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Australian Journal of Pharmacy : September 2005
pharmacy pro pharmacy professional updates New tool to clarify NSAID and COX-2 inhibitor use A Nalgorithm to give GPs guidance in making prescribing decisions for arthritis patients has been published by the Gut Foundation, Arthritis Australia and the Pharmaceutical Society of Aus- tralia’s Self Care Program. The Risk Assessment Pathway for anti- Inflammatory Drugs (RAPID) Chart has been designed to take GPs through a log- ical pathway of considerations prior to prescribing. There has been a great deal of debate and confusion about the use of COX-2 inhibitors and non-steroidal anti-inflam- matory drugs (NSAIDs) since the with- drawal of Vioxx and the publication of numerous studies about gastrointestinal and cardiovascular safety of these agents, said Professor Terry Bolin, chairman of the Gut Foundation. ‘With the publication of each study-and the accompanying editorial articles-the decision about what to prescribe patients with chronic conditions like arthritis became a little less black and white for GPs,’ Professor Bolin said. The algorithm is an attempt to cut through the confusion and offer some practical advice for GPs. ‘Every patient is different and it’s up to the individual clinician to determine the most appropriate treatment for his or her patient,’ said Dr Peter Nash, director of the Rheumatology Research Unit, Nam- bour General Hospital and senior lec- turer, Department of Medicine, Univer- sity of Queensland. ‘The algorithm helps to facilitate this process by flagging potential risk factors and possible tests to consider, with sug- gestions for the most appropriate treat- ments based on currently available data.’ The RAPID chart incorporates two established risk assessment tools, the New Zealand Heart Foundation tables for assessing five-year cardiovascular risk and the Stanford University SCORE tables for assessing gastrointestinal risk. In addition, the Gut Foundation publi- cation Therapy with NSAIDs, coxibs & aspirin for inflammatory and other con- nective tissue disorders has been updated to reflect the latest clinical evidence. ‘The original booklet was published in 2003 and aimed to give a concise sum- mary of factors to consider when pre- scribing these anti-inflammatory medica- tions,’ Professor Bolin said. ‘While most of the content was still cur- rent, we felt it was timely to review the booklet and update it as appropriate. In particular we have revised the cardiovas- cular risk section in the light of emerging evidence.’ Copies of the booklet can be ordered from the Gut Foundation: www.gut.nsw.edu.au ¦ charge to PSA members for another four months. Four months of free PriMeD P From 1 January 2006 the service will be subscription-based for all users, with PSA members having access to a special PSA member subscription rate. PriMeD Pharmacy includes a compre- hensive range of topics including educa- tion on asthma, heart health, mental health, weight management, diabetes, pain, women’s health, gastrointestinal dis- orders, skin disorders, and much more. The service recently passed another milestone by clocking up its 3,500th reg- istration. PriMeD Pharmacy is a recognised edu- cational activity under PSA’s CPD&PI pro- gram. To access PriMeD Pharmacy visit www.psa.org.au/pp. ¦ New CPE on antipsychotics T HE Pharmaceutical Society of Aus- tralia has released its latest essential CPE on antipsychotics. The module aims to assist pharmacists as they manage medications for various forms of psychosis. It provides case stud- ies on specific medical conditions, and studies the negative and positive aspects of typical and atypical antipsychotic agents. ‘Psychotic disorders are, in the major- ity, severe and disabling,’ PSA national president Brian Grogan said. ‘Managing medications correctly is such an impor- tant aspect of patient care.’ Mr Grogan said the pharmacist’s role should not be limited to medication man- agement. He emphasised that all health professionals should also be acutely aware of the issues of social stigma attached to these illnesses and make every effort to lis- 696 ? THE AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACY VOL 86 SEPTEMBER 2005 ten carefully and understand their patient’s needs. For more information contact PSA on (02) 6283 4777 or go to www.psa.org.au and follow the link to education under the ‘Navigate’ prompt. ¦ riMeD Pharmacy, PSA’s online edu- cation service, is only available at no