In Brief: Brand name prescribing; Osteoporosis standards; Safety of OGTT in children

Thursday, 4 Feb 2021

Generic prescribing now the rule

New PBS rules require medicines to be prescribed by active ingredient name rather than by brand name, except for a few exemptions. From 1 February, the Active Ingredient Prescribing policy requires the inclusion of active ingredients on all PBS and RPBS prescriptions, except for handwritten prescriptions; paper based medication charts in the residential aged care sector; products containing four or more active ingredients; and certain items where brand names should be specified for safety or practicality reasons – such as EpiPens. The exempt items are listed on the List of Medicines for Brand Consideration. The Department of Health says prescribers can still prescribe medicines by brand if clinically necessary, and the brand name will appear after the active ingredient. A prescriber may also still choose to disallow brand substitution. The changes will be incorporated into prescribing software but this cannot be set to automatically include brand names for every prescription.

Focus on bone health and fracture prevention in the Asia-Pacific

The Asia Pacific Consortium on Osteoporosis (APCO) has launched the first pan-Asia Pacific clinical practice standards for the screening, diagnosis, and management of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is expected to increase dramatically in the region due to an ageing population, urbanisation and associated sedentary lifestyles. The APCO framework of 16 minimum clinical standards provides scope for each country and region to adapt the standards to their populations, local risk factors, cost-effective intervention thresholds, etc. The framework is based on consensus from a review of 18 guidelines documents. Osteoporosis International

Fasting studies in children are safe

Controlled fasts and prolonged OGTTs in children are safe when conducted in an endocrine/metabolic testing unit. A review of 170 tests in 138 Australian children showed the studies are still useful to assist with diagnosis and inform management decisions for patients with known hypoglycaemic disorders. The review found accelerated starvation was the most common diagnosis following diagnostic studies and should be considered even in the absence of hypoglycaemia. Other fasting studies were found appropriate to help determine medication dosing, adjust diet or confirm resolution of a hypoglycaemic disorder.
Journal of Paediatric and Child Health

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