'Medicine misuse can happen to anyone' is the theme of NPS MedicineWise's 7th annual campaign. Are you at risk? 

From 21 to 27 August, we are encouraging Australians to be safe and wise with their medicines by taking them as directed

This year Be Medicinewise Week will shine a light on medicine misuse and the many ways misuse can happen – obvious, and not so obvious. The week promotes the wise use of medicines and encourages all Australians to be proactive in taking their medicines safely.

Be Medicinewise Week will focus on some of the common ways people could be misusing medicines. This might be:

  • taking medicines at the wrong time, or the wrong dose
  • taking medicines in unsafe ways such as opening capsules or cutting patches
  • sharing medicines with family or friends
  • mixing medicines, leading to incorrect dosing or side effects
  • taking medicines with other substances like illegal drugs or alcohol.

“We want all Australians to be aware that misusing prescription and over-the-counter medicines can potentially cause harm”, says NPS MedicineWise CEO, Dr Lynn Weekes.

Dr Weekes says Be Medicinewise Week will also raise awareness about how easily dependency on pain and sleep medications can develop, and remind people about the safe use of preparations containing codeine.

“During the week we’ll be encouraging everyone to read medicine labels and packaging and proactively seek out the right information and advice they need about taking their medicines from their health professionals.”

Health professionals are invited to support the week by using a range of free resource materials available for download now at nps.org.au/bemedicinewise. These include tool kits, posters and flyers. Ideas for holding Be Medicinewise Week events and using social media to spread the word about medicine misuse are also available online. 

For further information please contact:

Eve Hanks 02 8217 8667, 0419 618 365 or ehanks@nps.org.au.

Case studies available for review.

Visit nps.org.au/bemedicinewise to learn more

Independent, evidence-based and not-for-profit, NPS MedicineWise enables better decisions about medicines and medical tests.

We receive funding from the Australian Government Department of Health.