Prescription drugs now kill more Victorians each year than road accidents. In order to address this issue, the Victorian Government has introduced SafeScript, a clinical tool that provides information about a patient’s prescription history for certain high-risk medicines. It facilitates the early identification, treatment and support for patients who are developing signs of dependence.
Six months of intensive research into public and user attitudes revealed low levels of understanding of the issue of prescription drug misuse; that the issue was surrounded by stigma, fear and secrecy and that there was a lack of understanding of how easily a patient could graduate from responsible use of a prescribed drug to a state of dependency.
A deep engagement with a reference group of health professionals completed the picture as DPR&Co developed a strategic and creative response to this challenge.
Our New Real process enabled the seamless integration of expert views from healthcare providers with audience research and message testing and, finally, qualitative and quantitative concept testing.
Being such a high-profile campaign, a significant part of the campaign management involved a multi-stakeholder approval process including the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Department of Premier and Cabinet. The campaign was rolled out in regional areas as a precursor to a metropolitan launch in March 2019.
Results to date
Regional trials indicate very strong campaign performance unusually high levels of both aided and unaided recall and campaign messages recall in line with research predictions during concept testing.
The program was the recipient of an IPAA Award.