Pharmacists – experts in the language of medicines

Monday 19 August 2019


Be Medicinewise Week 2019 is about getting to know the language of medicines – and pharmacists are best placed to assist patients gain this knowledge.


As part of NPS Medicinewise’s Be Medicinewise Week, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) is encouraging people to talk to their pharmacist to increase their understanding of their medicines.


PSA National President Dr Chris Freeman said pharmacists’ first priority was the health and wellbeing of patients and they were committed to supporting patients through every step of their care.


“As medicine experts, pharmacists speak the language of medicines and can help patients not only increase their health literacy, but empower them to be active participants in their health care,” he said.


“This, in turn, will help reduce medicine-related problems and improve patient health outcomes.”


PSA’s Medicine Safety: Take Care report revealed that medicine-related problems cause 250,000 hospital admissions and 400,000 emergency department presentations in Australia each year, costing the healthcare system $1.4 billion annually. At least half of this harm is avoidable, and pharmacists are the key to improving the safe and quality use of medicines.


“PSA encourages people to speak to their pharmacist whenever there is a change in their medicines or health circumstances, or anytime they have concerns,” Dr Freeman said.


“Pharmacists are uniquely placed within the healthcare system and the frequency with which they interact with patients means they are best equipped to identify a medicine-related issue and resolve it immediately.”


PSA is proud to support Be Medicinewise Week and NPS Medicinewise’s ongoing work to increase the safe and quality use of medicines.


PSA echoes NPS Medicinewise’s call for patients to know all the medicines they are taking and why they are taking them, understand the instructions on how to take their medicines, and ask pharmacists any questions they have about their medicines.


Be MedicinewiseWeek 2019 runs from 19-25 August. To learn more visit: nps.org.au/bemedicinewise.



Media contact:   Carly Lusk, Public Affairs Officer – 0487 922 176