NPS Media Releases – 1. Chronic Pain 2. Primary Health Partners Education 3. New Members for Choosing Wisely

23 JULY 2015

Chronic pain is complex and can be difficult to treat. One in five Australians, including children and adolescents, live with chronic pain.In Australians aged 65 years or over this rises to one in three.

For this National Pain Week, with the theme ‘Pain … Let’s talk about it’, NPS MedicineWise is releasing resources developed for Australians living with chronic pain. An aim is to encourage people living with chronic pain to have conversations about their experiences and concerns with a range of health providers and others who can provide support.

People who are actively engaged in self-management techniques report lower levels of pain-related disability, improvements in mood, better general health and reduced use of health services.

NPS MedicineWise Clinical Adviser Dr Andrew Boyden explains that, “It is important for people with chronic pain to be well informed and supported in ways that allow them to be actively involved in their own management.

“Chronic pain can cause disruption to many aspects of people’s lives. However, an individual’s experience of pain is unique to them and being able to have good and open communication with their healthcare providers and other supporters is an important aspect of pain management.”

Resources that can assist with this important conversation and other aspects of active self-management include:

Chronic pain communication tool

This free online tool has been developed to help Australians with chronic pain identify issues they would like to discuss with their doctor, specialist, psychologist, friends, family or partner.

Users of the chronic pain communication tool can:

*  Create a personal summary (as a printout or PDF) of the issues they would like to talk about

*  Link to chronic pain information, resources and tools relevant to them

*  Use the personalised summary to start a conversation and keep track of progress.

My pain diary

For people living with chronic pain, a pain diary can be used to record how pain is affecting their daily activities and how medicines, other therapies and activities may be influencing their pain. 

The downloadable NPS MedicineWise pain diary aims to help people and their healthcare providers to:

*  Understand what makes the pain worse and what helps to relieve pain

*  Track responses to a pain management plan, including changes in medicines or other therapies.

Chronic pain knowledge hub

Through the NPS MedicineWise website, people can find clearly written information covering topics from what chronic pain is and why each person’s experience is unique, to the many different strategies that can help manage pain and improve function. 

Access the NPS MedicineWise chronic pain communication tool here.

Access the NPS MedicineWise ‘My pain diary’ here.

NPS MedicineWise online information about chronic pain is available here.


22 JULY 2015

In a new initiative for the leading national provider of large-scale medical centres, Primary Health Care, NPS MedicineWise and the Primary Health Care Institute are pleased to announce a partnership in which NPS MedicineWise will support the continuing professional development of Primary Health Care health professionals.

The partnership enables educational visits with NPS MedicineWise clinical services specialists—independent, evidence-based learning that focuses on quality use of medicines and medical tests.

Primary Health Care operates a total of 71 medical centres across Australia, with approximately 1300 general practitioners, specialists and allied health professionals within its network. Primary Health Care facilitates 7.5 million consultations with GPs every year which is around 7% of national GP care, and also operates imaging clinics and pathology labs.

Primary Health Care Institute CEO and Managing Director, Peter Gregg, says providing learning opportunities is a key focus for the network and Primary has a strong commitment to education and continuing professional development.

‘Primary continues to focus on training opportunities for our doctors and practitioners and are we delighted to be partnering with NPSMedicineWise to ensure our professionals have access to the best and most recent thinking on medicines and medical tests,” says Mr Gregg.

“This educational partnership will bolster existing learning initiatives at Primary, including regular clinical training accredited through the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and available via the Primary Health Care Institute.”

NPS MedicineWise CEO Dr Lynn Weekes said she is delighted that NPS MedicineWise programs will be available to Primary Health Care staff through this new partnership with the Primary Health Care Institute.

“Keeping up-to-date is a constant challenge for busy health professionals. The educational partnership enables us to deliver our educational programs face-to-face throughout the Primary network and will support practitioners to make better decisions in line with the latest evidence and best practice,” says Dr Weekes.

“This partnership with Primary Health Care Institute will enhance and build on Primary’s commitment to fostering continuous learning across its network.”

The partnership will commence with NPS MedicineWise’s latest educational program Blood Pressure: measure, manage, monitor. The programs contribute to continuing professional development (CPD), visits are a Quality Prescribing Incentive (QPI) activity with the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) and eligible for RACGP QI&CPD and/or ACRRM professional development program credits.

For more information on NPS MedicineWise programs visit

For more information on Primary Health Care Institute visit


21 JULY 2015

Choosing Wisely Australia® is pleased to announce the next wave of colleges and societies to join the initiative that is addressing unnecessary practices and questioning tests, treatments and procedures of proven low value. The number of participating colleges and societies is growing as the campaign continues to build momentum.

Choosing Wisely Australia welcomes:

*  The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists

*  Australian College of Nursing

*  College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand

*  Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society

*  The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia

*  Australian Physiotherapy Association.

Dr Robyn Lindner, Client Relations Manager at NPS MedicineWise says, “We are delighted to welcome another six colleges and specialty societies to Choosing Wisely Australia.
Participation in this initiative continues to broaden across the medical profession with the introduction of specialties including ophthalmology and intensive care medicine. It also sees the welcome addition of other health professionals with nursing, hospital pharmacy and physiotherapy all represented in this next wave.”

Focused on high quality care, Choosing Wisely Australia is enabling health professionals, healthcare stakeholders and everyday Australians to start important conversations about tests, treatments and procedures where evidence shows they provide limited or no benefit and in some cases can lead to harm.

The first Choosing Wisely Australia recommendations were released in April 2015 by five medical colleges and societies. The latest wave of Choosing Wisely Australia participants will release their lists of recommendations on tests, treatments and procedures to question in early 2016.

For more information visit

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