About the week

Be Medicinewise Week helps Australians get the most out of their prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines.

The seventh annual Be Medicinewise Week is 21–27 August, promoting the safe and wise use of medicines. This year we are reminding Australians that medicine misuse can happen to anyone. 

Download our toolkit and help spread the message.

What is medicine misuse?

If people are NOT taking medicines as directed then they may be misusing them. This might be:

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

Did you know?

  • Alcohol interacts with over 150 medicines
  • Codeine-related deaths are on the rise
  • One in 10 Australians over 14 years old has misused prescription pain-relievers or opioid medicines
  • Sleeping pills are not useful long-term and can do more harm than good.
  • If you have questions about your medicines, speak to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Being medicinewise means asking the right questions

Materials and resources

Our campaign toolkit includes tips and tools for spreading medicinewise messages.

Date published:10 Aug 2017

Display our posters in your workplace and find suggestions for encouraging medicinewise behaviour.

Date published:03 Aug 2017
Date published:03 Aug 2017

Take a break from the regular grind at work and host your own Be Medicinewise Week event. Win a voucher up to $500 for morning tea for your workplace – take a picture of your decorated office/organisation and tag us on Facebook and/or Twitter with #BeMedicinewise to enter. Read terms and conditions.

The social media guide included in the campaign toolkit (see above) has been created to assist you with copy to include as you share Be Medicinewise Week resources and messages.

Date published:08 Aug 2017

Previous Be Medicinewise Weeks


We encouraged people to ask the right questions, ask the right people and follow the right advice to get the most out of their medicines.

30k video views


Jimmy Rees (from ‘Giggle and Hoot’) helped us remind parents and carers how to properly administer medicines to children.

732 media hits


Dr D’Arcy returned to encourage older Australians to prepare for any medicine-related issues they might face.

270 media hits


Bert Newton and Dr John D’Arcy were celebrity ambassadors, asking older Australians to take a medicine challenge each day.

10k web visits


Following its success, the campaign ran annually. We encouraged people to understand medicines and their active ingredients.

3.5M reached


Be Medicinewise Week sparked a national conversation on the safe and wise use of medicines. The campaign was featured on Channel 7, TMS, radio and included brand ambassadors like Mel Doyle.

1.5M reached