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AusPharm news

Strict conditions applied to prescribing and dispensing dextropropoxyphene : 16/09/2013 :

Prescribers wishing to prescribe dextropropoxyphene will have to provide pharmacists with a 'Prescriber Form' certifying that they are aware that the product is only approved for use in patients not able to be adequately treated with other analgesics, they have considered the contraindications, they have warned the patient about the appropriate use of the product; and they are satisfied that the patient’s history does not indicate that the patient is at risk of accidental or intentional self-harm.

Pharmacists will not be able to dispense prescriptions for the drug unless they are accompanied by the Prescriber Form. However, this condition will only apply to original prescriptions - pharmacists will be permitted to assume the Form was presented to the pharmacist dispensing the original.

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Early Career Pharmacist focus at PAC13 : 16/09/2013 :

Early career pharmacists will get a unique opportunity to hear one of Australia’s leading motivational speakers, Ben Angel, join leading pharmacy figure Rhonda White to address them on the topic of You and Your Career at PAC 13 in Brisbane this year.

The session will be one of a series of presentations providing practical skills’ development for early career pharmacists. These sessions will provide essential advice about how early career pharmacists can stand out amongst the crowd and grow their professional and business careers.

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NSW Guild gets a new Branch Director : 16/09/2013 :

Ryan Fletcher is to be the new Branch Director of the NSW Branch of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.

Mr Fletcher has extensive government, industry and private sector policy and advocacy experience.

Commenting on Mr Fletcher's appointment NSW Guild President Si Banks said "Ryan has a proven track record in creating simple solutions to complex problems encompassing health care, insurance, governance, competition and risk. The skills required to solve these issues will transfer well into tackling the challenges the Pharmacy Guild and industry as a whole faces.

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Pharmacists more popular than beer? : 14/09/2013 :

The Pharmacy Guild's 'Save my pharmacy' petition, which closes off tomorrow (Saturday 14 September), is on track to becoming the largest petition ever presented to federal parliament.

The number of signatures currently exceeds 700,000 and the Guild expects signed petitions to continue to arrive at its national headquarters until the end of next week.

The largest petition previously submitted to parliament called for an end to rising beer prices and secured 792,985 signatures in 2000.

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Most pharmacies have work to do on e-scripts : 14/09/2013 :

Only about one third of respondents to this week's AusPharm poll told us their pharmacies are already scanning original electronic prescripotions at a rate (>15%) that will see them in the running to claim the recently announced $2,000 Electronic Prescription Scanning Incentive (ePSI).

From the poll it looks like respondents fall evenly into three categories – those that will receive their first incentive payment, those that need to do some more work to get from under 15% to the target level, and those that don’t know their Scan Rate or don’t use eScripts.

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OTC pharma companies continue push for S3 advertising reform : 13/09/2013 :

Reforming the rules around the advertising of Schedule 3 medicines remains high on the agenda of the companies who market them. At present, most Schedule 3 medicines may not legally be advertised direct to consumers.

Peak body, the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI), says it has, for some time, been working with the Pharmacy Guild and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia on an alternative advertising model for S3s, which will permit branded advertising of certain S3 medicines.

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Swisse wants patent like protection for new CAM products : 12/09/2013 :

Vitamin company Swisse has called for all vitamin companies to work together to force legal changes to get better data and intellectual property rights for new complementary medicine products.

Speaking at the Complementary Healthcare Council annual conference in Sydney last week, Swisse Commercial Director George Livery said said: “The science meets the commerce where we need to invest more and more in science and research yet we are denied even the most basic of IP protections afforded to every other class of goods."

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Don't 'dump bin' large packs of paracetamol : 12/09/2013 :

The Pharmacy Board has expressed 'serious concern' about the practice of some pharmacies 'dump binnig' large packs of paracetamol.

In its monthly communiqué the Board referred to the TGA's recent decision to reduce the pack size of unscheduled paracetamol to 20 tablets (available in grocery outlets) because 'paracetamol can cause serious liver damage if taken in high doses. The TGA decision to decrease the pack size was made after considering the risks of different pack sizes in Australia and was amde on the basis that it will result in fewer people requiring medical intervention following a paracetamol overdose.

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Poll: What is your pharmacy's current eScript Scan Rate for original prescriptions? : 11/09/2013 :

It was announced last week that a new pharmacy incentive payment, worth around $2,000 a pharmacy, has been introduced to boost the uptake of electronic prescriptions (ETP). There has been some discussion on AusPharmList about this since with Peter Allen reporting a scan rate regularly above the 80% mark.

To qualify for the Electronic Prescription Scanning Incentive (ePSI), pharmacies will need to achieve the first target Scan Rate of 15% of all original prescriptions - the Guild is advising pharmacies they should be aiming to achieve this rate of scanning, or higher, by November 2013.

