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 10: Shining a light on vitamin D

There has been some recent buzz around vitamin D supplements and their role in preventing or even treating COVID-19.

In this episode, NPS MedicineWise medical adviser and GP Dr Anna Samecki talks to NPS MedicineWise senior clinical program officer and pharmacist Rawa Osman to discuss whether or not vitamin D supplements may protect people with COVID-19 from more serious health complications, possible indirect links between vitamin D deficiency and poorer outcomes for people with COVID-19, and quality use of testing principles when it comes to vitamin D.

Further reading:

NPS MedicineWise has a new article for consumers on vitamin D and COVID-19:

Episode 8: COVID-19 and the TGA

In this episode, NPS MedicineWise CEO Steve Morris speaks with the head of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) John Skerritt about how the TGA is supporting clinicians and consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They discuss some of the unique challenges the TGA has faced and the way it has adapted to these, along with innovations that should be continued beyond the pandemic period.

Further reading:

The Therapeutic Goods Administration:

The refreshed NPS MedicineWise COVID-19 information hub:

Episode 7: Cardiovascular disease and COVID-19

In this episode, NPS MedicineWise medical adviser and GP Dr Anna Samecki talks to Natalie Raffoul, clinical pharmacist and Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Manager at the Heart Foundation about the link between cardiovascular disease (CVD) and COVID-19.

They discuss the cardiac manifestations of COVID-19, the recommendations around antihypertensives, and some of the ways health professionals can encourage patients to seek out chronic disease management and preventative care.

Further reading and links

Episode 6: Dexamethasone and COVID-19 - an initial look

Early results from the RECOVERY trial in the UK are showing that steroid medicine dexamethasone reduces death in hospitalised patients with severe respiratory complications of COVID-19.

In this episode, NPS MedicineWise medical adviser and GP Dr Anna Samecki talks to NPS MedicineWise senior clinical program officer and pharmacist Rawa Osman to take an initial look at what the preliminary results may show, implications for practice in Australia, and some tips on how to have conversations with patients about these findings.

Further reading

NPS MedicineWise article for health professionals - Report suggests dexamethasone reduces mortality in patients seriously ill with COVID-19:

WHO - media release, 16/6/20:

University of Oxford - media release, 16/6/20:

Episode 5: Quality use of medicines and COVID-19

The principles of quality use of medicines have been an important guide for managing medicine issues during the COVID-19 pandemic and for investigating medicines being used to treat or prevent COVID-19.

In this episode, Steve Morris speaks with Professor Andrew McLachlan, Head of School and Dean of Pharmacy in the Sydney Pharmacy School at the University of Sydney. They discuss how the health sector has coped with the fact there is so little evidence about treatments for COVID-19, some of the concerning quality use of medicines issues that have come to light during the pandemic, and what has worked well.

For further reading, check out the recent Australian Prescriber article COVID-19 and the quality use of medicines: evidence, risks and fads.

To find the latest information about medicines, tests and treatments during COVID-19 go to

Episode 4: The National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce

In this episode, CEO of NPS MedicineWise Adj A/Prof Steve Morris talks with Executive Director of the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce A/Prof Julian Elliott. They discuss the role of the Clinical Evidence Taskforce during this pandemic, NPS MedicineWise joining the Taskforce as a partner, the role of living evidence and guidelines, and recent and upcoming clinical topics to be covered by the Taskforce. 

To access the latest continually updated, evidence-based clinical guidelines and to find out more about the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce go to

To read the latest on the NPS MedicineWise COVID-19 information hub go to

A joint media statement from NPS MedicineWise and the Clinical Evidence Taskforce about their partnership is available at

Episode 3 - Quality use of testing during COVID-19

The advice from Australian health authorities around testing has been evolving as the COVID-19 situation evolves. And as with everything to do with COVID-19, even the available tests are new, with the data growing all the time.

In this episode, NPS MedicineWise medical adviser and GP Dr Anna Samecki interviews fellow medical adviser and GP Dr Jill Thistlethwaite about how clinicians can practice quality use of testing during this pandemic.

Episode 2 – Remdesivir, antivirals and COVID-19

Currently there are no approved medicines to treat COVID-19. However, there are several trials underway assessing the role of antiviral medicines, including remdesivir, in the treatment of COVID-19.

In this episode, NPS MedicineWise medical adviser and GP Dr Anna Samecki talks with CEO Adj A/Prof Steve Morris about the latest evidence for remdesivir and what this might mean for treating COVID-19.

 Read more about antiviral medicines and the treatment of COVID-19

Episode 1 – Hydroxychloroquine and COVID-19

In this episode, we look at emerging evidence for the use of hydroxychloroquine during COVID-19, and whether it is actually a ‘miracle drug’ that will save lives during this pandemic.