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2015-03-04 : In my workplace prescription generics are arranged:
in strict alphabetical order by generic name - as are all products
in strict alphabetical order by generic name but original brands are arranged alphabetically by brand name
next to the originator brand(s)
by manufacturer
alphabetically, completely separately from originator brands
none of the above

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AusPharm news

Australia bucks the type 1 diabetes trend : 29/04/2014 :

A new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reveals that the rate of newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes has remained stable in Australia for over a decade. This is in contrast to many other countries where there has been an increase in the incidence (new cases) rate.

The report, Incidence of insulin-treated diabetes in Australia 2000-2011, shows that there were 2,367 new cases of type 1 diabetes in Australia in 2011, equating to 11 new cases per 100,000 people.

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Pharmacist registration standards under review : 29/04/2014 :

The Pharmacy Board is to review a number of pharmacist registration standards and guidelines and is seeking input from members of the profession and from the general public.

The Board says it regards consultation as an important part of the its engagement with pharmacists, members of the public and other stakeholders and greatly values the the feedback provided.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: QT interval prolongation and drugs : 28/04/2014 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is QT interval prolongation and drugs.

"The QT interval reflects the measurement of the duration of ventricular depolarization and repolarization and is measured in milliseconds (ms) on an electrocardiogram (ECG) from the Q-top (the beginning of the QRS complex) to the end of the T wave. The QT interval is dependent on heart rate, gender and age. Prolongation of the QT interval can result in a life threatening arrhythmia called Torsade de Pointes (TdP). Usually TdP is self-terminataing but it can cause ventricular fibrillation or rarely sustained ventricular tachycardia, resulting in dizziness, syncope, cardiac arrest and sometimes death."

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

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Medicines Partnership of Australia: no need for further PBS reform : 28/04/2014 :

As the 2014 federal budget draws closer and amidst speculation further PBS reform may be included, the Medicines Partnership of Australia has restated its position that no further PBS savings measures are required or justified.

The group points to the recent passage of the Simplified Price Disclosure legislation and says it 'assumes the upcoming Federal Budget will not include further changes to price disclosure which is already reaping the Government billions of dollars a year in reduced PBS reimbursement costs'.

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Strong interest in College Board spots : 28/04/2014 :

12 candidates have been nominated for the 5 Australian College of Pharmacy Board elections up for grabs in the current College Board election.

College President Trent Twomey said he was extremely gratified that there had been a substantial and enthusiastic level of interest by members in nominating for the College Board.

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Quilty: 'Community pharmacy is one of the least broken parts of the health system' : 28/04/2014 :

Pointing to the high levels of confidence and trust displayed towards community pharmacy, Pharmacy Guild Executive Director David Quilty has described community pharmacy as 'one of the least broken parts of the health system, let alone the wider economy'.

His comments stand in direct contrast to some health commentators who have repeatedly called for reform to pharmacy ownership and location rules.

 

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NPS: Residential aged care facilities well placed to improve antipsychotic use in dementia : 24/04/2014 :

NPS MedicineWise has welcomed the recommendations of the recently released Senate Committee report on the care of Australians living with dementia and is encouraging residential aged care facilities to tackle the overuse of antipsychotics medicines in people with behavioural or psychological problems associated with dementia.

NPS MedicineWise CEO Dr Lynn Weekes says that while there is sometimes a need for the use of psychotropic medicines like antipsychotics in residents with dementia, there is evidence to suggest instances where they are being used too often, for too long, and at doses higher than recommended or in potentially dangerous combinations with other medicines.

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Pharmacists all for generic labelling : 24/04/2014 :

Almost 9 out of 10 pharmacists (88%) voting in this week's AusPharm poll believe it should be mandatory for a drug's generic name to be featured on dispensing labels.

Of the remainder, 10% think featuring the generic name on the label should be an option but not mandatory with only 2% of respondents undecided.

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Accu-Chek Mobile meters recalled - potential for incorrect blood glucose results with ceftriaxone : 23/04/2014 :

Roche Diabetes Care, in consultation with the TGA, is undertaking a recall of its Accu-Chek Mobile glucose tests due to the potential for the antibiotic ceftriaxone to interfere with blood glucose test results. The purpose of the recall is to update the devices' labelling.

Ceftriaxone can interfere with the way the measurement is made and may lead to incorrectly low blood glucose readings.

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May 2014 PBS schedule : 22/04/2014 :

Download the Full PBS schedule

Download the PBS ‘Summary of Changes’

Download the Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy – S100 Arrangements Supplement

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Droxidopa : 22/04/2014 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Droxidopa.

