Australian Prescriber is back from the dead

3 minute read

Funding for the beloved publication disappeared late last year with the closure of NPS MedicineWise.

Almost six months after the shock defunding of its longtime publisher, independent pharmaceutical and therapeutics journal Australian Prescriber has found a new home. 

Not-for-profit publisher Therapeutic Guidelines Limited was chosen for the job, with the next issue scheduled for June. 

The accompanying podcast will be back with new episodes from September.

Dr David Liew, a Melbourne rheumatologist and former Australian Prescriber podcast contributor, welcomed the news that Australian Prescriber would be revived. 

Australian Prescriber was a longstanding and critical component of the educational landscape in this country, independent and freely accessible, and as a clinician and avid reader it’s such a relief to see it back,” he told The Medical Republic

Recruitment for the new independent editorial team has begun, and all new and past issues of Australian Prescriber will migrate to the Therapeutic Guidelines Limited website between now and September.

This isn’t the first time that Australian Prescriber has moved home. 

It was originally published by the Commonwealth Department of Health in 1975 and passed between both the TGA and the Department of Health and Ageing before settling in at NPS MedicineWise in 2002.

The Morrison government unexpectedly pulled funding from NPS MedicineWise in last year’s March budget, a decision which was upheld by the Albanese government. 

NPS MedicineWise shut down in December. 

petition to save Australian Prescriber, signed by 8500 people, seemed to have an effect though, with the DoH announcing it would search for a new publisher.

The journal, which normally published bimonthly, has not released a new issue since December. 

The list of subscriber details has been preserved and will be transferred to Therapeutic Guidelines Limited via the DoH. 

The new publisher said it will be in touch with previous subscribers shortly.

“Recognising the custodial responsibility, Therapeutic Guidelines Limited is committed to evolving, rejuvenating and growing the publication for the benefit of all healthcare professionals,” the new publisher said. 

“Subscribers can expect the same high quality, relevant and topical articles that have made the publication popular over many decades.”

Therapeutic Guidelines Limited also confirmed that the journal would remain ad-free. 

CEO Dr Leigh-Anne Claase said Therapeutic Guidelines Limited was a natural home for Australian Prescriber and that she was pleased to take the helm. 

“Therapeutic Guidelines is well placed for this because of our extensive stakeholder network across the healthcare sector,” she told TMR.

“We will partner with key industry bodies to develop an engaging content strategy that resonates with the Australian Prescriber community.”

The non-profit, which does not rely on any government or commercial funding, only has one other publication, Therapeutic Guidelines.

The subscriber-only guidelines cover 21 therapeutic areas and 2500 clinical topics.

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