Country Report 2011 – JAPAN

Country Report – JAPAN

By Japan Pharmaceutical Association

 

Date of reporting 27/09/2011

Period of report February 2011- August 2011

Prepared by Japan Pharmaceutical Association

 

Section 1: Current Issues (e.g. health care policy, pharmacy law, private or government insurance benefits)

1.

March 2011   Great East Japan Earthquake

Please see Annex 1.

2.

Topics on OTC Sales System

(a) Mail order/internet retailing

(b) ʺ Switch OTC ʺ

Section 2: Activities and campaigns (e.g. promotion events, campaigns)

3.

Calendar for Community Pharmacy and Pharmacists

        JPA has prepared the calendar for community pharmacy and pharmacists. The calendar is expected to be utilized in their community activities for the public. The calendar focuses a different specific theme quarterly:

        February, 2011 – April, 2011 ʺ Prevention of Overdose and Suicideʺ

        May, 2011 – July, 2011 ʺQuit Smoking ʺ

        August, 2011 – October, 2011 ʺDrug Notebookʺ

4.

Suicide Countermeasures Month: March

Suicide Prevention Week: September 10 – September 16

        JPA encouraged participating in the activities by displaying poster at community pharmacy, attending properly to consumers of sleep-inducing drug and collaboration with counseling centers/healthcare institutions.

        In February 2011, JPA prepared the document ʺApproach to countermeasures against Overdose and Suicideʺ. A part of the document includes how pharmacy profession/service and community pharmacy function are involved in the approach; (1) Knowledge dissemination/enlightening; (2) Early Detection and (3) Quality Drug Therapy, including caring people with risk of overdose. Attached document ʺApproach by Pharmacists to countermeasures against Overdose and Suicideʺ suggests the examples of service at community pharmacies.

        In 2006, ʺBasic Act on Suicide Preventionʺ was announced and came into effect, then, in 2007, Broad Outline on Suicide Prevention, government policy, was developed. The Broad Outline calls a week starting from September 10 as ʺSuicide Prevention Weekʺ, based on World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10.

        Also Council for Policy of Suicide Prevention, set up by the Act, advocates Suicide Countermeasures Month in March – a month when number of death from suicide is high.

Please see Annex 2.

Section 3: General (e.g. change of pharmacy practice, pharmacy education, standards, quality control )

6.

Action Plan for Home Care Promotion

        In October, 2010, JPA developed the ʺAction Plan for Home Care Promotionʺ, to facilitate the environment in the society and more community pharmacies’ involvement in healthcare team.

        According to the Plan, JPA developed materials, including the revised flowchart to check physical conditions through life function and medications, approach model for interdisciplinary collaboration, leaflet on visit and medication management service etc.

        In FY2011, the activities by regional pharmaceutical associations nationwide with those new tools are in operation.

Thirty Years Later, HIV Is Still Here

23 November, 2011

At the end of 2010 it was estimated that there were about 34 million people living with HIV worldwide, and although global rates of HIV infection have fallen dramatically, there were still around 2.7 million new HIV infections last year and about 1.8 million people died of AIDS related illnesses. Nevertheless, measures such as improved medical treatment prevented an estimated 700,000 deaths in 2010. Here in Australia, where transmission occurs primarily through sexual contact between men, the number of new cases of HIV infection diagnosed is now stable at around 1000 per year.

Wherever we live we can combat AIDS by “respect and protect”. By respecting and protecting ourselves and others we can stop the spread of the HIV and put an end to prejudice. Check out the World AIDS Day website at www.worldaidsday.org and two excellent Australian websites www.worldaidsdaynsw.org and www.worldaidsday.org.au

For full content, please refer to the source!
Thirty Years Later, HIV Is Still Here

PSA ACT Branch President Elected to Medicare Local

ACT Branch President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Professor Gabrielle Cooper, has been elected to the first ACT Medicare Local Board.

Professor Cooper, who is Professor of Pharmacy, Associate Dean Clinical Engagement at the University of Canberra, was elected to one of the two primary health-care clinician positions on the Board.

A network of national-wide Medicare Locals is a key component of the Australian Government’s National Health Reforms and they are designed to coordinate primary health-care delivery and tackle local health care needs and service gaps.

They will drive improvements in primary health care and ensure services are better tailored to meet the needs of local communities.

Professor Cooper said she was honoured at being appointed to the Board and looked forward to adding the expertise and knowledge of pharmacists to that of the other health professionals on the Board.

“All too often in the past the expertise that pharmacists have in the provision of primary health care has been overlooked but the Medicare Local system means that contribution can now be integrated more consistently in team-based care,” Professor Cooper said.

For full content, please refer to the source!
PSA ACT Branch President Elected to Medicare Local

TGA to Cancel Four Prescription Pain-killers from 1 March 2012

22 November 2011

The TGA intends to cancel all pain-killers containing dextropropoxyphene – Capadex, Di-Gesic, Doloxene and Paradex – from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG), from 1 March 2012.

