Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist November 2012 Contents 844 Australian Pharmacist November 2012 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
Registration renewals due
Pharmacy Board of Australia (PBA)
Chair Stephen Marty has urged
pharmacists to renew their registration
online and on time. 'Pharmacists
should check that their contact email
details are up to date so they receive
renewal reminders from AHPRA.
These reminders are confirmation
that online renewal is open.' Update
contact details at www.ahpra.gov.
au, click online services, use your
unique contact number (User ID)
and follow the prompts. Your User ID,
included in AHPRA correspondence to
practitioners, is not your registration
number. If you do not have your User
ID, complete an online enquiry form,
selecting 'User ID' as the category of
enquiry or by calling 1300 419 495.
Pharmacists' registration is due for
renewal by 30 November.
Cough and cold medicine
NPS MedicineWise has urged
pharmacists to review the recent
Therapeutic Goods Administration
(TGA) advice about the use of cough
and cold medicines by children
under 11 after reports from the NPS
Medicines Line suggesting consumers
are receiving conflicting advice from
pharmacists. NPS Head of Programs Ms
Karen Kaye said that there are reports
some pharmacies are continuing to
sell cough and cold medicines for
children under six years, while others
are refusing to sell these medicines
for children over six years without a
prescription. 'For children between
the ages of six and 11, cough and cold
medicines can still be sold but only on
the advice of a doctor, pharmacist or
nurse practitioner. These medicines
do not require a prescription and their
scheduling remains the same.'
that episode, most prominently for
It also found that there is good evidence
that usage is associated with poor
mental health and a range of other
The researchers have called for public
education and counselling to advocate less
risky behaviour in order to decrease the
burden of illness.
The study, published in the October issue of
Emergency Medicine Australasia, the journal
of the Australasian College for Emergency
Medicine, examined records of 138 patients
who had 156 amphetamine-related
presentations. Their most common
diagnosis was mental disorders, followed
by injury and poisoning. The mean age was
28 years, 71% were male, 39% required
hospital admission and over half used
amphetamines at least weekly.
Professor Fatovich said, 'Given the extent
and consequences of use of amphetamines,
surprisingly little attention has been
given to examining their impact on
He said amphetamine use was associated
not just with mental health problems but
also with a growing number of deaths.
'An examination of amphetamine-related
deaths in Taiwan from 1990 to 2007 found a
six-fold risk of mortality compared with the
general population. In Australia a review of
the National Coroners Information System
from July 2000 to June 2005 identified 371
In the present study four people (2.9%) died
within two years of attending the ED with
an amphetamine-related presentation. No
toxicology reports were available for these
cases and it is not known whether other
drugs were involved, but polydrug use is
common among illicit drug users, Professor
Breast cancer survival rates
National survival rates for breast cancer
are improving but 37 Australian women
are diagnosed with breast cancer each
day, according to a new Australian
Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW)
and Cancer Australia report.
The report, Breast cancer in Australia:
an overview, shows the number of new
breast cancer cases more than doubled
from around 5,300 to 13,600 cases
between 1982 and 2008.
'Importantly, the report also shows that
survival from breast cancer continues
to improve in Australia, with these
improvements due to both earlier
diagnosis and better treatments,' Cancer
Australia CEO Dr Helen Zorbas said.
Between the periods 1982--87 and 2006--
10, five-year relative survival from breast
cancer increased from 72% to 89%.
'The report also shows that women
diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia
have better survival prospects compared
with women in most other countries and
regions,' Dr Zorbas said.
'However, of concern, is that some
population groups in Australia have lower
survival than others, such as women
living in remote and very remote areas
of Australia, those living in lower socio-
economic areas and Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander women.'
Around 2,700 women died from breast
cancer in 2007 making it the second most
common cause of cancer-related death
for Australian women.
'Although survival rates are improving,
the impact on the lives of Australian
women is high with seven women still
dying each day from breast cancer,' Dr
AIHW spokesperson Anne Bech said, 'There
was a sharp increase in the incidence rate of
breast cancer between 1990 and 1995, after
which the rate has been stable.
'The sharp increase in the incidence rate in
the early 1990s was most likely due to the
introduction of the national breast cancer
screening program in 1991.'
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in
Australian women and the majority of cases
(69%) are diagnosed in women aged 40--69.
'The number of women diagnosed with
breast cancer is expected to rise in the
future due to the ageing population.
Our projections indicate that in 2020
about 17,200 new breast cancers will be
diagnosed in Australia This would equate to
47 women being diagnosed every day,' Ms
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