Monthly media digest: February/March 2023

21 March 2023

A digest of college news coverage for February/March 2023

FANZCA featured in article about Turkey earthquake response

NSW anaesthetist Dr Rob Scott was interviewed by Sydney Morning Herald medical editor Kate Aubusson for an article on 17 March about his experience as part of Australia's official disaster response team in Turkey after the recent earthquake.

It was Dr Scott's first deployment as a diaster response medic.

ANZCA councillor Dr Tanya Selak interviewed about pholcodine

Dr Selak was interviewed by her local ABC Radio Illawarra station in Wollongong about the pholcodine recall on 3 March. Drive program host Lindsay McDougall asked Dr Selak about the recall and why ANZCA had been advocating for the recall for a decade.

The interview starts at 20:00 and runs to 28:35.

Cough medicines with pholcodine recalled in Australia

ANZCA's decade of advocacy to remove cough medicines containing pholcodine from Australian pharmacy shelves was highlighted in a series of media interviews on 1 March to coincide with an ANZCA media release following the Therapeutic Goods Administration's announcement of the recall of more than 40 cough medicines containing pholcodine. ANZCA's Safety and Quality Committee chair A/Professor Jo Sutherland was interviewed for Australian media.

Late last year medicine containing pholcodine was moved off New Zealand shelves and classed as a pharmacy-only medicine. It can no longer be bought over the counter in New Zealand.  

MedSafe in NZ is now considering whether to take stronger action following the TGA's recall according to NZ media reports by and the New Zealand Herald on 2 March. 

Highlights of the 1 March media coverage include a live interview with ABC TV News 24, pre-recorded radio news interviews and a live interview with ABC Radio Melbourne's mornings program. Segments of the  ABC TV News 24 interview were used throughout the day and evening across more than 60 ABC TV state-based and national news bulletins and radio bulletins. The ABC's flagship radio current affairs program PM also used segments of the interview.

The radio interviews were syndicated to dozens of ABC metropolitan, rural and regional stations reaching more than two million people. 

Medicinal cannabis in Australia

FPM's Director of Professional Affairs Associate Professor Mick Vagg was interviewed by on 25 February for an online feature article  about medicinal cannabis prescribing in Australia as it has been seven years since it was legalised.

Dr Vagg says he is concerned about patients being given “false hope” that medicinal cannabis will cure their pain based on anecdotal stories and media hype.

Paracetamol packs

FPM's Director of Professional Affairs Associate Professor Mick Vagg was interviewed by the Medical Republic for a 6 February article about the TGA’s interim decision to slash the size of paracetamol packs available on Australian pharmacy shelves.

A/Professor Vagg said the faculty was not convinced that reducing pack sizes would protect people who were determined to self-harm using paracetamol. 

ANZCA President interviewed on ABC Radio Perth

President Dr Chris Cokis was interviewed on ABC Radio Perth's afternoons program on 3 February about the safety of anaesthesia.

The interview (in the first 30 minutes of the program) followed an ANZCA  media release reassuring the community of the safety of anaesthesia, following recent high profile deaths of Australians after undergoing hip surgery.   

Last updated 11:36 21.03.2023