Pharmacists can help prevent rising pharmaceutical overdose rates: Pharmacy 777

Media Release

31 August 2018





This International Overdose Awareness Day (August 31), Pharmacy 777 joins ScriptWise to shine a light on the alarming increase in deaths due to prescription medications, and how they can be prevented.


The Penington Institute’s Annual Overdose Report released this week shows Western Australia saw a 2.7 time increase in accidental drug-related deaths involving prescription opioids in just a decade, which is the greatest increase seen in Australia.


Pharmacy 777 Managing Director Kim Brotherson says that pharmacists are uniquely placed to help community members avoid harms associated with the use of high-risk medications such as prescription opioids.


 “Patients often think because medications are prescribed, they are safe to use however it’s often the combination of medications a person takes which can lead to serious problems, and can even be fatal. It is not uncommon for people to self-manage their medication, especially for pain and this can lead to dependence. It can happen to anyone,” said Mr Brotherson.


“It’s important Pharmacists make patients feel comfortable to talk to them about their concerns.
We can support patients who feel they are uncertain about their medication use and help them to understand not only how to manage their medications to avoid safety risks but also how to ensure they are still working well for their intended therapy,” he said.


National non-profit organisation, ScriptWise, recently launched a new campaign to ensure health professionals and community members avoid using the potentially fatal combination of prescription opioids and sedative medications (benzodiazepines).


“We’re starting to see increased awareness in the media and in communities around how addictive prescription opioids can be, even after only taking them for a short time,” says ScriptWise CEO Bee Mohamed.


“But it’s concerning that patients aren’t often warned that combining prescription opioids with sedative medications such as Valium, or even alcohol, actually increases the risks of overdose.”


“We work with too many family members who’ve lost loved ones who were taking their medications as prescribed, it was just the combination of medications that led to their death. These deaths are preventable.”


Pharmacy 777 encourages the community to make a free appointment for a professional medication review consultation with their local Pharmacy 777 Pharmacist.





For further information or interviews please contact


For Pharmacy 777

Chiara Kyte

p: 08 9316 7819



For ScriptWise

Lara Beissbarth

m: 0425 872 744









ScriptWise is a non-profit organisation dedicated to preventing prescription medication related harms in Australia. We work with our partners and those personally affected to help improve health literacy and to advocate for essential health interventions to ensure Australians can achieve a better quality of life. To find out more please visit:





Pharmacy 777 is committed to providing personalised service and effective health advice to make a difference in the lives of patients and the wider community. Our ongoing work with our partners and the wider health care network, promotes a collaborative approach and encourages the quality use of medicines for improved patient health outcomes. For more information, please visit


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