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AusPharm news

Natalizumab and melanoma : 20/03/2014 :

The TGA is monitoring reports of melanoma in patients being treated with natalizumab and is encouraging health professionals to report all such cases. Three such cases have been reported to the TGA.

Natalizumab (Tysabri) is used to treat patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis to delay the progression of physical disability and reduce the frequency of relapse.

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Tassone appointed to NatRUM Board : 20/03/2014 :

The Board of the National Return & Disposal of Unwanted Medicines (NatRUM) project has appointed Anthony Tassone to its board. Mr Tassone replaces retiring Board member Dipak Sanghvi as the Pharmacy Guild’s representative.

The NatRUM project is a widely utilised and respected national scheme that provides for unwanted and out-of-date medicines to be collected from consumers for safe disposal by community pharmacies.

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AusPharm CPD: RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin CPD Digest - Issue Number 68 : 20/03/2014 :

The next in our 2014 series of continuing professional development activities is the RGH E-Bulletin Digest No. 68.

This CPD activity assesses your understanding of four recent RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletins, Volumes 52-11 → 53-3 (December 2013/January 2014).

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Teenage boy making a killing with weight loss tea : 20/03/2014 :

A 17 year old Victorian says he is 'earning as much as $45,000 a week' selling Body Tea (link), a product containing Flower of Hyacinth Dolichos, Citron, Chrysanthemum, Puer Tea, Green Tea and Dried Jasmine.

The Body Tea website  credits the product with a range of health benefits including 'Pauses the appetite, Detoxify and cleanse the body, Reduced body fat and counteracts fat storage and Metabolism increase'. It is available in two pack sizes from the website - a 15 day pack for $29 and a 30 day pack for $55.

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Future pharmacy leaders rewarded for achievement : 20/03/2014 :

When an elite group of students from Australia’s Pharmacy Universities were awarded with a rare glimpse into the pharmacy business recently, it was clear that the future of the industry is in good hands.

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5 simple questions could save lives : 20/03/2014 :

Sydney researchers have developed a new tool to help pharmacists and doctors protect people with asthma from life-threatening attacks.

A team from the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research has had their simple tool for assessing asthma control in adults incorporated into the National Asthma Council’s latest Australian Asthma Handbook.

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Fred IT introduces Fred NXT, the first cloud solution for Australian pharmacy : 19/03/2014 :

Fred IT Group last week launched Australia’s first cloud-based pharmacy solution, called Fred NXT, at the APP Conference on the Gold Coast.

Fred NXT provides a completely new approach to managing all aspects of pharmacy operations, including a single integrated system for dispense, point of sale, professional services and retail management.

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PDL Risk Minimisation Alert: oral ketoconazole : 19/03/2014 :

PDL wishes to remind pharmacists that oral ketoconazole (Nizoral) 200 mg tablets were deregistered on 1 December 2013 and the supply of this product has since been discontinued.

Oral ketoconazole is an antifungal medicine that kills or stops the growth of certain types of fungi or yeasts, which can cause infection. Injury to the liver is a known health risk linked to oral ketoconazole treatment.

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Poll: have you had a look at the new Board guidelines, code of conduct and social media policy? : 19/03/2014 :

Revised Pharmacy Board mandatory notification and advertising guidelines, a revised code of conduct and a new social media policy, came into effect on Monday.

According to the Board, pharmacists 'need to know and understand these documents to ensure their practice meets Board expectations'.

Have you had a look at the new documents? Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in this week's AusPharm online poll.

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Guild disputes union claims of a 'win' at Fair Work Commission : 19/03/2014 :

The Pharmacy Guild has rejected a union claim that the Fair Work Commission's decision to leave the Pharmacy Industry Award in the health industry awards group, rather than move it to the retail and service industry award group, represents a 'win' for the union and its employee pharmacist members.

Professional Pharmacists Australia said yesterday it was pleased with the decision - part of the Fair Work Commissions review into the Pharmacy Industry Award, which it is conducting as a part of a four yearly review of all Australian Awards - as it agreed with union arguments and 'supports our belief that pharmacists have a key role to play in frontline healthcare'.

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2014 ignite participants announced : 18/03/2014 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has announced the eight successful participants in this year's 2014 ignite leadership program. The program seeks to develop high-performing early career pharmacists into future leaders who will drive strategy, change and innovation in the profession.

PSA president, Grant Kardachi, said ignite offered young pharmacists a unique leadership development experience that broadened their understanding of leadership and aimed to develop their leadership skills, taking into account each participant's personal leadership goals and aspirations.

