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Cancer clinical trials app
The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer
Center recently launched a new iPhone
app featuring a searchable database of
the open clinical trials at Markey.
The app gives Markey patients and
their treatment teams an easier way of
identifying the clinical trials currently
offered that might be beneficial for the
patient’s treatment plans.
At any given time, Markey has more
than 100 active cancer clinical trials
open to accrual. Each trial represents
an opportunity for cancer patients
to participate in research designed
to improve cancer care or measure
the effectiveness of different types of
treatments and drugs.
The app is also an effective way for
referring physicians to quickly find out
if there is an appropriate Markey trial
for which their patients may qualify.
It allows users to search for clinical
trials by the site of the disease, the
drugs used in treatment, the trial’s
identification number (protocol
number), the phase of cancer being
treated, or by the trial’s principal
investigator – the researcher, often an
oncologist, who is the leader on the
research being performed.
Get a GRIP on
The Global Respiratory Infection
Partnership has arrived in
Australia to spread its message
about rational use of antibiotics.
Its Australian affiliate – GRIP Australia
– was launched in Sydney in late April,
bringing together healthcare experts
dedicated to raising awareness of
antibiotic stewardship and the rational
use of antibiotics. The members are also
committed to encouraging their peers
to support the symptomatic treatment
of patients with upper respiratory tract
GRIP Australia was convened by Reckitt
Benckiser and includes primary care
and hospital doctors, microbiologists,
pharmacists and researchers.
The Chair of GRIP Australia, international
GRIP member and community
pharmacist John Bell, said antibiotic
misuse was a global problem that could
only be effectively addressed by taking
a more collaborative, multi‐disciplinary
approach to patient care and by
proactively guiding patients suffering
from URTIs towards symptomatic relief
and self‐management strategies.
‘We know antibiotics will not help
relieve cold and flu symptoms nor
speed up recovery, as the majority are
caused by an inflammatory response
to a viral infection. It’s crucial that as
trusted healthcare professionals we are
actively educating patients on the real
source of their cold and flu symptoms
and the effective anti‐inflammatory and
other symptomatic non‐prescription
treatments available. At the end of the
day, patients simply want relief from
their symptoms and to feel better,’
The GRIP Australia committee includes
pharmacists John Bell and consultant
clinical pharmacist Debbie Rigby.
For more visit: www.grip‐initiative.org
Andrew Daniels attended the GRIP launch as a
guest of Reckitt Benckiser.
Generic substitution increases the risk for
medication errors to take place. This risk is
increased at a number of levels i.e. hospital,
pharmacy, and also at consumer level. A
Victorian pharmacy error indicates the
importance of public education on the
necessity to check the active ingredients
of medicines. This error, which led to
the hospitalisation of a seven‐year‐old
asthmatic boy, involved the incorrect
dispensing of Risperdal (risperidone)
instead of Redipred (prednisolone). The
boy’s parents subsequently gave him
large doses of risperidone for his asthma.6
A factor that contributed to this potentially
fatal incident was the fact that the parents
did not identify the error, even though
the boy’s father said that they had been
issued at least two bottles of the wrong
medication by their pharmacy. He further
commented: ‘It comes in the same size
bottle; it’s liquid and looks the same. We
just thought this other drug was a generic
brand of the same drug.’
suggest system failures in both the
dispensing and patient counselling
processes and the need to educate patients
to focus on active ingredients rather than
on the brand names.
Pharmacists should use professional
judgement and not supply a generic
brand if there is any reason to believe that
the substitution could cause confusion or
patient harm. However, most confusion
will be resolved with consumer and/or
carer education about different medicine
brands. Counselling consumers and carers
about generic medicines and different
brands is an important role of pharmacists
in everyday practice.
1. Australian Government DoH. Supplying Medicines —
What Pharmacists Need to Know. At: www.pbs.gov.au/
info/healthpro/explanatory-notes/section1/Section_1 _3 _
2. Hattingh L, Low J, Forrester K. Australian pharmacy law and
practice. Chatswood, N.S.W. Elsevier Australia; 2013.
3. Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. Professional Practice
Standards. 4th edition ed. Canberra; 2010.
4. Pharmacy Board of Australia. Guidelines for dispensing of
5. Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. Code of Ethics for
Pharmacists. At: www.psa.org.au/supporting-practice/
6. Flemming T. Error seriously injures boy. Pharmacy News.
7. Ethan’s nightmare - boy rushed to hospital drug mix-up.
The Bendigo Advertiser. 2007, 21 August.
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