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DRAFT Q&A

By Carl Gardner,2014-01-10 20:49
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DRAFT Q&A

    Radio interview script

    Section 1: Quality use of medicines questions and answers

Q: We are talking today about medicines, and in particular how best to safely manage the

    medicines we take.

We all have to take ‘medicines’ at different times of our lives, but what exactly is a

    medicine?

Medicines can refer to any substance that is meant to change the way your body deals with an

    illness or injury or to maintain your health and wellbeing.

Medicines don‘t just come on prescription from your doctor they can come from pharmacies,

    alternative practitioners, health food shops and supermarkets.

    So the word ‗medicines‘ includes prescription or over-the-counter medicines as recommended by your doctor, and can also include vitamins, traditional medicines, eye drops and other topical

    medicines such as creams and ointments.

Q: Medicines are supposed to make us feel better or get well, are there any risks in taking

    them?

Although medicines can make you feel better and help you get well, it is important to know that all

    medicines have benefits as well as risks. In Australia, medication is taken by 70% of the 1population in any 2-week period and each year over 10% of people visiting their general 2practitioner will probably experience unwanted effects or harm from using their medicine. These 3undesirable effects are responsible for over 140,000 Australians going to hospital each year.

Some of the risks of taking medicines may include having a negative reaction when the medicine

    is combined with certain foods, beverages, vitamins or other medicines.

Listeners should be aware that the more medicines they combine, the greater the chance of their

    having a reaction to them.

Sometimes the medicine might not work as expected, and sometimes the medicine can actually

    cause you additional health problems. These are often called side effects.

It is really important to understand the benefits of medicines, but also the risks associated with

    taking certain medicines, and how best to minimise these.

Q: So what can be done to minimise the risks of taking medicines?

    There are a number of simple things you can do to minimise the risks of taking medicines.

    1 Runciman W.B., Roughhead, E.E., Semple, S.J. & Adams, R.J. Adverse drug events and medication errors in Australia. International Journal for Quality in Health Care 2003; 15; 49 59. 2 Miller G, Britt, H., Valenti, L. & Knox, S.,. Adverse drug events:counting is not enough, action is needed. Medical Journal of Australia 2006;184:646. 3 Roughead E, Barratt, J. & Gilbert, A.,. Medication-related problems commonly occurring in an Australian community setting. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety 2003;13:83-7

    NPS is an independent, non-profit organisation for quality use of medicines, 1 funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

    National Prescribing Service Limited | ABN 61 082 034 393 | Level 7/418A Elizabeth Street Surry Hills NSW 2010 Phone: 02 8217 8700 | Fax: 02 9211 7578 | email: info@nps.org.au | web: www.nps.org.au

It is very important that listeners understand that they have to ‗get to know their medicines‘.

The first thing you should do is to ask your doctor or pharmacist about your medicines both your

    doctor AND your pharmacist are trusted sources of medicines information.

There are important things you need to know about your medicines, you should make sure to

    always ask your doctor or pharmacist questions such as:

    ? Why do I need to take this medicine?

    ? How should it work?

    ? How should I take my medicine? With water or food?

    ? When should I take my medicine?

    ? How long will I need to take it for?

    ? Do I need to avoid any other medicines, foods or drinks when I am taking this medicine?

    ? What should I do if I miss a dose?

    ? Do I need regular check ups or tests while taking my medicine?

    ? What are the side effects of taking this medicine? And what should I do if a side effect

    occurs?

    It is a good idea to write out a list of questions or concerns before your doctor‘s appointment that you would like to ask, or bring along a relative or close friend to help remember your questions.

Listeners can also get a list of questions from the National Prescribing Service in (insert language)

    from your Doctor or Pharmacy, or you can order from the NPS website: www.nps.org.au

You should also be prepared to answer questions that your doctor or pharmacist may ask you.

They will need to know about what you are already taking they need to get a full picture in order

    to make the best decisions for you.

Q: So how should our listeners go about managing their medicines?

The best way to manage all the medicines you take is to keep a record by writing them down.

