News & Updates
Congratulations to our newly accredited Pharmacists
News & Updates
All Australian aged care homes and multi-purpose services are encouraged to take part in the 2019 AC NAPS, on any single day between 1 June 2019 and 31 August 2019.
Participation in the survey assists aged care homes and multi-purpose services to identify areas where the use of antimicrobials for their residents could be improved. The new Aged Care Quality Standards require aged care services to demonstrate practices that promote appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use to support optimal care and reduce the risk of increasing resistance to antibiotics.
For further information or to register for the 2019 AC NAPS:
News & Updates
A new report released by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) has reviewed published evidence of the impact of pharmacists in the fight against these diseases (NCDs).
The report “Beating non-communicable diseases in the community: The contribution of pharmacists” presents initiatives from 15 countries (Australia, China, Finland, Germany, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA) that should encourage pharmacists around the world to play a more active part in fighting NCDs.
The four major NCDs ― cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, asthma and cancer ― are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality the world over.
FIP’s Working Group on Non-communicable Diseases, which produced the report based on a survey of FIP member organisations, concluded that pharmacists’ regular interactions with patients can be harnessed to increase prevention of NCDs, responsible use of medicines, and adherence to medication, and thereby achieve better health outcomes.
Community pharmacists, as one of the most accessible sources of primary health care, are ideally placed to minimise the impact of NCDs on individual patients and communities, the report points out.
The case studies show that they are able to provide early screening, point-of-care testing and specialised counselling, as well as long-term disease management.
However, the authors believe that pharmacists could play an even bigger role in NCDs and need to further align their work with that of other healthcare professionals.
“NCD management is demanding new answers and requiring innovative and creative solutions, many of which could be provided by pharmacists,” says Isabel Jacinto, chair of the working group.
However, she adds that in some countries, lack of access to pharmacists due to workforce shortages is jeopardising the health of patients with NCDs, and the report calls on governments to take action to increase the supply of well-qualified pharmacists.
The working group also calls for pharmacists’ contribution to NCD prevention and management to be recognised and adequately remunerated by public and private third-party payers.
“This report sets out the global evidence to advocate, nationally and internationally, for an expanded role for pharmacists in NCD management. It also contains recommended actions for national and local associations of pharmacists,” Ms Jacinto says.
It is expected that the report will lead to a new FIP policy statement on NCDs. The report also provides a valuable evidence base for FIP’s work with other professions, the World Health Organization and the United Nations to develop shared strategies to manage NCDs.
News & Updates
Conversations for change is the latest report on the implementation of the Choosing Wisely initiative in Australia.
The report features insights from health professionals, researchers and consumer health advocates who are committed to the long-term sustainability of the initiative and its potential for a widespread culture change around the use of unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures among Australian healthcare providers and consumers.
News & Updates
A new survey released today by NPS MedicineWise shows that most Australians underestimate how long it typically takes for someone with an anxiety disorder to seek and receive help.
According to the new YouGov Galaxy survey*, more than two in three (69%) of Australians estimate it takes people 5 years or less to seek help for their anxiety—however the average period of time it takes for someone living with an anxiety disorder to seek professional help is actually a huge 8.2 years.
Dr Jeannie Yoo, GP and medical adviser at NPS MedicineWise says that much of the delay is due to the time it takes for someone to recognise that the symptoms they are experiencing could be due to an anxiety disorder.
“Once they do, it can be a great relief for them to understand that the way they feel is due to a treatable condition, and that this condition is not uncommon,” says Dr Yoo.
While two-thirds (66%) of respondents recognised face-to-face counselling or psychological treatments as effective, only 13% of those surveyed thought that online treatment programs are effective for treating anxiety.
“Clinical studies have shown that online treatment programs can be just as effective as face-to-face treatment,” says Dr Yoo. “Online treatments may be an accessible option for some people, and many of these programs are available for free.”
Psychological treatments along with antidepressant medicines are the two primary approaches for treating anxiety disorders, and are the focus of a new nationwide educational program by NPS MedicineWise which will see health professionals around the country updated in the best-practice treatment options for these conditions.
“It is important for people to remember that there are effective treatments for anxiety,” says Dr Yoo. “Seeking help from your doctor is an important first step in feeling better.”
More information on the new NPS MedicineWise educational program for consumers and health professionals on the diagnosis and treatment of anxiety disorders can be found on the NPS MedicineWise website at www.nps.org.au/anxiety.
*YouGov Galaxy poll of 1027 adults conducted in February 2019 for NPS MedicineWise.
News & Updates
This list is a summary of only some of the changes that have occurred over the last month.
Before prescribing, always refer to the full product information.
Participate in Research
The implementation of an inter-professional shared decision-making intervention for older adults with polypharmacy in the context of Home Medicines Reviews: A pilot study.
Researchers in the School of Public Health at Sydney University are studying polypharmacy in the older population with the aim to develop strategies to increase patient involvement in decision making about their medicines.
They have developed the Medicine Conversation Guide to be used by the accredited pharmacist during the patient interview as part of their Home Medicines Review (HMR) with older people experiencing polypharmacy. The Guide is designed to facilitate the discussion around medications and what’s important to the patient in a structured format.
The researchers are seeking accredited pharmacists who would be willing to use the Guide in their usual HMRs and then participate in a short interview (approximately 30 minutes) with one of the researchers.
Participants will be offered a Coles or Westfield voucher as reimbursement for their time.
