Who we are
Australian Prescriber is Australia's free, national, independent journal of drugs and therapeutics. It is published every two months online.
Our purpose is to help health professionals make informed choices when prescribing, including whether to prescribe a drug or not. To do this we provide independent, reliable and accessible information.
As well as publishing short didactic reviews, we facilitate debate about complex, controversial or uncertain therapeutic areas.
We are part of NPS MedicineWise, an independent, non-profit organisation providing medicines information and resources for health professionals, and stakeholders involved in the quality use of medicines. NPS MedicineWise is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.
The information provided on the Australian Prescriber website is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between someone and their health professional.
Readers can sign up for a publication e-alert, and can access the full text for free online.
The Editorial Executive Committee and Australian Prescriber staff, December 2017
Left to Right: John Dowden, Mary-Ann Ryall, Darren Roberts, Georgina Hickey, Cherie Graham, Ian Coombes, Fiona Mackinnon, Gina O'Brien, Jennifer Dixon, Laura Ahmad, David Liew and Cherrie Galletly.
The journal was first published by the Commonwealth Department of Health in 1975. It has since been published by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, then by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Branch of the Department of Health and Ageing, before finding a new home with the National Prescribing Service (now NPS MedicineWise) in 2002.
Australian Prescriber has been online since 1996. There are over 100 back issues available, including hundreds of editorials, articles, book reviews, comments on new drugs, case studies and much more. All issues from December 1999 onwards are available in both HTML text and PDF. Printing of the journal ceased with the June 2016 issue. Since then Australian Prescriber has been available as an online-only journal.
Until the end of 2009, the Adverse Drug Reactions Advisory Committee (ADRAC) Bulletin was distributed with Australian Prescriber. From February 2009 to February 2015, adverse drug reactions reporting was provided by the Therapeutic Goods Administration and published within Australian Prescriber as 'Medicines Safety Update'. 'Medicines Safety Update' is now exclusively published at www.tga.gov.au.
Australian Prescriber was a founding member of the International Society of Drug Bulletins and, in accordance with their policy, accepts no advertising. This allows the journal to comment freely and impartially on controversial issues.
Australian Prescriber is aimed at prescribing health professionals, as well as students of medicine, pharmacy and dentistry, and other interested individuals.
Health professionals from Australia and around the world may access Australian Prescriber online and receive an email alert to inform them when new material is published. Anyone can sign up for an email alert.
As Australian Prescriber is written primarily for health professionals, individuals should discuss any issues raised by material on this website with their doctor, pharmacist or other health professional.
Editorial Executive Committee
The role of the Editorial Executive Committee is to:
- select topics for publication in Australian Prescriber
- commission authors
- review draft articles and approve these for publication
- review comments on new drugs that have been prepared by the Editors
- select correspondence for publication
- oversee the general direction of the journal.
The Committee currently consists of the following members: the medical editor, the deputy editor, a psychiatrist, a geriatrician, a general physician, a general practitioner, a clinical pharmacologist and a pharmacist. It is supported by an editorial assistant, the production manager and coordinator, and administration.
The Committee liaises with NPS MedicineWise as an advisory group, with the Australian Prescriber Advisory Editorial Panel, with other independent Australian medicines information providers and a range of stakeholders engaged in the quality use of medicines in Australia and overseas.
Advisory Editorial Panel
The Advisory Editorial Panel supports the Editorial Executive Committee. Its members represent about 50 major Australian specialist colleges and societies, providing a direct link with specialist practice. Panel members contribute suggestions for article topics and authors, and comments on draft articles.
Secretariat and Production
Production managerGeorgina Hickey
Editorial assistantCherie Graham
Digital production coordinatorGina O'Brien
Office administratorJennifer Dixon
What we do
As an independent review of therapeutics, Australian Prescriber aims to provide expert, balanced, impartial, reliable and up-to-date information for its readers by reviewing recent evidence where therapy is evolving and updating readers on therapeutics in their own and other fields.
In addition to editorials and articles, Australian Prescriber includes regular features such as medicinal mishaps, book reviews, and articles on the appropriate use of diagnostic tests and the interpretation of abnormal laboratory results.
Each issue includes brief comments on drugs that have recently been marketed in Australia. These comments can help the readers to decide if a new drug has any advantage over more familiar products. We aim to publish these as soon as the drug becomes available.
How we prepare material for publication
The Editorial Executive Committee meets face to face eight times a year to commission, review and approve all material for publication. It considers suggestions for articles from the Advisory Editorial Panel, NPS MedicineWise, readers, and a wide range of stakeholders, then invites authors with particular expertise to write articles for Australian Prescriber. When commissioning an author, the Editorial Executive Committee selects someone who not only has a detailed knowledge of a topic, but can also write a balanced review. Unsolicited articles are not accepted.
