of Australia Intern of the Year.

The MIS award recognises a Guild intern who shows integrity, honesty and professionalism in their work and who best demonstrates excellence in delivering patient-centred care and improving community health.

Relocating from metropolitan Perth to regional Coffs Harbour for his internship, Luke has developed a strong network in the wider community, becoming a highly requested staff member.

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Pharmacists misrepresented in newsletter articles over homeopathy report : 17/03/2015 :

A recent headline in some medical newsletters stating ‘Pharmacists reluctant to give up on homeopathy’ misrepresents the public position of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, the organisation says.

The reports made no reference to the publicly stated position of the Society following the release last week of a review by the National Health and Medical Research Council which found there were no health conditions for which there was reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective.

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GuildCare names 2014 Professional Services Pharmacy of the Year : 17/03/2015 :

Cairns pharmacy Pease Street Discount Drug Store (DDS) is the 2014 GuildCare Professional Services Pharmacy of the Year.

The pharmacy was presented with its prize - a cheque for $5000 - at the APP 2015 Conference last weekend.

"Pease Street Discount Drug Store (DDS) made it a priority to implement GuildCare programs into the routine of dispensing and counselling," said Managing Partner Vince Pappalardo.

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Pharmacists the 'overwhelming' barrier to change : 16/03/2015 :

Pharmacists themselves are the biggest barrier to changing the pharmacy paradigm to one that focuses more on the delivery of professional services believes the owner of the 2014 QCPP Pharmacy of the Year, Samantha Kourtis.

Her pharmacy - Charnwood Capital Chemist - won the 2014 Pharmacy of the Year award on the strength of the professional services on offer in her pharmacy - notably wound care.

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CW $9.99 flu vaccines strike a raw nerve : 16/03/2015 :

The current Chemist Warehouse $9.99 flu vaccination 'special' has struck a raw nerve with pharmacists with a question about it at APP2015 to Pharmacy Guild President George Tambassis eliciting a loud round of applause.

Darwin community pharmacy owner Shelley Forrester said that while pharmacies providing a flu vaccination service was a good public health initiative she was 'dismayed' when she saw the Chemist Warehouse offer. She commented that the $9.99 'special' had "trashed yet another section of a potential market for pharmacy".

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How a pharmacy monopoly pushes up your medicine price and makes pharmacies million dollar businesses : 16/03/2015 :

A News Limited story published on Sunday completely distorts the reality currently facing community pharmacies in Australia says the Pharmacy Guild.

The story portrayed pharmacies as millionaire factories, according to the Guild, and is 'a malicious fantasy, based on erroneous kindergarten economics which confuses turnover, gross profit and net profit'.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Male gender and urinary tract infection treatment : 16/03/2015 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Male gender and urinary tract infection treatment.

"Choosing the correct duration of antibiotic treatment is important - not only for optimal treatment of infection, but also to minimise risk of Clostridium difficile super-infection, side effects, antibiotic resistance and cost of treatment. Recently, further evidence has resulted in an update in the guidelines for treatment duration of cystitis in males. The new recommendation published in the Australian Therapeutic Guidelines is to treat for 7 days rather than 14 days (as was the case in the previous 2010 guidelines). This change was based on the outcomes of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2013."

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

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