NPS Media Releases – 1. National Medicinewise Awards recognise outstanding achievements in improving quality use of medicines 2. National Medicines Symposium shines light on the future of personalised medicine 3. Honorary Member appointments announced by NPS MedicineWise

1. National Medicinewise Awards recognise outstanding achievements in improving quality use of medicines
1 June 2018

Winners of the biennial National Medicinewise Awards have been announced as part of the 10th National Medicines Symposium (NMS) in Canberra.

The awards recognise best-practice innovations in improving quality use of medicines across seven categories, including initiatives for consumers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, health professionals and ehealth.

NPS MedicineWise Executive Manager and Chair of the NMS 2018 Program Committee Ms Kerren Hosking says, “Those winning awards are excellent examples of innovative, relevant and useful initiatives showcasing the depth of work underway across the country to support safe and effective use of medicines.”

In 2018, winning entries included new approaches to sustaining mental health, pharmacotherapeutics for remote area nurses, better medicines management in aged care services, new health care apps and initiatives designed to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Ms Hosking says, “The recipients of the 2018 National MedicineWise Awards have successfully developed programs, services and tools to meet existing and emerging challenges in the health care space and help contribute to a more medicinewise Australia.

“NPS MedicineWise is honoured to acknowledge the outstanding achievements and contributions helping improve health outcomes of Australians,” Ms Hosking adds.

The panel of judges for the National Medicinewise awards included:

Gaylene Coulton, CEO Capital Health Network

Peter Turner, Chair NPS MedicineWise

Walter Kmet, CEO WentWest

The 10th National Medicines Symposium continues in Canberra until 1 June 2018.

More information on the National Medicinewise Awards is available at 


2. National Medicines Symposium shines light on the future of personalised medicine
6 June 2018

The tenth National Medicines Symposium wrapped up in Canberra on Friday after two days of intense discussion centred on how health technologies are transforming health care and our preparedness for the future.

Delegates were treated to insights into the ‘here and now’ along with the future of healthcare from advances in genomics and precision medicine, digital transformation of the system, learning knowledge-based systems and personalised diagnostic tools and treatments.Over 300 attendees from across the health sector gathered to consider the shift from population to personalised health care.
Stimulating talks looked to the future of treatments, tests and the policy and regulatory systems underpinning health delivery in Australia and aboard.
Symposium highlights included a fascinating keynote by Professor Jeremy Nicholson, from Imperial College London, who demonstrated diagnostic and prognostic data tools that give a complete picture of an individual’s biochemical makeup to better inform treatment and surgery.
The digital stream explored governance of personal health data and its use in policy development while the latest research reviewed the potential of digital tools such as avatars and social media messaging.
The antimicrobial resistance stream was popular, providing insights into Australia’s response to this public health crisis, and innovations in clinical practice, drug discovery and point of care testing for bacterial versus viral infections.
Other discussions over the two days included:

  • The need for learning knowledge-based healthcare systems and how self-organisation, coupled with organisational resilience will lead to the engagement and empowerment of practitioners and support staff on the front line.
  • Adaptive pathways and balancing patient access to new therapies in the absence of complete evidence.
  • Phenotyping the patient journey – how systems biology tools can capture metabolic datasets that radically improve diagnostic and prognostic biomarker generation helping practitioners to make better informed decisions at point-of-care.

NPS MedicineWise Executive Manager and Chair of the NMS 2018 Program Committee, Ms Kerren Hosking, says, “NPS MedicineWise hosts NMS every two years to shine a light on quality use of health technologies and the latest evidence, research and innovations to support good health decision making.
This year NMS explored the impact of personalised medicine across the health sector now, and how we might respond to some of the challenges ahead, and gave delegates access to thought-provoking thinking in this space.”

Selected podcasts from key NMS 2018 sessions will be available in the coming weeks on the NPS MedicineWise website.
Digital posters are also available:

The next National Medicines Symposium will be held in 2020.

3. Honorary Member appointments announced by NPS MedicineWise
8 June 2018 

Recognising significant contributions made to the quality use of medicines and medical tests by individuals

NPS MedicineWise has announced the appointment of three Honorary Members as part of a bi-annual process to publicly acknowledge outstanding and long-term commitments individuals have made to improving the quality use of medicines and medical tests in Australia. Honorary lifetime memberships, presented at the National Medicines Symposium 2018 in Canberra last week, were awarded to: 

  • Jo Watson, a consumer advocate and Deputy Chair of the Consumers Health Forum
  • Geraldine Moses, doctor of clinical pharmacy, who has provided medicines information to members of the Australian Dental Association for over three decades


  • Mitchell Claes, Director of Clinical Advice Management for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), who has worked with veterans’ health issues since 2001.

Dr Lynn Weekes, CEO of NPS MedicineWise says, “The honorary membership category was introduced in 2011 to recognise significant contributions made to the quality use of medicines and medical tests by individuals.
The process for appointment invites nominations from our members, directors, advisory groups and staff. We’re delighted to recognise three people who continue to bring important medicines safety and efficacy issues to their communities.”

Jo Watson

Jo Watson has been a consumer advocate in health for several decades and alongside her position with the Consumers Health Forum, Ms Watson is also Chair of the HTA Consumer Consultative Committee, within the Commonwealth Department of Health. Ms Watson is a member of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee and became the first Deputy Chair in 2017.

Geraldine Moses

Geraldine Moses provides a national medicines information service for members of the Australian Dental Association called ‘Pharma-Advice’, answering medicine-related questions submitted via website, phone, email, or text message from ADA members throughout Australia.
Dr Moses continues to work part-time at the Mater Hospital in Brisbane and as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Pharmacy, University of Queensland.
She also consults to organisations such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Queensland Office of Health Ombudsman and the New Zealand Dental Association. 

In 2013, Dr Moses received ADA Queensland branch’s Medal of Merit for services to the dental profession as a non-dentist. Dr Moses has had a long association with NPS MedicineWise having been involved in the establishment of the NPS Medicines Line and Adverse Medicine Events Line and their first decade of operation.

Mitchell Claes

During his time with DVA, Mitchell Claes has been the Director of Veterans’ Affairs Pharmaceutical Advisory Centre and National Director of Pharmaceutical programs.
Mr Claes has been involved with the editorial committee of the Veterans Medicines Advice and Therapeutic Education Service project for many years which aims to improve the use of medicines and related health services in the veteran community.
He is also responsible for the Drug Review Safety and Pain Management Program which assists prescribers and their veteran patients who require high-risk or high dose opioid analgesics and/or sedative medications.

Honorary membership is for life or until the person resigns their membership. The honorary members are not current employees or directors of NPS MedicineWise.

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