A changing treatment landscape? Current use of biologics in Rheumatology, Gastroenterology and Dermatology Programme - On Demand

About the event


Due to popular demand, the Biologics Programme will be re-run in 2019. The Biologics Programme was recorded in October 2018 and re-launchd in March 2019.

Biologic drugs are transforming the way diseases are being treated. They are complex, made of living cells and are being used to treat more and more conditions. Although costly, many are funded in New Zealand, with more coming on to the market. Expenditure on biologic medicines has increased in NZ by nearly 50% in the last 5 years.

As medication experts, pharmacists are in a prime position to offer advice and guidance to prescribers and patients on the use of biologics so take this opportunity to learn what you need to know from THREE medical specialists.

Dr Rebecca Grainger (Rheumatologist), Dr Stephen Inns (Gastroenterologist) and Dr Gerhard Eichhoff (Dermatologist) will each discuss in detail the use of biologics in their respective specialty field.

Remember this training can be part of your Group 3 learning goal on biologic therapies!

This programme is a self-directed course which is available to start now. The final date for all assessments must be completed by 29 November 2019.

Sponsored By: Novartis New Zealand

Presented By: Dr Rebecca Grainger, Dr Stephen Inns, Dr Gerhard Eichhoff

Rebecca is a Rheumatologist who is employed at the Hutt Valley DHB and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Otago, Department of Medicine. Rebecca’s clinical work focuses on assessment and management of inflammatory arthritis and her particular clinical interests include inflammatory arthritis, gout and scleroderma.

Stephen is a Gastroenterologist and General Physician who consults at both Hutt Valley DHB and The Rutherford Clinic. He also works as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Otago, Wellington. His current research interests include the management of quality of life and psychological morbidity in IBD and the effect of Helicobacter pylori on cancer risk and the metabolic syndrome.

Gerhard is a German-trained Dermatologist who has worked as a Consultant Dermatologist in New Zealand since early 2017. He is employed by CCDHB and runs clinics at Wellington, Kenepuru and Hutt Hospitals. Before moving to New Zealand he worked at the Technical University of Munich where he treated patients with the newest biologics including Ustekinumab and Secukinumab.

Learning Objectives:

On completion of all activities, participants will be able to:

  • Explain what biologic medicines are
  • Recognise the current main indications for these biologics in immune-mediate inflammatory disease (IMID)
  • Describe the mechanism of action of biologics in IMID and explain the main adverse effects and contra-indications
  • Describe monitoring considerations for patients on biologics for IMID
  • Discuss factors that should be considered prior to initiation of treatment with biologics in IMID

Programme Timetable 9 week programme

Week(s) Module Time allocation (approximation only including readings)
1 Introduction 30 mins
1 - 2 Module 1 Overview of Biologics 2 hours
3 - 4 Module 2 Biologics in Gastroenterology 4 hours
5 - 6 Module 3 Biologics in Dermatology 4 hours
7 - 8 Module 4 Biologics in Rheumatology 4 hours
9 Programme Completion Review Programme and check all assessments are complete and all forums have been answered. Evaluation 1 hour
**all assessment submissions to be made by Friday 29 November 2019**


Pharmacists must achieve a pass mark in all assessments in order to attain completion. Marking will commence after the closing date for assignments and completion advised thereafter (as these require manual marking).

Note: To pass the Biologics Programme, an overall grade of 80% or more is required.

Once completed a Certificate of Completion of the Programme will be available.

One learning package must be purchased for each individual.


Group 1: 5 points

Group 2: 10 points

Note: Readings are not assessed. You may allocate 1 Group 1 point per hour of learning for readings.

Non Member Registration

Non PSNZ members can register for this event. Please note you will need to register as a user on the PSNZ website before you can register to attend the event. Look for the "New user? Register now" option at the bottom of the Login screen.

Cancellation and Refund Policy:

Payment must be received before your registration is processed. Instructions on how to access this course will be emailed to your preferred email address once your registration is processed.

Access to this online course will expire 29 November 2019.

Registrations are subject to our terms of trade and privacy policy. Cancellations will not be accepted; the course fee may be transferred to another course or person depending on the situation and advised in writing, but no refunds are available. Expired registrations will not be refunded. By submitting this application you agree to these terms and conditions.


By enrolling in this training, you are confirming that all work undertaken within this training programme and assessment answers are your own. If there are grounds to believe that cheating or plagiarism has occurred, we will investigate and your work may be disallowed and you will be unable to complete the training.