NPS Media Releases – 1. PHN immunisation online community launches with calls for further collaboration 2. CPD session on hypertension with Professor Markus Schlaich to be hosted in Perth 3. NPS MedicineWise welcomes longer term certainty of funding: budget 2018

1. PHN immunisation online community launches with calls for further collaboration
7 May 2018

NPS MedicineWise and the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) have launched an online PHN i  mmunisation community designed to serve as a central hub where PHN staff can have the latest evidence-based information, tools and immunisation resources at their fingertips.

The online community encourages PHN immunisation staff to share ideas, best practice and collaborate with peers across Australia.With news, updates and the latest immunisation guidelines, the online resource offers a national, coordinated approach to help PHNs to deliver immunisation programs that are consistent with the goals of the National Immunisation Program (NIP). PHN staff, Commonwealth and jurisdictional health and human services department staff and other key stakeholders will have access to the online resources.NPS MedicineWise and NCIRS have collaborated to develop the online community using the NIP framework and incorporating insights gathered through interviews and co-design workshops with key immunisation stakeholders in health communities across Australia.

Dr Lynn Weekes, CEO of NPS MedicineWise says, “This is excellent use of technology – creating an online environment, a central hub for PHN staff who have to keep abreast of the latest changes to immunisation protocols and guidelines. While it offers practical information that will help to ensure PHN immunisation staff can support local providers in the best possible way, it is an online community where they can network, share ideas and actively collaborate with their peers.”

An advisory group has been established to provide strategic guidance from a stakeholder perspective on the priorities and performance of the program.
The group is co-chaired by Professor Kristine Macartney, Director of NCIRS, and Learne Durrington, CEO of WA Primary Health Alliance.

Professor Macartney says, “The PHN online community gathers key messages that PHNs are tasked to communicate to immunisation providers in their areas.
Additionally, we will support PHN staff by answering their immunisation questions. PHNs can be confident that any information they receive is from reliable sources, and will offer up-to-date, evidence-based immunisation information.”

Community engagement will be encouraged by offering face-to-face and online opportunities where PHN staff can share and exchange ideas and information with other PHNs and key stakeholders.

PHN staff are encouraged to register at to access the latest immunisation information.

2. CPD session on hypertension with Professor Markus Schlaich to be hosted in Perth
8 May 2018

NPS MedicineWise and its wholly owned subsidiary VentureWise, in collaboration with The George Institute, University of Sydney, Royal Perth Hospital and Curtin University will be hosting a free education session for GPs on hypertension at the University Club of Western Australia on Wednesday 16 May 2018 from 6:30pm.

Entitled Controversies in treating high blood pressure in general practice, the CPD session will include a keynote presentation from renal physician and hypertension specialist, Professor Markus Schlaich, MD, FAHA, FESC, NHMRC Senior Research Fellow.
Professor Schlaich is at the forefront of research into hypertension and is the Dobney Chair in Clinical Research at the Royal Perth Hospital and the University of Western Australia.

The session will cover recent research findings in this therapeutic area and the implications to practice, use and interpretation of blood pressure monitoring, including 24-hr monitoring, tailoring hypertension management to patients, and the potential benefits of current clinical trials to patients.
It will also include information about a clinical trial (QUARTET) that is being run by the University of Sydney in collaboration with The George Institute, Royal Perth Hospital and Curtin University and how GPs can register to be involved.

This activity has been accredited for 2 (Category 2) points in the RACGP QI & CPD Program for the 2017–2019 triennium (activity number 130393).

GPs interested in attending can register via or by calling (03) 9412 5528.

More information

This education session is being held as part of Clinical Trial Assist – a VentureWise initiative powered by NPS MedicineWise and Prospection to increase awareness of clinical trials and build a more streamlined, time efficient and user-friendly model for GPs and practices to identify and refer patients.
The George Institute and leading Australian universities are running research projects as part of the pilot. Clinical Trial Assist has been made possible through funding from the MTPConnect Project Fund Program – a dollar-for-dollar matched program investing in big, bold ideas to improve the productivity, competitiveness and innovative capacity of Australia’s medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors.


3.  NPS MedicineWise welcomes longer term certainty of funding: budget 2018
9 May 2018

NPS MedicineWise welcomes the announcement of four years of Commonwealth funding for the continuation of its work to improve quality use of medicines and medical tests.

Announced as part of Budget 2018, the Government has committed to supporting the work of NPS MedicineWise over the next four years to improve quality use of medicines, healthcare services and medical tests.

Dr Lynn Weekes AM, Chief Executive Officer of NPS MedicineWise says, “Quality use of medicines and medical tests remains a cornerstone of quality healthcare and we are pleased the Australian Government has reaffirmed its ongoing commitment and support for our work.

“We welcome longer term funding certainty and will work closely with the Department of Health to determine key priorities and deliverables for the next four years.”

NPS MedicineWise also acknowledges and welcomes the substantial investment across the health portfolio, particularly in relation to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

The significant investment in new PBS listings and provision for future listings will help improve consumer access to new and innovative medicines in key areas of need.
We also welcome the ongoing commitment to improve knowledge and understanding about biosimilars, and the strengthening of the Life Saving Drugs Program to enhance access to expensive medicines for Australians with life-threatening and rare diseases.

“NPS MedicineWise will continue to support health professionals and consumers to make and act on the best decisions about medicines, medical tests and other health choices, and this is especially important as medicines and other health technologies become more complex and targeted,” says Dr Weekes.

She adds, ”We have a key role supporting the implementation of many of these new and ongoing initiatives as a go-to source of credible, independent and evidence-based information about safe and effective use of medicines and health technologies.”

This year, NPS MedicineWise celebrates 20 years of leading quality use of medicines in Australia.
Its work contributes to the sustainability of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and Medical Benefits Scheme.
Since inception programs have delivered over $1 billion in savings along with demonstrable improvements in health outcomes for Australians.

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