National MedicineWise Award winners announced at NMS 2012

Australia’s most innovative activities designed to improve medicines use and health outcomes have been formally recognised in an awards ceremony at the National Medicines Symposium (NMS) dinner.

The National MedicineWise Awards, organised by NPS, were announced at NMS 2012 and recognise the high quality of work being done by companies and individuals to assist and educate both consumers and health professionals.

The winners were announced by Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King and NPS CEO, Dr Lynn Weekes as part of the evening’s formalities, following a full day of stimulating and challenging presentations and debate about building a medicinewise community.

Dr Weekes said the award winners represent the breadth of quality use of medicines activities happening in the community.

"Consumers need to be at the centre of all we do in building a medicinewise community, and each of the National MedicineWise Award winners demonstrates one way in which health outcomes can be positively impacted through quality use of medicines activity,” said Dr Weekes.

The judging panel consisted of representatives from across the health sector and considered entries based on impact, innovation and reach. Abstracts and posters were assessed on objectives, methodology, results and contribution to quality use medicines.

The winners

Building a medicinewise community: consumer programs - joint winners

The Northern Rivers CareerLink Pharmacy Program  

CareerLink works with members of the indigenous community, selecting and training young Aboriginal people to train to be pharmacy assistants, and providing pharmacists with indigenous cultural awareness training. 

RedUSE (Reducing Use of Sedatives) Program    

The program involved extensively researching the way psychotropic medicines were prescribed in the aged care setting, and then using this information to shape an intervention study – RedUSE - to reduce the use of sedatives in Aged Care homes.

Education for health professionals to build QUM skills - under $100,000

BE ALERT AND WORK TOGETHER for medicine safety: DAA Incident Awareness Toolkit

The project identified that medicines packed into dosage administration devices, particularly in the aged care setting are often packed incorrectly or packs contain medicines which aren’t suitable for packing. From this, a toolkit was produced to improve the accuracy and appropriateness of packed medicines and improve overall medicine administration.

Education for health professionals to build QUM skills - over $100,000

Medicines Book for Aboriginal Health Workers

This project developed a manual to provide education about medicines for Aboriginal Health Workers with low literacy levels, empowering them to provide appropriate and effective information about medicines to consumers.

Excellence in labelling and packaging

APHS Packaging: Medication Compliance Sachet

The APHS satchet allows community pharmacists to deliver a DAA which assists patients to manage multiple medicines more safely and effectively than traditional manually packed alternatives.

Best e-health resources

Pharmacovigilance in pregnancy using population-based linked datasets

This project monitored medicines dispensed to pregnant patients in Western Australia and linked them to their impact on pregnancy outcomes – a resource which can be used to better determine the safe use of medicines in pregnancy.

Best media report of a medicines story

“Accidental Counsellors” by Peter Waterman, Australian Pharmacist  

The article provides unique insight into the various roles pharmacists perform in the area of mental health, moving it from an ‘accidental counselling role’ to a more structured and cohesive model, highlighting the need for further education, skills and knowledge so pharmacists can help the growing number of people suffering mental health issues.

Best abstract

Can I live longer? Will I get side effects? Understanding consumer decisions about medication use.

Tracey-Lea Laba, Jo-anne Brien and Stephen Jan, University of Sydney and The George Institute for Global Health

Best student abstract

Understanding compliance to antibiotic prescribing guidelines.

Chee Kong Teo, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW

Best poster

The medicine information needs of parents of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Rana Ahmed, Jacqueline Borst, Yong Wei Cheng and Parisa Aslani, University of Sydney and University of Nottingham

People’s choice poster

Quantifying the value of Pharmacists as NPS Facilitators in a Medicare Local.

Amy McIntyre and Aneesa Davis, Townsville-Mackay Medicare Local

The National Medicines Symposium continues today, Friday 25 May. For more information about the National MedicineWise Awards and to view today’s symposium program visit 


Independent, evidence-based and not-for-profit, NPS enables better decisions about medicines and medical tests.We are funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

Australian Prescriber is an independent peer-reviewed journal providing critical commentary on therapeutic topics for health professionals, particularly doctors in general practice. It is published by NPS, an independent, not-for-profit organisation for quality use of medicines funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. Australian Prescriber is published every two months, in hard copy that is distributed to health professionals free of charge, and online in full text at