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- Issue 81: April 2009
- Issue 80: March 2009
- Issue 79: February 2009
- Issue 78: December 2008
- Issue 77: November 2008
- Issue 76: October 2008
- Issue 75: September 2008
- Issue 74: August 2008
- Issue 73: July 2008
- Issue 72: June 2008

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We are in the process of moving all of our articles to the new site.

In the meantime you can find them on the old i2P site.

Around the Traps

By a Staff Writer
News Items, Background Information and Items of Interest

Issue 80: March 2009
Page: 1 of 1 Author's Profile | Send to a Friend | Printer Version

Organisations with pharmacy connections are invited to share their news, product releases or opinions in this column.
This Month:
  * Can You Help Out with the NSW Allied Health Workforce Study


Can You Help Out with the NSW Allied Health Workforce Study

The NSW Rural Allied Health Workforce study online response option has been extended til 13th March.
The Rural Allied Health Workforce Study (RAHWS) is an online anonymous survey that explores demographics, education, work practices, and attitudes around how best to recruit and retain allied health professionals in rural areas. Results will be used to provide information to health policy and workforce planning agencies.
We are hoping you can help us try one more time to invite allied health professionals to respond to the survey on


case sensitive password is AHsurvey
We've had an overall response rate of about 37%, which is not bad for a voluntary response survey but a bit less robust than we would like.
We are collecting data from a wide range of professions, some of which will be difficult to calculate response rate.
However, 2006 ABS data does provide state-wide rural counts for some specific professions. Their response rates are:

Profession Total ABS Response
Chiropractor & Osteopathy 87 244 35.7%
Dietician 67 178 37.6%
Occupational Therapist 157 475 33.1%
Optometrist & Orthoptist 79 240 32.9%
Pharmacist 243 986 24.6%
Physiotherapist 371 800 46.4%
Podiatrist 65 121 53.7%
Psychologist 130 747 17.4%
Social Worker 107 675 15.9%
Speech Path. & Audiology 108 319 33.9%
Grand Total 1787 4785 37.3%

Please note that response rates for social workers, psychologists and pharmacists are really quite low, and unless we can bolster these numbers, we will not be able to use that data.

The survey WILL be closed after 13 March. Please help pass the word one last time!


Community-based doctors are now able to prescribe VFEND® (voriconazole) tablets – a first-line treatment for aspergillosis – as a PBS-listed medicine. The PBS listing also recognises VFEND as a first-line therapy for scedosporium or fusarium-related fungal infections, and a second line therapy for both candida and mycosis.

VFEND is a broad-spectrum antifungal agent for first-line treatment of invasive aspergillosis, including disseminated disease and aspergillosis which has been unresponsive to other therapies.¹ Invasive aspergillosis is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in transplant recipients and immunocompromised patients with haematological malignancies.¹

Until now, VFEND has been available only through hospitals. While VFEND is available as an intravenous injection, as an oral suspension and in tablet form, the new PBS-listing is specifically for the tablets (50mg or 200mg dosage).

Head of the Mycology Unit, South Australia Pathology at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Associate Professor David Ellis, said: "Voriconazole has become the agent of choice for the treatment of invasive Aspergillus infection in the immunocompromised patient. The PBS listing of oral voriconazole is good news for both clinicians and patients, especially those on maintenance therapy that do not require hospitalisation."

VFEND is also an important treatment option for other life-threatening fungal infections such as scedosporiosis, fusariosis and cryptococcosis.2

Additionally, VFEND is used to treat serious candida infections such as invasive candidiasis and candidaemia – increasingly common, costly and potentially fatal yeast infections, particularly affecting the immunocompromised and critically ill.¹

The most common side effects of VFEND are visual disturbances, fever, rash, vomiting, nausea, diarrhoea, headache, peripheral oedema and abdominal pain2. The severity is generally mild to moderate. VFEND is contraindicated with the simultaneous use of cisapride, pimozide, quinidine, rifampicin, carbamazepine, long-acting barbiturates, ergot alkaloids, sirolimus and St John’s Wort. It should also be used with caution in patients with hypersensitivity to azoles and proarrhythmic conditions.2

Health professionals with questions about VFEND can contact Pfizer’s Medical Affairs department on 1800 675 229.

For further information please review the full product information available at www.pfizer.com.au.

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