Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist March 2012 Contents 178 Australian Pharmacist March 2012 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
CaSPA wins the gold mortar
The University of Canberra pharmacy
students won the National Australian
Pharmacy Students' Association (NAPSA)
compounding competition held at the
NAPSA Annual Congress in Wagga Wagga
Canberra Student Pharmacy Association
(CaSPA) committee members attending
the congress selected Stephanie
Salvage and Laura Stewart to represent
the University in the challenge. CaSPA
managed to out-compound the 15 other
pharmacy schools scoring an impressive
9.5 out of 10 for their zinc oxide paste
which weighed in at exactly 50 grams --
the goal weight.
According to Stephanie, 'the competition
required a compounder (myself ) and a
labeller/dispenser (Laura) to produce a
50 g, 25% zinc oxide paste containing
25% starch. We were required to identify
the formulation, its indication and
direction for use.'
The competitors were also given three
long lists of mystery ingredients. For
those they had to decide the type
of formulation, identify the active
ingredient(s) and their percentage in the
formulation, the formulation's use, the
directions required for patient use and
the relevant ancillary labels.
'These were a real challenge! Laura and I
identified the formulations as an antacid
mixture, an insect bite ointment and an
anti-inflammatory lotion. We were not
allowed calculators or any other resources
in the competition.'
The competition had a one hour time
limit. The Canberra team was last to finish,
taking their time to get it right. 'We were
relaxed, focused and kept our cool',
'Unfortunately we are unaware of an
international final. Perhaps we (University
of Canberra) could look into holding
such an event!' Stephanie said when
asked about a global compounding
The golden spatula award went to
South Australian Pharmacy Students'
Association (SAPSA) for having the best
packed paste and finishing with a score of
8.5 out of 10.
The grand first prize was a golden mortar
and pestle. Discussions on where to
display the award at the University of
Canberra are ongoing.
More respite services
More than 650 community-based respite
services around Australia will have their
funding guaranteed for an extra two
years, the Minister for Mental Health and
Ageing, Mark Butler, has announced.
He said the Federal Government is
providing more than $293 million to
guarantee the future of respite services
under the National Respite for Carers
Program (NRCP) including Demonstration
Day Respite Services until 30 June 2014
'Today's announcement will mean that
carers can plan their needs for respite in
advance and with certainty for an extra
two years,' Mr Butler said.
'Carers will be able to access respite in a
variety of setting including in day centres,
host families, overnight community
cottages and in their own homes.
'Caring for someone full time is physically
and emotionally demanding and carers
need to be able to take time out from
their caring responsibilities. These respite
services allow carers to go to work, relax
or catch up with friends and know that
their dependents are being looked after,'
'Carers play an enormously important
role in Australian society. This guarantee
of funding will help community services
continue to meet the needs of carers who
dedicate so much to improve the lives of
older people, people with a disability and
people living with chronic or terminal
Almost 2.6 million informal carers provide
care for family members or friends.
The funding guarantee is part of
the Federal Government's strong
commitment to carers -- providing more
than $146 million per year to over 650
respite services and 30 Demonstration
Day Respite services across Australia.
In addition, the Government is also
extending funding for Commonwealth
Respite and Carelink Centres to
June 2013 -- providing a further
More Australians using insulin
to manage diabetes
More than 220,000 Australians began
using insulin to treat diabetes between
2000 and 2009, according to a report
released by the Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare (AIHW) last month.
The new web-based report, Incidence
of insulin-treated diabetes in Australia,
2000--2009, shows that 77% of these
people had Type 2 diabetes, 12% had
gestational diabetes and 10% had Type
1 diabetes. The remaining 1% had other
types of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in
childhood and insulin replacement is
required to survive.
In children aged 0--14 the incidence of
Type 1 diabetes increased from 19 cases
per 100,000 children in 2,000 to 25 per
100,000 children in 2004. But since 2004
the rate of new cases has remained stable.
Antipsychotics in focus at
the 2012 Offshore Refresher
To many pharmacists and GPs,
antipsychotics are something of a mystery.
But for pharmacists attending the PSA
Offshore Refresher Conference this year,
help is at hand.
Professor Andrew McLachlan, Education
Director of the Refresher Conference,
will present some simple rules to
help understand the differences and
similarities of the conventional and
atypical antipsychotics. It will be
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