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Medicines update

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Medicines update

Esomeprazole labelling changes

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI) have both supported proposed amendments to the labelling of esomeprazole.

The TGA has proposed an additional recommended advisory statement requirement for the drug that says:

“CAUTION - This preparation is for the relief of minor and temporary ailments and should be used strictly as directed. If symptoms persist or recur within two weeks of completing the course, consult a doctor. Ask your doctor or pharmacist before use if you are taking other medicines regularly”.

In its submission, the Guild noted this was consistent with advisory statements for other PPIs.

“The Guild believes these statements, presented on the labelling of relevant products, will act as an accompanying safeguard for patients regarding the safe and appropriate use of these medicines,” the submission said.

“The Guild believes as a general principle, interaction with, and counselling from a pharmacist is the optimal approach to ensure adherence to QUM principles with advisory statements supporting and reinforcing, but not replacing the advice provided by healthcare professionals”.

Diabetes health hub debuts

Sanofi Australia, in conjunction with Diabetes Australia and Sigma, has launched the pilot of Diabetes Health Hub, a pharmacy-only program focused on pharmacist education to deliver improved customer care in diabetes.

Diabetes Health Hub includes accredited educational modules for pharmacists and pharmacy assistants. These CPD-accredited training modules contain both medical and nutritional information.

The training is complemented by in-store wellness displays and products that can help make a difference to how people approach their overall diabetes health needs.

Diabetes Health Hub has been designed to make information and advice about diabetes and disease management as accessible for the customer as possible.

People wanting to find out more about diabetes can access information via a tablet, which will sit alongside the wellness displays and relevant products and devices.

The current three month pilot currently involves a select number of Sigma and other pharmacies in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. Sanofi is also in discussions with a number of its pharmacy partners to expand the pilot.

Powder warning

Consumers are being advised to take unused quantities of an illegal food supplement into pharmacies.

The TGA issued a safety advisory in late November for Solgar ABC Dophilus powder, warning that “certain batches of Solgar ABC Dophilus powder may pose a serious risk to your health, or the health of your child, and should not be taken”.

Advice from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) indicated that some batches of the powder contained the presence of Rhizopus oryzae, which can cause Mucormycosis, “a rare infection that may cause health problems, particularly in pre-mature infants/infants and children”.

“Stop taking or administering any affected batches of Solgar ABC Dophilus powder to your child and take any remaining product to your local pharmacy for safe disposal’,” the TGA warned.


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