Eliminating Hepatitis C: a new paradigm

Supported by

Date: Friday 24 March
Time: 0700-0830 hours
Venue: Meeting Room C2.1, International Convention Centre Sydney
Associate Professor Jason Grebely1 and Dr Stephen Pianko2
Panel members:
Dr Anne Balcomb3, Dr Darren Russell4 and Dr Paul MacCartney5

With a stated government health priority of disease elimination, Australia is one of the first countries to broadly subsidise breakthrough direct-acting antiviral (DAA) HCV therapies, creating a rapidly changing environment for the management of hepatitis C. This symposium examines the new hepatitis C treatment landscape and the role of a new pan-genotypic treatment.

The first presentation will share a snapshot of the current hepatitis C landscape, detail practical strategies on how to enhance linkages between hepatitis C care and treatment systems and offer possible routes forward by looking at engagement of marginalised, vulnerable populations with the understanding that one-size-doesn’t-fit-all.

An overview of the latest data for the new pan-genotypic treatment, including safety and efficacy overviews of phase III clinical trials, will then be featured.

These presentations will be followed by an informal, interactive panel discussion. The speakers will be joined by community clinicians to explore how this new landscape is translating within the community setting as well as share best practice and practical strategies on how to successfully engage and treat HCV patients.

1The Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, NSW, 2The Monash Medical Centre, Cabrini, Caulfield Endoscopy; Melbourne, Victoria, 3 Honorary Lecturer Sydney School of Rural Health, Orange NSW, 4 Director of Sexual Health, Cairns & Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, QLD, 5 CoHealth, Fitzroy Vic

Updates in Smoking Cessation

Supported by 

Date: Saturday 25 March
Time: 0700-0830 hours
Venue: Meeting Room C2.3, International Convention Centre Sydney
Speakers: Professor Nicholas Zwar1  (speaker and chairperson), Dr Michael Williams2 (speaker)

Whilst many efforts have successfully contributed to a decline in the rate of smoking in Australia, tobacco smoking is responsible for the deaths of over 15,000 Australians each year.

Tobacco dependence is a chronic condition that requires repeated cessation treatment and ongoing care. A minority of smokers achieve long term abstinence on the first attempt to quit, while the majority cycle through multiple attempts with relapse and remission before achieving long-term or permanent abstinence. Advice-based help and pharmacotherapy can both increase the rate of success of quit attempts, and when they are used the benefits are cumulative.

The first presentation will provide an update on the RACGP clinical guidelines for smoking cessation, including the role of health professionals, the challenges associated with nicotine withdrawal and the role of counselling and pharmacotherapies for smoking cessation.

The second presentation will provide an overview of the EAGLES study, the largest trial of smoking cessation pharmacotherapy conducted to date. The EAGLES study assessed the neuropsychiatric safety and efficacy of varenicline and bupropion compared to nicotine patch and placebo in over 8000 patients with and without a psychiatric history. The presentation will discuss the risk of neuropsychiatric adverse events associated with pharmacotherapy and the implications of the data to clinical practice.

1Nicholas Zwar is Dean of the School of Medicine, University of Wollongong. Professor Zwar has had a long involvement in smoking cessation including as lead author on clinical practice guidelines for smoking cessation for health professionals first published in 2004 and updated in 2011 and 2014. Nick has contributed to the NSW Health resources Managing Nicotine Dependence and Let’s take a moment and was co-chair of the NSW Health task force on implementing smoke free policy in mental health facilities. He also led a group developing resources on smoking cessation medicines for the Australian Government Tackling Indigenous Smoking program. He is leading research on supporting smoking cessation in general practice, including evaluating the role of practice nurses. Nick has also been involved in developing and delivering education programs in smoking cessation skills for a range of health professionals including doctors, pharmacists and nurses. 2Michael Williams is a General Practitioner and Clinical Trialist from Rotorua, New Zealand. Dr Williams has practiced as a General Practitioner since 1997 and Clinical Trialist since 2002, opening a private clinical trial facility in Rotorua, ‘Lakeland Clinical Trials’ in 2010. Dr Williams has extensive experience in Phase 2B to Phase 4 clinical trials conducted in a wide range of therapeutic areas. He was a Principal Investigator of the EAGLES study, recruiting the largest patient cohort outside the United States and throughout the course of the trial, conducted over 2000 patient visits.3 Supporting smoking cessation: a guide for health professionals. Melbourne: The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, 2011 available at http://www.racgp.org.au/your-practice/guidelines/smoking-cessation/

Maximising your earnings while in practice

Supported by 

Date: Sunday 26 March
Time: 0700-0830 hours
Venue: Pyrmont Theatre, International Convention Centre Sydney
Speakers: Steven Wilkie1 and Warren Davis2

While in practice it’s vital to remember that the financial decisions you make today will impact how you are rewarded now and in the future.

This important wealth management workshop is a not to be missed session no matter where you are in your medical career. The Bongiorno National Network will cover key areas that will ensure you make the right decisions financially to protect yourself and your future.

Topics covered include:

  • Ensuring you are operating under the most efficient business structure
  • Budget changes and how they affect you
  • Wealth creation – can you create wealth without borrowing?
  • Protecting your most important asset – yourself!  Your ability to earn an income is paramount
  • Making sure you are maximising your financial facilities with a focus on the best possible mix of non-deductible and deductible debt
  • Superannuation – is it still beneficial for you?   What are the rules now and will you have enough saved to retire comfortably?
  • Finance – what are the banks new rules

The Bongiorno National Network is one of Australia’s leading financial services organisations and has been helping medical professionals grow, manage and protect their wealth for over 50 years.

1B.Econ (Accounting), CA, CTA, Director, Bongiorno & Partners NSW, 2B. Comm, MBA, CPA, CTA, Director, Bongiorno & Partners NSW