In Practice: Diabetes medication shortage

Morgan Liotta

12/05/2022 2:13:03 PM

Strong demand for semaglutide has prompted the TGA to ask that GPs exercise care regarding off-label prescription of the medication.

 Person preparing semaglutide
Further information on semaglutide supply issues is available on the TGA website.

This week’s round up also includes information on the RACGP 2022 curriculum and syllabus, the latest data on general practice accreditation, a request for feedback on the implementation of telehealth services, and upcoming RACGP Rural member events in Bathurst.
Supply shortage of diabetes medication
There is currently a strong demand for semaglutide (sold as Ozempic) which has resulted in supply shortages at pharmacies.
GPs are reminded to exercise care and consideration regarding off-label prescribing of Ozempic while there are shortages, to ensure people with type 2 diabetes are prioritised for the medication.
Further information is available on the Therapeutic Goods Administration website.
Member feedback on COVID-19 telehealth services
The Australian National Audit Office is undertaking an audit to assess whether the Department of Health has effectively managed the expansion of telehealth services during the COVIDÔÇÉ19 pandemic.
In response, the RACGP is seeking feedback from members on telehealth services in general practice during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Telehealth was first introduced in March 2020 and a number of changes have been made to Medicare Benefits Schedule items in response to the evolving pandemic situation.
GPs and GPs in training can provide their feedback until 8 June. Information about how to provide feedback is available on the RACGP website.
Practice Owners National Conference
The Practice Owners National Conference kicks off this weekend where the RACGP is excited to welcome over 400 GPs and their practice managers to Hobart.
Registrations are still open. GPs based in Hobart can register to attend in-person, or digital registration is also still available.
This year’s conference will include two days packed with education designed specifically for current practice owners, aspiring practice owners and practice management and sustainability. View the full program.
New RACGP curriculum and syllabus
The college has released its 2022 curriculum and syllabus, designed to support the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) Program, which will be delivered nationally by the RACGP from 2023. 
Written by GPs for GPs as a learning tool to provide members with a practical resource to use at all stages of their learning journey, the curriculum and syllabus captures the perspective of practitioners across Australia.
It is an evidence-based teaching and learning guide that includes case studies, learning strategies and educational resources, developed collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders.
The 2022 curriculum and syllabus come into effect from the beginning of 2023. GPs in training will not be impacted until that point.
The curriculum project team can be contacted for any questions or feedback.
New Medicare item to support access to genetic testing
In the recent 2022–23 Federal Budget, a plan to create a new Medicare item to support better access to genetic testing for cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and fragile X syndrome was announced.
The RACGP is offering accredited training on SMA and other paediatric neuromuscular disorders to help upskill GPs in recognising warning signs and when to refer to a specialist.
Further information and access to training is available online.
General practice accreditation
The RACGP’s Standards Business Unit recently published an analysis, General practice accreditation in Australia: Data from 2010–21, based on the Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services (RoGS).
Findings relate to three groups of accreditation stakeholders: general practices, GPs and accreditation agencies.
In the period reviewed:

  • the proportion and number of accredited general practices in Australia increased, with most practices now routinely participating in accreditation
  • variability in the proportion of accredited general practices in each state and territory decreased
  • the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) GPs increased, as did the number of FTE GPs per 100,000 people.
The RoGS provides information on the equity, effectiveness and efficiency of government services in Australia, including primary and community health and general practice accreditation.
Domestic and family violence training
As part of the Readiness Program and delivered as an RACGP CPD accredited activity, the Pathways to Safety training program strengthens the capacity of primary care providers to effectively recognise, respond and refer domestic and family violence.
The training is delivered virtually in two 1.5-hour sessions, plus supporting activities, with all practice staff participating. Using a trauma-informed approach, the training is presented by local GP facilitators and family violence support workers.
More information and registration is available online.
Rural member events in Bathurst
To help celebrate 30 years of RACGP Rural, the faculty is coming together in locations across Australia to share highlights and mark this significant milestone.
Bathurst, in regional New South Wales, is hosting two upcoming events.
Friday 20 May, 6.00 – 8.00 pm
RACGP Rural council member Dr Ross Wilson and faculty staff are hosting drinks and nibbles at Rydges Mount Panorama, Bathurst. Register online.
Saturday 21 May, 7.30 am – 4.30 pm, Bathurst Base Hospital
RACGP Rural is partnering with the NSW Government’s Health Education and Training Institute to bring their Mobile Simulation Centre to Bathurst Hospital for a full-day workshop.
This accredited activity will enhance GPs’ rural emergency medicine skills as they rotate through hands-on simulated scenarios that reflect real rural and remote challenges. There is a strong emphasis on common rural emergency medicine situations and coordination with other healthcare professionals.
Participants will also develop strategies for self-care, stress management and debriefing, with all scenarios written by experienced rural GPs from real cases.
This workshop is open to GPs, GPs in training or RACGP resident/intern members. It attracts 40 CPD points and is eligible for a one-day Rural Procedural Grant. Attendees may also be eligible for funding under the NSW Rural Doctors’ Network Health Workforce Scholarship Program. 
Cost: Members $695 / non-members $995
Register online.
Depression – is it family abuse or violence?
Thursday 2 June, 1.00 – 1.30 pm (AEST)
1 CPD point available
The RACGP’s ‘Mental bites’ is a lunch-time webinar series with bite-sized information presented by RACGP Specific Interests Psychological Medicine.
GPs are already aware of mental health assessments, diagnosis, and management. But this series is designed to provide an opportunity to learn more about how to do the work – the micro-skills of engagement, forming safe and effective therapeutic alliances, and communication with patients.

Presented by Dr Libby Hindmarsh, Chair of RACGP Specific Interests Abuse and Violence in Families, the fourth webinar in this series will discuss patients presenting with symptoms of depression and how family abuse or violence can often be missed when this is treated.
Register online.
Digital health live Q&A
In partnership with the Australian Digital Health Agency, the RACGP is running a series of 30-minute lunchtime webinars in May as part of the Digital health live Q&A series.
GPs can learn how to better support patients to access digital health tools and discuss the future of digital health.
Supporting patients to access digital health tools – Tuesday 17 May, 1.00 – 1.30 pm
The future of digital health – Monday 23 May, 1.00 – 1.30 pm
Log in below to join the conversation.

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