Medication: Myths, Mistakes and Misuse Forum

The Australian Patients Association held a public forum on the impact of medication use on August 5, 2018 in Melbourne. Led by keynote speaker Dr Freda Lewis-Hall, the audience heard case studies from patients and health experts on the positive educational initiatives being undertaken around medication use as well as the potential side effects of not taking medications properly.

More than half of Australians consuming prescription medications could be following practices against their doctor’s instructions according to new findings from the Australian Patients Association.

The consumer perception survey of Australian Patients Association members found even those who considered themselves to be proficient at managing their medicines still engaged in unsafe practices.

93 percent of respondents agreed that not taking medicines as directed could cause harm, and 90 percent were confident that they took medication correctly as prescribed at all times, yet the findings revealed complacency in consumer behaviour.

Half of respondents admitted to not completing their prescription as directed by their health professional, and 38% said they do not check if their medicines have expired before taking.

The findings reveal a perception gap where risky practices are being pursued even by those who believe they are complying correctly with their medication.

For nearly a decade, the Australian Patients Association has worked tirelessly to champion and protect the rights and interests of patients and improve patient care and health outcomes. Educating patients and the community about appropriate use of medicines is an ongoing and important campaign as our research shows that over half of patients do not complete their prescription as directed by their GP and nearly 40% of patients do not check if their medicines have expired before taking.

APA CEO Stephen Mason

Pfizer Chief Medical Officer, Dr Freda Lewis-Hall

Melbourne GP Dr George Dade

Pharmacy Guild Victoria President Anthony Tassone outlines the upcoming rollout of SafeScript in Victoria

Alana Jordan gives the patient experience