Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist October 2015 Contents Australian Pharmacist October 2015 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society
believes that primary care patients
should have the benefit of a
pharmacist’s clinical expertise similar
to that experienced by a patient in
hospital. Having a pharmacist within
a GP practice improves a patient’s
access to a health professional,
improves quality of care, enables longer
appointments, reduces polypharmacy
and assists patients to manage their
multiple chronic conditions.
From a practice perspective employing a
pharmacist enables more appointments,
thus relieving pressure on GPs.
It provides a greater skill mix, an in
house medicines information resource,
as well as better patient outcomes and
providing improved communications
with community pharmacy. The in house
pharmacist is cheaper to employ than
a GP and can generate income through
medication reviews, improvement in
QOF targets and prescribing incentive
scheme payments. From a government
perspective, the pharmacist can
also often reduce prescribing costs
by ensuring adherence to local
drug formularies so that the most
cost-effective medications are chosen.
As Rachel said: ‘Now the GPs are used
to having me here they are very happy
to have me share their patient load.
It allows them to spend more time
with their acute and complex patients.
The patients love it because they get
a longer consultation with me and
then feel more confident about taking
medicines. It is a win-win all round!’
Clinical trials for a dengue fever treatment could start within a year,
following a discovery by University of Queensland (UQ) scientists.
UQ’s School of Chemistry and Molecular
Biosciences Head Professor Paul Young
said the researchers had identified
similarities in how the body reacted to
dengue virus and bacterial infections,
in a finding that would allow them to
re-purpose existing drugs.
‘We have discovered that the dengue
virus NS1 protein acts as a toxin in the
body, in a similar manner to the way
bacterial cell wall products lead to septic
shock in bacterial infections,’ he said.
‘For the past 20–30 years, researchers
and pharmaceutical companies have
been developing drug candidates to
inhibit the body’s damaging responses
to these bacterial infections. So drugs
are already available that have gone
through phase three clinical trials.’
Professor Young said mosquito-borne
dengue virus was an increasing problem
in tropical and sub-tropical areas, with
more than 2.5 billion people in more
than 100 countries at risk of infection.
Dengue virus is estimated to infect up
to 400 million people globally each year.
The World Health Organization ranks it
as the most important mosquito-borne
viral disease in the world.
‘Given increased international travel
and the prospect of climate change
extending the range of the dengue
mosquito, more people will be at risk,’
Professor Young said.
Dengue typically causes a debilitating
fever but can progress to potentially
fatal dengue hemorrhagic fever
and dengue shock syndrome. Up to
500,000 cases of dengue hemorrhagic
fever are diagnosed each year, with as
many as 25,000 deaths.
‘Despite this significant global health
burden, no vaccine or drug has yet been
licensed,’ Professor Young said.
PhD student Naphak Modhiran,
who came from Thailand to work on the
project, said that in 2014, Thailand had
suffered its worst dengue epidemic in
more than 20 years.
‘ There were more than 200,000 cases
and many deaths,’ she said.
‘I hope our discoveries in the lab will
translate to the patient bedside and
eventually help those who suffer from
dengue infection around the world.’
The UQ research group’s findings
and the availability of drugs already
developed for bacterial infections mean
that clinical testing could begin in as
little as one to two years.
4–6 March 2016
Crowne Plaza, Terrigal
2016 ANNUAL THERAPEUTIC UPDATE
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