Following a review of the available evidence, the TGA found that the safety risks of using pain-killers (analgesics) containing dextropropoxyphene outweighed the benefits.

Cancellation from the ARTG means that these prescription medicines can no longer be supplied by their Australian sponsors, Aspen Pharma Pty Ltd and Aspen Pharmacare Australia Pty Ltd. Capadex, Di-Gesic, Doloxene and Paradex will become unavailable for use.

Alternative pain-relieving medicines are available. People using Capadex, Di-Gesic, Doloxene or Paradex should plan with their doctor to move to alternative pain relief well before 1 March 2012.

The cancellation date has been set so that patients can move safely to alternative treatments – there is a risk that patients who have been taking these medicines for some time may experience withdrawal symptoms by stopping suddenly.

For full content, please refer to the source!
TGA to Cancel Four Prescription Pain-killers from 1 March 2012

Revised Arrangements for the Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy Medicines

From 1 December 2011 a new initiative will be introduced with the aim to reduce PBS expenditure on chemotherapy medicines used in the treatment of cancer and administered through intravenous infusion or injection. This will result in changes to the PBS and new remuneration arrangements.

The revised arrangements will result in more cost-efficient prescribing and dispensing practices by:

• requiring prescribers to write dose-specific, infusion and injection-based prescriptions using an appropriate unit of measure without specific reference to forms and strengths, and

• only paying approved suppliers and pharmacists for the most cost-efficient combination of vials that makes up a patient’s dose.

For approved pharmacists who dispense chemotherapy medicines:

• pharmacists will only be paid for the most cost-efficient combination of vials that make up a patient’s dose, and

• the specialist nature of approved pharmacies will be acknowledged with a series of new fees, depending on where chemotherapy medicines are claimed.

These fees include:

• distribution fee

• diluent fee

• preparation fee, and

• dispensing fee.

The revised arrangements will be implemented under a new s100 special arrangement and help the Australian Government support cancer patients by minimising waste and cost of chemotherapy medicines.

All medicine that meets the criteria for inclusion in the measure, including trastuzumab (Herceptin®), will be subject to the new prescribing, dispensing and claiming arrangements.

For full content, please refer to the source!
Revised Arrangements for the Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy Medicines

Consumers Forum Mixed Up on Pharmacy Agreement

27 November 2011

The Consumers Health Forum has published an analysis of the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement which welcomed the Agreement and applauded the level of consultation with consumers.

The analysis, published in May 2010 at the time of the signing of the Agreement, is in stark contrast to recent statements by the CHF criticising the Agreement and supporting a call for a Senate Inquiry.

Last week a statement issued by the forum said: “The secrecy surrounding this deal is a real concern.”

Yet in May 2010, the Forum said: “CHF welcomes the final version of the Fifth CPA. For the first time in the history of Community Pharmacy Agreements, the views of consumers were specifically sought, and some of their concerns appear to have been taken into account in the final version of the Agreement. The Patient Service Charter is particularly welcome.”

The analysis document revealed: “CHF received funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (the Department) to inform the Government about consumer views on the content and implementation of the Fifth CPA. CHF’s consultation process involved initial informal consultations, two focused teleconferences, a national consultative workshop and a discussion paper on the implementation of the Fifth CPA.”

The six-page analysis concluded: “On the whole, CHF is pleased with the final version of the Fifth CPA.”

It is frankly bewildering that the CHF would now describe the Agreement as a “secret deal”. The CHF should withdraw its attacks on the Pharmacy Agreement, or explain how it got it so wrong in May 2010.

For full content, please refer to the source!
Consumers Forum Mixed Up on Pharmacy Agreement

Continued Dispensing in Best Interests of Patients

24 November 2011

The move towards continued dispensing of medicines by pharmacists in defined circumstances will deliver better health outcomes for Australian consumers and should be supported by Federal Parliament.

Continued dispensing is one of the measures facilitated by the National Health Amendments (Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement Initiatives) Bill 2011, which was introduced into the House of Representatives yesterday by Health Minister Nicola Roxon. It is intended that continued dispensing be implemented from 1 July next year.

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia fully supports the measure because it is in the best interests of health consumers.

Continued dispensing will provide an additional mechanism for patients to gain access to certain Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines where a valid prescription is unavailable. This could apply, for example, in cases where a prescription has been lost and a doctor consultation is not readily available. Professional protocols will apply, so that quality and patient safety will not be compromised.

Initially, the measure will apply only to oral hormonal contraceptives, and Lipid Modifying Agents used in the treatment of high cholesterol. These two therapeutic groups have been chosen on the basis that they are relatively well tolerated medicines with a very good safety profile.

