New major health promotion campaign to get Aussies to be medicinewise

27 January 2011

A new mass media campaign that focuses on why Australians need to pay more attention to their medicines launches this Sunday on Network 7.

The Be Medicinewise campaign has been developed by NPS, an independent organisation funded by the federal government to provide medicine information to health professionals and consumers. Formerly known as the National Prescribing Service, this is the first mass media event for the organisation under its new name, NPS: better choices, better health.

Over the next four months the campaign will address what it means to be medicinewise and why it’s important, followed by more specific messages about managing pain and generic medicines. The concept of being medicinewise will be used as an umbrella idea to illustrate all future health and medicine topics NPS covers.

“People assume that because medicines improve our health they are completely safe, often people take them with little consideration. But just as medicines have benefits, they also come with risks. These risks are heightened when people don’t understand what it is, what they’re taking it for and how it could affect them,” NPS clinical adviser, Dr Danielle Stowasser said.

“Each year around 140,000 Australians are hospitalised due to medicine mishaps, many of which involve double-dosing and interactions between medicines. These are often avoidable by being medicinewise – realising what is a medicine, knowing the active ingredient in your medicines and asking the right questions before taking a medicine.”

The media buy with the Seven Group has been managed by Slingshot Media Ventures, which successfully negotiated a package that included significant editorial coverage alongside advertisements. Advertisements feature everyday Australians asking the question ‘why?’ against the backdrop of NPS’s new pattern logo.

“When NPS approached us about managing the media buy for this campaign we saw a unique opportunity to help build a brand alongside a public health campaign. Not many Australians know about NPS but it’s an invaluable information source for anyone who takes medicines – which is most of us,” Slingshot General Manager, Karen Halligan said.

Advertisements will air for the first time on Channel 7 during Sunday’s Sunrise program and run all day, with special permission to also air during the men’s tennis singles finals. Ads and editorial content have also been arranged for regional television, Pacific magazines, Fairfax radio network (2UE, 3AW etc), Yahoo, SBS television and News Limited’s Body & Soul pullout. Outside the media buy, partnerships are being negotiated with SBS radio, Playgroup Australia, Kid’s Spot, Sporting Pulse, HCF and Healthways.

The campaign launches with Be Medicinewise Week (30 Jan – 6 Feb), which is an opportunity for people to stop and think more about their medicines. New research and case studies will be released throughout the week.

For further information 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.