Australian Prescriber makes its comeback

Jolyon Attwooll

26/06/2023 3:25:47 PM

The publication, which had an uncertain future following funding cuts to its previous publisher NPS MedicineWise, is going out to readers once again.

Clinician prescribing medication
The Australian Prescriber journal has given GPs guidance on prescribing for many years.

A new edition of Australian Prescriber is out for the first time since December 2022, with the future now looking more assured for the respected journal.
Described as ‘possibly the most widely read medical journal in Australia’ by former NPS MedicineWise director Deborah Rigby, the publication was being released every two months at the time the closure of the organisation was announced.
Following a competitive tender, it has now been revived under the auspices of not-for-profit organisation Therapeutic Guidelines.
Tender documents show a three-year contract worth $4.9 million to produce the journal.
Dr Leigh-Anne Claase, the CEO of Therapeutic Guidelines, described the opportunity to publish Australian Prescriber as ‘unexpected but welcome’.
Australian Prescriber is a respected, independent and accessible journal of therapeutics that has supported health professionals in Australia to make informed prescribing decisions for almost 50 years,’ she wrote in an editorial for the new edition.
‘That there would be a future for Australian Prescriber was never in doubt considering its reputation and popularity, and that the National Medicines Policy continues to advocate for “access to up-to-date, reliable and good quality information for the Australian health system”.’
She added that readers can ‘expect the same high quality topical and relevant articles’.
The new edition includes practical advice on managing atopic dermatitis, prescribing and peritoneal dialysis, a review of COVID-19 tests, as well as a new drug profile on treosulfan.
As previously, the journal will be produced every two months and is available for free, with no pharmaceutical advertising.
Dr Claase also said a biweekly podcast series will restart in September.
The defunding of NPS MedicineWise was announced under the Coalition, then confirmed after a review commissioned by current Federal Health and Aged Care Minister Mark Butler.
In a move that raised concerns from organisations including the RACGP, responsibility for the Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) functions that were looked after by NPS MedicineWise have been transferred to the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.
A petition started in July last year to save Australian Prescriber gathered more than 8500 signatures.
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Australian Prescriber

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