Firstly make a list of all the medicines that you take regularly and include these 5 things:

    ? the name of the medicine,

    ? the doctor who prescribed it,

    ? how much and how often you should take it,

    ? what you are taking it for; and

    ? the date you started and or stopped taking it.

You can get a printed Medicine List to fill in from your Doctor or Pharmacy, or you can order from

    the NPS website: www.nps.org.au

If you show this list to your doctor, pharmacist or any other health care professional each time

    you visit them they will then understand all the medicines you are taking and how they work

    together

If you need help in writing this list you can ask your Pharmacist or Doctor. Your Doctor can

    arrange for your Pharmacist to come to your home and help you write a list that includes all of

    your medicines. This is called a Home Medicines Review (translated) or a Home Medicines

    Review (English).

    NPS is an independent, non-profit organisation for quality use of medicines, 2 funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

    National Prescribing Service Limited | ABN 61 082 034 393 | Level 7/418A Elizabeth Street Surry Hills NSW 2010 Phone: 02 8217 8700 | Fax: 02 9211 7578 | email: info@nps.org.au | web: www.nps.org.au

Q: Is there anything else our listeners should know about managing their medicines?

I do have a few more important suggestions on how to manage your medicines safely:

Firstly, it is important to take your medicines as directed by your Doctor or Pharmacist. If you

    want to change or stop your medicine you should discuss this with your Doctor or Pharmacist first.

Ask your Doctor or Pharmacist to review all the medicines you are taking at least once every

    year over time your medicines may need to be changed.

Do not share your medicines with anyone else it has been recommended for your personal

    medical problem and could be harmful to another person.

Store medicines safely, especially out of reach of young children and keep only those you

    currently need.

Dispose of unwanted medicines safely you can take unwanted medicines to your Pharmacy

    and they will safely dispose of them.

The NPS have also developed ‗Medimate‘ which you can get from your Doctor or Pharmacist or

    from the NPS website: www.nps.org.au/orderform.

Q: Can you tell our listeners a bit more about Medimate?

The National Prescribing Service have developed a brochure that gives you all the information

    that we have spoken about today and more, in both English and <insert language>.

The National Prescribing Service‘s job is to provide information to the Australian community and

    health professionals about the Quality Use of Medicines, which include all of the points we have

    covered today.

By understanding how to better manage our medicines the risks can be minimised while you can

    ensure that important decisions concerning your health can be made.

Q: So it appears that there are a lot of important things to remember, if listeners want more

    information about using medicines, what should they do?

Above all, listeners should discuss any problems concerning their health or their medicines with

    their doctor or pharmacist.

Q: So in summary, what then are the key points of the Quality Use of Medicines campaign

    that our listeners should understand today?

In order to understand how to use medicines better, there are 3 things to remember:

    ? Firstly, get to know your medicines, we all need to understand the medicines we are

    taking, and how they affect our health;

    ? Secondly, there are a number of things we can all do to minimise the risks in taking

    medicines:

    o Only take medicines as directed by your doctor or pharmacist

    NPS is an independent, non-profit organisation for quality use of medicines, 3 funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

    National Prescribing Service Limited | ABN 61 082 034 393 | Level 7/418A Elizabeth Street Surry Hills NSW 2010 Phone: 02 8217 8700 | Fax: 02 9211 7578 | email: info@nps.org.au | web: www.nps.org.au

     o Keep a medicine list and show it to your doctor or pharmacist each time you

    visit

    o Make sure to review the medicines you take regularly

    o Store them correctly

    ? And finally, speak with your doctor or pharmacist about your health, ask your doctor

    or pharmacist a lot of questions so that they can make the best decisions for your

    health

    NPS is an independent, non-profit organisation for quality use of medicines, 4 funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. National Prescribing Service Limited | ABN 61 082 034 393 | Level 7/418A Elizabeth Street Surry Hills NSW 2010 Phone: 02 8217 8700 | Fax: 02 9211 7578 | email: info@nps.org.au | web: www.nps.org.au

Section 2: Generic medicines questions and answers

Q: We are talking today about generic medicines, and how they affect our medicine

    choices.

