Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist May 2012 Contents 352 Australian Pharmacist May 2012 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
Palliative care week
Palliative Care Australia (PCA) represents
the interests and aspirations of all
Australians who share the ideal of
quality care at the end of life. Each year,
it dedicates a week to raise national
awareness about palliative care and to
spark interest and conversation about
what palliative care o ers to Australians.
PCA is pleased to partner with the
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia
for the 2012 National Palliative Care
Week campaign (20--26 May).
It's important that all Australians are aware
of what care and support is available
to them at the end of their lives and
how they can receive it; that they have
thought about what care they want and
shared this with their loved ones and
health professionals; and that they have
prepared an advance care plan. Every
person is di erent and has di erent needs.
It's important all Australians know that
palliative care is about living well at the
end of life -- it's for you, your carers and
This National Palliative Care Week,
PCA is urging Australians to have a
conversation with their loved ones and
health professionals about their needs and
wishes with the theme: 'Some things are
too important to be left unsaid...let's chat
How can pharmacists get involved?
Order free resources from the PCA website:
www.palliativecare.org.au. PCA produces a
number of consumer resources which are
available to order for free from the website.
These include Facts about Morphine and
other opioid medications in palliative care,
which has been updated to re ect the
latest TGA guidelines, and About Pain and
A number of resources are also translated
into 21 di erent languages. PCA has also
produced a range of posters, postcards
and promotional items that can be
displayed in pharmacies.
Come to our education forum for
PCA is also holding an education forum for
health professionals on May 22. The event
is at Parliament House in Canberra so if you
are able to, please join in. Not in Canberra?
Don't worry! Part of the event will also be
an interactive webcast, so all you need
is a computer and internet connection
to take part. Please join us to learn more
about palliative care and why it is such
an important part of our health system.
To order resources and register for the
event, please visit: www.palliativecare.
Tell us your six words
National Palliative Care Week is focussing
on the power of communication and how
important it is for people to talk to each
other. PCA is trying to encourage people
to frame their thoughts and sentiments
about the end of life in just six words: What
would you say to the people you love if
you had just six words?
You could encourage patients to visit our
Facebook page or follow us on Twitter and
join the conversation, or get them to write
down their six words on the campaign
postcards, available on the PCA website.
Hold an event! Host a morning tea and get
people talking about the plans they have
made and why, or what is holding them
back from making plans.
(For more on palliative care see page 364.)
Dispensing multiple repeat
prescriptions at one time
The Pharmacy Board of Australia (PBA)
has advised that prescribers who intend
patients to obtain multiple repeats of
PBS medicines can endorse the PBS
prescription 'Regulation 24'.
Also, RPBS prescriptions may be endorsed
'hardship conditions apply.' In the case
of non-PBS medicines, prescribers may
specify quantities that suit the patient's
In all of these circumstances, prescribers
would be required to take patient safety
In a communique released after its
March meeting in Hobart, Tasmania,
PBA Chair, Stephen Marty, said that
in cases where prescribers have not
speci ed simultaneous supply of multiple
quantities of a particular medicine,
the supply of multiple repeats at once
by pharmacists is contrary to good
'The Board's guideline Dispensing
multiple repeat prescriptions at one time
(Guideline 2 in its Guidelines for dispensing
of medicines) raises important issues
regarding the simultaneous supply
of multiple quantities of a particular
medicine (i.e. the supply of multiple
repeats at once).
'Actions by pharmacists to encourage
patients to seek the permission of their
prescribers which authorises the supply
of multiple quantities of particular
medicines in order to save money is
contrary to the National Medicines Policy
and Quality Use of Medicines principles.
'As outlined in the Board's guideline, it
does not promote best pharmacy practice
in relation to regular review of therapy
and e ective provision of medicine
information, which assists in minimising
Clinical trials increase
The number of clinical trials undertaken
in Australia has grown for the rst time in
four years according to new Therapeutic
Goods Administration (TGA) gures, but
activity still lags behind the long term
The TGA's latest Half-Yearly Performance
Report shows 635 new clinical trials were
begun in Australia in 2011, up from 574 in
2010 but still more than 25% down from
the 2007 high of 865 trials.
Medicines Australia Chief Executive Dr
Brendan Shaw said while the upturn was
encouraging, there remained serious
challenges to Australia's status as a
regional hub for clinical trials.
'The latest gures don't alleviate the
need for urgent policy action to drive
microeconomic and regulatory reform
to secure the future of clinical trials in
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