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.

EEC and AP Staff

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.

History

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.

Independence

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.

Our readers

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 manager
Georgina Hickey
Editorial assistant
Cherie Graham

Digital production coordinator
Gina O'Brien
Office administrator
Jennifer Dixon

What we do

Journal content

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.

Letters

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.

Indexing

Australian Prescriber is indexed by

      • Academic Search Complete
      • Academic Search Ultimate
      • Biomedical Reference Collection: Corporate
      • EMBASE/Excerpta Medica
      • Emerging Sources Citation Index

Archiving

Australian Prescriber is archived by the National Library of Australia and is in PubMed Central.

Affiliations

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.

Readership surveys

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

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.

ISSNs

Print ISSN: 0312-8008. Online ISSN: 1839-3942

Editorial Executive Committee

Chair

Assoc Prof Darren Roberts

Clinical pharmacologist

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital NSW

Australia

Medical editor

Dr John Dowden

Australian Prescriber ACT

Australia


Deputy editor

Dr Fiona Mackinnon

Australian Prescriber ACT

Australia

Member

Dr Laura Ahmad

Geriatrician

Royal North Shore Hospital NSW

Australia


Member

Dr Ian Coombes

Pharmacist

Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital QLD

Australia

Member

Prof Cherrie Galletly

Psychiatrist

University of Adelaide SA

Australia


Member

Dr Ruth Sutherland

General practitioner

Vic.

Australia

Member

Dr Mary-Ann Ryall

General physician/geriatrician

Consultant NSW & ACT

Australia


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.