In brief: Snapshots from the news

Lynnette Hoffman

writer

Lynnette Hoffman

Managing Editor

Lynnette Hoffman

Cosmetic cowboy crackdown, Ozempic supply, Asthma medicine restrictions

Tougher regulations for cosmetic cowboys from 1 July

All patients planning to undergo cosmetic surgery will be required to get a referral from their GP when new guidelines take effect.

The guidelines, developed by the Medical Board of Australia and AHPRA, also require those performing cosmetic surgery or procedures to assess for underlying psychological conditions, such as body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).

“If screening indicates that the patient has significant underlying psychological issues which may make them an unsuitable candidate for the cosmetic surgery, they must be referred for evaluation to a psychologist, psychiatrist or general practitioner,” the guidelines go on to stipulate.

Additionally, the new guidelines mandate a seven-day cooling off period after the patient has had two consultations and signed their consent forms.

The crackdown also includes restrictions on advertising.

However, the guidelines remain controversial, with AHPRA pushing forward with its endorsement model for those who offer cosmetic surgery but who aren’t qualified specialist surgeons.

As Healthed previously reported, many—including Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons president Associate Professor Nicola Dean—continue to argue that the endorsement model does not go far enough to ensure patient safety. Royal Australasian College of Surgeons president Dr Sally Langley has also expressed similar concerns in media reports.

Ozempic supply limited once again

Ozempic (semaglutide) returned to Australian shelves in February, but an update on Novo Nordisk’s website this month notes that “there will be limited and intermittent availability until June 2023,” adding that they are continuing to build stable supplies over coming weeks and months. According to the TGA, supply is expected to remain limited through 30 June.

New asthma medicine restrictions

At the start of April, the federal government abruptly announced restrictions on prescribing Flixotide Junior and Axotide Junior (fluticasone propionate 50 micrograms per dose).

Under the new PBS rules, children aged 6 or older are no longer eligible for PBS subsidy for Flixotide Junior or Axotide Junior.

Moreover, the medicine will only be subsidised for those under 6 if it has been initiated by a paediatrician or respiratory physician, and the presciber also receives prior approval from Health Professional Online Services.

GPs can still prescribe continuing treatment to children under 6 as long as it was initiated by a respiratory physician or a paediatrician.

A list of PBS reimbursed alternatives is included in the government’s announcement, but no reasons for the change were given.

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Lynnette Hoffman

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Lynnette Hoffman

Managing Editor

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