Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist September 2014 Contents Australian Pharmacist September 2014 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
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Food-Medicine tool welcomed
The Australian Self Medication
Industry (ASMI) has welcomed
the Food-Medicine lnterface
guidance materials published by the
Therapeutic Goods Administration
(TGA) on its website. The TGA worked
collaboratively with Food Standards
Australia New Zealand (FSANZ),
the Federal Department of Health and
State and Territory food authorities to
develop the materials, which provide
clarity around the regulatory interface
between some foods and medicines.
The explanatory materials produced
by the TGA includes an interactive
Food-Medicine lnterface Guidance Tool
which includes a series of questions
to help sponsors and consumers
determine whether a product is likely
to be a therapeutic good.
New RACGP President
Western Australian GP Adjunct
Associate Professor Frank Jones is the
President-elect of the Royal Australian
College of General Practitioners
(RACGP). A/Prof Jones will take over
the prestigious role from current
RACGP President, Dr Liz Marles, whose
two-year term concludes in October.
A/Prof Jones is a staunch advocate for
general practice and is committed to
raising the profile of GPs’ role within
the Australian healthcare system.
A/Prof Jones has more than 30 year’s
clinical experience in rural and regional
general practice. ‘ The profession is
in the midst of very uncertain times
and strong leadership, reflective of
member opinion, is now more critical
than ever,’ he said.
Arthritis and other musculoskeletal
conditions are Australia’s fourth most
expensive group of diseases, according
to a report released by the Australian
Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The report, Health‐care expenditure
for arthritis and other musculoskeletal
conditions 2008–09, shows that in
2008–09, spending on these diseases
was about $5.7 billion, accounting for
9% of total health-care spending.
AIHW spokesperson Louise York
said: ‘Osteoarthritis accounted for
29% [$1.6 billion] of spending on
arthritis and other musculoskeletal
This was followed by back problems
(21% or $1.2 billion), rheumatoid
arthritis (6% or $355 million) and
osteoporosis (5% or $306 million).
‘About 6.1 million people (28% of
the population) were affected by
musculoskeletal conditions in 2011–12,’
Ms York said.
More than half of spending on arthritis
and other musculoskeletal conditions
was on hospital admitted patient
services ($3 billion), followed by 30%
on out-of-hospital medical expenses
($1.7 billion) and 16% on prescription
pharmaceuticals ($922 million).
‘Patterns of spending across health-care
sectors varied significantly among
different musculoskeletal conditions,’
Ms York said.
‘For example, most spending for
rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis
was on pharmaceuticals (77% and 63%
respectively), while for osteoarthritis,
most was spent on admitted patient
hospital services (77%) such as joint
replacement surgery and arthroscopies.’
Overall spending on these conditions
also varied by age, and was highest
for people in the 65-74 age group
($1.2 billion). However, spending per
person was actually highest for people
aged 75-84, at an average of $1,007 per
person. Overall, spending was higher for
females than males, averaging $301 for
females compared with $229 for males.
From 2000–01 to 2008–09, total health
system spending on arthritis and other
musculoskeletal conditions rose by 67%.
This compares with a total rise of 52%
for spending on all chronic diseases.
Over the same period, the proportion of
total expenditure on diseases spent on
musculoskeletal conditions remained
stable, at around 9%.
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