NPS Direct – June 2013

Published in NPS Direct

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When to perform prostate cancer tests

Deciding whether to test for prostate cancer is a complex issue with multiple contributing factors. It can be difficult to explain all of the issues to a man who has asked about testing. Having an understanding of the latest evidence will help.  Read more



Statins and kidney injury

A recent study suggested that the risk of acute kidney injury is higher in patients taking high potency statins compared with those taking low potency statins. Find out which drugs are involved and what this means for your patients.  Read more



Duration of antibiotic therapy and resistance

Continued overuse and misuse of antibiotics means we risk losing the impact of these vital medicines. Outlining the duration of antibiotic therapy for your patients can help ensure antibiotics are taken as intended. 
Read more

Five messages from NPS MedicineWise about: 

Preventive health — which tests make a difference? 

1. Launching a new education program

The new program focuses on preventive activities in general practice and highlights the opportunity to modify the growing burden of chronic disease in Australia. Do you want to get involved and request an educational visit? 

2. The growing burden of chronic disease

Over 7 million Australians have a chronic condition and many more are at risk of developing one in the future. By modifying your patients' lifestyle risk factors you could prevent the growing burden. 

3. Targeting people in their 40s

Preventive activities need to be targeted at individual needs. People in middle age have an opportunity to make lifestyle changes that may protect them from chronic disease as they age. 

4. Which tests make a difference?

Consider the evidence base for medical tests and only request tests during preventive activities that are recommended in the RACGP red book. These tests can identify risk in apparently healthy people. 

5. Three tests with no proven benefit

Not all tests are appropriate for routine testing in healthy, low risk patients and are not recommended during preventive activities.

  • prostate-specific antigen test for prostate cancer
  • vitamin D tests
  • thyroid function tests.  

Rivaroxaban PBS listed for deep vein thrombosis

Rivaroxaban is now PBS listed for the treatment of DVT and prevention of venous thromoboembolism recurrence. How does rivaroxaban compare with standard treatment of DVT? Which patients are suitable and eligible for treatment?

Vaccination communication

A recent report showed that some communities have low vaccination rates, increasing risk of disease outbreaks. Good communication ensures maximum immunisation uptake and GPs are vitally important to this process.

New reports assist QUM in residential aged-care facilities

NPS MedicineWise and Webstercare have designed a new reporting function within Webstercare Medication Management Software. Pharmacists can create in depth reports for each facility they supply to help them understand and analyse their antipsychotic medicine usage.

For pharmacists — promoting safe use of oral anticoagulants

Want to know more about the safe use of the new oral anticoagulants how they compare to warfarin? Register free for our latest Pharmacy Practice Review. Earn 8 hours of Group 2 CPD points (16 credits).

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