Listening to any of these podcasts can be recorded (in 30-minute increments) as self-directed CPD learning. RACGP members can use Quick Log to record this activity.

Hosted by NPS MedicineWise medical advisors, 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 34: Important but not always front of mind – anticholinergic burden

In this episode, NPS MedicineWise medical advisor Dr Caroline West talks to our other medical advisor Dr Kate Annear about the cumulative effects of anticholinergic medicines. Not always front of mind, these medicines can cause many problematic side effects and can lead to poor health outcomes including increased risk of falls and cognitive decline. We cover what these medicines are and what can be done. Reviewing people’s multiple medicines and considering deprescribing or finding alternative treatments can reduce ‘anticholinergic burden’.

Further reading

NPS MedicineWise: https://www.nps.org.au/professionals/anticholinergic-burden
Choosing Wisely: https://www.choosingwisely.org.au/
Australian Prescriber article: Optimising oral health in frail older people: https://www.nps.org.au/australian-prescriber/articles/optimising-oral-health-in-frail-older-people

Episode 33: Talking to parents about the COVID vaccine

In this episode, NPS MedicineWise medical advisor Dr Caroline West interviews Professor Julie Leask to discuss the COVID 19 vaccination and it’s availability to children over the age of 12. They discuss the hesitancy some parents have toward the vaccines and how to address the questions parents have.

Professor Leask works with the Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery, the Sydney Institute for Emerging Infectious Diseases, is a Visiting fellow for the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance and works at the Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, Australia


Further resources:

National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS): Sharing Knowledge About Immunisation. Talking with parents who have questions.

NPS MedicineWise: Talking with hesitant parents and carers about COVID-19 vaccines and their children

Consumers Health Forum (CHF): It’s worth the shot. Brief intervention for primary care providers to support community confidence in COVID vaccination

Episode 32: Champix / Varenicline recall

In this episode, NPS MedicineWise educational visitor and pharmacist Kara Joyce interviews NPS MedicineWise medical advisor and GP Dr Anna Samecki to discuss the recent TGA alert around varenicline (marketed as Champix) and the implications for practice.

Further reading

Episode 31: Medicines safety, health literacy and the National Medicines Policy in a pandemic world

In this episode NPS MedicineWise CEO Adj A/Prof Steve Morris is joined by Professor Andrew McLachlan, Head of School and Dean of Pharmacy at the University of Sydney, to discuss how the COVID pandemic has sparked a growing interest among consumers in medicines and treatments.

They discuss the vital role health professionals play in communicating harms and benefits with consumers.

They also consider why clinicians should take an interest in the upcoming review of the National Medicines Policy, and Steve bids farewell ahead of stepping down as NPS MedicineWise CEO at the end of July.

Further reading

Episode 30: New survey results shine a light on health literacy in Australia

In this episode about health literacy, NPS MedicineWise CEO Adj A/Prof Steve Morris is joined by health consumer advocate Debra Letica and CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells.

New survey findings have shown that one in five consumers rarely or never felt comfortable asking their doctor, pharmacist or nurse when they needed more information. Steve, Debra and Leanne discuss how health literacy is a fundamental pathway to good healthcare, practical ways health professionals can help consumers feel more in control of their own health care, and why it’s so important to include consumers in shaping health care messages.

Further reading:

Episode 29: Nicotine scheduling changes – Special episode #2

In this second special edition of the NPS MedicineWise podcast about upcoming scheduling changes to nicotine vaping products, medical adviser and GP Dr Jill Thistlethwaite talks with Adjunct Professor John Skerritt from the Health Products Regulation Group (HPRG), including the Therapeutic Goods Administration at the Australian Government Department of Health and Professor Nick Zwar, Executive Dean of the Health Sciences and Medicine Faculty at Bond University and Chair of The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Expert Advisory Group on smoking cessation clinical practice guidelines.

They provide a brief recap on the new prescribing process for nicotine vaping products that is coming into effect from 1 October 2021 and what GPs need to know about these changes. They also discuss the new standard for prescribing nicotine vaping products and the upcoming RACGP smoking cessation guideline update.

This podcast was developed with funding fromthe Australian Government Department of Health.

