A Goulburn Valley paediatrician is calling on the federal health minster to reverse a decision to restrict doctors prescribing a specialised infant allergy formula.By Kaitlin Thals
A leading Goulburn Valley paediatrician is calling on the federal health minster to reverse a decision to restrict paediatricians prescribing a specialised infant allergy formula.
Paediatrician for more than 30 years, Peter Eastaugh, said the changes would cause a substantial disadvantage to many children, in particular children living in regional and rural Australia.
Due to the recent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee recommendation to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme regarding the listing of Synthetic Amino Acid Infant Formulae, local paediatricians can no longer prescribe the formula to patients.
Children who need this formula are mostly milk or soy protein intolerant or show multiple food protein intolerance.
Dr Eastaugh said he had about six patients affected by the changes which came into affect on July 1.
He said patient options had been reduced to either paying up to $700 to see a private specialist who could prescribe the formula, or jumping on the public waiting list at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital — with a wait of up to two years.
Dr Eastaugh contacted Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek last month, outlining his concerns in a letter. He has not received a response.
According to the Department of Health website, the change was recommended by the PBAC following a concern over the increase of prescriptions of synthetic infant formulae, and a larger than expected proportion of infants with cow’s milk protein intolerances who start on an amino acid formula without first trying a protein hydrolysate formula.
It said children who clinically required the infant formula would continue to receive the items through the PBS. The revised restrictions are changes to how these medicines were prescribed, not who was eligible.
‘‘It appears that the PBAC have, based upon allegations of inappropriate prescribing placed restrictions upon the prescribing of these infant formulae by general paediatricians, resulting in a substantial inconvenience for practicing general paediatricians,’’ Dr Eastaugh said.’’
‘‘It appears that this committee does not take into account or responsibility for the impact of their decisions on practitioners, let alone the infants involved, particularly for rural children where the degree of disadvantage is amplified because of the tyranny of distance.’’
Dr Eastaugh said the new requirements suggested that paediatricians needed to consult with an allergist, a consultant immunologist or gastroenterologist ‘‘none of whom were available in rural Australia’’.
He called on the Federal Health Minster to review this ‘‘urgent’’ situation.
‘‘A review of the function of the PBAC (is) strongly recommended, that they consult with practitioners in the field — not just metropolitan — in relation to changes to prescribing that will have a significant health impact on children.’’
Benalla's consistently high petrol prices are fuelling discussion.
Most people at the J C Lowe Oval left on Saturday evening talking about the game but not the result. Pigeon Coach Chris Kennedy summed up the feeling adequately when he said after the game; “it was a frustrating game, but my players weren’t responsible for the frustration.”
The move to extend the Tatura War Memorial area and honour Victoria Cross hero Robert Mactier with the erection of a statue in the Hogan St gardens named in his honour, continues.
Visiting antique expert Bruce Lowenthal was kept very busy in Echuca on Saturday after about 130 people brought a multitude of items to be evaluated, some of them quite valuable.
Banksia Securities Limited investors received a 45-cents-in-the-dollar payment on Friday.
The talent of Kyabram and District’s up-and-coming young sports stars was highlighted at the 2013 Kyabram and District Infinity Sportstar of the Year awards night.
Seymour defeated Echuca by 37 points in an excellent effort and a thrilling performance in round six of the Goulburn Valley Football League action on Saturday.
The Finley Apex Sports and Community Centre has secured a $500,000 grant from Regional Development Australia.
Much of the inspiration for Heathcote-based musician Doug Bruce's latest album came from driving on the McIvor Hwy, he says.
Detectives in pursuit of Australia’s most wanted man have not ruled out Cobram as a possible hiding place.
Record crowd predicted for the 2013 Deniliquin Ute Muster with the announcement of US country superstar Alan Jackson as the headline act.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) is investigating incidents of abortion or still-births under the Lamb and Kid Mortality Surveillance Project.(LKSMP).
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.