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Published: 1 April, 2021


In case you missed it: New eBPJ

A new edition of Best Practice Journal is now available online. In this issue we take a closer look at the two new medicines funded for people with type 2 diabetes, empagliflozin and dulaglutide. We update the evidence on lipid-lowering treatment, remind about best practice management of impetigo and as part of our ongoing series on cancer care in New Zealand, we focus on the detection and diagnosis of lung cancer. Also included in this edition are continuing professional development activities and a sneak peek at upcoming articles.

View eBPJ-2

Updated article on ACE inhibitors

As reported in Bulletin 21, PHARMAC has announced funding restrictions for cilazapril. We have revised our ACE inhibitors article to reflect these changes, and updated guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative. ARBs are now recommended as a first-line alternative to ACE inhibitors for many indications and are significantly less likely to cause cough, which may be particularly desirable in the current environment of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Changes coming for paracetamol labelling

Medsafe has announced it will be introducing new requirements for the warning and advisory statements on non-prescription products containing paracetamol, as a result of a public consultation process. The implementation date of changes will be 1 October, 2022 for solid oral dose forms and suppositories, and 1 April, 2023 for liquid dose forms. It is expected that any medicines released for supply in New Zealand after these dates will have updated package labels.

Read the full outcome of the consultation on proposed changes to current warning and advisory statements for paracetamol here.

Keyword search added to bulletins

We have now added an A-Z index to the Best Practice Bulletin homepage so you can search for content using keywords. Clicking on a keyword will bring up a list of bulletin items that relate to the search term.

Mātauranga Māori: raising awareness of water quality

While outside of the usual type of news we report, we came across a project from ESR that brings together community, health and learning in a very special way. ESR Māori Impact Scientist Georgia Bell has collaborated with pupils from a local school to create a resource aimed at children about testing for E.coli in rivers. "He wai ora mahere Mātai i ngā Waikaukau – Is Our Water Safe for Swimming?" raises awareness about safety of drinking water and using local awa (rivers) for gathering mahinga kai (traditional harvested food) and kau (swimming). Mātauranga Māori is knowledge passed on from ancestors and knowledge continually being developed by Māori today. It provides us with a Te Ao Māori approach to conventional scientific principles.

Read more about the project here. The resource is available in Te Reo Māori or English and can be downloaded for free from the ESR website.

Paper of the week: Don't forget to scan this Easter

A study published in the New Zealand Medical Journal last week revealed that the majority of people are not scanning COVID Tracer QR codes. The researchers observed behaviour at 40 hospitality venues, churches and supermarkets in Dunedin over a four-week period in January/February 2021. Each venue was visited once during peak time, the number of adults entering the venue were counted over an hour, and it was noted how many scanned the QR code. Data collectors were covert, so as not to draw attention to the study purpose. The median number of people scanning QR codes was 10.2% (range 0 - 50%).

The results of the study may reflect a higher level of complacency towards scanning by people in the South. However, it is a timely reminder for us all that we must remain committed to our efforts to contain the virus. So, while you are out and about this Easter, make sure your phone is out too...

Parkin L, Singh A, Seddon E, et al. Audit of NZ COVID Tracer QR poster display and use in Dunedin. NZ Med J 2021;134(1532). Available from:

This Bulletin is supported by the South Link Education Trust

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