The Health News – 16 June 2017

Overview:

• Coca-Cola is dumping its popular Coke Zero soft drink and replacing it with its new product — Coca-Cola No Sugar .  It will more closely mimic the flavour of Coca-Cola Classic, while still keeping the calories down. To support the launch, the company will hand out two million free samples of the new drink from mid-June until August and will back this up with a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign.

• The number of working-age Aust­ralians receiving the Disability Support Pension for mental health issues increased by about 50 per cent over a 13-year period, even though prevalence of the conditions remained stable. Researchers led by associate professor Samuel Harvey from the Black Dog Institute and the University of NSW reported their findings … in the Medical Journal of Aus­tralia. The researchers dismissed the “common belief that we are in the midst of a mental health epidemic­” but warned that the impact of psychiatric conditions on work, society and the economy was significant, and still not fully understood.

• A new snapshot by the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) from 280 metropolitan, regional and rural health service facilities found drug shortages were common. SHPA Professor Michael Dooley said more than 30 per cent of medication shortages had a direct impact on patient care. Pharmacists said they were concerned manufacturers were not alerting health authorities about shortages.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  16th of June 2017. Read by Wayne Bucklar. Health News

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/global-soft-drink-giant-dumps-zero-for-sugarfree-product-aimed-at-healthconscious-consumers/news-story/5f17a1986501e07cffc91cbb8ae8fbea

… Coca-Cola is dumping its popular Coke Zero soft drink and replacing it with a new look and a new name … Coca-Cola No Sugar.

Coca-Cola No Sugar will more closely mimic the flavour of Coca-Cola Classic, while still keeping the calories down.

To support the launch, the company will hand out two million free samples of the new drink from mid-June until August and will back this up with a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign.

The introduction of Coca-Cola No Sugar comes at a time when the Australian bottler and retailer of Coke — Coca-Cola Amatil — has experienced declining soft drink sales due to consumers demanding healthier options and smaller portion sizes.

The last Coke product to launch in Australia was Coke Life in two thousand and fifteen, which was sweetened with stevia leaf and cane sugar. This was rebranded to Coke with Stevia earlier this year due to poor sales and a lack of interest from Australian consumers.

Coca-Cola South Pacific marketing director Lisa Winn said … replacing Coke Zero with Coca-Cola No Sugar after 11 years on the Australian market — Coke Zero was launched in two thousand and six — was a consumer-driven decision.

Miss Winn said classic Coca-Cola was still the preferred form of Coke for Aussie consumers, making up seventy per cent of cola sales, but “those lower-kilojoule products are a growing part of our portfolio”.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/health/no-epidemic-but-mental-health-dsps-have-risen-by-50pc/news-story/07c78b87b71bfcf756986c00aba0654b

The number of working-age Aust­ralians receiving the Disability Support Pension for mental health issues increased by about fifty per cent over a thirteen-year period, even though prevalence of the conditions remained stable.

Researchers led by associate professor Samuel Harvey from the Black Dog Institute and the University of NSW have raised the “paradox” after studying the prevalence and impact of conditions such as depression and ­anxiety between two thousand and one and two thousand and fourteen .

Reporting their findings today in the Medical Journal of Aus­tralia, the researchers dismissed the “common belief that we are in the midst of a mental health epidemic­” but warned that the impact of psychiatric conditions on work, society and the economy was significant, and still not fully understood.

The researchers noted that most people with depression or anxiety continued to work in some capacity but the conditions were taking up a greater propor­tion of new DSPs granted.

Commenting on the results, Harvey Whiteford from the University of Queensland said the findings on prevalence matched other studies and surveys but the reason for the DSP trend was unclear­.

Professor Whiteford called for an examination of the threshold for the allocation of DSPs and the type of support offered.

He also noted that “the ­challenges posed by the intro­ductio­n ­of the National Disability Insurance Scheme for ­people with psychiatric disability are ­significant”.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-14/major-drug-shortages-australian-hospitals-could-harm-patients/8615178

Medication shortages are much more prevalent than previously thought, and potentially harm patients in a third of cases, according to new research.

A new snapshot by the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia from two hundred and eighty metropolitan, regional and rural health service facilities found drug shortages were common.

SHPA Professor Michael Dooley said more than thirty per cent of medication shortages had a direct impact on patient care.

“This happened through swapping in a less effective medicine, changing the administration due to a different form, or in many cases, the lack of suitable alternatives,” he said.

The five most common types of drugs in short supply were antibiotics, anaesthetics, cardiology medicines, endocrinology drugs and chemotherapy.

Pharmacists said they were concerned manufacturers were not alerting health authorities about shortages.

“When we cross-referenced the responses with warnings and alerts available that day through government websites, including the Therapeutics Goods Administration’s Medicine Shortages Information portal, eighty per cent of reported shortages were not listed by their respective companies,” Professor Dooley said.

“We believe this is the evidence needed to push for urgent improvements in medicines supply.”

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