In brief: SC methotrexate for psoriasis; ICD 2021 meeting in Melbourne; Generic prescribing rules


3 Feb 2021

Subcut vs oral MTX in psoriasis

Subcutaneous methotrexate should be considered rather than oral MTX for the long-term treatment of psoriasis, real world data from a German registry study suggest. In a review of outcomes for 206 patients with psoriasis, higher PASI 50 and PASI < 5 response rates were seen at week 12 with SC MTX, indicating a faster onset of response. There was also a more stable long-term response, as indicated by the numerically higher PASI 90 response rate compared with oral MTX at week 52, said study investigators from University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf. Subcutaneous MTX also appeared to have a favourable safety profile, with fewer discontinuations for safety reasons than in the oral MTX group, according to findings published in the British Journal of Dermatology.

ICD 2021 meeting planned for November

The Australian organisers of the 13th International Congress of Dermatology to be held in Victoria in November say registrations for the event will open on 15 February. The meeting, which has attracted thousands of international dermatologists in previous years, is planned to take place from 10 to 13 November 2021, at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Submission of abstracts will begin in March, according to  ICD 2021 President Professor Dedee Murrell and Secretary General Professor Rodney Sinclair. The key themes of the meeting will be common skin diseases and their treatment, translational dermatology and global health and technology.

Generic prescribing now the rule

New PBS rules requires medicines to be prescribed by active ingredient name rather than by brand name, except for a few exemptions. From 1 February, the Active Ingredient Prescribing policy requires the inclusion of active ingredients on all PBS and RPBS prescriptions, except for handwritten prescriptions; paper based medication charts in the residential aged care sector; products containing four or more active ingredients; and certain items where brand names should be specified for safety or practicality reasons – such as EpiPens. The exempt items are listed on the List of Medicines for Brand Consideration. The Department of Health says prescribers can still prescribe medicines by brand if clinically necessary, and the brand name will appear after the active ingredient. A prescriber may also still choose to disallow brand substitution. The changes will be incorporated into prescribing software but this cannot be set to automatically include brand names for every prescription.

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