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 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:

National Medicines Symposium (NMS) 2020:

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:
TEN - The Essential Network for Health Professionals:
If you need crisis support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14

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:

Cancer Won’t Wait Campaign:

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:

National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS):

RACGP - Management of type 2 diabetes: A handbook for general practice:

Heads up on diabetes – National Diabetes Week 2020:

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:

Ethnolink: COVID-19 translated resources

The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National):

NPS MedicineWise: Download the NPS MedicineWise Medicines List in English and 10 additional community languages

NPS MedicineWise: Links to COVID-19 information translated into community languages

Episode 12: An insight into the national COVID-19 response

In this episode NPS MedicineWise CEO Steve Morris is joined by Professor Michael Kidd AM, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Australian Government Department of Health.

They discuss the role of the Department of Health’s National Incident Room and the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce, the challenges of managing chronic disease during this pandemic - particularly in vulnerable populations, and some the ways health professionals are ensuring continuity of care and access to medicines to patients in this rapidly changing environment.

Further reading

National Incident Room:

National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce:

Episode 11: Are you Choosing Wisely during the pandemic?

In this episode, Steve Morris speaks with Dr Simon Judkins, an emergency physician working in Victoria at one of the Choosing Wisely Australia Champion Health Service hospitals. They discuss how the Choosing Wisely principles, particularly around resource stewardship and the importance of conversations about what care is necessary, have been relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic. They also look at how new pandemic guidance from Choosing Wisely Australia will help health professionals and consumers navigate the current environment.

Further reading
Choosing Wisely principles:

Choosing Wisely pandemic guidance for health professionals:

Choosing Wisely pandemic guidance for consumers:

5 questions to ask - for consumers to use to start a conversation with their doctor or other healthcare provider about what matters to them and their health, available in English and 12 additional languages:

Becoming a Choosing Wisely Australia Champion Health Service: