November 4, 2015
ProjectSTOP – Ten years nonSTOP
Threats to reschedule pseudoephedrine products, the growing menace of methamphetamine use and the development of sophisticated tracking technology combined 10 years ago this month to see the introduction of ProjectSTOP – the pharmacy profession’s tool to track sales of medicines containing pseudoephedrine.
The cover story for the November issue of Australian Pharmacist takes a look at the evolution of ProjectSTOP and talks to some of the key players in its formation.
(Full article available online at: www.psa.org.au/download/ap/apnov15/cover-story.pdf)
Ten years ago, running parallel with the illegal drug concerns, was the danger medicines containing pseudoephedrine would be rescheduled and be no longer available to community pharmacy if pharmacies could not show they were monitoring their use and sales.
Rescheduling pseudoephedrine involved two possible options. These were banning the product or moving it to the Prescription Only schedule.
Also in the November issue of Australian Pharmacist is an opinion column from Steve Scarff, Director Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Australian Self Medication Industry, outlining why ASMI is opposed to the up-scheduling of over-the-counter codeine medicines.
(Full article available online at: www.psa.org.au/download/ap/apnov15/be-our-guest-nov-15.pdf)
Mr Scarff writes: “The interim decision represents unnecessary over-regulation and will result in a huge increase in costs for both consumers and government. It will delay treatment and increase the difficulty for consumers of accessing medicines for self-limiting conditions such as cold/flu, migraine and dental pain.”
“ASMI believes that a real-time-monitoring system is a high priority and should be put in place nationally.”
November 3, 2015
PSA encourages consumers to be prepared for PBS changes
Consumers will need to be prepared for the changes flowing from the PBS delisting of 17 types of medicines on 1 January 2016.
The medicines include products such as paracetamol which is used as first line therapy for chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis.
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) National President Joe Demarte said consumers who normally access these medications through a PBS prescription will now need to discuss with their pharmacist the changes and be prepared well before they come into effect on 1 January 2016.
“Pharmacists know from previous experience that significant changes to PBS rules can create a number of problems for patients and carers,” Mr Demarte said.
Mr Demarte said that as a result of these changes consumers will reach the Safety Net later and experience greater out‑of-pocket costs.
“We are concerned about the financial impact in accessing some of these medicines, as they may end up costing patients more due to the delisting”.
“The delisting is scheduled for the middle of the post-Christmas break, so it’s important that consumers discuss their needs with their pharmacist as soon as possible to ensure they are aware of all medication options for managing their condition” Mr Demarte said.
Mr Demarte said that the announcement was contrary to PSA’s submission to Government stating that many of the medications used as first line therapy should not be delisted, and seeking a longer lead in time for the reforms.
“Nevertheless, the PSA is committed to ensuring patients’ health needs are being met and assisting government progress this budget savings measure”.
November 2, 2015
North Queensland pharmacist awarded life membership
Well known Mossman pharmacist John Anich OAM has been awarded Life Membership of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).
The PSA Queensland Branch President, Bruce Elliot presented the award at the Society’s Queensland Branch President’s Dinner and Awards Night on Friday evening (30 October) at The Moreton Club in Brisbane.
Announcing the Lifetime Achievement Award for 2015 Mr Elliot said John Anich OAM had given many years of pharmacy service to his community of Mossman in North Queensland.
He said: “Anich’s Pharmacy in Mossman is almost an institution for people of north Queensland.”
This award marks 50 years of continuous membership of the society. After graduating in 1964 John opened John Anich’s Pharmacy in Mossman. Within a year John moved his pharmacy into bigger premises and continued to grow the business until selling in 1997. However John continued to work in the pharmacy for the new owner for a number of years after.
John has always maintained a strong community service activity in the Mossman area. He has been awarded the Mossman Citizen of the Year award and in 2003 John was awarded the Queen’s Birthday Medal in the General Division for “service to the community of Mossman through aged and youth welfare organisations.”
He remains active with the Rotary Club of Mossman, and is on the board of Mossman Botanic Gardens.
Summarising John’s contributions, Mr Elliot said: “John Anich is clearly an active contributor to his community which really enshrines the values of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.”