National Medicinewise Awards recognise outstanding achievements in improving quality use of medicines

The awards recognise best-practice innovations in improving quality use of medicines across seven categories, including initiatives for consumers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, health professionals and ehealth.

NPS MedicineWise Executive Manager and Chair of the NMS 2018 Program Committee Ms Kerren Hosking says, “Those winning awards are excellent examples of innovative, relevant and useful initiatives showcasing the depth of work underway across the country to support safe and effective use of medicines.”

In 2018, winning entries included new approaches to sustaining mental health, pharmacotherapeutics for remote area nurses, better medicines management in aged care services, new health care apps and initiatives designed to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Ms Hosking says, “The recipients of the 2018 National MedicineWise Awards have successfully developed programs, services and tools to meet existing and emerging challenges in the health care space and help contribute to a more medicinewise Australia.

“NPS MedicineWise is honoured to acknowledge the outstanding achievements and contributions helping improve health outcomes of Australians,” Ms Hosking adds.

The panel of judges for the National Medicinewise awards included:

  • Gaylene Coulton, CEO Capital Health Network
  • Peter Turner, Chair NPS MedicineWise
  • Walter Kmet, CEO WentWest

The 10th National Medicines Symposium continues in Canberra until 1 June 2018.

More information on the National Medicinewise Awards is available at


Categoriesand winners

Consumer initiatives: community or population level

Winner: Larissa Hallam
Organisation: Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, Mental Health and Addiction Services
Title: Stages of Medication Administration

The Stages of Medication Administration or SOMA is an initiative that supports staff working in mental health units by enabling them to determine each resident’s ability to independently manage and adhere to their medication regimen and competently communicate this to their support networks, enhancing their ability to live more independently.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander initiatives

Winner: Steve Cohen
Organisation: Our Pills Talk Ltd
Title: Our Pills Talk Medication Safety App

The Our Pills Talk Medication Safety App is a unique piece of technology that assists with Reducing Adverse Drug Events among indigenous communities. The app literally talks patients through the process of taking their medicines to ensure safety and accuracy in medicines consumption. The app helps to save lives, reduces emergency department (ED) admissions and provides accuracy for ED and locum GPs, with the patient’s medication history safely stored in the cloud.

Health professional programs: >$100,000 budget and < $100,000 budget

Winner > $100,000 budget: Dr Geoff Broomhall and team
Organisation: Eastern Melbourne PHN and North-Western Melbourne PHN
Title: Health Pathways

This project showcases a collaborative approach to the general health of the population, encouraging delivery by primary care. It demonstrates a comprehensive source of data and advice for GPs. A Melbourne focus with national appeal.

Winner < $100,000 budget: Tobias Speare
Organisation: Centre for Remote Health
Title: Pharmacotherapeutics for Remote Area Nurses

This project developed an online short course in safe medicines management, promoting quality use of medicines and patient care for the remote nursing workforce. Results show that the pharmacotherapeutics course helps improve self-reported knowledge, confidence, awareness and competence particularly in relation to patient-centred care and clinical reasoning associated with management of medications and the use of appropriate resources to support practice.

Excellence in consumer information

Winner: Nicole McDerby
Organisation: University of Canberra
Title: Can inclusion of clinical pharmacist services in residential aged care homes improve quality use of medicines for residents?

This entry was an Australian first, piloting a residential care pharmacist model within the aged care setting. The research highlighted many promising areas for improving quality use of medicines, including improved safety in medication administration in a population at high risk of medication misadventure.

Excellence in e-health resources

Winner: Gustavo de Carvahelo Machado
Organisation: Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney
Title: STARS Back Pain App – using real-time ED data to improve patient outcomes

This award winner developed an app as a data analytics and benchmarking tool to capture and improve the evidence-based management of patients presenting to emergency departments with low back pain. The app enables clinicians to access real-time data, identify unwarranted clinical variation, evaluate healthcare practices and optimise patient outcomes.

Excellence in media reporting

Winner: Jason Gale
Organisation: Bloomberg News
Title: How Antibiotic-Tainted Seafood from China Ends Up on Your Table

Jason’s story gave unique insights into the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance and why it is one of the biggest threats to global health. He developed an investigative story focussing on the use of antibiotics in food-animal production in China and India and how the abuse of antibiotics has spread to aquaculture, the fastest-growing segment of the world food economy. Jason revealed how illegal and lax practices have enabled antibiotic-laden shrimp from China to be laundered through Malaysia and sent to thousands of suppliers in the United States.


Media contact

Juliet Pisani-Forde
02 8217 8249, 0419 618 365 or [email protected]

Independent, not-for-profit and evidence-based. NPS MedicineWise enables better decisions about medicines, medical tests and other health technologies. We receive funding from the Australian Government Department of Health.