February 2021 edition of Australian Prescriber out now

Reporting medicine adverse events to the Therapeutic Goods Administration

Although it is easy to report medicine adverse events to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), voluntary reporting is in decline. In an editorial in the latest edition of Australian Prescriber, Professor Jennifer Martin and Dr Catherine Lucas, clinical pharmacologists from the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle, look at the importance of reporting adverse events and the possible implications of this decline.

Limiting the use of antipsychotic drugs in aged care

Antipsychotic medicines are not the first choice when managing behavioural changes of people with dementia. Dr Stephen Macfarlane and Associate Professor Colm Cunningham from the Dementia Centre at HammondCare write that the underlying cause of the behaviours needs to be addressed rather than just treating the symptoms.

Is it time to stop using statistical significance?

An over-reliance on statistical significance and p values may lead to incorrect conclusions when evaluating clinical evidence. Senior Research Fellow Dr Oliver Frank from the University of Adelaide Medical School and co-authors discuss factors that are more important such as appropriate trial design and research methods.

Choosing an antidepressant

Many people with depression seen in primary care do not need drug therapy. Professor Phillip Boyce and Cassandra Ma from the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney say that shared decision-making is critical if an antidepressant is prescribed. The authors outline what to consider when selecting an antidepressant.

COVID-19 vaccines – are we there yet?

As of mid-December 2020, more than 200 COVID-19 vaccine candidates were in development and 11 had entered phase III clinical trials globally. Professor Kristine Macartney from the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance and co-authors summarise the current COVID-19 vaccination field – how the vaccines work and what we know about their safety and efficacy.

This article was published as an early release on 17 December 2020. COVID-19 vaccine development is rapidly evolving and therefore some information in this article may no longer be current.

Also in the February issue of Australian Prescriber:

  • New drugs: cannabidiol for epilepsy (Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome), caplacizumab for thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, and midodrine for orthostatic hypotension.


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    Matthew Harris, NPS MedicineWise Communications & PR adviser: (02) 8217 9229, 0419 618 365 or [email protected]