Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist June 2016 Contents Australian Pharmacist June 2016 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has advised of
the resumption of Zovirax Ophthalmic
Ointment 3% (acyclovir) supply
following a global supply shortage.
Pharmacies may now order stock from
wholesalers as per the usual process.
The supply shortage was caused by an
issue affecting aciclovir, the product’s
active pharmaceutical ingredient (API),
which did not meet specifications and
resulted in a retail level recall in October
2014. According to GSK, following a
thorough investigation and resolution
of the issue, Zovirax Ophthalmic
Ointment is now available in Australia.
Corrective measures have been put in
place at the manufacturing site to help
prevent the issue from re-occurring.
Amcal wins for quality
The Australian public has voted Amcal
in as the winner of the Readers Digest
Quality Service Award for the second
year running. The public voted Amcal
as the leading service provider in
the pharmacy sector in 2016 awards.
The company also won the award in
2015. Amcal recorded a combined
consumer Quality Service Index score
of 78 in the national online survey, out
ranking all other pharmacy brands.
The qualitative feedback in the
survey summed up Amcal’s customer
service as: ‘The staff are friendly, well
informed and competent in all areas’.
Sigma Chief Operating Officer Mr Gary
Dunne said winning the award for the
second year in a row was a triumph for
Amcal stores around Australia and the
dedicated Amcal team.
Bexsero at wholesalers
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) expanded
access to Bexsero [Multicomponent
Meningococcal group B Vaccine
(recombinant, adsorbed)] to all
pharmaceutical and surgical
wholesalers on Monday 2 May.
Pharmacies may now order Bexsero
through their regular wholesaler.
Real-time monitoring of over-the-counter (OTC) codeine containing
analgesics, in addition to a range of other targeted measures including
mandatory warning statements, reducing pack sizes and educational
materials, provides the best chance to curb potential misuse according to
the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI).
ASMI was responding to a report
published in Addiction titled Codeine
Misuse in Australia, which it welcomed
as there was a need for more data on
Steve Scarff, ASMI Director Regulatory
and Scientific Affairs, said: ‘This new
report would have provided additional
useful insights if the authors had
separately examined the prescription
and OTC products (instead of pooling
them), because it has been reported that
misuse and abuse of prescription opiate
and psychoactive drugs have escalated
significantly over the past several years.
The study authors acknowledge that a
real-time monitoring system could be an
alternative to re-scheduling and ASMI
supports this view.
Mr Scarff said ASMI had been working
with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia
to develop and refine a real-time
monitoring system (medsASSIST).
The system has been trialled in
community pharmacy and is currently
being implemented nationally. It records
customer details, information about the
supplied product, recent purchases and
indications for supply or refusal.
Information entered into the system is
linked in real time, allowing pharmacists
to accurately identify consumers who
purchase OTC codeine analgesics at
multiple pharmacies. Pharmacists are
prompted to provide these consumers
with information and advice to assist
those who may be having problems with
chronic pain, dependence or misuse,
and refer them to their GP or pain clinic
ASMI believes the benefits of a real-time
monitoring system will therefore be
two-fold. Firstly, the system will assist
pharmacists in providing appropriate
advice to consumers. Secondly, the
system will generate objective data on
the potential misuse of OTC codeine
‘We believe real-time recording provides
a useful counselling tool for pharmacists
to ensure the quality use of these
medicines and to identify problem use,’
Mr Scarff said.
The TGA is expected to make a final
decision on the possible rescheduling to
prescription-only of codeine-containing
medicines after June.
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