What exactly is a generic medicine?

Generic medicines are medicines that contain the same active ingredient as other original brand

    medicines they are an alternative choice of medicine to the original brand.

When a company first develops a medicine it takes out a patent to ensure it has exclusive rights

    to produce and market it. Once the patent has expired, which is usually about 10 years after the

    medicine comes onto the market, other companies, or the company that made the original brand,

    can purchase and market a medicine with the same active ingredient.

These alternate brands are called generic medicines.

There may be multiple generic brands of the same medicine.

Generic medicines:

    ? Contain the same active ingredient as the original brand of medicine so have the same

    effect in your body

    ? Have to pass the same high quality Australian standard as the original brand medicine

    ? May have different inactive ingredients to the original brand medicine

    ? May have a different shape, colour, and size because the inactive ingredients may be

    different.

Q: What is an active ingredient?

The active ingredient is the chemical that makes the medicine work inside the body. When the

    Australian Government decides that a generic medicine is the same as a brand medicine and can

    be used as an alternate brand, it‘s because the active ingredient has the same effect.

Medicines we take usually have two names: a brand name and an active ingredient name.

Q: What if my doctor prescribes me one brand and the pharmacist asks me if I want a

    different brand?

Pharmacists have to ask your permission before giving you a different brand to the one your

    doctor prescribed.

They may ask whether you want the generic brand or a less expensive brand. These brands will

    contain the same active ingredient as the original brand, and will have the same effect.

Sometimes it‘s not ok to switch brands (for example, if you are taking medicine for epilepsy), but

    your doctor should discuss this with you and may have ticked a box on the prescription which

    says the brand prescribed cannot be substituted.

Generic medicines are an equal choice. The best way to find out whether there is a generic

    medicine appropriate you is to speak with your doctor or pharmacist, who are there to help you

    make the best decisions for your health and medicine choices.

    NPS is an independent, non-profit organisation for quality use of medicines, 5 funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

    National Prescribing Service Limited | ABN 61 082 034 393 | Level 7/418A Elizabeth Street Surry Hills NSW 2010 Phone: 02 8217 8700 | Fax: 02 9211 7578 | email: info@nps.org.au | web: www.nps.org.au

     Q: Are generic medicines any different from other brands in terms of quality or safety?

    All medicines, whether they have a generic brand or have the original brand name, must pass strict Australian Government quality and safety standards before they can be sold in Australia.

    The manufacturer must prove that their medicine has the same active ingredient as the original brand, and if they have the same active ingredient as the original brand then the generic medicine is expected to have the same effect.

    All medicines have some risks, but generic medicines are just as safe as the original medicines.

Q: What are the differences between generic medicines and original medicines?

Generic medicines may be:

    ? A different colour

    ? A different shape

    ? A different size to the original brand of medicine

    This is because they contain different non-active ingredients such as fillers and binders, which do not effect how the medicine works.

A generic medicine may also come in different packaging.

Q: Are generic medicines suitable for everyone?

    Like all medicines, if you have extreme allergies or reactions to inactive substances used such as gluten, lactose or preservatives let your doctor and pharmacist know. Some people might also avoid certain ingredients for religious reasons. For more information, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

    Some people may not want to change brands to avoid confusion. If changing to a generic medicine will negatively affect how you manage your medicines, it‘s okay to ask for your usual

    brand medicines management safety is important.

Q: Are generic medicines better value for money?

    There may be cost savings associated with choosing a generic medicine, between $1- $4. On average you might save $2.88 per item.

And even if they don‘t cost you less at the pharmacy, they still provide value for money for the

    health system because of the way medicines are subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

    Q: If there are other brands of medicines in the market already, then why do we need generic medicines?

    Generic medicines provide you with more choices. While generic medicines may look different or have a different brand name than the original brands, they are just as safe and effective as other brands of medicines.