All commissioned articles undergo a rigorous editorial process, including external peer review, before being accepted for publication. The referee's identity remains unknown to the author during the review process, while the referee will be told the author's name. Referee reports are considered when the Editorial Executive Committee discusses the papers for the first time. After scrutiny by the Committee, articles are returned to the authors for comment, and approved for publication at a subsequent Committee meeting.
As articles are commissioned, there are no article processing or article submission charges.
Authors have the opportunity to respond to comments from the Editorial Executive Committee and the referees. The Committee has the right to reject an article and their decision is final. Average number of weeks between submission and publication is 36.
Conflicts of interest
Authors and referees are required to inform the Editor of any conflicts of interest. Possible conflicts may be financial, academic, professional or personal, and should be declared even if they have not influenced the article. Sources of research funding should be declared, including past support if it is relevant to the paper being written. The Editorial Executive Committee decides if any declared conflicts of interest should be published.
Members of the Editorial Executive Committee are required to make an annual declaration of any conflicts of interest.
The Editorial Executive Committee welcomes letters, which should be less than 250 words. Before a decision to publish is made, letters that refer to a published article may be sent to the author for a response. Any letter may be sent to an expert for comment. When letters are published, they are usually accompanied in the same issue by any responses or comments. The Committee screens out discourteous, inaccurate or libellous statements. The letters are sub-edited before publication. Authors are required to declare any conflicts of interest. The Committee's decision on publication is final.
The Editorial Executive Committee screens out discourteous, inaccurate or libellous statements and sub-edits letters before publication. The Committee's decision on publication is final.
Australian Prescriber is indexed by
- Academic Search Complete
- Academic Search Ultimate
- Biomedical Reference Collection: Corporate
- EMBASE/Excerpta Medica
- Emerging Sources Citation Index
Australian Prescriber is archived by the National Library of Australia and is in PubMed Central.
Australian Prescriber is a founding member of the International Society of Drug Bulletins.
It is also a partner of healthdirect, a consumer web portal of the Australian Government Department of Health.
The Australian Prescriber website is accredited by HONcode, an international organisation dedicated to providing trustworthy health and medical information on the net.
Australian Prescriber is a member of CrossRef/Publishers International Linking Association, Inc.
To ensure a high-quality publication, Australian Prescriber conducts readership surveys every 3-4 years, and participates in NPS MedicineWise surveys in particular fields, such as pharmacy and general practice.
Copyright belongs to NPS MedicineWise. Australian Prescriber is an Open Access journal which means that all content is freely available. Individuals are allowed to read, download, print, search or link to the full text of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author, provided that the source of the material is acknowledged, it is not used for commercial purposes, and any text, figure, table or box is reproduced in its entirety.
Except where otherwise noted, all articles published in Australian Prescriber can be used under the CC BY-NC-ND licence.
Print ISSN: 0312-8008. Online ISSN: 1839-3942
Editorial Executive Committee
Assoc Prof Darren Roberts
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital NSW
Dr John Dowden
Australian Prescriber ACT
Dr Fiona Mackinnon
Australian Prescriber ACT
Dr Laura Ahmad
Royal North Shore Hospital NSW
Dr Ian Coombes
Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital QLD
Prof Cherrie Galletly
University of Adelaide SA
Dr Ruth Sutherland
Dr Mary-Ann Ryall
Consultant NSW & ACT
Advisory Editorial Panel
The Australian Prescriber Advisory Editorial Panel supports the Editorial Executive Committee. Its members represent major Australian specialist colleges and societies, providing a direct link with specialist practice. Panel members contribute suggestions for article topics and authors, and provide comments on draft articles.
- Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine
- Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine
- Australasian College for Emergency Medicine
- Australasian College of Dermatologists
- Australasian College of Tropical Medicine
- Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
- Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine
- Australasian Society for HIV Medicine
- Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases
- Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists
- Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy
- Australian and New Zealand Association of Neurologists
- Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists
- Australian and New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine
- Australian and New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion
- Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology
- Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine
- Australian Birth Defects Society
- Australian College of Nurse Practitioners
- Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine
- Australian Dental Association
- Australian Medical Association
- Australian Pharmaceutical Medical and Scientific Professionals Association
- Australian Rheumatology Association
- Australian Society of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery
- Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand
- Consumers Health Forum of Australia
- Endocrine Society of Australia
- Gastroenterological Society of Australia
- Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand
- High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia
- Internal Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand
- Joint Health Command, Australian Defence Force
- Medical Oncology Group of Australia
- National Heart Foundation of Australia
- Pharmaceutical Society of Australia
- Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons
- Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators
- Royal Australasian College of Physicians
- Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
- Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
- Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists
- Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
- Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists
- Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
- Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia
- Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia
- Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand
- Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand