Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist May 2014 Contents Australian Pharmacist May 2014 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd. 11
NHMRC releases CM
The National Health and Medical
Research Council (NHMRC) has released
a report aimed at informing discussions
on the use of CM products.
A recent industry report showed annual
revenue from the sale of complementary
medicines (CM) products and therapies
in Australia totalled $3.55 billion.
According to NHMRC CEO Professor
Warwick Anderson, health care choices
should be based on good quality evidence
so to inform discussions on the use of CM
products the NHMRC has released, Talking
with your patients about complementary
medicine -- A resource for clinicians.
It also released a NHMRC Draft
Information Paper on the Evidence on
Homeopathy for public consultation.
On assessment of the current evidence,
it found 'there is no reliable evidence
that homeopathy is effective for treating
'It is especially important that clinicians
consider the evidence of effectiveness
for any treatments they recommend
and are aware of their professional
and ethical responsibilities,' Professor
Talking with your Patients about
Complementary Medicine -- A Resource
for Clinicians was developed to promote
discussions between clinicians and
their patients about their use of CM.
It describes ways to best discuss the
evidence, effectiveness and potential
risks of CM use. The NHMRC Draft
Information Paper on the Evidence
on Homeopathy, is a summary of
rigorous assessment of available
research examining the effectiveness
of homeopathy for treating 68 health
conditions, the results of which are
published in an overview report.
According to Professor Anderson, public
consultation on the draft is important.
'NHMRC is acutely aware of strongly
held views on the effectiveness of
homeopathy, which is why this Draft
Information Paper is available for public
comment until 26 May 2014,' he said.
The NHMRC's Information Paper on
homeopathy will be finalised and
released once public consultation
has been completed and submissions
Asia-Paci c QUM
The winner of the National Medicines
Symposium 2014 Asia-Pacific quality
use of medicines scholarship has been
announced ahead of the biennial National
Medicines Symposium (NMS 2014), to be
held at the Brisbane Convention and
Exhibition Centre from 21--23 May.
Irene Farinas, a medical officer at the
Department of Health in the Philippines,
overcame strong competition to be
awarded the scholarship. Ms Farinas
will share insights from the Philippines
about empowering stakeholders with
knowledge and skills in quality use of
medicines and the wider medicines
management cycle. She will present a
study identifying challenges faced by
government health facilities accessed
frequently by poorer members of the
This is the fourth time the scholarship
has been awarded to showcase
innovative work underway in our region.
It provides an opportunity for a health
academic, health worker or policy maker
from the Asia-Pacific region with an
interest in quality use of medicines or
rational drug use to attend and present
their work at NMS 2014.
NPS MedicineWise executive manager
and chair of the NMS 2014 Scientific
Programming Committee, Karen Kaye,
said that Ms Farinas has displayed
in-depth experience of the Philippines
health system, and also a willingness
to share her experiences, particularly
around stakeholder engagement and
quality use of medicines with delegates
at NMS 2014.
'The scholarship will allow Ms Farinas
to attend NMS 2014 and present her
work alongside experts from across
the country and internationally on
a range of topics within the themes
of sustainability, ethics and decision
making, and data to evidence
translation,' said Ms Kaye.
'We're very much looking forward to
Ms Farinas' presentation and engaging
in dialogue around quality use of
medicines. The scholarship reflects
NPS MedicineWise's commitment to
increasing awareness and engagement
in programs that increase better use of
medicines in our region.'
A new focus on Australian
Medicines Australia (MA) has called for a
new and renewed focus on developing
the Australian medicines industry.
Speaking at the opening ceremony
of the Fifth Pharmaceutical Sciences
World Congress in Melbourne yesterday,
MA Executive, Dr Brendan Shaw, said
now was the time to take the next step
in developing the Australian industry.
'Australia has a rich heritage of
medicines derived from our natural
environment and medical research.
And there's also great stories here
of how industry has partnered with
science to bring new medicines to the
'The challenge for us here in Australia
and for the industry more globally is
that we want to do much more of this in
Australia. We have a real opportunity to
do this right now.
'The community is interested, the
government is interested, the research
community is interested and the
industry is interested in taking the
step to the next level of commercial
partnership between science, research
and commercialisation. We want
an environment that fosters more
investment and more partnerships
between the public researchers and
private industry,' he said.
'There's a real opportunity to build on
what we already have and grow this
sector even more.'
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