The Editorial Executive Committee welcomes letters, which should be less than 250 words. Before a decision to publish is made, letters which 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 their 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.
Letter to the Editor
Editor, – I would like to revisit the use of various antibiotics for 'orphan' indications. One example is rifampicin for deep infections due to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). There are few oral antibiotics available for the treatment of MRSA infections, but the combination of rifampicin and fusidic acid is commonly used and is recommended in Therapeutic Guidelines: Antibiotics.
In 1994, Australian Prescriber published a response to a query (Aust Prescr 1994;17:95)asking why rifampicin was not subsidised for osteomyelitis. The response said that no application had been submitted for the use of rifampicin for this indication.
Would it be possible for the Therapeutic Goods Administration to approve an 'orphan' indication for well-known drugs where they are recommended by recognised guidelines? Perhaps for such indications, a simplified application to the Australian Drug Evaluation Committee could be made by clinicians or their representative bodies.
Infectious diseases physician
Menzies School of Health Research