This new, regular podcast from NPS MedicineWise helps health professionals stay up to date with the latest evidence for medicines, tests and treatments, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hosted by a rotating group of interviewers including our CEO and pharmacist, Adj A/Prof Steve Morris, and GP and NPS MedicineWise medical adviser Dr. Anna Samecki, we’ll wade through the reams of information – and sometimes misinformation – to provide answers from trusted sources for all of your quality use of medicines questions.

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Episode 21: Quality use of medicines in an exceptional year – a 2020 wrap up

After the closing address at the National Medicines Symposium 2020, Steve Morris chats with Prof Andrew McLachlan – Head of School and Dean of Pharmacy at the University of Sydney. They reflect on the symposium with the theme of Rising to the medication safety challenge, what 2020 has meant for the quality use of medicines and how COVID-19 has shown us what is possible.

Episode 20: Medicines for COVID-19 – where did we land?

In this episode NPS MedicineWise CEO Adj A/Prof Steve Morris catches up with Executive Director of the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce A/Prof Julian Elliott. They discuss how 2020 played out in terms of the top medicines that were touted as treatments for COVID-19, the emerging areas of evidence, and how clinicians on the ground have been applying the living guidelines.


Further reading

The National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce and its Living Guidelines: https://covid19evidence.net.au/

NPS MedicineWise COVID-19 information hub: www.nps.org.au/coronavirus

Episode 19: Opioids special #1: Tapering opioids in partnership with patients with chronic non-cancer pain

In this special edition of the NPS MedicineWise podcast, Dr Jill Thistlethwaite talks with Associate Professor Michael Vagg, pain physician and Dean of the Faculty of Pain Medicine Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) and Mr Don Firth, a member of Painaustralia’s Consumer Advisory Group, about the challenges involved in tapering opioids. They discuss the practical aspects of tapering, drawing from their different experiences, and sharing examples from clinical practice. 

This podcast was developed with funding from the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Australian Government Department of Health.


Further reading:

Episode 18: Dementia and changed behaviours: a person-centred approach

In this episode Dr Anna Samecki talks with accredited pharmacist Kara Joyce, who has been overseeing the new NPS MedicineWise program on Dementia and changed behaviours: a person-centred approach. 

They discuss the main issues facing aged care, specifically from a dementia and changed behaviours perspective, the impact of COVID-19 on this space, the importance of person-centred care, and what resources are available for health professionals to support consumers, their families and carers.


Further reading

Episode 17: Supporting clinicians to provide safe and quality health care

In this episode Steve Morris interviews Dr Robert Herkes, Chief Medical Officer with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care and past Director of Intensive Care at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. They discuss the ways in which the Commission has been supporting clinicians during COVID-19 and touch on some of the important lessons learned as a result of the pandemic. They also discuss why medication safety has proved to be such a difficult challenge over the years, and invite listeners to hear more at an upcoming panel discussion at the virtual National Medicines Symposium (NMS) 2020 to be held on Monday 7 December.


Further reading:

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care: www.safetyandquality.gov.au

National Medicines Symposium (NMS) 2020: www.nps.org.au/nms2020

Episode 13: Talking about medicines in culturally and linguistically diverse communities

In this episode NPS MedicineWise medical adviser and GP Dr Anna Samecki talks with Veronica Nou, a community pharmacist working in western Sydney and recipient of a 2020 NSW Humanitarian Award.

This week (7-11 September 2020) is NSW Multicultural Health Week, with a focus on health literacy and the safe use of medicines. In this podcast, Anna and Veronica discuss some of the health issues experienced by culturally and linguistically diverse communities, and some practical ways health professionals can help improve medicines literacy and communications, especially among vulnerable populations.

Further reading:

NSW Multicultural Health Week: www.multiculturalhealthweek.com/

Ethnolink: COVID-19 translated resources www.ethnolink.com.au/covid-19-coronavirus-translated-resources/

The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National): www.tisnational.gov.au/

NPS MedicineWise: Download the NPS MedicineWise Medicines List in English and 10 additional community languages www.nps.org.au/medicineslist

NPS MedicineWise: Links to COVID-19 information translated into community languages www.nps.org.au/COVID-19-in-language

Episode 14: Managing diabetes during COVID-19

In this episode Steve Morris talks to Greg Johnson, CEO of Diabetes Australia, about the biggest challenges facing people with diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic, why diabetes is a ‘pandemic within a pandemic’, feedback from consumers about telehealth, and the importance of addressing mental health.


Further reading

Diabetes Australia: www.diabetesaustralia.com.au

National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS): www.ndss.com.au

RACGP - Management of type 2 diabetes: A handbook for general practice: www.racgp.org.au/clinical-resources/clinical-guidelines/key-racgp-guidelines/view-all-racgp-guidelines/diabetes/introduction

Heads up on diabetes – National Diabetes Week 2020: headsupdiabetes.com.au

Episode 15: Cancer testing during the pandemic

In the early phase of the pandemic, cancer testing rates fell significantly. In this episode Steve Morris speaks with Professor Dororthy Keefe, CEO of Cancer Australia, about the rates of cancer testing during the pandemic and the potential follow-on effects of this. 


Further reading:

Cancer Australia Website: canceraustralia.gov.au

Cancer Won’t Wait Campaign: canceraustralia.gov.au/cancer-wont-wait

Episode 16: Mental health for health professionals

In this episode Dr Anna Samecki talks with Melissa Black, a clinical psychologist from the Black Dog Institute. They discuss why it’s important for healthcare workers to proactively look after their own mental health, when to seek professional help, some simple ways to manage stress, and some of the resources available including The Essential Network (TEN), an e-health hub for healthcare workers. 


Further reading:
The Black Dog Institute: www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/
TEN - The Essential Network for Health Professionals: www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/ten/
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