In Other News


27 Jan 2021

Honours for respiratory specialists

Dr Gerard Ryan of Victoria has received an AM in the Australia Day Honours for his significant service to respiratory medicine, and to people living with cystic fibrosis. Dr Ryan was a consultant physician in respiratory medicine at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital where he was on clinical and research committees, various working groups, and held the position of director of clinical training. Among other responsibilities, he was an active member of TSANZ, Cystic Fibrosis Australia, a past editor of the Cochrane Cystic Fibrosis and Genetic Disorders Review Group, and a RACP representative on the Australian Council on Smoking and Health.

Also, Queenslander Dr Christopher Schull was recognised with an OAM for his service to thoracic and tropical medicine, and to the community. Dr Schull worked at Greenslopes Repatriation General Hospital in Brisbane which became the Greenslopes Private Hospital for a combined 35 years. He was also Consultant Physician to the Indigenous Chronic Disease Programme CheckUP between 2010-2015. Earlier in his career, Dr Schull had also worked as a TB and leprosy consultant in PNG. Dr Schull is an honorary life member of the TSANZ and a life member of the AMA (Qld).

Biologic recommended for PBS listing

The anti-IL-4-receptor biologic drug dupilumab (Dupixent) has been recommended for PBS listing for uncontrolled severe eosinophilic or allergic asthma. The recommendation made by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee at its November meeting means dupilumab will join the three other monoclonal antibodies benralizumab, mepolizumab and omalizumab) as PBS subsidised add-on therapies for people with severe asthma. Dupilumab was added to the latest Asthma Australia guidelines in August 2020, which note that monoclonal antibody therapy reduces the rate of exacerbations requiring systemic corticosteroids,  and some studies have shown a reduction in maintenance dose of oral corticosteroid with the biologics.

New Chair for Asthma Australia

Asthma Australia has announced  a new Chairman, James Wright, who has taken over from David Simmons OAM. Mr Wright is the former that treasurer of the organisation, and has a background in finance and has over 30 years’ experience in economics and investment markets working in senior roles in both the public and private sector.

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