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Be Medicinewise

Jul 30, 2019

19-25 August Week 2019


What is Be Medicinewise Week?

Be Medicinewise Week was introduced in 2011 as the launch event for the
Be Medicinewise Campaign. It sparked a national conversation about how to
be safe and wise about medicines.

In 2012 following encouragement from community groups and pharmacies, it was decided to establish the week as an annual campaign to raise awareness of the importance of being medicinewise.

In 2013, the campaign focused on medicines and older people. Entertainer Bert Newton and Dr John D’Arcy were our ambassadors.

In 2014, the theme was ‘Are your medicines helping or hindering?’ with an emphasis on medication safety. Themes covered ncluded: complementary medicines, inadvertent medicines misuse, pain killers/analgesia, hazardous environments and medicines use in the home environment.

In 2015, the campaign theme was ‘Be medicinewise at all ages and life stages’. One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to your medicines – people at different ages and stages in life may need to use medicines quite differently. Jimmy Rees (better known as Jimmy Giggle from ‘Giggle and Hoot’) helped us remind parents and carers how to properly administer medicine to children to prevent adverse events.

In 2016, the campaign encouraged Australians to ‘Take Charge!’ of their medicines and their health. This was achieved by getting people to: Ask the right questions; Ask the right people; and Follow the right advice.

In 2017 the theme of the campaign was ‘medicine misuse can happen to anyone’. We encouraged everyone to be aware of the potential dangers and the importance of using medicines safely and according to instructions to avoid potential harm.

In 2018 the theme was ‘Medicinewise families’. We promoted tips for being medicinewise in the home, the safe use of medicines during pregnancy and when caring for children, the safe storage and disposal of medicines and where families can find trusted sources of information about medicines.

Independent, not-for-profit and evidence-based, NPS MedicineWise exists to help people make and act on the best decisions about medicines, medical tests and other health choices. Since our inception in 1998, we have adapted to the changing health landscape, ensuring sustainable, safe and effective use of medicines and medical tests and delivering better health and economic outcomes.
Consumers are at the centre of quality use of medicines and medical tests. And initiatives like our campaigns, community engagement, communication tools and resources aim to encourage community conversations and help build a medicinewise Australia.


The ninth annual Be Medicinewise Week is 19–25 August 2019 and is about knowing
how to communicate and learn about medicines to get the most out of them, safely.
This is important in both English and non-English speaking communities.


1. Know all the medicines you take and why you take them. Keeping an up-todate
medicines list is a great way to keep track of your medicines.
2. Understand the instructions for taking your medicines. Medicines
only work if you take them properly, and you can only take them properly if you
understand the instructions.
3. Check with your health professional before starting any new medicine.
A health professional can help you balance the benefits of a medicine with any
potential risks.
4. Ask questions if there is anything you don’t understand about your
medicines. Seeking information from a trusted source can help you get the most out
of your medicines, safely.

To find all the information about this year’s campaign, please go to


a medicines list in your language to keep track of your medicines

the latest information about being medicinewise at

Find 5 questions
you can ask your doctor or other healthcare provider about tests, treatments
and procedures at

consumers can call our Medicines Line on 1300 MEDICINE (1300 633 424)

our free MedicineWise app

Follow us
on Facebook and Twitter

To find information about this year’s campaign, please go to