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Extra revenue to be gained from S3 category : 18/03/2014 :

In his usual inspiring way, Sydney pharmacist Nick Logan described in a presentation at the APP conference on Friday how pharmacies can significantly lift the profitability of their Schedule 3 category.

Mr Logan highlighted research that showed pharmacy product price is not a highly significant factor for consumers - rather, he says, they are seeking a knowledgable and accessible pharmacist and a solution to their health issue.

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Wholesalers touting for assistance to implement new technology : 18/03/2014 :

Speaking at the APP conference on the Gold Coast last week National Pharmaceutical Services Association (NPSA) Chair and Symbion CEO Patrick Davies highlighted the importance of pharmacy wholesalers utilising new technology – such as radio frequency identification (RFID) - to make medicines delivery throughout Australia more efficient, safer and traceable.

Mr Davies spoke to the importance of strengthening the supply chain, the Community Service Obligation (CSO) component of Pharmacy Agreements and community pharmacy as a sector but said this needed to come from continued investment by the whole industry.

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New Pharmacy Board guidelines, code, policy take effect : 18/03/2014 :

Revised Pharmacy Board guidelines and code of conduct, and a new social media policy, come into effect for all pharmacists yesterday.

The revised codes, guidelines and policy explain the Board’s expectations of pharmacists and have been designed to improve awareness, understanding and compliance.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: P-glycoprotein drug interactions : 17/03/2014 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is P-glycoprotein drug interactions.

"It is well known that clinically significant drug interactions may occur as a result of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzyme inhibition or induction. However, it is less well known that drug transporter proteins may also play a role in drug interactions. The most well-known drug transporter protein is P-glycoprotein which is the focus of this discussion. Pglycoprotein is essentially an efflux pump which is found in the membranes of certain human cells. P-glycoprotein actively pushes drugs and other substances out of these cells, and is thought to serve a protective function. For this reason, P-glycoprotein can have an impact on the extent of drug absorption, distribution and elimination, mediating drug interactions that can be clinically important. A number of drugs are known P-glycoprotein substrates, and like with CYP 50 enzyme interactions, drug interactions can occur because some drugs are inducers of P-glycoprotein activity, whereas others are inhibitors of P-glycoprotein activity."

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

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Another gong for Sansom : 17/03/2014 :

Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom AO, PhC BSc PhD Adel Hon DHlth Newcastle Hon DSc Qld DUniv Griff, FPS has been awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Science from the University of Sydney.

He was presented with the degree at a ceremony for the conferring of awards in Pharmacy on Friday 14 March 2014.

Emeritus Professor Sansom has had a distinguished academic career and has made a long and lasting contribution to the profession of pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, medicines regulation, medicines policy, access to medicines and consumer health both nationally and internationally.

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New pharmacy magazine offers support for community business in tough times : 17/03/2014 :

In response to increasing economic pressure on community pharmacy and PBS price cuts the Australian Pharmaceutical Publishing Company (APPco) has launched Business Class, a new quarterly business magazine for pharmacy.

Featuring real-world case studies, management tips and interviews, Business Class is a business-oriented community pharmacy magazine.

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GMiA calls for generic medicines policy framework to be included in National Medicines Policy : 15/03/2014 :

Highlighting the financial contribution the generic medicines industry makes to the Australia economy, peak body the Generic Medicines Industry Association (GMiA) is calling for the National Medicines Policy to be reviewed so that a national generic medicines policy framework can be incorporated into it.

Speaking at the APP conference on the Gold Coast on Friday, Alphapharm Managing Director Stephen Fraser highlighted the negative impacts on the generic medicines sector of PBS reform including the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the goverment and Medicines Australia in 2010.

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Non-prescription medications important for future pharmacy sustainability : 15/03/2014 :

The Australian Self Medication Industry believes that ‘front of shop’ will play a vital role in improving the future sustainability of some pharmacies.

“The over-the counter (OTC) sector has increasingly out-paced total pharmaceutical growth over the last four years,” said ASMI President, Mark Sargent, speaking  at the Pharmacy Guild’s Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference last week.

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Guild President spells out 6th Agreement objectives - 'stability, certainty and viability' : 15/03/2014 :

In a presentation to delegates at the APP conference today Guild President George Tambassis laid out the Guild's objectives for the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA).

The key objectives for the Agreement, said Mr Tambassis, are 'stability, certainty and viability'. 

"In this we share a common goal with the Government - a strong and prosperous pharmacy network responsible for the high quality supply of PBS medicines," said Mr Tambassis.

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