AChAM Communiqué March 2018

Read the highlights of key issues discussed as part of the 01-2018 meeting, held on 21 March 2018 via teleconference.


Governance

2018 Work Plan

The Committee discussed the 2018 work plan and agreed that the review of the RACP Prescription Opioid Policy and review of the RACGP Prescribing Drugs of Dependence in General Practice, Part B: Benzodiazepines Guidelines are the priority items for 2018.

Policy and Advocacy

Palliative Care Australia – Opioid under-prescribing

Palliative Care Australia (PCA) has recently raised concerns with regards to anecdotal evidence of under-prescribing of opioids by GPs for palliative care patients as an unintended consequence of the recent tightening of restrictions on opioids. The AChAM Committee acknowledges this concern and recognises that statements on this issue should be nuanced. AChAM Committee representatives will be engaging with PCA and representatives from the Chapter of Palliative Medicine Committee to discuss this issue further in the coming months.

Policy & Advocacy Lead Fellows Network

The Committee was pleased to hear that the Adult Medicine Division Council recently established a Policy and Advocacy Lead Fellows Network with the membership consisting of representatives from each specialty society. The aim of the network is to provide a forum for Fellows to discuss policy and advocacy issues and mechanisms for collaboration on issues of mutual interest. Current Chapter President A/Prof Adrian Reynolds will represent the APSAD in this network.

Drug Testing Trial Bill

Chapter Committee members have assisted the College develop a submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Drug Testing Trial) Bill 2018. The Chapter and College have opposed the bill and explained their reasons, including that it is discriminatory and is likely to cause harm. In its submission the College indicated its willingness to work with elected representatives and relevant government departments in developing alternative strategies to both prevent and to address drug and alcohol problems in Australian society.

Fellowship

International Medicine in Addiction (IMiA) Conference update

The RACP is the lead convener for IMiA 2019 and as such our current President-elect Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones is chairing the Program Committee. Preparations are going well, with the Program Committee expecting to identify themes and preferred keynote speakers and addresses in coming weeks.

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 31 May 2018 at the College’s Sydney office.
A/Prof Adrian Reynolds, President
Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine
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