"Droxidopa (marketed as Northera®) has been recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of orthostatic dizziness or light-headedness in patients with symptomatic neurogenic orthostatic hypotension caused by primary autonomic failure (associated with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple system atrophy, and pure autonomic failure), as well as dopamine beta-hydroxylase deficiency, and non-diabetic autonomic neuropathy. Neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (NOH) is a rare, chronic but debilitating cause of orthostatic drop in blood pressure that occurs upon standing, and is associated with Parkinson’s disease. Symptoms of NOH include dizziness, lightheadedness, blurred vision, fatigue, and fainting upon standing, and may severely limit the patient’s daily activities."

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

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Union launches 'Clean up pharmacy' campaign - calls on non-owners to share their concerns about community pharmacy : 22/04/2014 :

Employee pharmacist union Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA ) last week launched a new campaign aimed at getting non-owner pharmacists to share their concerns about 'worrying practices' occurring in community pharmacy.

PPA President Dr Geoff March said that the union has been flooded with concerns from pharmacists since the Pharmacy Guild cited allegations of questionable behaviour around the provision of HMRs and RMMRs as a reason for defunding the programs and, more recently, the revelation that one pharmacy had claimed 319 Medschecks in two weeks.

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Poll: should a drug's generic name feature on dispensing labels? : 22/04/2014 :

In a post to AusPharmList last week Julie Grint suggested that if pharmacy software companies were to change their default settings on pharmacy labels to place the generic name of the drug first on the top line and the brand name in brackets afterwards then much of the confusion that patients experience with being dispensed different brands of the same generic would be eliminated.

Her suggestion has some merit but would likely face opposition from pharma companies.

What do you think? Should the generic name feature on the dispensing label? Please let us know what you think by voting in today's AusPharm poll.

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API confident despite asset writedown : 22/04/2014 :

Pharmacy wholesaler Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (API) has revealed the details of the $132 million write down in the carrying value of some assets that led to the suspension of trading in its shares last week.

In a statement issued to the market on Thursday the company said that some of the write downs are the result of changes in accounting practices with one - a $52 million long term debt to the company from some pharmacies customers - having the possibility of being written back up in value later in the year.

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AusPharm over Easter : 17/04/2014 :

As usual, we won't be publishing on Good Friday or Easter Monday - we'll be back on Tuesday.

A happy and safe break to those of you who get one over Easter.

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Pharmacist opposition to homeopathics strengthening : 17/04/2014 :

The result of this week's AusPharm poll reveals that pharmacists are now much more strongly opposed to pharmacies stocking homeopathic products than 5 years ago.

80% of respondents to this week's poll said pharmacies should not stock homeopathic products. When we ran the identical poll in 2009, only 56% of respondents had this view.

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API shares remain in trading halt : 17/04/2014 :

A trading halt on API shares, implemented on Monday afternoon, has been extended.

API now says it expects to be able to make an announcement concerning the carrying value of its assets late on Thursday. It had initially hoped to make the announcment yesterday (Wednesday) morning.

It expects the trading halt to be lifted when the announcment is made.

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Guild: survey shows pharmacies to reduce hours, drop services : 17/04/2014 :

The Pharmacy Guild says the results of a survey it conducted in over 500 pharmacies during April suggest that up to a quarter of pharmacies will reduce opening hours in the 2014/15 financial year - on average by 5.4 hours a week - because of lower PBS remuneration.

The survey also found, says the Guild, that many pharmacy services are also at risk of either being abandoned, cut back or increased in price.

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Exciting initiatives for engagement at CPExpo 2014 : 16/04/2014 :

In a first for pharmacists, delegates at CPExpo14 will have the ability to vote and comment during the conference on resolutions and ideas submitted by their colleagues about how to move pharmacy forward, using a system called The Script. 

Launching The Script, NSW Branch President John Bronger said that it was an exciting move.

“Gathering the outcomes of our Better Pharmacy Futures Forums that we have held around the country, and having delegates vote on what they think is important is going to be great.  Delegates want their say, and PSA is listening,” Mr Bronger said.

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Guild: pharmacists' high regard needs to be nurtured and grown : 15/04/2014 :

Yesterday's news that pharmacists rated highly for ethics and honesty in the 2014 Roy Morgan Image of Professions Survey confirms that pharmacists are a valued and respected part of our health system, says the Pharmacy Guild.

In a statement issued yesterday in response to the survey the Guild said the findings should put a spring in the step of pharmacists all over Australia.

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