QUM network launches in SEQ, NSW

new antibiotics: gloved hands holding two antibiotic capsules

A new drugs and medicines initiative in South East Queensland and Northern NSW is aiming to improve Australians’ health

A first for Queensland led by Griffith’s School of Pharmacy, the new Quality Use of Medicines Network will bring together researchers and health practitioners from across the region to form a nationally and internationally recognised hub of drugs and medicines-related research.

This network will aim to address consumer issues commonly seen within the sector, such as treatment adherence, drug safety and antimicrobial resistance.

It will encompass the full breadth of a medicine’s lifecycle, from drug discovery and development through to the clinical and social implications of therapeutic drug use, says Dr Shailendra Dukie from the School of Pharmacy and Griffith’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland.

“We’ve always been doing this research, and we wanted to formalise that approach,” says Dr Dukie.

“This network is somewhat different to others: the National Medicines Policy currently includes everything from drug discovery to the clinical trials to the QUM, the safety and equity of access to medicines, the social side of pharmacy: for example, why don’t you take your medicines as prescribed, why do you go and choose a complementary medicine?

“So we like to think everyone’s in the network.”

Dr Dukie says that antimicrobial resistance is a prime example of how the QUM Network can provide important research.

“With antimicrobial resistance, QUM comes full circle: from inappropriate prescribing, to incorrect usage and non-adherence, all the way back to the drug discovery guys screening for new antimicrobials.

“The QUM Network will allow for translational research and to foster collaborations with researchers from across the different themes leading to enhanced health outcomes.”

The Network was launched yesterday at Griffith University’s Gold Coast campus, an event which was attended by a significant number of community and hospital pharmacists, Dr Dukie says.

He encourages pharmacists in the area to get involved by contacting the University.

“There’s a small pot of money for seed funding some projects; we currently have an important project going on in the school on the subject of HIV with Dr Amary Mey, who’s from a community pharmacy background.

“So if pharmacists would like to be part of this network and help address this issue of getting to the healthy consumer, we would welcome them to get involved.”

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