    NPS is an independent, non-profit organisation for quality use of medicines, 6 funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

    National Prescribing Service Limited | ABN 61 082 034 393 | Level 7/418A Elizabeth Street Surry Hills NSW 2010 Phone: 02 8217 8700 | Fax: 02 9211 7578 | email: info@nps.org.au | web: www.nps.org.au

     In Australia, the costs of many prescription medicines are subsidised under the Pharmaceutical

    Benefits Scheme (PBS). The PBS makes sure that all eligible Australian residents are able to

    access prescription medicines in an affordable, reliable and timely manner.

    Government policy on generic medicines helps to reduce the overall cost of the PBS, helping to

    maintain its affordability into the future. In other words, generic medicines provide value for

    money for the health system, which benefits the community.

Q: So if people want more information regarding their medicine, what should they do?

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist: write out a list of questions or concerns that you would like to

    ask, or bring along a relative or close friend to help remember your questions.

Listeners can get a free list of questions to ask from the National Prescribing Service in [insert

    language] from your doctor or pharmacist, or you can order from the NPS website:

    www.nps.org.au

For more information on medicines contact the NPS Medicines Line service which is operated by

    pharmacists and provides consumers with independent information on all prescription and non-

    prescription medicines.

Call 1300 888 763 to speak with a pharmacist in English, or call the Translating and Interpreting

    Service National on 131 450 and ask to speak to NPS Medicines Line to speak to a pharmacist

    via an interpreter. The service operates from Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm Eastern Standard

    Time for the cost of a local call.

Listeners can also get some more information about generic medicines from the National

    Prescribing Service in [insert language] from March 2009 from the NPS website: www.nps.org.au

Q: Is there anything else our listeners should know about managing their medicines?

Get to know your medicines:

    ? Learn to identify your medicines by their active ingredient rather than the brand name.

    This will help to avoid confusing medicines or perhaps taking too much or not enough.

    ? This is particularly important in situations where you may be given a different brand of

    medicine than usual. For example, if you are treated in hospital or see a doctor or

    pharmacist that you don‘t usually visit.

    ? Every time you are given a new medicine, check the name of the active ingredient on the

    front of the medicine box, or on the label the pharmacist puts on the box. It is important to

    look carefully at this, as some active ingredient names can be very similar.

    ? Also, you should keep a medicines list and show your doctor each time you visit. This will

    help you to identify the active ingredients.

You can get a printed Medicines List in [insert language] to fill in from your doctor or pharmacy, or

    you can order your free Medicines List from the NPS website: www.nps.org.au

Make a list of all the medicines that you take regularly and include these 5 things:

    ? The name of the medicine including the active ingredient,

    NPS is an independent, non-profit organisation for quality use of medicines, 7 funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

    National Prescribing Service Limited | ABN 61 082 034 393 | Level 7/418A Elizabeth Street Surry Hills NSW 2010 Phone: 02 8217 8700 | Fax: 02 9211 7578 | email: info@nps.org.au | web: www.nps.org.au

     ? The doctor who prescribed it,

    ? How much and how often you should take it,

    ? What you are taking it for; and

    ? The date you started and or stopped taking it

    ? When to get it reviewed.

List all your medicines, including prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins,

    and herbal and natural medicines.

If you show this list to your doctor, pharmacist or any other health care professional each time

    you visit them they will then understand all the medicines you are taking and how they work

    together.

Take your medicines as directed by your doctor or pharmacist. If you want to change or stop your

    medicine you should discuss this with your doctor or pharmacist first.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review all the medicines you are taking at least once every

    year over time your medicines may need to be changed.

    Do not share your medicines with anyone else it has been recommended for your personal medical problem and could be harmful to another person.

Store medicines safely, especially out of reach of young children and keep only those you

    currently need.

    Dispose of unwanted medicines safely you can take unwanted medicines to your pharmacy and they will safely dispose of them.

Q: So in summary, what do listeners need to know about generic medicines?

    ? Generic medicines are a safe and equal choice.

