Letters to the Editor
- Aust Prescr 2010;33:167-70
- 1 December 2010
- DOI: 10.18773/austprescr.2010.076
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.
Editor, – We read Associate Professor Shephard's article with interest (Aust Prescr 2010;33:6–9), and wish to highlight emerging uses for point-of-care INR monitors in Australia. These have been trialled in various settings including:
These projects, conducted by the Unit for Medication Outcomes Research and Education (UMORE), have improved patient outcomes and produced excellent stakeholder satisfaction. For example, the post-discharge service was recently associated with reduced rates of warfarin-related adverse events up to 90 days post-discharge.4
Patient self-monitoring is well established in Europe, where it is associated with improved anticoagulation control, enhanced patient convenience and adherence, fewer complications and improved survival in suitable patients.6Currently, only a small proportion of Australian patients taking warfarin perform self-monitoring, a situation that could be improved by a national training, quality assurance and support program.
We believe that appropriate use of point-of-care INR monitors outside traditional settings can potentially improve patients' quality of life and health outcomes and, as such, should be actively promoted and government-funded.
Gregory Peterson, Leanne Stafford, Luke Bereznicki, Ella van Tienen and Shane Jackson
Unit for Medication Outcomes Research and Education
(UMORE), School of Pharmacy
University of Tasmania