Pharmaceutical Science Group

October 2020

Written by  David Edmonds
Treasurer-Pharmaceutical Science Group (NSW)


On 1 October, the Pharmaceutical Science Group held its 5th webinar entitled “Aspects of the Science of COVID-19 – Treatment” in the series describing the science and impact of Covid-19. 

During the webinar, the three experts each explored the respective potential treatments of Interferon beta, Dexamethasone and Remdesivir.  The first two are thought to alleviate symptoms, the last one may well provide a cure.  Current clinical trials and their results in each were presented, demonstrating why these drugs have been identified, current clinical data and further work envisaged.


Presentations were:

  • COVID-19: Treatment: Interferon-beta

Ms Natalie Kahwajy, Senior Pharmacis, Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital


  • COVID-19: Treatment: Dexamethasone

Ms Renee Faraj - Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate


  • COVID-19: Treatment: Remdesivir

Prof Jan-Willem Alffenaar, Chair of Clinical Pharmacy, The University of Sydney, Faculty of Medicine and Health, School of Pharmacy and Westmead Hospital


Previously, on 10 September, the Group organised a webinar, Remote auditing - Impact of Covid-19 restrictions on manufacturers and test laboratories.  Both Australian and overseas manufacturers and test laboratories involved with therapeutic goods marketed within Australia, require periodic audits from Therapeutic Goods Administration.  In this time of pandemic, such audits are performed remotely, requiring considerable preparation to the challenges involved from auditor and auditee alike.


Presentations were:

  • Remote auditing – from TGA MQB perspective

Ms Lynn Talomsin, Senior Inspector/Technical Specialist, Manufacturing Quality Branch, TGA


  • Remote auditing – from an auditee perspective

Ms Melanie Richter, Quality Compliance Specialist, AstraZeneca


  • Auditing and other GMP experiences in the Covid-19 era – US perspective

Ms Maxine Fritz, Executive Vice President, Pharmaceutical Services, NSF International


The Group again thanks all the presenters and organisers of these webinars who have provided their considerable time and effort in providing important and updated information for wider dissemination.

Details of the presentations and recording of both webinars will shortly be available at the Group website.