Home' Australian Pharmacist : May 2011 Contents Vol. 30 -- May #05
Australians are being warned to be
medicinewise with antibiotics this
winter or risk not having antibiotics
that work in the future.
NPS MedicineWise was joining
the voices of the World Health
Organization and ReAct Group to
raise awareness of the ramifications
of misusing antibiotics as part of
World Health Day on 7 April.
Australians are estimated to
be among the highest users of
antibiotics in OECD countries.
A report by the Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare found 14%
of antibiotics prescribed in 2009--10
were for upper respiratory tract
infections, which equates to about
three million prescriptions.
'Some of these scripts are wasted
as they are prescribed for common
colds or influenza, which are caused
by viruses -- not bacteria. Antibiotics
are used to treat bacterial infections
and taking them for viruses won't
help you recover faster or relieve
' NPS clinical adviser,
Danielle Stowasser said.
'While antibiotics are a key
treatment for many infections,
we should only use them when it's
really necessary and not just in case.
Some strains of bacteria that were
once easily treated with antibiotics
have now mutated and become
resistant. In the long term, antibiotic
resistance will reduce our capacity to
treat infectious bacterial diseases.
'When antibiotics are prescribed for
bacterial infections they sometimes
aren't used properly -- either
the course isn't finished or the
antibiotics aren't taken as directed.
This can also lead to bacteria
mutations and resistance, so be
medicinewise and take antibiotics
as instructed until they are finished,
Dr Stowasser said.
For more information about
being medicinewise go to:
Health and environment
A compilation of research evidence
on how human health can be
positively and negatively influenced
by the environment has been
released by the Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
AIHW spokesperson Mark Cooper-
Stanbury said the report, Health
and the environment: a compilation
of evidence, synthesises research
findings on 15 selected environmental
factors that we know can influence
The 15 factors assessed were
temperature, walkability, extreme
weather events, ultraviolet radiation,
indoor and outdoor air quality, water
fluoridation, transport, food and
water safety, green space, vector
populations, environmental noise,
housing condition, and overcrowding
and hazards in/around the home.
The report summarises many studies
across these factors.
It shows that the effects of the
environment on humans can be either
physical (such as respiratory problems
due to air pollution) or mental (such
as poor mental health during drought
conditions). They can also be direct,
such as injury or death, or indirect,
such as when environmental
factors influence lifestyle or
Mr Cooper-Stanbury said, 'for
example, it has been found
that people living in walkable
neighbourhoods are more likely to
be physically active, and less likely
to be obese, than those who live in
less pedestrian-friendly areas. On the
other hand, an example of a more
direct consequence can be seen in
the 815 deaths caused by bushfires in
Australia between 1851 and 2010.
The report also suggests that
there is more to learn about the
relationship between health and the
environment. While new evidence
is constantly emerging, the lack of
data at a local level means that many
environmental factors have not yet
been fully evaluated.
The global biosimilars market will
grow from $243m in 2010 to $3.7bn
in 2015 according to research from
Datamonitor. It says more than
30 branded biologics with sales
of $51bn are set to lose patent
exclusivity between 2011 and 2015,
and uptake of biosimilar versions will
drive market growth. Mark Hollis,
healthcare analyst at Datamonitor,
said with the market shares of first-
generation biologic drugs stagnating
or declining, biosimilar monoclonal
antibodies (MAbs) and second-
generation biosimilars represent a
high value proposition for biosimilar
manufacturers and are key drivers
for future growth. Although existing
biosimilar players have the advantage
of an established reputation and
relationships with key stakeholders,
branded pharma companies are
increasingly looking to biosimilars as
one route to drive sales.
Pharmaceutical Key Trends 2011 -- Biosimilar Market
Overview & Generics Market Outlook: 2015.
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