For full content, please refer to the source!
Continued Dispensing in Best Interests of Patients

Country Report 2011 – JAPAN

Country Report – JAPAN

By Japan Pharmaceutical Association

 

Date of reporting 27/09/2011

Period of report February 2011- August 2011

Prepared by Japan Pharmaceutical Association

 

Section 1: Current Issues (e.g. health care policy, pharmacy law, private or government insurance benefits)

1.

March 2011   Great East Japan Earthquake

Please see Annex 1.

2.

Topics on OTC Sales System

(a) Mail order/internet retailing

(b) ʺ Switch OTC ʺ

Section 2: Activities and campaigns (e.g. promotion events, campaigns)

3.

Calendar for Community Pharmacy and Pharmacists

        JPA has prepared the calendar for community pharmacy and pharmacists. The calendar is expected to be utilized in their community activities for the public. The calendar focuses a different specific theme quarterly:

        February, 2011 – April, 2011 ʺ Prevention of Overdose and Suicideʺ

        May, 2011 – July, 2011 ʺQuit Smoking ʺ

        August, 2011 – October, 2011 ʺDrug Notebookʺ

4.

Suicide Countermeasures Month: March

Suicide Prevention Week: September 10 – September 16

        JPA encouraged participating in the activities by displaying poster at community pharmacy, attending properly to consumers of sleep-inducing drug and collaboration with counseling centers/healthcare institutions.

        In February 2011, JPA prepared the document ʺApproach to countermeasures against Overdose and Suicideʺ. A part of the document includes how pharmacy profession/service and community pharmacy function are involved in the approach; (1) Knowledge dissemination/enlightening; (2) Early Detection and (3) Quality Drug Therapy, including caring people with risk of overdose. Attached document ʺApproach by Pharmacists to countermeasures against Overdose and Suicideʺ suggests the examples of service at community pharmacies.

        In 2006, ʺBasic Act on Suicide Preventionʺ was announced and came into effect, then, in 2007, Broad Outline on Suicide Prevention, government policy, was developed. The Broad Outline calls a week starting from September 10 as ʺSuicide Prevention Weekʺ, based on World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10.

        Also Council for Policy of Suicide Prevention, set up by the Act, advocates Suicide Countermeasures Month in March – a month when number of death from suicide is high.

Please see Annex 2.

Section 3: General (e.g. change of pharmacy practice, pharmacy education, standards, quality control )

6.

Action Plan for Home Care Promotion

        In October, 2010, JPA developed the ʺAction Plan for Home Care Promotionʺ, to facilitate the environment in the society and more community pharmacies’ involvement in healthcare team.

        According to the Plan, JPA developed materials, including the revised flowchart to check physical conditions through life function and medications, approach model for interdisciplinary collaboration, leaflet on visit and medication management service etc.

        In FY2011, the activities by regional pharmaceutical associations nationwide with those new tools are in operation.

Pharmacists There to Help Hay Fever Sufferers

The role pharmacists can play in helping to manage hay fever has been highlighted by new figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) showing that about 3.1 million Australians, or 15% of the population, suffer from the condition.

According to AIHW, this makes it one of the most common chronic respiratory conditions in Australia.

National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Grant Kardachi, said despite the alarming figures, the good news was that hay fever can usually be very well managed with medicines, that can be purchased over-the-counter in pharmacies.

“Hay fever most commonly affects people aged 25–44 and is slightly more common in women than men,” Mr Kardachi said. “Severity can range from mild to severe and can greatly interfere with the sufferer’s sleep, affect their daily routines and have a very negative impact on their quality of life.

“Identifying the triggers for hay fever is often a key to better managing it, and while pharmacists can help patients in this regard, they can also advise on the best medicines to treat their condition. This can include preventive measures such as advising patients to take their medicines the night before forecast high-risk days.”

Pharmacists There to Help Hay Fever Sufferers

Pharmacists Ready to Work Closely With Any Senate Inquiry

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia will work cooperatively with all stakeholders in any Senate inquiry into the Community Pharmacy Agreements process to ensure the best possible outcomes for the community, the pharmacy profession and Australia’s health system.

National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, was commenting after the call today by the Greens Parliamentary Spokesman on Health, Dr Richard Di Natale, for a Senate inquiry into the structure of the Community Pharmacy Agreements and how they are negotiated.

Mr Kardachi said PSA’s focus throughout any inquiry would be on improving the health outcomes of consumers through the professional focus and activities of pharmacists and on the sustainability of the pharmacy profession.

“Pharmacists need to be able to provide the best possible advice and services based on their extensive knowledge  and experience, and to use these skills in the best health interests of the patient,” Mr Kardachi said.

“It is clearly in the interests of the community that programs and services provided under the Community Pharmacy Agreements are developed by leaders from across the profession who should work transparently with the Government, consumers and other health professionals.”

Pharmacists Ready to Work Closely With Any Senate Inquiry