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Australian Journal of Pharmacy : May 2008
news and review deal sees gold mine in Xenical r oche’s weight loss medication, Xenical, is to be marketed by Gold Cross, the Pharmacy Guild’s commercial division, in a partnership deal signed at APP2008. Trevor Clarkin, general manager, Gold Cross, said it was important to revitalise Xenical as a strong pharmacy product and to prove that pharmacists can manage downscheduled medicines. ‘When we heard Roche was putting people off, we thought this brand is going to die, and they’d put in so much time and money into Xenical, so we decided we’d see if we might be able to take over managing the brand from a marketing perspective,’ Mr Clarkin said. ‘If we do it right, we can show that pharmacists can handle it. It’s a new experience for us and for them, so we’ll review it in 12 months time.’ An advisory group of pharmacists will determine how best to promote Xenical to the market. n Healthcare professionals abuse highlighted H ealthcare professionals who abuse the Medicare system have been shamed and named in the release of a new report by Professional Services Review (PSR), Australia’s peak watchdog on practitioner misconduct involving Medicare. According to the 2006–07 Report on the professions, the agency investigated 27 cases in 2006–07 with around 50 more expected to be referred this year for examination. ‘For some time PSR has mainly investigated general practitioners, however, more recently we have investigated specialists, optometrists and other allied health providers,’ Dr Tony Webber, Director of PSR said. ‘Our investigations continue to cover a wide range of examples of the inappropriate use of Medicare. It is almost axiomatic that where there is abuse for financial gain there is a poor standard of medical care.’ ‘Of particular concern this year is the increasing number of medical services provided by special interest clinics, such as impotence, heart check and skin clinics,’ he said Other issues covered in the PSR report include: • doctors delivering high numbers of services, many of which involved misuse or abuse of Medicare item numbers; • using pathology and diagnostic imaging inappropriately, in place of using history and examination to arrive at a diagnosis; • inappropriate prescribing of narcotics, including cases where doctors were responding to demands from patients; • lack of clinical input; • lack of good record-keeping that would allow another practitioner to take over the care of the patient; and • inappropriate use of skin excision procedures. The report also details sanctions imposed on practitioners who have practiced inappropriately. Sanctions included reprimand and counselling, disqualification from Medicare for periods up to three years, repayment of Medicare benefits of up to $400,000 and suspension from the ability to dispense pharmaceuticals. The report can be found at www.psr.gov.au Industry working group reconvened m edicines Australia (MA) chief executive Ian Chalmers welcomed the move by Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, and the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Kim Carr, that the Pharmaceutical Industry Working Group (PIWG) would be reconvened. The announcement was made last month at AusPharma08, the industry conference for MA members. ‘It gives us a strategic platform to discuss industry policy directly with the two Ministers of most importance in the pharmaceutical policy arena,’ Mr Chalmers said. ‘This direct dialogue is immensely important. There are key policy changes under consideration by the Government. ‘The Pharmaceutical Industry Working Group provides industry with the opportunity to propose ideas, debate and collaborate The AusTrAliAn journAl of PhArmAcy vol.89 mAy 2008 8 HealtH Promotions mAy Jelly Baby Month The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation T: (03) 9696 3866 www.jdrf.org.au Heart Week 04–10 MAy Heart Foundation T: 1300 362 787 E: email@example.com www.heartfoundation.org.au National Mothering Week 05–11 MAy Australian Breastfeeding Association T: (03) 9885 0855 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.breastfeeding.asn.au World Asthma Week 06 MAy Asthma Foundation Australia T: (03) 9329 2622 E: email@example.com www.asthmaaustralia.org.au Epilepsy Awareness Week 12–18 MAy Epilepsy Action, Australia T: 1300 374 537 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.volunteeringaustralia.org Schizophrenia Awareness Week 18–24 MAy Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia T: (08) 8221 5159 E: email@example.com www.mifa.org.au Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea 22 MAy The Cancer Council Australia T: 1300 65 65 85 E: firstname.lastname@example.org constructively and directly with the Ministers.’ PIWG has brought together industry expertise from Medicines Australia, the Generic Medicines Industry Association, AusBiotech and the National Health and Medical Research Council. The group provides a platform for the industry to engage strategically with Government to ensure an environment that encourages investment in innovation in Australia. n www.biggestmorningtea.com.au Macular Degeneration Awareness Week 25–31 MAy Macular Degeneration Foundation T: 1800 111 709 E: email@example.com www.maculardegeneration.com.au World No Tobacco Day 31 May United Nations T: (02) 6273 8200 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.un.org