Real talk on pain

TerryWhite Chemmart plans to drive consumer awareness of holistic pain management with a six-week campaign launching Thursday

The launch precedes this year’s National Pain Week, which runs from July 22-28.

The extensive consumer campaign will include education for pharmacists and pharmacy staff on non-medical pain management solutions, up-to-date advice from allied health professionals on the TerryWhite Chemmart website and a new Real talk webinar series to connect with customers in their home.

The Real talk series will be presented by experts in pain management including Painaustralia which, at TerryWhite Chemmart’s recent masterclass, acknowledged the importance of pharmacy in addressing this major health issue.

The series will cover such topics as pain medication use and pain management tips while at home during Covid-19, nutrition and movement to support pain management and mindfulness as a tool to manage pain.

The campaign is partly in response to recently released data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare suggesting that Australia is on the verge of a pain pandemic with pain costing the country a staggering $140 billion dollar every year.

According to Painaustralia CEO Carol Bennett, lack of general awareness around effective pain management has resulted in a 67% increase in GP visits over the last decade and a stronger dependance on prescription opioids to manage what is a multi-faceted, complex condition that needs more sophisticated responses.

“We need better awareness among consumers about holistic pain management treatment options – and we need to ensure those options exist,” she said.

“That’s why we are happy to be working with the team and pharmacists at TerryWhite Chemmart to shine a light on the importance of people living with chronic pain staying in touch with their allied health network and their role in providing practical advice and support to consumers about managing their pain conditions.”

While the Covid-19 health crisis has seen a significant drop in the number of GP presentations due to social isolation, Carol Bennett sees ‘a small glimmer of a silver lining’ with an increase in GP telephone consultations improving accessibility to pain management for Australians living in rural and regional areas.

Data released by Painaustralia shows that Australians in rural and remote areas tend to experience higher rates of medication prescription, including opioids, likely due to higher prevalence of the condition and decreased access to appropriate pain management interventions.

According to TerryWhite Chemmart CEO Duncan Phillips, the focus on upskilling pharmacists through better education which significantly helps drive the customer connection.

“The series of pain webinars we are offering are part of our broader series of Realtalk webinars we have put together over the next few months by working with a number of key health organisations such as Painaustralia,” he said.

“The pharmacist’s role is and will always remain critical to supporting patients with chronic conditions.”

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  1. Dr Evan Ackermann

    And when will the results of the chronic pain medscheck trial be known?

    • Sheshtyn Paola

      Thanks Evan, I will follow this up for you with Health Consult. I am also interested in finding out the results for the evaluation of 6CPA community pharmacy programs, being conducted by the same organisation.
      Sheshtyn Paola (journalist, AJP)

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