    ? In Australia, all prescription medicines, including generic medicines, have to meet the

    same Government quality standards.

    ? A generic medicine has the same active ingredient as the original brand of medicine, so it

    will have the same effect, even if it is a different size, shape or colour.

    ? Get to know your medicine choices, identify the active ingredient and write down all the

    medicines you take in a list.

    ? Talk openly with your doctor or pharmacist about your medicines.

Disclaimer: If the broadcaster asks you a question that you are not comfortable with or is outside

    the parameters of this brief, it is best to take two options:

    ? I‘m sorry that‘s not something I can comment on OR

    ? Let me follow this up for your listeners and get back to you

The Q&As outlined below provide background information and a guide to responses for the radio

    interviews.

This is not a script.

Broadcasters will be given a copy of the questions only, as a guide for the interviews.

    NPS is an independent, non-profit organisation for quality use of medicines, 8 funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

    National Prescribing Service Limited | ABN 61 082 034 393 | Level 7/418A Elizabeth Street Surry Hills NSW 2010 Phone: 02 8217 8700 | Fax: 02 9211 7578 | email: info@nps.org.au | web: www.nps.org.au

Section 3: Further background information

What is the National Prescribing Service, and what is their objective?

    National Prescribing Service (NPS) is an independent member-based organisation providing accurate, balanced, evidence-based information and services to health professionals and the community on Quality Use of Medicines (QUM).

    To achieve this, NPS works in partnership with GPs, pharmacists, specialists, other health professionals, Government, pharmaceutical industry, consumer organisations and the community. The NPS are independent, non-profit and funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

    The purpose of NPS is to support the best use of medicines in order to improve health and well being.

In particular, what key services does NPS offer consumers?

Consumers

    NPS offers consumers a number of services to ―get to know your medicines‖:

    ? Free independent information materials providing expert advice regarding medicines and

    medicine uses

    ? Consumer Medicine Information service

    ? Medicines Line, a phone information service operated by pharmacists

    ? Partnerships with community groups.

What does Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) actually mean?

QUM means:

    ? Selecting management options wisely

    ? Choosing suitable medicines if a medicine is considered necessary

    ? Using medicines safely and effectively. Taking medicines is the most common health-related action taken by Australians. While there is no doubt that taking medicines saves lives and is often the most cost-effective or convenient form of treatment, it is also well-established that some medicines are inappropriately prescribed and used.

    Quality Use of Medicines is about ensuring that all Australians have equitable access to high quality, safe and effective medicines. It also relies on rational use of those medicines. In Australia various processes are in place to achieve better health outcomes through Quality Use of Medicines. A National Medicines Policy has been developed by the Australian Government, and for more than a decade individuals have done valuable work in research and service delivery to promote Quality Use of Medicines.

    The NPS was established as the first national organisation to undertake work in Quality Use of Medicines. Prior to establishing the NPS, there was no mechanism for drawing together and building on the valuable work that had been done in the past.

    NPS is an independent, non-profit organisation for quality use of medicines, 9 funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

    National Prescribing Service Limited | ABN 61 082 034 393 | Level 7/418A Elizabeth Street Surry Hills NSW 2010 Phone: 02 8217 8700 | Fax: 02 9211 7578 | email: info@nps.org.au | web: www.nps.org.au

What is the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia, and what is their

    objective?

FECCA is the national peak body representing Australians from culturally and linguistically

    diverse (CALD) backgrounds.

    It is involved in community education, advocacy for equitable access to services and information

    for Australians from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, as well as human and cultural

    rights.

    FECCA and NPS work together to increase the awareness and skills of consumers from culturally

    and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds to manage their medicines more effectively.

    NPS is an independent, non-profit organisation for quality use of medicines, 10 funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

    National Prescribing Service Limited | ABN 61 082 034 393 | Level 7/418A Elizabeth Street Surry Hills NSW 2010 Phone: 02 8217 8700 | Fax: 02 9211 7578 | email: info@nps.org.au | web: www.nps.org.au

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