I haven’t been posting much but I have tried to keep up my reading.
An article from a 2011 edition of the Australian Prescriber on the prescribing cascade. This is where a new medication is prescribed to cover a side effect of a previously prescribed medication, where this adverse effect is not recognised as a side effect. It happens more than you think. I remember a presentation with a number of prescribing cascades presented to a bunch of remote practitioners eight years ago. The cry was “we want pharmacists in remote”. Sadly there are still only a few of us.
There’s a lot of research showing those with low health literacy have worse health outcomes in a number of disease states. Recently there’s been a look at those with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). An article has been published recently in the Journal of General Internal Medicine with the brief title “Lower Health Literacy is Associated with Poorer Health Status and Outcomes in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease“. The title gives away the conclusion. If you have poorer health literacy you have worse outcomes. If you can’t access the article Reuters has a summary.
The CSIRO in 2011 released a report Indigenous socio-economic values and river flows (large PDF) looking at the Fitzroy and Daly Rivers. I’m a bit of a desert sort of bloke but it is interesting if dry reading (see what I did there). The conclusion notes that the percentage of Indigenous Australians over the age of 15 who participate in the harvesting of natural resources in remote Australia was 72% and 60% for all Australia. That is a remarkably high number and to me highlights the still strong connection to land by Indigenous Australians.
Late Addition: Late Night Live on ABC’s Radio National has a segment discussing the management of the 20% of Australia that is Indigenous owned. Caring for country
A recent post in one of the pharmacy online forums I frequent asked where they could send returned or unused drugs to be sent overseas. I am a little perturbed by the number of pharmacists who still ask that question. It hasn’t been recommended since 1996 when the Australian Pharmaceutical Advisory Council endorsed the Australian guidelines for drug donations to developing countries. Page two describes several examples highlighting why guidelines are required. The WHO also has a 52 page document Drug Donations in Post-Emergency Situations
To finish up Australian Medicine Online tells how researchers from The University of Melbourne found that medical tribunals are more likely to deregister doctors for character flaws and lack of insight rather than errors or poor clinical knowledge.