NPS Media Releases – 1. Tropfest Film 2. Choosing Wisely 3. Colleges & Societies Unite

30 April 2015

TropfestTropfest-backed short film competition offering up to $10k in prizes to raise awareness about antibiotic resistance.

NPS-MedicinewiseTropfest, the world’s largest short film festival, has partnered with NPS MedicineWise to launch an industry-first short film competition to raise awareness and help fight antibiotic resistance this cold and flu season.

Filmmakers of all skill levels are encouraged to start story-boarding ideas. The brief: make an award-winning short film/community service announcement (CSA) of up to 45 seconds about the threat of antibiotic resistance and how awareness of #savethescript can help fight this global issue.

The World Health Organization has warned that antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to human health today. Australia has one of the highest prescription rates globally, with around 24 million prescriptions issued annually.

As well as delivering a vitally important health message to Australians, Tropfest and NPS MedicineWise are offering a prize pool of $10,000 in cash prizes as well as global exposure for the winning films via Tropfest’s platforms.

Tropfest Managing Director, Michael Laverty says this competition provides filmmakers with a new opportunity to further their skill and experience, “Storytellers have a unique opportunity to use their craft to raise awareness about this global health threat. We at Tropfest know Australians to be incredibly creative and we’re excited about the unique challenge this competition presents. We’re looking forward to seeing what stories are shared.”

NPS MedicineWise CEO Dr Lynn Weekes says, “Antibiotic resistance is here—it’s a serious health issue already in our community, but there are simple actions individuals can do to help stop its spread. Without action today we face a future where antibiotics are no longer effective against bacterial infections. A recent prediction from the UK stated that antibiotic resistance could lead to an extra 10 million deaths a year worldwide by 2050.”

NPS MedicineWise is half way through a five-year campaign to make Australians aware of the seriousness of the issue and educate individuals about the steps they can take to preserve the miracle of antibiotics. This new short film competition gives creative Australians a unique opportunity to join the fight against antibiotic resistance.

Tropfest Managing Director, Michael Laverty says, “The short film competition is an industry first—a creative and truly collaborative initiative addressing a global issue.”

So join the challenge: entries will be accepted every day in May. To find out more, to submit an entry, and for terms and conditions, visit

Save the Script video promo:

For more information about antibiotic resistance, visit

29 April 2015

ChoosingWiselyChoosing Wisely Australia® launches today—kick-starting a national conversation about more appropriate health care. In a first for Australia, medical colleges and societies have united to take the lead on identifying those tests, treatments and procedures they think are of proven low value or carry an unnecessary risk.

Among the lists are recommendations on food allergy testing, prostate cancer screening, vitamin D screening, monitoring of type 2 diabetes, benzodiazepine prescribing, emergency medicine procedures and ankle and spine imaging.

The initiative is health profession-led and is facilitated by NPS MedicineWise. The national medical societies and colleges releasing recommendations today are the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists and The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia.

Imaging for low back pain? Think again

The ordering of diagnostic imaging for patients with non-specific acute low back pain is listed as a test to question.  “Low back pain is the third most common health complaint seen by Australian general practitioners. Imaging for acute low back pain is one of the tests to feature on our list—it is not recommended for patients with non-specific low back pain, the majority of these patients,” says Dr Gregory Slater from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR).

“Imaging is only indicated initially if the patient has indicators of a serious spinal condition, spinal canal stenosis or sciatica. Implementing this recommendation on lower back pain, as well as our other Choosing Wisely Australia recommendations on imaging will result in improved imaging access to appropriate and quality tests and better patient care.”

Treatment for heartburn and reflux? Question long-term use

Long-term use of one of Australia’s most prescribed medicines, called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) which are used to treat stomach acid and reflux, is also listed as a treatment to question. Last financial year the cost of anti-acid medication was $450 million, with prescription volume increasing 9% annually.

“One of our ‘top 5’ items is to not prescribe these medicines long term in patients with uncomplicated disease whose symptoms are well-controlled without regular attempts at reducing dose or ceasing. The treatment is on the RACGP Choosing Wisely list because unnecessary long term use can potentially lead to adverse effects alongside a significant cost to both patients and the health system,” says Dr Frank R Jones, President of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).

Stimulating informed conversations

“The launch of Choosing Wisely Australia will stimulate informed conversations about the right care, with the ultimate goal to ensure delivery of high-quality healthcare for Australians by reducing inappropriate care. The initiative challenges the notion that more is always better when it comes to healthcare. Australians can use their voice and ask what the risks are of a test, treatment or procedure,” says NPS MedicineWise CEO Dr Lynn Weekes.

“NPS MedicineWise is proud to be facilitating Choosing Wisely in Australia, and I congratulate the five inaugural colleges and societies involved in this initiative for releasing their evidence-based recommendations today and sharing them with Australian health professionals and consumers. These lists are just the beginning of a national conversation about appropriate healthcare.”

Choosing Wisely Australia will continue as a new voice in Australian healthcare as other medical colleges and societies come on board and release their own lists. Several are already lined up to release theirs before the end of 2015.

Choosing Wisely Australia is modelled after the successful Choosing Wisely campaign in the United States, launched in 2012 by the American Board of Internal Medicine’s ABIM Foundation.

Clear, evidence-based and straightforward materials have been developed for both consumers and health professionals to support better decisions. These are available on the Choosing Wisely Australia website launching today at

Full copies of the “5 things clinicians and consumers should question” from each participating medical college and society are now available on the official website.

29 April 2015

Following the success of international campaigns, Choosing Wisely Australia® officially launches Wednesday 29 April 2015 with clinicians from across the medical profession uniting to rethink the culture of the overuse of some tests, treatments and procedures.

Focused on high-quality care, the initiative is led by Australia’s medical colleges and societies and facilitated by NPSMedicineWise. Choosing Wisely Australia encourages clinicians and consumers to start important conversations about tests, procedures and treatments where the evidence shows they are of proven low value or unnecessary harm.

On 29 April 2015 the first five medical colleges and societies will announce their lists of ‘Five things clinicians and consumers should question’ at a media launch. The colleges and societies involved are:

*  Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

*  Royal College of Pathologists Australasia

*  Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists

*  Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy

*  Australasian College of Emergency Medicine


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