What is the current Scan Rate for original prescriptions in your pharmacy? Please let us know by ticking the relevant box in today's AusPharm poll.

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QCPP 2014 Pharmacy of the Year entries open : 11/09/2013 :

Entries are now open for the Quality Care Pharmacy Program (QCPP) Pharmacy of the Year awards.

The awards recognise excellence in pharmacy across three categories:

  • Business Management
  • Community Engagement
  • Innovation in Professional Services.

Each category will be awarded to a different community pharmacy, with the overall Pharmacy of the Year for 2014 being selected from the category winners. The overall winner will be the pharmacy that stands out among the finalists and can demonstrate achievements across each of the three categories.

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PHARMeFOOTY weekly wrap : 11/09/2013 :

NRL Round 26

Round 26 of the 2013 NRL Season opened with the Broncos claiming victory against the Bulldogs (16-11), followed by the Rabbitohs receiving a beating from the Roosters (12-24). Saturday's games included the Warriors defeat against the Dragons (10-19), The Storm narrowly avoiding a loss against the Titans by one point (23-22), and the Cowboys smashing the Tigers by a massive 28 points (50-22).

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Fewer Aussies being hospitalised for asthma : 11/09/2013 :

Fewer asthma sufferers are ending up in hospital than a decade ago, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Asthma hospitalisations in Australia 2010–11, shows that hospitalisation rates fell by 33% for children and 45% for adults between 1998–99 and 2010–11.

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New AIHW pharmacy workforce stats released : 10/09/2013 :

In 2012, there were 27,025 registered pharmacists in Australia, 14,309 of whom were employed in the private sector. 6 out of 10 pharmacists were women, the average age  was 39.7 with 16.7% aged 55 or over. On average, employed pharmacists worked 35.9 hours a week.

The figures are contained in a new Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report - Allied health workforce 2012 - published today.

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More research needed on the role of E-cigarettes in quitting smoking : 10/09/2013 :

Electronic cigarettes containing nicotine may be as effective as nicotine patches in helping people quit smoking according to a trial published this week in The Lancet. Of interest, the trial achieved similar quit outcomes using electronic cigarettes that contained no nicotine.

The authors concluded 'Uncertainty exists about the place of e-cigarettes in tobacco control, and more research is urgently needed to clearly establish their overall benefits and harms at both individual and population levels.'

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Report on Asia Pacific Conference on National Medicines Policies published : 10/09/2013 :

The proceedings of the Asia Pacific Conference on National Medicines Policies have recently been published as a special supplement by Australian Prescriber.

The conference was held in Sydney in May 2012 and was sponsored by NPS MedicineWise, the World Health Organization, The University of Newcastle and the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

Countries in the Asia Pacific region met to discuss their national medicines policies.

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Images of FIP 2013 : 09/09/2013 :

A number of Australians attended last week's FIP 2013 Congress, held in Dublin.

Among them were Pharmacy Self Care's John Bell and Pharmacy Guild National Councilor Paul Sinclair.

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RGH E‑Bulletin: Important considerations with the newer oral anticoagulants : 09/09/2013 :

The topic of this week's RGH E‑Bulletin is Important considerations with the newer oral anticoagulants.

"Apixaban, dabigatran and rivaroxaban are three newer oral anticoagulants that are relatively newly available in Australia. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme subsidy listing has changed to include new indications such as the prevention of stroke or systemic embolism in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation with at least one other risk factor for developing stroke or systemic embolism (refer www.pbs.gov.au for full details)."

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

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Politicians pledge support for generics : 09/09/2013 :

In the leadup to Saturday's election, all three major political parties acknowledged the role played by generic drugs in containing PBS costs.

In a letter last week to the Generic Medicines Industry Association (GMiA) the incoming Coalition government said that 'it recognises the important role of generic medicines in supporting the sustainability of the PBS'.

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PAC13 a multicultural affair : 09/09/2013 :

Delegates will come from as far afield as the United Kingdom, Qatar, China, Nigeria, New Zealand, Japan, Canada and the United States to attend this year's PAC conference. PAC13 will be held at the Brisbane Convention Centre from 10-13 October 2013.

Organisers say PAC 13’s theme of ONE profession, ONE focus, ONE voice is resonating with members of the pharmacy profession worldwide.

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2013 FIPEd Global Education Report Launched : 09/09/2013 :

During the 73rd International FIP World Congress, held in Dublin last week, the 2013 FIPEd Global Education Report was launched.

The Report presents the current pharmacy and pharmaceutical science education and workforce situation across 109 countries and territories around the world, representing around 175,000 students and 2,500 education institutions worldwide. The Report shows that education, in both capacity and infrastructure, varies considerably between countries and WHO regions and generally correlates with population size and country level economic development indicators.

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