PBS Practice Review – insights for rheumatologists on their prescribing for rheumatoid arthritis

Targeted Therapies Alliance media release

The Australian Rheumatology Association and NPS MedicineWise, as part of the Targeted Therapies Alliance, will send out PBS Practice Review reports this week to approximately 450 rheumatologists across Australia. The reports contain individualised data on their prescribing of Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs) and other medicines used to manage rheumatoid arthritis.

The Targeted Therapies Alliance is a consortium of organisations representing specialists, pharmacists, consumers and research experts with funding from the Australian Government Department of Health through the Value in Prescribing- bDMARDs Program Grant. It provides stewardship and direction about the safe and wise use of biologic-DMARDs (bDMARDs) and other specialised medicines for health professionals and consumers.

For many prescribers this will be their second report from the Targeted Therapies Alliance. The first PBS Practice Review report was sent to prescribers in October 2020.

PBS Practice Reviews are provided confidentially and are intended for personal reflection. They are not used for any regulatory auditing processes. They provide prescribers with data about their own prescribing compared with their peers, alongside distillations of best practice guidelines and recent evidence. The reports contain prescribing data on medicines such as bDMARDs, glucocorticoids and opioids compared with national aggregate data. Links are provided to additional resources developed as part of the bDMARDs program including living guidelines, podcasts and webinars, algorithms and consumer factsheets.

President of the Australian Rheumatology Association Professor Catherine Hill says these reports provide a unique opportunity for specialists to see how their practice may have changed over time.

“The evidence around the medicines used to treat rheumatoid arthritis is changing frequently. Sometimes it isn’t until you have a chance to see your prescribing practice across a range of patients over a period of time, that you can really reflect on this,” she says.

“Personally, I know these reports have given me the opportunity to reflect on my own practice, and this has made me more aware when I prescribe some of these medicines.”

NPS MedicineWise CEO Ms Katherine Burchfield says the expertise used to develop these reports has been provided by NPS MedicineWise, which has been producing similar reports for general practitioners over the past 22 years.

“GPs consistently tell us that they greatly value this feedback on their prescribing practices compared with their peers, and we have done this now across more than 20 therapeutics areas. As part of the Targeted Therapies Alliance, we have worked with specialists and consumers in this highly complex area of practice and developed a wide range of resources together,” she says.


About the Targeted Therapies Alliance

The Targeted Therapies Alliance is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health through the Value in Prescribing – Biological Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (bDMARDs) Program Grant and led by NPS MedicineWise.

For more information on the Targeted Therapies Alliance, bDMARDs and other specialised medicines, visit the program website.


Media contact

Media enquiries: Bernadette Withers: 0419 618 365 or [email protected]