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.
Campaign recall was almost 50% despite being supported by a modest media budget over a 7-week campaign period.
- Among those exposed to the campaign, recognition of the risks associated with prescription drug misuse rose by 20%, while the proportion of the audience who would be highly likely to discuss these risks with their health professional rose by 33%.
- As of 4 April (approximately half of the way through the campaign period), 9,472 health professionals have registered for SafeScript in Victoria.
SafeScript was a recipient of an IPAA Award