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 and Aged Care.
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 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
Digital and administrative support
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
- Publicly Available Content Database
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 and Aged Care.
Australian Prescriber is a member of CrossRef/Publishers International Linking Association, Inc.
Australian Prescriber is a member of the Committee on Publishing Ethics.
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.
Altmetric Attention Score
Australian Prescriber incorporates the Altmetric Attention Score on its website. This colourful doughnut provides a real-time indication of how much and what type of online attention an article has received. Hover above the doughnut and you will get a pop-up summary of the various mentions the article has received. Click on the doughnut and you will be taken to the details page where you can read the original mentions and references that have contributed to the attention score.
The score in the middle of the doughnut is an automatically calculated, weighted count of all the attention an article has received. The colours of the doughnut represent the various sources of attention (e.g. news items are red, blogs yellow, twitter aqua, Facebook navy blue, policy documents purple).
The Altmetric Attention Score isn’t just about numbers. It shows who is saying what about the article, and where in the world it is being talked about. The score is also put into context with the levels of attention for other articles published around the same time.
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
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 Michael McDonough
- Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine Katerina Lagios
- Australasian College for Emergency Medicine Fenton O'Leary
- Australasian College of Dermatologists Ian McCrossin
- Australasian College of Tropical Medicine Ken Winkel
- Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Euan Thompson
- Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine Guy Bashford
- Australasian Society for HIV Medicine James McMahon
- Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases Ashley Watson
- Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists Jennifer Martin
- Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy Connie Katelaris
- Australian and New Zealand Association of Neurologists Frank Vajda
- Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists Kerry Brandis
- Australian and New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine Sally Johns
- Australian and New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion James Isbister
- Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology Paul Snelling
- Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine Frank Formby
- Australian Birth Defects Society Debra Kennedy
- Australian College of Nurse Practitioners Jane O'Connell
- Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine Aniello Iannuzzi
- Australian Dental Association Sue Yeoh
- Australian Medical Association John Gullotta
- Australian Pharmaceutical Medical and Scientific Professionals Association Kenneth Hargreaves
- Australian Rheumatology Association James Bertouch
- Australian Society of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery EP Chapman
- Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand Paul Martin
- Consumers Health Forum of Australia Mark Metherell
- Endocrine Society of Australia Richard Prince
- Gastroenterological Society of Australia Paul V Desmond
- Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand Frank Firkin
- High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia Genevieve Gabb
- Internal Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand Michael Kennedy
- Joint Health Command, Australian Defence Force Andrew Robertson
- Medical Oncology Group of Australia Stephen J Clarke
- National Heart Foundation of Australia Jasmine Just
- Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Warwick Plunkett
- Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons Paul Sambrook
- Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators Andrew Robertson
- Royal Australasian College of Physicians Nick Buckley (adult division), John Ziegler (paediatric division)
- Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Mark Westcott
- Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Martha Hickey
- Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists Michael Steiner
- Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists - NSW Faculty Frances Wilson
- Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists
- Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Jane Smith
- Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia Julia Potter
- Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia Chris Alderman
- Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand Peter Wark
- Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand