Latest edition of Australian Prescriber out now

1 August 2013

The August edition of Australian Prescriber is out now and looks at the following topical issues:

Antimicrobial stewardship: What’s it all about?

The growing threat of antibiotic resistance and Australia’s overuse of antibiotics means we need a more judicious and systematic approach to antibiotic use in the community, according to Duncan McKenzie of the Royal Hobart Hospital, Matthew Rawlins from the Royal Perth Hospital, and Bond University’s Professor Chris Del Mar. They say we need urgent action to preserve antibiotic effectiveness into the future. Successful antimicrobial stewardship strategies used in hospitals to improve appropriate antibiotic use and reduce adverse events need to be extended to the Australian community where antibiotic use is greatest.

Controlling Clostridium difficile

Dr Mark McFarlane and Dr Krispin Hajkowicz, infectious disease specialists from the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, outline options for controlling and managing Clostridium difficile infection. According to the authors, avoiding inappropriate antimicrobial use is the most effective way to prevent potentially life-threatening infections. Emergent hypervirulant variants of the bacteria are associated with increased transmission, morbidity and mortality and have caused epidemics in North America and in Europe. Cases have also been reported in Australia, but not the extensive and prolonged outbreaks experienced overseas. The authors urge that to avoid such an outbreak here, intensified surveillance and antimicrobial stewardship are more important than ever.

Transparency and the Therapeutic Goods Administration

Associate Professor Ken Harvey reports on the progress of the TGA towards greater transparency in Australian drug regulation. The article outlines some of the useful information now available for health professionals, consumers and industry. According to Professor Harvey, a good start has been made towards increased transparency, but many more reforms are still to come.

Molecular mechanisms and clinical use of targeted anticancer drugs

The last decade has seen the introduction of several new classes of targeted anticancer therapies for routine clinical use. Associate Professor Winston Liauw from St George Hospital and the University of NSW describes the various monocolonal antibodies and small molecules such as tyrosine kinase inhibitors, and their adverse effects. He explains that because these drugs are often taken orally and for long periods of time, patients are increasingly being seen in general practice. According to Associate Professor Liauw, it’s expected that many more targeted therapies will come into routine clinical use in the future, and that the use of these medicines will be improved by further development of companion diagnostic tests.

Other articles in this edition of Australian Prescriber include

Principles of prescribing for persistent non-cancer pain

Prescribing for a patient with reduced intestinal length

To read the full articles and more visit


Australian Prescriber is an independent peer-reviewed journal providing critical commentary on therapeutic topics for health professionals, particularly doctors in general practice. It is published every two months and distributed to health professionals free of charge, and is also available online at 

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