For further information about this study and to register your interest, contact researchers Isabelle Baker or Kristie Weir either by email or telephone at firstname.lastname@example.org (02) 8627-7644 or email@example.com (02) 8627-7645
Tremors, irregular movements and stiffness may be a sign of adverse drug reactions and can be life threatening. Find out how they can be recognised, distinguished and treated in this article in the latest edition of Australian Prescriber.
In patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus, 30% achieve glycaemic targets and are encumbered by unwanted effects of insulin, namely hypoglycaemia and weight gain; severe hypoglycaemia, in particular, is the main factor limiting optimal glucose control and a risk factor for adverse events in diabetes.
Sotagliflozin is a novel, dual sodium glucose co-transport (SGLT) 1/2 inhibitor that inhibits intestinal glucose absorption as well as renal glucose reabsorption; this mechanism of action could blunt postprandial glycaemic excursions and glycaemic variability, eventually reducing the need for bolus insulin corrections and hypoglycaemic risk.
Sotagliflozin has completed phase III clinical development in type 1 diabetes, but the evidence regarding its efficacy and safety in this population has not been systematically reviewed.
The results of this study suggest that compared with placebo, sotagliflozin improves glycaemic and non-glycaemic outcomes (including markers of diabetic nephropathy) and reduces the incidence of hypoglycaemia and of severe hypoglycaemia.
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is the main adverse event associated with sotagliflozin treatment, and its risk depends on initial HbA1c levels in patients and reduction of the basal insulin dose during treatment; sotagliflozin is also associated with an increased risk of genital tract infections and diarrhoea, but not of urinary tract infections.
Current evidence on long term outcomes is limited by the short duration of individual trials.
Quadrivalent influenza vaccination is recommended annually for adults and children aged six months to 64 years. High-dose or adjuvanted trivalent vaccines are recommended annually for people 65 years and over.
If started early enough, neuraminidase inhibitors reduce symptom duration by approximately one day.
Treatment should be considered in patients with severe disease requiring hospitalisation or who are at risk of complications.
Chemoprophylaxis is not a substitute for vaccination but can be considered in high-risk individuals with an inadequate or ineffective vaccination status.
Click HERE to read the full article from Australian Prescriber
Eosinophilic esophagitis is an allergic condition that results in inflammation of the esophagus.
The defining characteristic of this disease is the abnormal presence of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell, in the esophagus. This condition has been linked to other allergic conditions, such as asthma, eczema, and food allergies. Eosinophilic esophagitis is caused by a combination of environmental factors, such as exposure to particular foods or allergens spread through the air, and genetic influences. Both children and adults can have eosinophilic esophagitis; it is more common in male individuals. Eosinophilic esophagitis is generally not life threatening; however, patients can experience food getting stuck in the esophagus.
Click HERE to access this article.
Depression is a common and heterogeneous condition with a chronic and recurrent natural course that is frequently seen in the primary care setting. Primary care providers play a central role in managing depression and concurrent physical comorbidities, and they face challenges in diagnosing and treating the condition.
In this two-part series from the British Medical Journal, the authors review the evidence available to help to guide primary care providers and practices to recognize and manage depression.
The first review outlines an approach to screening and diagnosing depression in primary care and the second review presents an evidence-based approach to the treatment of depression in primary care, detailing the recommended lifestyle, drug, and psychological interventions at the individual level. It also highlights strategies that are being adopted at an organizational level to manage depression more effectively in primary care.
The security of electronic health records has been controversial, but what about the potential benefits? Read more in this editorial from Australian Prescriber.
Oral anticancer therapy is increasingly integrated into the care of patients with cancer. Recognition and management of drug-drug interactions (DDIs) is critical to providing efficacious and safe anticancer treatment. DDIs with QTc-prolonging agents, anticoagulants, enzyme inducers and inhibitors.
This review discusses frequently observed DDIs and outlines literature-supported suggestions for their management.
https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/909457?src=wnl_edit_tpal&uac=119397PN&impID=1927898&faf=1 (Free registration required)
A pharmacist embedded in a Residential Aged Care (RAC) facility In Tasmania is using artificial intelligence app PainChek to assess and improve pain in non-verbal elderly residents.
The smartphone app is now being used in more than 66 aged care sites with over 4,000 residents around Australia.
The Tasmanian trial is unique in that the app is in the hands of an embedded accredited pharmacist.
The pilot is being monitored as a potential model for other RACs.
See more at www.painchek.com
Epidemiological studies and meta-analyses have consistently suggested the importance of lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) to reduce cardiovascular (CV) events. However, these studies and mechanistic studies using intracoronary imaging modalities have reported patients who continue to experience CV events or disease progression despite optimal LDL-C levels on statins. These findings, including statin intolerance, have highlighted the importance of exploring additional potential therapeutic targets to reduce CV risk.
Genomic insights have presented a number of additional novel targets in lipid metabolism. In particular, proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 inhibitors have rapidly developed and recently demonstrated their beneficial impact on CV outcomes. Triglyceride (TG)-rich lipoproteins have been recently reported as a causal factor of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). Indeed, several promising TG-targeting therapies are being tested at various clinical stages.
This review presents the evidence to support targeting atherogenic lipoproteins to target residual ASCVD risk in statin-treated patients.
https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/910761?src=wnl_edit_tpal&uac=119397PN&impID=1927898&faf=1 (Free registration required)