1 x 8-hour independent study weekly
7 x 1-hour on-line exercises per semester
4 x 1-hour on-line tutorials per semester
1 Admission into MAG-Master of Applied Gerontology
1a Admission into GCPCAC-Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care in Aged Care
1b Admission into MPCAC-Master of Palliative Care in Aged Care
1c Admission into GCOACW-Graduate Certificate in Older Adult Care and Wellbeing
1d Admission into MNGP-Master of Nursing - 1.5 years
1e Admission into MNG-Master of Nursing - 2 years
Must Satisfy: ((1 or 1a or 1b or 1c or 1d or 1e))
Assumed knowledge
Familiarity in the use of literature and accessing relevant data bases including OVID Medline, CINAHL, PubMed and any others appropriate to the area of study.
Course context
Available to post graduate students only
Assignments; Quizzes, Participation
Topic description
This subject explores the issues relating to the Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) in older people. The topic provides an overview of Australia’s National Medicines Policy and explores some of the primary supports in place to action this policy: the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and the Australian Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting System.

Students will be able to:

  • review the field of patient safety in relation to medications and provides a set of practical strategies to reduce iatrogenic harm.

  • define the topics of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics with the purpose of looking at the ways that drugs interact between themselves as well as the ageing body.

  • review medication management while providing strategies to incorporate into routine clinical practice.
Educational aims
The aims of this topic are to:

  • introduce students to the framework in which medicines are used in Australia and how this can create issues in an ageing population, and

  • promote a better understanding of medication use in the elderly.
Students will be examining the physiology of ageing, adverse drug events and medication safety through the lens of polypharmacy.

There will be a need to at least consider complementary and alternative medicines too and develop some understanding of the pharmaceutical industry and the Australian drug regulatory system.

Students will be able to see the value of medications to our contemporary society and be better prepared to be part of a system striving to improve its outcomes.
Expected learning outcomes
By the completion of this topic, a student should be able to:

  • Recognise the range of substances that can be grouped as medicines;

  • Understand the four functions of the Australian National Medicines Policy;

  • Describe the principles that guide the Quality Use of Medicines (QUM);

  • Understand the processes involved in registering a prescription medicine on the Australian market and the implications of “off-label” use of medicines;

  • Describe the differences between a side effect, allergy and intolerance;

  • Understand the function of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) in improving access to medicines for all Australians.