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Hygiene not antibiotics
The good hygiene message went public last month when posters
depicting a man with a head cold mid-sneeze appeared on billboards
around the country.
The posters carry the health messages
‘don’t pass on your germs’ and ‘practise
good hygiene’ and are part of the
next phase of the nationwide NPS
MedicineWise campaign to spread the
knowledge that ordinary colds and flu
can be managed without antibiotics.
Dr Andrew Boyden, NPS MedicineWise
clinical adviser said that with much of
Australia experiencing a cold snap as
winter sets in, it is a crucial time to raise
awareness about the management of
viral colds and flu.
‘ We’re stressing the importance of good
hygiene this cold and flu season as it’s
important to know how to prevent the
spread of colds to others,’ he said.
Along with good hygiene, Dr Boyden
emphasised the importance of not
expecting antibiotics to treat ordinary
colds and flu.
‘Resting and treating the symptoms
is the best course of action, and that’s
because these typical winter illnesses
are caused by viruses – not bacteria –
so antibiotics won’t help,’ he said.
‘People with flu who are generally
healthy will get better without any
treatment, because the body’s immune
system can take care of the infection
on its own. But it’s also important to
note that some people with underlying
health conditions that make their
immune system less able to fight the
infection may in fact be treated with
antibiotics as the risk of secondary
bacterial infection is higher. In these
cases, antibiotics should be taken as
prescribed by a health professional.
‘ This winter we’re urging people to not
ask for antibiotics when they don’t need
them, and to let their doctor know that
they only want antibiotics if they are
Television GP Dr John D’Arcy is also
appearing in a new NPS MedicineWise
community service announcement for
television and social media channels
to explain the concept of antibiotic
resistance and how personal behaviours
such as asking for antibiotics for colds
and flu, and not taking antibiotics
as prescribed contribute to the
development and passing on of
antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Help us to help you
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia
is seeking feedback from members to
make sure it is representing members’
interests, advocating for what they want,
and delivering services to meet their
PSA national President Joe Demarte
said: ‘There is no room for guesswork
so the society is asking all members
to complete the PSA member survey
so we can have your input to help us
understand what you want and expect
of us in the future.
‘With member input, PSA has already
helped secure a great future for
professional services in the Sixth
Community Pharmacy Agreement
(6CPA) – doubling the amount allocated
from previous agreements. PSA has
also been working with the peak
GP groups to progress a new career
pathway for pharmacists in GP surgeries,
and delivered more high-quality
pharmacist education than any other
organisation in Australia.
‘Over the next 12 months, thanks
to industry support, the Society will
be launching Health Destination
Pharmacy – a tried and tested program
to help position pharmacies as a
health destination, increase pharmacy
profitability and help pharmacists
deliver excellence in pharmacist care.
Over the next 12 months PSA is also
launching a new way to help you
progress your career, be it as a consultant
pharmacist, community, industry or
academic pharmacist – so stay tuned,’
Mr Demarte said.
‘ This online survey is being conducted
by Survey Matters, an independent
market research company, and is being
conducted to the highest possible
‘ We are all in this together and positive
change can only be made by becoming
involved, so I encourage you to find
10–15 minutes to complete this
survey. The answers and comments
will be collated and analysed and the
results feed back to PSA members,’
Mr Demarte said.
All answers will remain confidential.
Apart from the first section of this
survey which is collecting demographic
information, individual responses will
not be identified.
The survery can be accessed online at: www.psa.
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