NPS RADAR is published three times a year, in line with major updates to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, in print and online formats. It is also integrated into primary care clinical software, and readers can subscribe to electronic updates via email.
With more than 250 million prescriptions subsidised annually and 80–100 new drugs added each year to the PBS it is important for clinicians to have timely, accurate, independent and evidence-based information about new PBS-listed medicines.
To ensure RADAR reviews meet these needs, a rigorous production process lies behind each issue.
Topics for each RADAR issue are selected by an advisory panel consisting of GPs, specialists and consumer advocates. A draft of each article is reviewed internally for accuracy and style quality before sending for external review by the advisory panel, relevant clinical experts and the pharmaceutical company that made the submission for PBS listing.
Comments are considered and, where appropriate, changes made and the revised draft sent again to the reviewers for feedback. Although manufacturers are provided the opportunity to comment, not all comments are accepted, but a rejoinder may be published on the NPS website if there is disagreement. This ensures the final product is accurate, independent and an authoritative interpretation of the evidence and its clinical relevance.
But now there’s more. In this issue we have introduced a further enhancement to the evidence appraisal in the form of the GRADE systematic evaluation of the quality of evidence. Read about it in the In Brief article More than just evidence summaries — rating the quality of evidence in this issue.
The GRADE approach has been endorsed by many national and international organisations as a systematic and transparent framework for communicating the quality of evidence and strength of recommendations in healthcare.
For selected reviews, when RCTs are critically appraised we will now provide, in the online version only, a summary and conclusion on the quality of the evidence by considering these GRADE criteria and quality levels. See the online version of the review of tapentadol for an example.
As we continue to work towards the best quality product, we welcome your feedback by leaving comments at www.nps.org.au/contact-us/give-feedback.