New COVID-19 treatment info in latest AIDH update

New information on remdesivir, the first medicine provisionally approved for the treatment of COVID-19 in Australia, has been added to the leading Australian Injectable Drugs Handbook (AIDH) resource, the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) announced today.

The remdesivir monograph was added to the online version of AIDH following the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)’s announcement on 10 July that remdesivir was provisionally approved to treat Australians with COVID-19, following similar approvals in the European Union, Japan, and Singapore.

SHPA President Peter Fowler says the information is provided with important context.

‘We echo the caveats advised by the TGA in their recent announcement, which emphasised remdesivir has not been shown to prevent coronavirus infection or relieve milder cases of infection. SHPA is similarly mindful there may be limited availability through Australia’s National Medicines Stockpile.’

‘However, this treatment has been shown to reduce recovery times for hospitalised patients, potentially reducing the strain on Australia's health care system in areas experiencing sustained outbreaks.

‘We are pleased to expedite the provision of clear and concise dose preparation instructions and stability information to all health professionals who rely on AIDH to ensure the safe and quality use of medicines in their care settings.’

SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels says the new monograph complements a range of updates to AIDH online introduced in May to support hospitalised Australians with COVID-19.

‘The May 2020 update comprised compatibility information for medicines likely to be used in the management of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units, resources to assist with planning in the event of an infusion pump shortage, a quick guide to identifying medicines that may be given by IV injection and a list of highest priority medicines for administration via an infusion pump.

‘As the professional partner of Australia’s leading pharmacists and technicians, who are embedded in multidisciplinary care teams, SHPA is committed to ensuring practitioners have ongoing access to the most recent, evidence-based information as we continue to navigate a path through the coronavirus pandemic.’

Released in February, AIDH8 features information on more than 500 injectable medicines, including more than 50 new medicines, over 150 monographs with paediatric information and 21 antimicrobial monographs with stability information for Community-Based Parenteral Anti-Infective Therapy (CoPAT).

Download the media release.