Shortage of norethisterone-containing pills in Australia: Advice for GPs

July/August 2020

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) advises:

Consumers and health professionals are advised that there is a shortage of oral contraceptive pills containing the combination ethinylestradiol and norethisterone.

The affected products are:

  • Brevinor – norethisterone 0.5 mg and ethinylestradiol 35 micrograms
  • Norimin – norethisterone 0.5 mg and ethinylestradiol 35 micrograms
  • Brevinor-1 – norethisterone 1 mg and ethinylestradiol 35 micrograms
  • Norimin-1 – norethisterone 1 mg and ethinylestradiol 35 micrograms.

All four products are sponsored by Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd.

Pfizer has advised the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) the shortage of these products is due to manufacturing issues and is expected to continue until mid-October 2020 and early December 2020, depending on the product. Further information about the shortage is available on the TGA’s Medicine Shortage Reports Database.

Meanwhile, SPHERE (NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Sexual and Reproductive Health for Women in Primary Care) have released a statement:

A global shortage of contraceptive pills containing the progestogen contrnorethisterone (NET) has led to shortages in Australia since March 2020. The reason for the shortages, as provided by the manufacturer Pfizer, is ‘’manufacturing delays’’ as the company states it is upgrading engineering on packaging lines and implementing additional packaging lines to rectify the shortages.

At the time of writing, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) website indicates that the pills will become available in November-December 2020, however, there may be additional COVID-19-related delays.

The Experience of International Students Before and During COVID-19: Housing, work, study, and wellbeing

 University of Technology Sydney, Australian Research Council study (DP190101073),

International students’ experience of renting accommodation in Australia is a crucial but overlooked determinant of their wellbeing, which has been brought into stark relief by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This report is based on two surveys of international students in the private rental sector (PRS). The first survey was conducted in the second half of 2019, before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the second survey in June and the first week of July 2020, during the pandemic.

The findings of the first survey show that a substantial proportion of international students were already in a precarious situation before the pandemic.

The second survey reveals the various impacts of the pandemic on international students in the private rental sector and the extent to which their circumstances have deteriorated.

The report also draws on data from the initial stage of the qualitative component of the study – semi-structured in-depth interviews with international students conducted between April and July 2020. Quotes from some of the 26 semi-structured interviews conducted thus far, are presented alongside the survey data evidence that follows.

Although the focus is on the experiences of private renting, the report has taken a broader sociological approach to student housing problems and, as such, it offers wider insights into the wellbeing, employment, and income situations of international students at a crucial turning point for the Australian higher education sector

How the ‘National Cabinet of Whores’ is leading Australia’s coronavirus response for sex workers

Roxana Diamond in The Conversation, August 7, 2020 12.31pm AEST

This article has links that contain graphic content

Many industries and employees have been hurt by COVID-19. But sex workers, who face stigma and discrimination at the best of times, have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic.

The United Nations has warned,

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, sex workers all over the world are experiencing hardship, a total loss of income and increased discrimination and harassment.

As both a researcher in the area and sex worker myself, I have seen how sex workers have been an afterthought in Australia’s responses to COVID-19. And how it has been up to sex workers yet again to protect their community, underscoring the importance of decriminalising sex work.

Impact of COVID-19 on Migrant and Refugee Women and Children Experiencing DFV

Women’s Safety NSW, Published: July 31, 2020

Whilst research on the prevalence of violence against migrant and refugee women is limited, what is known is that cultural, language and systemic barriers serve to reduce access to safety and support for this group of women, and they are at higher risk of domestic homicide. (AIC 2020)

This also corresponds with lower rates of reporting amongst migrant and refugee women experiencing domestic and family violence, as distrust for authorities, limited knowledge of rights and services and concerns about both material and cultural ramifications can serve as insurmountable barriers to accessing the supports needed. (AIFS 2018)

What has not yet been investigated is the specific impact of COVID-19 on migrant and refugee women experiencing domestic and family violence. This report from Women’s Safety NSW offers the experiences and professional observations of multicultural domestic and family violence specialists supporting hundreds of these very women at this critical time. What they’ve reported is that migrant and refugee women who are experiencing domestic and family violence are at higher risk than they have ever been before and that urgent action is needed if we are going to save lives.

Asian, Gay & COVID-19 (Free online event)

 Gay Asian Proud & Thorne Harbour Health, July 2020

A live online chat with James & Amirul – sharing their lived experience as same-sex attracted guys with Asian backgrounds.

Date And Time:

Thu, 6 August 2020, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM ACST

Living Room Sharing Session:

Join Gay Asian Proud (GAP) coordinators James and Amirul in this casual, friendly and insightful conversation about being gay, Asian, moving away from home and living in the midst of COVID-19 restrictions.

Listen to them share their experiences about living in Australia, overcoming challenges as a migrant and international student, maintaining emotional and mental well-being during the COVID-19 lockdown.

This session welcomes all of the LGBTIQ+ community and their allies. Attendees will be able to ask questions during the online chat which James & Amirul will endeavour to answer in a live Q & A after the session.

Meet the guys:

Amirul (or Rul for short) is a proud GAY-sian guy, born and raised in Sunny Singapore and has been living in Melbourne, Australia for almost 8 years. He first arrived in Australia back in 2012 as an international student and calls Melbourne home for now. Originally starting out as a member, he is now one of the volunteer facilitators for the social support group, Gay Asian Proud,

James is a migrant from Singapore and a former international student who has been living in Australia for more than 10 years. He is a Thorne Harbour Health peer education facilitator, and a Community Reference Group member at the Victorian Pride Centre. He writes “The Well-Fed Nomad”, a Facebook food blog about his cooking and eating experiences around the world. His passion for arts and culture has brought him to Asia and Europe to participate in cross-cultural leadership and international collaboration programs.

Flux Study COVID-19 Diary Recruitment and Report

Kirby Institute, UNSW, July 2020

Social distancing restrictions due to COVID-19 may affect how gay and bisexual men are arranging their sex lives and taking care of their health. And this will likely also affect trends in HIV infection and STIs over coming months, or even years. Monitoring the impact of COVID-19, before, during, and after the pandemic, is essential to understanding and responding to trends in HIV infection, mental health, and STIs.

​This study investigating the lived experiences of COVID-19 among gay and bisexual men including isolation, support, mental health and resilience, income loss, and access to health services. We will address how gay and bisexual men experience, engage with, and emerge from, COVID-19.

What does participation in this research require? 

If you decide to take part in this study, we will ask you to do the following:

  1. Your first questionnaire: This questionnaire collects information about you and your previous experiences.

  2. Weekly diary: After completing the your first survey, you will be asked to complete a 5-minute diary each Sunday.

What’s in it for you? 

We value our participants! To show our appreciation, for every survey you complete, you’ll automatically go in a raffle to win prizes in the form of gift cards to the value of $200.

Links