The Health News Australia January 13 2018

  • A study has found that the introduction of strong painkillers that can’t be crushed or dissolved has done little to tackle Australia’s opioid epidemic. Amid concerns about rising rates of opioid addiction and misuse, in 2014 high-strength oxycodone tablets — known as OxyContin — were reformulated to make them tamper-proof so that patients couldn’t inject, snort, chew or smoke them.
  • Health agencies have teamed up to launch a graphic advertising campaign in Melbourne, warning consumers of the dangerous amount of sugar in frozen drinks. LiveLighter and Rethink Sugary Drink, an alliance of eighteen health agencies, have teamed up to launch the ‘Don’t Be Sucked In’ campaign, warning that some large-size frozen drinks contain as much as 20.4 teaspoons of sugar.
  • ScalaMed, founded by Australian doctor and former pharmaceutical executive Tal Rapke, allows patients to receive prescriptions directly from their clinician to their mobile phones. The ScalaMed technology creates a patent-protected method to encrypt an individual’s prescription data.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 13th of January 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2018-01-11/oxycontin-tamper-resistant-pain-killers-not-curbing-opioid-abuse/9320020

A study has found that the introduction of strong painkillers that can’t be crushed or dissolved has done little to tackle Australia’s opioid epidemic. Amid concerns about rising rates of opioid addiction and misuse, in two thousand fourteen high-strength oxycodone tablets — known as OxyContin — were reformulated to make them tamper-proof so that patients couldn’t inject, snort, chew or smoke them. But researchers from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre found the tamper-proof pills had no significant impact on opioid use and harm overall.

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That’s because only a small percentage of people who misuse prescription medications tamper with them, while the large majority simply swallow them. Lead author Doctor Briony Larance said: “Approximately two point nine million Australians were prescribed an opioid in two thousand fourteen, compared with an estimated ninety three thousand people who injected drugs.”
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The study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, analysed Australian opioid sales and health data before and after the introduction of the tamper-resistant oxycodone tablets. They also surveyed six hundred people who misuse prescription opioids. The researchers found sales of the high-strength, tamper-resistant OxyContin tablets had gone down, but this was offset by an increase in sales of lower-strength, non-tamper-resistant oxycodone formulations.

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In two thousand sixteen, Australia recorded its highest number of drug-induced deaths since the nineteen nineties, with prescription medication being largely blamed for the significant increase.
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In February two thousand eighteen, painkillers containing codeine will no longer be available over the counter.

https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/nutrition-and-hydration/42/news/aap/health-agencies-warns-consumers-of-the-dangerous-amount-of-sugar-in-frozen-drinks/3109/

Health agencies have teamed up to launch a graphic advertising campaign in Melbourne, warning consumers of the dangerous amount of sugar in frozen drinks. Health agencies have warned that people drinking a slurpee or slushie to cool down in the summer heat could be sucking down an entire week’s worth of sugar in a single sitting.

LiveLighter and Rethink Sugary Drink, an alliance of eighteen health agencies, have teamed up to launch the ‘Don’t Be Sucked In’ campaign, warning that some large-size frozen drinks contain as much as twenty point four teaspoons of sugar.

That’s almost half an entire week’s recommended maximum in a single cup. The campaign graphically depicts a person sipping on a large cup of bulging, toxic fat and will be plastered at Melbourne bus and tram stops for two weeks.
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LiveLighter campaign manager and dietitian Alison McAleese said drinking a large Seven-Eleven slurpee every day in summer could result in nearly two kilograms of weight gain. She added that Aussies could be slurping their way towards weight gain, obesity and toxic fat, increasing their risk of thirteen types of cancer, type two diabetes, heart and kidney disease, stroke and tooth decay. The campaign is an effort to counteract cheap frozen drink promotions over the summer, the group said.
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But Seven-Eleven says one in five Slurpees sold at its stores contain less than one percent of sugar. The alliance also recommends a twenty percent levy on sugary drinks.

http://www.healthcareit.com.au/article/aussie-start-creates-blockchain-prescription-solution

ScalaMed, founded by Australian doctor and former pharmaceutical executive Tal Rapke, allows patients to receive prescriptions directly from their clinician to their mobile phones. Rapke said : “The only person in common at the hospital, the pharmacy, the general practitioner or the specialist is the patient. There’s not necessarily any shared data across all of those locations.”
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The ScalaMed technology creates a patent-protected method to encrypt an individual’s prescription data. It’s then transported to ScalaMed’s e-prescription blockchain service through secure application program interfaces , published to the blockchain and made available to the patient immediately through an app.
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The technology also aims to solve the issue of medication management, he said, in which fifty percent of patients do not take medicines as required, resulting in ten percent of hospitalisations and costing Australia an estimated three hundred eighty million dollars annually.
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The ScalaMed platform launched back in November, but it has so far failed to secure Australian Government support. The start-up was the only Australian company accepted into a prestigious digital accelerator program run by the Texas Medical Center – the largest medical complex in the world.

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