NPS Direct – November 2013

Published in NPS Direct

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Antibiotic Awareness Week (18–24 November)

NPS MedicineWise is looking for 25,000 health professionals to pledge to join the fight against antibiotic resistance. Help bring Australia in line with the OECD country average for antibiotic prescribing.


Biosimilars — what you need to know

A biosimilar is a version of an already registered biological product that has demonstrated similarity but is non-identical. What are the opportunities and challenges for health professionals with the increasing role for biosimilars in disease management?

Energy drinks

The buzz with energy drinks

Energy drinks are sugary, caffeinated soft drinks that claim to improve performance. With growing evidence that the high caffeine content can lead to acute toxicity, what advice can you give your patients about consuming these drinks?


Oral ketoconazole discontinued

From 1 December 2013 oral ketoconazole will be deregistered in Australia because of its well-known associated risk of severe liver toxicity. Which oral antifungals should now be used for superficial fungal infections?


Fast five: men's health


Movember: changing the face of men's health

It is inspiring to see so many men supporting Movember this month, but do they know their designer mo supports men's health? This month is a great time of year for you to promote better men's health. Get your patients talking, to increase awareness and understanding of the health issues facing men.


Preventive health activities for men in their 40s

A huge opportunity exists in primary care to prevent the growing burden of chronic disease by targeting men in their 40s. In this age group, men may neglect their health as career and family responsibilities take precedence. Targeting middle-aged men gives them the means and opportunity to make the lifestyle changes that may protect them from chronic disease as they age.


Screen for mental health issues

Depression and anxiety are commonly managed by GPs, with an estimated 3 million Australians living with one of these conditions. However, identifying and diagnosing these conditions in men remains challenging. This month, prioritise screening for depression in men who are at risk.


Prostate cancer testing

The increased media coverage about prostate cancer this month may prompt men to request a screening test such as PSA. However, routine testing for prostate cancer is not recommended, as it has been shown to cause more harm than good through false positives and overdiagnosis.


Manage medicines effectively

Awareness and education A medicinewise person takes an active role in their healthcare and asks questions about their medicines and medical tests. Encourage your male patients to be medicinewise by putting into practice the principles of quality use of medicines.


NEW: Behind the headlines

New to NPS Direct

Behind the headlines takes a closer look at stories reported in the media, going behind the news and examining the evidence. In this article, we examine:

Use of statins: appropriate patient selection is key

The ABC program Catalyst recently suggested that circulating cholesterol levels are not an indicator of CV risk and questioned the role of statins in the prevention of CVD. However, this view is not supported by evidence or national guidelines. Statins have an important clinically proven role for people who are deemed at moderate to high risk of CVD.


Earn CPD points

New online case study for GPs, pharmacists & nurses

Gain an edge in managing older patients with type 2 diabetes by working through an online clinical scenario based on a 75-year-old man, with evidence-based best-practice information.

  • Engaging, highly interactive, flexible online learning.
  • Immediate peer and expert feedback.
  • Accessible on computer and tablets — switch between devices seamlessly.

For pharmacists — promoting safe use of oral anticoagulants

Want to know more about the safe use of the new oral anticoagulants and how they compare with warfarin? Complete the latest Pharmacy Practice Review and earn 8 hours of Group 2 CPD points (16 credits).

Updated CVD Risk Clinical e-Audit for GPs — now available online

On completing this Clinical e-Audit nearly half of GPs changed their practice on the use of an absolute CVD risk tool when assessing patients and when advising lifestyle modification. This online version includes the latest Australian guidelines for the management of absolute CVD risk.


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Image credits:
Red and green pills (biosimilars): gosphotodesign/
Girl with energy drink (energy drinks): Ariwasabi/
Foot (ketoconazole): Lightspring/