Skip to content Skip to menu

Medicines key to seniors staying well

Friday, 26 October 2012

Media Release

A new report released by National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre has found that prescription medicines are currently used by 81% of Australians over the age of 50, with 24% taking five medicines or more.

More than half of people surveyed for the report, Senior Australians and Prescription Medicines state there would be a significant impact on their functioning (46%) or they could not function in the workplace and everyday life at all (7%) if they were unable to take their prescription medicines.

Nearly half (47%) of respondents reported their health as good, and an additional 22% perceived their health as very good.

“This report provides significant insights into the use of prescription medicines by senior Australians. The report underscores the role of medicines in maintaining a healthy, ageing population,” said Dr Brendan Shaw, Chief Executive of Medicines Australia.

“Australians have the third highest life expectancy in the world, with people today living 30 years longer on average than they were a little over 100 years ago. That’s a remarkable yet unheralded achievement.

“Developments in medicines and vaccines over the last 30 years have made an important contribution to this outcome. Medicines to treat cardio vascular disease, arthritis, cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes and other conditions are helping to keep senior Australians living longer and better,” Dr Shaw said.

The top concerns reported by seniors are heart disease or stroke (23%), followed by cancer (21%) and dementia or Alzheimer’s disease (13%).

“The Australian medicines industry is committed to bringing effective, new and innovative treatments to improve both quality of life and longevity for ageing Australians,” Dr Shaw said.

The report, Senior Australians and Prescription Medicines: Usage, Sources of Information and Affordability is available from The National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre (NSPAC) website.


Contact Person:

Jamie Nicholson
Media Communications Manager
Phone: 0419 220 293


As COVID19 continues to spread, our thoughts go out to anyone who has been infected or impacted. We hope that you are taking the necessary precautions to keep safe and well, both at work and at home.

Medicines Australia continues to monitor the situation and take advice from the Department of Health and the World Health Organisation. We are focused on responding to the important short-term issues but are also ensuring we stay balanced and maintain a focus on the medium and long-term business for our industry along with the well-being of our people.

At Medicines Australia we have initiated the following to ensure we support containment measures to provide business continuity and the well-being of our staff.

  • All non-essential travel has been restricted or cancelled
  • All face-to-face meetings (with external stakeholders and members) have been changed to virtual meetings (where appropriate)
  • Staff have been provided with the latest official information on COVID-19 through a hot-link on the office intranet; this information is regularly monitored and updated
  • Flexible working arrangements are covered in our HR policy which will allow staff to work remotely, if or when required
  • Current IT infrastructure enables staff to work remotely and will be in use if any person needs to self-isolate
  • Visual reminders have been displayed around the office, providing information about best hygiene practices
  • Extra hand-sanitiser, tissues and cleaning products have been supplied to staff for their work spaces

Our latest information is located at