Three deaths a day from prescription drugs: Australian Medicine
Australian Medicine this week reports that health bodies have called on the Government to establish a mandatory, national, real-time prescription monitoring (RTPM) system, as new figures show nearly three Australians die every day from prescription drugs.
The article states that prescriptions for opioid painkillers (Schedule 8 medications) have risen dramatically, with oxycodone now the seventh most prescribed drug in general practice. Not-for-profit group ScriptWise says that harms linked to prescription drug misuse are rising in tandem with increased prescription availability and now is the time for the Commonwealth to take action to curb doctor shopping and help save some of the 800 lives lost every year.
Also featured in Australian Medicine this week:
- The World Health Organisation has upgraded its advice for people returning from areas where the Zika virus is active, saying both men and women should practice safe sex or abstinence for six months regardless of whether they are trying to conceive, or are showing symptoms.
- Almost $1.3 billion of funds stripped from the Health portfolio have been funnelled to the Medical Research Future Fund as the Federal Government makes good on its controversial plan to divert billions of dollars from other areas of health to support research.
- Patients are being put at risk and doctors may be unwittingly breaking the law because of persistent and nonsensical differences in State and Territory medicine laws.
- Abdominoplasty can significantly relieve back pain and incontinence for women who have had babies, a soon-to-be-published study has found.
- The Australian Capital Territory has become the latest jurisdiction to move towards allowing medicinal cannabis.
- AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, continued the AMA’s ongoing advocacy on behalf of asylum seekers and refugees when he met the Australian Border Force Chief Medical Officer recently.