Further reading

NPS MedicineWise podcast Episode 28: Nicotine scheduling changes – Special episode #1: https://www.nps.org.au/podcast/episode-28-nicotine-scheduling-changes-special-episode-1

TGA: Nicotine e-cigarettes hub (for health professionals): 

www.tga.gov.au/nicotine-e-cigarettes  

TGA: Standard for unregistered nicotine vaping products: 

https://www.legislation.gov.au/Series/F2021L00595

TGA: Nicotine vaping products and vaping devices – Draft guidance for Therapeutic Goods Order 110 (TGO 110) and related matters: 

https://www.tga.gov.au/resource/nicotine-vaping-products-and-vaping-devices

TGA: Nicotine e-cigarettes laws are changing (blog for consumers): 

www.tga.gov.au/blogs/tga-topics/nicotine-e-cigarettes-laws-are-changing  

NPS MedicineWise news article, access pathways flowchart and links to further information: 

www.nps.org.au/professionals/prescribing-nicotine  

RACGP Guidelines: Supporting smoking cessation: 

www.racgp.org.au/clinical-resources/clinical-guidelines/key-racgp-guidelines/view-all-racgp-guidelines/supporting-smoking-cessation

Episode 28: Nicotine scheduling changes – Special episode #1

In this special edition of the NPS MedicineWise podcast about upcoming scheduling changes to nicotine vaping products, CEO Adj A/Prof Steve Morris talks with Adjunct Prof John Skerritt and Ms Jenny Francis from the Health Products Regulation Group (HPRG), including the Therapeutic Goods Administration at the Australian Government Department of Health. They discuss the new prescribing process for nicotine vaping products that is coming into effect from 1 October 2021, why the regulation is being changed, which products are being affected, and what prescribers need to do to prepare for this change.

This podcast was developed with funding from the Australian Government Department of Health.

Further reading

NPS MedicineWise news article, access pathways flowchart and links to further information:

www.nps.org.au/professionals/prescribing-nicotine

TGA: Nicotine e-cigarettes hub (for health professionals): 

www.tga.gov.au/nicotine-e-cigarettes

TGA: Nicotine e-cigarettes laws are changing (blog for consumers): 

www.tga.gov.au/blogs/tga-topics/nicotine-e-cigarettes-laws-are-changing

RACGP Guidelines: Supporting smoking cessation: 

www.racgp.org.au/clinical-resources/clinical-guidelines/key-racgp-guidelines/view-all-racgp-guidelines/supporting-smoking-cessation

Episode 27: Trust as a barrier and facilitator in choosing wisely

In this episode NPS MedicineWise medical adviser and GP Dr Jill Thistlethwaite interviews Dr Robyn Lindner, also from NPS MedicineWise and Executive Sponsor for Choosing Wisely Australia and Tara Montgomery, a public health advocate and communications strategist at Civic Health Partners in the United States. They discuss why the Choosing Wisely initiative has been needed in Australia and how it has been received here, why it’s critical to engage consumers in the campaign, and the role of culture and systems in reducing unnecessary care. Robyn and Tara also talk about the program and themes for the upcoming Choosing Wisely Australia National Meeting, to be held as a virtual event on 19 May 2021, including some glimpses into Tara's presentation on trust as a facilitator and barrier in choosing wisely.

Further reading

National Medicines Symposium – 18 May 2021: 

www.nps.org.au/nms2021

Choosing Wisely Australia National Meeting – 19 May 2021: 

www.choosingwisely.org.au/national-meeting/2021

Episode 26: Opioids special #3: Tolerance, dependence and overdose

In this special edition of the NPS MedicineWise podcast, NPS MedicineWise medical adviser and GP Dr Jill Thistlethwaite talks with Dr Hester Wilson, a GP and addiction medicine specialist, and Ms Leah Dwyer, a member of Painaustralia’s Consumer Advisory Group, about the risk of tolerance, dependence and overdose with opioids for chronic non-cancer pain.

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



Further reading:

Opioids, chronic pain and the bigger picture (NPS MedicineWise resources for health professionals):

https://www.nps.org.au/professionals/opioids-chronic-pain

MedicineWise News: 5 steps to tapering opioids for patients with chronic non-cancer pain

https://www.nps.org.au/news/5-steps-to-tapering-opioids

NPS MedicineWise: Series of communication videos about opioids and chronic non-cancer pain:

https://www.nps.org.au/opioids-communication-videos

NPS MedicineWise: Easy to understand consumer information about opioids and chronic pain

https://www.nps.org.au/consumers/opioid-medicines

TGA Prescription Opioids Hub:

https://www.tga.gov.au/hubs/prescription-opioids

Opioid Calculator, produced by the Faculty of Pain Medicine, Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (FPM ANZCA):

http://www.opioidcalculator.com.au/

Free ‘Better Pain Prescribing’ course from the Faculty of Pain Medicine, Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (FPM ANZCA):

https://www.betterpainmanagement.com/product?catalog=TGA-BPM Faculty of Pain Medicine, Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (FPM ANZCA)