Skip to main content


At Calanna, we believe in supporting people to pursue a greater quality of life. Living with chronic pain is not easy and we aim to help you manage and reduce your pain through an innovative, educational, consultative and integrated program called PainWise which we run at our North Cairns, Woree and Edmonton stores in Cairns and our Kirwan, Aitkenvale and Deeragun stores in Townsville.

The PainWISE Pharmacy Professional Service program we offer is a program designed to help you understand, manage, optimise and reduce your pain.

PainWISE has been developed to support people living with persistent pain within the community. It is the first Pharmacy Professional Service program for pain management that is available conveniently within pharmacies. PainWISE aligns consistently with evidence based approaches and is consistent with the International Association of the Study of Pain.

How will painWISE help you to manage and reduce your pain?

In 2010 the National Pain Strategy was developed in Australia. Its mission: To improve quality of life for people with pain and their families, and to minimise the burden of pain on individuals and the community.

Goal 2 of the National Pain Strategy aims to help people with pain, their carers and other supporters to have the knowledge and confidence to seek appropriate advice, education and/or treatment to enable them to better understand and manage their pain. It also called for priorities in:

Improving community understanding of the nature of chronic pain and best practice management and

Provide easily accessible information and support programs to assist people with pain, carers and other supporters, and practitioners to understand and be more proactively involved in managing pain.

The PainWISE Pharmacy Professional Service program aims to support this goal. It is here to help you, the pain sufferer or carer, to gain the valuable information you need to become a better manager of your pain and make confident choices about your pain management, especially that of medication considerations. You will be able to work better with your painWISE pharmacist and other health care professionals. The program will work with your GP to help you manage your pain on a day-to-day basis and can introduce you to other healthcare professionals such as pain specialists, psychologists, dietician or physiotherapists who work in the area of persistent pain in your local area. We will work collaboratively with your treating clinicians so that we can continue to support you to reach your treatment goals safely and effectively.

You will understand what questions to ask

Where to go to get further help

How to understand the different treatments available to you

How to understand our pain medicines and use them safely and effectively

How to access health services cost effectively and

Understand that there are choices you can make that will assist you in reducing pain.

What the painWISE program will do

The painWISE program will inform you of the different treatment options available to help you MANAGE pain sustainably. This is a community based program that will work with your GP and other healthcare professionals to navigate you to better pain management. The knowledge you will gain will provide you with the current pain information to help you to plan a long term solution, help you to set goals and also update you on what else is available within your community to help you manage your pain. The information you will gain can also improve other areas of your health and well being.

What the painWISE program will not do

The painWISE program will not promise to fix pain. Successful long term pain management is about using multiple modalities to treat your condition that will suit you as an individual. The painWISE program is not a short term solution. You will still need to see your treating GP or Pain Specialist or other healthcare professional. This program is not to replace any other prescribed pain programs that you are currently under or might consider in future. Having the right type of current information is important so that you can move forward in your life and live well despite persistent pain.

How will painWISE support what my doctor or specialist has already prescribed for me?

The PainWISE Pharmacy Professionals Service program is consistent with the advice and recommendations of the International Association of the Study of Pain (IASP). The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) is the world’s leading professional forum for science, practice, and education in the field of pain. The painWISE program supports what your general practitioner and/or pain specialist prescribes by offering you information on a variety of strategies that will further optimise prescribed treatment and assist in the development of a pain action plan. We will also focus on assisting you to use your medications safely and effectively.

How does painWISE measure up to pain clinic programs?

The PainWISE Pharmacy Professional Service program delivers up to date information on the management of pain. Its messages are consistent with educational programs delivered at hospital pain clinics and for the past 2 years has been rigorously and successfully trailed in two community based healthcare settings supporting people with persistent pain. The PainWISE Pharmacist will be aware of the different pain clinic programs operating within your local area and can also navigate you to those services if required. This program is NOT a replacement of other prescribed pain programs that you are attending or might consider in the future.

I am interested in non-drug alternatives for treating pain, how can painWISE help me ?

The painWISE Pharmacy Professional Service program is evidence based and will assist pain sufferers to make safe decisions on what types of alternative therapies are effective and which are not. Unfortunately not all non-drug alternatives are known to work and can be very expensive. Being supported by the PainWISE Pharmacy Professional Service program means that you will be able to make better informed decisions on your over-the-counter purchases. Always discuss it first with your GP or your PainWISE Pharmacist if you are considering a specific type of alternate therapy that you are unsure about.

How long does the painWISE program go for?

There are several professional service options available to you.
1. An individual pain program is available starting with a medication review then followed with 3 Action Planning sessions. Once completed, action planning sessions can be extended if required. This will be on a case by case basis and you can discuss this with the PainWISE Pharmacist at the time, OR
2. PainWISE PLUS Pharmacists can conduct a weekly group educational program, which runs for 2 hours each session for a period of 4 consecutive weeks. After the 4 week group program you will receive 3 weeks of individual Action Planning with your PainWISE pharmacist.

Please discuss with your PainWISE Pharmacist the cost of these options.

Who facilitates the painWISE program?

The painWISE program is facilitated by your painWISE certified pharmacist who has been fully trained in the PainWISE Pharmacy Professional Service program and who has been assessed and certified to be competent in the educational program.

Where and when is the painWISE program conducted?

The painWISE program is appointment based and held at a specified time and location as advised by the participating painWISE pharmacy. Please speak to your participating painWISE pharmacy for further details of the professional service available to you.

What do I do next to get involved?

Speak to your nearest Calanna Whole Health Pharmacist and they will be able to assess your needs and recommend which professional services are best suited to your pain conditions.